Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
cathead

Cathead: weaning off cymbalta 30

Recommended Posts

cathead

Hi all, 

 

Have been reading forum for a while now trying to prep for the dreaded taper off Cymbalta 30mg (once per day).  I started taking it 2-1/2 years ago due to severe depression.  Since then I have felt little else other than "numb and dead" inside, and all my creativity has gone away (not good as I am a songwriter/musician :P ).  My doctor just wants to put me on MORE medications (Wellbutrin) and I'm really not wanting to do that. I can't find another doctor I'm happy with and have decided to just take this into my own hands and take control of my life again.  

 

I'm also taking clonazipam .5mg at night for anxiety, but that's another battle for later.

 

I'm going to try a 10%/week taper since I am not on a heavy dose.  I missed one dose in the 2-1/2 years accidentally, but hoo boy was that an interesting and scary day.  Enough to scare me off the "cold turkey" idea forever.

 

I'll post my progress here.  Let the bead counting begin...

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

The 30mg capsule had 270 pellets in it.  It's a pain to count those out but I wanted to get an accurate number so I could take the 10% out! 

More info about me:  46 year old male, have gained somewhere around 60 lbs since being put on cymbalta.  Married 20 years, my wife is terrified I am going to "freak out" because of the lowered dosage.  

I sleep a lot - too much - I lose 2-3 hours a day of work time because I just crash at around 1pm and sleep.  Luckily, I work from home.  

Anxious about tomorrow and whether or not I'll get any brain zaps.  The one day I missed my meds cause those the day after, and I had very wild mood swings all day...that is what made me realize crap, I'd forgotten to take the stuff....

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

Hi Cathead,

Welcome to our forum and thank you for posting an introduction.  Stopping these medications suddenly is never a good idea, so its good you found this site and are going to taper slowly.

 

We recommend reducing by 10% per month to start with.  Making drops every week may be too fast, see our tips for tapering off Cymbalta here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/283-tips-for-tapering-off-cymbalta-duloxetine/

 

When you get a chance, please put your drug/withdrawal history in your signature, this helps people understand your context when they read your posts.  Instructions here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

You will find a lot of friendly support here, have a look around and please keep us updated.

 

Petu.

Share this post


Link to post
Rhiannon

I would not start with 10 percent per week. Better to start slow and then speed up to tolerance, than to start too fast and crash and burn and then have to take lots of time to recover and deal with the aftermath of the crash. 

 

See this for my thoughts on the subject: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4954-rhis-start-small-listen-to-your-body-taper-plan/

 

You may well be able to tolerate the fast taper you propose, but better to find that out without taking the risk of crashing!

Share this post


Link to post
sly

Hi Rhi,

 

there is no need in counting beads! :excl:

Measure your beads! See my thread:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4856-sly-on-cymbalta-and-tapering/?hl=%2Bsly%3A+%2Bcymbalta

 

To start with 10% shouldn't be a problem. But be careful if you notice withdrawl symptoms.

If you do so - go slower. Important is  to stay on a dose for at least 3-4 weeks.

 

This is MY experience  so far. You might have to go slower.

I am down from 60 mg CYMBALTA to 30 mg with 10 mg steps but I took the full 60 mg dosage only for 3 month.

On Friday I will go down to 22 mg.

 

See my signature!

 

All the best!

 

Sly ;)

Share this post


Link to post
sly

Sorryy! My earlier post was addressed to cathead not Rhi!

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

Thanks for the measuring beads idea!  I should have thought of that!

 

Today is going fine but I don't expect any effects until tomorrow.  I take the cymbalta in the mornings.  Various friends who are aware of my situation are trying to convince me that this is totally crazy and I need to stay on this stuff.  

Small side story - last week during a small vacation trip, I was unsure if I'd taken the cymbalta in the morning, and didn't want to go without, so took a 2nd one.  My stupid fault for not keeping better track.  Turns out yes, I did actually take it so I accidentally doubled up the medication, taking 60 instead of 30.  The effects the next day were included a complete lack of sexual functioning (so much for the romance suite we had booked).  Had small brain zaps for 5 days afterwards.  This stuff is just evil.  :( 

 

I'm not too worried about going from 30 to 27, but if I feel extreme side effects (I know what to look for!) I'll reconsider the dosage reduction to 5% (or smaller).

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

One other strange thing these last few weeks - I've had a lot of tingling in my fingertips and hands.  Some days I wake up with one or both hands completely numb as if they were "asleep".  It will be interesting to see if that goes away...

Share this post


Link to post
Jemima

Welcome to the forum, Cathead.

 

Please stick to your bead counting for tapering off Cymbalta.  The bead-measuring technique Sly uses seems to work all right for him, but it's a really inaccurate way to proceed. This will become especially important at lower doses when even small decreases seem to have a big effect.

Share this post


Link to post
sly

Welcome to the forum, Cathead. Please stick to your bead counting for tapering off Cymbalta.  The bead-measuring technique Sly uses seems to work all right for him, but it's a really inaccurate way to proceed. This will become especially important at lower doses when even small decreases seem to have a big effect.

Hi Jemima!I don't want to argue but why is the measuring method inaccurate when you ALWAYS (I checked it a 100 times) have exactly 11 beads on one cm here in Germany? I think it will drive you nuts if you start counting 140 beads over and over again.Best wishesSly

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

That's very helpful, sly -- anyone trying your method can check that they have 11 beads per cm.

Share this post


Link to post
Jemima

 

Welcome to the forum, Cathead. Please stick to your bead counting for tapering off Cymbalta.  The bead-measuring technique Sly uses seems to work all right for him, but it's a really inaccurate way to proceed. This will become especially important at lower doses when even small decreases seem to have a big effect.

Hi Jemima!I don't want to argue but why is the measuring method inaccurate when you ALWAYS (I checked it a 100 times) have exactly 11 beads on one cm here in Germany? I think it will drive you nuts if you start counting 140 beads over and over again.Best wishesSly

 

 

It's my understanding that each capsule can have a different number of beads and that the beads themselves may not be all the same size or weight. There can also be variations between the number of beads per capsule for the brand name and generics.  Some of our members have experienced withdrawal symptoms when changing from the brand name to generic and discovered this for themselves.  Some members have chosen to use a scale to measure their dose because of these potential inaccuracies.

 

This variations may not be important during the early part of a 10% taper, but when a person is either micro-tapering or getting down to the last stretch where dosages are quite low, small differences can be problematic.

 

Please also note that tapering should be done by 10% of the current dose, not by 10 mg. at a time, as Sly is doing.

Share this post


Link to post
sly

It's my understanding that each capsule can have a different number of beads and that the beads themselves may not be all the same size or weight. There can also be variations between the number of beads per capsule for the brand name and generics. Some of our members have experienced withdrawal symptoms when changing from the brand name to generic and discovered this for themselves. Some members have chosen to use a scale to measure their dose because of these potential inaccuracies.This variations may not be important during the early part of a 10% taper, but when a person is either micro-tapering or getting down to the last stretch where dosages are quite low, small differences can be problematic.Please also note that tapering should be done by 10% of the current dose, not by 10 mg. at a time, as Sly is doing.

Capsules of one package always have the same amount of beads. It is correct to first check. If they would vary in size the counting method would also be inaccurate! There is no generica out in Germany so far as Eli Lilly could prolong the period of exclusive production until the end of this year. Is there a generica out in the states?You are right the absolute safest way to determin your dosage would be to use a scale but often people buy cheap scales which promise correct results and in the end they don't. As I said, make sure how many beats are on one cm or inch and then you will see that this number will not vary. I am not recommending my way of tapering but in the german forum we recommend the tapering with 10% of the initial dosage by Dr. Peter Breggin (GOOGLE) with intervalls of 4-6 weeks inbetween and smaller dosages at the end. This means a fastest taperplan of 10 months to reach zero.I am going a little faster as I only took CYMBALTA with full 60 mg dosage for almost 3 months and will not taper down for more 10 month. But this is very individual. If you don't speed up the 10% taperplan of the latest dosage by cutting intervalls down to 3-2-1 weeks you will never reach an end and taper for years. This can absulutely be necessary for very sensitive users but should not be necessary for most people. If you are a person that is that sensitive please don't use my measuring method. If the difference of a single bead may harm your effects you have to count beads and hope that they all have the same size (which they usually do).All the best folks!Sly

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

Day 2 - yesterday felt a little "off", but I struggle to remember a day I wasn't feeling that way :P  Much easier to remove 27 beads from a capsule than count them all out!  Those little buggers do roll around everywhere though so be prepared for that...don't want those falling off and vanishing!

 

No zaps or anything like that.  Slept fine.  Had dreams of backyard being completely flooded, and I was trying to figure out a way to drain the water out.  No symbolism there at all!

 

One other thing to mention - I'm also taking 1000mg of tumeric supplement daily after reading it can help with depression.  If you are curious, I don't have the source for this but if you google "tumeric depression" I'm sure it will come up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

sly, I do not believe the capsules for any type of antidepressant contain a standard number of beads, even from the same packet. That said, counting beads out is the best way we have to taper. If your method consistently results in 11 beads per cm, well, that's 11 beads.

