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Sara5: Cymbalta / duloxetine taper


Sara5

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Hi Everyone, 

My intro will be brief and I will add to it later :) .  I am 37 and have been on antidepressants since age 19.  I have tried to quit them before, multiple times.  I have been on Cymbalta for over 5 years, and during the last four months or so I have tapered from 60mg to 30mg.  I am working with an ND during this process.  Four days ago I went down from 35mg to 30mg, and I have been feeling depressed and an increase of negative /intrusivethoughts, but this is also the beginning of PMS time for me, and these are the symptoms that also worsen during PMS in my case.

 

I hope to find support and ideas here.  I am a drug and alcohol counselor and I know I have to reach out for help just like I instruct my patients to do.  

 

Back to work now, talk to you all soon!

Zoloft 2000-2012

No meds 2012-2014 while I was addicted to Methamphetamine.

Cymbalta/duloxotine 2014-2019, curently tapered from 60mg to 30mg.

Gabapentin 2014-2019, tapered to zero at the beginning of 2019.

Hydroxyzine 2014-2019, currently take one only when super itchy about 1x per week.

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Sara5.  I'm sorry you're having these symptoms.  You will find many supportive and knowledgeable members and moderators here to help you in your taper

 

You're tapering a bit faster than we recommend, which is is no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  It's especially important to taper slowly at the lower doses.

 

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

This link is specifically about tapering Cymbalta.

 

Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)

 

Depression and negative intrusive thought are common withdrawal symptoms and indicate that you're likely tapering too fast.

You might want to consider slowing your taper down a bit.  You might also want to hold for perhaps a month to let your central nervous system catch up and allow your symptoms to diminish.

 

 
 
When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
These explain it really well:

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  Rhiannon said: 
When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA (which may differ from your ND's approach), as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions, post updates and connect with other members. We're glad you found your way here.
 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Aug. 5, 2022: 4.3mg

Taper is 77% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


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 Gridly!  My plan had been to stay at 30mg for two months, then go down to 20mg.  My new plan after reading on this site today is to stay at 30mg for 1-2 months, then reduce by 10% of current dose per month as recommended.  I work in a methadone clinic and fully understand the concept of a slowwww, lonnnng taper.   Also, I do take magnesium and fish oil already, as well as a host of other supplements and vitamins that I've been taking for almost a year for other medical conditions.

Zoloft 2000-2012

No meds 2012-2014 while I was addicted to Methamphetamine.

Cymbalta/duloxotine 2014-2019, curently tapered from 60mg to 30mg.

Gabapentin 2014-2019, tapered to zero at the beginning of 2019.

Hydroxyzine 2014-2019, currently take one only when super itchy about 1x per week.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Sara5: Cymbalta / duloxetine taper

Topic title:  Cymbalta (duloxetine) Taper Causing Weight Gain

 

I just want to know if anyone else here experiences weight GAIN, not loss, from tapering Cymbalta (duloxetine).  This has always been my case.  I also used to take Zoloft (sertraline), which did not cause me weight gain.  Judging by what I am reading on here, it seems I am the exception rather than the rule in terms of antidepressants not causing me weight gain?  What could be the reason for this?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

Zoloft 2000-2012

No meds 2012-2014 while I was addicted to Methamphetamine.

Cymbalta/duloxotine 2014-2019, curently tapered from 60mg to 30mg.

Gabapentin 2014-2019, tapered to zero at the beginning of 2019.

Hydroxyzine 2014-2019, currently take one only when super itchy about 1x per week.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

2 Intro topics merged - each member has only 1 Intro topic, which keeps a member's history and information in one place

 

weight-gain-weight-loss-appetite-changes-hunger

 

There are many existing topics on SA.  You can either use the site search function or a search engine and add survivingantidepressant.org to the search term.

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/11/2019 at 9:07 AM, Sara5 said:

Topic title:  Cymbalta (duloxetine) Taper Causing Weight Gain

 

I just want to know if anyone else here experiences weight GAIN, not loss, from tapering Cymbalta (duloxetine).  This has always been my case.  I also used to take Zoloft (sertraline), which did not cause me weight gain.  Judging by what I am reading on here, it seems I am the exception rather than the rule in terms of antidepressants not causing me weight gain?  What could be the reason for this?

