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SeekerShirow: Kicking Cymbalta to the curb


SeekerShirow

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Salutations. I'll get right down to it. Apologies, this'll be long. 

 

I'm trying to get off of Cymbalta 60mg after a repeat of my experiences on it the first time. That's right, this is my second time on the drug after an extended absence of being drug-free. I guess I'll start with that. 

 

In both cases of being on Cymbalta, the first 3 months were pretty great in terms of energy and general emotions. Not in terms of side effects, but will get to that later. Then, after those 3 months, comes the slow progression of what I call the period of "nothing" - no positive or negative emotional feelings, but the side effects are there. So it feels like I'm taking a placebo with side effects. Then around the 8-9 month mark, it feels like I'm taking a pill that makes me more depressed than I initially was with side effects. 

 

First time around, I was at 30mg for those first 3 months and they bumped it up to 60mg, which extended things by a few weeks, but I still bottomed out. Second time, they bumped me up within 2 weeks (which was an incredibly brutally short time span in terms of side effects but I suffered through it). Still same bottoming out. 

 

What made me want to stop the first time was less the issue of it not particularly working but right around the time it began to seriously bottom out I had a life situation change and lost my insurance. With prescription cost being hilariously unaffordable after that, I really had no choice. I was able to secure 2 months of 30mg from my psych and didn't taper from 60mg down to 30mg at all; just started taking the 30 for two months, then went cold turkey. 

 

That sucked for about three weeks of my life and I decided then and there I wouldn't go back on it. 

 

Fast forward about 6 months, something triggered my depression in a bad way and I ended up in the psych's office again. It was determined that I'd be put back on Cymbalta, which I was hesitant about, but the way my new insurance worked in order to get a referral for therapy covered I needed to work through with the psych. Alternative doctors were limited with massive wait periods and I felt the therapy was worth the drug prescription. 

 

So gave it another go. Now here I am, nauseous, can't sleep, sweating in 50-60 degree weather, exhausted, 20lb weight gain, but also feeling like balling my eyes out and hopeless. Worse than when I went into the doc to get relief. What was interesting is that for nearly the whole 6 months off of Cymbalta last year I felt great, like I never needed it in the first place. Heck, I didn't even need to change my lifestyle and the weight I had gained the first time on it literally melted off me with no effort and stayed off me. 

 

Two weeks ago I thought because I could drop from 30 to nothing I could do the same at 60 to nothing. Tried toughing it out for a week, oh my god. Never again. I might as well have been dying. 

 

So, I have to taper, but my doctor isn't convinced enough to give me a lower dose...so some Google searching about later and here I am. 

Prozac 40mg 1 year, tapered. Zoloft 50mg ~1 year, cold turkey swap to Wellbutrin; Wellbutrin 300mg ~6 months, cold turkey swap to Cymbalta; Cymbalta 60mg 1 year, tapered down to 30mg, cold turkey. 6+ months no drugs, restarted on Cymbalta at 30mg for 2 weeks, then 60mg for past 10 months.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to SeekerShirow: Kicking Cymbalta to the curb
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi SeekerShirow and welcome to SA,

 

The only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms from a cold turkey or quick taper off psychiatric drugs is to reinstate the same drug that your brain has adapted to.

 

I'll tell you my own experience.  I tried to reduce my dose of Pristiq from 100mg to 50mg and suffered extreme cog fog for 3 weeks.  At the end of that time I couldn't type and because I have been a professional typist for 40+ years I knew that something was very wrong.  Thankfully I had joined SA a few days before this happened and they had suggested increasing my dose.  When I couldn't type I took extra Pristiq and about 4 hours later I was about to type again and the brain fog was clearing.  After stabilising I have been successfully tapering and only experiencing very mild withdrawal symptoms by following SA's recommended 10% of the previous dose followed by a 4 week hold to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  I am now down to 18mg.

 

Thank you for completing your drug signature.  We do need some additional information so please amend your drug history signature following these instructions.  Please include the dates and doses so that we can see this information at a glance.  Thank you.

 

 A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.
     

I'll provide you with some links to check out.  Post #1 of the reinstatement topic provides excellent information. 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommended harm reduction method:

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  I will add drug tags (top left under topic title) which you can click on to find other members with the same tag/s.  This will make it easier to connect with other members in a similar situation.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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 Welcome Seeker. So you were on 60 mg Cymbalta for the last 10 months? Is that correct ? Now you cold turkeyed?

19 hours ago, SeekerShirow said:

Two weeks ago I thought because I could drop from 30 to nothing I could do the same at 60 to nothing. Tried toughing it out for a week, oh my god. Never again. I might as well have been dying. 

 

I'm not sure what this means. What are you currently on ?

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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  • 3 months later...

Seeker are you able to give an update?

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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