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  1. 2011: I was prescribed the following: Cymbalta 60 mg (arthritis). Zoloft 100 mg (anxiety). Buprenorphine 8 mg (off label for treatment resistant depression). Over a couple of years the doctor increased it to 24 mg. September 2018: Decided I wanted to try and reduce the meds. I began a rapid taper of the Bupe and was down to 12 mg by the end of November 2018. Mid December 2018: Started having severe panic attacks daily. Each morning they started at wake and lasted between 2-6 hrs. Assuming it was because of my recent Bupe reduction I increased my dose for a while. It didn’t help so I went back down again. October 2020: I've been suffering horrid, daily panic attacks for 22 months. They start each morning before I even open my eyes (severe nausea and strong sense of doom). They quickly worsen from there and last for hours before slowly lessening. Then I go through a 1-2 hour period extremely fatigued and lethargy. My doctors have been unable to diagnose me but they have treated my symptoms with various medications (listed below). They don't help much during an episode, however it does help with later anxiety and to sleep at night. There is little fight left in me I'm so tired and losing hope. I have fallen down from exhaustion and muscle deterioration many times (once I broke off two front teeth) and am too scared to leave the house (only go to the doctor each month). I stopped eating more than fruit due to severe nausea and have lost 60 lbs. In the last six months I've gotten worse with severe leg weakness and just lately started having pain up and down my left arm (spoke with doctor). Other than that I endure horrible racing thoughts, a racing heart, heart palpitations, headaches; severe nausea, a sense of doom/worry, and a numbness and tingling of extremities. I believe that I may have finally figured out what is wrong: Serotonin/Norepinephrine overload because of the Cymbalta and Zoloft mix (perhaps brought on by stress because of menopause or my quick Bupe reduction in late 2018....I recent read that opiates block re-uptake transport or something). My doctor eliminated the cause of my illness as anti-Depressant related since I had been on them for such a long time without incident. There were many other tests to no avail. So I've researched and am attempting to reduce the Cymbalta from 60 to 30 mg on my own. I started three days ago. As of now my withdrawal symptoms are tolerable (it's difficult to discern between panic and withdrawal, so I evaluate my symptoms after the daily attack). I have headaches, nausea, cognitive difficulty, muscle weakness, and depression. It is key for me that I have had some relief from my panic syndrome though. My racing heart and palpitations were practically non existent. Unfortunately yesterday I took additional Zoloft to take the edge off and it turned out to be a big mistake. Although I still didn't panic this morning, along with some other general symptoms I became extremely fatigued and lethargic (which normally doesn't happen until after the CNS attack). Side note: I am unsure where I am headed with this Cymbalta reduction. My first goal is to stop my panic attacks and stabilize myself. However if my episodes worsen or if withdrawal becomes intolerable I will reinstate the 60 mg. Something tells me that IF I am suffering panic attacks because of neurotransmitter overloads that my withdrawal symptoms might not be as serious. Is that possible? When do the symptoms of Cymbalta reduction generally peak and how long does it last? Reminder: the 11th, 12th, and 13th I took the reduced dose. Lastly, it may be that some of the recent differing symptoms are due to a recent reduction of my Estrogen patch (I have no choice. The doctor is cutting me off). I could probably go back up but could only do so for about two weeks before I'd have to start a reduction again. Any advice or encouragement will be graciously accepted. Current Prescriptions Cymbalta: 30 mg (on October 10, 2020 I reduced it from 60 mg) Zoloft: 100 mg Buprenorphine: 8 mg Atenolol 25 mg (2 times daily). Xanax: .25 mg (take half doses of .125 mg; regularly only take about two per day). Valium: 5 mg (occasional and rare; only in half doses). HRT (out of necessity I am reducing my Estrogen patch slowly). I also take have a combo patch. OTC Mag Glycinate Mag Citrate Vit D3 Chia Seed Oil
  2. Hello, my name is Manny. I was diagnosed 0CD and schizophrenic in 2008, but I been taking benzos and amiptriptiline since 2005. Currently,taking abilify 20mg,risperidone 2mg,cymbalta 60mg,biperiden 4mg. I am tapering klonopin down to 0,27mg from a dose of 1,25mg. I went to see my doctor this week because a blood test that I did. He said my hepatic transaminases are high because of the medication that I take. I am assuming the APs that I take. What can I do to get my liver function well? I know, quitting the APs, but I can t cold turkey. Any advice,please.
  3. Hi all, I've just signed up, have been a member of benzo buddies for last few months as I thought my problems were from benzos, but as I'm improving I've realized it's more antidepressants. Long story short I've been on and off Citalopram for past 15 years, each time reached tolerance and came off, only to have what I now know to be withdrawal and reinstated. I can't believe nobody tells you this. Got diagnosed with fibromyalgia (withdrawal), tried Valium, Xanax, ativan, cymbalta, Prozac all stopped CT. Final wammy was stopping Valium for the 3rd time and trying to up my Citalopram which by this point was only 5mg. (I was on 40mg at 1 point a few years ago and couldn't work out why I couldn't take it anymore.) Had to go to the ER, now unable to tolerate any medication as kindled on both benzos and AD. I've found even eating ginger puts me into a wave as it affects serotonin. I've been in hell for 6 months and desperate for anything that may help. Have tried to reinstate twice, but even 0.5mg is too much and takes a month to return to baseline Anyone else as damaged as me, and found any relief?