 

Hi Sara.  Yes, I've gained 15 pounds since tapering Cymbalta.  I've been on ADs for many years (they never helped my depression which is situation-based) and didn't have a weight problem until tapering Cymbalta.  It's weird....I wonder why?

 

My taper is brutal although I'm going very slowly....decreasing 1 bead per week....and am down to 42 beads/8 mg from 60 mg about 19 months ago.  I still have 1 to 2 years to go as I have to slow down the lower in dose that I get.  I'm housebound as it's too unpleasant to try to socialize with anyone.  The dread, doom, depression and insomnia are horrific.  I often go 36+ hours with no sleep....it's bizarre and is getting worse as the taper progresses.  Also, I'm 66 years old, so wonder if healing will happen for me.  

 

Of course, cold turkeys are not recommended, but slow tapers can be indescribably brutal, too, with just as many withdrawal symptoms. 

 

You're young so you'll probably heal just fine.  

 

2016-Aug-Prescribed 2 mg Ativan & 10 mg Ambien; Oct-c/o from 20 mg Lexapro to 60 mg Cymbalta; Nov-Dec-Tapered off 10 mg Ambien    

2017-Jan-Feb c/o from 1.75 mg Ativan to 13 mg Valium & begin daily liquid micro taper; May-taper Cymbalta 60 mg to 48 mg with severe withdrawals.  Begin 11 month Cymbalta hold.

2018-Jan 11 completed Valium taper; Apr-Resume Cymbalta taper.  Interval dose progress: Apr 43 mg; May 40 mg; Jul 35 mg; Sep 29 mg; Dec 21 mg; 

2019- Apr 14 mg; Jun 11 mg; Aug 9 mg; Oct 7 mg; Nov 6 mg

2020-Jan 5.2 mg; Feb 4.8 mg; Mar 4.3 mg; Apr 3.9 mg; May 3.5 mg; Jun 3.3 mg; Jul 2.9 mg; Aug 2.7 mg; 28 Sep 2.4 mg/12 beads; 25 Oct 2.2 mg/11 beads; 22 Nov 2.0 mg/10 beads; 20 Dec 1.8 mg/9 beads

2021- 17 Jan 1.6 mg/8 beads; 14 Feb 1.4 mg/7 beads; 18 Mar 1.2 mg/6 beads; 18 Apr 1.0 mg/5 beads; 16 May

0.8 mg/4 beads; 13 Jun 0.6 mg/3 beads; 11 Jul 0.5 mg/2 beads; 8 Aug .03 mg/1 bead; 5 Sep 0 mg.

Brutal, agonizing, slow 4.5 year Cymbalta taper completed as of 5 Sep 2021.  100% psych drug free.  

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Sara5

 

Welcome - and I am another duloxetine warrior.

 

I came off about CT in December 2018 from 20 mg - following a CT last summer (20 mg) and reinstatement (20 mg) about a month later. I have had a long list of WD symptoms and don't know if my weight gain since January has been due to eating more or WD from the drug.   

 

I would add that my appetite changes from day to day - as do the foods I want to eat. Even though calories in / calories out is how weight is determined - I do find that my appetite waxes and wanes. Before the taper I found myself to be less hungry in general.

 

I have been on duloxetine since 2015. Prior to that I have been on ADs for 15-17 years (I can't actually recall!), mostly SSRIs. Also take clonazepam for anxiety.

 

I can write more about my experience and current situation cymbalta. 

 

@gardenlady@Sara5

Have you been counting caloric intake?   Or waht you are eating and portion size?

 

Have you experienced increases in appetite?

 

I used to document what I was eating - so I knew what I was getting (ie., for maintaining my weight). I retired the scale and will bring it out of mothballs and start documenting intake again. ;)

 

Again - Sara, welcome.

Giuilietta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am on a slow taper and my appetite in general has increased as the dose has gotten lower.  In general I am craving things that temporarily boost serotonin like sugar and carbs, chips, comfort foods.  I am convinced it's also doing whacky things to my hormones.  Cystic acne that I always get before my cycle has become increasingly worse and worse, at all times of the month (but most severe at period time).  I have done research and there are a small percentage of others who experience terrible acne as during and for months after cymbalta taper.  My moods are up and down.  They are at their worst from ovulation through the first few days of my period, which is something I have always dealt with and cymbalta (and previously to that Zoloft) helped with.  Now it's just magnified. 

