Jump to content
Scotteves

Scotteves: need advice for Cymbalta withdrawal

Recommended Posts

Scotteves

Hey guys I've been suffering from benzo WD for nearly 20 months now. Decided to jump off Cymbalta in July and did a slow wean from 30mg to 20mg. It hit me really bad so I moved back up to 22.5mg a couple of weeks later. 

 

What do I do from here? My nerves are completely shot from benzo and ssri withdrawal. Should I stay at 22.5mg until I stabilize? Should I go back up to 30mg? 

 

Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

I just wanted to get off of drugs altogether but I jumped the gun. I should have waited until I healed more from benzo WD. 

 

Feel very jittery at 22.5mg but not as bad as last week. My body has stabilized a bit but I'm definitely not close to normal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Please let us know how you're doing.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature This might be easier on a desktop computer.

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

Off of Ativan and currently tapering Cymbalta. 

 

20 months ago I stopped taking Ativan pretty much cold turkey after a few months of regular use. I had horrible withdrawal symptoms but started feeling better around June of this year.

 

To help deal with the benzo withdrawal which is severe, I started taking Cymbalta 30mg for about a year and a half. Even though my CNS was still extremely fragile from the benzo WD, I decided that I wanted to get off psych meds and decided to taper my Cymbalta. 

 

Right away I felt weird but I was managing. I went from 30mg to 20mg over 2.5 months. Two weeks after I went down to 20mg all hell broke loose. Severe shakyness, tremors, heart palpitations, sweats, anxiety and depression. About 3 or 4 weeks after I went down to 20mg I went back up slightly to 22.5mg where I'm staying still for a while.

 

I feel completely destroyed and helpless. Did I do the right thing by going back to 22.5mg and staying there? Will I recover from this or do I have extreme neurotoxicity from the benzos and now cymbalta?

 

Please help. 

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Scott, please see responses up above. Please follow this topic, it's where you can ask questions and track your progress.

 

Last Thursday, you said you were stabilizing. Are you feeling worse now? In what way?

 

What time of day do you take Cymbalta? What effect does it have over the next few hours? Do your symptoms follow any daily pattern?  How's your sleep? Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. Use a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right.

 

Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

Hey Alostrata. I was feeling ok for a few days but then I had some food that set me off again since Sunday. My CNS is so fragile.

 

I still feel bad at 22.5mg. Take it at 5pm every day. I don't have interdose withdrawals. I feel the same after I take my daily dose. Terrible. Should I go back to my original dose at 30mg or should I stay where I am and hope to stabilize?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

To help us out please create your drug signature.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

I just did. I thought I did before but it didn't work. I really need some help. Don't know if I can survive this.

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

I'm at 22.5mg. I'm going to see if I can go back up to 25mg and then 30mg again. Are these horror stories of updosing again overblown? Isn't that more if you've gone off the meds and go back on after time has passed?

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Do you feel terrible the same way before you take 22.5mg Cymbalta and after you take it? What do you mean by "terrible"?


What food set you off? What reaction did you get? Is it getting better or worse? Usually, this will go away in a few days.

 

If I were you, I would not jump up to 25mg. I might try 23mg Cymbalta. Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. Use a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right.

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

By terrible I mean severe anxiety, heart palpitations, nausea, sweating, tremors. 

 

The food that set me off was the same stuff that would set me off with my benzo WD - sugar (strawberries) and vitamins.

 

Why do you suggest only 23mg? That seems like too small of an increase. I no longer want to taper it. Not until I've recovered from the benzo WD. I want to go back up to 30mg if anything where I felt normal. 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

It is better to increase by a small amount and if necessary you can increase by another small amount.  It is possible to take too much and destabilise your CNS.  Please read Post #1 in this topic which is relevant to updosing as well as reinstatement:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full level in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  You will need to be patient and not panic and increase too soon.  Please keep daily symptoms notes on paper so that you can see if updosing is helping.

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

Ok thank you. Destabilizing my CNS is a bit of an understatement. It's been in chaos for 20 months.

