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Baxter

Baxter: struggling with Cymbalta

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Baxter

I haven't been able to reduce my Cymbalta dose for two years because of the horrible withdrawal symptoms I have experienced with both attempts (a year apart). I spent three years dropping from 60 to 30 mg. I have pretty much given up the goal of eliminating Cymbalta - afraid to cause more damage by tapering the than that caused by continuing to take 30mg. I am unwilling to risk further trauma and drama, so I haven't tried the crossover either. Prozac was too "activating" for me in 1989. I don't think it's likely to be a solution in 2012.

 

I still have restlessness, sweats, problems with balance, an incredibly trigger-happy startle reflex and frequent headaches. After feeling progressively less brain fog during my three year taper, my cognitive processes are really abysmal at this point. I can't keep track of simple stuff, can't handle financial transactions, have problems with noise, light, just stimulus in general. And I haven't changed doses in two years.

 

I wonder, do SNRIs poop-out the way the SSRIs tend to?

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Altostrata

Googling "Cymbalta poop-out," I see some reports of it happening.

 

I wouldn't worry about it.

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Baxter

Hello. I haven't posted in years.

 

I've been stalled out at 30mgs of cymbal ta for almost five years...looong story. Im thinking that i may be ready to give getting off another try. I need a doc who will let me run my own taper. I seem to remember a topic but I can't find it. I'm in the Boston area.

 

So glad and grateful you're still here.

 

Hi to PP refugees! I was westeewoman there.

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Rhiannon

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

 

The trick to how to search this site is to skip the box at the top and just use Google. For example, I found this link above by Googling "surviving antidepressants doctor list". Works great.

 

Do you want to use this as your Intro thread? If not, we will probably move these posts. This area is for peoples' intro and update threads, to describe their history and their concerns, ask for advice, get support, etc.

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Brandy

Rhi, Baxter already has an Intro thread, I believe: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2423-baxter-struggling-with-cymbalta/

 

Baxter/westee - Nice to see you again! :)  I hope things are going well with you.

 

You might want to bookmark your Intro thread. Especially if you don't come here too often and it falls off your content list. (I bookmarked mine - saves a lot of hassle!

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Baxter

Hey Rhi and Brandy.  Thanks for the info...and the tips. I guess it would be good to merge this with my intro thread. It's a pretty disheartening to read it all...same old same old. Still stuck between taking what I'm already taking because I can't face withdrawal, and the effects of basically pooping out on cymbalta. Or it's pooping out on me. 

 

My neuro-rage and apathy are getting on the hubby's nerves. And he doesn't believe that "patients' blogs" are a reliable source of scientific information. That doctors know better, that there must be new information that will help...from the medical/scientific side of it. It's been pretty ugly lately. 

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Altostrata

Hi, Baxter! Long time no type!

 

Well, sounds like intellectual boundary issues. You go, grrrrl.

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Baxter

First posting in years. I have switched from  Cymbalta 30mg to 20mg Celexa. Hoping to get off of the Celexa eventually, but need a little guidance on how long to stabilize on Celexa before I start down. 

 

I got off of Cymbalta by adding in 20 mg Celexa, holding for two weeks, then dropping 5mg Cymbalta every two weeks. I felt very - drugged while on both and progressively more alert as I dropped the Cymbalta. I am now very inclined to fall asleep, am forgetful and having a little trouble getting the motivation to do much of anything since I finished the switch. Not surprising, I guess. 

 

I'm looking for advice about tapering now. Should I pause and let my head settle? Should I just get started? 

 

 

Edited by Baxter
lost text, when I switched windows

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Baxter

After almost 8 years of living with taking 30mg of Cymbalta, it was time to finish the taper I started in 2007. I decided that going straight off Cymbalta wasn't really a good idea, after three failures...I have the grudging acknowledgement  of my sort of ok psychiatrist that tapering to get off of Cymbalta is better than "covering the symptoms" and dropping the old AD. Here's where the story of this round begins:

 

April, 2018, while taking 30mg of Cymbalta, I added in Celexa 10mg for one week, then 20mg,  and held for two weeks. 

Cymbalta 25 mg held for two weeks

Cymbalta 20 mg held for two weeks

Cymbalta 15 mg held for two weeks

Cymbalta 10 mg held for two weeks

Cymbalta 5 mg held for two weeks

 

OFF Cymbalta  for three weeks. So glad it's done. 

