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3cav84a: G'Day from Down Under


3cav84a

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G'day, my name is Neil and I live in Nairne South Australia. I am 63 years of age and I am a Vietnam Veteran, my user name was my callsign used over there. I finally succumbed to PTSD in 1998, up until then I thought I was just a very angry young man who always seemed to have crap on my liver. To make a long story short I ended up going to a shrink to get sorted out and after trying several anti deppresants finished up on Cymbalta. I have been on Cymbalta for about 5 years and once a couple of years ago I decided to give them up. I usually go bush for about 3 months of the year when I try some gold prospecting in Western Australia,
I think it's more for the isolation, being about 300 miles from the nearest town, just me and my dog.
So after day 1 I got the usual brain zaps but not just the occasional one but dozens of them every minute. Why I say dozens is because usually for me they come in 2, 3, 4 or even 5  in rapid succession like firing a .50 cal machine gun. If I get 10 of these in a minute which is common there is about 30-40 zaps right there. Well this went on for 11 weeks with no let up so when I got home the shrink put me onto them again.
    This time we tapered off them going from 60 to 30 mg and then stripping the capsuleand going down to 15 then for the last week of the taper there were only about 5-10 little balls of the stuff in the capsual. I have been off the Cymbalta now for 10 days and the brain zaps are as bad as ever and I know that they will go on for at least another 3 months minimum. I also have my short temper back and if my wife asks whats wrong I can't even describe what's happening, it's like I cant find the words to express my feelings so the best thing for me is to just shut up and get on with life. My son is getting married this Saturday so I have remain calm and enjoy the moment.
    I also ride motorcyles and I find that if I am going along a road that haslots of trees planted on the side and the sun is shining through the trees the strobe light effect can make me feel dizzy and crook.
Anyway I am glad I found this forum as my shrink said that these withdrawal symptoms were not very common. Sorry for the spelling I use the English English as opposed to the American English language and some of the words are spelt differently.  Regards Neil

Been on 60 mg Cymbalta or it's generic equivilant for about 4 years. About 18 months ago I went cold turkey but after 10 weeks of brain zaps I had to go back on it. About November 2013 we reduced the dose to 30mg for awhile and then did a very rough taper  but when I got down to no dose the brain zaps were there again.

This time I have got some jewellers scales and have weighed the little balls in a 60mg capsule, just the balls and they came to .32 grams. So I decided that I would go with a quarter which is .8 grams. That was my starting dose which I stayed on for about 3 weeks, no brain zaps but plenty of mood swings.

Tuesday the 4th Feb I reduced the dose to .7 grams and again no brain zaps, I will keep on this dose for another 3 weeks before a further reduction.

I have since reduced the dose from .7 grams to .6 to .5 and this morning I have gone to .4 grams . I have been on each dose reduction for 3 weeks so far the brain zaps have not returned.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, 3cav84a.

 

If I were you, I'd immediately take a few beads of Cymbalta to stop the withdrawal symptoms. If this helps, stay on that dosage for a good while, perhaps a couple of months to let your nervous system stabilize. Then you will better tolerate a decrease.

 

Read this topic about reinstating: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3079-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

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

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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Welcome, 3cav84a.

 

If I were you, I'd immediately take a few beads of Cymbalta to stop the withdrawal symptoms. If this helps, stay on that dosage for a good while, perhaps a couple of months to let your nervous system stabilize. Then you will better tolerate a decrease.

 

Read this topic about reinstating: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3079-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

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

Thanks Altostrata, unfortunately I can't get hold of a few beads as I ditched the stuff the day I took my last dose. I have been reading some of the success stories within this Forum and I know that there is an end to the withdrawal symptoms eventually. After a few weeks of the brain zaps they are not scary anymore, I suppose the body just accepts them. There is a lot of helpful information on this Forum and I have much more reading to do, thanks Neil

Been on 60 mg Cymbalta or it's generic equivilant for about 4 years. About 18 months ago I went cold turkey but after 10 weeks of brain zaps I had to go back on it. About November 2013 we reduced the dose to 30mg for awhile and then did a very rough taper  but when I got down to no dose the brain zaps were there again.

This time I have got some jewellers scales and have weighed the little balls in a 60mg capsule, just the balls and they came to .32 grams. So I decided that I would go with a quarter which is .8 grams. That was my starting dose which I stayed on for about 3 weeks, no brain zaps but plenty of mood swings.

Tuesday the 4th Feb I reduced the dose to .7 grams and again no brain zaps, I will keep on this dose for another 3 weeks before a further reduction.

I have since reduced the dose from .7 grams to .6 to .5 and this morning I have gone to .4 grams . I have been on each dose reduction for 3 weeks so far the brain zaps have not returned.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to you mate! I have a cousin in Aussie country...

 

I do hope that you browse the forum as you will soon see that people who have gone through something similar to you when it comes to these meds inevitably realize that the best way to rid yourself of the WD symptoms that you describe is to do as Alto says… which is to reinstate a small dosage and then taper slowly from there.

 

There is a window of opportunity in which this DOES work well ( you are in it) and when it is less likely and then highly unlikely.

 

Unfortuantely, if you miss the ideal window and you do not reinstate in order to stop the symptoms and then taper, you may be stuck with something called "protracted withdrawal" with is basically feeling like crap for a very, very long time with little or no let up. sometimes for years.

 

Can you get a refill on your prescription so that you can take a few beads to stop your symptoms?

 

Again welcome,

 

RU :)

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Neil,

 

I agree with Alto and RU, if would be a good idea if you could reinstate a small dose and taper slowly.  I'm in protracted withdrawal from coming off Lexapro too fast, its been going on for over a year and its not pleasant.  Here in Australia, you should be able to get a prescription for Cymbalta from any GP, just tell them you stopped taking it too fast and have withdrawal symptoms.

 

I hope you enjoy your son's wedding tomorrow.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

G'day, I eventually had a gutful of the brain zaps and found a prescription for some Generic Cymbalta 60mlg. When I did a rough sort of tapering I got down to about a half of a 30 mlg capsule and didn't get the zaps. I got some scales and weigh out .08 grams of beads, (that equates to a quarter of the beads in the capsule). It has been 3 days and the zaps have gone and I don't feel so uptight. I think I will stay on this dose for a few weeks to let the body adapt before lowering the dose any.

Been on 60 mg Cymbalta or it's generic equivilant for about 4 years. About 18 months ago I went cold turkey but after 10 weeks of brain zaps I had to go back on it. About November 2013 we reduced the dose to 30mg for awhile and then did a very rough taper  but when I got down to no dose the brain zaps were there again.

This time I have got some jewellers scales and have weighed the little balls in a 60mg capsule, just the balls and they came to .32 grams. So I decided that I would go with a quarter which is .8 grams. That was my starting dose which I stayed on for about 3 weeks, no brain zaps but plenty of mood swings.

Tuesday the 4th Feb I reduced the dose to .7 grams and again no brain zaps, I will keep on this dose for another 3 weeks before a further reduction.

I have since reduced the dose from .7 grams to .6 to .5 and this morning I have gone to .4 grams . I have been on each dose reduction for 3 weeks so far the brain zaps have not returned.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That's good news, I'm glad it has worked for you. You are right to give it a few weeks,

or months even, before starting to taper again. 

 

I hope your taper goes well, take it slowly and you will be fine :)

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

G'day, last Tuesday I dropped my dose from .08 grams to .07 grams which is just a little over 10% but I didn't get any brain zaps. A few mood swings especially when something goes wrong. I got to wondering why we here in Australia can get a generic Cymbalta which is called Andepra it is also made by Lilly available only in 60 mg and 30 mg. I have read that there are no generic forms of Cymbalta available in the USA. I will continue on the .07 gram dose for 3 weeks before dropping it down, regards Neil

Been on 60 mg Cymbalta or it's generic equivilant for about 4 years. About 18 months ago I went cold turkey but after 10 weeks of brain zaps I had to go back on it. About November 2013 we reduced the dose to 30mg for awhile and then did a very rough taper  but when I got down to no dose the brain zaps were there again.

This time I have got some jewellers scales and have weighed the little balls in a 60mg capsule, just the balls and they came to .32 grams. So I decided that I would go with a quarter which is .8 grams. That was my starting dose which I stayed on for about 3 weeks, no brain zaps but plenty of mood swings.

Tuesday the 4th Feb I reduced the dose to .7 grams and again no brain zaps, I will keep on this dose for another 3 weeks before a further reduction.

I have since reduced the dose from .7 grams to .6 to .5 and this morning I have gone to .4 grams . I have been on each dose reduction for 3 weeks so far the brain zaps have not returned.

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  • Administrator

Hi Neil

 

It is likely that if we can't get generic cymbalta in the US that the patent hasn't expired ... it is all about the money :P.  I just saw where our FDA (food and drug administration) approved the first generic cymbalta in December 2013.  

 

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; 8//7/22 - 100 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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Neil,

Thank you for the update, it sounds like you are doing well, glad you didn't get any zaps this time.  Please would you put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature, it helps members see your situation when replying to posts.  Instructions for doing that are here:

 

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

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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I am wondering whether everyone gets brain zaps from  antidepressant withdrawal?

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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  • Administrator

Not everyone, but it is a hallmark of withdrawal syndrome. Brain zaps occur almost nowhere else.

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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  • 6 months later...
  • Administrator

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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