  4. First, excuse me for my English, I speak just French. I’m new on this group and would share my story. My story with shrink medications: It’s the most important rules, the golden rules if you want quit all this crap with minimal damage: stay on the original molecule and taper SLOWLY. I’m destroyed now because I have follow my Dr in this process: 1. Ten years on Tramadol and two years on Klonopin due to neurologic pain after a failed surgery. 2. Almost CT withdrawal of the two molecules , at this time I don’t know a clue about Ashton Manual and withdrawal, I trust my doc 3. Results: depression, anxiety, seizures, ...DR ad Olanzapine and Cymbalta (first time in my life that I take antipsychotic and AD) 4. Results: suicidal ideation, I inform my doc, he up the dosage of the AD! 5. Result: Suicide attempt two weeks later, cardiac and respiratory arrest , 2 weeks in intensive care at hospital 6. They give me Effexor, Pregabalin high dose (Lyrica ), Fentanyl, massive dose of benzos 7.Result: serotoninergic symptômes, they stop CT the fentanyl and Tramadol but ad Trazodone and sleeping pills 8. Results: psychosis, seizures, panic attacks, bowel obstruction and direct to ER! 9.Result: they cut CT the Effexor, Pregabalin, Trazodone and start with anSSRI (fluvoxamine), sleeping pills, Propranolol for tremors and heart rate, and start to cut the benzos but at a rythm of 25% each week. 10. Result: panic attacks, sweating, tremors, insomnia, suicidal tough, akhitisia, enable to eat (lost 30kg in 6 months), depersonalization, weak as hell! 11. Result: 10 weeks in detox clinic...they continue to cut the benzos but 50% each week!!! I talk with the Addicto in charge about Ashton and Breggin, about FB group... Never hearing this!!! 12. Result: back to home with SSRI but nothing else, BUT PAWS off hell: insomnia, dizziness, POTS, PSSD, PTSD, DEPRESSION, CNS AND GI SYSTEM DESTROYED, Anhedonia,SEIZURES, PANIC ATTACKS, ... 13. Result: my Dr stop the SSRI CT and reinstate pregabalin and another SSRI. 14.Result: more anxiety and insomnia. Dr CT the pregabalin: hell 15.Result, I change of Dr and search for a treatment with plant medicine Iboga, change my diet due to benzos belly and all damages due to AD and tapering the SSRI. 16. Go in a clinic for treatment with plant medicine Iboga / Ibogaine. Overnight no more PAWS, insomnia, pain, anxiety, ... was a life saver! Iboga reset all neurotransmitters, like if I was a baby born. 17. Return to home with no PAWS, no medication , but weak, tired and depression (My mistake is that I tapering to fast the Last SSRI, at this time I just want do die but my instinct say to me to microdosing with plant medecine Iboga or psilocybin...but was to down to follow my instinct) 18. Back to the shrink who give me SSRI ( insomnia, anxiety returns, give me Mirtazapine, but adverse effects, ad pregabalin and CT after 3 months, back on benzos too and ad Quétiapine into the cocktail...) I have two lovely kids and a wonderful wife, but I have lost everything: my job, my health, my family... because I’m just able too stay on the couch with horrible symptoms, kindling effect, and pain all day long, sometimes I can eat but the GI system is so painful and destroyed that I can’t assimile nutrients correctly. When I can sleep 2-3 hours it’s a very good night for me, but usually with a lot of nightmares and sweating... Today I have received by mail the decision of health services of my country: I’m considered as 100% invalid. IN CONCLUSION: FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WANT STOP SHRINK DRUGS: 1. SLOW TAPERING DON’T GO CT 2. STAY ONLY ON YOUR ORIGINAL MOLECULE 3. DON’T STOP MULTIPLE MOLECULE IN SAME TIME 4. DON’T FOLLOW IN ANY CASE THE DR ADVISE ABOUT TAPERING OR DIAGNOSIS DURING WITHDRAWAL 5.DON’T AD NEW DRUGS IN THE COURSE, NEVER! ONLY TIME, HEALTHY DIET, EXERCISE, SOME VITAMINS ARE THE KEY 6.GO **** YOURSELF ALL BIG PHARMA AND DOCTORS WHO WORK FOR THIS. MY SON, MY DAUGHTERS AND MY WIFE HAVE NOW A VEGETABLE IN PLACE OF A FATHER. THANK YOU VERY MUCH MOTHER****ERS! HOPE THERE IS A DIVINE JUSTICE AFTER... Good luck for everyone 🤞🤞🤞hope you will be better than me. ❤️❤️❤️
  5. Hi, So I finally understood that it is strongly recommended to write a little something about my experiences here. I will just copy some parts of my posts I have shared in this forum to sum up. Recent developments: I myself have intolerable withdrawal symptoms even reducing 5% of the drug. They are unbearable, both physically and mentally. They totally incapacitate me for weeks (I sleep up to 15h a day, terrible brain fog and dizziness up to the point where I cannot walk, of course the brain zaps and lots of pains in different parts of the body etc) (I will not mention the mental effects, they are really bad...) and then on it is still bad but keeps stabilizing very slowly. At this point (after tapering for years) I am seriously considering coming off the 8,44 mg altogether because I am just unable to go through the symptoms that come after a reduction so many times any more. Because the withdrawal symptoms are extreme for me I am thinking it would be better to cut off the drug now at 8,44 mg and hope the nervous system will start balancing itself out than to go through this hell for at least another year (which is the very optimistic time frame). Note: I have decided to go with this idea - I am going from 8,44 to 1 mg in 8 days. (today being the 3rd day: April 3rd 2015 ). Before judging please read the history of my experiences to understand why I personally have decided to take this approach now in the very end of tapering. My experience: I have been tapering at different pace throughout the process. Since the beginning I have made the reductions by 10% or even 5 % when I realised that the symptoms were directly caused by the reductions. I was aware (theoretically) that my symptoms can be caused by the drug, its side effects and withdrawal, but I didn't really believe it for a long time. Or it would be more correct to say I always had doubts whether it was still more me being crazy and ill. So for a long time in the beginning (I have been tapering for over 2 years) I kept tapering with intervals that I now realise were not nearly enough for my brain to stabilize, but I was not fully aware that the withdrawal symptoms could be so severe and last for so long that I figured the reason had to be somewhere else. I just tapered according to the planned schedule, keeping aprox. 3 week intervals (and unfortunately, optimistically 2 week intervals). I also tried micro tapering every week, but needless to say that proved to be harsh on my nervous system and was keeping me in a constant state of agony. During the last 9 months or so I have had to keep longer periods between reductions in order to stabilize (I realised more and more that what I was experiencing was due to the reduction of the medication and the link got clearer by the day), but I cannot even estimate the stabilization point. For some of my friends it is perfectly clear - their withdrawal "cycle" is short and simple: they know that their symptoms will come 1-2 days after the reduction and last for about a week (max). This is not the case for me. One week for me is the extremely acute period (which would correspond to maybe the 1st 1-2 days of my friends' cycles) and as much as I would like to see a noticeable improvement during week 2, I can only say that it gets slightly better than the extreme, but not nearly enough to function to a standard that would/could be acceptable or tolerable. After recently having a 6 week and a 2 month gap between reductions I can say that during the 2 month gap I guess you cold say that I started to feel like the symptoms were starting to actually stabilize for the fist time for me subjectively. That enabled me to observe how the affects of withdrawal came about abruptly and directly connected to the reduction. In more detail: I'm having a hard time remembering exactly how long I have been taking certain drugs. Seems like forever. I was first prescribed Fluoxetine when I was 17. I am 30 now and for 13 years I have constantly been on and off different antidepressants - the whole spectrum of them. For a very short while I was even on antipsychotics (a month or so). I have always had awful side effects and have discontinued the drugs after a while, switched from one drug to another etc. It wasn't until a few years ago when I finally became aware and educated myself on the topic of antidepressant withdrawal and the harm they cause. (I would really suggest two books for a real eye-opening: Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide, and Crime by Peter R. Breggin and Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker). When I think back on the years on these meds and realising now what they have done with me, it makes me indescribably angry and sad. I have had awful side effects for years and discontinuation effects that I only realise in retrospect for what they were. Last drug I discontinued before Cymbalta was Venlafaxine (Effexor) which is another nightmare next to Cymbalta. Unfortunately then I was not aware of the methods of slow tapering and the discontinuation symptoms literally almost killed me (the "brain zaps", disorientation and dizziness were so severe that I almost tumbled in front of a moving car one day). By then I was already google-smart on the discontinuation side effects these meds have but was still unaware how to slowly taper. I was very reluctant to start taking Cymbalta but was convinced it was necessary by mu doctor. I started with the idea that I would only be taking the drug for a few months. Well, months become a year before I started tapering. I was taking 60 mg of the drug. When I started tapering it was very difficult for me to distinguish between the effects of withdrawal symptoms and my usual symptoms. A lot of the time I did not believe that the drug could be causing all the mental and physical symptoms and was afraid that it was just me. By know (as I described in my previous post) I have realised that a lot of this has been the drug's effect, but I am still afraid whether these effects can be undone. I have no way of knowing whether the decade of these drugs has caused permanent damage on my nervous system. I have tapered using different strategies. I have never tapered more than 10% of the last dosage, but I did reduce very often for a long time (after making a schedule I tapered every 2-3 weeks). It was because I could not really believe that my symptoms were so severely caused by the withdrawal. Later when I tried longer stabilizing periods I experienced how the withdrawal effects were sudden and obvious and followed a certain pattern (for Cymbalta and for me it is 1st day - no different, 2nd day slightly lowered mood, mild brain zaps etc, 3rd day - hell!). Withdrawal symptoms: The first week, on day 3 I start to have terrible crying spells. Literally for days I keep crying. Well, of course not 24/7 but for most part of the first days I am in tears. I am not sure how long that lasts but at least half a week. At some point the crying is replaced by despair and major depressive feelings. This is the worst symptom and the best I know to describe it is that while having this I feel that I cannot bear living for another minute more. I just want the suffering to stop. And it doesn't. And that can get better for half a day or even an entire day, but still last for... well, an unknown amount of time. I know I could handle any kind of symptoms - all the pain and crying and everything, but this is unbearable. The only thing that helps is numbing the feelings with Xanax. I do not drink alcohol but I can totally understand why people would choose to numb their pain with it. I suppose it is not at all different from taking Xanax - they're both a sort of a poison for the body and the brain. From physical symptoms the strongest ones I have is exhaustion (up to the point where it is ridiculous even), I have strong neurological symptoms (brain fog, brain zaps - they are a sort of a mini seizure, extreme sleepiness - sleeping up to 15h a day, not being able to shake the drowsiness and fogginess for the most part of the day, I have strong neural pain in the left side of my body - in the left arm, shoulder, back of the head, behind the eye, vision problems, extreme sensitivity to sounds (!) and a general sensory oversensitivity, nausea of course. Oh, I remembered for some period during the tapering I sweated extremely. I usually sweat really little. I also sweat a lot during the night. The flu-like symptoms occur. Ohwell... the list is so long it is embarrassing. And these symptoms don't really seem to pass fast. They just last and last so that I get to thinking it is ridiculous. But it still keeps happening. Oh and from time to time comes the agitation and irritability. I can feel how my thinking gets impaired - it slows down, the memory gets really-really bad, I cannot remember words and names (I used to think it was just me or a symptom of depression, but now I have established a clear link between the symptoms and the reduction of the meds). Oh, and the restless legs of course. My method of tapering: I have developed a method for myself for tapering off Cymbalta that I have not encountered in this forum or any others so I thought I should share it. For the very reason that the beads inside a Cymbalta capsule are not the same size (two capsules might not contain the same amount of beads) and I do not have a scale to measure such small portions, I have come up with an alternative. What I did is I folded a paper in half from the middle, creating a void where I could pour the beads and they would stay in a straight line next to each other. In that way I created a measurable line of the contents of a capsule. Right now I use a 30 mg capsule which creates a 25,5 cm line (fits on a regular A4 paper), but when I was using a 60 mg capsule I had to devide the beads into portions and measure them all and calculate from there on. Now I am not particularly fond of mathematics, but with a few simple calculations and a lot of concentration ( ) I was able to calculate how many mg of the medicine was in a line of the medicine of a certain lenght. So when 30 mg of Cymbalta is 25,5 cm, that meas for example, that 15 mg of Cymbalta would be 12,75 cm etc. (This is specific to the capsules I use bought from Estonia, yours could be very different so you should always measure your own medication!) I use the same folded paper (with markings on it) every day to pour a certain amount of beads out from the capsule. So if I am using a 30 mg capsule and I am - let's say - at 20 mg daily dosage I would have to calculate how many (what lenght) beads I would have to extract from the capsule before taking the medicine. So I have established that 30 mg = 25,5 cm. That means 20 mg = 17 cm. I know that there is 25,5 cm of beads (30 mg) in the capsule so I have to pour out 10 mg = 8,5 cm. It really makes no difference, if you calculate it in cm or mg after you have established the relation between the two. So I have a marking on the paper and each day I pour out a 8,5 cm line. And if i reduce the dosage I just make another marking. It is actually very easy to do the reduction just visually, when you have drawn the lines beforehand and calculated what necessary. You also have the history of your reductions right there under your eyes. I always write the date of the reduction next to the specific line every time, so I have a good visual overview of what, when etc.
  6. 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
  7. I've been counting the little balls out of my Cymbalta 20mg capsules for almost a year now. I know on average there are 200 little granules in there. I'm down to taking 70 granules out per day. Well, now I'm out of full pills and need to start counting 130 granuales and putting them into a gelatin capsule. Being that I did not think ahead and didn't even realize my prescription was out (and it's a federal holiday) this morning was rough. So... I DID NOT have a gelatin capsule to put the 130 balls into but instead counted them out into the lid and took it like a shot. Then drank water to rinse them all down. Now I'm panicking (Panic Disorder and PTSD) that I'm going to die because I did it without the gelatin capsule. I found in this forum to mix the balls with applesauce or apple juice (after I did that of course) but couldn't find anything about taking them the way I just did a few hours ago. I took a small dose of Ativan hoping to stop full fledge panic (weaning off of that also- PRN every few days or so). I guess I need some reassurance that I'm not going to die or someone to post a link where other people do this. I will go get gelatin capsules so I can use all the balls I've taken out since I have no refills now. Cold turkey is not for me either. Ended up in ER last time.
