Development of (hypo)mania during discontinuation of venlafaxine in two patients with bipolar disorder
The scientific literature frequently warns that patients with bipolar disorder risk developing a (hypo)mania on starting a course of antidepressants. In this case report, however, two patients with bipolar disorder developed a (hypo)mania while their dosage of venlafaxine was being gradually tapered off. We discuss a pharmacodynamic explanation for the induction of (hypo)mania during discontinuation of venlafaxine. We also discuss alternative explanations, such as a venlafaxine withdrawal syndrome; induction of rapid cycling; difficulties in distinguishing an agitated depression and a dysphoric mania and the naturalistic course of a bipolar disorder.