how to come off of both Cymbalta and Lyrica for P. Neuropathy

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Bee girl
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Date Joined Sep 2008
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   Posted 9/21/2008 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Is there anyone out there who can help me understand how to get off of Cymbalta and Lyrical? The symptoms have become unbearable! Still have moderate pain and have, insomnia, have gained 45 lbs., have lost allot of hair and my self esteem has gone way down. I want to get off these meds as soon as I can. I have been taking 600 mg./day of Lyrica and 60 mg/day of Cymbalta.

I started to reduce my Lyrica by 150mg/day last week and I am a mess. I have foggy, unclear thinking, horrible anxiety and energy, I am very depressed and my insomnia still remains. My feet are fire again.
Does anyone know what else I can do?????? Please help!

Chutz
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   Posted 9/21/2008 9:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bee girl and welcome to the forum! Please ask your doctor for the correct way to come off these medications. If you had only taken them for a week or so you most likely could just stop, but since you've taken them for a long time it can be very dangerous to do it on your own. These are complicated medications and need to be handled by your physician.

Good luck and let us know how it's going,
Chutzie
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~~~
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.
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The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)


Bee girl
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   Posted 9/21/2008 9:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for your quick response. My doctor is not giving me much help on it, though he says I need to come off of it. He said lower the dose every two weeks but what does that mean? I am going to seek out a new Neurologist.

Yes, I am finding out how dangerous they really are, had I been warned of this and the withdrawal symptoms, I would never have taken them.

Thanks so much for your help and your welcome!
Bee Girl

Bee girl
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   Posted 9/21/2008 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   
OOps! You must be able to tell I'm new. I accidently gave you a thumbs down when I meant to give you a thumbs up. You wouldn't know how I could correct that do you?

Feeling really stupid about now!
Bir Girl

PAlady
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   Posted 9/21/2008 9:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Bee Girl,
I would agree with Chutz. You need some medical supervision to d/c these meds, and you need to call your doctor's office and at least ask for more specific instructions rather than trying it yourself. Do you need to d/c both medications? it's difficult to know if one might be helping, and one causing many of the problems. Or sometimes the combination can be causing the problems. Both of these meds. need to be tapered. You might also ask your pharmacist if he/she is knowledgeable, but your doctor is the main one who needs to give you directions on how much to lower the dose. If this is a neurologist (you said you were seeking "another" neurologist) he/she should be able to give you a specific taper schedule.

Sorry if this is a bit rambling. It's late and I'm tired, but wanted to add some thoughts.

PaLady

Bee girl
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Date Joined Sep 2008
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   Posted 9/21/2008 10:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your thoughts. I will talk with the doctor tomorrow to get more explicit information. I was on the Lyrica for 2 and half years but kept having to increase the dose because the pain in my feet was so horrible. That's when I noticed some of the side effects mentioned above and I became concerned. My doc said the Lyrica dose could not be increased anymore so the Cymbalta was added suggesting it would balance things out. All side effects got worse and worse over the last year and now I have high enzymes in my liver now suggesting it is from these meds. Reason for docs wanting to pull back. I just don't know what I will do for the original pain when I come off of these meds.

Life was so much more fun when I was 25! :-)

Thanks again, and forgive my rambling.

web101
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 9/21/2008 11:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Cymbalta's a horrible med. It's good for depression but I got terrible insomnia, chills and that 'too much coffee feeling'.
Coming off of it is bad -- increased depression. Basically if you wanna get off it, you have to go cold turkey and put up with the residual side effects/withdrawl -- luckily mine only lasted a few days after stopping.
 
Just my experience is all... so those out there thinking about trying it, think twice. There are plenty of other AD's out there that'll help just as well -- or better without the horrible side effects. Being a fairly new med, a lotta doctors don't have a lot of info or feedback about it.
 
