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Larch: Hello, tapering from a month of Cymbalta


Larch

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Hi everybody, my name is Larch. First, I'm really grateful that a site like this exists!

 

I have a question about Cymbalta, and possibly over-quick tapering.

 

Here's a timeline of my relationship with Cymbalta.

 

Late Nov 2016:

Started Cymbalta at 30mg along with 2mg Klonopin and 3mg Lunesta for mild depression

Dec 13:

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

Dec 22:

Belatedly googled about the stuff that Cymbalta can do to you, panicked and cold-turkeyed

Dec 24:

Dizziness, headaches. Took 30mg, took another 30mg 4 hours later. Was feeling mostly ok by 6 hours later.

Dec 25:

Woke feeling fine. Took 30mg. Feeling fine 10hrs later. Hoping to take 30mg daily.

 

From reading this forum and elsewhere, I understand that cutting my dose from 60mg to 30mg is not something one should do.

 

What I'm desperately wishing for is that the fact I was on 60mg for only 10 days will enable me to do this, starting my slow taper at 30mg instead of 60mg. Based on a 10% per month reduction, that would add more than half a year to my existing month of Cymbalta taking, something I expect would increase the difficulty of my 30>0 taper drastically.

 

So... was even 10 days on 60mg unforgivable?

 

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


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  • Administrator

Welcome, Larch.

 

You seem to be okay at 30mg, it's entirely possible the decrease from 60mg for 10 days won't have any harmful effects.

 

You've been prescribed quite the cocktail for mild depression. Both Klonopin and Lunesta are truly addictive drugs.

 

If I were you, I'd hold at 30mg Cymbalta and consider backing out of Klonopin and Lunesta. They can also backfire on you.

 

To help us out, see these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature
 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you, Altostrata!

 

A quick update. I woke up today 3 hours ago with symptoms similar to what happened after I cold-turkeyed, and took 60mg cymbalta. Perhaps a little early, as only 18 hours had passed since yesterday's dose of 30mg.

2 hours later, symptoms mostly gone.

 

It seems a decrease to 30 is enough to trigger at least some W/D symptoms.

The question now seems to be should I tough it out at 30 daily ignoring the symptoms or go back to 60.

 

And yes, now that I've googled around I would never have taken the cocktail I was prescribed.

A conservative taper of all three would seem to take over 10 years... all for some mild depression that was probably only temporary.

You can imagine the regret I'm feeling.

 

I'll work on my signature, thanks!

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


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To elaborate, the symptoms were nothing too severe. No brain zaps or anything. Just dizziness, maybe a little confusion, mild headaches, and a light burning sensation in my arms. The burning is all that remains now.

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment
  • Administrator

Hi, Larch.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA) from me, too. 

 

I agree with Alto that you may want to consider getting off Klonopin and Lunesta sooner rather than later since you recently started taking them. You can become dependent on them in as little as 2 weeks, and they can have quite a brutal withdrawal, so it's good you found this forum and are getting information. 

 

We have a members-only benzo forum where you can learn about Klonopin and Lunesta. You may hear Klonopin referred to as a "benzo", which is short for benzodiazepine. And Lunesta is sometimes called a z-drug, which has a very similar withdrawal as Klonopin.

 

Please feel free to start a new thread for yourself after you've had a chance to take a read.

 

Members only benzo forum

 

Ashton and Beyond in Benzo Tapering

 

This will give you some information about what to expect during withdrawal: 

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

You state, "The question now seems to be should I tough it out at 30 daily ignoring the symptoms or go back to 60." This really depends on the severity of the symptoms. If they are interfering with work, school, and / or taking care of family or other responsibilities, than yes, you may wish to updose, stabilize, and then work on getting off the Klonopin and Lunesta. 

 

In order to answer your question about what dose to stick with regarding your Cymbalta, it will help to know your symptom pattern in context with all of your drugs. Please fill out your symptom pattern according to this post:

 

Keep notes on paper about your drug dosages and daily symptom pattern

 

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

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Administrator

Larch, you did cold turkey. It may take some time for your nervous system to recover from that surprise. If I were you, I'd be very regular in taking the 30mg. Stabilizing can take some time, you may have some ups and downs.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you for the support and info Shep, and Altostrata for the warning!

 

As per your suggestions, I'll try to stabilize at 30mg Cymbalta, with an eye on going back to 60mg if the W/D symptoms are too strong. I understand that my benzo tapering should begin sooner rather than later, how long a stabilization period would you suggest?

