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Frank - Cymbalta withdrawal


Frank

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm Frank, and though I'm still quite young (29 years old), I'm sadly a veteran of psychotropic drugs, since I've been on them for almost 11 years straight. When I swallowed my first Prozac pill, I was only 18.

 

Long story short, 4 months ago I decided to quit Cymbalta. I went from 60mg to 30mg and keep this dose for a week, then nothing more.

Of course I didn't know about this site back then; when I found it, it was already too late. I've read everything I could about reinstating and I know that it's basically a "hit or miss" option, so in the beginning I thought that it would be better to just try to cope with the symptoms.

 

But in the last month, withdrawal side effects have just become unbearable. Paradoxically, after the initial, brutal two weeks of "cold turkey", I started to feel better. Well, I started to "feel" again at all: indeed, the main reason that brought me to the decision of quitting AD's forever was exactly the emotional blunting. I still had some of the common symptoms that everyone in this board knows, but at least I re-discovered the joy of doing things that I love, like getting out with friends or going to the beach; and that for me was more than enough.

 

But as soon as I was starting to have a "normal" life again, the panic arrived. Note that I didn't write "panic attacks": I know them even too well, since they were the reason I was put on SSRI's the first time eleven years ago. This time, the panic is constant and pervasive, and is getting worse day by day. And since now my nervous system is completely out of whack (brain fog, irritability/rage, racing thoughts) I don't have the energy nor the mental stability to cope with it.

It's exacly like Altostrata wrote in a post on this forum: my "fight or flight" system is out of control. A lot of times, I freak out even if I hear a dog barking abruptly, or simply If I'm in my bed and I can't sleep.

 

By the way, I've read her post about reinstating a very small dose (like 10 pellets a day) for a few weeks to help to "relax" the nervous system a bit before starting a taper.

And here comes the question: I've already done it for 3 days, and I didn't notice any improvement. Should I up-dose the drug, or should I just hang on for another while to let it have its effects?

If it can help, there's roughly 600 pellets in my 60mg capsules, so 10 pellets is about 1mg. I've counted them two times in two different pills, they were 557 the first time and 575 the second (don't take this numbers for granted, but they should be almost ok).

 

Damn, this post ended up way too long than what I had planned. Sorry for that and for my English! And thanks in advance.

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Frank I am so sorry you are going through this and find need for this support group. I cannot offer any advice on what you should do, but there are several people who can give you some information. I have found that this group is so caring for each other even as they are going through their own personal hell.

Prozac(situational depression) 1993 discontinued sometime in 1994 without WD problems

Paxil from 2003 until 2004 for anxiety/panic attacks

25mg of Zoloft from March 2012. started tappering in April and took my last one on May 13, 2012

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Frank. Thanks for joining us.

 

Yes, I would try updosing more, since you pretty much went off cold turkey. I would try 10mg, if you can figure out how many pellets that is.

 

Your English is fine!

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 everyone for the reply!

 

Alto,

 

10 mg should be about 100 pellets. It's not the most precise measurement in the world, I reckon, but it's better than nothing. Can I start taking them immediately or should I updose them gradually? I've already read everything about the procedure to taper off later.

 

I would like to point out that I know that after eleven years of multiple drugs, getting off of them completely wouldn't be a walk in the park.

I would be more than happy if I can just stop the panic/anxiety/whatever-this-thing-is.

 

Thanks everyone again!

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  • Administrator

Take them as soon as possible, at your usual time of day for your dose.

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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Update:

 

10mg didn't seem to work. I got out with a friend yesterday and had a major panic episode (the worst so far post Cymbalta discontinuation) that lasted for hours. I'm nonetheless a little bit happy because I managed to "grind"* through it :).

 

So I'm back here asking for another advice. If there is a way to find the "correct" dosage through safe updosing steps I'd be glad to try on my own.

I really hate to be that pedantic and annoying for the people here (especially Alto) who were so kind to help me directly or indirectly.

 

* I don't really know if this is a correct term. I borrowed it from online videogaming lingo :D

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Hi frank

 

Welcome to the forum :)

 

The support is on going on this forum, no one wants anybody to suffer.

