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  1. Hi, On 8/24/2020, I dropped from 60mg to 30mg of duloxetine. I've been on the drug since 7/2016. The side-effects are sometimes difficult, but mostly mild or moderate. I'm contemplating going back up to 50mg to minimize symptoms, but I'd like to give a few more days before making this decision. It will be two weeks on 9/7/20. My Dr. recommended I go on a low dose of Lexapro to help wean off duloxetine, but my goal is to be medication free. In 2015, I did get off this drug by using a compounding pharmacy, but got back on six months later due to uncontrollable anxiety. I was prescribed many medications, but nothing worked so I went back to Duloxetine. At the time, I attributed the symptoms to losing my father a few months before. Once or twice a quarter, I take a .25 mg of Ativan for breakthrough anxiety. I'm considering the counting beads approach, but I'm overwhelmed by the process. I'm not on any other medications. Healthy, with a non-processed whole foods plants only diet and run 5x a week, and try to walk the other two. I have a great CBT therapist that I've seen on and off for years and presently check in every two weeks. 5 feet 3 inches, 101 pounds, mid-40s, and in a stable relationship for the last 2.5 years. Simple tracker app is used to keep track of symptoms and other factors to get a better insight into the weaning process. Your wisdom is appreciated.
  2. Theswedking Hi, my name is Theswedking. I have dealt with depression and other mental illnesses for 32 years. It started quite young for me. I have been through multiple professionals, tests, and diagnoses. I am going through the worst SNRI withdrawal since I started medications 22 years ago. It has lasted 2 weeks thus far. The Dr. tried tapering me down off of Duloxetine (Cymbalta). I have quit cold turkey on other medications and been done with symptoms within a week. Been tampered down I wasn't expecting much withdrawals. Was I wrong and when I did research about with that medication causing havoc, I knew I was in for some hard times.
  3. Bolouis Hi everyone - Firstly I'm so grateful for having found this forum through the podcast Let's talk withdrawal. I thought I was going mad as no one would believe the withdrawal symptoms I've been experiencing. Had I found these pages before I would have tapered much more slowly! I have suffered with depression since I was a child but no one has ever asked me about my life or explored why I might be feeling this way. Along with most people, I was told that I had a chemical imbalance in my brain that could be fixed with antidepressants. Over the last few years and with the knowledge that all these meds do is numb me but I remained depressed, I started researching the topic and was gobsmacked by some of the research and information I found. So, I have been trying to get off them since 2017. I am hoping that someone can help or advise me through the awful symptoms I have been experiencing every time I try to withdraw. My symptoms are: Crippling insomnia - I have been prescribed Zopiclone short term but without this I can only manage an hour or two dozing at best Foul metallic taste in my mouth Feeling flu like - hot/cold, shivery, achy, nauseous Headaches almost permanently, pain in my face and neck Tinnitus and brain zaps Anxiety/palpitations Gastric problems, constipation/diarrhea My first proper attempt in 2017 lasted about 8 months but I became so ill that I gave up. At that time I didn't know what was wrong with me and had various blood tests and investigations only to be told there was nothing wrong. I wasn't at first depressed though (not that anyone would believe me). I think I probably became depressed through the illness so hence, I gave in and went back on the meds. I do believe I know the difference between feeling ill and depression but when you've been labelled for so many years, not even your loved ones believe you. So this is my 2nd serious attempt and I've been off now for about 5 months. Again, the symptoms have returned exactly the same as the last time but more seriously this time I became extremely anxious and agitated and ended up in A&E in March this year having planned my suicide. I was put under the Acute mental health team and a psychiatrist but of course they said I had to go back on my meds and prescribed Mirtazapine 30mg. I tried to argue my case but felt I had to give in and took it for 3 days before stopping. I have still not told them that I'm not taking it because I'm scared that they will withdraw their support. I have been signed off sick from work for 2 months now and can't imagine how I will be able to return if this continues. I am aware that I probably tapered far too quickly but I can't go back now. I have great support from my brother and sister and they've helped me research this and claim benefits. I've also been doing daily meditations and yoga for the last couple of months. I think this helps a little especially with the insomnia. I've honestly been feeling so ill and exhausted that before finding this I was seriously thinking of just going back on the meds and admitting defeat once and for all. It's just so horrible when no one believes you or takes you seriously when you're trying your best to drag yourself through each day. So, any advice would be very welcome, so sorry if went on a bit...TIA
  4. Need your help. Started Buspirone,10mg and Duloxetine, 30mg at 1 x 2 weeks and then 2 x 4 weeks. Reduction - 1 x 4 days and then “none”. This is day 3 and it has been pretty rough. Any recommendations would be great. Thanks
  5. I take Duloxetine 60 mg and want (not alone of course but with my psychiatrist) to start reducing the dose by 1 mg every week. I read the 10% method. but why not 1mg every week? seems to me more gradual. and during the last 10mg - only then - to do the 10% method. What do you think?
  6. Dear All I have been taking Duloxetine 60 mg and Rivotril (Clonazepam) 0.5 mg for almost 2 years and I would like to taper them off for the sake of my children. I need your help and advise please on the best plans and strategies regards ectactos
  7. HI Gridley, I have had this anhedonia like condition , when i was on SSRI, then my doc changed it to SNRI and Bupropion , it reduced some of the anhedonia like condition....However not recoverred completely.I read on research paper that dopamine agonist receptor are required for it to treat...So my doctor started Promipex 0.25 .....It helped ....I am on tapering currently for Dulexetine and bupropion..How to do it? WHat more needed for this anhedonia to lapse as this is taking heavy toll on my learning , happiness, social sphere.