  8. Cymbalta comes in 20 mg, 30 mg, and 60 mg capsules. Full prescribing information: http://pi.lilly.com/us/cymbalta-pi.pdf Cymbalta is tricky to taper. It does not come in liquid form and cannot be compounded into a liquid. To protect the drug, each bead inside the gelatin capsule has an enteric coating to protect the drug from stomach acid, which would destroy the drug. (It is absorbed further down in the digestive tract.) The pellets cannot be dissolved in any liquid without destroying the active ingredient. You cannot crush the pellets (see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/275-do-not-crush-list/page__view__findpost__p__3021 ) or dissolve them in a solution -- the drug would never get into your system, it would be destroyed in your stomach and you would have immediate cold-turkey withdrawal. Of course, the range of dosages from the manufacturer is inadequate for very gradual tapering. Like all psychiatric drugs, do not skip doses or alternate doses to taper Cymbalta. Its half-life is very short, about 12 hours. It is metabolized via the liver enzymes P450 1A2 (substrate, inhibitor) and 2D6 (inhibitor). This post has a chart that shows what happens with the level of Cymbalta in your bloodstream when skipping doses. See Doctor is shocked at severe Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms and testimony by Dr. Joseph Glenmullen regarding Cymbalta withdrawal syndrome: http://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/pdf/DrGlenmullenDeclarationSupportofCymbaltaClassCert.pdf (PDF) Reduce by 10% per month to start As with any neurologically active drug, a conservative taper is the safest way to go off Cymbalta. Some people find they can go faster and some people find they have to go slower -- they can only tolerate decreases of a fraction of a milligram at a time. A conservative taper for Cymbalta, like other psychiatric drugs is: Reduce by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.) See Why taper by 10% of my dosage? Cymbalta CANNOT be crushed, compounded into a liquid, or dissolved in a liquid The pellets in the capsule cannot be dissolved in a liquid; this would destroy the active ingredient. High-dosage Cymbalta: Using different dosages to decrease to 40mg If you are taking as much as 120mg Cymbalta, see this topic for an example of how to taper to 40mg using existing capsule dosages and a few compounded prescriptions: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7060-razzlesf-off-abilify-tapering-cymbalta/?p=129252 To taper from a dosage of 40mg, you're going to have to either open up 20mg capsules and count beads, or get custom compounded dosages. The bead-counting method Like Effexor XR, some people have tapered by opening the Cymbalta capsule and taking out the beads to gradually reduce the dosage. (See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tapering-off-effexor-venlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__2985 for the technique.) You can do this if you have brand-name Cymbalta or generic capsules containing hundreds of tiny beads rather than 4-12 "mini-tablets" (see below). The number of tiny beads in each Cymbalta capsule will vary within a given dosage, across dosages, and from different manufacturers. The capsules are filled by weight. To find an average number of beads per capsule, you will have to carefully count the beads in several capsules. Then you can estimate how many beads amount to 10% of the dosage and manage your taper accordingly by keeping notes on paper showing the number of beads removed and equivalent Cymbalta dosage. Take out 10% of the beads at each step of the taper. Put unused beads into a clean, dry, capped prescription bottle marked with the dosage of the original capsule and expiration date. You might want to use them later. Do NOT mix beads from capsules of different dosages, such as 30mg and 60mg. NOTE When you are taking loose beads, put them in an empty capsule to swallow them. Gelatin capsules and vegetarian capsules are available at health food store. The FDA reports here http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm103473.pdf there have been some instances of the beads causing throat irritation when swallowed without a capsule. Dividing Cymbalta beads into empty gelatin capsules To make counting of the beads easier, this technique may work with Cymbalta, see details at http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__3033 Opening capsules and weighing beads Eventually, as you remove more and more beads, it may become too confusing and time-consuming to count out them. You may wish to weigh them instead, see Using a digital scale to measure doses and Counting beads in a capsule versus weighing. Have a compounding pharmacy make up capsules of smaller dosages For precise dosing, a compounding pharmacy will accurately weigh the doses and put the right number of beads into capsules for you. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__3001 Dividing Cymbalta beads into apple juice or applesauce Follow the instructions above for dividing the beads in a capsule and put your reduced dose apple juice or applesauce. --------- It has been scientifically demonstrated that the Cymbalta pellets survive being put into apple juice or applesauce but NOT chocolate pudding: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18691989 Clin Ther. 2008 Jul;30(7):1300-8. In vitro stability, potency, and dissolution of duloxetine enteric-coated pellets after exposure to applesauce, apple juice, and chocolate pudding. CONCLUSIONS: Results from this study found that the enteric coating of duloxetine pellets mixed with applesauce or apple juice was not negatively affected. The pellets were stable at room temperature for < or = 2 hours and should quantitatively allow delivery of the full capsule dose, provided that the pellet integrity is maintained (ie, not crushed, chewed, or otherwise broken). Therefore, mixing duloxetine pellets with applesauce or apple juice appears to be an acceptable vehicle for administration. However, exposing the pellets to chocolate pudding damaged the pellets' enteric coating, suggesting that pudding may be an unacceptable vehicle for administration. --------- Tapering generic Cymbalta (duloxetine) capsules containing "mini-tablets" The generic forms of Cymbalta may contain beads, like brand-name Cymbalta, or 4 to 12 "mini-tablets" rather than beads. From Lupin Pharmaceuticals http://medlibrary.org/lib/rx/meds/duloxetine-3/ The "mini-tablets" cannot be split or dissolved to make a liquid. Suggestions for gradual tapering: If you are taking 20mg, 30mg, or 40mg (two 20mg capsules) per day, switch to brand-name Cymbalta or a generic containing tiny beads rather than mini-tablets. Use the bead-counting method. If you are taking 50mg (20mg plus 30mg) per day, reduce by one mini-tablet from the 30mg capsule (5mg, or 10%) initially for a month, then switch to brand-name Cymbalta or a generic containing beads rather than mini-tablets. Use the bead-counting method. If you are taking one 60mg capsule per day, reduce by one mini-tablet (5mg) per month for 2 months until you