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  1. Hello everyone. I'll try to organize this as best as I can. There is a lot going on. I was on benzos from age 17 to 36 and on Cymbalta from age 35 to 36. Went off both together for a 2 year nightmare. Absolute pure hell. I wont get into the details and symptoms of that withdrawal in this post as it is it's own little novel. Some things improved during those 2 years and I feel I've beat the benzo part of the nightmare even still, but at age 38 I was still suffering enough that I agreed to go on Lexapro to see if I'd improve. I did improve hugely but it stopped working as well after 3 years and I was switched to Prozac. I have taken the Prozac ever since and it felt like it was failing around 4 months ago. I missed a lot of doses around 3 months ago and just tried to stop CT for just over a week around a month and a half ago. I started feeling withdrawals so I went back on and the withdrawal feeling is still getting worse. My memory and focus went first, then the inner restlessness and anxiety started and dizziness. I am also having the disconnected dream like feeling 24-7. I am so depressed and fearful all of the time. I've been taking the Prozac without missing a dose for over a month again and this is still happening to me. It's as if the combo of Prozac tolerance and coming off for the short time has started a withdrawal that even going back on can't stop. My doctor wants to take me off the Prozac after a slow taper and start me back on the Lexapro. The hope is that since it worked before and I've been off of it for almost 3 years that it could pick me back up and end this nightmare I'm back in. I am really considering just tapering the Prozac and staying off all ssris; so no going back on Lexapro in that case. I am so afraid of entering back into a nightmare like a was in coming off benzos and Cymbalta. My current state is terrible but the previous experience was truly worse; being benzos and Cymbalta together. It is really hard t say what withdrawal symptoms were coming from which pill. There were so many. I am so terrified of how I am feeling right now, but mostly for the days to come. If I come off the Prozac entirely I know my current state will worsen. I will be thrown back into a situation similar to the first nightmare. If I taper the Prozac and go back on Lexapro and it actually works, I'll still be doomed because I'll be back on another pill waiting for it to stop working again and most likely going through it all again. If I go back on the Lexapro and it doesn't work I will just aggravate my current symptoms with throwing more chemicals on my already hurting brain. The first time around withdrawal I had terrible akathisia and I am already feeling it brewing and I am still on the Prozac. I don't want to go through this again! Also from what I've been experiencing this month it seems a lot of what I assumed were due to the benzos were possibly due to the Cymbalta withdrawal as it's so similar. Also, I forgot to mention that I am on 500 mg of Depakote XR as well. I was put on this a couple of months after the Prozac as I felt a bit agitated. It helped but I got worried about my liver and quit it after 4 or five months and had a mild withdrawal from that but it passed. Just a couple of weeks ago after my current situation started I went back on the Depakote to see if it would help and it hasn't. I'll most likely be stopping it again as well. I had an account on Benzo Buddies during that ordeal and it gave me an outlet and some hope. I've set this account up here and got my story out in advance as I am leaning towards just stopping the meds and I'll be needing all of the support I can get! I'm seeing my doctor on January 3 so whatever I decide to do it will be starting then.
  2. WantToBeMe

    WantToBeMe: struggling

    A little introduction. I work in the IT industry, and am currently in-between jobs. Thought it would be a good time to wean myself from all my meds since I have always believed that I need my “cocktail of drug” to function in my job. At least that’s the story I have always told myself. Also, without a job, medical expenses are killing me. My drugs are very expensive! But I guess the main reason I am withdrawing from these drugs is to try to see what my baseline is at least and start from there. I don’t like the feeling of being on drugs for life. I want to see the real me... warts and all. It’s been a struggle, to say the least. The med that I need the most when working is Vyvance, for ADHD. Without this med, I can’t seem to concentrate enough to do the detail work needed for my data analysis job. Stopping this drug is not a problem, as my main symptom being off the drug was my original reason for taking this drug... serious lack of direction and focus. Boy do I have that. Can spend the whole day in bed. The other drugs that I am withdrawing from are Cymbalta and Ambien. Ambien took a good week or so of withdrawal to be able to sleep on my own again. It’s was a very rough week. But my sleeping and wake-up experiences are very different since I’m not taking the drug every night. I took it for YEARS. Not sure it’s better or worse, just different. The Cymbalta withdrawal is bad too. I am feeling very depressed since I have been off. Feel my life is meaningless. That I am a terrible wife and mother. That I do not like myself. I need to completely wean off to find out if it is because of withdrawal or truly just underlying depression. I want to know. It’s been several months since I have stopped taking Cymbalta. I’m glad I found this group... hello to all! Please let me know if anyone has been though similar experiences ... and when (and if) you started to feel better.
  3. 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.
  4. Rayh

    Rayh

    Hello! I have been on Cymbalta for several years now, was taking 50mg daily. over the last 6 months, with my doctors help, I’ve weaned down to the lowest dosage, which is 20mg capsule. looking to hear how others have gotten off this horrible medication. Thanks in advance!
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. I’ve been taking anti-depressants and a mood stabilizer for 20+ years. I want to wean off duloxetine first. I’ve experienced horrible withdrawal symptoms when I failed to get a refill about 3 years ago. After about 2 days not taking duloxetine I was in full blown withdrawal and it was a flipping nightmare. That experience led me to believe I would never be able to not use the drug. I am to the point of being tired of dry mouth, dry eye, constipation and sweating. This may not be a good time to wean as I’m planning my daughter’s wedding for next fall and going to school part time. I will be 59 in 2018. Finding this forum is a godsend for me and hope I can be active even if I’m unable to start a taper right away. I’m really scared that I will never feel like the self I was before taking these drugs. I’m not even sure if I remember, which is even scarier and causes some anxiety if I focus on it too much. Thanks.
  8. 20mg of Cymbalta for 10 years without problems for neuropathy I read about negative side affects and ignorantly stopped it cold turkey on 11/25/2015. I had mild depression and insomnia for about 4 weeks. Then one month later, it all hit me WAY hard 10/10: anxiety, agitation, insomnia, Tinnitus and dysphoria. After 6 weeks I restarted Cymbalta at my previous 20mg per day dose and although the symptoms have improved down to about 4/10, I am super sensitive to any psych med, alcohol etc. I have been back on the Cymbalta for almost 3 months now and am wondering how long does it usually take to stabilize to back to where one was? Is this even "neural destabilization?" Should I try and ask my doctor to increase my dose to 30mg of Cymbalta per day? Your site is great and I thank you for all you do. I have been taking Valium 25 mg per day for the past 6 weeks to try to help with the anxiety and insomnia, it does help, but I am still super sensitive to all other meds Weird thing - 1 drink of Alcohol makes all my symptoms dissapear, and then my symptoms are all way worse for two or three days.
  9. 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.
  10. today i begin to taper off of cymbalta tonight. i am currently on 90mg and i will be taking 60mg tonight and for the next two weeks. then to 30mg then i will slowly taper off the 30mg by 10% at a time. i'm hoping this will work. i will keep everyone updated!!
  11. Would like advice/hear experience on sleep maintenance insomnia. I've been waking up consistently between 2AM to 4AM after I started an aggressive taper. Often I will be awake for 2-3 hours then fall back asleep but very frustrated with this sleeping pattern as I used to be a morning person. Was at 30mg Cymbalta (6/29/17) and currently at 6.25mg. Foolishly, I thought the main symptom I needed to watch was the brain zaps; however, I slowly realized the insomnia was not from peri-menopause but the Cymbalta withdrawals. Recently, researching sleeping aid options such as: Oleamide,Glycine, and Phosphorylated Serine. I believe these would be safe options with Cymbalta from what I can tell. I'm not even sure how much 6.25 mg of Cymbalta has on me as I back in October 2016 I was on 60mg and dropped to 30mg. I really would like to avoid re-upping my dosage to solve my insomnia.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Hello and my sincere thanks to all who have made this source of information and support. I have joined to seek advice (and hopefully to give it where I can) about my current situation. I will timeline my story to begin with to establish some context; 2006-2008 Citalopram (30mg) for PTSD 2009-2017 Perfectly fine!! "Maintenance dose" of Citalopram (20mg) - doc's orders 2017 Jun - Got worried about long term use - doc tapers me off Citalopram in 2 weeks... YES... 2 weeks Aug - Relapse and back onto 30mg Citalopram 2018 Aug - Cross-taper (3 weeks) to Cymbalta 60mg - bad side effects (was told Citalopram wasn't working - but I now know I needed therapy) Sep - Cross-taper (8 weeks) back to 30mg Citalopram Nov - Cross-taper (2 weeks) to 15mg Lexapro (was told citalopram was "out-dated") Dec - Pregabalin (50mg) for 8 days - very bad reaction 2019 Feb - Bad reaction to Lexapro - dropped to 10mg (self-medicated) So you can see I have been pushed and pulled by doctors over the last 6 months and have continually had bad reactions to meds apart from Citalopram. Soon after I started Lexapro, I got the shakes to the point I could barely walk, and this was all day, and lasted from week 3 to week 8. Four days after I lowered dose to 10mg (at week 😎 they stopped, but then it hit the fan a few days later. Zaps, dizziness, brain fog, horrible anxiety. I have been managing these with Omega 3 as best I can, but now I have an overwhelming sense of dread and hopelessness all day. This started last Sunday, and whilst there have been moments of glimmer, these are few and far between. I recognise these exact feelings from when I was first taken off Citalopram. So advice I am looking for is whether the drop of 5mg Lexapro has really done all this, of maybe that I have uncovered the Citalopram withdrawal underneath? Now 24 days since I dropped to 10mg, should I brave it out and hope I will stabalise? Should I reinstate the Citalopram? Go back up to 15mg Lexapro and try again with liquid?? My doctor no longer knows what to do and has left me to my own devices, and the mental health team who "care" for me cannot let me see a doctor for around 4 months. I am on my own here guys and feeling very low, hopeless and struggling to see the end of the tunnel. Any help will be gratefully received. God bless.
  15. I started on Cymbalta 60 mg 4 years ago, (after 1-2 weeks @ 30 mg); the scrip was from a psychiatrist for major depressive disorder. My depression lifted significantly. After 1 year (+/-) the psychiatrist and I agreed that my family practitioner would handle the prescription and supervision. I was ready to go off the cymbalta and was planning to go of the meds until a couple of deaths close to me occurred. I agreed with my doc that it wasn't the time to make changes in the meds. About 15 years ago I was on Effexor XR and had a helluva time getting off it, even with bead counting. After having read the slow pace recommended here, I probably decreased too quickly. I remember the roller-coaster ride of symptoms (physical, emotional, and cognitive) but forgot about the bead counting. When I started both Effexor & Cymbalta, I had nausea for a couple of days. On my FP's advice, I started going off cymbalta in Feb. by taking 30 mg every other day for a few weeks, then every 3 days, etc. This last week I was starting with 30 mg every 4 days. Fortunately I was using a calendar reminder in my google calendar to keep the schedule. I say fortunately because on Tuesday I had nausea and on Saturday. When I looked at my calendar to mark the reminder as "done," I realized that the nausea was probably related to the cymbalta. Now that I think of it, I started having disrupted sleep and messed-up wake/sleep cycles in March. A web search (DuckDuckGo instead of the big G) led me here and reminded me that slow tapering and counting the granules worked better for me before. My plan now: I have 6 capsules leftover from 60 mg doses. I'll split each into 3 doses, approx. 20 mg, and try 20 mg/day for 18 days (to use them up), making adjustments if necessary. Based on how that goes, I'll either continue at 20 mg or start a 10% taper to 18 mg over 28-30 days.
