Getting off Cymbalta...Cold Turkey

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Crimson Red Scarlet
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 1/8/2012 10:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello All,

I am seriously contemplating quitting Cymbalta (120mg) "cold turkey."

In the last few months (since July), I've been spiralling into depression that is getting worse and worse (I started the Cymbalta in May 2011, I think). I'm sure part of the depression has to do with delayed reaction to certain life circumstances, but my patience for waiting this out has worm thin. My thoughts are getting increasingly disturbing (you know, the type you cannot talk about on this forum) and everything I try to help my self out just seems to make it worse.

I started CBT therapy in September (initially for agoraphobia - which I still suffer from), and I feel more depressed after each session (this is my third foray into therapy). I have been on Paxil, Effexor, Xanax, Ativan and Klonopin (which I still take) and their efficacy is short-lived if they work at all. I've worked hard with CBT and self-help workbooks, keeping journals, meditating, exercising, clean eating, yoga, visualizations and the list goes on (admittedly, I do none of this anymore because I just can't be bothered).

I've been dealing with panic attacks for almost 20 years, dysthimia for 25, major depressive episodes for most of my life and my personality is that of a schizoid so you can imagine what a joy I am to be around (case in point, my best friends are cats).

I missed my dose of Cymbalta and feel no worse for wear, so I figure, despite all evidence to the contrary, I may as well just stop. I have to wait two more months to be evaluated by a psychiatrist (which I have little faith in since my I have not enjoyed any success with therapy whatsoever). My doctor said I was resistant to both therapy and drugs and at this point non-functional - I tend to agree. I don't think I can wait that long for something that may or may not work.

I am getting older and life seems to have passed me by. I have deleted just about all of my e-mail addresses, my Facebook account, even my Amazon wish list; I really just want to disappear...

I'm tired of going through the motions of living in the hopes that it will somehow make me feel better (like exercise, etc). But that simply doesn't work for me. I'm not going to the emergency room for this as I am not physically ill, and I have no patience for those supposed therapists who ask the same questions, prescribe you something and send you on your way (I know the drill). Plus, waiting 8 hours does not appeal to me. I feel trapped as I do not have the energy to deal with my other mental issues until this stupid depression lifts!

Sorry, that was an incredibly long and pointless tangent. What I wanted to ask was, have any of you stopped taking Cymalta suddenly and what was your experience?

Ta,

DarkWolf

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34324
   Posted 1/8/2012 10:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Darkwolf,

I do not recommend going off of cymbalta cold turkey without doctor's help and tapering off. If you don't feel it is working for you talk to your doctor about going off or switching. It is a very hard medication to go off of. Withdrawal symptoms can be bad for some people. Please get doctor's assistance with this situation.

Have you ever tried a mood elavato? It helps that antidepressants work better. I know you llisted the meds that you have tried, but I don't know if any of them wree mood stabilizers. That is an option before you decide to give up. Do let the doc know that you aren't feeling any better and that you request some help in this matter. It is important to feel well and we all deserve that. I take pristiq, abilify and xanax. I also take the ambien too for sleep. Works good for me. I hope that you feel better soon.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 1/8/2012 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey DW

I did not see a mood elevator in that list...they CAN really help..I did welbutrin and seroquel for 5 years and altho I was not dancing in the streets, it did keep the worst of the boogeymen away and I was actually functional for awhile.

In october, my welbutrin tanked, I crashed and went into a psych ward for stabiliztion and med change. They put me on cymbalta 30mg and upped it to 60mg 2 days later. I felt brighter, more optimistic blah blah. Went home and within 3 weeks I started deep diving again...then I ran out and could not find anyone over holidays to write script and no $ to fill it. I had no choice BUT to cold turkey. I have heard it is a REALLY bad idrug to cold turkey on. I was scared, I had 3 days of feeling very fogged, zombie, nausea chills but I also had bronchitis.

Disclaimer: Do not try this at home!!! lol

I have not felt this good in years since I stopped. But, that is me. the brain can fix itself sometimes, tho very rarely I think. I think the antid was clouding my recovery but that is only me. I have been off it for 8 days and feel pretty darn good.

M<y advice to you is talk to doc and don't cold turkey..maybe drop to 90 or 60 and see if there is a positive diff.. Missing one dose is not an accurate reflection of stopping it.
Maybe adding another med would help

I really get it-the helplessness and hopelessness of living with major depression...I thought I would be like that for the rest of my life and that is really hard to live with, especially when meds are not right...please don't jump into this without medical advice-it could make it worse

I was blessed, I am the exception to the rule and Lord only know when and/or if it will creep back in...I will enjoy the time I have...but I do not recommend a self-induced cold turkey...I have doneit before w/ other meds with disastrous consequences...