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

I'm hopeful that the number of capsules in the 30mg capsules are consistent anyway!  It would take forever to count out the complete total and then do a percentage every time...

 

The "ruler" method seems like a good method of getting 10% - just get the measurement of all the beads lined up against the ruler, and cut out 10% of whatever the measurement is.  Whatever that t measurement is doesn't matter, just as long as you figure out 10% of whatever that measurement is for that capsule.

 

Of course this assumes the beads are all identically sized, but they appear to be...

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

I suppose if the beads were different sizes, then counting them out would be inaccurate anyway...

OK putting way too much thought into this!  Going with "take 27 out" and that's that.  I'll re-count the beads after the next taper step!

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

Day 3 today, no noticeable oddness yesterday.  Actually feeling positive and not having any random episodes of complete black depression out of nowhere.  Won an Ipad Mini off the local radio station which was very cool and put me in a good mood the rest of the day.

 

I know it's very early yet but hoping this won't be as nasty as I was fearing.  Am waiting for the other shoe to drop!

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Congrats on a good day -- including the iPad!

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

day 3 report.  mornings seem to bring on minor brain zap activity which goes away about 2 hours after I take the new tapered dosage.  

Dreams are "interesting".  Not quite nightmares, but a lot of stuff I'd rather not think about that seems to be worming it's way to the forefront anyway.  Woke up pissed off because of them (silly, but you know how dreams can affect you...)

Time to make the doughnuts...er...count the beads.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

How often are you reducing? You may want to hold a bit until the zaps go away.

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

I've only done the one reduction from 30 to 27 so far.  I don't plan to do another for a few weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Sounds like a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

Day 4 - nothing too interesting to report.  Actually dragged myself out to the garage and wrote/recorded something last night, first time in months that has happened, which is nice...

I posted it up here if anyone wants to hear the kind of stuff I write:  http://www.hcrtnotes.com/27mg.mp3  (nice title eh?)

Slept like a rock.  The first real test awaits - Monday morning work.  Traditionally this is a "bad day" for me because of work pililng up over the weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

Day 5 went ok.  Having strange dreams.  Took some benadryl to help me sleep which seems to get me through most of the night.  Wondering how long I should feel stable for before jumping down to the next 10%?  Maybe I'll give it one more week just to be safe.  I don't want to go too fast with the taper and screw things up.

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

getting some brain zaps now in the evening as well as in the morning.  Disorienting, hard to concentrate or do anything with that.  Really, really scary that a drop of 3mg could affect me this much.  

Not feeling well at all, stomach feeling like someone has been punching it, and sweating for no reason.  Just going to the store and trying to walk a few aisles felt like a major hurdle to get through.  Time to go sit in the corner of the couch for the rest of the night....

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Perhaps you might increase your dosage a few beads.

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

Really sad today but I think it's because I realized it would have been my mom's 70th birthday.  

No zaps yesterday, took some fish oil which seemed to help keep those at bay.  So we'll go with the tumeric + fish oil for now.  

Share this post


Link to post
Meimeiquest

You might want to try some magnesium as well...there's a long thread on it.

Some say ADs reduce REM sleep, where dreams are made. Hopefully you're starting to catch up.

Share this post


Link to post
tezza

Welcome and congrats on winning the mini IPad!

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

Wasn't able to access the site the last few days, but there's not much new to report.  I haven't felt like doing much of anything - cancelled two different outings with friends just because I didn't feel like facing the world at all.

I've been using a more aggressive taper schedule than I had planned but so far it hasn't seemed to have any negative impact on me.  I'm taking the dosage down 3 beads (or roughly 1%) per day.  The fish oil really does help the dizziness,  about all I've really noticed is I am easily irritable...

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

Stopped caffeine intake today.  Figured that wasn't helping the anxiety anyway.  Caffeine withdrawals are interesting (ok, they are awful) but past experience with quitting I know the symptoms will go away after 4-5 days.  Headaches mostly...

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

Tomorrow marks the two week point.  I'm still removing 3 beads per day without any real adverse affects, just some dizziness.  Today is the first time in a long time I feel like "myself" a little.  Encouraging!

Share this post


Link to post
cathead

Yay I get to modify my signature....down to 24mg.  The fish oil really does help (I forgot to take it today and the headaches and brain zaps are much more potent).  

Share this post


Link to post
Narcissus

Sounds like things are looking up Cathead.  Best of luck.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy