Finally coming off Cymbalta..what this medicine does to you and the effects of coming off

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betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/10/2009 6:03 AM (GMT -7)   
First of all, I am new to this but I would like to inform as many people as possible about Cymbalta..the long term effects of this medication and what a horrible time I have had thus far trying to come off of it! First let me give you my history in a brief few sentences. Mother died when I was 14, suffered depression and anxiety since then. I was previously on Prozac but it made me feel VERY jittery and anxious. Then I was put on Effexor XR. I remained on that for about 2 years. When I would be late on my dose, I started having pretty severe withdrawal. No real horrible side effects other than some weight gain. As time passed I became very aggitated and irritable. Like I had 24 hour PMS. I went to my psych doc and was weened from Effexor XR to Cymbalta. At first, Cymbalta was a Godsend..it was as if it magically took away all the agitation and I wasn't depressed..no anxiety..but also no hapiness..I was numb. Last May I lost my job and it didn't really bother me. By that time I had been on the med about 8 months or so. After about 2 weeks of being off work, I found that I was coming out of my room less and less. After a few more weeks, I didn't come out at all. I stayed in bed most of the day and packed on a quick hundred pounds. The anxiety slowly began to creep back in but instead of raising my 60 mg dose, I remained on that and tried to work through the anxiety. It wasn't horrible but enough that it bothered me. Then about 2 months after that, I was driving on the interstate and became completely confused. I was lost. Had no idea where I was or how to get home. After about 2 minutes this passed. I didn't really think anything of it until a few weeks later when I started waking up feeling the same way. Very disoriented. I could NOT think at all!! After a couple of minutes, it passed and I would be fine again. This bothered me to such a degree, I weened my dosage down to 30 mg. Things were fine for a little while and then the anxiety started again. I woke up one night in a panic attack. I don't know if it was from a dream or what but my heart was POUNDING and I was pouring sweat. It was a horrible feeling. That was 8 days ago. I decided I would stop the Cymbalta immediately. I went 5 days without it while attempting to taper onto Lexapro 10 mg. The combination of the Cymbalta withdrawal and the side effects from starting the Lexapro proved to be too much. I was puking constantly and having one panic attack after another. I took 3 days of Lexapro and stopped it. The puking stopped but the anxiety was still HORRIBLE. On the 6th day, I started back on the Cymbalta 20 mg. This is now my 4th day back on it. I went through all of my pills and removed 3 beads the first day then 6 then 9 and so on like that until I got down to some 10 mg. pills. It will take me one month to taper down 10 mg. Next month I will continue the taper until I get down to 5 mg. and I will stop again. The first few nights back on Cymbalta were a nightmare..LITERALLY! I was pouring sweat, having horrible and very vivid dreams that were quite difficult to wake up from. No vivid dreams last night but a few nightmares. I woke up with my heart pounding again. That seems to be a withdrawal effect. I do feel better today than the I have this past week so I will continue to taper this slowly until I rid myself of this medicine! I can not say that I will not be depressed or never have anxiety again. However I can say that I will NEVER go on another SNRI. To anyone attempting to go on this medication, I can not tell you not to. This medicine seems to work well for some people. The withdrawal does not happen to everyone. But..this medication caused me to go into a deeper depression than I have EVER been in and the withdrawal for me is HORRIBLE! Please do your homework before starting this or any other medication. Know what you are getting yourself into. Be sure that the long term effects are worth the benefit of feeling a little better for a little while. AND..once you decide to come off of this medication..TAPER SLOWLY or be prepared for a few weeks of absolute HELL!!

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40598
   Posted 2/10/2009 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Betinapie,

First of all WELCOME to the forum. I am sorry that the meds didn't help you. There are still many out there that you can try, though I can see where you wouldn't want to. It sounds like they put you on the wrong meds, but you could just be super sensitive to them.

Either way, I hope that you feel better soon. Keep posting, we love new members.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/10/2009 7:41 AM (GMT -7)   
i am actually feeling pretty good today..other than some jittery feeling because i dropped my dose from yesterday by 1.5 mg. a little quicker than i had planned but..now each day will go down 1/3 of a mg. and hopefully each day will just get better from here on out..thanks so much..have a great day

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/10/2009 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
betinapie
 
Hello and welcome to HealingWell and the Depression Forum.
 