 

One complication that I also plan to post about in the Benzo forum is that my doc has reduced my prescription of Klonopin to 1.5 mg. It's what I've been taking since my reinstatement after the cold turkey, and I don't feel much in the way of symptoms, but is the decrease seems too big right now for a stabilization period? If necessary I think I can scrape together enough unused stuff to keep it at 2mg until my refill which I can ask for at 2mg.

 

My symptom pattern for the last 36hrs or so is like this (though yesterday is spotty). Is the format/content OK? Should I try to post this daily for now?

12/26

8 am

Woke

12 am

Took 30mg cymbalta

12/27

2 am

Took 20mg belsomra (sorry I forgot to mention this one earlier), 3mg lunesta, 1mg klonopin

2:20 am

Fell asleep

8 am

Woke.

dizziness, confusion, mild headaches, and a light burning sensation in my arms

Took 60mg cymbalta

2 pm

Lunch

2:30 pm

Strong anxiety

3 pm

Took .5mg klonopin

5 pm

Anxiety gone

 

 

(planning to take 20mg belsomra, 3mg lunesta, 1mg klonopin tonight, and either .5 or 1 mg klonopin tomorrow around noon based on your advice)

 

Thanks again!

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment

Welcome Larch

One of the problems we have as a result of the Hippocratic oath that doctors have proclaimed 'Do no harm'

This is what we a lead to believe  and we assume that their drugs are safer than what they are and that the doctor wouldnt possibly expose a person to potentially serious hazards yet these drugs do in fact come with serious hazards and 100's of side effects known and unknown.

You are very very lucky to stumble upon sa at this early stage. You have a good chance to back out of this without too much pain.

 

I cant understand why on earth you have been given any of these drugs at all.

I would consider changing doctors.

 

Its  wise  not to jump around in dosages,  and also to take the drugs at the same time each day.

You are playing with fire if you wake up in the morning with a headache and decide 'ill just pop a 60 no worries'. These are not aspirins.

They are very potent (addictive) chemicals.

If i were you i would stay on the 30 and not go to 60. 

 

This site recommends a 10% per month taper but with only one months use there is no reason why you cant get off sooner rather than later.

 

Hey how come you have already had the 27th of dec we haven't had it yet and we wake up first ? Are you referring to your future plan?

 

It would be insightful to run ALL the drugs you are taking through the drugs interaction checker and copy and paste here in this thread.

 

https://www.drugs.com/interactions-check.php?drug_list=3554-16862,949-2273,703-357,1030-1621

 

nz11

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Thank you nz11.

 

Yes, I believed in my doctor way way more than I should have. And I so regret not googling about the drugs more than I did... these are poisons, as I would have known if I had only spent 10 more minutes looking around...

 

But I certainly am lucky to have found this site!

 

I am currently trying to change doctors, visited a new one today, but in the country I live there is very, very little understanding among doctors of the dangers of benzos and cymbalta. I'll keep searching, but it's likely I'll have to stay with my current one. At least he hasn't tried to cut me off of any of them cold turkey.

 

You're right, it was wrong to pop a 60 this morning and need to be more disciplined. I'll grit my teeth with the 30. I was originally taking the cymbalta at night so I'll probably delay the time I take it an hour a day until I'm back to where I started though.I guess I should revert to my original schedule of 1 dose per day before bed with the klonopin too.

 

I do hope to get a somewhat faster taper than 10% per month, but am at a loss as to how to determine the speed. The faster I can taper, the less time my body will have to become more addicted... but safety of course is a big concern.

 

About the date, sorry, I just made a mistake.I was referring to the 25th and 26th.

 

I'll post the results of the checker in my next post.

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment
Interactions between your selected drugs
Moderate clonazepam  duloxetine

Applies to: Klonopin (clonazepam), Cymbalta (duloxetine)

Using clonazePAM together with DULoxetine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Note: Contents were the same for all the following interactions.

Moderate clonazepam  eszopiclone

Applies to: Klonopin (clonazepam), Lunesta (eszopiclone)

Moderate clonazepam  suvorexant

Applies to: Klonopin (clonazepam), Belsomra (suvorexant)

Moderate duloxetine  eszopiclone

Applies to: Cymbalta (duloxetine), Lunesta (eszopiclone)

Moderate duloxetine  suvorexant

Applies to: Cymbalta (duloxetine), Belsomra (suvorexant)

Moderate eszopiclone  suvorexant

Applies to: Lunesta (eszopiclone), Belsomra (suvorexant)

 

 

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment
  • Administrator

Hi, Larch.

 

As soon as you are stable from your recent changes to Cymbalta, please do start a thread for yourself in the Members only benzo forum

 

It's very concerning that you're doctor placed you on a benzo and two sleeping tablets. 