  16. Hi everyone, I am looking to restart cymbalta and hopefully get myself back to a stable place. I would love input. My doctor (psychiatrist) seems to think I could start with my previous dosage of 20mg, but after a horrendous experience trying to get back on celexa starting with just 5mg, I am VERY hesitant and don't want to go through anything like that again. Here is my history: ~12 years successfully on 20mg generic celexa --> successful switch over to ~2.5 years generic cymbalta --> slow-ish (I thought at the time) taper off over ~1.5 months (stopped 12/17) --> currently 8.5 months off and not doing well at all.7/2018 Tried to go back on generic celexa starting at 5 mg. Stuck it out for ~9 days, never made it up past 5mg. Had a terrible reaction to it. Dr thinks maybe because it was a different brand from the 10 years before. He questioned whether it was just my anxiety in reaction to it, but it was entirely too physical to be just my thinking-- Gripping panic, terror, crazy thoughts, felt possessed, arms and hands suddenly dead and heavy like they stopped working, immediate emotional numbness, genital numbness, inability to cry, appetite zapped gone (had to force every bite I ate for those 10 days, got down to my lowest weight ever, and not in a good way), unable to work or think straight, agitation, thought I would need to be hospitalized.8/2018 Tried Remeron. Wanted something that would not cause sexual side effects, so even though I had never taken it, dr recommended it. 7.5mg. First night bad restless legs. Got up to 15mg for ~2 weeks. Munchies. Slept. But neither in a nice way, more a zombie-ish way. Very tired and fatigued. Continued inability to think straight or work. Anxiety was sedated. Depression was sedated. More emotional numbness. Literally could not think. The depression did feel like it might have been starting to lift, but I needed to be able to think, and didn't want to keep experimenting with whether I could get to a dose that would not be so sedating, so I went down to 7.5mg/day then to 3.5 mg /day and have still been taking this just to try to stabilize. Having severe anxiety and depression though still.Currently experiencing: panic, depersonalization, depression, and for the first time in my life pretty severe anhedonia (pleasurable feelings and other emotions feel offline and physically inaccessible... including 'tools' I would use before: gratitude, feelings of spirituality, humor, warmth of relating).Looking to try reinstating generic cymbalta 9/2018.Doc suggested starting at 20mg, we agreed on 10mg (since I had such a strong reaction to attempt to restart celexa at 5mg). I would love to hear people's thoughts on slowly restarting cymbalta to try to get back to a stable place. I basically cannot go on in the panicked, anxious, depressed state that I am in. I have tried to white knuckle the panic the past months and it has only seemed to lead into a depression with anhedonia and my emotions shutting off in a way I have never experienced before and which is terrifying. Restarting at 10 mg cymbalta seems ok... and I'm looking to make sure it's the same brand as before... but I did have an intense bad reaction to just 5mg of celexa, so I think I might be very sensitive at this point. Also my Dr. recommended I stop the 3.5 mg remeron the same day I restart the cymbalta. Thoughts?