 

Celexa is an AD, has all the drawbacks and issues that have been documented to smithereens in this community, but I am totally glad that I made the move. It is soluble in water so I can decrease without losing my mind with the bouncing balls of Cymbalta that contain different stuff, which made withdrawal a bit tricky.

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Gridley

You have made a lot of changes since April.  I would hold for several months to stabilize before tapering.

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Lnfrn

How did you feel while integrating the Celexa with the Cymbalta taper? I currently take 90mg and would like to wean off.

 

Edited by Altostrata
removed mod note

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Songbird

Hi, Baxter! (I remember you as westeewoman).  How are you feeling on the Celexa?  My taper was going well until 2016 when some life events sent me spiralling.  I ended up switching from paroxetine to citalopram (Celexa generic).  I've found it more subtle than paroxetine and it seems a little easier to taper.

 

I waited about five months before beginning the citalopram taper (although during that time I was also slow tapering the remaining paroxetine).  I've found I usually know when I feel ready to taper.  If I'm not sure, then I wait longer.

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Baxter

Hi Gridley and Songbird,

I feel - ok on citalopram only. I'll change my signature. I was experiencing uncontrollable sense of dread, and very brittle moods when I finally decided that changing was better than the status quo on duloxatine. I never had the courage to continue tapering after a couple of failures. 

 

At this point, I've been sleeping pretty well, working out pretty regularly, outdoors with the dogs almost every day, so I'm functioning ok. I tend to be pretty inert unless there's a specific activity, like a gym appointment, a date with friends or husband to take the dogs walking. My attention to detail and my short term memory have deteriorated since I started citalopram. Tapering the duloxatine helped with some of the zombie-like state, but since the duloxatine d/c, my motivation/organization and cooking(?!) which all slipped noticably during the cross-over, have not improved as much as I would like. Having some cortisol spikes around 4:30 AM and fall asleep in the late afternoon if I am not actually standing up or walking somewhere.

 

I think you're right. Wait a while and stabilize. Thanks for your responses. 

 

And SongBird I remember you too! Good to "see" you again!

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Songbird
On 6/25/2018 at 1:37 PM, Baxter said:

At this point, I've been sleeping pretty well, working out pretty regularly, outdoors with the dogs almost every day, so I'm functioning ok. I tend to be pretty inert unless there's a specific activity, like a gym appointment, a date with friends or husband to take the dogs walking. My attention to detail and my short term memory have deteriorated since I started citalopram. Tapering the duloxatine helped with some of the zombie-like state, but since the duloxatine d/c, my motivation/organization and cooking(?!) which all slipped noticably during the cross-over, have not improved as much as I would like. Having some cortisol spikes around 4:30 AM and fall asleep in the late afternoon if I am not actually standing up or walking somewhere.

 

Sounds quite similar to my experiences.  I've had issues with fatigue and lack of motivation, as well as problems with attention to detail and short term memory.  And pretty inert unless I have a specific activity scheduled.

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Baxter

Songbird, it's great to see your name - I remember you from PP and here...The following update is just to let moderators know what 

 

I spent a long time on 30mg duloxetine. Slowly over the years between 2010 and now, my issues with balance, headaches, hair trigger startle reaction got better. My mood and resilience were - spotty.  In 2016 my beloved friend/my person got sick, languished and died horribly. I hung out with her for the whole time. To the point that her wonderful daughters and absolutely distraught husband started counting on me to show up. My pal went through horrible symptoms, horrible tests at a big teaching hospital, tried treatment after treatment - autoimmune drugs that didn't really stop the disease process but made her sicker and sicker. She lost her health and then she lost her mind. When the hospital said she was terminal and she moved to a hospice center, she rallied a little and talked to me. She died on December 18, 2017. All the stuff that i used to do to move beyond the nasty feelings associated with my brain (on drugs, off of drugs, in withdrawal/poopout, and my basic over sensitive to stimulus CNS) stopped working because I stopped doing stuff while I sat with her and watched her disappear before my eyes. While all this was going on, I couldn't help but notice that (I promise I will not vent about it here) my country and its far from perfect democracy is crumbling into fascism. 

 

In February the feeling of impending doom and helpless, combined with increasing restlessness made me finally make a move off of the duloxetine. I felt better than I had in a long time when tapering while "covering duloxetine withdrawal" with the citalopram. Now, almost 4 weeks after stopping the duloxetine, The creeping feeling of horror is back, combined with lethargy off and on during the day. I think you're both right. Just let  my poor CNS settle down - or maybe reinstate a tiny bit of duloxetine now(?). 