are taking 50mg per day, then switch to brand-name Cymbalta or a generic containing beads rather than mini-tablets. Use the bead-counting method. If you are taking one 60mg capsule plus any of the other dosages per day (at least 80mg), reduce by one mini-tablet (5mg) from the 60mg capsule per month until you get to 45mg total daily dosage, then switch to brand-name Cymbalta or a generic containing beads rather than mini-tablets. Use the bead-counting method. You can combine brand-name Cymbalta or generic beads with generic duloxetine mini-tablets to taper. (This would cost less than using brand-name Cymbalta for your entire taper. A prescription for 60mg brand-name Cymbalta capsules will go further.) You could take part of your dosage in brand-name Cymbalta beads and the rest of your daily dosage in generic mini-tablets. For example: If your 30mg generic duloxetine capsules contain 6 mini-tablets, each mini-tablet contains about 5mg duloxetine. Let's say you want to reduce 10% from 30mg to 27mg. You can take 5 mini-tablets (25mg) and add 2mg in beads to it. If a 60mg capsule of brand-name Cymbalta contains 200 beads, each bead contains about 0.3mg duloxetine; you would take 7 beads (2.1mg) to total a daily dose of 27.1mg. (BE SURE TO COUNT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BEADS IN YOUR CAPSULES -- THEY CAN VARY FROM THIS EXAMPLE.) When you are down to 5 mini-tablets (25mg) per day, take 4 mini-tablets and the rest in beads to reduce another 10%, and so forth. Reduce by micro-taper The very smallest dose of brand-name Cymbalta is one bead. Some people find they can better tolerate a reduction of one bead at a time rather than a 10% decrease. You may be able to make reductions of one bead more frequently; try reducing by one bead a week for a while to see what your tolerance is. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2878-micro-taper-instead-of-10-or-5-decreases/ Do not reduce by one additional bead per day. This is too fast, you may develop withdrawal symptoms before you know what's happening. Here is an example of a micro-taper from cymbaltawithdrawal.com http://www.cymbaltawithdrawal.com/topic/8325-dose-down-bead-counting-chart-anywhere/?p=50499 Switch to Prozac Like its fellow SNRI Effexor, withdrawal from Cymbalta can be very difficult. Recently, I asked a knowledgeable doctor about how he switches patients to Prozac. He said if the dosage of Cymbalta is "normal" -- 30mg-40mg -- he would switch to 10mg Prozac with a week of overlap. In other words, take both medications for a week and then drop the Cymbalta. Later, taper off Prozac. He acknowledged Prozac can have its withdrawal problems, but given Prozac's long half-life, gradual tapering should be much easier than tapering off Cymbalta. And, at least Prozac comes in a liquid. He confirmed that Cymbalta cannot be compounded because the pellets are enteric-coated to get the medication past the stomach acid, which destroys it. Other than the Prozac switch, he said counting pellets is the only way to taper. See more about The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac Here is more discussion about switching from Cymbalta to Prozac: NOTE Also see 2009: FDA hears testimony about Cymbalta discontinuation syndrome Study finds some Cymbalta withdrawal "severe and persistant" Doctor is shocked at severe Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms Cymbalta Withdrawal Lawsuits Progressing in US
  9. gardenlady

    gardenlady

    Moderator's note: Link to gardenlady's benzo thread I would like to taper off of 60 mg Cymbalta. However, I am in the middle of a taper off of Valium and am now at 11 mg/day. The horror stories I have heard about Cymbalta withdrawal terrify me. Should I cross over from Cymbalta to another AD and then taper off? And, should I wait until I finish my Valium taper? I cross tapered from 1.75 mg Ativan to 13 mg Valium and am now down to 11 mg. It's going to be a long time until I'm off of it. I am horribly depressed since switching to Valium, but the anxiety from interdose withdrawals on the Ativan were unbearable. I want off of ALL of these psychotropic drugs but realize I have to go slowly. I just want my life back. Any advice would be much appreciated.
  10. Hello everyone. I had been on this forum many times before reading all the posts, usually in the dead of night when feeling so desperate and alone with insomnia but did not sign up until now as hoping I would be feeling a bit better by now. I don't. I came off Duloxetine/Cymbalta, 60mg,in June 2016 cold turkey, probably a huge mistake to do it this way but I had been in touch with my doctor and he suggested to change antidepressant to Citalopram 20mg which I tried for a week and felt strange so ended up ditching both. I went through a terrible time of adjustment for the first 100 days but then seemed to manage slightly better, although it was tough I had hope for a while apart from the no sleep. After another few weeks all kinds of symptoms came at me like an express train and these now remain. I feel generally unwell all the time, depressed, no interest, no zest for life and just not functioning very well. I do have Citalopram tablets, 20mg, here in the house and feel tempted to take them but unsure of what to do. I also have Diazepam which I have taken on and off for 8/9 years 2mg. The Diazepam does not help me sleep at all but does calm me down a little but I feel it is not helpful to my withdrawal off the anti depressents and may be making symptoms worse. Would like to ask advice as to whether or not to reinstate antidepressents for a while as struggling so badly with suicidal thoughts and of little hope in recovering. 8 months of feeling so ill everyday is such hard work and is like living less than half a life. All hope I had in feeling better has gone, I cant believe I can feel this bad and still continue to try and get on with the days activities. I keep thinking that I should be in a hospital being looked after but of course any doctor would just dose me up, seems appealing today. Any suggestions would be appreciated very much.
  11. I haven't been able to reduce my Cymbalta dose for two years because of the horrible withdrawal symptoms I have experienced with both attempts (a year apart). I spent three years dropping from 60 to 30 mg. I have pretty much given up the goal of eliminating Cymbalta - afraid to cause more damage by tapering the than that caused by continuing to take 30mg. I am unwilling to risk further trauma and drama, so I haven't tried the crossover either. Prozac was too "activating" for me in 1989. I don't think it's likely to be a solution in 2012. I still have restlessness, sweats, problems with balance, an incredibly trigger-happy startle reflex and frequent headaches. After feeling progressively less brain fog during my three year taper, my cognitive processes are really abysmal at this point. I can't keep track of simple stuff, can't handle financial transactions, have problems with noise, light, just stimulus in general. And I haven't changed doses in two years. I wonder, do SNRIs poop-out the way the SSRIs tend to?