  17. RipVanWinkle

    RipVanWinkle

    Firstly, I want to say how grateful I am to have found this forum and to get a feel for the way it is moderated. Calm, practical and sensible advice from and to those who need it. My 14-year marriage broke down five years ago. I walked straight into a new relationship and the love hormones stopped me from feeling too bad. But when they wore off about 3 years ago (I'm still in love with her without the wash of hormones), I realised that I had become a profoundly sad person with little capacity for joy or pleasure. There were many things but perhaps the clearest example is that I stopped listening to music, once one of my deepest pleasures; there was simply nothing in it for me. Music that once moved me to tears of joy just buzzed in my ears annoyingly. So 25 months ago I started taking Cymbalta. One day, about 2 weeks after starting medication, I caught myself cheerfully humming a tune walking down the street. It actually worked... Wonder Drug!! But life moved on, some of the circumstances that had pushed me into depression softened, and I decided I should be okay without drugs. I was never really depressed before my marriage breakdown so I should be able to stop taking Cymbalta right? Within a couple of days of stopping, (without medical advice), I was swamped with an indescribable sense of impending doom. It was as if everything I trusted was going to fail me and everyone I loved would be lost to me. Describing it now does not capture how utterly hopeless, empty and scared I felt without the drug. I went straight back on Cymbalta and spoke to my psychiatrist who scolded me and said, "This is a long term thing. Don't expect to come off Cymbalta for a long time." That was about 9 months ago and I have decided that I disagree with her. I want to come off it now. I now associate Cymbalta with a bland kind of nothingness. I don't "feel" like I once was able to "feel". It has taken away something real. Hard to define, but I want it back. Three weeks ago I started taking my capsule on alternate days. I noticed the difference in my awareness and general mood, but that has stabilised and I seem to be coping with one dose every second day. I know that this approach is discouraged on this site so I have some reading to do, but it does seem to be working for me so far. For now I will stick to this dose and see how I go. I do not expect to reduce again for some weeks or longer. And, yes, I will tell my psychiatrist before I reduce again. My name is Rip Van Winkle. Sometimes feel as if I have suddenly woken up, at the age of 48, and have a lot of catching up to do.
  18. I began taking a cocktail of psychiatric medications in 1995 and have tried twice to become med free only to fail and have to reinstate a month after tapering off all medicines. I always would taper with my psychiatrists help. I am very sensitive to the side effects of medicines and pray to become medicine free someday. My current psychiatrist says it is unrealistic that I will ever be able to not be on medications because I have been on them so long. I am looking for support and strategies to successfully become med free and stay med free. I successfully tapered off of Effexor xr in 2011 and in April of this year tapered off of klonopin. I am currently taking Cymbalta and trazadone.
  19. I began taking an antidepressant, Effexor, approx 10 years ago following a divorce after 21 yrs of marriage and uncontrollable crying that was frightening my young daughter. I was told “ it doesn’t change your personality, it just takes the edge off” and allows you to be more functional. I was a single mom in a cut throat stressful job and meeting the wrong guys. It worked! No more crying. I felt great. I changed docs who put me on 90 mg of Cymbalta, 150 mg of Wellbutrin and 60 mg of Vyvanse. His dx was GAD with secondary depression and ADD. I’m not sure if it was true. I think it was situational and the meds made me forgetful. I was losing things and wanting to see constantly. I’m retired now and daughter graduated college and moved away for a job. I was ready to get off the drugs to see who I really was now - warts and all. Doc advised I needed the meds. I hated the sedated feeling. He advised switching to Pristiq. I got script filled but decided not to start it. So, unknown to doc, I tapered myself to 60 mg for a few months then 30 mg for a couple few months. No withdrawal symptoms at all until I stopped, cold turkey, from 30 mg. It hit at about day 4. Even still using the Wellbutrin 150 mg my symptoms began - no brain shocks, just severe emotional swings, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, sore throat, weepy, sad, nasal stuffiness, dizziness, etc. It’s making relationships difficulty. Yestetday, desperate, I cut up the Pristiq and took about 1/3 to simulate about 20 mg of Cymbalta to help. I was going to taper Wellbutrin last. Not a great idea but it helped a bit. Then I researched and found the nightmare story of Cymbalta, dependency and withdrawal. And advice on tapering correctly. I’m here to do just that. Thanks. Let’s do this.
  20. I began my journey to "quit the cure" of February 28, 2012. I wanted off of my antidepressants: Abilify 5mg, Cymbalta 60mg, and Lamictal 200mg. And I've been blogging about my journey to "quit the cure" since the beginning of March. Back at the end of June, I hit a great, big road block--I had the worst breakdown ever. I survived it; however, I didn't want to turn back on quitting the cure. But I definitely wasn't ready to continue my journey. So, I stopped blogging (mostly out of a lack of motivation), and I stopped tapering. My therapist and psychiatrist were both on maternity leave anyway, so it seemed like a good idea. At that point I was off of the Abilify and Cymbalta, left with 100mg of Lamictal per day. But during the month of July, I really worked on my faith. I've been a Christian since I was very young, and I wanted to get back to the close relationship I had had with God so many years ago. I'm not here to preach, but I will say that when my relationship with God strengthened, I felt like a stronger person period. So, I decided to call the psychiatrist who was filling in for my doctor to schedule an appointment for a dosage change. I called several times and no one called me back. Good thing I wasn't having a breakdown again. This is the part where I say, "Don't try this at home, folks." So, I got the bright idea to taper myself with everything I had left. I had a nice amount of the 100mg tabs and a nice amount of the 25mg from a previous taper. Over the course of two weeks, I tapered down to ZERO. I know that the quick taper did me no favors. However, I am here today writing this success story because I am free of antidepressants and withdrawal symptoms! It is possible to be free, but I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I hit some serious lows during the last few weeks. And that breakdown in June was no joke by itself. Still, I know God spared me the worst of it all. Miraculously, I didn't have any physical symptoms these last few weeks, just the severe mood swings. THAT was enough, please trust me. I get readers of my blog who write to me about withdrawal, Abilify withdrawal in particular. I hate not having an answer for how long withdrawal lasts. My very last post was about the fact that antidepressant withdrawal "takes as long as it takes." And still, it breaks my heart every time someone asks me whether or not the torment of withdrawal will ever end. Because while you're in it, it certainly seems like there is no end in sight. There is an end, but it seems like superhuman strength and courage is required to get there. But you can get there. Meanwhile, here's what helped me: #1 – Support: Reading stories on this forum got me prepared for antidepressant withdrawal. But it also kept me inspired and gave me a place to go back to with questions. Blogging gave me an outlet for my frustration, but the support of my followers was what made the difference. (I only wish I had had the emotional strength to write this last month.) Having a sister who was literally the Sam to my Frodo was a blessing. (If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, then you know that Frodo could not have made it without his faithful friend, Sam. Frodo carried the burden of the One Ring, while Sam carried him. This is an accurate comparison of my journey--because it was also my sister's journey.) Last but not least, was the love and strength of God which held me up and kept me from giving up--really giving up--in the end. #2 - Diet: I have lost over 30 pounds while Quitting the Cure, and still going strong! I’ve been overweight since I was a teen, and gained a ridiculous amount of weight since switching antidepressants 5 years ago. Losing 30 pounds is a big bonus in all of this. However, it was only made possible by a strict diet change. I became pescatarian and then vegan during my journey. I cut out many processed foods, and paid close attention to any food sensitivities that I had. Now, the diet change played a huge role in things. Plus, supplements helped to affect how I felt physically and emotionally this whole time. I used a multivitamin, Omega-3s, and vitamin D to help support my body while it was struggling to return to homeostasis. I also used herbal supplements and specific foods to combat withdrawal symptoms, physical and emotional. Valerian was huge with the Abilify withdrawal because I experienced serious anxiety with it. I even tried flower essence for my episode of apathy. I’m really happy to be able to put my success story on this site. I would definitely recommend a slow taper, though! It’s not fun coming off of antidepressants, but freedom from them is possible! Wishing everyone my very best, Lisa