 

You may find it helpful to read through this thread, as it explains the concepts of "brakes" and "accelerators":

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

You are currently on 3 brakes for sleep. This can cause paradoxical reactions and in the long term, is likely to make sleep worse. 

 

Do you always take Klonopin, Lunesta, and Belsomra every night? Are are any of these "as needed" drugs? 

 

Sorry, I'm a bit confused with when you take Cymbalta. Is Cymbalta taken at 12 am every night (i.e. at midnight)? 

 

Please keep up the updates. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Administrator

Larch, you reduced Klonopin to 1.5mg on Dec. 16? Did your symptom pattern change after that?

 

Do you usually have a surge of anxiety in the afternoon? When did that start?

 

What time of day do you take Klonopin?

 

Why are you taking Klonopin, Belsomra, and Lunesta together? How long have you been doing this?

 

It's going to be very important for you to keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. This will help distinguish adverse effects from any of the drugs.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi Shep,


 


Yes, I'm very concerned now about the 3 sleeping tablets. Even the makers of Belsomra for e.g. say to not combine with other sleeping medication... you'd think my doctor would know...


 


Belsomra seems to be not considered an addictive drug. In the forums in my country where Belsomra is somewhat more popular, I see numerous reports of Belsomra being cold turkeyed without W/D. Of course this should be taken with a grain of salt, but I'm considering a rapid taper of Belsomra after I stablize, just to get it out of the way. The newness and unpopularity of the drug makes looking for reliable info on the drug difficult...


 


I'm afraid to say I do take Klonopin, Lunesta, and Belsomra every night. They were prescribed to me that way.


 


I used to take cymbalta every night before sleep (no set time). After my stupid cold turkey, I took them split in the morning after W/D symptoms came. I'm trying to return to my previous pattern, at night before sleep (this time with a set time of maybe 11pm). I'm delaying taking them 1 hour per day, 8:30 am yesterday, 9:30 am today, 10:30 am tomorrow.

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment

Altostrata,

 

The date format on my sig was misleading, I've fixed it.

 

I reduced Klonopin to 1.5mg on Dec. 24. My symptom pattern does not seem to be changed significantly, but I'll be keeping notes from now on.

 

I did have a surge of anxiety yesterday afternoon, after only taking 1mg the previous night due to wanting to try a split dose. I won' do this again.

 

I take Klonopin right before bed. This used to be whenever I wanted to go to bed. I'm currently working toward a set time of 11pm.

I am taking Klonopin, Belsomra, and Lunesta together because I was prescribed them, and didn't do my fact checking until it was too late. This was from I think November 22 2016.

 

Here goes my report since the last one, Dec 26 is duplicated partially (should I do this or just pick up from where I left off?)

 

Dec 26
2 am
Took 20mg belsomra (sorry I forgot to mention this one earlier), 3mg lunesta, 1mg klonopin
2:20 am
Fell asleep
8 am
Woke.
dizziness, confusion, mild headaches, and a light burning sensation in my arms
Took 60mg cymbalta
2 pm
Lunch
2:30 pm
Strong anxiety
3 pm
Took .5mg klonopin
5 pm
Anxiety gone
9 pm
Dinner
Dec 27
1 am
1.5 mg klonopin, 3mg lunesta, 20mg belsomra
usually this would put me to sleep quickly, but doesn't happen
3 am
I suspect the tablets may have gotten stuck in my throat and chase them down with cookies
4 am (approx)
fell asleep
7 am (approx)
wake, fall asleep again immediately
8 am
wake
9:30
30mg cymbalta
 
since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


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Missed a portion of my daily notes above, sorry:

Dec 26

10pm

light anxiety (light as in I can manage to meditate somewhat while I am anxious)

12pm

anxiety gone (I possible dozed a few minutes)

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment
  • Administrator

Hi, Larch.

 

Thanks for the additional information. 

 

Here are some thoughts:

 

1.  You've only been on the sleep drugs for one month.  I'm wondering if you are already getting a paradoxical reaction from your notes that state:  "1.5 mg klonopin, 3mg lunesta, 20mg belsomra, usually this would put me to sleep quickly, but doesn't happen."

 

Drugs like Klonopin and Lunesta only work for a couple of weeks for sleep. After that, they can make sleep worse. That's how many of us end up polydrugged. I'm not sure about Belsomra, as you stated, it's hard finding information on new drugs. 

 

Because you have only been on these drugs for a month, I would do a rapid taper off Lunesta first. You could do a 25% decrease to start off and see how you feel. Please read over: 

 

Tips for tapering off Z drugs for sleep (Ambien, Imovane, Sonata, Lunesta, Intermezzo, etc.) 