 

I had to up dose to feel stable and it did take a few weeks, I kept posting all the while for help at first. I was given excellent advise and am now stable and tapering slowly to ensure I suffer no WD symptoms

 

Debbie x

17 years on seroxat/paxil CT off - thought I was dying luckily found this site. 21st May 2012 12mg seroxat

Stable - Tapered Diazepam slowish.1st June 10mg Seroxat

2nd June 1mg Diazepam.15th June 9mg seroxat

2nd July Changed to 2.5[ml liquid diazepam]2mg=5ml. 16th July 2ml Liquid Diazepam

2nd August 8mg/4ml Seroxat/Paxil 2nd August 1.5 ml Diazepam

18th Aug 2012 1ml Diazepam 1st - 5th Sept 0.5

Diazepam Free!

13th Oct 7mg/3.5ml seroxat - 26 Jan 2013 3.25ml/6.5mg-Mar 3ml-April 2.7ml-May 2.5ml

01/07/14 very slow taper over the last year now on 0.5 ml of liquid Seroxat ......November 14 Seroat Free!!!!!!!

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  • Administrator

Try 20mg. It might take about 4 days to get into your system.

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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  • Administrator

Welcome to the forum, Frank. Your English is really quite good!

 

I think your plan to hold the 10 mg for a few days is a good plan. Alto usually recommends giving it 4 days and then considering your next move. The one thing we want to avoid is changing a lot of things at the same time.

 

Once you find an up-dose that gives you some relief you will want to stabilize on that dose for at least a month and then you can formulate your taper plan. It will get better.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Sorry if I'm disappeared from the forum in the last few days, but since I've been in withdrawal, I can't stand to use the computer for more than a couple of minutes without getting dizzy and dazed. That's quite funny, considering the fact that I've always been an avid blog/forums reader... oh well.

 

Anyway, in the last days I've updosed Cymbalta to 20mg (I've also bought a digital scale to measure it more accurately) and quit completely with caffeine and my condition has improved quite a bit! I didn't had any major panic episode at all. Of course, I still have many of the other withdrawal symptoms but I guess that it's not that easy to get rid of all of them so fast.

 

I'm a bit sad that I had to resume to a drug and also a little big scared of the induced apathy/emotional blunting that could come, but well, it takes what it takes.

 

A big big thank you to anyone in this forum for the advices and support!

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  • Administrator

That's very good news, Frank. You may wish to stabilize on this dose for a few weeks and then try reducing by one bead, see how you do over a couple of weeks. If no withdrawal symptoms, try decreasing by 2 beads for 2 weeks.

 

If no withdrawal symptoms, you may be able to subtract the beads at smaller intervals, even one every couple of days.

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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It seems like I crowed over a victory too soon.

 

During the last days I tried without success to go to the swimming pool which I became member of last week. I couldn't even put a foot in the hotel which the pool is located in without fleeing in panic.

At the moment I can't do any physical activity but swimming due to a nasty osteitis pubis.

Exercising has been always a integral part of my whole life and at the present time is almost vital for me because it's the only thing I know that manages to stop my confusing, conflicting racing thoughts (and some of them are not pleasant at all) and nervousness/restlessness, to the point that sometimes I swear I would like to crawl out of my own skin.

 

So today I gave up and updosed Cymbalta to 30mg. I don't really know if it was a good decision at all.

Anyway, I hope I could stabilize at this dose and do a proper 10% reduction taper later on (the normal procedure of reducing the dose every few weeks with caution).

 

Thanks anyone and especially Alto again!

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  • Administrator

Frank, 20mg might have been fine. It may not immediately work, you'd still have withdrawal symptoms occasionally for a while; you might have to give it some time.

 

I hope 30mg works for you.

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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You're probably right Alto, I've been too impatient.

 

Anyway, since the day I started taking 30mg, I managed to go to the (crowded) swimming pool and even to the beach :).

That's why I said I was too impatient, it was probably a placebo effect since I don't think a day alone could make a difference (maybe I'm wrong though).

 

Well, they're still good news in my book :D.

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  • Administrator

Often reinstatement has an effect fairly quickly.

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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