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LisaP: Trazodone/Cymbalta Tapering and Withdrawal


LisaP

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Hi fellow members. I took Trazodone and Cymbalta for over a decade. These drugs were prescribed by my family doctor for neuro-muscular pain and related difficulty sleeping. (The real cause of the pain was ruptured discs in my back but I didn't learn that until I'd been on these drugs for years.)  I've tried to get off of both drugs several times but all doctors did in the past was give me the next lower dose of each drug, which didn't work, and just drove me right back to my previous regular dosages. Well, thanks to tappering info I learned from this discussion group, I've been off both for about a month. The problem is that my withdrawal symptoms are seemingly getting worse. so, I could use some coping advice.

 

The biggest problem is dizziness, or I should say passing out in my case. The week I finished the taper for both drugs (about a month ago) I passed out and gave myself a mild concussion when my head hit the floor. I was in a classroom setting so they sent me to the emergency room in an ambulance. They ran lots of tests at the hospital, all of which all came back normal. I thought the fainting was a one-time occurrence.  Yesterday, I passed out again and hit my head, again. I was at home so my husband didn't take me to the hospital as the lump on my head wasn't too bad.

 

Other symptoms of withdrawal I'm having include irritability, anger, depression and even suicidal thoughts. I've never had a problem with any of those things before so I'm naturally frightened. I've tried medical marijuana for these symptoms but have figured out (I think) that they were making my sudden drops in blood pressure, aka dizziness, worse. Does that make sense to anyone? I still haven't found a doctor who would/could help me with these symptoms. At this point I don't know if I should keep looking or not. I live in rural Arizona so expert doctors, if they existed on this topic, aren't plentyful.

 

Today I looked at The Road Back Program's anti-depressant withdrawal supplements and found a link to this discussion group's moderator who said not to waist money on them. It felt really good to get objective advice from the moderator. I just need more practical advice, especially about the sudden drops in blood pressure.

 

I'm feeling afraid to drive my car. Is there something I can do to better manage the dizziness. Can these symptoms really last years?!

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to LisaP: My introduction and request for helpful advice
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi LisaP and welcome to SA,

 

So that we are better able to answer your questions we need some additional information about how you tapered your drugs.

 

Q:  Has your blood pressure been checked?     Q:  Are you being treated for any other condition (eg thyroid)?

 

Please follow the instructions below and complete your drug signature:

 

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.

 

Please have a read of the following topics.  Please read Post #1 which explains about reinstatement, however please do not reinstate at this time.  We need assess your drug history before we suggest whether reinstatement may be an option.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommendations:

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

 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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lisa, welcome from me too.  

 

Am glad that you found the site and were able to use the information to help you taper off of Trazodone and Cymbalta.  As ChessieCat mentioned above, before we are able to provide any advice specific to your situation, we will need to have a summary of your drug and tapering history to give us a better idea of what you are dealing with.  I am not sure if you are aware or not, but oftentimes when we have been taking these drugs for many years, it is necessary to taper even more carefully so that the central nervous system can make the changes necessary to return to homeostasis as we are slowly reducing the dose to discontinue the drug.  As well, people who have been taking them long-term tend to be at a higher risk of suffering from withdrawal syndrome if they taper too quickly or jump off at too high a dose.  Some people have found that they have to reduce to the tiniest doses before discontinuing completely, often far less than 0.25mg before they can stop taking the drug.  Once we have a better idea of what you are dealing with, we will be able to offer more specific advise.

 

In the meantime, I thought that this link might be helpful in understanding how these drug affect our brain chemistry and what you are likely suffering from right now.  Rest assured it is completely normal under the circumstances and it can sometimes take quite a while for things to settle back down.

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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Hi Moderators. I was asked my email to add my tapering info to my "signature". I did that a few days ago... after I'd just passed out and given myself a mild concussion. So, but am not sure I did that right in my state of dinginess. Should I do it over? If so, how? In the mean time, I'm not sure if I'm free to post topics. I'm interested in specific suggestions to combat the dizziness. Thanks.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi LisaP, if you are able to clean up your signature a bit by providing it in the format below, it would make it a lot easier for the moderators to understand.  Most of the moderators are also going through withdrawal and your signature currently has far too much information included to determine what drugs you are currently trying to taper.  Please follow the format for your signature and you can put all of the other information you have included there in your main introduction topic if you like.   

 

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.

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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  • 3 years later...

Hi. It's been 2.5 years since I withdrew from 10 mg of Trazodone and 60 mg of Cymbalta. I had taken these meds for 15 years for neuromuscular pain and to help me sleep. No doctor would help me get off them so I used info from survivingantidepresants.org for my tapering. I took 2 months to taper off of the Trazodone, gradually cutting the pill into smaller pieces. I took 6 months to tapper off of the Cymbalta, gradually reducing 5% of weighed grains over time. During this time I took medical marijuana to help alleviate neuromuscular pain. The week I got off of both meds, I started passing out with no notice and tripping over my own feel. In both cases I typically hit my head. I also became depressed for the first time in my life. To make a long story short, these symptoms gradually reduced over two years. I did figure out over time that the medical marijuana made the passing out worse, so I've discontinued that totally.  Things that also helped me during this period, which I still continue today, are a daily Epsom salt bath (5 cups Epsom salts [pure magnesium] plus 1 cup baking soda) and 2 tea spoons of the magnesium product called Calm.

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to LisaP: Trazodone/Cymbalta Tapering and Withdrawal
  • Moderator

SA Signature for LisaP

 

Tapering Schedule:

     Trazodone

         9/17/2017: Reduced to 0 mg

          9/10/2017: Reduced to 6 mg

          9/3/2017: Reduced to 12 mg

          6/3/2017: Reduced to 25 mg

          2010-2015: Reduced to 25 mg several times; resumed 50 mg within a few weeks

          2002:  50 mg

      Cymbalta

          9/21/2017: Reduced to 0 mg

          9/14/2017: Reduced to 12 mg

          9/7/2017: Reduced to 24 mg

          8/31/2017: Reduced to 36 mg

           8/24/2017: Reduced to 48 mg

          2010-2015: Reduced to 40 mg several times; resumed 60 mg within a few weeks

          2007:  60 mg

Current prescription drugs:

      25 mg Levothyroxin for hypothyroidism

      300 mg Gabapentin (occasionally) to relieve nerve pain at night

 

 

Hi LisaP, @LisaP

 

And congratulations! 

 

I did locate your main Introduction and have merged your recent post here.

 

How has it been going since your reductions, and then off the Trazodone and Cymbalta?

 

Any kind of break down you can do, I'm sure would be helpful, especially noting improvements in WD, and when.

 

Any WD(withdrawal) symptoms of note at present?

 

I copied over your signature, from your document as well.

 

When did you start the Gabapentin?

 

Would you do a signature:  Please summarize your withdrawal history in your signature

I haven't had much luck, with helping with signatures that are linked to other documents.  You might be able to just summarize  the Trazodone and Cymbalta tapers, to be able to get into the 12 lines, now allotted for signatures.

 

And then do include the Gabapentin and Levothyroxin again as well, just add in the dates.

 

This will be nice, as then, your signature will be viewable below all your posts, wherever you post on site.

 

As the signature is limited to 12 lines, we expect you will condense your drug history. The last few years usually will do.

 

FOR READABILITY, SHORT LINES ARE BEST.

  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs
  • Include ALL drugs, doses, and dates (starting and stopping)
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years
  • Use actual dates or approximate dates (e.g. mid-June 2018) rather than relative time frames (e.g. 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months (e.g. "January" or "Jan" as 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as 9 Jan 2016 or 1 Sept 2016)
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses

 

Example:

2001–2002 paroxetine 
2003  citalopram 
2004  paroxetine
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to 2016 Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg

 

If you edit your signature, the new one replaces any prior signature. It will appear in your signature under all your posts, even your old posts. If you want to save the information in the old signature, copy it and save it in a file on your computer or in a post in your Introductions topic.

 

(As of 12/31/13: Signatures are limited to 12 lines of text.)

How to add or edit your signature

  1. Click on this link to open the correct page in User Settings:
    Create Your Signature in "Account Settings"
    2017-June 12 update: link works on desktop, tablet and mobile phone versions

And once again, Congrats!  Wow.  And thank you so much for coming back to update us as well.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays(mmt)

Edited by manymoretodays
oh my gosh, edited out members full name

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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