Jump to content

geoffwich: Cymbalta + Abilify


geoffwich

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

 

Just thinking a lot about where I am in my life right now with meds and mental health. Very uncertain as to what I should do or try to do at this point. Thought I would just throw out my story...

 

In 2013 I hit a major depressive episode. The emotional pain and suffering was intolerable. I thought it was all ending. I was put on 60 mg of Cymbalta and 10 mg of abilify daily.

 

As of November 2017 I am on 90 mg Cymbalta and 1 mg abilify daily. My mental health is steady. I am happy. I'm productive. I like the way I feel and what I am able to be a part of on these meds.

 

But I've gained 50 lbs, and I hate my body. I'm also starting to lose interest in sex because A - orgasms are difficult and B - I have gotten really self conscious about my massive fat belly.

 

I've tried three times, unsucessfully, to go from 1 mg abilify to no abilify. Each time, I've gone immediately into insomnia due to restless leg syndrome followed by profound feelings of despair and hopelessness and wanting to die.

 

I'm really torn, folks. I want to get my weight under control but its just like, IMPOSSIBLE on these meds. I really mean that. I've tried everything. Diets. Exercise programs. Walking. Running. Lifting. Everything. I just keep getting fatter. I feel like I can't handle getting any bigger. It's really driving me crazy. But beyond that I am pretty happy with the meds.

 

I don't know what to do from here, or where to go, or anything. I just know I am upset and confused. I wish there were a clear answer. I guess I just wanted to get my thoughts out there. Thanks for reading.

 

<3

 

 

 

 

Edited by baroquep

Type 1 Diabetes: 1993 - Present

Serzone: 199(6,7?) -  2006
Abilify: November 2013 - August 2016, 10 mg daily

             August 2016 - January 2017 5 mg daily

             January 2017 - Present, 1 mg daily

Cymbalta: November 2013 - November 2017, 90 mg daily

                  December 2017 - November 2018, 80 mg daily

                  November 2018 - Present, 60 mg daily

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, geoffwich.

 

Abilify is known to disrupt sugar metabolism and cause obesity, but Cymbalta might be involved, too. How did you go off Abilify before? For our method, see Tips for tapering off aripiprazole (Abilify)

 

You're taking a very high dose of Cymbalta, why was it increased the last time?

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.

Link to comment

Geoff -- Just a quick note to say I identify with much of what you wrote. When I started seriously tapering a bit over three years ago it was largely because I wanted to lose weight. I'm tall and before beginning my AD had always been relatively thin, so I didn't like being overweight. Before beginning Celexa I was in the low 180's but I quickly rose to 220 and stayed there for years despite exercise, dieting, etc. After three years tapering, I'm now down to 195, close to where I want to be (abt 187).

 

Also, like you I was basically ok mentally taking my AD everyday--20 mg of Celexa, though there were some issues which I won't go into here. I sometimes think it might have been better just to stay on the drug and see how things went. I knew, though, that nothing I could do--short of starving myself--would help me lose the weight that I'd gained.  Also, because of my weight issues I was taking a med for high blood pressure, and a couple years before I started my taper my blood sugar rose, getting into the "pre-diabetic" range. 

 

I decided to taper three yeas ago. Since then I've lost 25 pounds. I'm no longer taking a blood pressure med. My glucose levels are consistently normal. My bi-yearly blood tests that used to scare me a bit with fatty liver indications no longer indicate that's an issue. So, from a physical perspective, I'm healthier now than I was and I credit that to my slow taper off Celexa. 

 

The side effects of tapering are the mental health issues that you have felt yourself. Though I've had some truly horrible experiences at times, both my neuro-anxiety and neuro-depression are better than they once were and when I'm having a window, which come more frequently now, I feel very good. Very hopeful, positive about the future.

 

It's good that you wrote what you did. Best to get it out there, see what others think, so that you can make decisions informed by experience. 

 

I hope the best for you!

 

Myndfull

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Altostrata:

 

For Abilify discontinuation, I went from 1 mg/day to nothing. Cold turkey. This was mainly based on not being able to get abilify in smaller than a 2 mg pill, which I am already splitting into a small little 1 mg amount for my daily dose. I didn't realize that 90 mg/day of cymbalta was a large dose. I just started a taper with my psych NP today that will be 80 mg/day for six weeks followed by 60 mg/day. We will then reassess. Her opinion and that of my therapist are that it is doubtful that I will ever be able to really function with meds.