I have been as high as 120 mg of Cymbalta which was overdosing me as it dropped my BP, I have been on 90mg and 60 mg and up and down and decided I wanted off so I am weaning with my pysician's guidance.  I am no taking 20 mg every 48 hours.
 
I tried to go 72 hours over weekend but on Sunday I had a mini melt down so I went back to the 20 mg every 48 hours and I have not had any other withdrawal sx.  I will stick with 20 mg every 48 hours for now as I  have some very stressful things coming up in the next couple of weeks and then I will try to stech out the time of dosing..............
 
Going very slow is the best way IMHO, so I agree with you on that.
I am sorry this has been a nightmare for you. Depression is a nightmare in it's own and dealing with the meds is really tough.
 
Gentle Hugs
Kitt
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/10/2009 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Depression is a HORRIBLE thing..but I have been asking myself lately..what is worse? the disease or the cure? i know i need to get myself involved in activites that take my mind off of things..i tend to dwell on situations and cause my OWN depression and anxiety..looking for symptoms in myself and then dwelling on those as well..i have been medicated for so long now..i am ready to try to face this world on my own..and if i find it is too much to handle..i can always try something else..but i DO NOT believe that snri's are for me..good luck in your attempts to get off of this medicine! i tried that taper and found that my off day of the meds were horrible. i was having unnecessary withdrawals every other day which is why i am doing the whole bead removal thing..but whatever works to get us off of this is the main thing..

megie
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 2/10/2009 9:07 PM (GMT -7)   
oh my gosh pie , i have read about ppl
counting the beads.....i am just thinking i am ok .........yikes ........not ..........i dont care about anything . just hoping the Zaps will go away.............geezz i have a few Cymbalta left .......just is just a nightmare.........i would rather have anxiety and  depression to what i am going thru now.........just wanna be me
.................sorry i posted on your thread . or what ever.........been here a long time , just afraid to talk........well thats depression........am afraid to post ......because if someone dont answer me ......i fall apart.....but we have such good mods here ........i am a mess too but i know i can get thru it
hugs take care megie
 
     You can only change what you can control , you can't change what you can't control .


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40598
   Posted 2/10/2009 9:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Meggie,

I just got here. What all is going on? Are you going on meds, or off meds?

Let me know what I can do.

Luv and hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40598
   Posted 2/10/2009 9:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Meggie,
 
I wanted to end the other post so that you could see that I read your post.
 
Try to relax sweetie, try to calm down so that you can lower your anxiety level. 
 
Do some deep breathing if you can. 
 
I want you to kmnow that you are welcome to email me anytime.  My email lets me know when I have a message so I usually notice it. 
 
My fibromyalgia has me down a little right now, so I will close here.  Take care of yourself and let me know more of what is going on.
 
hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


sherbym
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/12/2009 12:10 AM (GMT -7)   
hi, thanks for posting this thread betinapie.
i joined this forum to learn/share more about depression as my father has it. the people here are great.

the latest on my father is that he is on the road to stop cymbalta. Your first hand experience is a heads up.