Oh and that commercial that used to be out there saying "depression hurts" (meaning claiming this'll help for pain) is such a load of marketing crap. Cymbalta may help in some cases for people with diabetic/neuropathic pain, but to have promoted this drug to cure aches and pains on top of depression was just plain wrong nono . The company made millions of dollars toting this drug as a painkiller as well over the last couple of years. Considering the cost is about $3-$4 per pill, you do the math. 
 
Worst prescription drug I've ever tried.

Post Edited (web101) : 9/22/2008 12:23:16 AM (GMT-6)


Bee girl
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   Posted 9/21/2008 11:43 PM (GMT -7)   
that seems to be the consensus on Cymbalta. I am taking both of these meds for P. Neuropathy not related to diabetes but years of low back pain from an accident. I don't think I could go cold turkey with this stuff. I am in great enough pain and withdrawal side effects on top of existing ones. I think Chutz is right, I need to see my doc to get this done right. Doc just said to start coming off of it with no schedule, so I am going to insist on it.

I do appreciate your response, collecting all this advice will help me to not feel alone!

Piercings
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 9/22/2008 12:13 AM (GMT -7)   
For me Cymbalta was an excellent drug for the AD effects. That was the original reason that I went onto it in the first place. Unfortunately it didn't have the positive side effect of reducing the pains. I know several people in my life that have had that positive side effect. And there's several here that have had great success with it. I wish I was one of them.

The cost of Cymbalta what the other thing that was prohibitive to me. Because there's still no generic equivalent for it yet I was having to pay the next rate up on my insurance. Which meant $50 a month. Which would be fine with me, but I recently had to add another prescription that was $75 and it was more critical, so it forced me to change out of the Cymbalta simply because I couldn't afford it. The AD that I changed to has been reasonably okay, it seems to be keeping most of the bad depression at bay. But it's not helping with the overall sense of well being. I miss feeling better.

I'm sorry if I'm sounding like and advertisement for Cymbalta, but to be honest I wasn't happy to hear someone bashing it that severely. One of the things to keep in mind when talking about drugs on here is that everyone's chemistry is different. What makes one sick and feelin' poopy all the time may be a miracle drug for another. If we were all the same and all medication reacted the same with everyone...we'd already have a cure for this DD as well as any other illness, disease, disorder, syndrome...etc.

However I do agree with you about the fact that people do need to think twice about it any time that they're trying a new drug. That's just being smart about taking care of yourself.

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
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   Posted 9/22/2008 4:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I definitely agree with Piercings re: everyone is different. I tried cymbalta and when I got to the 60 mg it was the one thing that did make my feet feel "normal" again. I loved it. I had no other side effects but one - I have a seizure disorder and it interfered with my seizure threshold so I had to d/c it. But regardless, please don't go cold turkey. Tapering under your doc's guidance is the best, especially since you're on both.

If cymbalta helped, you may want to try effexor, which works with similar neurotransmitters; it's also likely they'll be coming out with a generic of effexor ER soon as there's a newer "version" of effexor just coming on the market. Can't remember the name.

PaLady

Bee girl
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Date Joined Sep 2008
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   Posted 9/22/2008 9:25 PM (GMT -7)   
It is so great to have you all to bounce these things off of. Today was the worst day since beginning my withdrawal of the Lyrica a week ago. My feet are on fire again, the pain was awful, and I couldn't get to sleep last night till 600 am. If it weren't for the increasingly bad side effects just taking them, I wouldn't go off of either, but now my doc says I have high levels of enzymes in my liver and I am very fond of my liver and would hate to give it up.

These meds you mention are also psych meds? Do they have same side effects? I know and agree that we are all different but do they seem to have similar ones?

I feel I am on a freight train heading straight for a brick wall. Today I was so depressed that I it scarred me. I am usually a happy person.

Sunshine-ray shakehead shakehead

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/22/2008 9:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Bee girl,
I don't know if I've welcomed you to the forum, but let me do so now, belatedly. I'm always sorry anyone has to be here, but it's a great place for support, as you're learning.

Please forgive the fact I've not gone back over your earlier posts in this thread and my brain is a bit foggy these days. I used to have a lot a knowledge about much of this and be able to articulate it clearly!