 

One of the ways I coped with all the anxiety and dread was to get busy - working with my hands, reading novels, hanging with beloved friends...Basically, I cannot get busy for long enough to outdistance the horrors because of the lethargy. I am not quilting or knitting. My lovely little quilting room is just - unused. I am not sticking with books/mags for more than a few minutes. I can't meditate (it turns to rumination in about 90 seconds), but I can lie on the couch with dogs...walking outdoors seems to help some, but not enough and not for long. 

 

Counting up the good things: Great fellow quilters, lovely dogs, kind husband (still surprises me as we have been together for nine years, married for almost 7), beautiful flowers, extremely popular bird feeders, financial stability.   

 

Thanks for reading this - I will follow advice to just settle. I am so thankful that you're here.

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Songbird

Wow, you've been through a lot.  Letting this settle sounds a good idea.  I love your list of "good things".  Kind husbands are great, and pets are lovely.

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Baxter
On 6/23/2018 at 11:01 PM, Lnfrn said:

How did you feel while integrating the Celexa with the Cymbalta taper? I currently take 90mg and would like to wean off.

 

 

On 6/23/2018 at 11:01 PM, Lnfrn said:

How did you feel while integrating the Celexa with the Cymbalta taper? I currently take 90mg and would like to wean off.

 

Hi, sorry I didnt see this post.

 

I felt a little stoned, but better during the cross over. I had the support of the psychiatrist in at least changing drugs, if not getting off entirely.  90mg of cymbalta seems like a lot...If you can get the support of your prescriber for dropping the dose of the cymbalta over a couple of months, that would be great. I dropped 5mg of cymbalta every two weeks(using a jewelers scale I weighed the contents of several 30mg pills, then did the math). I was on 20mg of Celexa for two/three weeks in addition to the 30mg of cymbalta before I started to decrease the cymbalta. yYou ight be able to drop 10mg cymbalta at the beginning of your switch over. 

 

I'm on Celexa only for a little over a month. I didn't have any horrible withdrawal moments. I was feeling over-medicated until cymbalta was down to 5mg. but it was manageable. The thing is, I'm retired, no  big responsabilities or deadlines or people depending on me for anything. So your mileage may vary. 

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Baxter

Two months post cymbalta to citalopram switch. I am now on 20 mg Citalopram.  A month in, I was so lethargic and spacey that I complained to my drug provider who suggested taking 15 mg citalopram every other day and 20 mg on the alternate days. A worried friend, not experienced with AD withdrawal, poop-out, etc. suggested that I try MCT oil as well. I filled the presciption for 15mg and took one dose. I had an awful 24 hrs, returned to 20mgs. The MCT oil and/or the passage of more time seems to be helping with the stoned/spaced out sensation. Memory and energy are not what they were before the fast transition.

 

Currently I am sleeping pretty well at night, haven't woken early with cortisol spikes/sense of impending doom in a couple of weeks. I can finish more sentences/trains of thought. Am still not as alert or motivated as I would like, but I'm doing a bit better getting things done. I'm thinking that staying at 20 mgs for now is still the best plan, but wanted to drop by and record my current status. I started keeping a record of my energy level and mood pretty much daily. 

 

Maybe the fog is just lifting two months after the switch. Maybe the MCT oil (an ingredient in bulletproof coffee) is helpful. Clearly screwing around with a 25% drop in dose on alternate days is not a good plan. 

 

 

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Altostrata

Good to hear from you, Baxter. So the effect of the Celexa is better for you than that awful Cymbalta? Glad you're finally away from that stuff.

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Baxter

Alto! Good to "see" you!  Cymbalta is TRULY a horrible drug. And yes, Celexa does seem better so far. As time passes since the switch I seem to be waking up a little more.  Maybe I'll finish my taper(?). It's all about quality of life, not zero drugs for me...

 

So grateful and glad that SA is here.

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Baxter

Checking in...Motivation, organization, short term memory are still issues. But I am managing to get stuff done. My mood is pretty bleak; exercise seems to help, as does meditation. Love my flowers and my customers at the birdfeeder. REALLY miss my dear, departed friends. Sleep is ok, reading a bit more. Trying to leave my phone in another room so I do not just spend my life playing solitaire/looking a FB.

 

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Baxter

Still very low motivation, low interest, too much time on my cursed iPhone. Hubbo and I are not doing too well - cabin fever, I guess on my part. I have discovered a streak of pure meanness - and I have said some really nasty things to him unprovoked. 