all the best to u

betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/12/2009 6:52 AM (GMT -7)   
well..today is i think day 4 of tapering my dose..i have been at 170 beads, which is about 18.5 mg. and the withdrawal at first was kind of bad..not nearly as bad as that whole cold turkey idea..that was just crazy on my part..if it works for you..more power to you but i COULD NOT handle it!! i am jittery..like i've had too much coffee..but i needed the energy after being a cymbalta puppet for so long..and laying in bed day after day..at this point..i can not lay down during the day as the tremors are horrible and it triggers anxiety..but i can live with that..my pulse is up to about 100 right now which is a little higher than normal..my bp is also up..not high..but it usually runs kind of low..about 100/60 and right now it's about 120/80 which is giving me what feels like a pressure headache..i am sleeping MUCH better now..if i am having nightmares..i don't recall them when i wake up which is fine by me..i am a little irritable..but i just get busy doing something and it passes..i did too much of a drop that first day..took out 16 beads so i have to let my body get a little used to this dose..i think another day or two at 170 beads and then i will begin my tapering..i am sooo anxious to be free of this medication..i thought i was doing well..and didn't realize i had become soo numb..i have been laughing and crying and all sorts of things that seem so foreign to me right now..and i can actually remember yesterday!! my memory went to crap on the cymbalta..i have to take a small dose of xanax through the day when the anxiety gets to me..0.25 mg sometimes just once but sometimes 2 times a day..but no more than that..my mornings are usually the worst time for me..i wake up with the tremors and it triggers my anxiety so i just take the xanax and lay back down for a little while..it passes and then the tremors usually don't bother me anymore for the rest of the day..but all day long my body feels as if i have taken a handful of mini thins..i know this will pass as my body learns to adjust to this smaller dose and then eventually no dose at all..i am taking this one day at a time..there are good moments and bad moments..but i just concentrate on those good moments and it helps me work through the bad ones..i feel for every person who is coming off of this med as i know it is a horrible thing to go through..i don't work right now and it's probably a great thing because i don't think i could do this if i had to work..my goal is to get myself back together so i can return to work..but i have to do things in the correct order to get to that point..and i am counting on my faith in the man upstairs who i know is helping me through all of this!! everyone take care and best of health to you all..hopefully you are having some good moments that are helping you get through this!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/12/2009 7:24 AM (GMT -7)   

betinapie

You will make it, I promise you as I have lived through coming off of some nasty meds in the past.   I cannot count beads as I have a hand tremor and the beads are to tiny so that is why I am going with extending the hours.

I am holding at 20 mgs every 48 hours right now for personal family issues that I must attend to so I cannot be having a bad day.

megie

Sweetie, do not be afraid to post, someone will answer you but somtimes it may be a bit depending on how many of the members are on the board as this is a forum, not like a chat room.  We will be here to support you.

I am seeing my Pdoc today and so far I have not crashed on my weaning schedule............but she swore I would.  Makes me a basket case the days I have to see her.

Stick with us both of you and we will get through this together.

Hugs
Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/12/2009 7:41 AM (GMT -7)   
thank you so much..it certainly makes me feel better to know that other people are struggling through the same thing and i am not as alone as i feel right now..this is a very sad place to be..but i know IT WILL GET BETTER!! i may not be able to make it without some sort of medication..but i will make it without cymbalta

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40598
   Posted 2/12/2009 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
It sounds like the xanax is helping you through. Maybe you need more though. Talk to your doctor about that.

gentle hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/12/2009 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I found today and actually yesterday too that I have been thinking about the past A LOT!! The things that really bothered me from when I was a kid and things that I have felt a lot of guilt about my entire life..i didn't think about those things while i was on cymbalta..which i guess was a good thing..I may have forgotten to mention that i also suffer from OCD which i know is an anxiety related issue..but i find that i am obsessing about things from the past that i haven't even thought about in YEARS!! maybe i will need to be put on another medication to get these "thoughts" out of my head..or maybe this is a common thing when coming off of AD after being on them for pfft..about 10 years now..anyone else have this problem? i know most people have passing thoughts..mine just seem to be sticking with me..and i think about them over and over and i'm counting again..man if it's not one thing it's a million isn't it??if someone could just honestly tell me this is a normal thing..i'd feel much better..because..i'm obsessing about it..just like i obsess about coming off of this medicine..when i am busy doing things..i don't think about stuff..but when i have time to myself..that's all i do is think..i am SOO OVER THIS NOW!..someone just tell me it will get better..PLEASE!?!