  12. I’m Luke from Illinois. I’m 24. Both my parents have their own issues. My dad is the son of an alcoholic mother and a WWII vet father. My mother messed around with drugs and alcohol in college, went to treatment programs, and changed schools and degrees numerous times. She also gave birth to a half-brother I have whom I didn’t know existed until I was 13. Both of them have very harsh/stern/critical/narcissistic personalities. They never got along. They divorced back in ‘17, but growing up was not easy for me. I started getting major defensiveness and separation anxiety when I was about 4-5. As to why? I don’t know. A trauma psychologist has told me it is probable something either happened to me or something wasn’t being met. So, my mom, being a registered nurse, and having gone through stuff of her own, thought she knew everything about mental health. She made an assumption that I had a “neuropsychiatric disorder” and a “chemical imbalance”. I think she basically was trying to get me diagnosed with autism like she’d seen on the internet, which I didn’t have by a mile. She takes me to psychologist #1. He says nothing is wrong with me and they need to change their parenting. Then psychologist #2. He says the same thing. During all this, I was made by them to stand in a corner and stare at the wall in the night when I couldn’t sleep. Sometimes they would lock me in my bedroom by unscrewing the door knob, turning it around, and locking me in. I would bang on my door to try and get out. One time I even climbed out my window. I get brought to a psychiatrist eventually. He has no diagnosis for me, but gives me Zoloft 50mg “off-label”. I was 5 years old. After a month, my mom was still not happy with how I was so she brought me back. He gave me Risperdal 0.5mg twice a day. And then my would tell people “she had a new kid”. And these medications corrected the “chemical imbalance. At age 9 I started getting tics. Like clearing my throat a lot. Or flipping my hair. Research articles have shown that Risperdal can lead to these involuntary actions in young kids. So I assume that was it. Anyways, my mom hopped right on it and brought me right back to the psychiatrist. He gave me Haldol. So at age 9 I was on Zoloft, Risperdal, and Haldol. Any problem that would present itself in my life my mom would drag me to the psychiatrist. That is unfortunately only the beginning. I’ve my life I’ve been drugged constantly while being told to get off the medications by others and by the psychiatrist themselves, but being forced and psychologically abused by my own parents to stay on them. The withdrawals have been hell. The stress has been hell. I don’t know what real reality feels like because chemicals have always altered it for me. The only times in my life I’ve been off psych meds were birth to age 5, and age 14-16 where I was majorly depressed because of my rough household. My grades at school tanked, I got into a physical fight with my dad, and I purposely got myself suspended from school just to stay home and sleep. So I ended up back on them after that. Here’s a brief summary since age 16 of what the medications have looked like at each age: 16: Lexapro, Zoloft, Risperdal, Trazodone 17-18: Cymbalta, Risperdal, Trazodone 19: (Was diagnosed with Serotonin Syndrome one night. Doubt I actually had that.) Risperdal, Ativan, Atenolol, Propranolol, Metoprolol, Seroquel, Lamictal, Buspar, Klonopin, Neurontin 20-21: Cymbalta, Risperdal, Ativan 22: Cymbalta, Risperdal, Lunesta, Klonopin, Zoloft, Depakote, Valium, Seroquel, Luvox, Anafranil 23: Cymbalta, Klonopin, Anafranil, Metoprolol 24: Cymbalta, Depakote, Xanax I currently just take Cymbalta 20mg. All of these except Anafranil and Xanax have been pushed by my mom. She treated me like a guinea pig. Making unilateral decisions, medicating me, and trying to “find the answer”. I was able to get her out of my life with a no-contact order. She is still adamant there is some diagnosis that all these doctors are missing. I believe she has Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. She had me do countless testings, treatments, techniques, all for who the hell knows what? She’s crazy. She has a Cluster B personality. Maybe deep down she means well but the abuse has been astronomical. I can’t take it. Plus my dad has just let it happen. My life has been ruined. I’m exhausted constantly. I’m often sick. I have problems with low blood pressure and postural tachycardia. My cortisol levels are low. I constantly have a positive ANA on blood work. It’s been hell. Absolute hell. I don’t feel human. I just feel like a husk. If I try to go off this cymbalta I immediately want to break property and kill people who’ve done this to me. And kill myself as well. I tried again to get off it earlier this year. Broke a bunch of my own things and overdosed on medication intentionally. Was in ICU and then a psych ward 2 hours away from where I live, where once again nothing actually got solved. The only diagnosis I’ve ever received is GAD and MDD. This was at age 19 after a lot of this had transpired. No wonder. It’s sucked bad. I don’t even know what to do. I find trying to distract myself and eat healthy is the best way to cope. But mostly I feel like a corpse. On the verge of dying constantly. Or on the verge of going insane. Plus all the craziness going on in this country right now. And my dad watches political TV constantly. Ugh. This is just awful.
  13. Hello, I am 41 years old. In 2011 I got Cymbalta because of a severe depressive episode. I started weaning in 2013 in a four weeks rhythm. I always reduced between 5 and 10% of the last dose. The last steps were a lot smaller. One bead every four weeks. (120mg to zero 2013 - 2018) Because of the slow weaning I was able to get my life well regulated. Sometimes there were bad withdrawal symptoms and sometimes a little less, there were windows and waves. I've been at zero for 16 months now.The first year after zero was mixed with windows and waves, but now I have only one wave to the next wave since eight month after zero. Nausea, Back pain, anxiety, itching, muscle pain, dizziness and many other things. I always read the story from Pug here. It is my anchor in this difficult time.
  14. I'm willing to travel for this one (hopefully within Washington state)....Can anyone recommend someone that can serve as an alternative to psychiatrists and mainstream doctors for help with withdrawal from an SSNRI? I've become frustrated with these people. They do not listen, assume what I am experiencing is simply the return of depression, and offer only to throw more dangerous meds my way. I need someone that has extensive knowledge of this subject along with compassion for the individuals afflicted.
  15. Hello. I am wanting some advice on withdrawing from the drugs I am currently on. I am taking 60 mg cymbalta, 5 mg zyprexa and 7.5 mg mirtazapine. I would like to withdraw from all 3 at the same time. Is this possible
  16. 🙂 I'm new to the site. Couple of questions. Had a couple of bouts with GAD 18 years ago. Lexapro fixed the problem both times and stopped both times with no problems after a few months. June 2018 felt depressed. Doctor prescribed Lexapro for six months (Dec. 2018). Then quit over 11 days by skipping doses as he suggested. Some symptoms returned and we tried Zoloft the end of March 2019. Worked up to 100 mgs. by June 21 but having very loose stools. Quick 6 day taper August 22 with plans to begin Cymbalta. Just quit instead and contacted Doctor to advise her. It's now been 6 months off AD's and the first couple were ok. Began having some problems third month. Experiencing bad mornings (anxiety) and waking early. Also stomach ache and kind of dizzy sometimes. 1. Is anyone experiencing the same symptoms? 2. Can this be withdrawal after 6 months with no AD's 3. Could this be a relapse?
  17. 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
  18. I have been reading this forum for over a week and I need ADVISE! Let me introduce myself and give some background information. I am trying to be brief, so please feel free to ask questions. Seven years ago I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). After trying several antidepressants, Cymbalta seemed to help me dramatically after the start-up symptoms passed. Over a period of almost six years my prescription was gradually increased to the point I went out of my mind and could not take it anymore. I went to a treatment center where I abruptly discontinued Cymbalta (1 year ago) and roller-coasted thru almost every antidepressant there is with no joy. I took a genetics test that revealed Pristiq was one of the few antidepressants my body metabolizes as intended. I took 50mg per day for a month and then tapered to zero in 14 days. This was 2 months and a week ago. It did relieve the pain and anguish, but gave me a multitude of new undesirable symptoms. My current symptoms are: Vertigo for the last 7 weeks, Fibromyalgia type writhing pain since discontinuing Cymbalta (1 year), emotional distress, daily fits of anger and rage, and insomnia. I have been thru a million tests and have tried everything doctors have prescribed including Valium and high doses of Aleve which made my Peptic Ulcer flair up. I tried Tramadol with Acetaminophen two days last week which gave me some relief from both the Vertigo and pain. I know it works similar to antidepressants, so am cautious to continue taking. I have also been taking a regimen of amino acids and B vitamins for 2 weeks with no improvement and possibly worse conditions. After reading Mr. Anxious thread I am thinking of either reinstating Pristiq and tapering, or giving Tramadol a go and tapering off it. Please give me some insight.