  21. This is my first posting here and I apologize in advance if the topic of LDN is well known. LDN is the acronymn for Low Dose Naltrexone. Naltrexone has been used for many years to help treat opiate and alcohol addictions. I was put on Cymbalta in 2010 after the death of my 21 year old son in a car crash. I was in shock (still am) but I also felt like my body weighed 3000 lbs. The Cymbalta DID help relieve me of that unbearable heaviness. I did eventually reach the max dose of 120mg. I had run out of my prescription a couple of times, due to forgetting to pick it up etc. I do recall becoming tearful and the "zaps" in the head. The last couple of years are much a blur anyway. My most recent incident occurred during a trip out of state to see my brother. I ended up staying an additional week to help him with a number of things but had only packed my "pillbox" for a 5 day stay. Needless to say I started to feel terrible pretty quickly. I remembering saying to my brother that I could relate to the heroin addicts that always feel sick until their next fix. I at first thought that I could tuff it out. No I could not! By day 3 I called my PCP for a script to be faxed over to an out of state pharmacy. That was in October 2013. I did discuss this event with the psychiatrist that prescribes my Cymbalta and it seems to be a rare occurrence according to him ? Well I did go from 120mg down to 90mg after that appt without a problem. Fast forward to January 2014, I am doing some research on autoimmune disease as my siblings and I have developed a few. I came across the use of LDN ( low dose naltrexone) in a number of auto immune disorders and requested a prescription from my PCP 2 weeks ago. I read as much as I could find and it made sense to me to try to further reduce my heroin like addiction to Cymbalta to see if the LDN may reduce the awful withdrawal symptoms. I am currently taking LDN 4.5mg at bedtime along with only 30mg of Cymbalta! And I am happy to say not only do I feel a little better from the LDN I have not experienced a single uncomfortable symptom from the reduction in Cymbalta. I am a bit nervous about going from 30 to 0, I may wait a couple weeks. I did want to put this info out here tho. LDN is not very well known, it's cheap, off patent etc. Just google LDN and educate yourself. It may not work for everyone. BTW, my auto immune disorder was/is Transverse Myelitis. My withdrawal symptoms had NOTHING to do with the TM. I had TM in 1977 with a 90% recovery.
  22. 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:
  23. Hello, I’ve been taking Viibryd 40 mg. several years for depression. I’m concerned that it is not working as well as it has until recently ( last month or so). When I miss a dose for more than a day, I get the alarming ‘brain zaps’ and brain fog. So, I asked my GP Dr. if I could try Cymbalta to see how it would work. He gave me the script for Cymbalta 60 mg. and had it filled. Im hesitate to switch since I’m not sure how this will go. My thought was that there should be a titration period from Viibryd to Cymbalta since my previous changes were titrationed. But, he said to just stop the Viibryd and start the Cymbalta the next day. This is what scares me. So, I’m curious if anyone has had any experience with these two drugs and if so, what was your experience. My other concern is that if I’m to eventually stop antidepressants in the future, the brain zaps will never leave and I don’t think that I could handle it. This thought is from others experiences that I’ve read about on the web. Many thanks in advance for your thoughts and or experiences.
  24. Hi all, I'm going to start to taper off Cymbalta this year and am doing some research into the process of tapering, speed and side effects. Thanks to all those here and all who've walked this path, for sharing your experiences and stories which all really help. I'm strongly considering the 'bead' method and going very slowly, although even the thought of it has kicked up my anxiety. I'm quite concerned because I know I'm sensitive to chemical changes and medications so I will need to take it very gradually. I also don't know if I will get a lot of FM pain back again once I stop taking it or cut down. Anyway, lots of reading for me to do first before I start. I'll keep posting as I get going.
  25. Hi All, What an informative site. Well done all involved! The first SNRI I was put on was Cymbalta (30 mg since January 2010). Over the years I have made three attempts to withdraw from it. My last attempt to withdraw was in July 2017. My doctor recommended me an every other day tapering from 30mg for two to three months and then to stop. I did what she suggested and this was a big mistake. She then switched me to Lexapro (10 mg). That was two months ago. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, but things feel relatively stable now. Here is my question: Do you think it is a good idea to begin a 10%-taper soon (maybe in Mai 2018)? Or would you suggest to wait a couple of weeks/months more before tapering (I still occasionally have nausea and anxiety)? My doc says that I should wait 6 months before considering a new attempt. Thank you very much! Dutch
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