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Kristin: Off My Cocktail, WIthdrawal Symptoms


Kristin

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I am trying to focus for long enough to write a detailed history, but that seems impossible given my current distractibility and my 17 year history with these drugs...

 

Strong family history of depression including suicide and alcoholism both maternally and paternally.

Started Effexor at age 15, prescribed by psychiatrist following mild depression.

Off Effexor at about age 18 for 5 years, no meds. Low energy and mood for this time period which also included some traumatic life events and very unhappy relationship.

Extreme weight gain (~100 lbs) during this time.

Went back on Effexor at age 23, prescribed by my PCP. Continued experiencing some depressive symptoms and higher dosage prescribed.

In a very unhappy relationship since age 18, but married at age 25 regardless.

Hospitalized for 1 week at age 27, extremely suicidal. Medications changed to include Cymbalta 120 mg and Risperdal, as well as sleep aid Trazadone. Bi-polar diagnosis because of racing suicidal thoughts, though I have never experience a high-energy manic state as I typically think of it.

Begin seeing a psychiatrist and therapist regularly.

Over 4 years, several med changes/ adjustments (Geodon, Abilify, sleep aid Ambien) Gained more weight, highest weight 362 lbs.

Hospitalized again in Feb. 2009 at age 29 in psychiatric hospital, followed by separation and divorce that year.

Reached medication dosages of 60 mg Cymbalta and 30 mg Abilify.

Gastric Bypass in August 2009. Continued psych meds and don't seem to have any difficult "absorbing" them, which can be a problem after this surgery.

Feeling very positive with no signs of mood disorder for 2.5 years now since end of previous marriage.

Stopped therapy about a year ago.

Weight fluctuations still an issue. Lost over 100 lbs. total but have gained some back.

 

Now 32 yrs. old and I am engaged and getting married in Sept, would like to start a family soon thereafter. Approached my psychiatrist about this 1.5 months ago and felt I should stay on all meds including sky-high dose of anti-psychotic Abilify and be considered a "high-risk" pregnancy. I and my fiance disagree, so I decided to try to taper off my meds.

 

I seem to have gone about it completely wrong, unfortunately, without the support of my Dr.

 

I tapered off Abilify first for about 1 month and actually felt no withdrawal at all. 2 weeks ago I started taking Cymbalta on alternating days with milder withdrawal. 4 days ago stopped completely and I am experiencing the following:

 

- Trouble concentrating

- Sensitivity to light or sound

- Dizziness

- Diarrhea

- Vomiting

- Nausea

- Mood swings/crying

- Sleep problems

- Change in appetite

- Restlessness

- Racing Thoughts, especially at night

 

Luckily I am on vacation from work last week and this week, which is partially why I decided to do this now. I should mention that I met my fiance overseas and he won't be here with me until August, so I am doing this mostly on my own.

 

I have also stopped taking Ambien because 2 weeks ago I woke up in the night to go to the bathroom and was very confused and took a wrong turn, falling down an entire flight of stairs head over heels. I am very banged up and bruised and sore from that fall, though luckily did not have any broken bones or a concussion.

 

I can't seem to find any good answers on how long the withdrawal symptoms will last; I've read everything from a few days to months???

 

I truly believe a great deal of my depression in the past was situational and I have never believed that the bipolar diagnosis is accurate. I think a great deal of my weight gain and related health problems over the years (was pre-diabetic, sleep apnea, etc. when I was at my heaviest) were due to the high doses of medications that I have been taking for so long.

 

Despite the withdrawal symptoms I am feeling overall positive and optimistic! I find myself getting weepy over silly things on TV these past few days, but I don't feel depressed. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist next month. I feel conflicted about it because I know he doesn't agree with my decision.

 

This has taken me all morning to write after sleeping for a restless 4 hours. Thanks for listening and I appreciate any input!

Past meds: Effexor, Risperdal, Trazadone, Geodon, Ambien, Klonopin

5/2012 Taper off 30 mg Abilify, no symptoms

6/2012 Discontinue Ambien

6/2012 Taper off 60 mg Cymbalta, withdrawal symptoms

6/25/2012 Start 10 pellets Cymbalta daily

7/3/2012 8 pellets Cymbalta

 

My Introduction

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Hi Kristin,

 

I just wanted to stop by and welcome you. Your "hellride" through years of psych drugs is what many of us here have faced.

 

You will find much support on this site. Other members will be responding to your introduction shortly and offer assistance.

 

:) Many Hugs, Annej

My Intro
2000-Effexor and Klonopin
April 2011- C/T Adderall, lithium, Seroquel, Lunesta; Pristiq and Klonopin cut by 1/2 due to med-induced "rapid cycling"
May 2011- Pristiq/Lexapro bridge/taper
June, 2011- K cut to 0.5 mg (doctor)
July 18, 2011 - Lexapro done
October 2011- K taper started
Jan, 2012- Off K, Remeron started -bad idea
March 2012- Horrific Tardive Akathisa/TD (Dx: TA versus withdrawal akathisia secondary to K w/d)
May 2012- Reinstatement of K
Current Psych Meds: Klonopin 2 mg + Propanolol 15 mg and titrating up
As of June 2013: TA gone or suppressed - struggling with tolerance to benzos - beta blocker helping

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Hi and welcome...

 

You are in the right place. Believe me, we can relate. There are many posts here about tapering Cymbalta. Abilify is in here too.

 

What I have learned is that tapering slowly and dropping the dose is best done very small cuts in dose using a liquid if possible. After a cut in dose, WD symptoms set in and it's best to wait till they subside, give yourself a breather and don't drop again for 3-4 weeks.

 

I am sorry I don't know the method for tapering Cymbalta, however Alto will tell you how along with others who are doing it.

 

Nikki

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Thanks so much for the kind and welcoming words, Annej and Nikki!

 

It seems everyone here has a unique story. It certainly helps to browse around and realize I am not totally alone in this. :) Only my fiance knows the specifics of what I'm doing right now, because I feel like I will panic my family members if I tell them since they know that it's been a long and windy road for me.

 

I do think I need to reach out and have find some more support, which is why I'm here!

 

Thanks again. :)

 

Kristin

Past meds: Effexor, Risperdal, Trazadone, Geodon, Ambien, Klonopin

5/2012 Taper off 30 mg Abilify, no symptoms

6/2012 Discontinue Ambien

6/2012 Taper off 60 mg Cymbalta, withdrawal symptoms

6/25/2012 Start 10 pellets Cymbalta daily

7/3/2012 8 pellets Cymbalta

 

My Introduction

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Hi Kristin, welcome to the forum.

 

If I were in your position I would get back on the cymbalta and stabilise. Then taper slowly - 10% every 3-6 weeks.

 

You could try and "weather the storm" but that could lead to long protracted w/d.

2003-2011: Paroxetine,Citalopram,Effexor; Aug/Sept 2011: Effexor to Mirtazapine; Oct 2011: C/T Mirtazapine back to Effexor; Nov/Dec 2011: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell; Feb 2012: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg; June 2012: Dropped to 35.6mg; Jan 2016: Propranolol 2.5mg per day for general anxiety; Feb 2016: Finasteride 0.25mg per week to slow hair loss; 18th May - 8th June 2019: Started Vyvanse 7.5mg and increased by 7.5mg weekly to 30mg (lowest “therapeutic” dose for adults).; 21st June 2019 - 12th July: Cross tapered from venlafaxine brand Rodomel to Efexor (1/4 > 1/2 > 3/4 weekly before ditching Rodomel); 13th July 2019: Cut Vyvanse dose to 15mg; 15th July 2019: Akathisia returned after years of being free; 16th July 2019: Went back up to Vyvanse 30mg

Supplements: Omega-3, Vitamin D, Zinc, Phosphatidylserine 

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  • Administrator

Hello, Kristin, welcome to our community.

 

Very sorry you've been through so much, and at such excessive dosages.

 

How long have you been off Abilify? Ambien? Cymbalta?

 

How is your sleeping?

 

We are seeing Cymbalta is in the hall of fame as far as difficulty in withdrawal goes.

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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Hello, Kristin, welcome to our community.

 

Very sorry you've been through so much, and at such excessive dosages.

 

How long have you been off Abilify? Ambien? Cymbalta?

 

How is your sleeping?

 

We are seeing Cymbalta is in the hall of fame as far as difficulty in withdrawal goes.

 

Hi Alto,

 

Abilify -- I've been off of it completely for about 2 weeks. Didn't feel any withdrawal (besides some mild insomnia) during a fairly quick taper over 6ish weeks.

 

Ambien -- I haven't it taken regularly for 6 months or so. Was taking as needed, maybe 1-2 times a week, until the fall 2 weeks ago when I stopped completely.

 

Cymbalta -- this is about my 4th or 5th day off and having all the withdrawal symptoms I listed. Feeling pretty awful but I'm very reluctant to take any...

 

I feel so frustrated and angry that I was advised to put these harsh and addictive substances in my body for so long and at such high doses. Maybe I am feeling too emotional right now and not making a rational decision about tapering off more slowly... I wish I had done some more research before I started this process, I think I would have approached it more systematically and slowly. But, now that I am a few days in I really don't want to go backwards.

Past meds: Effexor, Risperdal, Trazadone, Geodon, Ambien, Klonopin

5/2012 Taper off 30 mg Abilify, no symptoms

6/2012 Discontinue Ambien

6/2012 Taper off 60 mg Cymbalta, withdrawal symptoms

6/25/2012 Start 10 pellets Cymbalta daily

7/3/2012 8 pellets Cymbalta

 

My Introduction

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  • Administrator

You have withdrawal symptoms from Cymbalta. This is a difficult drug to go off.