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40598
   Posted 2/12/2009 6:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Betinapie,
 
I take abilify for obsessive thoughts.  Along with my effexor.  It really helps me a lot.  My psychiatrist says that he has had a lot of good reports with abilify.  I don't know if it will work for you, but it really has helped me.  I think that it will help with the counting too.  I spell words.  But not since abilify.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


megie
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 2/12/2009 8:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks kitt , i know you all always here for me , i just get the stinkin thinking . I was having a bad day , to say the least . but have been off the cymbalta for a week . the celexa is helping , and of course xanax has been my friend . Betinapie , it does get better , had nightmares thinking about getting off cymbalta , hopefully your dr. is working with you . I cant imagine counting the beads , but i heard ppl do that . My dr also gave me Clonidine , to help with withdrawals and to help me sleep . Thank you kitt and karen , i know you all have your own stuff to deal with , i read it everday . all the Mods in here are so special , you all get an A plus from me . I dont post much but all of you are family too me , everyone !!! hugs megie
     You can only change what you can control , you can't change what you can't control .


betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/13/2009 3:57 AM (GMT -7)   
i don't get to go to my doc until monday..i have been doing all of this on my own thus far..i had HORRIBLE nightmares last night..i dream a lot about never feeling any better with this etc. mostly because that is what i worry about during the day..and the tremors are just ridiculous..i can't wait until the day that all of this ridiculous mess stops..but i know it will take time..

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/13/2009 8:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning to All
 
Happy Friday the 13th.
I saw my Pdoc yesterday and she admitted that my 20 mg of Cymbalta every 48 hours may be working for me as there are no studies done at the low doses to prove or disprove that some people will do fine on a low dose of this med.
 
All the studies were done at 60 mgs and 90 mgs every day dosing.
 
So she is human after all...............I was beginning to worry about her...........evil grin.
I am going to stay at this low dose for now as my sister is having her surgery and I know I have to be alert and capable of functioning the next couple of weeks so I am satisfied with where I am at.
 
I will say at the 48 hour mark I do start to feel some dizziness so when I cut down further I will need time to be close to home in case I have  bad dizzy spells but for now I live in the moment.
 
Hugs to everyone of you.
Kitt
 
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/13/2009 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
i am glad it's working for you..have u tried dramamine for the dizziness? it worked for me when my dizziness was at it's peak..i woke up this morning feeling horrible but that could be the fact that my long distance b/f and i broke up last night at midnight when he finally decided to call me after 5 days..i got up early this morning and felt like crap..took my low dose of xaxax and lay back down..i just woke up and i feel fine now..headache but that's an everyday thing now..i think i am going to begin my tapering dose tonight..i will be down to 10 mg in about 28 days and i will try to stop again..if that doesn't work..i will taper further down..it is a great feeling to know that i will be FREE of this medicine in at the most about 6 weeks!! i am having only side effects and no benefits now..which seems like a waste but the withdrawal was WAY too much..good luck all..have a blessed day

betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/21/2009 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   
i thought i'd check in for the people who are going through the cymbalta withdrawal..i am now down to 15 mg..it took me about 10 days to go down from the 20 ish mg. i was taking..but..i am still continuing the taper..i have had some of the withdrawal effects..dizziness, anxiety and night sweats..tremors when i first wake up..but the severity of them is much less now than it was in the beginning..i am not taking hardly and xanax now..just when i feel really jittery..i am still waking up at around 4 every morning no matter what time i go to bed..i take my pill around 8 so that could be why i'm waking up at 4..maybe i can try to take it a little later..seems i wake up 8 hours on the dot after taking my pill..hmm..just thought about that..my mind is still a little foggy..that's the best word i can use to describe it..with my slow taper..i have NOT had any brain or body zaps which i am quite thankful for..i had them when i weaned from effexor and they were HORRIBLE! this is probably the worst time i have ever had with anxiety..much worse than before i went on the pill..i sometimes worry that i am doing this for nothing because i will always feel this way..i KNOW that is not the case..but that causes some of my anxiety..had it not been for dramamine, benadryl and the low dose of xanax..i'd never have made it this far..this is a very long road..and it's difficult..i will be on the 15 mg for 5 days..and then begin my taper again..taper 3 more beads a day until i get down to 10 mg..stay there for 5 days..start the taper again..until i get down to 5 mg..and then i plan to stop..no matter how bad the withdrawal becomes..i WILL stop at 5 mg..i want so badly to just stop now..but i know if i tried..i'd be right back where i started and THAT WAS HORRIBLE!! we get impatient with the tapering but believe me..i think it will be much easier to stop at 5 mg. than it was to try to stop at 30..that was just bad business on the part of my doc! i will get off of this..about 6 weeks..maybe 7 and i'll be done..and after a couple of months..this whole ordeal will be nothing more than a BAD memory for me..again..good luck guys..

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40598
   Posted 2/21/2009 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Good luck with tapering off of your medications. I know that it is hard. And scarey. Come here when you have a difficult time, as we are here for you. Will try to support you in the best way that we can.

I am glad that you are tapering slowly, it is so hard to go off of medications. Are you planning on something new? Or are you going to go with cbt? Either way I wish you the best.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/21/2009 9:47 AM (GMT -7)   
i would like to try to go off of all meds as i am not having any depression as of the past few months..just the anxiety which i HOPE is only as severe as it is because of the withdrawal..i know that it's a withdrawal effect..and i hope that it continues to improve as i get off of this drug..if not..i will try a typical SSri and never another snri..as i know that the withdrawal is more than i care to deal with..

betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/23/2009 12:45 AM (GMT -7)   
well its 2 am and i am wide awake..again..i have been having horrible insomnia for the past 3-4 days now...i woke up a little while ago in a COMPLETE state of conufusion and panic..i feel like this is never going to end..i don't know if it's my anxiety or what..i go to my psych doc this evening..i certainly hope she can shed some light on this..i'm considering going back on effexor..i know there are withdrawals with it as well..but maybe i do need to be on something for my anixety..this is becoming too much for me..i HATE when i wake up feeling confused and terrified at the same time..makes me not want to go to sleep..i don't remember having all of this when i tapered off effexor..so maybe i will just go back on that..it seems i remember feeling much better than this..i currently feel very foggy headed..can't concentrate..is this all withdrawal or is it my anxiety?? maybe a little of both..who knows..someone please tell me this has happened to you..waking up in a state of confused panic..i don't remember if i had a bad dream or something..i just want to feel normal again..

nurse2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 2/23/2009 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   
You know how sometimes fate brings you someplace? I just told my husband not 2 min. ago that I was going to call my PCP tomorrow and get an appointment. I have been on Cymbalta 60mg. for at least 3 yrs. for fibromyalgia. I literally changed my world........I used to be able to predict the weather in Olkahoma by the pain I was feeling and I live in Ohio! These last 3 months or so I have been in horrible pain. I've had bursitis in both shoulders and hips....have had the bursa in both hips injected and just had my shoulder and hip joints injected because I was in such bad shape. I think that it is time to get off of the Cymbalta and try Prozac again. I have lots of family stressors right now that can't be helped (Mother with advanced Parkinson's disease, being left with the resposibility of my 42yr old cousin who is disabled and lives out of town, etc.) A couple of weekends ago I spent both days crying my eyes out and I could have cried all day yesterday. I'm not complaining about the responsibilities that I have but with all of this pain I need some relief. I had no idea that coming off of the Cymbalta could be so bad. Sorry that you are having such a bad run of it. We just never know what tomorrow will bring, do we?
Nurse2
Degenerative disc disease,osteoarthritis, status post 4 cervical spinal surgeries with plate insertions and fusion, Lupus, Sjogren's Disease, Fibromyalgia, chronic heacaches and chronic pain.


betinapie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/24/2009 4:06 AM (GMT -7)   
boy if that ain't the truth..i went back to my psych doc yesterday..i have a really bad response to most of the ssri meds..they cause my anxiety to go through the roof..like i am shaking and it's just really really bad..have panic attacks..HORRIBLE..i did really well on effexor before i went to cymbalta..don't really recall why i switched honestly..but yesterday she told me to just go ahead and stop the 15 mg of cymbalta and she started me back on effexor at 37.5 and i will go up to 75 in a week..also added in a small dose of klonopin for this inside shakey feeling which is the result of my trying to come off the cymbalta too quickly..if i could just get those to stop..along with that restless i just can't be still feelings..i'd be good to go again..GOOD LUCK in your journey..it IS HARD!!
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