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Bframer16: Cymbalta cold turkey


Bframer16

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I was on 60MG Cymbalta for a little over a year. I started taking it again after initially quitting a year before that cold turkey. Except the time I quit before I was prescribed 120MG dosages. I had a major panic attack a year after quitting and IMMEDIATELY jumped right back on it because that what I thought the cure was. After over a year with a great counselor who is strongly against me taking medication, I decided to start tapering. I then got Covid. After I recovered I realized that I had not taken my Cymbalta at all, and was feeling really good. I had a few really good and clear weeks, and then BOOM. WD hit me like a train. I have been having terrible DS and DR which triggers these INTENSE panic attacks that I get once or twice a day. I do take a low dosage of Xanax (0.5 MG) when I start to feel it coming on. It somewhat helps, but more than often I find myself mentally fighting for my life for 30-45 minutes. It feels like my central nervous system is being attacked. Like lighting is going through my nerves throughout my entire body. This then leaves me with what I believe is a migraine that goes from my temple area all across my forehead. Its like wearing half of a sweatband of pain. I started trying to take different supplements (fish oil, vitamin d, magnesium, and vitamin b complex) to help "balance myself out." I now know that's not a real thing. I also get massages about 4-5 times a week to help calm and level myself out so I can sleep. I go into these spells and FLIP OUT. I want to go to the hospital, hurt myself, or find ANYTHING that will end the "fit' that I go through. I finally reached out to a friend today during one of my more potent attacks and she came over and showed me this site. She has gone through the same thing I have (and you all have) with multiple medications. She is living proof that I can do this. I just need some help because NOBODY UNDERSTANDS WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH IN MY FAMILY! I DO NOT want back on Cymbalta AT ALL, but would a shorter version of tapering help me out? If I went and started taking 5-10MG and taper from there would I get a little more relief? I just really need your help and advice on HOW I am going to make it through this, what supplements should I be taking to help, what activities you all have found helpful to distract or heal the mind during this process, and whether or not I should get back on a small dosage and taper off from there. PLEASE HELP ME ANYONE! PLEASE! I am begging for your help!!! How do I do this??

2016-2018 Cymbalta 120MG & Xanax 0.5MG - Xanax is situational only for panic attacks

Stopped Cold Turkey

2020-July 2021 Cymbalta 60MG & Xanax 0.5MG - Xanax is situational only for panic attacks

Current - Xanax for situational panic attacks. Struggling from WD.

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  • Moderator

Hi Bframer, 

welcome to SA. 

 

Sorry you are feeling so horribly. One thing that we have found usually helps people after they have quit cold turkey is to reinstate a small amount of the drug - like 1mg. You will need to either dissolve your drug in liquid and measure the right amount or you will need to get the 1mg by getting a very precise scale. If 1mg does not help within a week or so, you can try to go up on a slightly higher dosage (e.g. 2 mg) until you get relief. It may not be possible to get back to how you were feeling before but you might get some relief from the current torture that you seem to be experiencing.

 

Reinstatement does not always work far out but you are still in the sweet spot so it would be the thing to  try. From there, you can go and taper at a slow rate but I would advise to stay on that dose for a very long time until you stabilize - at least a few months. Rarely, reinstatement can go wrong and can make you worse but given how badly you are feeling I think it might be worth the risk. I personally reinstated a small dose and it helped a lot. It is important to do this as soon as you can and to do it at a low dose so if it is making you worse you can stop quickly. 

 

Please fill in your drug signature so we can help you better. 

How to List Drug History in Signature - Introductions and updates - Surviving Antidepressants

 

You can search the forum for reinstatement experiences as well. 

 

Hope you get some respite soon. The good news is, you will heal from this. The bad news is - it might take a long time. But first things first, let's get you feeling better and stable again! 

 

You may want to read some success stories here to give you some hope and perspective:

Success stories: Recovery from psychiatric drug withdrawal - Surviving Antidepressants

 

OMW

 

 

Edited by Onmyway
deleted reference to making a liquid from duloxetine, impossible

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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Bframer16, 

 

Welcome to the board. I know the panic you're feeling all too well. Take a deep breath. You're in good hands here and you will get good advice. 

-Since 2017-ish I've been on Cymbalta & Mirtazapine. At max dose it was 120mg cymbalta and 45mg mirtazapine. This combo was meant to deal with a depressive episode and it worked. Over the next few years I tapered down from those high doses. I had tried to get off the cymbalta twice and had to reinstate twice. I don't remember when. Maybe 2018? 2019? 

-Since 2020 I've been stable 20mg cymbalta and 7.5mg mirtazapine (this is mainly for sleep now). I have come off of the mirtazapine before without trouble, but still take it occasionally for sleep. 

-August 2nd began taking 10mg prozac as a bridge to attempt to get off cymbalta. Took 10mg for about a week then 20mg for a few days. Stopped taking the cymbalta and was doing okay for a bit, but things didn't seem to get better and maybe have been getting worse. 

-8/25/2021 - 20mg cymbalta and struggling. Stopped the prozac. I'm struggling, but I can probably ride this out if I had to. My concern is that things will continue to get worse, as they seem to be doing. 

-8/29/2021 - things started to get worse. Probably prozac withdrawal. Reinstated 20mg prozac. 

