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karensue: Symptoms lasting for 6 months or more


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I tapered off of Cymbalta about 7 months ago, although apparently not slowly enough. I had severe, debilitating nausea for 2 full months, just plain bad nausea for another 2-3 months, and 2 more months later still suffering with nausea, although not quit as bad. Lost 45 lbs so far, still losing.

Drs. have "blown off" my suggestions that I'm suffering from ssri withdrawl, nevermind I had 6 out of 8 symptoms that started exactly 24 hours after stopping cymbalta.

So I have had numerous scans and medical tests, since my symptoms are alarming with no diagnosis.

Now, they want to put me under and scope my stomach. I really am reluctant, as I think my symptoms are due to the ssri d/c, but the Dr said that if that was the case (ssri d/c) my symptoms would not have lasted so long.

Any one have experience with this? Thankful for any thoughts or info...

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Hi karensue,


I am so sorry you are suffering so much.   Unfortunately, most doctors don't recognize SSRI withdrawal issues as you have sadly found out.


Personally, I wouldn't have the scope but that is a decision you have to make for yourself.


What have you tried for the nausea?



Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Thanks for your response.

At the beginning, when I was so sick that I was periodically needing IV fluid replacements, they prescribed Zofran, which helped significantly, on an as needed basis. But the Dr would not renew the script, saying it was only to be used short-term.

Interestigly, I read the pkg insert and it seemed to work by something to do with supressing seratonin. Being a layperson I could not understand much more than that.

I have tried pot a few times, but don't like it. I have asthma, so it's not good to smoke it, and the edibles taste nasty. And I really don't like being high.



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi karensue,


Stomach upsets are pretty much par for the course in withdrawal, and many people also develop food sensitivities.  It may be that you've developed a sensitivity to something that you were able to eat before withdrawal, but can't tolerate now. I used to occasionally make a meal out of pretzel nuggets, peanut butter, and fruit after a rough day at work, but now peanuts make me quite sick. I can't tolerate caffeine, either.


It's shame your doctor is so ignorant about antidepressant withdrawal, but that's unfortunately common in the medical profession. Withdrawal can last for years, although it gets better with time.


If I were you, I'd give some careful thought to diet and try eliminating foods that commonly cause allergic reactions, such as dairy, one at a time, and see if that helps.


When you have a chance, please add your psychiatric drug history to your signature like this: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/


Welcome to the forum, karensue.  You'll find lots of solid information and friendly support here.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor

Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/


Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.


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Thanks for your response and ideas


I do have, and have had for years, a sensetivity to wheat, white or whole.

For most of this w/d period, I have been nauseated every day, and have not eaten enough of one type of food on a regular basis for that to be causal, although I will be more alert, as thats always a possibility. For a long time all I ate was vegetable soup and broth.


You said that withdrawl can last for years, I would love it if you could give me a referral to studies or similar that I could take to my Dr.  Any information I have found regarding long term effects seems to be more focused on pcych symptoms rather than nausea.


Thanks again for your comments, it is so helpful to hear from others about this condition.



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Unfortunately there are few (if any?) studies on long-term withdrawal from any psych meds, or even short-term withdrawal for that matter. (I haven't heard of any, that is, but one may exist.)


The people who fund studies for meds are the same people who make huge profits from them (that is, the people who make them) and it's not in their interests to admit that withdrawal even exists, which is why your doctor doesn't know about it. They manipulate the data they already have about the drugs to make them seem more beneficial and less harmful than they are already. They're not about to search out further data about harm caused by them.


What we have learned here about withdrawal, we've learned from the hundreds (well, probably well into the four figures by now) of people that we've listened to and worked with.


You aren't alone with the GI symptoms, although having that as your primary or only problem is a more rare presentation.  The GI tract is heavily innervated (see "enteric nervous system") and the body uses the same neurotransmitters everywhere, not just in the brain. It's very common to get GI involvement in withdrawal from neurotransmitter-altering drugs. (I'm dealing with it now while tapering a benzodiazepine.)


To begin to understand what's going on with these drugs and our medical system and why you're going to have trouble finding a doctor who can help you, get hold of a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. You're going to have to become your own expert and advocate.


Welcome. I'm glad you found us. We can relate, and you'll get a lot of support here.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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You said that withdrawl can last for years, I would love it if you could give me a referral to studies or similar that I could take to my Dr.  Any information I have found regarding long term effects seems to be more focused on pcych symptoms rather than nausea.



Here is a study where a group of investigators analyze online self-reporting from a variety of websites visited by patients who had discontinued SSRI medication.




Also, have a look at this page from Beyond Meds, which is where I found this study, it has a lot of other related information:



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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