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Bubbymama Cymbalta withdrawal?


Bubbymama

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Hi everyone, I've just registered and am hoping that I can PLEASE get some advice. I have been suffering from Post Natal Anxiety/Depression, mainly anxiety, since June 2013 and started on Cymbalta in July 2013. I started on 30mg which is the lowest dose available in Australia, going to 60, then 90 and eventually 120mg. As I started to improve the doses were dropped each time, until I was back to the standard dose of 60mg. I should point out that with every change in dose of this drug I went completely downhill for a period of time which my doctor said happens with this drug.

 

I started feeling quite a lot better from about September last year, and was also no longer needing the 25mg Oxazepam that I had also been taking since my illness. I unfortunately lost my brother in November and was even able to organise and speak at his funeral, so in late December, in consultation with my doctor and Psychologist, we thought I was ready and decided to drop to 30mg for a few months with a view to stopping the antidepressant. I was then advised to take the Cymbalta every second day for a couple of weeks, then was told that I could stop. That was in mid March.

 

For a couple of months after that it all seemed smooth sailing. I had been feeling quite good, maybe not 100%, but feeling like I was well on my way, and off ALL medication. I actually felt better off of the Cymbalta. My psychologist even said that she didn't think she needed to see me anymore. That was until mid May when I started having problems again out of the blue. Mainly anxiety (from mild to severe), panic attacks, disturbed sleep including weird dreams, uncontrollable crying, and sometimes anger. I am a lot more sensitive to things than I should be, if I do seem to be improving it doesn't take much to set me back again. The symptoms are very up and down though, I don't know from day to day or even parts of the day how I will feel. I just feel like I'm on a rollercoaster. The only good thing I can say is that I don't seem to be getting worse.

 

I have been back to my doctor who has said that he is not concerned, especially because it is up and down and not getting worse, that it is to do with my brain re-adjusting - he doesn't seem to think the drug would be in my system anymore. He has now prescribed me 5mg Valium to manage the symptoms when I need to. I really don't know what to believe anymore and don't understand what's happening to me. Some days I feel so bad that I feel like I am in the middle of my illness again, other days I don't even need to take the Valium. This is so difficult for me as I have a now two year old to care for, and I'm really frightened of getting sick again. I'm really disappointed as I thought I was moving forward and putting all of this behind me. I just feel like a failure. Can anyone offer any advice please? Nobody seems to know or want to admit anything about any withdrawal symptoms. Is that what I'm going through, and if so how long should I expect it to last?

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Hi Bubbymumma,
I too suffered with PND after the birth of my first child. I too was medicated 'for a short period of time' with antidepressants. That started 11 years ago. I've been mostly good for that 11 years but every I tried to come off the drugs I fell apart. My doc said I obviously needed them for the rest of my life. I couldn't understand this because I'd never suffered with a mental health condition before. I became desperate to get off these drugs due to the massive weight gain from them.

 

I tried 3 cold turkeys all from different doses and failed miserably. The first one I ended up in hospital. It was hell. Then I found this site and I'm pleased to say that I'm currently only on 2 mg of my drug (Prozac) and well on the way to being drug free. I do believe you are suffering with withdrawal especially since you had trouble with the drugs when going on them. They mucked up your central nervous system.

Someone with more knowledge than me will come along and give you further instruction about what to do. (Probably a reinstatement of the AD at a much smaller dose, then a slow taper to get off them for good)

Please see yourself as lucky that you have found this site and there will be answers here for you. Many of us have been through lots of cold turkeys and many years before we landed here.

In the mean time, look after yourself and try to keep remembering that it's the drugs and not your mental state that is currently causing you to feel so bad.

You will get better.

Sending love.

2003 Zoloft for PND. No other Psych history before this.

2009 CT. Huge withdrawal. Voluntary hospital admission. Successfully stabilized on 40mg Prozac.

2012 CT after 2 years of tapering to 10mg. Another Disaster. No hospital admission. Stabilized 40mg Prozac

2014 CT after 2 years of tapering to 5mg. Destabilized but not as bad as previous. Found this site. Reinstated 5mg. Stabilized quickly but held for 6 months.

Feb 2015 4mg Prozac

March 2015 Tramadol for Pain after an OP. Didn’t realize it was an SNRI.

March 2015 3 mg Prozac

April 2015 2.5mg Prozac

May 2015 2mg Prozac

June 2015 Destabilized (After research believe it was delayed withdrawal due to the Tramadol)

July 11th 2015. Updosed to 2.5mg

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By the way. Our stories are so similar. I too am from Australia and I too lost my 24yo brother during all this. And coped ok (as well as can be expected) please PM me anytime you may feel the need. I'll be watching your story.

Quick healing to you.

2003 Zoloft for PND. No other Psych history before this.

2009 CT. Huge withdrawal. Voluntary hospital admission. Successfully stabilized on 40mg Prozac.

2012 CT after 2 years of tapering to 10mg. Another Disaster. No hospital admission. Stabilized 40mg Prozac

2014 CT after 2 years of tapering to 5mg. Destabilized but not as bad as previous. Found this site. Reinstated 5mg. Stabilized quickly but held for 6 months.

Feb 2015 4mg Prozac

March 2015 Tramadol for Pain after an OP. Didn’t realize it was an SNRI.

March 2015 3 mg Prozac

April 2015 2.5mg Prozac

May 2015 2mg Prozac

June 2015 Destabilized (After research believe it was delayed withdrawal due to the Tramadol)

July 11th 2015. Updosed to 2.5mg

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Thank you Aliwill. I wasn't sure if it might be withdrawal as I had that two month window of feeling really good after stopping the Cymbalta in March. Of course my immediate thought was relapse, along with all of those other negative thoughts that I've had back since then. I'm even too scared to go out some days. I feel like everything is an effort, which as you would know isn't easy when you have a little one to take to playgroup etc and needs your constant attention.

 

I was not in any way warned about this drug, but I was so sick anyway when I started them that I just wanted to feel better. Like you I have no history of mental illness.

 

I just feel like this is never going to end. What happened to the person that I used to be?

 

I've just had a good night's sleep but having weird dreams again and waking up feeling anxious. Meant to be seeing my psychologist tomorrow just to have someone to talk to, I'm hoping she may have seen this before.

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Someone will be along soon with more knowledge and advice.

 

I totally relate to the feeling of being scared to go out and everything is an effort. Your not alone xx

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Bubbymama.

 

Skipping doses is a terrible way to go off psychiatric drugs, often triggering withdrawal symptoms, which do not always resolve within a few weeks, as your doctor incorrectly assumes.

 

Do you have any Cymbalta left? Can you open the capsule and take 10 beads? This can help withdrawal syndrome. See

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

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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Bubbymumma I feel for you. Similar here. I have two and four year old and launched into menopause after weaning my two year old. Been on ads for a year now, also an snri called pristiq. Trying to wean off now and it's awful. Caught in between feeling I need the drug to feel good and feeling like I must get off due to terrible side effects. Please pm me anytime you need to talk. I'm far from an expert on this but withdrawal seems to be one of the drug companies biggest cover ups.

<p>Various benzos 4 months for insomnia prior to Effexor 37.5mg may 2014 for two weeks, Mirtazapine 30mg june 2014 - feb 2015.Pristiq 50 mg Feb 2015. six weeks later attempted coming off with a six week taper. ten days off and it got ugly. Tapering now using compounded pristiq with slow release agent. 37.5 mg 3 weeks, 30 mg 6 weeks, 25mg 4.5 weeks, 20mg for 6 weeks, 17.5 mgs 7 weeks, 20 mg 8 weeks, 19 mg 3 weeks, 18 mg 3 weeks, 17 mg 3 weeks, 16 mg 3 weeks, 15mg 2 weeks, 14mg 2 weeks, 13 mgs 2 weeks, 12 mgs 6 weeks, 11mg 3 weeks, 10.5mg 2 weeks, 10 mg 3.5 weeks. 9mg 4 weeks. Jumped at 8mg currently 16 months free

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I saw my psychologist yesterday and discussed everything with her. She agrees that because of my past history with this drug that this looks like withdrawal. She said that it fits the pattern that with every change of my dose it took 4-6 weeks for me to have a reaction, and I had been off it for 7 weeks when I had some symptoms return in mid May. She said that she is not concerned and is not keen on me going back on the medication to any extent, which neither am I to be honest. Her advice is to try and ride it out with the help of the Valium (only if needed) which I'm happy to do at this stage depending on how I go.

 

I have actually had a couple of good days without needing any Valium and have been sleeping well without any weird dreams. I will see how I go over the next few weeks but will keep you informed.

 

It is comforting to know that I am not sick again, I think when you are thinking that it just adds to the anxiety.

 

I also wanted to ask how any mums out there who had PND with their first baby felt about having a second (if they did have another) after what they went through? Were you scared about it? Not that we are planning on having another any time soon until I am completely well, but it seems that it is more common with your first child. I just wondered what the thoughts were.

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  • Administrator

It's possible you can ride out withdrawal syndrome. On the other hand, it's possible it will last for months or years.

 

Reinstating is best done as soon as possible. If you find your symptom pattern is steadily getting worse, if I were you, I'd consider this. After you stabilize, you'd taper off very slowly.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

See other topics in the Symptoms and Self-Care forum for ways to deal with symptoms.
 

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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Yes, the psychologist said too that she's not sure how long it will last but that the windows of feeling better will become longer and the bad periods will get less and less.

 

I will try and ride it out but it of course depends on how I am feeling, and obviously if it gets any worse. I have just woken up from a good nights sleep again not feeling that I need any Valium so that's a good start. But how I will feel tomorrow or next week I couldn't tell you.

 

Thank you for the info on the natural medication. I have started taking fish oil but I'll have to check and see how much of the ingredient is in the capsules. I will also start with the vitamin E as well and the magnesium. My psychologist has also suggested walking which would probably be beneficial for me anyway as I badly broke my leg in August.

 

Thank you again and I will keep you posted.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys, just checking in. Still with the ups and downs. Had a shocking few days towards the end of last week, but this week the anxiety doesn't seem to be anywhere near as severe. I don't know whether there also seems to be some connection with my cycle, or whether these fluctuations would be occurring anyway. Sleep seems to be fine, which is one good thing, although I do sometimes wake up with a kind of panic attack. I'm assuming this is also related to the withdrawal?

 

Also having some added stress at home, do people find that additional stress makes the already existing anxiety worse? And I'm also finding that even if I have an okay morning, I can get a surge of anxiety at always about the same time of the day, between 2 and 4pm, but it settles down by about 7pm.

 

I have started taking the fish oil, magnesium citrate and vitamin E and have been taking those for a couple of weeks now. Any idea how long until this may assist?

 

Sorry about all the questions, but I really don't have anyone else I can ask who understands any of this.

 

I haven't worried about going back to see my doctor, I won't bother doing that until I run out of Valium. I'm only taking it if and when I need to, but ideally I would like to stop having to take these altogether when I'm able to. I hope that's soon! Trying to stay positive.

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