-9/2/2021 - 20mg cymbalta, 5mg prozac, 7.5 mg mirtazapine --> 9/24/2021 - 20mg cymbalta, 5mg prozac, 3.75 mg mirtazapine --> 11/7/2021 - 20mg cymbalta, 3.75mg prozac, 3.75 mg mirtazapine --> 4/24/2022 - 20mg cymbalta, 3.75mg prozac   --> 6/5/2022 - 20mg cymbalta, 3.33mg prozac

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@Onmyway how long will this last? It has been over a month. I will reinstate 1MG Cymbalta tomorrow, but do you think that is enough to reinstate? I am using the capsules with beads so I will just have to measure them out and put them in new capsules. Also, are the supplements that I am taking ok to go along with what is going on? 

2016-2018 Cymbalta 120MG & Xanax 0.5MG - Xanax is situational only for panic attacks

Stopped Cold Turkey

2020-July 2021 Cymbalta 60MG & Xanax 0.5MG - Xanax is situational only for panic attacks

Current - Xanax for situational panic attacks. Struggling from WD.

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  • Moderator

Hi @Bframer16

we recommend only two supplements here and those are Omega 3 and Magnesium. You can search for the threads on the forum if you'd like to find out more. Many people find B-vitamins and vitamin D activating (causing anxiety/agitation) so you can see how you react by stopping them for a bit and then adding each one at a time for a while at a low dose and if no adverse effects, add the other supplement as well. Many people find supplements to make things worse as our nervous system has been sensitized by withdrawal. 

 

We also advise against other mind-altering drugs - alcohol, pot etc. Especially alcohol can be destabilizing. Caffeine can increase anxiety as well and most people avoid it especially in the beginning. 

 

In the meantime, have you checked 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants 

Many people find Claire Weeks' techniques quite useful for dealing with anxiety. 

 

No one knows how long this will last but if reinstatement works, you should feel significant relief within a week or sooner. Once you are stable and can taper at a low rate down from 1 mg. That can take years but by then hopefully you won't have many WD symptoms. The goal is to get you functioning/out of distress and stable for now. We can worry about the rest after. My personal experience was the following - crisis going from 5mg to 0 of citalopram after a 5 month taper. Reinstatement at 2.5mg - relief of worst symptoms. That was before I knew SA who would have advised me to reinstate a lower dosage first to see if that would work. I should have then not changed anything for a few months but I didn't follow the advice so continued to taper at 10% a month with fairly bad symptoms. Once I held without changing anything, I was back to 80% within a couple of months. The recovery is not linear - there are times when you feel back to normal (windows) and times when you feel horrible (waves). But overtime the windows get longer and better and the waves less serious and shorter. 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

 

I also forgot to include this link in my previous post. 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Hope the reinstatement works well. 

It may be a good idea to record your symptoms either in Excel or in a journal form so we can track how things are working. When we are in distress we don't necessarily remember that yesterday was better or worse. Tracking symptoms lets us see the trajectory even if particular days or parts of the day are bad. You can also use an app to track symptoms if that works better for you. You can then inform us and we can help you make decisions going forward. 

 

PS. The reason why we advise a 1mg reinstatement instead of more is that sometimes reinstatement can destabilize things further and we want to try a cautious approach. And in the last five weeks your brain and body have made adjustments and may not require as much drug any more. Be sure that if we think more is needed, we will advise you to increase the dosage. Often times a very low dose is all that is needed to get significant relief and more is not better. 

Edited by Onmyway

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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@Onmyway is this safe to do if I take a time released capsule? 

2016-2018 Cymbalta 120MG & Xanax 0.5MG - Xanax is situational only for panic attacks

Stopped Cold Turkey

2020-July 2021 Cymbalta 60MG & Xanax 0.5MG - Xanax is situational only for panic attacks

Current - Xanax for situational panic attacks. Struggling from WD.

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  • Moderator

Hi Bframer, 

it should be safe, many of our members have to do the same. You can follow the instructions on the beads in this thread. 

Tips for tapering off duloxetine (Cymbalta) - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

How are you feeling today? 
OMW

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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  • Onmyway changed the title to Bframer16: Cymbalta cold turkey

@Onmyway I have felt ok today. No attacks yet. Still just trying to make it. I just feel weird. Decided not to add any Cymbalta back in just in case it made it worse. 

2016-2018 Cymbalta 120MG & Xanax 0.5MG - Xanax is situational only for panic attacks

Stopped Cold Turkey

2020-July 2021 Cymbalta 60MG & Xanax 0.5MG - Xanax is situational only for panic attacks

Current - Xanax for situational panic attacks. Struggling from WD.

Link to comment
  • Moderator
28 minutes ago, Bframer16 said:

@Onmyway I have felt ok today. No attacks yet. Still just trying to make it. I just feel weird. Decided not to add any Cymbalta back in just in case it made it worse. 

Hi @Bframer16, I think my advice would be to try the 1mg - if it made you worse, you would find out quickly and you can stop it quickly but the potential for improvement is definitely there especially from how you describe your symptoms. Because your history on these drugs is not very complicated, it might not increase symptoms. You could also try an even smaller reinstatement - a bead only or two, for example, and see if that helps. 

 

However, I understand it is not an easy choice and it is definitely your decision as you are going to be the one feeling the benefit or the cost. So please don't feel pressured to follow my advice. 

 

One member here made a table of reinstatement cases and how well it worked or didn't for various people. This obviously does not include all cases but has a good sample. 

 

Whatever you decide, hope you feel much better quickly and come back for support! Many members find it useful to interact with other members - post on other threads and offer a nice word and become a more active part of this supportive community!  

Be well @Bframer16

OMW

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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