 

2.  You're taking your drugs very late for sleep, and this may be causing problems. If there isn't a reason for this (such working second shift), you may want to consider better sleep habits. Please see this thread for more information:

 

 

Tips to Help Sleep

 

 

Did you have problems with insomnia prior to starting these drugs? 

 

Please keep posting updates and let us know what you think about decreasing the Lunesta by 25%. Please keep the doses for all other drugs the same, as it's best to only make changes with one drug at a time. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Hi Shep,

 

Thanks for your thoughts, I think it would be great to be able to a 25% cut of any of these drugs!

Could you tell me the reasoning behind doing Lunesta first? Is it because while Klonopin is the more harmful drug, Lunesta is easier (faster) to taper off of?

One issue is that I've also decreased Klonopin recently as you can see from my sig. No serious symptoms yet, but you can't really tell for at least a week, right?

 

Thanks for the tips for improving my sleeping habits, as that's something I'm trying to do right now. Goodbye coffee... I loved ya.

I'm working on taking the pills earlier, but taking them one hour earlier than usual yesterday didn't work for me so wondering what to do today. I think I'll try 1am again, and work slowly towards an earlier hour.

 

I'm sad to say I had very few sleeping issues prior to taking these pills, just an early awakening every so often. I presume my doc gave me the meds to counter potential Cymbalta insomnia, but THREE?

 

I'll keep posting updates, I just hope my daily notes aren't too spammy.

 

Side note: I visited another new doctor today. He was the first I found who admitted that my current prescription sucks and that I should be off benzos! But then he suggested that I go cold turkey as that would cause the shortest period of W/D symptoms... I really hope I won't have to depend on him for (definitely slower) guidance but if I can't find anyone better...

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment
  • Administrator

Thanks for your thoughts, I think it would be great to be able to a 25% cut of any of these drugs!

Could you tell me the reasoning behind doing Lunesta first? Is it because while Klonopin is the more harmful drug, Lunesta is easier (faster) to taper off of?

 

 

 

I'm thinking Lunesta first because it has a shorter half life (6 hours).   Belsomra is 12 hours (this varies a bit according to studies because it's a new drug).  Klonopin's half life is 30 - 40 hours. 

 

We usually recommend coming off the drug with the shortest half life first, as interdose withdrawal can cause problems with the shorter half life. Also, for sleep, you want a drug with a longer half life to help with early awakening. 

 

If you don't have any problems with 25%, I would recommend a faster taper than that, as you've only been on these drugs for a month. The 25% will see how dependent you already are. It takes at least 4 - 7 days for your central nervous system (CNS) to register the decrease, so please take careful notes. 

 

If you do okay, you may wish to make 50% reductions off the rest of the Lunesta and approach the Belsomra in the same manner after that. 

 

I'm working on taking the pills earlier, but taking them one hour earlier than usual yesterday didn't work for me so wondering what to do today. I think I'll try 1am again, and work slowly towards an earlier hour.

 

 

If you're used to going to bed very late, then yes, working slowly to make these changes is best. Give your nervous system time to adjust, especially since you'll be changing the dose at the same time. 

 

We don't normally recommend too many changes at one time, but your short time on these drugs gives reason for an accelerated approach. 

 

I'm sad to say I had very few sleeping issues prior to taking these pills, just an early awakening every so often. I presume my doc gave me the meds to counter potential Cymbalta insomnia, but THREE?

 

 

It's good that you didn't have sleeping issues prior to the pills. Hopefully, you'll be back to sleeping without drugs and your recovery will be quicker than most.

 

Side note: I visited another new doctor today. He was the first I found who admitted that my current prescription sucks and that I should be off benzos! But then he suggested that I go cold turkey as that would cause the shortest period of W/D symptoms.

 

 

I'm glad you have a new doctor. The one that prescribed this very dangerous drug cocktail should not be practicing medicine. 

 

I'm not sure about going cold turkey, though. But an accelerated taper may be a compromise.

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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I see now why Lunesta, and I think I will try cutting by 25% as you say.

Just one thing I'm worried about is my recent (3 days ago) taper of Klonopin from 2mg to 1.5 mg. Shouldn't I take more time to stabilize before tapering a different drug?

 

Not sure yet on choosing today's doctor, as he also said that the cocktail sucks but the actual amount of the medication isn't anything to be worried about, and that once he decreased a dose he would NEVER increase it however bad W/D symptoms are.

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


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  • Administrator

 

 

Just one thing I'm worried about is my recent (3 days ago) taper of Klonopin from 2mg to 1.5 mg. Shouldn't I take more time to stabilize before tapering a different drug?

 

 

This is where the "art" of drug withdrawal comes into play more so than the "science".