 

It has rained so much that the flowers in pots and window boxes are all water logged and rotting. I feel like I am too. I have short bursts of energy and manage to get laundry and picking up done. Cooked night before last - made turkey chili, which was good. But I was aware of feeling exhausted and unwilling to soldier on while chopping one onion, one pepper, and two cloves of garlic. the lack of energy is really striking. I cannot imagine how I managed to work under the influence of these drugs. On the up side, I am not falling asleep for hours during the day. 

 

There is a new, young, female pharmacist at the CVS that I have been collecting my psych meds from since the 1990s. She has flagged my drugs and has asked questions and has offered help. She noticed the duloxetine to celexa switch, and then my feeble attempt to reduce the dose from 20 to 15mg on alternate days. (At my psychiatrist's suggestion when i could not stay awake). She mentioned liquid Celexa as a viable option as it's commonly used for children (I shudder at the thought. how is anybody's brain supposed to develop on this sh*t.) I look forward to having a liquid during my coming withdrawal.

 

And I am really looking forward to getting going on it. Under citalopram fog is a nastiness and anger - and a sense that I have wasted so much life and time on these drugs...

 

I look forward to a more positive moment some time in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

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Altostrata

Baxter! You know better than to alternate dosages!

 

Yes, the liquid citalopram will give you flexibility in dosing. You can take a 10mg tablet and the rest as liquid, that's probably the gentlest way to convert to liquid.

 

Speaking for myself, my iPhone addiction has been very, very bad for me. Just spending all that time online can drain energy. One rainy day after another can do it, too. Be sure to get some walking in even when it's pouring. Indoor shopping centers are good for this.

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Baxter

Alto - I go to the gym for high intensity interval training and cardio 3 times a week. It does help. During the horrible weather, I seem to be completely immobilized other than going to the gym. We take our lovely dogs out for walks every day when it isn't pouring or over 90 degrees. I can't overcome the inertia in the heat and humidity...keep trying, right? The mall! I never think to go there because I hate to shop. but an air conditioned stroll may be just the ticket.

 

Gridley - you are so right about the alternate day dosing. I KNEW that and gave it a try for 4 days - it predictably awful. Now I'm just trying to wake up and get going on the 20mg of citalopram...till Halloween at least.

 

Thank you guys for responding to my grumbles.

 

 

 

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Altostrata

Good to hear from you even if you're cranky!

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Baxter

Going to my first day at a department store. I decided picking up a part time job will help with the staring into space/at my phone thing...also rage from an unidentified source...Hope I can do this without embarassing myself.

 

I'm on liquid citalopram now. Citalopram apparently does NOT mix with alcohol at all, according to my current psychiatrist...much more dire warnings, descriptions of fatalities connected with mixing the two came with my prescriptions. Cardiac issues!!  The shrink has asked very pointed questions about have I had anything at all to drink at every meeting. Good to know. That was not part of the conversation when I went on Celexa back in the day. Sheesh I've been on so many drugs for so many years that I've forgotten all the details - but clearly more bad news has come out in the past 13 years. I am  some kind of test case SSRI/SNRIs can do to your personality/brain/life over the long haul.

 

Feeling anxious, jittery and worried that things will not go well. Have been really angry with my spouse, who is ok for an old white guy I guess. Our partnership is not based on equality - and he really holds the upper hand because although we live in my valuable house, he has the most income. Its a long, sad stupid story.  I expressed regret about marrying him, and he said you'd be living on the street without me. Nasty fight.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Baxter

So, four weeks later or so. Department store is helping with the staring into space/at phone thing. My sleep has been spotty though. Funny thing, DH decided to pick up a parttime job too.  We are sad beause he lost his brother - who had been really sick for a long time. So it wasn't a surprise, but we're both a bit amazed at how hard he's taking it. He comes from a huge family - and the brother who just passed lived mostly in FL, so I hardly knew him, but DH is just - sad. 

 

Otherwise, I'm ok. I've been on Celexa alone only since May. Meditating every day. Trying to stay alert to my own emotional spikes - and then observing them rather than leaping into them.. Managing ok for the moment and I am proud because I coordinated a quilt show for my guild...

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Altostrata

Hi, Baxter! Sounds like you're stabilizing on Celexa. What time of day do you take it?

 

Sorry to hear of conflict with spouse. They say disagreements over finances are a main source of marriage friction. Counseling?