  8. Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with major depression and an anxiety disorder in my early twenties, although I had my first mental breakdown/became seriously ill at seventeen. I managed to make it through university but had a second breakdown just as it was ending and have never fully recovered. I was first prescribed antidepressants (Effexor to start) at the time of my diagnosis and had a terrible reaction in the form of a mixed manic state, where I was both depressed and manic. However, I knew side-effects could happen and continued on through it as I was desperate for something to work. It did pass, but the nightsweats that kept me up all night eventually became too much and I had to go off of it. Over nearly the past decade I have dutifully tried antidepressants from every class, many different combos, as well as antipsychotics although I have never been psychotic, mood stabilizers, and benzos. Several years ago, I told my psychiatrist a long-standing fear of mine; that I thought I was treatment-resistant. I have one antidepressant that I feel may have worked moderately, and one that worked actually quite well for about a week - more about that later - but many of the others made me significantly worse and all had unbearable side-effects. My psychiatrist disagreed with me and tried me on more meds, but after my worst reaction ever last winter (Duloxetine) he finally agreed that I was, in fact, treatment-resistant. Duloxetine was the one med I thought really worked for me, but after only a short period of time on it I had a severe physical reaction with GI symptoms/vomiting that went on for over a month. All other causes for this but the med were ruled out through tests, and I became very ill/lost a lot of weight, and had to withdraw from it abruptly. The abrupt withdrawal was the worst I'd ever experienced, and caused a severe upswing in suicidal thoughts, and some sort of rage syndrome, which was completely uncharacteristic for me and the most terrifying thing I've ever gone through mentally. Anyway, after that, I wanted to try going off of antidepressants altogether and I had the support of my psychiatrist, who I had freaked out with my Duloxetine reaction and who at this point had put me on a useless antidepressant from the 50's, I guess as a last-ditch effort in his panic over my condition. He wanted to withdraw me from it too quickly, but I took a longer withdrawal period, and was able to do it! I'm currently off of antidepressants for the first time in many years. So I am no longer having the horrible mental or physical side-effects to the many meds I took, but am still suffering from the suicidal ideation that never left and am now at a loss as to what to try next. Not knowing what else to do, I asked my psychiatrist for a referral to ECT and was sent to an psychiatrist specializing in ECT, who approved me for it, but suggested I try a mood stabilizer first, as he said he'd seen many people who had treatment-resistant depression who actually had an atypical form of bipolar where they just hadn't presented with their first manic episode yet. This seemed sketchy to me, but again, I was really desperate. I was put on Lamotrigine, and have been having excessive crying spells, but it's impossible to tell whether that's from going off of antidepressants or the Lamotrigine itself. In any case, it's either causing crying spells or doing nothing, so I am currently tapering from it, and don't seem to be having the problems tapering I've had with antidepressants, at least. I have to be tapered from it fully to try ECT, as Lamotrigine is an anticonvulsant that would cause the ECT to be unsuccessful. I am also still taking Ativan, sometimes for anxiety but more often than not for when the suicidal thoughts get too much. I've gone off of Ativan before during times when I've been in a bit better place, so I'm capable of it, but I have to get the suicidal thoughts under control first. If anyone has any first-hand thoughts on or experiences with ECT I would appreciate it so much. I've been overprescribed by psychiatrists and traumatized by therapists over the years, I've only met the psychiatrist specializing in ECT once, and I just don't have much trust there or with anyone I've encountered in the mental health profession, unfortunately. I have done research and know the possible scary side-effects of ECT, but also that it has a much better success rate than antidepressants, something that I am pretty annoyed I had to discover on my own. But, yeah, I am still very unsure of it. I hope this is halfway articulate. Thank-you so much for listening.
  9. I’m actively slowly tapering off nasty cymbalta. I’m currently counting beads, taking 17.7mg / 93 beads. I also take 10mg of latuda. I haven’t had any problems dropping latuda from 20 to 15 or 15 to 10, but I’m wondering if staying on it for another two years before I’m off cymbalta completely is really a good idea. It’s also expensive which is a constant risk if insurance stops covering it. I know it’s a brake to the cymbalta and probably helps ease the cymbalta withdrawal... thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Not bipolar, if that matters - taking this cocktail for mostly situational depression that I’ve made life decisions to alleviate. Really don’t think I need these meds, and think the anxiety is a side effect from the AD. THANKS!
  10. Hello, I'm a new member to this forum! I was put on 20 mg (generic) Cymbalta (Duloxetine) in early June; at the time my husband and I had just moved to a new (to me) town/state and I had a difficult time learning my way around, in addition to being exhausted and in pain from the move! A new healthcare system = a new GP: "I think we can best address all your issues with a low-dose antidepressant" - next thing I know I'm diagnosed with "MDD" (major depressive disorder). Initially GP wanted me to increase dosage to 40 mg after one week on 20 mg. Due to troubling side effects I told her "no way"; it's been now a bit over two months, I know my way around town, my husband and I exercise lots daily (in addition to walking our dogs) so while I did feel a bit blue when we got here, it was definitely not MDD, but an adjustment period! I researched and researched and am so thrilled to have found your site! Today is Day 3 of my tapering off, I'll be attempting to go down 10% per week unless I experience withdrawal symptoms...so far, so good. Yes, I've counted beads and made "new" capsules by removing a certain number of beads (10%). Presently I don't notice any side effects - maybe getting off the pills will be easier than I have anticipated. I'll keep you posted! Again I'm SO GRATEFULl that this site/forum exists! It is criminal that doctors put us on this stuff, but don't counsel us how to get off it. It has been a learning experience...I am normally very assertive and surprised myself that I let her put me on this medication; I guess she got to me at a low point! I talked with a health nurse last week and she said they would want me on it at least for one year! Yeah right! Kind regards and many thanks, bayernbaby
  11. DavidfromTexas

    DavidfromTexas

    Hi, everybody. My name is David. I just discovered these forums a couple days ago as I was searching the internet for answers and hope. I'm in pretty bad shape right now, even as I am typing these first lines I am starting to cry. I feel better about asking other people who have been through the same issues as me, as opposed to a psychiatrist that just wants to put me on medication. Warning: this is going to be a long post, I apologize and thank you in advance for reading. LONG-TERM MEDS HISTORY: I am now 30 years old, and have been on Anti-Depressant medication for 20 years. I was diagnosed with pretty severe OCD/Anxiety around age 10 or 11, and immediately started on Anti-Depressant medication. (It was warranted, I was in such despair and largely unable to function even in everyday activities like school and doing normal kid things, and was never going to be able to get through any kind of Behavioral Therapy at that point in my life). SO we started with Zoloft (Sertraline), and it made a HUGE difference pretty immediately. I was able to be much more of a "normal" kid, though I did have setbacks here and there. After the better part of a decade, when the Zoloft seemed to not be working as well anymore, we switched to Cymbalta (Duloxetine), which I have been on for approximately the last decade. Which brings me to... SHORT-TERM MEDS HISTORY: Sometime in 2017 (I think), I decided I finally wanted to try going without my medication. I began a tapering with my prescribing psychiatrist that lasted 6+ months UNTIL the beginning of 2018 when I dropped COMPLETELY off of the medication. The tapering process was 90mg down to 60mg, then down to 30mg, then eventually down to nothing. I had NO physical withdrawal symptoms when I did this, and I remained off of the Medication for maybe around 3 months. The only REAL reason I decided to go back on the medication after those 3 months was because I had been feeling much more down/sad since being off of them, BUT I was unsure how much of that was normal (my 4-year first-love relationship finally died at the end of 2017) and how much of that was possibly a side-effect of being without the medication. SO, by April of 2018 I had decided to go back on Cymbalta, and I pretty quickly went all the way back up to 90mg. The plan was to be on it for a little while longer to give myself time to heal from the loss of this relationship. By the end of Oct. 2018 I had made it back down to 30mg, where I would stay for the next 5-6 months. (I think I tried dropping off the medication once during this period but went back on pretty quickly because I started feeling some physical withdrawal symptoms that I hadn't before. At this point, my memory is kinda blending it all together.) I tried dropping off again this April and felt the withdrawal effects worse than I did the previous time. So once again, I went right back on it. THEN I started seeing a different Dr (a nurse practitioner) who has experience helping people wean off of meds. Following her suggestions, THIS TIME I weaned from 30mg down to 20mg daily for 2 weeks, then started taking the 20mg ever other day for 2 weeks, then down to half of the 20mg pill every other day for 2 weeks (opening capsule and pouring out approximately half of the beads), and then finally taking half a 20mg pill every 4 days for a couple weeks. Doing it THIS way prevented the physical withdrawal symptoms I had experienced the couple times before. BUT now it's the emotional despair that I am worried about... WHERE I AM NOW: I have now been completely off of the medication since July 2nd. If I can just get through this depression and sadness, I just KNOW that I will be able to handle the issues that originally plagued me 20 years ago. I have lived through it all, and with the experience and memories and knowledge that I have now, I should be able to cope with it much better. I am just worried that it's the worst timing ever. Here we are, over a year and a half since my relationship was fully dead, and I am struggling with it worse than I have at any point since its death. I have only recently decided I need to do whatever I can to get past it because it is CERTAINLY not coming back (talked with her a few days ago). BUT what is now troubling me, is that I'm not sure if my current depression is due to the loss of the relationship OR if it's due to me being completely off of medication now and my brain having to re-wire itself and recover. OR if it's a really bad combination of both. I've never been through heartbreak like this before, but it seems to be getting progressively worse, where in normal circumstances it should be getting progressively better as time wears on. How can I tell the difference between true, natural depression and depression that's an effect of withdrawal? I assumed (maybe naively) that if I didn't have any physical withdrawal symptoms then I probably wouldn't have any emotional symptoms either. Just looking for some thoughts/insight from people with similar experiences. I am scared that I will have to remain on Anti-Depressants for the rest of my life, and who knows how THAT might even damage my health. I have been researching alternate, more natural forms of therapy for someone like me with Serotonin issues, the use of things like magnesium supplementation and whatnot. MY MAIN CONCERN IS BEING ABLE TO BE HAPPIER AGAIN, and I'm just hoping I can do that without Anti-Depressants. (I'm also dealing with other smaller physical issues like PE, which began as soon as I started weaning and gradually got worse the less amount of meds I took. But again, at this point, the more important thing to me is my mental health and mood. I don't want to feel heartbroken and hurt anymore.) Thanks for reading. I appreciate your time. David