Is the doctor prescribing all these a neurologist or a PCP. I think i recall you saying something about getting another neurologist, but maybe that was someone else. Because a good neurologist should be able to help you sort through all this. I have been on a medication for a seizrue disorder for over 40 years, so my liver enzymes always run a little high and my neurologist checks them, but he says they're not exceptionally high and not dangerous and to be expected because of the meds. So I don't know how high your enzyme counts are (and I can't gauge what would be 'high' for you) but maybe the right doctor would know if they're too high, and more precisely what meds are contributing. I also don't know the doses you're on of the lyrica and cymbalta. These are both relatively new meds. I now take effexor since I had to stop the cymbalta, but I don't have any higher liver enzyme levels since I've been on effexor. And I also take neurontin - for neuropathic symptoms in my feet (not due to diabetes).

Anyway, that's a lot of rambling to say you really need a doc you can sit down with and ask all these questions, and maybe see about trying alternative meds. for the symptoms. Not being able to sleep and having all that pain isn't going to help your health, either.

PaLady

Bee girl
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/22/2008 10:02 PM (GMT -7)   
PaLady,

I can see I'm not the only one up late at night. :-)

I have been on Lyrica for 2 yrs. at 600 mg/day. A year ago, Cymbalta was added at 60 mg. /day. Once I got past the nausea in the beginning, I finally had relief for my feet. I have P. Neuropathy due to a low back issue where I get frequent nerve impingement. So, like you, it's for a different purpose. P. Neuropathy

Yes I go to a neurologist who tested my legs to determine what was going on. She said there is nothing I could do for it but take meds and seek pain management. She also mentioned that I could lose toes or even my feet. She suggested that it could be tied to the low back issue. But she was fairly non concerned about it, offered no help, and basically just became my doc to renew my meds. I understand that I am not a patient that she can do any more for but a recommendation would have been nice.

I will ask the doc how high the enzymes are. I don't have a number so I do need to get this.
I can't imagine 40 yrs. with these kinds of meds. So they have helped you? I will have to look into it. Because I can't imagine having nothing for all this pain.

You have been very helpful. Thanks! idea
Bee girl

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/22/2008 11:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Bee,
Yep, you're not the only one up late! I've been having more pain lately. What else is new?

Fortunately, I've not been on all the pain meds for 40 years - just the one med. to control my seizure disorder. And that has slightly elevated my liver enzymes. But only slightly. However neither the neurontin nor the effexor, which I've only been taking for pain starting over the past couple of years, have futher increased my liver enzymes. Sometimes when I don't think the neurontin is working all I have to do is be late on a dose and the symptoms in my feet start up. But I know it makes me more tired. I've yet to have a good trial on the lyrica, which is similar to but newer than neurontin. I'm not sure how different they are in terms of effects on the liver. I do know most all these meds place more stress on the organs that have to process them. Opiates actually are safer because I don't believe they pass through the liver, but although the percocet helps with my pain overall, it doesn't cover the neuropathy. My symptoms are also do to nerve impingement in my lower back. I had a double fusion about a year ago which didn't improve anything, so meds are my only option. I've had about everything else and certainly am not going for more surgery.

ok, bedtime!

PaLady

Bee girl
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/23/2008 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
BAlady,

Well, you've given me allot to think about. And at least I know I'm not alone on this journey!

Thanks for all you feedback!

Bee girl!


:-)

geeja
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/25/2008 2:26 PM (GMT -7)   
HI
 
   I have nerve damage to the inguinal nerve from a vaginal hysterectomy one and a half years ago. I took lycra but did not agree with me at all. I am on 4000mg of neurontin and 3 elavils a day for depression. I have been approved for a neurostimulator implant and I am scared to death. Doc said it would take about 50% of the pain away.So I would be able to decrease the neurontin. Wonderful..but I am scared to death of this surgery. Has anyone had this before ? And is so..is it worth it ? I work on an assembly line and we have computers and magnets the size of my hand and with this stimulator I am so scared of losing my job...please anyone with info, please let me know what to expect..from the trial surgery to the implant surgery ? I'm just very scared..thanks Geeja ( my grand-daughter named me this because she couldnt say grandma Ha Ha ) Thanks again confused

Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
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   Posted 9/25/2008 8:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Bee Girl, I just wanted to chime in and says "Hello"
Lots of well wishes in getting off your medications...
Soft Hugz...
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* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, Enlarged Pituitary Gland
******** "We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world" from Helen Keller *********

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Bee girl
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Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/26/2008 12:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Chartreux! Thanks for thinking of me. I kind of feel like a very small lost fish in a huge ocean. This roller coaster ride is scary! I am slowing down my withdrawal to reducing once dose every 3 to 4 weeks instead of every 2 weeks.

Have a great day!

Bee girl

Piercings
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 9/26/2008 2:03 AM (GMT -7)   
geeja, I'm honestly not someone to ask about them cause I really don't know anything about them except what I've read here. However, I would recommend to you to start a new thread with the questions, or to use the search function here in the CP section. I know that I have read a fair amount on them in the CP section, so there is some information on them. I don't know how much will directly address your questions, but it's a good place to start.


And btw...Welcome to the boards. :D

Baybreeze
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 9/26/2008 7:33 AM (GMT -7)   
HI,
 
Please be so careful trying to wean of Cymbalta! I don't know about Lyrica..I've been taking it since Feb and missed just a few days between scripts and already my nerve pains got worse and I felt a bit funny. But I know of some people who took Cymbalta and their doctors just stopped it...just like that! And they went through horrific withdrawals and illness. Apparently, yes, this medication for sure, needs to be tapered off slowly. The thing is, it's main function is for Depression (though it's used for other things), so most likely a Psychiatrist would know that it needs to be weaned and how, but other docs who use it off-label may have no clue. So your doc can't tell you how, then I urge you to try to find another opinion or even speak to your pharmacist about it.

Bee girl
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/26/2008 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Bi Baybreeze!

Thanks for the tip! I too, have heard horrendous stories about the withdrawal and I experienced it first hand just dripping 150 mg of the Lyrica. I found myself having thoughts of just stepping out and depression I have never experienced in my life. I am normally an upbeat and cheerful person, but this did really bad things to me and then some of the nerve pain returned to my feel again. That was my consolation! The pain, both nerve and spasm in my back worsened. I still have 450mg (3 doses) left on the Lyrica and 60 mg. (2 doses) of the Cymbalta to go.

You're also right on the doc's lack of knowledge on the side effects of just being on these meds and even less about the withdrawal symptoms.l This is scary! Thank God for those that have traveled this road before who, like you, can help us that are going through it now. Maybe, later we also can help others. :-)

Thanks again!
Bee Girl

Baybreeze
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 9/26/2008 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
You're welcome!

Bee girl
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Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/27/2008 11:13 PM (GMT -7)   
well Kesryth, welcome to the Healing Well Forum. Thanks for your encouragement and oh my how tough your situation must be, yet you are upbeat and kind. With the pain you have that is amazing, so KUDOS to you! :-)

Yeah, I have only recently learned from all the nice people in this forum about the dangers of coming off of these meds. I never wanted to be on this stuff either but my neurologist said it was all I could do to relieve all my pain. I to needed to increase my Lyrica 150 mg at a time over 2 or 3 yrs., now at 450 mg. per day. If you read the post above I lowered my dose by 150 mg. 3 weeks ago and it was truly hell. Again people on this forum helped me tremendously.

There is always someone we can learn from and someone we can bless. Oh, I also take 60 mg. per day of Cymbalta. I am on hold right now till the doctor tells me the next step.

Bee Girl :-)

kshields
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Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/28/2008 8:57 AM (GMT -7)   

I agree with chutz! Okay and take a vitamin B complex and drink a lot of water.

Kshields

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