 

I was going by your comment here: 

 

 

 

I reduced Klonopin to 1.5mg on Dec. 24. My symptom pattern does not seem to be changed significantly, but I'll be keeping notes from now on.

 

 

But if you are feeling unsure, you may wish to wait a couple more days and see how you're doing, especially how you're sleeping. 

 

This is your taper, so you do need to be in control. The goal is to get you safely off these drugs before dependency sets in. Right now, it's unclear how dependent you are. It's possible to develop dependency in as little as two weeks with drugs like Lunesta, Klonopin, and Belsomra is unknown, since it's so new. 

 

You do a really good job of keeping up with your symptoms. Please let us know how you're doing over the next couple of days as you gage the results of the Klonopin and Cymbalta changes. 

 

When you feel ready, you may wish to go ahead and decrease the Lunesta by 25% and go from there. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Administrator

One further comment. With Klonopin, because of its long half life, it can take a week or so to fully know the impact of a cut, but it really depends on your level of dependency. Many people feel the cut in 3 or 4 days. 

 

If you want to test this out, perhaps a week could be a good timeframe.

 

However, you may become more and more dependent the longer you give it. Your short time on the drugs is really what's driving the accelerated taper rate. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Shep I'm so sorry, the info I put in my first post about my cold turkey was incomplete and may have affected your advice.

My excuse is that I was fixated on Cymbalta and not the benzos at that time, but I'm really sorry about that, and assure you that I'm putting ALL my meds in my daily notes now.

 

Here's a more complete record of my stupidity:

 

Dec 22:
Cold-turkeyed Cymbalta, Klonopin, Lunesta
Took only 20mg Belsomra.
Slept maybe 5 minutes that night.
No other symptoms.
Dec 23:
Took only 3mg Lunesta
Slept 0 minutes.
No other symptoms.
Dec 24:
Dizziness, headaches. Took 30mg cymbalta, took another 30mg cymbalta 4 hours later. Was feeling mostly ok by 6 hours later.
Took 3mg Lunesta, 20mg Belsomra, 1.5mg Klonopin.
Slept fine.
Dec 25:
Woke feeling fine. Took 30mg Cymbalta.
 
So I think it's safe to say I'm dependent on at least some of the sleep medication already.
 
 
I think I will do as you say and give the Klonopin cut 2 more days to reach the timeframe of 1 week you mention, and then start on Lunesta. I've ordered a better knife and a milligram scale which should arrive by then.
 
Oh and I really do need to start a thread in the benzo forum don't I!
since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment
Daily notes, starting from awakening Dec 27

8 am

wake

9:30 am

30mg cymbalta

11:30 am

light anxiety for about an hour

1:20 pm

lunch

light anxiety for about an hour

6 pm

dinner

1 am

1.5 mg klonopin, 3mg lunesta, 20mg belsomra
since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


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  • Moderator

Hey Larch - 

 

As per your suggestions, I'll try to stabilize at 30mg Cymbalta, with an eye on going back to 60mg if the W/D symptoms are too strong

 

Well, I wouldn't go back to 60, ever.  At this point, you should only go up in small increments.  You might do fine on 31 mg.  This is done by bead counting.  Is your Cymbalta brand name or generic (duloxetine?)

 

Tips for tapering off Cymbalta

 

As I see it, you are taking all these "brakes" because the Cymbalta is a strong "accelerator."  I agree with Shep that doing a test taper of the Lunesta is next - when you feel stable and ready to begin.  Additionally, after the initial 25% drop, please consider a 10% of current dose per month plan.  As we go lower in doses, the changes in dose become more important.  We'd like to get you through this with the minimum of symptoms.

 

When you have come off the Lunesta, you might consider reducing the Cymbalta next, so as to make your Klonopin taper easier.  Please only taper one drug at a time, so that you can control symptoms.  Please wait after each taper (that's each cut!) to see what your symptoms are, before going on.  I like to be stable for at least 2 weeks before doing another cut.  In between drugs, I like to do a settle down period of about 3 months.

 

This is especially important for you, because 6 months from now, you will still be shaking out the last of that major Cymbalta 50% drop.  There is a Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms.  We want to make sure all of that is settled before tapering it again.  Meanwhile, you can use this time to get skilled in Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms.  

 

While it seems criminal, the cocktail you've been given (can you change doctors?) - I think you've been lucky, and recognized early on - only 10 days on the high dose of Cymbalta - that this was not a good plan.  So your chances of getting out from under this are very good.

