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Hello all, I was on a benzodiazepine for one year and then was diagnosed as having depression. I was put on Prozac, and when that didn't work; put on cipralex. That was 15 years ago. We moved in 2008, and another doctor put me on Cymbalta for fibro pain. She now says it was for depression, even after I told her that I wasn't feeling depressed. I have withdrawn from the benzo, and am off now for 4 months. I want to come off of the Cymbalta next, however I am still very sick from the benzo withdrawal. I am hoping to learn all I can about coming off of Cymbalta and cipralex. Thank you everyone.

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  • Administrator

Hi, Jackson.


Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA). 


Let me start you off with a few links about antidepressants and withdrawal:


What is withdrawal syndrome? 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?



This is information specific to Cymbalta and cipralex:


Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)


Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)
(Aka Cipralex, Seroplex, Lexamil, Lexam)


And information on deciding which drug to taper first:


Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?


I also am a survivor of long-term benzo use (among many other drugs), so I do understand wanting to wait until your benzo symptoms resolve. That is really the best way to go.


Hopefully, as you recover from your benzo use, you'll have time to study and read and coming off of antidepressants.


Please list your drug history in a signature. Please also list your most recent benzo history, as this is relevant, too. Here's how to create a signature:


Please put your withdrawal history in signature


This is your thread to list your symptoms and to ask plenty of questions. I'm glad you found us for information and support. 





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Hi Jackson


Just wanted to say hello and best of luck with your coming-off-meds journey.:)



Quit quitiapine on 2nd December 2016. Dosage 150mg.Been on it since April/May 2015.Take 30mg of amytriptaline as a neuropathic.

Previous meds 1995-2015 - moclobimide ,trazadone, paroxatine,fluoxetine,sertraline,citrilopram,mirtizapine,dothiepin,doxipin ,venlavaxine and buproprion.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Best of wishes. The best thing right now is to stabilize off of the Benzos. And don't rush it.  Taking the time to be careful is the best option.

1)Zoloft- 6/99 to 8/04 2)Escitalopram- 8/04 to 8/10 3)Citalopram 8/10 to 4/14 (C/T), 4)Paxil a week or so, 5)Wellbutrin a week or so, 6)Reinstated Citalopram- 9/14 to 7/15

Before Taper- Celexa/20 mg....Taper Start- 04/21/15- 15mg....05/26/15- 10 mg...06/22/15- 5 mg...07/18/15- 0mg. http://tinyurl.com/qjfoqe9 Ativan/Lorazepam use/taper 10/14 to 2/15- http://tinyurl.com/ljebp84

Baclofen- Intermittent use of from 2008 till 2014. Some use of Promethazine. Some use of Zofran. Clobetasol Propionate- for Lichen Planus. Some Flexeril use. 

Ativan- GABA,A receptor Agonist., Baclofen- GABA,B receptor Agonist., Celexa/Lexapro- Serotonin 5-HT1A Receptor Agonist., Zofran- Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Agonist..Promethazine- Histamine H1-Receptor Antagonist. Flexeril- Serotonin 5HT2a Antagonist.


My self imposed Amino Acid Therapy: Tyrosine 500mg 1xday, Theanine 200 mg 1xday, & Taurine 500 mg 2x day. (All neurotransitter pre-cursors)- seems to have helped me immensely. And of course- eating healthy, including Black Beans for the oligosaccharides for gut health.


The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of trick learned while mastering the Art of Living. - Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning.




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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Jackson - 


If I were you, I would wait until the benzo withdrawals settle down before jumping into an antidepressant taper.


When we get the dates of your changes in your signature, we can better suggest a course for you.  We will need doses, wherever possible, and the dates those doses were changed.  (month and year is fine)  Mostly, we are concerned about the past year, to see what changes are still rattling around in your system.


4 months off the benzo - if it were me, I'd wait another 2 months, to get a resolution.  It also matters how you came off the benzo - if it was a slow taper, you should heal better.  If it was a fast taper or a cold turkey, it may take a lot longer for your system to settle down.


Think of it as a hillside.  A slow taper gently rolls you down a hillside, and you can control it.  But a fast taper is like coming off a tall mountain, and the consequences take longer to heal from.  During a slow taper, you are healing the whole time.  A fast taper causes you to have to do all of your healing at once, at the bottom of the hill.


This time of waiting for your benzo withdrawal to settle, is a perfect opportunity to learn how to taper safely, and plan your approach!


Before You Begin Taper - What you Should Know


Preparing to Taper


Please put your current drugs into: Drugs.com Drug Interaction checker  and see how wrong your doctor has been.  Normally, this will tell us things about where to start your taper, but they are both pretty equal.  I think it depends on how long you've been on each, and at what doses.


Let us know how we can help, and please help us with that signature.


I hope you see the sun today.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna


Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.


My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.


A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.

The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/



I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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