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Hello, my name is Gayle and I am a drug addict (Cymbalta)


Gayle

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Greetings, Everyone.

Here is my introduction (as brief as I can make it, I hope):

  *  am brand new to this site and membership here.

  *  have been on anti-depressants almost continuously since 1992. Many different kinds.

  *  have been addicted to Cymbalta for 5 or more years. (My memory is shot. Is that a side-effect?)

  *  was diagnosed years ago with Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety and PTSD (from childhood abuse).

  *  received some outstanding psychological therapy (EMDR) last year and am doing much better at coping with life's challenges. Kind of like a normal person, I'm thinking.

  *  had three times in the last few years when I went without my drug for a few days (not on purpose), and suffered for it.

  *  would like to begin the withdrawal process from Cymbalta.

  *  tried to withdraw (incorrectly, I have just discovered) from Cymbalta earlier this year. I was at 120mg when I started to taper off by skipping doses. After only 2 months I was off altogether.  I went downhill, felt defeated (believing my symptoms were, sadly, from my psychological issues), gave up and went back on Cymbalta, although at half the dose. I am now taking 60mg per day. I am pretty functional. 

  

After reading some valuable information on this site I think I should find a psychiatrist to help me withdraw safely and without horrendous symptoms. Does anyone know how I can do that (other than calling every psychiatrist in the area)?

 

I am 62 years old, married 42 years, with 2 sons and 4 grandchildren. 

 

I look forward to meeting others who understand what this is all about, and hopefully, at some point, being able to help others here.

 

Take care!

Hi, I'm Gayle. Born in and still living in So. Calif.

Addicted to Cymbalta for many years.

Tried to withdraw (incorrectly) earlier this year.

Found y'all.  :c)

Looking for a doctor to help me withdraw safely, and with the least amount of pain and suffering.

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Hi, I think this website has a topic about cymbalta

Summer of 2007 started celexa at age 15.

 

December of 2013 MISDIAGNOSED with GERD and was perscribed ppi's.

Mid May 2014 went C/T(Stupidly) off of my 40MG of celexa due to an interaction to the ppi's. This interaction left my body damaged.

First of July of 2014 went back on my celexa at 5 mgs..

Currently adjusting to 5 mg's of Celexa.

 

Current meds: Adderall Xr 30 mg/ Celexa 5mg/ Buspar 15mg/ Vistaril 25mg/ Fish oil 1000mg/ B12 100mcg/ Mulit-vitamin.

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

 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Here it is, good luck!!

 

 

If you want my advice, try switching to a different antidepressant that's going to be easier to taper. (non capsule) Cymbalta comes in capsule form so its going to be hard to measure the dose's out correctly.

Summer of 2007 started celexa at age 15.

 

December of 2013 MISDIAGNOSED with GERD and was perscribed ppi's.

Mid May 2014 went C/T(Stupidly) off of my 40MG of celexa due to an interaction to the ppi's. This interaction left my body damaged.

First of July of 2014 went back on my celexa at 5 mgs..

Currently adjusting to 5 mg's of Celexa.

 

Current meds: Adderall Xr 30 mg/ Celexa 5mg/ Buspar 15mg/ Vistaril 25mg/ Fish oil 1000mg/ B12 100mcg/ Mulit-vitamin.

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After five years tapering off the drug your body is use to is best but a very slow and gradual taper is what is needed. 

 

There is a list of doctor on this site 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

 

I am not sure if they are all good so check with others here or elsewhere some how their names got on the list if I were you I would read all we know about taper so far here

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/14-tapering/

 

start with the pinned articles 

 

If any doctor were to suggest anything much different than you read here I would be thinking he did not know what he was doing or the truth about these drugs it is very common that they don't know... sad but true. 

How long ago did you go back on half dose?

peace

 

Welcome Gayle 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Gayle, welcome to SA. Thank you for supplying the links TIMN and BTDT.

 

Most doctors don't have a clue about tapering anti depressants safely. They think they do

and if you asked them most would say it is easy to taper within weeks by skipping doses.

This leads to withdrawal symptoms which the doctors say are a return of the depression and 

you end up back on it, often with another drug added. A slow taper means you can get off the

drug safely and maintain quality of life.  We recommend no more than 10% reduction of the

current dose with no less than 4 weeks between cuts.  Cymbalta can be tapered by counting

beads in the capsule.  

 

Some people switch to prozac which is available in a liquid and easier to taper, which is what 

TIMN suggested.  Read the topic on cymbalta carefully so you are well informed before starting

to taper. Thank you for doing a signature, it is helpful to us when we have the info at the bottom

of posts. Could you put in it when you tapered to 60mg?  You were on a very high dose at 120mg!

Depending on how long you have been at 60mg, it might be best to wait a bit longer before starting 

your taper, 

**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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Thank you all for your replies to my first post. I appreciate you and the information you have shared, as well as the links.

 

I have been reading and searching on this site and am learning much already. So very helpful!  Thank you to whomever started this and to those who have continued to provide this valuable resource. It is very comforting to be learning the truth about all of this.

 

Yes, 120mg is very high. I had started out with 60mg (after going up from a minimal dose about 5 years ago. About two years ago I was trying to cope with severe depression and anxiety from a very difficult loss. It got to where I just didn't want to live at all any longer and I didn't care about taking care of myself (controlling diabetes or getting help for depression). I felt helpless and hopeless. The doctor ("just" a GP who used to be more interested in alternatives to drugs) upped me to 120mg in Dec. of 2012. Last year, I gave in to my husband's urging and got some psychological help.

 

I didn't expect or dare to even hope for a change as I've been trying to deal with my depression/anxiety/PTSD since I was a teenager. Much therapy, many drugs, and only temporary relief. 

 

Fortunately, the therapy was very helpful and things changed dramatically. I had been thinking about going off the Cymbalta, not realizing it was going to be very different from other ADs I'd stopped using over the years. I started by taking 1 capsule (60mg) every other day for a few weeks, then 1 every three days for a few more weeks. Then nothing for a month or so. However, my depression and anxiety grew during this time. It got to where I was asking God to take me home every day. I wasn't planning suicide, but I could see the downward spiral. I did not have other major withdrawal symptoms as I have before when I suddenly stopped taking the Cymbalta for 3-4 days (unplanned).

 

A close friend suggested that my depression/anxiety could be from withdrawal, but I ignored that as I was feeling so bad. I reluctantly accepted that I was doomed to be depressed and anxious without Cymbalta in my life. I started using again, but only 60mg/day instead of 120mg/day. I'm not sure when I started back up. Probably 3 months ago. I still have some depression and anxiety, but it's not as bad as it was when I was off altogether. I'm coping much better this year than I would have prior to my EMDR therapy, so I am hopeful I will be able to function without Cymbalta.

 

MammaP, do you think I need more than 3 months at this level before reducing by 10%?  I am not asking for medical advice, just your opinion based on what you have learned through your own experience and the experiences of so many people here.

 

Lately, I've been thinking about what my friend said and a few days ago, I talked with her about it again. There began the search for answers and I'm sure she was/is right; I was suffering from withdrawal. 

 

Based on what I've read so far, I may not experience bad reactions to tapering until I get much lower on my intake. Not looking forward to that, but I really want to get off this horrible drug. I have another health issue (genetic) that puts my liver at great risk and I also know Cymbalta is bad for my liver, too.

 

I do have another question: do most people here (at Surviving Antidepressants) do the tapering on their own?  I know it will be very difficult to find a doctor locally who can/will help with this issue.

 

Thank you, again, my new friends.  :c)

Hi, I'm Gayle. Born in and still living in So. Calif.

Addicted to Cymbalta for many years.

Tried to withdraw (incorrectly) earlier this year.

Found y'all.  :c)

Looking for a doctor to help me withdraw safely, and with the least amount of pain and suffering.

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From what I have seen here and other sites like this most people do the tapering on their own some are lucky to find doctors who can help most doctors on the list are in the US.

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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Thank you, btdt. That gives me some hope for handling it on my own.

Hi, I'm Gayle. Born in and still living in So. Calif.

Addicted to Cymbalta for many years.

Tried to withdraw (incorrectly) earlier this year.

Found y'all.  :c)

Looking for a doctor to help me withdraw safely, and with the least amount of pain and suffering.

Link to comment

Thank you, btdt. That gives me some hope for handling it on my own.

your welcome

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome, Gayle.

 

Given the history you've described so clearly (thank you) I think it might be good to take about another month before starting to taper, and spend that time preparing, figuring out how you want to go about it, learning to make a liquid if that's what you do (I'm not very familiar with Cymbalta tapering), looking at the Prozac bridging option, just basically sorting through it all. There's a lot to learn. 

 

Then when you do begin to taper, start with a 10% cut, and keep a daily log of cuts and symptoms, ranking your symptoms on a scale of 1 to 5 or something like that.

 

I'd also recommend, since you've only just begun to learn about withdrawal and you have a decades long history on psych meds (like so many of us here) that you and your husband read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.

 

Given your long history on meds and your age, you'll do best if you start now to accept that it's going to take a couple of years to do this slowly and safely enough that you can get off and stay off.

 

Also, an aside: I too have found EMDR very helpful for PTSD and trauma work related to childhood abuse issues. The meds have been worthless, never helped at all except for maybe right at first, but in the end I think (now that I'm down to low doses) they actually block the healing process.

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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HI Gayle,

 

I am not one of the moderators  but i just wanted to say hi and welcome.

 

i am a 56 yrs old woman. up until i tried to stop the medication, i had a pretty normal, creative, healthy life. i had been on the Lexapro for 7-8 yrs- started it to treat postmenopausal anxiety/depression. i attempted to get off the medication due to side effects.

i came here after i tapered too fast off the SSRI lexapro and got so very, very sick.

 

i just wanted to let you know that i read and researched and talked to various doctors to try to find out what happened to me. and previous to the advice here i had tried several treatment options, none of which helped. it wasnt until i got here and began to pay attention to the advice they offered that i started to find some help and healing. i am doing a very slow taper at this point since my nervous system got so disregulated and am so grateful to be getting my life back.

 

so - all that to say, you will get good guidance here. the moderators have walked many folks thru this process.  just keep posting any questions or queries you have and you will get good help.

 

Best,

 

Pokeshaw in Bklyn

7 yrs Lexapro 10 mg. Mar/2011 - 1 month taper. Severe W/D. Multiple symptoms.Gallbladder and parathyroid surgery in Aug and Oct. Disability 3 months.  Dec/2011 reinstated 5mg Lex and went back to work. very bad shape.

By Aug/2012 - self tapered to 1.25 mg cutting pills. -very bad shape. Nov/2012  Dr. Hinz neuro-replete. up and down. Aug/2013 at aprox 1.0 mg Lex stopped neuro-replete ~Oct 2013 Found this site  ~ began using compounded Lexapro and have been micro tapering since then and holding as needed.

11/6/2013 -  0.6 mg

2/1/2018 - .135 mg  Now reducing 5-10% per month 

4/1/18 - .1 mg

4/17/18 - changed delivery from compounded individual caps to aliquot. went from .1 mg to .09 aliquot

7/4/2018 - .09 mg Holding due to wave of W/D symptoms

7/22/18 updosed to .1 mg aliquot

9/30/18 - reduced to .0975 aliquot

2/1/19 - updosed to .1 mg aliquot due to instability bad wave W/D

9/12/19 - back to .1 mg individual caps since could not get stable using aliquot

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Gayle.

 

If I were you, I'd stay at the same dose of Cymbalta for another month, as Rhi suggested. You want your nervous system to be good and stable before you sneak in any changes again.

 

Then, I would reduce by counting beads out of the Cymbalta capsule. Try a 10% reduction at first, you might be fine with it.

 

You cannot make a liquid from Cymbalta (or Effexor XR, or Pristiq). If you find you cannot taper directly from Cymbalta, the Prozac switch might be an option, but it has its own pitfalls, so best to save that just in case. Most people can taper Cymbalta.

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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Rhi, thank you for the welcome, the suggestions for withdrawal, recommending the book (I found it at a nearby library and requested it!), sharing your experience with EMDR, and your encouragement. I appreciate it all.

Hi, I'm Gayle. Born in and still living in So. Calif.

Addicted to Cymbalta for many years.

Tried to withdraw (incorrectly) earlier this year.

Found y'all.  :c)

Looking for a doctor to help me withdraw safely, and with the least amount of pain and suffering.

Link to comment

Pokeshaw, thank you for posting.and sharing your experience and encouragement. I am so grateful I found you all before I went through what you have gone through. What a nightmare!  I feel peace about having the information and support I will need to get through this long, long trial ahead. 

Hi, I'm Gayle. Born in and still living in So. Calif.

Addicted to Cymbalta for many years.

Tried to withdraw (incorrectly) earlier this year.

Found y'all.  :c)

Looking for a doctor to help me withdraw safely, and with the least amount of pain and suffering.

Link to comment

Altostrata, thank you for your input. Your experience and suggestions are so helpful. It is a good plan and I will take your advice.

 

I am so grateful that I was led to this place of hope and healing and sanity.

 

I am at peace; that peace before the storm.  But, I know I will not be alone when the storm hits. 

Hi, I'm Gayle. Born in and still living in So. Calif.

Addicted to Cymbalta for many years.

Tried to withdraw (incorrectly) earlier this year.

Found y'all.  :c)

Looking for a doctor to help me withdraw safely, and with the least amount of pain and suffering.

Link to comment

Hi Gayle!

 

Welcome to SA! I have just started my withdrawl programme from 60mg Cymbalta down to 30mg initially. Good luck with yours!  I am cutting down only 5% per month (by weighing the beads) and then reviewing any side effects, quality of life etc......... I have tried many times to get off AD's without success until I found this site. I am really hopeful that a very slow taper is the best idea. let us know how you get on? best wishes Geoff

Been on various SSRI's since early 1990's. Prozac, mirtazapine, citalopram, Effexor to name a few.

Cymbalta 60mg for last 5 years.

Over 20 years of medication without breaks.

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