 

It may seem intimidating to consider a 10 year plan for tapering - you may find you can go faster, at some point, once you've taken enough notes to know your symptoms for each taper.  But here's the good news - you've already chosen a healthier course, and even though there may be some rough road ahead - you've chosen a road which leads out of the trap.  And it gets better.  The further you are along the road, the more the light gets in, the easier your steps will be, the greater your confidence.  And you will realize that you are more than your chemicals, and choose accordingly.

 

I'm not one of the benzo wizards on this site, so Shep's suggestions will be vital to you.  But I just want to say I'm sorry what happened to you, and I'm thankful you have decided to "unpatient" yourself and take charge of your own healing!

 

It does get better!  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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  • Administrator

 

So I think it's safe to say I'm dependent on at least some of the sleep medication already.
 
 
I think I will do as you say and give the Klonopin cut 2 more days to reach the timeframe of 1 week you mention, and then start on Lunesta. I've ordered a better knife and a milligram scale which should arrive by then.
 
Oh and I really do need to start a thread in the benzo forum don't I!

 

 

Yes, you likely are dependent, but it could be a cumulative effect, though, so please don't despair. You may be fine with the 25% reduction in just the Lunesta, letting the other drugs compensate. 

 

This is quite likely going to be a bumpy ride, but it sounds like you are getting prepared. 

 

Please do start a thread in the benzo forum, as it looks like you'll be reducing the z-drug first, when you're ready. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Hey JanCarol,

 

Noted, I definitely won't go back to 60mg cymbalta. I guess I should learn how to count beads now, in case W/D symptoms set in. I've never been good with precise work with my fingers so I'm thinking of using Sly's method of measuring http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5088-slys-method-for-measuring-beads-instead-of-counting-them/

My cymbalta is brand name, with the beads. A small blessing, but I'm thankful for it.

 

A test taper of the Lunesta will be next, yes. I do feel stable and ready, so I'm hoping for the best from my first test taper tomorrow.

One thing I've wondered about is how stable is stable? As you can see from my daily logs, I do tend to have two or three minor bouts of anxiety a day but I can't really expect to be in tip-top shape right? (Actually I had no recognizable anxiety at all today, perhaps due to being busy)

 

I'll keep your advice about periods between tapers and drugs in mind, though if my initial 25% lunesta taper goes well I might start off with the schedule advised in this post http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1655-tips-for-tapering-off-z-drugs-for-sleep-ambien-lunesta-etc/ I do recognize that 10% per month would be much safer, and will switch if W/D is severe (but again, how severe is severe...?)

 

I'm only starting to research about non-drug methods, but autogenic training and mindfulness meditation have been helpful during my minor bouts of anxiety. Also talking with my dad, who has been incredibly supportive since I came out and discussed this with him.

 

Actually yes, I did see the sun (I hope!) today: saw my 3rd new doctor in three days, and this one may be the one. Seems to be at least somewhat familiar with the Ashton manual (though not necessarily in full agreement with it), and willing to listen to my current plan of tapering 25% lunesta. Even got the pharmacy to give me 2.25mg powdered lunesta, which is great considering I've only managed to cut pills rather imprecisely. Relatedly, in your sig where it says Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made, could you tell me more about that?

 

Thank you so much for your kind words! Though I fear that I'm probably feeling the best I will be for a long, long time (W/D hasn't really started up yet), I do feel encouraged that after it gets worse, it will get better again.

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment

Shep,

 

Thank you, I won't let myself despair! Your support means a ton to me.

I'm writing my benzo forum thread now.

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment
  • Administrator

One thing I've wondered about is how stable is stable? As you can see from my daily logs, I do tend to have two or three minor bouts of anxiety a day but I can't really expect to be in tip-top shape right? (Actually I had no recognizable anxiety at all today, perhaps due to being busy)

 

 

 
Ah, this is the question we all ask - how stable is stable? 
 
Since you are working, stable means being able to sleep enough to go into work. It means that your anxiety is so that work is a distraction, and you are able to function in order to do your job. 
 
It means that you can eat and that you're not losing weight and getting weaker. 
 
Stable is relative to being functional.
 
Yes, you probably will have periods of insomnia and other symptoms, but as long as you are able to function, then you are stable.
 
Of course, you'll need to keep in mind that there may be at least 4 days to several weeks in between decreases that may be uncomfortable, as it takes this length of time for your CNS to register and adjust. If this gets to be too much, then your mind / body is telling you that you're tapering too fast and / or you're tapering off too much of the drug and need to go to a smaller percentage decrease. 
 
So it's something that you'll feel your way through, gaining non-drug coping skills as you maneuver through it. From what I experienced, because I learned to cope with the more severe symptoms of withdrawal, the regular day-to-day problems just aren't any big deal anymore. So there's an upside to all of this. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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I guess learning coping skills isn't such a bad way to spend some years of my life :)

 

So, feel my way though it, but as a rule of thumb, if either a. I can't stay functional after a decrease or b. a few weeks after a decrease I'm not feeling comfortable enough to try my next decrease, I'm going too fast?

