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Spunky: Just started on Cymbalta, having terrible side effects


Spunky

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Hi everyone! I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks on and off for about 10 yrs. Do to life stresses these demons have reared their ugly heads again. I went to my PCP after the panic attacks had become unbearable. She prescribed me 30mg Cymbalta X1 daily and .5mg Xanax as needed for panic attacks.

 

I have been taking the Cymbalta for 9 days and the side effects are too much for me. Headaches, insomnia, tremors, racing heart, blurred vision..... I have called and questioned the side effects and the Dr. said to try and continue to see if they subside. So I decided to google the drug and found this whole scary underworld of cymbalta withdrawal.

 

I no longer want to be on this drug but am worried about having a withdrawal. It has only been 9 days on the med but the horror stories have me afraid to just stop taking it. The withdrawal coupled with my current state, I fear, will push me over the edge.

 

Any thoughts on this would be greater appreciated.

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I got on Effexor also for panic attacks and PTSD. I was having side effects my doctor told me to stay on it that they would subside. I stayed on for eight weeks until I could no longer handle it. I halved my dose 2 days later wds hit like a Ron of bricks.

If I were you I would quit now. There are so many other ways of dealing with Patty the tax that I wish I would've known then.

There will be other moderators with experience to know how to taper even with 9 days on. Youcan taper faster than the rest of us here.

 

Look into talk therapy, yoga, mindfulness, etc to deal with panic attacks.

Started Effexor August 2012 Sept'12-150mg=extreme anxiety Oct'12 cut half-75mg severe wds

Feb 2013 68.5mg. Mar'13- 65mg. Apr'13-59mg. May'13-57mg. June '13-52mg Aug'13 49.75mg.

Sep'13-48.75. Nov'13-47mg Dec'13-45..5mg

May 2014 42mg. Jun'14 40mg (depressive mood started). Aug'14 -40mg/ started brintellix 2.5mg

Oct '14 -39 Nov'14 36.89 Dec'14 34.45

Jan 2015- 31 Feb'15 29mg. Mar'15 26.72. Apr'15 24.48. May'15 22.31mg. Jun'15 20.30mg

Aug'15-18.89. Oct'15 16.96. Nov/16- 16.10. Dec/15- 15mg

Jan 2016-14.22. May'16 11.45. Aug'16-9.60. Sep/16- 8.88mg. Oct/16- 8.39mg. Nov/16- 8.13. Dec/16- 7.89

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Thank you for your insight, Lexy. I have not taken a pill today, wasn't sure if cold turkey would effect me this early on. Maybe I should take one....

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Well I just got off of a call with my doctor, again. She said it has only been 9 days on, just stop taking it..... Why doesn't that sit well with me ????????

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Well I just got off of a call with my doctor, again. She said it has only been 9 days on, just stop taking it..... Why doesn't that sit well with me

 

Hi, Spunky.  It's not surprising you have some concerns about just stopping since you have now spent some time on this site where the majority of people have been on the meds for an extended period and have come off too quickly and suffered as a result. 

 

It is rare that someone would develop a dependence on the meds in 9 days.  Having said that IT DOES happen and there are people here who can attest to having been on for very short periods and had significant problems getting off. 

 

To be on the safe side, you could certainly take the 30 mg capsule and open it up, removing half of the crystals, and taking the rest.  That would give you a 15 mg dose.  If you took that for 5 days (a little more than 1/2 the time you took 30 mg), I would think that would be a safe taper off after 9 days of use.  While odds are good that you would be fine if you simply stopped, this will give you both the physical and psychological "step down" that will make it smoother for you. 

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Thanks man!! That really makes me feel a bit better about this dilemma I feel I'm in. I have already opened a few capsules and counted out the beads. The three I counted varied from 175-180 beads. They are a generic 30mg made by CIT. I will try 90 beads for the 5 days and see how I feel.

 

With The panic and anxiety I have now, I don't think I can handle a withdrawal from this stuff.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks man!! That really makes me feel a bit better about this dilemma I feel I'm in. I have already opened a few capsules and counted out the beads. The three I counted varied from 175-180 beads. They are a generic 30mg made by CIT. I will try 90 beads for the 5 days and see how I feel.

 

With The panic and anxiety I have now, I don't think I can handle a withdrawal from this stuff.

 

I think that given the circumstance that should give you some cushion as you get off.

 

I would echo what Lexy said:

 

 

Look into talk therapy, yoga, mindfulness, etc to deal with panic attack

 

There are a lot of ways to deal with anxiety and panic, that have far less long-term ramifications than ADs.

 

There are also herbal options to consider that might provide you with some additional benefit but have far less associated risk.  Things like chamomile tea and lavender oils can provide a great deal of soothing comfort.  Definitely worth looking into.  If you search this site there is a lot of good information on these options.

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Yes, I will definitely look into other alternative ways to cope other than the meds. My sister and mother also deal with anxiety disorder and my sister takes no medication. She goes to therapy, uses breathing techniques, meditation and exercise. I appreciate both of you helping me. I will search the site for alternative approaches, as well.

 

I took the half dose and will continue it for a few more days to verify I am out of the woods with this crap.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Good luck, Spunky.  You should be fine.   Keep us posted.

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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When looking into supplements for anxiety you might want to search information about inositol. 

  • 2,5 years of slowly tapering down Cymbalta from 60 mg. Then tried going from 8,44 mg to 1 mg in 8 days. (April 1st 2015). That's when the real hell started. Reinstated. Didn't help. I was added Ativan (2 mg 2 times a day for relentless akathisia that started with jumping Cymbalta). For years had been taking Zopitin 7,5 mg and Stilnox 10 mg for I had not been able to sleep naturally since the 1st day I started Cymbalta). Used to take Xanax occasionally.
  • All of the above were stopped cold turkey when I was hospitalized in the beginning of May 2015.
  • Prior to that I have been on and off the whole spectrum of different AD-s for 15 years (since I was 17).

My introduction.

 

Tapering:

  • Olanzapine (starting point 2,1 mg): Jan 2016  /---/ April 2018 0 mg. (From 2,1 mg to 0 mg in 1y 3mo).
  • Diazepam (starting at 5 mg) : switching to liquid May 2018;  4,6 mg (June 2018) /---/ 0 mg (Feb 2020) (From 10 to 5 - nobody knows, from 5 to 0 in 1 y 10 mo)
  • Valdoxan (starting at 25 mg): switching to liquid (Feb 2019) /---/ 0 mg (July 2020)

 

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Just a little update. Day 3 (12 total on Cymbalta) on 15mg and I feel the same as I did at day 9, which was my last full dose. My general anxiety level is high, but only 2 short lived panic attacks today. I still have moderate headaches daily but they seem to be tension related. From my neck up into the back of my head. Still getting some hot flashes and sweating, dry mouth, mild vision issues. etc. The nausea and tremors have subsided though which is a plus.

 

I feel like a bit of a wimp having only been on this for 9 days and being afraid to just quit it. But after seeing the extent of damage it has done to people, the side effects I was/am getting from cymbalta, coupled with a Crazy bout of anxiety made me search out this site.

I'm really glad I found you guys.

 

As people suggested I am going to try to conquer this drug free. I looked into mindful mediation and I am going to give it a try. Ordered some EPA, Vitamin E, Magnesium, and B complex and have an appointment scheduled with a therapist for next week. I believe I can learn to deal with this naturally, well I hope I can...

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