 

I am thinking about getting my hormones tested at my Naturopath next week and she has mentioned certain herbs that can help with depression during my taper, but I hesitate to add new treatments at this time because of all the advice on here.  If cymbalta is affecting my hormones then I dont see how testing in the middle of a long taper is going to establish a clear baseline from which to prescribe treatment.  However, if something can help me not suffer so much, that would be awesome and I wont know if I dont try. 😕

 

Also, I know exactly how I need to eat and how it will help with my mood, but lately I just have not been able to stick with it!  And I also know how much foods impact my hormonal troubles and inflammation, so it's even more frustrating that I keep giving into the cravings.

 

Lastly, I have other health problems and it's often hard to know what's caused by what since this dumb taper affects EVERYTHING.  

 

I would love to hear more about your experience/journey!

Zoloft 2000-2012

No meds 2012-2014 while I was addicted to Methamphetamine.

Cymbalta/duloxotine 2014-2019, curently tapered from 60mg to 30mg.

Gabapentin 2014-2019, tapered to zero at the beginning of 2019.

Hydroxyzine 2014-2019, currently take one only when super itchy about 1x per week.

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I'd just like to say congratulations on kicking Crystal Meth. Its a hard beast to kick.

 

Unfortunately its hard to come up with parallels for something like meth and cymbalta withdrawal. I guess both can make one very depressed and both require a certain amount of forward planning to get off of. With antidepressants you just have to go a stupidly slow as possible. If it takes 3 or 4 years thats how long it takes. Try to go slower and hold for longer the closer you get to the end. Slowly slowly catchy monkey 🙊 

 

 

Citalopram. Briefly early twenties, no ill effects seemingly. Don't remember dose.

 

Sertraline on and off for ten years.  I was ignorant and started and stopped frequently. Doses of 50, 75 and 100. I can not recall/did not record dates prior to 2018.

 

JANUARY 2018: Last period of use was was 150mg of sertraline on 14/01/18  (which triggered extreme depression and anxiety that never settled, amongst other symptoms). I then tapered to 100mg in March (15/03/18), then down to 75mg in April(01/04/18) , 50mg later (11/04/18) 25mg in May  (16/05/18),  and was at 0mg in June (02/06/18).

 

Mirtazapine 15mg 01/08/18- 02/10/18, 15mg (6 weeks at 15mg the two week taper). - caused deeply unpleasant waves of extreme anxiety, depression, zombie state and mania.

 

Still on 40mg of Propranolol twice a day since April 2018. Supplements: Fish oil, Magnesium, Vit B6

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  • Moderator
On 10/11/2019 at 4:47 PM, Sara5 said:

 

I am thinking about getting my hormones tested at my Naturopath next week and she has mentioned certain herbs that can help with depression during my taper, but I hesitate to add new treatments at this time because of all the advice on here.  If cymbalta is affecting my hormones then I dont see how testing in the middle of a long taper is going to establish a clear baseline from which to prescribe treatment.  However, if something can help me not suffer so much, that would be awesome and I wont know if I dont try. 😕

 

Hi Sara!

 

What are the names of the herbs she mentionned ?

 

I tried several suppléments last Setpember, and I think it just made me worse. ( st John wort / saffron / rhodiola....)

 

Be careful : as it is advised here, only try really small doses of anything and one at a time. If I were you I wouldn't add anything : your body just need time.

Have you tried fish oil or magnesium?

 

Take care !

2006 : 20mg Paxil+Bromazepam. 2008 : cold turkey of both. 2010 : Reinstatement 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam.

2014-June2017 : Switch from Bromazepam to Prazepam, slow taper to 0mg.

2018 to August 2019 : Paxil 20mg taper (3% every 15 days). 22 Aug 2019 updose to 10mg (was at 8.4mg).

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paxil. 

April 2020 : Paxil 10mg to Prozac 7mg bridge. Details topic/21457

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil

Current medication :

* Diazepam  : 0.95 mg (24 April 2022) / 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

* Prozac : 6.24mg (18 July 22) / 6.44mg (22 May 22) / 6.64mg (4 Nov 21) / 6.72mg (8 oct 21) / 6.8 mg (15 Sept 21)6.88mg (14 Aug 21)/ 6.92mg (23 Jun 21)

 

I am not a professional, I don't give medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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