 

By the way, should I post my daily notes on this thread or the benzo forum thread I've started?

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


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  • Administrator

Good reasoning on going off Lunesta, Shep.

 

Larch, Lunesta is benzo-like. The nightly Klonopin should cover for some of the reduction in Lunesta.

 

At any rate, your combination of "brakes" might be causing you problems during the day -- that surge of anxiety might be a rebound reaction when the benzo-Lunesta-Belsomra combination wears off.

 

Lessening the burden of "brakes" might lessen the rebound effect.

 

Of all your drugs, if I were you, I'd plan on going off Klonopin last. See Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

The doctor who prescribed you all these drugs at once for non-existent conditions was in the wrong. At least your current doctor is not inclined to over-drug. You should make it very clear to your new doctor that you wish to go off these drugs at a rate that feels safe to you.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Altostrata,

 

Thanks for the additional info. I do hope to lessen the combination of brakes, and can only hope the anxiety won't increase to an unmanageable level.

 

Reading the thread you posted, it does seem that Klonopin last may indeed be the logical choice; I'm just worried that I'll develop stronger tolerance to it during my years long wean off the other meds, and have interdose Klonopin withdrawal to contend with in addition to everything else. Is it true that Cymbalta develops tolerance slower than benzos?

 

Of course, this all depends on my being able to wean off of Lunesta. I guess I'll have a long time to think about what comes next.

 

My new doctor seems to be open to my desire to wean off slowly, though I will check that again thoroughly next time.

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment

Daily notes, starting from last dose Dec 27:

 

1 am
1.5 mg klonopin, 3mg lunesta, 20mg belsomra
1:30am 
fell asleep
 
Dec 28
6:40 am
momentary awakening
7:00 am 
woke (alarm clock)
7:10 am
breakfast
10:30 am
30mg cymbalta
noon
strangely tired, laid down for an hour or so
3 pm
lunch
10pm
dinner
10pm-11pm
mild headache in back of neck
mild burning sensation in arms
 
Dec 29
1am
1.5mg klonopin, 20mg belsomra, 3mg lunesta
1:20am
fell asleep
 
7:40am
woke naturally
8am
breakfast
10am-around noon
mild anxiety
11:30am
30mg cymbalta
2:30pm
lunch
since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


Link to comment
  • Administrator

 

By the way, should I post my daily notes on this thread or the benzo forum thread I've started?

 

 

Hi, Larch.

 

I'm reading both your threads (and I just posted on your benzo thread), but while you're working on getting off Lunesta, please post your daily notes in your benzo thread.

 

Sorry, I know this can be a bit confusing, but the best way to get the quickest answer is:

 

1. For benzo-related questions involving tapering benzos and z-drugs, please post on your benzo thread

 

2. For antidepressant questions and questions about supplements and alternative medicine, please post here on your Intro thread.

 

We do try to keep current on both sections, but this will definitely speed up the process. The benzo area doesn't get nearly as much traffic as the main intro threads, so you're likely to get more responses on issues such as supplements, non-drug coping skills, etc. on the main thread. 

 

And of course, feel free to explore other people's intros in both areas, as well as the many other sections. Tons of information and support available. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Moderator

Hey Larch - 

 

One thing I've wondered about is how stable is stable? 

 

One of our moderators, Brassmonkey, calls it "withdrawal normal."  You still aren't like everyone else, but you are able to do basic functions, eat, drive, maybe even work.  Here's what he says about it, from:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3458-brassmonkey-talking-about-myself/page-23#entry245746  

 

I see WDnormal as the overall baseline of where you are in general. The place you are when you're not feeling good, but you're not feeling bad. Sorta a rolling average of the past couple of months between the windows and waves.  Watching the level of WDnormal is a good indicator that things are improving.  Over time you should be seeing a raising of the standard for WDnormal.  So how you're feeling now is better than say six months ago. It changes very slowly but is a really good indicator.

 

 Many people have the idea that stability is feeling good again, when in fact it's feeling the same level of blah day after day with no big swings to the better or bad. When a person does a drop in dose there will be a corresponding increase in WD symptoms over the next few days.  These symptoms will resolve themselves over the following several weeks and return the person to a slightly raised baseline of discomfort. The time frame and severity are dependent on a huge number of factors and end up being unique to each individual.  But the pattern remains.  This is why paying attention to your WDnormal is very important.  It is also referred to as listening to your body.  After a drop in dose and the symptoms have resolved to WDnormal the person then should wait a couple of more weeks to let things really settle out (there are a lot of little unfelt changer still going on) before considering doing their next drop.

 

Hope you find it helpful.

 

During that waiting time people may think that they're not doing anything and want to get on with it.  When in fact doing nothing is very proactive.  It's those little unfelt things that need to be finished up before the next step can be taken.  It's letting the glue harden, the paint dry, the cement cure.  The things that need to be complete before the path is safe to walk on again.  If these details are ignored then they start to pile up and compound each other, then somewhere down the line the foundation slips out from under us and the whole thing collapses.

 

You asked:

Relatedly, in your sig where it says Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made, could you tell me more about that?

 

On the lithium, I had 2 sizes of tablets.  450mg and 250 mg.  For the first part of the taper, it was easy to use 1/4 tablets and 1/2 tablets in combination to make up my doses.  Actually, I did that the whole way.  I couldn't get an accurate cut below 1/4 tablet.  And lithium is not as sensitive to changes as SSRI's and benzos are - it's more of a running blood serum.  So I was lucky that when I made mistakes (wrong tablet, wrong time of day, forgetting 3 weeks, too large a drop, calculation errors) - I was lucky I didn't go bonkers.  If it had been Cymbalta, for example, it would have been seriously destabilizing.

 

I didn't realize how imprecise my dry cutting was until I got the scale, and started splitting my supplements with the scale.  No fan, can't breathe, powder everywhere, scale shuts off in the middle of a measurement.  It was then that I realized how lucky I had been to have had a relatively symptom free taper.  It was SLOW, my p-doc was laughing at me the whole time, said I was being Obsessive and Ridiculous (but she supported me, as I Got Better!)

 

But because it was slow - my symptoms were quite easy to deal with.  The waves and windows felt like normal "mood swings," not the screaming intensity that so often happens with fast tapers.  I could choose when I wanted to taper, and if I had a trip, or a surgery, or something stressful, I could delay my taper until I felt ready.  Tapering puts you in charge of the drug, and opens the door to the cages.  You can't fly out right away - but it's good to know that door is open and you are working your way free.

 

That is why, when precision is so vital, I recommend liquid tapers.  The Cymbalta beads will be a fairly stable way to taper.  

 

I'm pretty digitally clumsy too.  I have fat, clubbed fingers, and not the dexterity I used to have.  But really, you will be taking fewer pills than prescribed, so if you lose a few beads, it's not so terrible (just make sure that your pets can't get them!)

 

Though I fear that I'm probably feeling the best I will be for a long, long time (W/D hasn't really started up yet), I do feel encouraged that after it gets worse, it will get better again.

 

 

While it may feel like forever while you are in it - before you know it you will be coming out of it, and you will be better.

 

In my experience, once your doses get down to sub clinical levels (whatever that is, an arbitrary number set by pharmaceutical companies), you will be feeling much better.  Especially if you take it slowly and carefully.  

 

So, feel my way though it, but as a rule of thumb, if either a. I can't stay functional after a decrease or b. a few weeks after a decrease I'm not feeling comfortable enough to try my next decrease, I'm going too fast?

 

You are a fast learner!  Your symptoms and your body & nervous system will tell you what is too fast, and you will know when to slow down. 

"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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Hi Shep,

 

Thank you so much for posting on my benzo thread. I'll continue my daily reports over there, as you say.

I'll be going through the other sections, there certainly is a lot of info!

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


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Hi JanCarol,

 

The explanation of withdrawal normal was very enlightening. I look forward to "same level of blah every day".

 

And thank you for your personal experience with dry cutting!

Tapering accurately is certainly something that I expect to have trouble with. I've gotten a locally available mg scale, but I'm not sure how much I can trust it... considering importing the Gemini-20 that I hear good things about on these forums.

And liquid tapering is also something I'm hoping to do, I very much hope my pharmacy agrees it's right for me...

 

I'm really happy that you tapered successfully with manageable symptoms, and please let me congratulate you for being psych drug free. It gives me hope that it truly is possible.

 

If you find the time, it would be great if you could follow my progress in my benzo forum thread as well. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/13736-larch%E3%80%80request-for-help-planning-lunesta-taper/

 

Thanks again!

since late November 2016:

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

6 Dec 16

Klonopin upped to 2mg

13 Dec 16

Cymbalta upped to 60mg

22-24 Dec 16

C/T craziness

Since 25 Dec 16

Cymbalta 30mg, Klonopin 1.5mg, Lunesta 3mg, Belsomra 20mg 

29 Dec 16

Lunesta taper started, 3mg>2.25mg

5 Jan 16

2.25mg>1.75mg


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