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Baxter

Hi Alto - the conflicts are on hold while Neil is so sad. We're not out of sync at the moment. Also, I got a little job and am out of the house a couple o fdays per week, which is reducing the cabin fever aspect of retirement and our relationship. Just being busy and on my feet at a dumb job at a department store has been a breath of fresh air. Don't know how long it will last - the company is reallybig on shifting schedules and having rules about how much you can change your schedule after it's been assigned. The whole Kavanaugh thing had Neil's attention. It made me feel - saner. Gaslighting an entire gender is not working for the moment - god I have to be careful about the news. 

 

Meanwhile, I wake up pretty anxious/agitated. it takes a while to calm down after I get up..I take the celexa when I go to bed - by 10:30 usually. Sometimes  a bit earlier. That's how I handled Cymbalta for those many years...Any suggestions?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Baxter

I haven't been online much lately. Life has been really cluttered, busy, and tiring. I have been working on my celexa taper: 1mg per month to 16 mg since October. The first three decreases were totally uneventful, so I was hoping that I'd get down to 10 mgs pretty quickly. Alas, the last drop, from 17mg to 16 mg hasn't been smooth. I've been anxious, not inclined to socialize, no energy for activities that I have always loved...Time for a long hold, I think.

 

I am still so glad/grateful that  you guys are here. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Carmie

Hi Baxter, 

 

I’m glad to hear that you’ve had a few good drops without any severe withdrawals. I’m sorry the latest drop wasn’t as smooth and your anxiety is bad. Good ol’ chemically induced emotions. Sometimes when we get to the lower doses we need to cut down the percentage of our taper too. I can only taper by around 5% now. 

 

Good idea to have a long hold. You will stabilise again, we always do, it’s just a matter of time. Could you please update your signature. Thanks. Hope you stabilise soon. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

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Baxter

Thanks to you both, Chessie and Carmie. I fixed my signature. I'll try to stick around more so I feel the vibes. Back in the day, I was around a lot and "knew" people who were active on this site. Lurking isn't as effective.

 

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Carmie
7 hours ago, Baxter said:

Thanks to you both, Chessie and Carmie. I fixed my signature. I'll try to stick around more so I feel the vibes. Back in the day, I was around a lot and "knew" people who were active on this site. Lurking isn't as effective.

 

 

Hi Baxter, 

 

You just made me laugh out loud with your comment : “Lurking isn’t as effective.”🤣 I think it’s good to get some support while going through withdrawals, and the only people that really understand are the ones that have gone through withdrawals themselves. 

 

Wishing you all all the best with your continued healing. 💚

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Baxter

hi folks,

 

Checked  in to record my latest drop after waiting about 8 weeks between reductions.  Now I'm following up with a summary of the past two months.

 

Hubbo is working at Outdoorsy Ugly Boots and Flannel Shirts store. I am working at Plastic Clothing and Crap from China store. We do not depend upon our earnings to survive. But we ran into a few high expenses (car, dentist, car again) and decided to get off our old butts and work. we were just doing it seasonally - but both stayed on after Christmas when invited. We haven't been too successful forming a posse since we got together, so I think we've both been missing a level of socializing that come with working - anywhere.

 

Previous attempts to join the (liberal, non-sectarian, focus on social justice) Unitarian Universalist church in town didn't work out and we are not quite old enough to appreciate the Council on Aging yet.  So here we are - joining new packs. I think we both like  getting out there are friendly youngsters and funny situations...Nice little tribe action. 

 

I'm settling down after my most recent decrease. My mood and thoughts are really dark the first few days. Also a lot of fatigue and brain fog...which seems to abate somewhat after a week or so. The fog/fatigue seem to be part of the citalopram experience for me. I am finding that this drug is a real killer of creative energy, libido (what little I have), and energy in general. While at 20mg, I was so sleepy that I hardly moved. As I have crept down to 15mg over the past 5 months, I think the sluggishness is abating. So working retail is active and keeping me in motion on the days I work. But I tend to be very tired and not motivated to pursue my beloved quilting (a passion for 40 years) or my many friendships and activities connected to it. I'm just hanging in with the minimum contact at my guild and my sewing bees seem to accept that I show up empty handed as I have no projects in the works...

 

I think I'm going to stick to dropping 1 mg at a time. It is slower than the 10% recommended on this site. When/if I get down to 10mg I think I may go to .5mg drops. What's the rush, right?

 

 

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