  19. angielynn78ii Over the last 10 years I’ve been on antidepressants. At different stages I was on Pristiq, Celexa, Cymbalta, Viibryd and Prozac. I was also on Lamictal and Klonopin. I am proud to say that I am currently free of all prescription medications. I took my last dose of Prozac 27 days ago. I’m surviving but I look forward to thriving. I could say so much and really want to share more but currently I just don’t have the energy or clarity. I will write again when able.
  20. Ok, Three back surgeries in last 6 months and I think those are over and I am home free. However, this last surgery March 9 2020 was pretty large surgery and I had some post opp nerve pain to deal with as well. About 6 weeks post opp, Dr started me on Cymbalta 30mg and started me on a 2 week taper completely off of 30 mg Paxil (20 years) while I was also tapering off of opioids. Said Cymbalta would help with nerve pain. Well a little over 1 week off of Paxil I started to freak out and he quickly upped dose of Cymbalta to 60 mg. Landed me in ER twice and he quickly discontinued Cymbalta and put me back on 30 mg of Paxil. In meantime he also stopped my opioid taper. I am down to 15 mg of Hydro daily and holding there. I am learning how powerful the Paxil can be. I was actually hoping to get off the Paxil at some point as I was wondering if it was still really working. How long might it take me to stabilize? I need to continue this opioid drop as I have now been on them for three months even thought I have been tapering. If and when I do stabilize and want to start a taper, I plan to do it slowly. However, after reading some info here on the site, I wonder if I should even try to get off of Paxil? I would like to, but will I be able to work as I am tapering? Will it be complete misery!!!!! Any advice around my situation would be greatly appreciated!!!! MY symptoms: Severe cognitive and concentration dysfunction, pins and needles , stinging going up sides of my head, severe pressure headaches that come and go quickly, nausea, feeling as if I am slightly drunk, locking jaw / grinding teeth, crawling out of my skin, insomnia. Thanks
  21. I’m 65 years old and have been on antidepressants since 1992. I don’t have a record of the dates of my medication history. I took Prozac for many years, but after it seemed to become ineffective, I was prescribed Cymbalta, which increased in dosage over the years. At some point, when it appeared that the Cymbalta was not as effective, I was prescribed Lamictal. Up until I began withdrawing from Cymbalta I was taking 120mg of Cymbalta and 200mg of Lamictal. I am still taking the 200 mg of Lamictal. I’ve joined this forum in search of help and support in withdrawing from Cymbalta and perhaps eventually, the Lamictal as well. Beginning at the end of January, I started withdrawing and under the guidance of a psychiatrist, dropped from 120mg to 0mg by about the 1st of March. After feeling very sick, I started doing research on the web and found a lot of resources regarding antidepressant discontinuation syndrome and am now seeking help and resources to help me cope. in February, my psychiatrist prescribed 150mg of Wellbutrin at the point when I was taking 30mg of Cymbalta. I was also prescribed Seroquel and Olanzapine during this time, each of which I only took a few times because I was feeling so sick. With the Wellbutrin, I had a short period of being very hyper. Then I lost my appetite and couldn’t eat, had extreme fatigue, insomnia and nausea. I thought it was a reaction to the Wellbutrin. The dr then prescribed a lower dose of Wellbutrin and I was still experiencing the same symptoms. After stopping taking the Wellbutrin for a week, I started taking 10mg of Prozac for a week, and then 20mg for about 5 days, and continued having the same symptoms. I stopped taking the Prozac about 2 weeks ago. I thought that the new antidepressants were what was making me sick....until I started doing research on the internet and learned about antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. Now it’s obvious to me that my dr knew nothing about the discontinuation issues either. He kept insisting my symptoms were a result of the new medications. I am trying to cope the best I can by walking 45 minutes a day, eating as well as I can, even though I have no appetite and am nauseous, and doing guided medications to sleep at night. Even with the meditation, I don’t sleep very many hours and I’ve lost 20+ pounds. This process is very hard on my husband. He is as understanding as he can be without experiencing it but I know he feels like he has lost his wife. I feel like I’ve lost me too and that maybe I’ll never recover. I have questions about taking magnesium and about working with a functional medicine dr during this time. I feel like I need to work with a dr during my recovery, but I’m not sure where to turn. I will not be using the previous psychiatrist. I am willing to learn all I can to help in my recovery. I have joined the Cymbalta Hurts Worse Facebook group and am joining the Withdrawal Project Support group as well. I would like to have as many resources as possible. I understand that this post will be reviewed before it is posted. I’m not certain about what should be written in the Introduction post. Will you be able to make suggestions on making any changes that could be made.
  22. Until July 2017 I was an active, healthy female (58). I'd been extremely fortunate in that, the only health problem I'd ever encountered had been anxiety/low grade depression. At least that's what the doctors diagnosed 20 years ago. I was put on Effexor 75mg and then, some years later, reduced the dosage to 37.5mg. In January 2017 I started tapering off my medication and by July was off Effexor. I did experience the odd brain zap but could easily go about my daily business. Suddenly at the end of July, I started having what I thought to be panic attacks (but which were, in actual fact, heart arrhythmias) and my then psychiatrist put me back on Effexor albeit 150mg/day. At 2am on August 12th, I had a sudden cardiac arrest. Thankfully one of our dogs wakened my husband and he and my daughter performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. My guardian angel was watching over me and after a week in the hospital, where I was fitted with an ICD and was put on 30mg Cymbalta, I returned home. Fast forward to three weeks later. My ICD fired. Off to hospital. In for observation for a week but no arrhythmias could be detected Returned home and 24 hours later the ICD fired again! In hospital for another 10 days, had a catheter ablation but no structural heart damage was found. What they did find was that one of the ICD leads had moved and pushed itself through one of the heart walls which could have explained the shocks. So another intervention to replace the lead. I was still on Cymbalta and an anti-arrhythmic drug. Just when I was beginning to think I was on the road to recovery, my ICD fired on the 12th of November. Off to hospital. In for ten days where I met a fascinating psychiatrist who thought that my SCA could have been induced by going back on Effexor as it's known to have a potential influence on cardiac rhythms. And since Cymbalta is also a SNRI, it would be advisable to stop taking it. Well since November 17th I'm Cymbalta-free and yes, I went cold turkey which I normally would not have done under other circumstances. Initially I experienced, brain zaps, anxiety and irritability. However, the symptoms were bearable. I’ve been taking vitamin D3, magnesium and Omega 3 supplements and trying to eat all the right foods. I walk my dogs every day so am getting exercise and fresh air on a regular basis and I go for acupressure treatments (suggested by my new psychiatrist). I was progressing quite well until March 2018 when I started experiencing severe anxiety, dizziness, muscle tension and headaches.The situation has improved every so slightly since then. Am I experiencing what is known as protracted withdrawal?
  23. Steph Hello I am trying to get off cymbalta 60 mg. I am using a generic Dulexetine HCL 60 mg cap with yellow and green color and H and 748 markings. I counted 350 beads inside. How do I begin tapering off of stopping? I’ve ran out before and I’ve never felt so bad and I’ve quit klonopin and heroin cold turkey. My therapist suggested I try wellbutrin instead of cymbalta because it’s not helping and im havinf too many side effects and suicidal thoughts still. Can I take them at the same time while I taper off cymbalta?
  24. I have been on antidepressants since i was 16 for anxiety and depression, I am 35 now. Doctors have bounced me back and forth between medications due to worsening feelings of anxiety and depressed or the medication just crapping out. I just want to preface this by saying I have struggled with drug addiction since I was a teenager. After seeing many psychologists and psychiatrists and Dr's I was started on antidepressants probably at age 15 or 16. In hindsight I believe most of my issues with anxiety and depression were due to me being a drug addict. I have been clean since 2012. I don't really remember what drugs I took when and the dosages prior to 2013- 2014. At that time I was 30mg of Cymbalta. I did well on this drug but it was very expensive with my high deductible health Insurance. I decided to switch to Effexor because it was cheap and I did well on it in the past. I was only taken off of the Effexor in the past because i had high blood pressure when I was in a rehab, go figure... I remember being on the effexor at 150 mg for awhile. At some point, I was having severe anxiety and my Dr. bumped me up to 225mg. I was aright for awhile and then began have issues with anxiety again. My Dr. sent me to a psychiatrist who bumped me up to 300mg. I was feeling better and stayed at this dosage for awhile. After a few years I began to feel numb to life and my emotions. I wanted to be able to feel again, for better or for worse. I decided I didn't want to be on antidepressants anymore. I could not successfully reduce the dosage without feeling withdrawal symptoms and I did not know to do a slow taper at that time. The Dr's did not understand when I told them I was having withdrawal symptoms. Their answer was to increase the dose or switch drugs. After reading about how hard it was to get off this drug i decided to try lexapro. After researching cross tapering I successfully switched to 20mg of lexapro. I felt fine after a few months although I was having some side effects such as excessive hunger and tiredness. I manged to get down to 15mg and these side effects went away. I then tried to go to 10 mg, this is where my withdrawal problems started. I tried to go back up to 15mgs and then 20 mg, but it did not really work. I still did not not really understand withdrawal from these drugs and thought it just crapped out. In the past I did well on cymbalta but i could not afford it with my insurance. I have new insurance now and decided to try this drug again. My Dr. started me at the lowest dose on Cymballta of 20 mg. I felt fine after a few weeks except for a little agitation and decided to stay on this dosage instead of increasing as initially discussed with my Dr. My Dr. agreed since i was feeling okay. After about a month the withdrawal symptoms hit me. I thought i needed to increase the dose because I was having relapse symptoms of anxiety and depression. This is when I found this site and learned a lot about tapering and the withdrawal symptoms and process. I realized all of my symptoms were withdrawal and not relapse. I basically went from a high dose of effexor/ lexapro to the lowest dose of Cymbalta, without counting beads ect. I have managed to stay at this dosage of 20mg on Cymbalta for the last 5 months although it has been hell. My plan is to stabilize on this dosage and then make small reductions (10% or less) by counting beads until finished. The biggest symtoms I have by far are akathesia, agitation and adehonia and a fibromyalgia type feeling in hands. My symptoms were slowly improving with small windows and long waves until the last week or so. The akathesia has really spiked and been bothering me, feeling almost unbearable at times. I think being stuck at home due to COVID-19 has a little to do with it. It has been 5 months since I have been taking the 20mg of Cymbalta. The only supplement I take is a magnesium spay, which does give some relief. I have tried other supplements but they all make with the withdrawal symptoms worse. I guess I don't know what to do at this point. I think the best course of action is probably to just stay the course until I stabilize at this dosage. I understand they may take along time. I'm just curious if any of the other members had any feedback? I have thought about trying to start tapering the rest of the Cymbalta I'm on, but fear that might make matters worse. At one point I thought about upping the dosage of the Cymbalta to stabilize, although it's probably too late for that. I also really do not want to increase the dosage. These last 5 months have been hell and I don't want that to be for nothing and lose any progress I've made. After reading some of the other members posts and seeing that these symptoms can last for years is a bit discouraging. I am grateful this site exists because the medical community has no clue when it comes to this. I have read some success stories on here and do have hope that I can one day get through this. I would appreciate it if anyone has any feedback. Thank you,
  25. Hello, I was put on Cymbalta about a year ago for PVC's along with a beta blocker. (no history of depression or anxiety diagnosis) The PVC's went away, but moderate, continuous, and unsettling dizziness seemed to take over. All diagnostic tests negative. We tried various different Beta blockers, but none took care of constant dizziness. About 2 months ago, my doctor told me to quit taking Cymbalta and gave me Lyrica instead "to see". After about a day or so, my dizziness was alittle better, but I got these wierd little "strikies" at the base of my skull with increased tinnitus..almost audible to me. ...especially later in day when I move my eyes or head. They got worse the next day so I took a Cymbalta 60mg if by chance it would help. They went away in about 6 hours and dizziness returned. I asked my doctor about the "brain zaps" (found out later that is what they were called) and he acted like I was crazy... "never heard of them" So, he has now referred me to a neurologist for "atypical migraines" which takes like 4 months to get into. In the mean time I have tried to get off of Cymbalta on my own. I have decreased dose (by removing beads) and spread doses out over a couple days for about the last month. Now it takes 2 to 3 days before these terrible brain zaps return. As far as I can tell I do not have any other symptoms of WD other than maybe difficulty to sleep. My questions are: 1. Can I expect to have more WD symptoms after the zaps go away? 2. When a person goes sorta fast or cold turkey, (Haven't taken a pill since Sunday) will the zaps get less soon....or are they with me for months? Thanks for any advice. I have found this site quite informative and really feel for the issues that these antidepressants have caused.
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