 

For many people, withdrawal symptoms clear up within a few months. Others have symptoms for much longer. For these people, they can get worse after a few weeks or months.

 

You don't know which group you're in until you find you are very, very ill.

 

I suggest you go back on a very small amount of Cymbalta, say, 10 pellets per day (open up a capsule). See if this helps. If it does, do this for 3 weeks.

 

Then, taper slowly off those 10 little pellets, one pellet at a time. Your body will tell you how fast you can go. It could be 1 pellet every 4 days or 1 pellet every 4 weeks.

 

Withdrawal symptoms are your nervous system's way of telling you to slow down.

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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Thanks so much for the advice... what you said makes a lot of sense to me. I just took 10 pellets and am hoping that will help with the withdrawal symptoms.

 

Talked at length with both my fiance and my father today. Both were very supportive so I'm feeling better about this.

 

I will keep updating. :)

Past meds: Effexor, Risperdal, Trazadone, Geodon, Ambien, Klonopin

5/2012 Taper off 30 mg Abilify, no symptoms

6/2012 Discontinue Ambien

6/2012 Taper off 60 mg Cymbalta, withdrawal symptoms

6/25/2012 Start 10 pellets Cymbalta daily

7/3/2012 8 pellets Cymbalta

 

My Introduction

Link to comment

Day 2 on 10 pellets Cymbalta. Feeling much better than I did yesterday morning this time. Physically still having some withdrawal symptoms like diarrhea and nausea, but emotionally I feel much less volatile.

 

Still didn't sleep much last night, about 4 hours. I can't seem to stay asleep for more than 2 hours at a time. Considering taking a small does of Melatonin tonight and seeing if that helps.

 

Here's to today being better than yesterday and tomorrow being better than today!

Past meds: Effexor, Risperdal, Trazadone, Geodon, Ambien, Klonopin

5/2012 Taper off 30 mg Abilify, no symptoms

6/2012 Discontinue Ambien

6/2012 Taper off 60 mg Cymbalta, withdrawal symptoms

6/25/2012 Start 10 pellets Cymbalta daily

7/3/2012 8 pellets Cymbalta

 

My Introduction

Link to comment

The mornings definitely seem to be the worst part of the day... This evening was lovely so I went for a 3 mile walk around the neighborhood and am feeling actually pretty darn good right now. Of course, I should be getting sleepy by now and am not at all. I think I will try the melatonin and see if it helps.

Past meds: Effexor, Risperdal, Trazadone, Geodon, Ambien, Klonopin

5/2012 Taper off 30 mg Abilify, no symptoms

6/2012 Discontinue Ambien

6/2012 Taper off 60 mg Cymbalta, withdrawal symptoms

6/25/2012 Start 10 pellets Cymbalta daily

7/3/2012 8 pellets Cymbalta

 

My Introduction

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Also try turning off lights at sundown, Kristin. Your natural melatonin production is triggered by the dark.

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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Thanks, Alto. I did just that last night and it seemed to help a lot. I actually got about 6 hours of decent quality sleep in, which is much better than I have been getting. I've been walking every day for an hour or more, which I think is helping boost my mood and make me more tired at night. Actually, now that I think of it, I walked earlier in the day yesterday. I think maybe that helped my body relax and sort of re-set itself in time for bed around 10 pm.

Past meds: Effexor, Risperdal, Trazadone, Geodon, Ambien, Klonopin

5/2012 Taper off 30 mg Abilify, no symptoms

6/2012 Discontinue Ambien

6/2012 Taper off 60 mg Cymbalta, withdrawal symptoms

6/25/2012 Start 10 pellets Cymbalta daily

7/3/2012 8 pellets Cymbalta

 

My Introduction

Link to comment

Kristen...

 

So glad you have been able to get this sorted out with Alto behind you. Stay in touch....

 

Hugs

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

Link to comment

Feeling good enough after 1 week on 10 pellets Cymbalta that I have started slowly tapering down today... I feel fine today and hope to have another good day tomorrow.

 

On a side note, I've lost about 10 pounds in the last month since stopping Abilify. I find that I'm not hungry all day as I have been for the past 10+ years! I feel like a normal person again, which is great. but it's a big adjustment.

Past meds: Effexor, Risperdal, Trazadone, Geodon, Ambien, Klonopin

5/2012 Taper off 30 mg Abilify, no symptoms

6/2012 Discontinue Ambien

6/2012 Taper off 60 mg Cymbalta, withdrawal symptoms

6/25/2012 Start 10 pellets Cymbalta daily

7/3/2012 8 pellets Cymbalta

 

My Introduction

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Kristin, reducing 2 pellets from 10 pellets is a 20% decrease. I hope you don't feel that.

 

Please reduce by only one pellet at a time and hold at least two weeks between reductions. Withdrawal symptoms may start up and you'll want to slow down tapering or even go back a little in dosage.

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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