  12. Giulietta

    Giulietta

    Hello all, I am new to the forum after reviewing some of the posts intermittently since December 2018. I have posted my intro as a PDF (note: pasted below). When I tried to post it - the fonts and spacing were inconsistent and I couldn't edit it. This is my first online forum on any subject so please bear with me on the technical goofs I will make. 😉 Fortunately I did find the emoji and finally get the introduction written. Thank you! PDF information pasted below (CC manually reformatted as best as possible): Hello all, I am a new member and trying to liberate myself from duloxetine/Cymbalta 20 mg (compounded in a LIQUID). My goal is mood management without medication – and being able to cope positively with unwelcome (or sometimes welcome) events. I have been viewing information on the web site off and on since last December. My thanks and empathy to all of you on this site who are ridding themselves of Cymbalta and other ADs, benzos, etc. I remain optimistic that the light at the end of the tunnel is not that of an oncoming locomotive. J I am grateful for having found SurvivingAD and to the subject matter experts and people who administer it. I have been tapering duloxetine 20 mg (compounded) since December 15, 2018 under the care of an MD. I am at 10 mg (3.3 ml) as of July 20, 2019. I am decreasing by about 10% a month. I am also taking clonazepam 2 mg (my next taper goal) as well as meds for a childhood neurological illness (lamotrigine XR 600 mg and gabapentin 1000 mg). I have taken many medications since age 9 due to the latter. Because of my medical history and the many meds tried or used over the years to manage it, their efficacy, safety and side effects – I am anxious about medications. Anxiety exacerbates the neurological health issue. I was prescribed ADs about 15 years ago (and the clonazepam) to manage moods amid traumatic life events. I took Duloxetine for about the last 4 or 5 years; the highest dose was 60 mg. About my taper: The taper started in December 2018. However – before I knew better – I stopped cold turkey (per prescriber’s advice) in August 2018. I endured subsequent bouts of panic, elevated anxiety, auras and some agoraphobia - so I restarted the duloxetine and the symptoms went away. I figured out that cutting the medication maybe caused the symptoms. I found a new MD who reluctantly agreed to the taper. After learning I lack the fine motor skills to count beads, I found a compounding pharmacy and get the duloxetine in an oil-suspension. I decreased by 2 MG (10%) per his direction and I experienced 3 weeks of bad symptoms. Thereafter I tried a ‘micro-taper’ approach – a series of mini-cuts - per this website. This approach seems to have moderated many of the side effects– but the symptoms are still a problem a good proportion of the time. My process for the micro-taper is to reduce by about .5 mg a week (about 2 mg a month total) – with mini decrements across the week (in ml). I have symptoms for a few days, then a few days where I am feeling mostly OK, and then I make another mini-cut. This is fatiguing and difficult to manage. Some side effects I experience(d) on this medication at 20 mg– and they continue: • Hot flushing over head and torso and perspiration (in 70 F) and not attributable to endocrine function. • Blurry vision • Short-term memory impact • Focus and concentration and recall • Insomnia – awakening 2-3x night many nights…. • SSRI/SNRI sexual side –effects • And many more… Withdrawal effects Generally - the most consistent and prevalent withdrawal effects (thus far) have been: • Anxiety - which may often be markedly worse in mid to late afternoon and into the evening (about 7-8 hours after my dose). • Jitteriness/tremors/shakiness • Auras and other sensations (related to the neurological illness) which may be extremely uncomfortable • Tinnitus (hearing loss was ruled out as a cause) • Insomnia • Lower GI (one extreme or the other) • Appetite issues (one extreme or the other) • Maybe more sensitive to cloudy days – particulary when they cluster Less consistent: • Dizziness when quickly turning my head • Postural hypotension • Sinus headaches • Lightheadedness • Panic • Dysphoria • Short-term memory impact – worse at times during this taper than on the full dose • Focus and concentration and recall– worse at times during this taper than on the full dose June – July Withdrawal Symptoms Out of the blue in June I experienced additional and horrendous symptoms for 2-3 weeks (see ‘less consistent’ above). They were so acute I asked myself if this is worth it, whether I will ever get off this drug and so on with the nefarious what if’s. I have no idea what caused it but I made it through and I am now doing much better. Looking for another MD or NP The psych MD (started in December 2018) does not have my full confidence to taper me successfully off Duloxetine. I am looking for an MD or NP who sincerely wants to taper me off and take a holistic approach to mood management moving forward. Spending much time online and looking things up (like about ADs, tapering, etc.) elevates my anxiety to unhealthy levels. It’s therefore important to have an MD or NP on whom I may depend for this information. If it had not been for information I found on Surviving AD and other web sites – he would have tapered me to Viibryd or off duloxetine in 4 weeks. What I am doing to help myself • Joining Surviving AD and searching for an in person support group • Helping others through this and letting everyone I know about Cymbalta and AD withdrawal • (Re-) learning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy • Meditate (10 – 15 minutes a day I practice this – but 5 minutes are better than no minutes) – this may take me a while to learn…. • Exercise daily ( 45 minutes on the treadmill in the morning (and it would be good to do some walking in the afternoon). • Physical therapy and hand weight exercises most nights. • Eating plenty of protein, healthy (whole grain) carbohydrates, salad a day, nuts, and could do better with vegetables • Searching for a faith that aligns (mostly) with mine • Looking for a group to volunteer with • Write down (most days) what I am grateful for – even if I need to repeat things from one day to another J A few things I have learned – and wish I had known earlier – about exercise and diet and spending too much time online Maybe this may help someone out… 1. You may not want to start a ketogenic (or low carb) diet (depending on your medical circumstances). My personal experience with this: I was advised/told to restrict carbs (40%) to lower my a1c. I did 50% - and I suffered more anxiety, panic, etc. Ended up in ER with panic. No one told me about this and my MD wasn’t aware. Learn more about keto diets and psych meds: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/201803/ketogenic-diets-andpsychiatric- medications. 2. Activate dopamine receptors and generate serotonin by EXERCISE (aerobic and/or weight lifting) and PROTEIN. Exercise releases endorphins and helps with dopamine receptor activation. Activating dopamine receptors is ‘critical’ to this process. A diet rich in protein helps with this. (this from the neuro RN) 3. A good snack in the mid to late afternoon – whole grains and protein - may help me with anxiety. It helps with blood glucose management –and a low BG will cause anxiety and a number of the symptoms that are also caused by AD withdrawal 4. To help cope with anxiety – I have found that doing something anything physical or with your hand (and focusing on it) can help (for example, clean the bathroom, knit, weed, etc.). I have a few questions, which I will post separately – and I would really appreciate your comments. Thank you Surviving AD Intro.pdf
  13. Hi all, I've been on and off psychiatric medications for over a decade now, starting with Lexapro in 2008. That led to a suicide attempt, which led to me being switched to Zoloft and then quickly to Wellbutrin. I was on Wellbutrin until September 2010 when I had a grand mal seizure and had to discontinue it immediately. No one ever discussed withdrawal issues with me at the time, now looking back I know I had serious mood issues but it was just considered part of my ongoing depression. Fast forward to 2014 and I went on Prozac. I didn't feel like it was helping me, so I quit cold turkey after a few months. Again, no one had ever discussed the possibility of withdrawal issues with me. Now looking back, I remember how I had sudden unexplained dizziness to the point of feeling like I was going to pass out, nausea, and constant forgetfulness and brain fog. Multiple trips to the doctor never brought up the possibility of withdrawal symptoms. In the spring of 2016 I started taking citalopram, and after having a complex partial seizure I was also prescribed divalproex sodium, twice a day 250mg pills, which I am still taking. EEGs and follow ups with neurologists have led to the general conclusion that psychiatric medications raise my "seizure threshold" high enough that I might have seizures; no medication, no seizures. Around October or November of 2017 I was switched to Lexapro because it's a more "modern" form of citalopram. After gaining 20-25 lbs I asked for a different medication and was put on 30mg of duloxetine, which I was taking until I started my tapering process. I read about this community and antidepressant withdrawal in a New Yorker article, which led me down a research rabbit hole, which led me to wanting off these drugs. I talked with my psychiatrist and he is supportive. He wanted me to drop down to 20mg for two weeks, starting April 11. I had read about the 10% per month rule but thought I'd try it the doctor's way at least one day. Well, I had dizziness, an inability to concentrate, and friends commented that I looked pale. So the next day I switched the the tapering methods recommended here. I counted all the little beads in the capsules and got an average of 180- took out 18 from each one and put the rest in new capsules. It's been going pretty well. I have been having some dizziness and nausea, and I think I'm reacting poorly to caffeine, but I'm going to try to keep an eye on it. Fortunately I never drink anything stronger than black tea anyway. I'm a little discouraged at how long the taper process will take, but I'm trying to think about how bad the cold turkey experience was with Prozac and remind myself that it will be worth it. I'm also not sure what I'll end up doing about the divalproex, my psychiatrist said he wanted me to stay on it for now so that we can control the variables. I do think he'll be supportive, he was happy that I was doing research on my own and was in favor of a conservative taper, but of course that's a conservative taper in the medical context which I think most people here would consider much too fast.
  14. Topic title: 20 to 18mg duloxetine is harder than 30 to 20mg Hi there I spent most of last year on 30mg of duloxetine (20 years of depression generally pretty well managed by medication - lots of different ones). Having started meditating regularly in the summer which I've kept up along with regular exercise - I was feeling pretty good so went down to 20mg around November. I had no problems at all. Even with christmas and an operation to deal with! 2 weeks ago, I started following the guidance on this site on tapering duloxetine and used ball counting and gelatine capsules to taper to 18mg. It's been very hard. Tears and irritability. I haven't been like this in a long time. Why would it be harder to go from 20mg to 18 that it was from 90 to 60 , 60 to 30 or 30 to 20?? It doesn't seem right. I've booked to the see the psychiatrist next week because my family are a bit alarmed and worried. But he is very pro medication. I don't think he'll be happy about my plans. But now I know duloxetine is so hard to come off, I want off it more than ever! I would not be completely against starting something else additionally to see me through but I know Prozac is often preferred and it has a bad effect on me s isn't an option. I so grateful if you've taken the time to read this!
  15. Hello. I'm crackerjax. I am 35, female, have severe depression, various types of anxiety (generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder, phobias, agoraphobia, etc.) and PTSD. I am not in great physical shape either, with obesity, Polycystic Ovarian syndrome, hypothyroid, and pre-diabetes. The first time I took meds was, wow, 17 years ago... 2002, in my first year of college, I was prescribed Zoloft and have been through a gamut of many drugs since then. Mainly, it has been over a decade of Cymbalta (ramping up the dosage until I was on the max dose) and clonazepam, which I am still on a small daily dose of (0.5 mg) sometimes with something extra thrown in (for a while Wellbutrin XL, for a while Abilify, I am off both now.) I was admitted to an outpatient hospital in October 2018 (my third outpatient hospital) for severe depression, but realized the program wasn't for me and didn't go back. The psych there took me off the Cymbalta (duloxetine,) I was on the max dose, 120 mg. I was worried she was doing too fast of a taper (over 6 weeks) but she said it had very few severe side effects. Holy crap, was THAT a lie or what? I was desperate to be off the stuff, probably should have done more research... but here we are and I am miserable constantly. I have not seen any psychiatrist since then... it has been since mid-October, but I have an appointment this coming Tuesday. I am sure they will try to reinstate drugs. It has been slightly over 2 months and 2 weeks since my last dose of duloxetine. I feel terrible and it feels like it is constantly getting worse. All of my emotions are extreme. When I am happy it is nice, but even then it is jarring, consuming, obsessive even... also rare. Most of the time I just feel terrible. Mostly it presents itself as deep depression and soul-shattering anxiety and panic that is consuming and constant. My PTSD has been getting triggered more often and severely than ever before as well. The other day I cried so hard I couldn't breathe or talk or calm down, just shaking and freaking out, for literally over 12 hours. I thought I wouldn't be able to stop. That has never happened to me before. My panic has also been out of control. Things I could do a few weeks ago feel almost impossible now, and my agoraphobia is also worse than ever. I keep telling everyone that my emotions are at 11, and they are, kinda always lately, even without a concrete trigger. I have also been having worse insomnia, nightmares... I can't focus or distract myself with anything, spend most of my time thinking terrible things, and my memory is garbage. I used to live across the country and moved back east a little over 2 years ago. I haven't made pretty much any friends since coming back or reconnected with any old friends, so I spend almost all of my time alone, sometimes with my family, who are extremely dysfunctional, don't understand, and don't support me... they are high stress and high drama (also source of PTSD.) My husband is great and does what he can, but also seems to be buckling under the pressure of how extremely bad things have been in the past 2 months, mostly for me, but also for him. Our relationship is great, but strained, I need him constantly and am scared to be alone. My boyfriend (I am in an open relationship) is also very sweet and understanding and supportive, but due to scheduling I get to see him rarely. That's about it in terms of support, along with some long distance friends I never see and rarely talk to. My therapist is new-ish (I've only been seeing her about 6 months, with a long gap because of finances.) Due to crappy insurance I can only see her every other week. I don't think she actually helps much. I just relive my trauma over and over and nothing gets resolved. When my husband gets a new job (he was recently laid off) I will likely switch to a new therapist, possibly DBT based. I'm sorry to be all doom and gloom (though that is why I'm here) so I will say a few positive things. I like to write, though do it rarely. I like cartoons and video games and Muppets. I have some cats, they are great and snuggly. I really like to read, when I can focus long enough. I really need help guys. I feel like I am losing my mind, reaching a breaking point... I did some research on Cymbalta withdrawal and it seems like it lasts a long time, but it DOES end. I am clinging desperately to the hope that at some point in the future my hell will end... but it feels so bad so often it is hard to get through the day most days. If you have any questions or if I did anything wrong, please let me know. I made my signature, but my memory sucks so exact dates are impossible to nail down. Also, should I put my non-psych meds there? Just for reference I am still on the clonazepam 0.5 mg/day with a second dose as necessary, other meds are Metformin 1000 mg 2x/day, Levothroxine 50 mcg/day, and take various vitamins and supplements. Thank you.
  16. Amira123

    ☼ Amira123

    Hi all, P.s english is not my first language I started taking 30 mg cymbalta back in june 2016 due to having panic attacks, OCD and depression. During the past 2.4 years things have been really amazing and i got so much better. in june 2018, i broke up with my fiancee, and in october i decided that i will stop the Medicine. I stopped in october 2018. And at the same time i left my job and become unemployed since then. I did not slow taper, took a 30 mg pill each two days for two weeks and then stopped completely under the supervision of my phsyicatrist. I have experienced brain zaps and dizziness which stayed for only 2 weeks and then went away, however, i have been living in hell since then, i have suicidal thoughts, severe depression, panick attacks, feeling of hoplessness and what really concerns me is heart pounding and extreme sensitivity to sounds and light. i need your advice, it has been now exaclty 3 months sine i stopped taking cymbalta. Should i return to it again and taper slowly and in a safe way? If yes, please advice me how to taper given that in mu country the minimum dosage we have in pharmacies is 30 mg. Thanks, Amira
  17. University of British Columbia Pharmaceutical Sciences Student Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, March 21 2016, pages 31-33. Preparation of Lower Dosages of SNRI Antidepressants to Ameliorate Discontinuation Symptoms: Two Case Studies. Benton Attfield, B.Sc. (Biology), B.Sc. (Pharm) Lori Bonertz, B.Sc. (Pharm) Cory Hermans, B.Sc. (Pharm) Valerie Kantz, Senior Pharmacy Technician. Full text pssj-v03-i01_attfield.pdf Abstract There is a large body of evidence showing that adverse effects experienced with antidepressant treatment ameliorate over time and that disease-state symptoms improve for many patients. However, there is a paucity of information relating to how to stop these medications when a patient’s depression has remitted. Presented here are two cases that demonstrate the role pharmacists play in helping patients discontinue SNRI medications through the preparation of lower strength dosage forms. From the paper:
  18. Back in 2012 I had an episode of major depression after a relationship break up. I was commended on duloxetine (Cymbalta) and quetiapine (Seroquel) for a couple of weeks to get sleep and appetite back. It all worked well and I had 5 very stable happy years on duloxetine 90mg. However as I have endometriosis we were due to undergo IVF to try to conceive so I very gradually weaned off duloxetine - got some brain zaps and other unpleasant symptoms but they only lasted a few days after each dose drop and i managed to get completely off. After a month or so I started to feel some depression symptoms returning (mostly lack of enthusiasm and tiredness) so in April 2018 just before IVF i went back on duloxetine but it was a COMPLETE DISASTER. Within days I was a quivering wreck, unable to sleep at all, extremely anxious (was never really anxious before), no appetite. After 10 days GP changed me onto mirtazapine (Remeron) which initially helped with sleep but then the anxiety and insomnia gradually. IVF proceeded and was successful so I am now pregnant and did due in March 2019 but mental health remains terrible Liz Transferred to care of psychiatrist and got put on quetiapine(Seroquel) too which unlike before was not successful in making me sleepy. Changed to sertraline - made me worse so stopped after 11 days - was hospitalised due to suicidal ideation. Quetiapine (Seroquel) pushed up higher and now at 500mg a day. Also give Ativan and Ambien but now tolerant and still can’t sleep. Started on Amitriptyline but anxiety did not improve so weaned off after 10 weeks. Still taking quetiapine, lorazepam (Ativan) and zolpidem (Ambien). Still nowhere near back to normal - anxious all the time and get a couple of hours of sleep max a night and wake with heart racing and feeling panicked. Terrified all these meds have not helped but I won’t be able to get off them desperate to try and get myself better before my baby is due but don’t know how :(?
  19. Zavo

    Zavo

    Hi, I am retired 1st responder with PTSD for over 20 years. Get anxiety and Depression as well. About 2 years ago I was put on mertazapine and gained 50 pounds. Never overweight in my life. Then put on Lamotragine 200mg and duloxatine 120mg. Never felt well on any of them. Decided enough is enough. I want to see who I am without all the meds and misdiagnosis. I'm not BiPolar, dont have seizures but was given bipolar meds and told for depression. Big no, I just keep getting worse. I decided to get off all. I tried tapering Duloxatine with horrible effects..still have them. Body aches, bones ache, flu symptoms, mean and cant get out of bed. After tapering to zero counting beads I found that prozac can help. I took a genetic test and it showed severe drug interaction with Duloxatine. Now I'm on Prozac 5mg but still suffering, maybe from prozac effects, cant get out of bed, aches and pains and very tired and weak. I'm not depressed by very discouraged. I got married not long before all this, cant work, basically ruining my life. I no longer have trust in Psychiatry and find better info online from people going through this. I'm now on week 2.5 off Duloxatine and down to 100mg of Lamictal. How to cope? How there are no real rules, prozac helps bit comes with lots of problems. Anyway, I feel I'm getting there, but I need help, afraid my spouse will divorce me soon and wish I could leave me too. Thank you for all the great info this far. Zavo
  20. Hello all! I'm a 61 year old woman who has been on Cymbalta for many years. A few months ago, after routine blood work and then a sonogram showed a very fatty liver, I was sent to a hepatologist. She cautioned me that the Cymbalta is toxic to the liver and I needed to get off of it. OK, so over the next few months under my PCP's "supervision" I tapered from 60 to 30, and then 30 to 20, then 20 every other day, and then did some bead counting down to 10 every other day and finally got completely off. That was a little over 3 weeks ago. It hasn't been too terrible; I had some brain zaps for a while, brain fog, etc., but the worst of it is the tremors. They started a little after I started weaning. Last week I decided to see if the doctor could give me something to calm them; he put me on Primidone, saying the only side effects might be drowsiness and a little dizziness. I took it for 2 nights and felt so horrible I quit. Not only was I dizzy and sick at my stomach, I think the stress from it gave me a couple of small anxiety attacks. And of course, it didn't stop the jitters. But today, after not taking it last night, I feel like a human again, albeit a shakey one with an upset stomach. I'm currently trying to figure out where to go next. My PCP doesn't get the whole idea of the discontinuation syndrome; in his mind, the drug is out of my system so I should be fine. Plus, he will only put stock in the NIH website, and because that doesn't list the tremors as a symptom, I had to argue with him that they are indeed listed on many other reputable websites. I'm trying to figure out what type of practicioner might be more informed on the subject and would welcome your suggestions. Also as to how to deal with the tremors. Where did this all start? All my life I had a Type A personality in overdrive. During a particularly stressful period, I was working on several projects with tight deadlines. I worked long days and nights, my adrenaline driving me. As each project was finished, I expected to feel more relaxed, but I didn't. It was as if my body slowed down but the adrenaline kept pumping at the same rate. I started having panic attacks, and my doctor put me on Zoloft (I think), which I stayed on for a few years before my insurance company decided I should be taking Lexapro, and then after a few years Cymbalta. (suggestions on their part. 🙄) I had found that the drug helped me to be more relaxed and enjoy life more, so I really didn't hate being on it. But at this point, I'm hoping I can get through this and just go it on my own. It looks like it might be more of a fight than I was hoping though. I'm looking forward to y'alls input!