 

Myndfull:

 

Thanks for sharing your experience! I am on the fence about whether or not I want to try and taper beyond what feels comfortable. We will see how 80 mg cymbalta feels followed by 60 mg. Maybe I will be ok and my weight gain will either stop or reverse. Who knows? I remain pretty angry about the fact that I was put on psych meds that so blatantly mess with blood sugar levels considering I am a type I diabetic. I will always be angry about that one. 

 

My psych NP also thought that maybe we could switch the low dose of abilify to a low dose of wellbutrin and see if that has fewer side effects for me. I don't know. I'm hesitant to add a new psych med into the equation, even though I am really tired and wary of abilify.

Type 1 Diabetes: 1993 - Present

Serzone: 199(6,7?) -  2006
Abilify: November 2013 - August 2016, 10 mg daily

             August 2016 - January 2017 5 mg daily

             January 2017 - Present, 1 mg daily

Cymbalta: November 2013 - November 2017, 90 mg daily

                  December 2017 - November 2018, 80 mg daily

                  November 2018 - Present, 60 mg daily

Link to comment

I am really grateful for this website. It has given me so much information and has provided vocabulary for things I had trouble describing to doctors. I just discovered that dystonia is a common side effect of a lot of these drugs. Dystonia is something I've been suffering from for years at this point and now I know what it is called.

 

Thanks!

Type 1 Diabetes: 1993 - Present

Serzone: 199(6,7?) -  2006
Abilify: November 2013 - August 2016, 10 mg daily

             August 2016 - January 2017 5 mg daily

             January 2017 - Present, 1 mg daily

Cymbalta: November 2013 - November 2017, 90 mg daily

                  December 2017 - November 2018, 80 mg daily

                  November 2018 - Present, 60 mg daily

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

It's been about 2 weeks since I tapered from 90 mg cymbalta down to 80 mg daily.

 

My Psych NP told me "I'm not anticipating any difficulty until we make a taper from 80 mg to 60 mg of cymbalta." For the most part, I've been doing well, but for about 24 hours I experienced my first "wave." A client and my boss set my stress levels through the roof at work. I came home and wasn't really able to shake the feeling of stress. While I got a good night's sleep, I woke up still ruminating about my stress levels. "Why am I so upset? Why can't I shake this? Is the depression returning? Is this withdrawal? What will happen to me?"

 

These ruminative thoughts became a painful preoccupation. I got in a fight with my wife, and then felt horribly guilty and ashamed. I called in sick from work and spent the day sleeping on my couch.

 

This was yesterday. Today, I feel better. But I am worried there are going to be more bad days. More waves.

 

 

Type 1 Diabetes: 1993 - Present

Serzone: 199(6,7?) -  2006
Abilify: November 2013 - August 2016, 10 mg daily

             August 2016 - January 2017 5 mg daily

             January 2017 - Present, 1 mg daily

Cymbalta: November 2013 - November 2017, 90 mg daily

                  December 2017 - November 2018, 80 mg daily

                  November 2018 - Present, 60 mg daily

Link to comment

Went back up to 90 mg of cymbalta after 4 days of crying on my couch :(

 

Feel like a failure...

Type 1 Diabetes: 1993 - Present

Serzone: 199(6,7?) -  2006
Abilify: November 2013 - August 2016, 10 mg daily

             August 2016 - January 2017 5 mg daily

             January 2017 - Present, 1 mg daily

Cymbalta: November 2013 - November 2017, 90 mg daily

                  December 2017 - November 2018, 80 mg daily

                  November 2018 - Present, 60 mg daily

Link to comment

You are not a failure.

The doctor is the failure and the whole regulatory body that  enabled these horrific chemicals to be pushed on humans.

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

 

 

Link to comment
On ‎11‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 10:21 AM, geoffwich said:

Her opinion and that of my therapist are that it is doubtful that I will ever be able to really function with meds.

 

I assume you meant to say "without meds".

If so then this is a lie!!

These people have never had to swallow this for themselves and they have a vacancy of knowledge concerning tapering.

Your therapist is clearly not the sort of person you need to have on the team. She is operating from a misinformed  point of view. And so is the Psych NP. 

 

On ‎12‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 9:52 AM, geoffwich said:

My Psych NP told me "I'm not anticipating any difficulty until we make a taper from 80 mg to 60 mg of Cymbalta

Clearly they werent as accurate as they would like to think they were.

 

On ‎12‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 9:52 AM, geoffwich said:

"Why am I so upset? Why can't I shake this? Is the depression returning? Is this withdrawal? What will happen to me?"

Because you sadly have a long history of psych drug exposure and a deep brain altering dependence. You are so upset because you are experiencing wdl symptoms. The 'D' is a wdl symptom. Or put it another way wdl symptoms mimic 'd'  and many other psychological and emotional forms of  distress. Don't be fooled its not you ...its the drug wdl!

 

 

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

 

 

Link to comment
  • 4 years later...

60 week Abilify taper

 

Hello all.

 

For about 4-5 years I've been on 1 mg daily of Abilify (and 60 mg of cymbalta). I've tried to go from 1 mg of abilify to none, maybe at 6 times total in that time. It always ended very poorly, and I just went right back on abilify each time.

 

I finally got my hands on Abilify solution, so I am going to go for a very gradual taper from 1 ml per day down 10% every 6 weeks. So my schedule would look like this

Day 1 on of taper: .9 ml

Week 6: .8ml

Week 12: .7ml

Week 18: .6 ml

and so on

 

Mentally, I am ready for success, failure, or something in-between. If I get to .5ml per day of abilify and can't tolerate anything less, so be it. But I want to give this a try and I want to try it right this time. 

 

The main withdrawal symptoms I've experienced from my past Cold Turkey attempts:

A lot of nervous, very physical energy and restlessness. Feeling I can't sit still

Feelings/thoughts of panic

Feelings/thoughts that I can't "handle anything," especially work

Hopelessness

Very pronounced Restless Leg Syndrome <-----> Severe Insomnia

Weeping/Despair

 

What I'm going to do differently this time:

No alcohol, at all

Regular Yoga (regular). I believe this may go a long way to countering the physical restlessness and RLS

Herbal teas

Massage

 

I'll be using this thread to keep track of everything from significant dates, to what I'm noticing physically/mentally/emotionally, to anything else that seems relevant.

 

Please feel free to chime in, offer feedback, advice, encouragement, etc.

 

Peace

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title before merging with intro topic

Type 1 Diabetes: 1993 - Present

Serzone: 199(6,7?) -  2006
Abilify: November 2013 - August 2016, 10 mg daily

             August 2016 - January 2017 5 mg daily

             January 2017 - Present, 1 mg daily

Cymbalta: November 2013 - November 2017, 90 mg daily

                  December 2017 - November 2018, 80 mg daily

                  November 2018 - Present, 60 mg daily

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi geoffwich and welcome back to SA,

 

I've moved your new topic to your Introduction topic.  This keeps your history in one place.  Please journal here in this topic.

 

Please remember to update your drug signature whenever you make a change:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Q:  Have you seen the Brassmonkey slide?  It is a 10% taper done over a 6 week period by 2.5% reductions are made weekly for 4 weeks and then a 2 week hold.

 

the-brassmonkey-slide-method-of-micro-tapering

 

SA strongly encourages members to learn and use non drug coping skills:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

It's important to listen to your body/symptoms and not taper if you are still experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Stability

 

WDnormal

 

And Brassmonkey talks more about it here:

 

tao-of-the-brassmonkey

 

 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.

Link to comment

Hi @geoffwich

 

I have no advice really, other than follow the advice of the Mods. They know what they’re doing!!!

 

But I did just want to wish you luck with your taper.   I am on Week 3 of my first 10% drop so will be cheering you on from the sidelines x

Sertraline:  Sept 2014 50mg. Oct 2014 100mg. Dec 2014 150mg. 19th Apr 2019 - May 3rd no meds. May 4th - 7th 2019 150mg. May 8th 2019 100mg. June 20th 2019 125mg. Aug 2019 100mg. Jan 2020 75mg. April 2020 50mg. Jan 4th 2022 45mg

omeprazole.:  2016 - 2022 20mg.  Jan 15th 15mg

Promethazine:  2016 -2022 25mg.

Supplements: 24th jan 50mg magnesium

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy