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autimom4ever: On Cymbalta for 5 years.... Off for 4 months...


autimom4ever

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Hi all....

 

I'm looking and looking for help and am so lost and scared.

 

I am a 42 yo nurse practitioner (yes, in the healtcare field too.... don't know if I like it anymore... but it pays the bills).

I have a husband (2nd), with Muscular Dystrophy

I have 2 children from a previous marriage, a 22 yo female with a son herself and a 21 yo male with classic autism (and major GI problems)

I have 1 child with my current husband, a 13 yo boy with major anger problems.

I am the sole financial provider of the household and I am struggling day to day to live.

 

I'll try to make it as brief as possible.

 

Started Cymbalta 60 mg/d 5 years ago for generalized anxiety disorder (if you see my situation above, you can see why I have GAD). It did ok for a while, but had some uncomfortable side effects. Not knowing if I miss one dose (until just lately), I will start going through such a bad withdraw type syndrome, I took my daily pill as prescribed.

 

Early October, 2011... I missed a dose.... Became VERY sick (dizziness, nausea, tremor, panic, etc). Knowing this was because I missed a dose of cymbalta, I was upset I was taking a pill that: 1. Isn't supposed to be a medication you are taking forever and 2. Causes such a horrible withdraw.

 

So I decided I wanted to get off of this medication. I was determined. The psychiatrist thought I could just "stop" without a withdraw (yea, ok.... I stopped going to him). The next provider never returned my calls (sound familiar? The Healthcare system is really going downhill)... So I went to an urgent care center. The doctor agreed I needed to taper. Prescribed 20 mg capsules. Instructed to take 40 mg/d for 2 weeks, then 20 mg/d for 2 weeks then stop.

 

During the taper wasn't so bad..... EXCEPT the sudden back/hip pain that started to develop during the taper. But I hoped this pain was short lived and kept focusing on the taper and stopping of cymbalta. Well, as of the end of Oct, 2011 was the end of the old me and the start of the new me.... and I mean this.... I really do not know who I am anymore (to a point).

 

Once I was at 0 cymbalta, "my hell" started (all while trying to continue to work). Dizziness, extreme irritabililty, tremor, crying spells, constant panic feeling, inability to get words out, memory lapses and moments of dissociation (I would be one place one moment and another the next - not knowing how I got from point A to point B). It was awful. My family had to deal with me. I was scared and noone out there was helping me. I survived my day by taking a dramamine (hoping my body would get addicted to this..... I knew it wouldn't but at this point I was not having much faith in ANY drugs). This went on daily, along with this "mysterious" pain. I had to address the pain to because it was getting in the way of my everyday life (work). I went from one specialist to another:

This pain is definately neuropathic - it feels like dentist is drilling into a nerve right in my lower lumbar and sacral region. It also effects the inguinal area on the right

Orthopedics - did a lumbar spine MRI - showed nothing, the ortho then said, "I don't know, we could do an injection but I don't know if it will work".

Neurologist - this man does care but is at a loss... Did a neuro exam (normal) and sent me for PT (which I went some but had to stop cause of work, but still do my daily stretches). The Neurologist did convince me to at a least start back on an (old) SSRI, prozac - so I am taking 20 mg/day of that.

Spine Specialist (oh... in the USA Today's "top" doctors list... whatever) - First thought it was my coxxyx - did an injection - didn't work, made it worse. Second, did some labwork to rule out rheumatologic disorders and did a pelvic MRI - nothing/normal and now the spine specialist says "I don't know".

One thing that does STAND out though - ALL the specialists agree that CYMBALTA may have been "masking" pain that, if I would have known I had a long time ago, I would have done something about it a long time ago

 

Now, I'm feeling like I am crazy..... I KNOW I have this pain... but noone can find a cause. I went over the edge yesterday, crying my eyes out, saying I'm just crazy and I'm pulling my family down with me.... I ended up in the ER.... Received a small dose of dilaudid (I would not accept anything more then 0.5 mg) and a small prescription for valium.

 

My son (with autism) is increasing in his vomitting (which he has done on and off for years) but I am blaming myself for everything that is happening to him.

 

I guess my next steps are pain management and back to the neurologist (because he seems to care). This inbetween working......

 

I am so scared I will soon go over the edge..... The Healthcare system really doesn't seem to get it (or want to get it)

Becky

 

After taking Cymbalta 60 mg/day for 5 years for generalized anxiety disorder, decided to wean due to immediate withdraw effects after missing one dose. Weaned maybe to fast. Starting Early October, 2011, I went from 60 mg to 40 mg/day for 2 weeks then 20 mg/day for 2 weeks to 0. Within 2 days of 0 Cymbalta my life changed in ways that I am afraid I will never get back. I had intense rage, panic, tremor, dizziness (which was mildly helped with over the counter dramamine). In addition I had trouble getting words out and many moments of disassociation. On top of it all, during the time I was weaning, I started having constant pain in my pain and hip. I went to see multiple specialists (ortho, neuro and spine), had 2 MRI's, went to physical therapy and a chiropractor. Not one specialist can find a cause for my pain. The Neurologist did convince me to at least go back on a SSRI (instead of an SSNRI) and I agreed (I'm scared.... I'm a mother of 3 - a 22 year old, a 21 year old with autism and a 13 year old with anger problems. I am also a wife a a man with Muscular Dystrophy. I am the sole financial provider) to Prozac 20 mg/d. The crying spells continue (call it guilt of all that is going on in my household - not being able to mentally handle it) and the pain continues. My daughter is to the point where she doesn't know if she wants her son left with me because of my nerves (I don't blame her). My next step is a pain management specialist. I have yet started taking any narcotic pain meds cause (being in the healthcare field myself), I know the stigma behind it. I'm scared and I really need support.

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I'm not gonna lie, the thought has crossed my mind just to go back on cymbalta forever....

 

I just don't know what to do

Becky

 

After taking Cymbalta 60 mg/day for 5 years for generalized anxiety disorder, decided to wean due to immediate withdraw effects after missing one dose. Weaned maybe to fast. Starting Early October, 2011, I went from 60 mg to 40 mg/day for 2 weeks then 20 mg/day for 2 weeks to 0. Within 2 days of 0 Cymbalta my life changed in ways that I am afraid I will never get back. I had intense rage, panic, tremor, dizziness (which was mildly helped with over the counter dramamine). In addition I had trouble getting words out and many moments of disassociation. On top of it all, during the time I was weaning, I started having constant pain in my pain and hip. I went to see multiple specialists (ortho, neuro and spine), had 2 MRI's, went to physical therapy and a chiropractor. Not one specialist can find a cause for my pain. The Neurologist did convince me to at least go back on a SSRI (instead of an SSNRI) and I agreed (I'm scared.... I'm a mother of 3 - a 22 year old, a 21 year old with autism and a 13 year old with anger problems. I am also a wife a a man with Muscular Dystrophy. I am the sole financial provider) to Prozac 20 mg/d. The crying spells continue (call it guilt of all that is going on in my household - not being able to mentally handle it) and the pain continues. My daughter is to the point where she doesn't know if she wants her son left with me because of my nerves (I don't blame her). My next step is a pain management specialist. I have yet started taking any narcotic pain meds cause (being in the healthcare field myself), I know the stigma behind it. I'm scared and I really need support.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Becky,

I am sorry for your situation, it sounds very distressing. I also understand the thoughts about going back on and staying on - esp if you were functional and happy. However, deep down i know (for me) this is not the answer, so i continue to try to get off. I have made too many fast (3 month) withdrawals from effexor, only to have anxiety and depression slam me. So far, i haven't had many disabling physical symptoms, but the emotional ones are overpowering. I don't know if you have been off too long to reinstate and then begin a much slower reduction - i am sure someone will chime in soon and give you some advice

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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  • Administrator

autimom, thanks for joining us.

 

How long have you been completely off Cymbalta?

 

We have people here who have developed undiagnosable pain syndromes from Cymbalta reduction. I would question whether Cymbalta "masked" symptoms or provoked them, as you clearly had withdrawal problems.

 

It can be a drug that's very hard to quit.

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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Wow... I can't imagine the pressure you must be under, having to take care of so many people and deal with withdrawal at the same time.

 

I understand the temptation to go back on the Cymbalta (it may or may not work). Has going on the Prozac helped reduce any of your symptoms?

 

I quit cold turkey off Zoloft and Wellbutrin and wish I had done a very slow taper. The taper you did was very quick... ideally it would go a lot slower. It depends on how long you've been off if it's a good idea to go back and try tapering again a lot more slowly.

 

[On a side note... about your son with autism and GI problems, have you heard of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and GAPS? My niece is on it for Ulcerative Colitis, but it's supposed to be really helpful for a good percentage of people with autism. We hear tons of success stories on the forums.]

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, Becky.

 

How are you doing now?

 

It seems to me that you just did a much too rapid taper. Cymbalta is known to be one of the more difficult ADs to get off of even with a careful and slow taper.

 

It's possible that the Prozac will kick in and help your symptoms. Once you are stabilized and feeling better (which could take six months or possibly longer) you could do a slow taper off the Prozac using the liquid Prozac that is available. It seems to me at this point that this might be the best outcome for you. Do you think you can stick it out for another month or two and see if the Prozac does pick up some of the slack of your symptoms?

 

Another possibility is to reinstate the Cymbalta, stabilize, and then do a slow taper off the Cymbalta. Reinstatement doesn't always work, but sometimes it does work for people. I don't know very much about the track record of reinstatement with ADs. Hopefully someone else who does know more will chime in here.

 

The point is, do what you need to do now to get your life manageable. I am so sorry you're in this hell now. I know how it is, I think. Many of us have experienced very similar things.

 

And don't assume that just because it hasn't worked for you to get off this time, you can never get off. You just need to do a much slower and more managed taper, with more support. You can do that.

 

Since psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical companies have way too much vested interest to admit that their drugs are dangerous and cause severe side-effects and dangerous withdrawal syndromes, when a symptom appears during drug use or during withdrawal, they often use that "unmasking" bs explanation. You hear it a lot. In my opinion it's a way of shifting blame to the patient, something our medical system is good at. (I too work in healthcare, I'm a lab tech.)

 

More than likely your pain syndrome is caused by the Cymbalta and the sudden withdrawal and what that's done to your nervous system. These are extremely powerful drugs that cause neural remodeling and perturb our brain chemistry and endocrine systems in ways that are poorly understood and not easily reversible.

 

Please stay in touch here. There's a lot of support here.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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I have been on 0 cymbalta since end of October, 2011.

 

Since then, life has been hell for me, my job and my family.

 

I have a adult son with autism

I have a husband with muscular dystrophy

I have a teen son who has his own issues.

 

Since trying to stop I have gone through emotional and physical turmoil.

So much that I have almost lost my job many times (I am the only one working)

and I have not been able to be the wife and mother I need to be.

 

Yes, I feel like a failure.

Yes, I feel like cymbalta has a complete hold on me and will forever

 

But if I have to go back to it just so I can live, so my family can live... I gotta do what I gotta do..

 

It's either that or I'm gonna end up crazy/dead

 

Good luck to all

Becky

 

After taking Cymbalta 60 mg/day for 5 years for generalized anxiety disorder, decided to wean due to immediate withdraw effects after missing one dose. Weaned maybe to fast. Starting Early October, 2011, I went from 60 mg to 40 mg/day for 2 weeks then 20 mg/day for 2 weeks to 0. Within 2 days of 0 Cymbalta my life changed in ways that I am afraid I will never get back. I had intense rage, panic, tremor, dizziness (which was mildly helped with over the counter dramamine). In addition I had trouble getting words out and many moments of disassociation. On top of it all, during the time I was weaning, I started having constant pain in my pain and hip. I went to see multiple specialists (ortho, neuro and spine), had 2 MRI's, went to physical therapy and a chiropractor. Not one specialist can find a cause for my pain. The Neurologist did convince me to at least go back on a SSRI (instead of an SSNRI) and I agreed (I'm scared.... I'm a mother of 3 - a 22 year old, a 21 year old with autism and a 13 year old with anger problems. I am also a wife a a man with Muscular Dystrophy. I am the sole financial provider) to Prozac 20 mg/d. The crying spells continue (call it guilt of all that is going on in my household - not being able to mentally handle it) and the pain continues. My daughter is to the point where she doesn't know if she wants her son left with me because of my nerves (I don't blame her). My next step is a pain management specialist. I have yet started taking any narcotic pain meds cause (being in the healthcare field myself), I know the stigma behind it. I'm scared and I really need support.

Link to comment

I have been on 0 cymbalta since end of October, 2011.

 

Since then, life has been hell for me, my job and my family.

 

I have a adult son with autism

I have a husband with muscular dystrophy

I have a teen son who has his own issues.

 

Since trying to stop I have gone through emotional and physical turmoil.

So much that I have almost lost my job many times (I am the only one working)

and I have not been able to be the wife and mother I need to be.

 

Yes, I feel like a failure.

Yes, I feel like cymbalta has a complete hold on me and will forever

 

But if I have to go back to it just so I can live, so my family can live... I gotta do what I gotta do..

 

It's either that or I'm gonna end up crazy/dead

 

Good luck to all

 

Hi Becky,

 

<<<Hugs>>>

 

You gotta do what you have to do.

 

The only thing to consider is perhaps ask your psychiatrist about taking Prozac which would be easier to taper off of if you wished to do in the future. I could be totally off base so if I am, please disregard.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Hi Becky

 

Hang in there - if you need it, you need it...I'm just 17 days off meds myself and I may have to go back but I'm going to give it a good try.

 

Sounds like you gave it your all.

 

You are not a failure

 

all the best

Nineyears

___________________________

9 years of SSRI/SNRI

2-3 yrs per medication, medication loses efficacy - doctor never suggested I should come off, just kept changing - red flag went up when doctor doubled my dose of Cymbalta+abilify...that's when I searched out a psychiatrist.

Medications range from Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Effexor, CYmbalta+Abilify, Pristiq+Lyrica.

As of 1/31/12 off Pristiq 50mg (3 days of prozac to help ease symptoms - only partially successful)and Lyrica 150mg.

SYmptoms - blinding headache, anxiety/panic attacks, confusion, memory problems, unable to concentrate, crying spells, depressed mood

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Ohmydear you have more stressors than most people deal with in a lifetime. Please try not to judge yourself or think that anyone else is. Everyone's situation is different and a time with multiple prolonged stressors is not conducive to an already difficult process.

 

Please let us know how you are doing.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Administrator

Hi, Becky. Don't beat yourself up for trying to go back to when your nervous system was more stable. It's not failure.

 

You may have missed this good advice from Rhi:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1756-autimom4ever-on-cymbalta-for-5-years-off-for-4-months/page__view__findpost__p__17139

 

I agree with Rhi.

 

Partial reinstatement and tapering more slowly after that is the generally accepted method of dealing with severe withdrawal, if it can be caught early enough.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

I have been on 0 cymbalta since end of October, 2011.

 

Since then, life has been hell for me, my job and my family.

 

I have a adult son with autism

I have a husband with muscular dystrophy

I have a teen son who has his own issues.

 

Since trying to stop I have gone through emotional and physical turmoil.

So much that I have almost lost my job many times (I am the only one working)

and I have not been able to be the wife and mother I need to be.

 

Yes, I feel like a failure.

Yes, I feel like cymbalta has a complete hold on me and will forever

 

But if I have to go back to it just so I can live, so my family can live... I gotta do what I gotta do..

 

It's either that or I'm gonna end up crazy/dead

 

Good luck to all

 

Like I said, you need to do what you need to do to get your life manageable.

 

But don't give up hope that you can eventually get off the Cymbalta. Once you are stabilized--which could take many months--you can do a safe, slow taper, using the methods and advice you can find here. You will find that MUCH more manageable.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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I tried....

 

After taking cymbalta for 5 years, I tapered (probably to fast) but have been at 0 cymbalta since the end of Oct, 2011

 

Since then I went through terrible withdraw: Dizziness, rage, constant panic feeling, nausea, tremor, loss of ability to produce words, crying spells, moments of dissociation.

Not only that, as soon as I started the taper, I developed this awful back pain which no specialist can find a reason for.

 

I have been going through this for 4 months now. Although the dizziness, tremor and loss of words have resolved, everything else is still prevelant.

 

It is hard to have all these symptoms while you are trying to care for a family and work full time (but I have been doing it). I have been near being "committed" many times over the back pain (which I am trying to avoid the narcotic pain meds) and frustration of having all these symptoms. I have been close to losing my job and my family.

 

I just don't know what to do anymore.

 

So I went back to my neurologist, crying my eyes out, begging for help.

We came to the conclusion that going back on the cymbalta would probably be best for the interim.

 

I am deathly afraid of another withdraw (the first 4 weeks were the worst). He promised he would not let me go through that again.

 

But here I am, on day 2 of slowly tapering back up to my old dose of 60 mg/day of cymbalta and I still feel many of the withdraw symptoms...

I feel like the damage that has been done is permanent and I'm scared.

 

I never felt like how I feel now prior to starting cymbalta in the first place. I started for generalized anxiety (this did not get any relief from the SSRI's). In addition, I NEVER had a stitch of pain prior to starting cymbalta. Why now?

 

Any thoughts/ Suggestions/ Support would be greatly appreciated.... ESPECIALLY if you have gone/going through anything similar

Becky

 

After taking Cymbalta 60 mg/day for 5 years for generalized anxiety disorder, decided to wean due to immediate withdraw effects after missing one dose. Weaned maybe to fast. Starting Early October, 2011, I went from 60 mg to 40 mg/day for 2 weeks then 20 mg/day for 2 weeks to 0. Within 2 days of 0 Cymbalta my life changed in ways that I am afraid I will never get back. I had intense rage, panic, tremor, dizziness (which was mildly helped with over the counter dramamine). In addition I had trouble getting words out and many moments of disassociation. On top of it all, during the time I was weaning, I started having constant pain in my pain and hip. I went to see multiple specialists (ortho, neuro and spine), had 2 MRI's, went to physical therapy and a chiropractor. Not one specialist can find a cause for my pain. The Neurologist did convince me to at least go back on a SSRI (instead of an SSNRI) and I agreed (I'm scared.... I'm a mother of 3 - a 22 year old, a 21 year old with autism and a 13 year old with anger problems. I am also a wife a a man with Muscular Dystrophy. I am the sole financial provider) to Prozac 20 mg/d. The crying spells continue (call it guilt of all that is going on in my household - not being able to mentally handle it) and the pain continues. My daughter is to the point where she doesn't know if she wants her son left with me because of my nerves (I don't blame her). My next step is a pain management specialist. I have yet started taking any narcotic pain meds cause (being in the healthcare field myself), I know the stigma behind it. I'm scared and I really need support.

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  • Administrator

autimom, I moved your post here.

 

You don't have to go back on a FULL dose of Cymbalta. Your nervous system has already made some adjustment to being off -- some of your symptoms have gone away. A partial dose may resolve your remaining withdrawal symptoms.

 

If you're on a lower dose, it will make it easier to taper off later.

 

How much are you taking now? Did your neurologist know anything about withdrawal syndrome?

 

If it's going to help, it make take a while, perhaps a couple of weeks.

 

I never felt like how I feel now prior to starting cymbalta in the first place. I started for generalized anxiety (this did not get any relief from the SSRI's). In addition, I NEVER had a stitch of pain prior to starting cymbalta. Why now?

Several people here have experienced pain from Cymbalta withdrawal. This seems like something that's more common with Cymbalta.

 

The reason you feel so terrible is because you have withdrawal from Cymbalta. This is a destabilization of your nervous system.

 

If you read the stories of the other people on this site, you will see that withdrawal symptoms go away, but not in a progressive, predictable way. They go away as your nervous system recovers.

 

The damage is not permanent, but you may be sensitized to antidepressants from now on.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

I weaned myself (maybe to fast) off of cymbalta in Oct 2011. Withdraw was terrible and many of the symptoms remained after 4 months (now Feb).

It was getting in the way of my life, families life and job.

After trying EVERYTHING. My neurologist recommended that I just go back on cymbalta for the time being.

 

So I agreed, but now I'm in another type of "hell". Major shakes, high heart rate, diarrhea, panicy all the time.

I called the neuro who told me to take xanax (or will prescribe me some) until my body readjusts (he couldn't give me a time frame).

 

So, should I take it?

Did I make a mistake returning to cymbalta?

 

I'm not gonna lie, but ending this misery has crossed my mind a time or two.

 

What do I do now?

Becky

 

After taking Cymbalta 60 mg/day for 5 years for generalized anxiety disorder, decided to wean due to immediate withdraw effects after missing one dose. Weaned maybe to fast. Starting Early October, 2011, I went from 60 mg to 40 mg/day for 2 weeks then 20 mg/day for 2 weeks to 0. Within 2 days of 0 Cymbalta my life changed in ways that I am afraid I will never get back. I had intense rage, panic, tremor, dizziness (which was mildly helped with over the counter dramamine). In addition I had trouble getting words out and many moments of disassociation. On top of it all, during the time I was weaning, I started having constant pain in my pain and hip. I went to see multiple specialists (ortho, neuro and spine), had 2 MRI's, went to physical therapy and a chiropractor. Not one specialist can find a cause for my pain. The Neurologist did convince me to at least go back on a SSRI (instead of an SSNRI) and I agreed (I'm scared.... I'm a mother of 3 - a 22 year old, a 21 year old with autism and a 13 year old with anger problems. I am also a wife a a man with Muscular Dystrophy. I am the sole financial provider) to Prozac 20 mg/d. The crying spells continue (call it guilt of all that is going on in my household - not being able to mentally handle it) and the pain continues. My daughter is to the point where she doesn't know if she wants her son left with me because of my nerves (I don't blame her). My next step is a pain management specialist. I have yet started taking any narcotic pain meds cause (being in the healthcare field myself), I know the stigma behind it. I'm scared and I really need support.

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  • Administrator

My take on it is that the dosage of Cymbalta you're taking is too high for you. You are having an adverse effect from the Cymbalta.

 

How much are you taking?

 

I would avoid taking Xanax right now. What you need to do is get down to a tolerable dose of Cymbalta -- if possible.

 

(Please post any new posts about your situation in this topic. It is your updates topic.)

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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  • 9 years later...

Hi all,

 

it’s been a long time.  
 

To make a long story short.  I finally was able to taper and stop cymbalta in 2012.  But was still taking 0.5 mg of klonipin daily after.  In 2015, I hit a tolerance and decided it was time to stop that.  
 

Went to detox and was rapidly tapered off the benzo over 3 weeks. The withdrawal from that was, to say the least, horrible.   Took 18 mo to recover.  I was unfortunately prescribed gabapentin in detox and continued to take it after detox.  Mainly 300 mg a day.  
 

2 years after stopping klonipin I felt ready to taper the gabapentin. I did so over 2 years.  Last dose was in Sept, 2020.  I did fine with the taper and was ok until 6 weeks off.  Then the withdrawal hit.  The symptoms were the same as benzo withdrawal.  I had to stop work yet again. Day in and day out akasthesia, agitation, fatigue, weakness, nausea, lost a lot of weight, pain.   
 

3 days ago (5 mo out), I was driving around looking for a place to die.   It was then I decided I needed to reinstate.  I did so and now I’m feeling defeated.  I’m a little better but not great.  Still some anxiety, weakness and restlessness. 
 

what am I to do??  Am I stuck on this med forever?

 

Any thoughts very much appreciated 

Becky

 

After taking Cymbalta 60 mg/day for 5 years for generalized anxiety disorder, decided to wean due to immediate withdraw effects after missing one dose. Weaned maybe to fast. Starting Early October, 2011, I went from 60 mg to 40 mg/day for 2 weeks then 20 mg/day for 2 weeks to 0. Within 2 days of 0 Cymbalta my life changed in ways that I am afraid I will never get back. I had intense rage, panic, tremor, dizziness (which was mildly helped with over the counter dramamine). In addition I had trouble getting words out and many moments of disassociation. On top of it all, during the time I was weaning, I started having constant pain in my pain and hip. I went to see multiple specialists (ortho, neuro and spine), had 2 MRI's, went to physical therapy and a chiropractor. Not one specialist can find a cause for my pain. The Neurologist did convince me to at least go back on a SSRI (instead of an SSNRI) and I agreed (I'm scared.... I'm a mother of 3 - a 22 year old, a 21 year old with autism and a 13 year old with anger problems. I am also a wife a a man with Muscular Dystrophy. I am the sole financial provider) to Prozac 20 mg/d. The crying spells continue (call it guilt of all that is going on in my household - not being able to mentally handle it) and the pain continues. My daughter is to the point where she doesn't know if she wants her son left with me because of my nerves (I don't blame her). My next step is a pain management specialist. I have yet started taking any narcotic pain meds cause (being in the healthcare field myself), I know the stigma behind it. I'm scared and I really need support.

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  • Administrator
On 3/13/2021 at 8:43 PM, autimom4ever said:

2 years after stopping klonipin I felt ready to taper the gabapentin. I did so over 2 years.  Last dose was in Sept, 2020.  I did fine with the taper and was ok until 6 weeks off.  Then the withdrawal hit.  The symptoms were the same as benzo withdrawal.  I had to stop work yet again. Day in and day out akasthesia, agitation, fatigue, weakness, nausea, lost a lot of weight, pain.   
 

3 days ago (5 mo out), I was driving around looking for a place to die.   It was then I decided I needed to reinstate.  I did so and now I’m feeling defeated.  I’m a little better but not great.  Still some anxiety, weakness and restlessness. 

 

@autimom4ever, please note I moved this post from the new thread you started. Please continue to use this thread to ask questions about your taper. That way all of your information is in the same place.

 

Please give us more information about your gabapentin taper - how fast your monthly reductions were, what your last dose was, etc. And also, how much you reinstated. 

 

I wouldn't feel defeated. It sounds like you learned about tapering and reinstating and did what you needed to do. Now let's figure out the best path forward. 

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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Thank you for your response. 
 

Looking back, I have been taking gabapentin on and off since 2012 but more consistently since 2015.  In 2015 prescribed for klonipin withdrawal upwards of 2400 mg but mainly 300 mg a day.  I tapered super slow over 2 years, didn’t have much trouble at all tapering.  I felt good when I jumped from 15-20 mg but got hit about 6 weeks out.  
 

severe restlessness 

agitation 

fatigue and muscle weakness 

nausea, can barely eat.  
 

I made it 5 1/2 mo and reinstated 300 mg.  I did this a week ago and can’t seem to stabilize.   My life is so upside down again.  
 

im actually going to ATMC. I Haven’t read many good things about them on here but I went to them in 2012 for cymbalta.  They really helped then (but I was also taking gabapentin and klonipin at the time). 
 

im so sick of this lifetime of medication withdrawals. 
 

Thank you for any help 

Becky

 

After taking Cymbalta 60 mg/day for 5 years for generalized anxiety disorder, decided to wean due to immediate withdraw effects after missing one dose. Weaned maybe to fast. Starting Early October, 2011, I went from 60 mg to 40 mg/day for 2 weeks then 20 mg/day for 2 weeks to 0. Within 2 days of 0 Cymbalta my life changed in ways that I am afraid I will never get back. I had intense rage, panic, tremor, dizziness (which was mildly helped with over the counter dramamine). In addition I had trouble getting words out and many moments of disassociation. On top of it all, during the time I was weaning, I started having constant pain in my pain and hip. I went to see multiple specialists (ortho, neuro and spine), had 2 MRI's, went to physical therapy and a chiropractor. Not one specialist can find a cause for my pain. The Neurologist did convince me to at least go back on a SSRI (instead of an SSNRI) and I agreed (I'm scared.... I'm a mother of 3 - a 22 year old, a 21 year old with autism and a 13 year old with anger problems. I am also a wife a a man with Muscular Dystrophy. I am the sole financial provider) to Prozac 20 mg/d. The crying spells continue (call it guilt of all that is going on in my household - not being able to mentally handle it) and the pain continues. My daughter is to the point where she doesn't know if she wants her son left with me because of my nerves (I don't blame her). My next step is a pain management specialist. I have yet started taking any narcotic pain meds cause (being in the healthcare field myself), I know the stigma behind it. I'm scared and I really need support.

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  • 1 month later...

If you could review my past posts I would appreciate it.  I’m to weak to write all of it over again.  
 

im back on gabapentin 400 a day 100/100/200.  I’m also on visteral 50 at night. 
 

my symptoms have not improved and I’m scared.   
 

very fatigued and weak 

adrenaline / panic 

dehydrated easy so I drink a lot of water with Himalayan sea salt 

dizzy with standing

reactive hypoglycemia 

0 stress tolerance 

weight down a lot 

 

sort of like I’m in adrenal fatigue.  
 

I cannot tolerate any supplements. 
 

 
Am I going to make it through this ?

 

Becky

 

After taking Cymbalta 60 mg/day for 5 years for generalized anxiety disorder, decided to wean due to immediate withdraw effects after missing one dose. Weaned maybe to fast. Starting Early October, 2011, I went from 60 mg to 40 mg/day for 2 weeks then 20 mg/day for 2 weeks to 0. Within 2 days of 0 Cymbalta my life changed in ways that I am afraid I will never get back. I had intense rage, panic, tremor, dizziness (which was mildly helped with over the counter dramamine). In addition I had trouble getting words out and many moments of disassociation. On top of it all, during the time I was weaning, I started having constant pain in my pain and hip. I went to see multiple specialists (ortho, neuro and spine), had 2 MRI's, went to physical therapy and a chiropractor. Not one specialist can find a cause for my pain. The Neurologist did convince me to at least go back on a SSRI (instead of an SSNRI) and I agreed (I'm scared.... I'm a mother of 3 - a 22 year old, a 21 year old with autism and a 13 year old with anger problems. I am also a wife a a man with Muscular Dystrophy. I am the sole financial provider) to Prozac 20 mg/d. The crying spells continue (call it guilt of all that is going on in my household - not being able to mentally handle it) and the pain continues. My daughter is to the point where she doesn't know if she wants her son left with me because of my nerves (I don't blame her). My next step is a pain management specialist. I have yet started taking any narcotic pain meds cause (being in the healthcare field myself), I know the stigma behind it. I'm scared and I really need support.

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  • Moderator

The previous post was moved to your intro topic to keep your history all in one place.  Please post all your questions and discussion of your personal situation in this one thread so that we can best help you.  Thank you. 

Edited by getofflex

I'm taking things day by day, so may or may not be able to answer questions. 

 

Do not private message me. Please do not tag me unless it's an urgent question about tapering or reinstating.

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all.  
 

Im 9 years off cymbalta, 5 years off klonipin. It took me 18 mo to recover from klonipin wd.    I was prescribed visteral and gabapentin to stop the klonipin in 2016.  In late 2018 I felt well and started to taper gabapentin 300 mg a day and visteral 25 mg a day.  The 2 year taper went well.  I was working well, volunteering and exercising regularly.   I stopped both in Sept 2020.  
 

In December I crashed.  All the symptoms I had in benzo withdrawal came back in full force.  Panic, akasthesia, extreme weight loss, nausea, weakness and fatigue, dizziness, unable to to eat much, etc.  I restarted the visteral at 50 mg pretty quick but tried to hold off on restarting the gabapentin.  
 

I became suicidal and my doc recommended I restart the gabapentin.  I did so but then I went to Arizona to try to stop with supplements again.  It didn’t work.    
 

So I’m home now and still have many of the symptoms.   The only thing thats left is the nausea and akasthesia.   
 

ive had a Dutch test that shows my adrenals are flat line in am and high in pm.  My female hormones are all over the place
My thyroid - my T4 doesn’t seem to be converting to T3 but I cannot tolerate t3. 
 

im on HRT and thyroid med. 

 

im losing hope.  
 

Am I having symptoms of kindling? Hormone imbalance?  Adrenals?  
 

Has anyone had a similar story and heal?

 

please help 

Becky

 

After taking Cymbalta 60 mg/day for 5 years for generalized anxiety disorder, decided to wean due to immediate withdraw effects after missing one dose. Weaned maybe to fast. Starting Early October, 2011, I went from 60 mg to 40 mg/day for 2 weeks then 20 mg/day for 2 weeks to 0. Within 2 days of 0 Cymbalta my life changed in ways that I am afraid I will never get back. I had intense rage, panic, tremor, dizziness (which was mildly helped with over the counter dramamine). In addition I had trouble getting words out and many moments of disassociation. On top of it all, during the time I was weaning, I started having constant pain in my pain and hip. I went to see multiple specialists (ortho, neuro and spine), had 2 MRI's, went to physical therapy and a chiropractor. Not one specialist can find a cause for my pain. The Neurologist did convince me to at least go back on a SSRI (instead of an SSNRI) and I agreed (I'm scared.... I'm a mother of 3 - a 22 year old, a 21 year old with autism and a 13 year old with anger problems. I am also a wife a a man with Muscular Dystrophy. I am the sole financial provider) to Prozac 20 mg/d. The crying spells continue (call it guilt of all that is going on in my household - not being able to mentally handle it) and the pain continues. My daughter is to the point where she doesn't know if she wants her son left with me because of my nerves (I don't blame her). My next step is a pain management specialist. I have yet started taking any narcotic pain meds cause (being in the healthcare field myself), I know the stigma behind it. I'm scared and I really need support.

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