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

@ChessieCat I know you're not a doctor but what would you do in my case? I tapered slowly from 30 to 20. Went back up to 22.5 last week, felt better for a few days and now back in hell. 

 

Should I stay where I am? Go up a little more to 25? You obviously know more about SSRI's than I do. What do you think? Keep in mind that I'm also going through terrible benzo WD. I wouldn't have reacted this way had my CNS not been so fragile from benzos. 

 

Also is it common to have severe anxiety/rage, nausea and heart palpitations?

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
5 hours ago, Scotteves said:

I tapered slowly from 30 to 20. Went back up to 22.5 last week, felt better for a few days and now back in hell. 

 

Alto has already said:

 

16 hours ago, Altostrata said:

If I were you, I would not jump up to 25mg. I might try 23mg Cymbalta.

 

 

16 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

 

This is an example:

 

6 a.m. Woke and vomited
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Had diarrhea
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Stomachache
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Headache got worse
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke with headache

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata
13 hours ago, Scotteves said:

The food that set me off was the same stuff that would set me off with my benzo WD - sugar (strawberries) and vitamins.

 

Maybe stop ingesting these?

 

Your daily symptom pattern notes will help us figure out if you're having an adverse reaction to Cymbalta as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

@Altostrata So this is how it went for me today. I have heart palpitations throughout the entire day and the nausea, dizziness,  extreme anxiety and moderate depression fluctuates. I usually feel ok in the mornings, terrible around noon which leads into the evenings, and a little better shortly before I go to bed. 

  • Woke up in the morning to my usual benzo symptoms when I'm in a setback - flashing lights when my eyes are closed and heart palpitations. 
  • I usually feel pretty good in the mornings otherwise for a few hours after I wake up. 
  • Had some eggs and 1 piece of toast with peanut butter for breakfast
  • Hell usually starts around noon no matter when or what I eat 
  • Take my cymbalta around 5. Feel no different after I take it. I don't think I feel better or worse really from what I can tell. 
  • Get my windows later at night as I did in benzo WD.

I try to eat every 3 hours. Mostly just fats and proteins. Very few carbs and sugar if any. When I went back up to 22.5mg last week I seemed to get some relief for 4 days until hell came back again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Thanks. For your daily notes, please use a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right.

 

How are you measuring your Cymbalta dose? Did you always take it at night? How's your sleep?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

Sleep is pretty good overall. It's hard to wake up some days. I get my meds from a compound pharmacy as it's impossible to measure beads here. 

 

It seems as though I feel a little weird right after I take my dose. I notice my heart palpitations more within an hour of taking it. Is that a sign of anything?

I am getting short windows of a day or two now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

I'm not sure how this forum works. I'm in such a bad state that I can't figure things out right now. I'm not stabilizing at 22.5mg after 4 weeks. My anxiety and tremors are getting worse almost. I want to move my dose back up to 30mg or close to it. How should I go about doing this?

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Please provide your daily symptoms notes.  This will allow us to assess your situation.

 

Going back to 30mg may make things worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

How do I do daily symptom notes? I can give you a brief idea.

 

I'm extremely sensitive to what I eat right now. I'll have a few days of hell - extreme agitation, shakiness, headaches, heart palps, and nausea. I usually feel a bit better in the mornings and late nights. Was having windows for a couple of days if I kept my diet very very clean. 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
On 10/20/2018 at 4:06 AM, Altostrata said:

For your daily notes, please use a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Does that compounding pharmacy put Cymbalta beads into capsules? Please phone the pharmacy to verify.

 

Do these symptoms get worse after you take Cymbalta?

 

On 10/18/2018 at 12:35 AM, Scotteves said:

By terrible I mean severe anxiety, heart palpitations, nausea, sweating, tremors. 

 

How is your sleep? We need to see your symptom pattern. Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. Use a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right.

 

You might want to go on an exclusion diet immediately, plus cut out all the histamine-containing foods -- see

 

Histamine food intolerance

 

Elimination or exclusion diets for reactions to food (food intolerance)

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

Wake up 7AM - intense heart palpitations and blurred vision upon waking. Same as when I had acute benzo WD symptoms

Breakfast 830AM- One egg and a piece of chicken. Feeling shaky but not terrible.

Lunch 12PM- Apple with peanut butter, avocado, a little bit of leftover steak

1:30PM intense wave of anxiety, shakiness, panic attacks, nausea.

4PM one rice cake with peanut butter

5PM 22.5mg of duloxetine. 

6PM Steak with avocado

8PM symptoms subsiding a bit. Anxiety not as bad.  

Sleep is better than ever. So fatigued in the mornings I can't get out of bed. I do wake up for about an hour in the middle of the night sometimes though.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

The sleep part is good news.

 

After 7 a.m., how do the symptoms subside? Do they lessen when you eat something?

 

Egg whites, avocado, leftover steak, and possibly peanut butter are all high histamine, which can cause symptoms hours later.

 

Histamine-wise, fresh chicken with rice is safe. No leftovers unless they were frozen immediately.

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

Thank you. What do you recommend I eat then beyond chicken and rice? I can only take carbs in small amounts.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata
24 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

After 7 a.m., how do the symptoms subside? Do they lessen when you eat something?

 

Why can you not eat carbs?

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

I'm assuming this is related to the benzo side of things? Carbs are high on the list of what sets us off in waves. Is it not the same for ssri's?

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Please answer

48 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

After 7 a.m., how do the symptoms subside? Do they lessen when you eat something? 

 

I think that might be a misunderstanding about carbs. In fact, looking at your symptom pattern, I think you might be suffering from low blood sugar in the morning. A way to help that is by eating complex carbs in the evening, such as potato, oatmeal, quinoa, beans etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

Ok I'll try that out. Thank you. Any advice for my dose? I'm absolutely miserable. I have a combined benzo and ssri WD at the same time. 

 

Just to reiterate I took 30mg cymbalta, weaned down to 20mg over 2.5 months or so and then went back up to 22.5mg about 3 weeks later. Ive now been at 22.5mg for nearly 4 weeks. Should I just stay here? Will I stabilize in the 4-6 week period?

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Please answer:

 

19 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Does that compounding pharmacy put Cymbalta beads into capsules? Please phone the pharmacy to verify. 

 

Do these symptoms get worse after you take Cymbalta?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

Yes. Well, I've always used the generic version, duloxetine. The compounding pharmacy says it's 100% accurate. 

 

No, they don't get worse after I take it. I take my dose at 5PM and start feeling better usually around 8 or 9. It was the same pattern I had for roughly 15 months after stopping the benzos. Feel decent in the morning, feel terrible all throughout the afternoon and start feeling better again later at night. 

Share this post


Link to post
Scotteves

Finding it hard for anyone to relate to in these forums

 

So I've been going through hell for 21 months. Had the worst benzo WD and now Cymbalta WD on top of that which just made things much worse. My already fragile state from benzos just got destroyed. Heart palps 24/7, insane anxiety, panic attacks, rage, nausea etc.

 

When I go to YouTube or these messages it seems like everyone is all better after a few weeks or a couple months at most. Is there anyone thats been though hell for years after stopping the drug? It's beyond me that anyone can think going through 2 or 3 weeks of WD is really that bad.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title to post

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
20 minutes ago, Scotteves said:

it seems like everyone is all better after a few weeks or a couple months at most.

 

It's ironic that you state that because we have members complaining that they can only find bad stories when they are looking for stories about recovery.

 

22 minutes ago, Scotteves said:

Is there anyone thats been though hell for years after stopping the drug?

 

There are many members on this site who are experiencing or have experienced bad withdrawal symptoms after stopping their drug.  Altostrata is this site's owner. 

 

On 6/10/2011 at 3:03 AM, Altostrata said:

I've still recovering, at nearly 7 years off Paxil.

 

This is her story:  ☼-about-altostrata-withdrawal-syndrome-since-2004

 

 

And a video:  Alto Strata's Paxil Prolonged Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome (8 minutes)

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

protracted-withdrawal-or-paws-post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome-how-long-does-it-last

 

Share this post


Link to post

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
×