Venlafaxine withdrawal and pancreatitis?

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Hi all, I'm in California, 50 years old and had a hysterectomy 2 years ago.  I have been on Effexor for 20 years and it suddenly stopped working 6 months ago.  I assume because I am in menopause and everything can go wonky due to it.  I was on 225 mg daily of the tablets, not the extended release caps.  I found a good psychiatrist who helped me taper off starting last November 2014. I started Brintellix and only commpletely stopped Effexor in April 2015.  The withdrawal was terrible and I have been on short term disability since February because I can't deal with my job and the symptoms. 

The weird thing that happened was I had acute pancreatitis in April and was in hospital for 3 days.  Could the withdrawal cause this?


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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello. My partner is having trouble reducing down to 150mg daily. She is also 50 years old. What is 'Brintellix'? and how did you use it.

    These forums are helping me to understand.

    • Posted

      Also do you suffer with wieght gain as my partner is having trouble with hers and also eating at irregular times doesn't help.


    • Posted

      I was on 150mg Effexor for 9 years and put on 3 stone.  I lost it all within 3 months when I stopped the medication.  I have read lots of post from people on Effexor who put on weight whilst taking it. 

      Reducing or withdrawing from Effexor is very hard, and if not done slowly will give you very bad withdrawals.  It took me 10 months to withdraw.  I did not get any withdrawals as I did it so slowly.

  • Posted

    Hello, I live in the South of England.  I was on 150mg Effexor for 9 years.

    I withdrew from it slowly 18 months ago.  I reckon the pancreatitis could be due to that.  Months after I stopped Effexor I was very ill with tummy troubles and nausea but did not put it down to stopping Effexor.  I lost the  lots of weight over 3 monthds, and had to have a scan as so poorly.  So yes, perhaps my problems were due to that, but did not think of that at the time. 

    So sorry you have been in hospital.  I am sorry your withdrawal was terrible, as I was lucky, even at my age (73 at the time) I did not have any withdrawals, and did not go onto any other medication.  I lost jobs because of depression and went onto Invalidity Banefit here in the UK.  Years ago now. 

    Take care, by the way have you got a fat dog (your nickname?)

  • Posted

    I've been on it for so long, I don't know if my weight gain was due to Effexor, Hashimotos Hypothyroidism, or age.  I did get up to 16 stone *225 pounds) and now down to 205 -- Mainly due to very low fat diet for past month due to pancreatitis.  "Fatdogmom" monikor is because I'm the fat one, and I am owned by a few dogs!  Brintellix is a new antidepressant I was given.  It reportedly does not have the side effects of reguarl SSRIs (weight gain, libido problems, etc). I've been in such discomfort due to the Effexor withdrawal since October and the recent Pacreatitis in April. It's difficult to assess its effect -- save I'm not as depressed and hopeless as in the winter. 

    Some tips I learned from American forums.

    1) Valium aka Diazapam is great for the brain zaps and vertigo.

    2) Benadryl is also good for the agitation and vertigo.

    3) going onto another SSRI when at the lower doses (50mg or less) helps with the final bottoming out of depression and should avoid any possible Seritonin Sydrome concerns.


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