  21. I've recently reconnected with a friend from 30+ years ago. We have been spending time together once a week and we are moving foward, seeing each other more frequently. At some point I will want to share my story with them about my psych meds. When and how is the best way to do this? Full disclosure is important to both of us. I want to make sure I'm not premature in bringing it up, but don't want to wait too long risking the perception I've been holding back and not been upfront.
  22. I was put on 120 mg of Duloxetine to help me with my Fibromyalgia. It worked wonderfully. Back in November I was working out and burning 600 calories at the gym each day. Then I caught a cold. If I don’t take my Duloxetine before 10am I am unable to sleep that night. My body does not tolerate sleeping meds. So I don’t take Duloxetine after 10 am. I tried to take it daily but kept missing doses due to feeling miserable and not being able to wake up. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well and sleep about 16-20 hours a day. I also suffer from Meniere’s Disease - bi-lateral hearing loss, dizziness, nausea, and vertigo. I went to see my medical doctor due to feeling like I was dying. Diarrhea 3-6 times a day, not being able to get out of bed, feeling like I am going to faint if I push myself, and actually fainting a couple of times. constant dizziness, vertigo if I move too much, joint aches and pain. She believes it is due to withdrawal from Duloxetine. She wants me to restart it. Now that I am two weeks into total abstinence, I am afraid to restart because I have done so poorly at being able to take it, in spite of my best efforts. I met with doctor that has been giving it to me for the past year and she wants me to start taking it again regularly and will give me 30 mg pills to start me out gently but then wants me to go back up to 120mg daily. After four months of feeling horrible I am afraid to go through withdrawal again yet can’t always take it. I also can’t read through this whole site as my symptoms are horrible right now and have been since January. If you were me, what would you do? Should I tough it out and keep going cold turkey or should I go back on it and risk accidental withdrawal again.
  23. divewarm

    divewarm: Cymbalta

    (Moved from: Tips for tapering off Cymbalta Reading through this thread has been moderately terrifying. I've been taking 90mg for 11 years. I've tried various ways of tapering ... and nothing has worked. My pharmacy recently changed brands, and I've been having horrid side effects (similar to withdrawal symptoms). I'm super sensitive to any changes, and had resigned myself to being "addicted" for the rest of my life. I will definitely be following up with my physician on this particular taper method. Thank you!
  24. Hi everyone. In July I finished a 1-year slow taper of Cymbalta. I was prescribed it for depression and chronic pain. I decided after being on antidepressants for more than 25 years, and dealing with horrendous side effects, that I wanted to go off of them. I initially tapered per doctor’s orders, stepping down in 10-mg increments every 2 weeks from 60 mg to 30 mg, which was too rapid. Then I found advice to do no more than 10% reductions a minimum of 2 weeks at a time. That’s what I did for a year. I dealt with bad withdrawal during the taper. Brain zaps, anxiety, sweating, cognitive issues, etc. Now, more than 5 months have passed and I still suffer from depression and anxiety, and I’ve gotten back chronic neck pain. I’m going to counseling but it’s having minimal effect. I’m also seeing a functional medicine doctor and doing all I can to heal without drugs. However, I feel utterly hopeless and broken. Can I be relatively mentally healthy eventually? Or am I doomed to requiring antidepressants? Every day is so difficult. I’m barely able to take care of myself and do my job. Thank you, ”Hurting”
  25. Hi everyone, I'm in a pretty desperate state. Over the past couple of months, I very slowly tapered off 60mg (1x a day) of Cymbalta, 5-10 beads at a time. I felt great during the taper. Then a few days after my last dose, I began to experience diarrhea and anxiety. I waited ten days to see if the withdrawal symptoms would improve, but the anxiety became so severe that in order to function at my new job, I decided to go back on the Cymbalta at 20mg/day. A few hours after taking that first dose, my symptoms went away. But in less than 24 hours, they were back. So I decided to go up to 20mg 2x a day, which I've been doing for the past two days. The problem is that the dose seems to wear off in 8-10 hours, and I'm left with crippling anxiety and stomachaches between doses, and zero appetite. I've started to take 0.25mg of Xanax to bridge the doses, but I don't want to be doing that. (FYI, I am still on 200mg of Wellbutrin XL and not planning on doing anything with that just yet.) What should I do? I'm reluctant to increase my dosage back to 60mg/day, both because I don't want to go up too fast but also because I really, really want to get off this drug and I worked so hard on that initial taper. And why did 60mg (and even much less than that during the taper) just once a day work fine but now I can't even get through 10 hours of 20mg without needing another dose? I'm so terrified that I've wrecked my brain with this stuff and I'll never be able to get off it. I'm wondering if I will need to give up this job - the anxiety makes me feel like I'm trapped in a box and I'm completely useless. I would be so grateful for any advice. Thank you. Laura
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