I wish you luck and tajke care
Please let us know
Maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

seroquel, hydrocodone clonazepam norvasc multi vitamin and magnesium

msOuchie
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 279
   Posted 1/8/2012 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
 
Hello Dark Wolf:
 
Please do NOT go off of the Cymbalta cold turkey.  That could put you in a dangerous situation.  I agree with Karen and Maggie.  As mentioned, you should be tapered off of it with the help of your Dr. plus perhaps a mood stablizer.  I don't know much about the newer anti-depressants but I'm sure Cymbalta is different and stronger than the one I was on.  It didn't exist when I was on my anti-depressant.  I also didn't have a computer for help.
 
I guarantee that my reasons for being on an anti-depressant were different than your reasons also.  That is important.  I learned how to understand and how to fix many of my problems as the years passed, so that I was confident about my situations and decisions(most of).  My patience, my faith, my support system, my research, my hobbies, my positive outlook(even when I don't feel it sometimes) and my pets(like your cats) were and are my necessary commodities.  Draw from every source that is helpful to your wellbeing, including this forum.  Be Careful and Take Care Dark Wolf.  We care about you.
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Post Edited (msOuchie) : 1/8/2012 11:20:44 AM (GMT-7)


dylan06854
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/8/2012 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I have never been on Cymbalta, but, I just wanted to express my support for the stuggles you are going through.

Jim1969
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 1/8/2012 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I totally concur with NOT going off Cymbalta cold turkey.

This medication MUST be tapered off over the course of several weeks to a few months depending on dosage level and time taking it.

If you feel that it is not helping or making things worse then you need to speak to your doctor and be put on a schedule.
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Moderator Depression Forum.

Crimson Red Scarlet
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 1/8/2012 4:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys,

Thank you all for your input.

No one recommends going off any kind of antidepressant cold turkey (even I tell others not to do that), but to be honest, I am past caring. I'm not sure how it works in the States, but I would have to wait another 2-3 months to see my doctor and by then I should have an appointment with a psychiatrist. As I said, my patience with doctors is practically non-existent at this point. I am aware of the withdrawal symptoms (I'm already getting the brain zaps, but again, I am past caring).

I have never tried a mood elevator, but then my doctor was always trying to help with panic attacks...he did not know I had depression. During my last visit, he just kept looking from me to my file back and back for for 30 minutes completely discouraged. He finally decided to refer me to a psychiatrist. Now I wait. I am not looking forward to trying yet another drug or combination of drugs. The doctor is fully aware that I feel horrible, hence the referral. But in the public health system, things take a very long time - time I know longer feel like waiting on.

Maggie, I am very happy to hear that it has all worked out for you and I hope it continues to do so.

MsOuchie, thank you for your input. You seem to have a much more well-rounded support system than I do. After more than 20 years, my patience is gone, I am neither spiritual nor belong to any faith (and I will not be starting now), I have done what many depressed and/schizoids do and retreated into myself so that I have no real support system (and if I did, I would have no idea what to do with them, lol!), my research has become a dangerous hobby and my hobbies have fallen by the way side. I've tried the positive outlook thing, it works when talking with others, but I cannot seem to apply it to myself (despite years of CBT). All in all, my mind is giving up on itself and I can actually feel it doing so. Withdrawing the meds, just seems like a natural progression for some reason. If I am to suffer mentally, why not physically? (may not sound logical, but it makes a weird sort of sense to me).

Everyone, I appreciate your advice, support and concern. But I am more tired than I can possibly express and I need it to stop.

Regards,

DW

Post Edited (DarkWolf) : 1/8/2012 2:06:57 PM (GMT-7)


bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 1/8/2012 5:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear DW
You seem determined to do this and you are an adult and it is your body to do with what you choose. I hope it will not hurt you and maybe help. I am certainly in no position to tell you to keep taking meds-lol.

The withdrawal will not last forever and I hope it is not too bad. i wasn't on cymbalta for too long and I think that helped in my case. I really hope you find some relief, no matter how you go about it. No more gentle arm-twisting, ok?

I too find it easy to be positive when giving oythers advice, not so easy when we apply it to ourselves.

i hope you will goeasy on yourself and eat well, stay hydrated and get some rest. I truly thought I would be on these meds forever and apparently maybe that is not the case for me. I hope it works out for you. Depressives CAN recover or go inot remission-it does happen...sometimes the only way we find out is to stop our meds...

Anyway, I didn't want you to feel as if noone was on your side...I am rooting for you and I will send healing thoughts your way

please let us know...we care
Maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

seroquel, hydrocodone clonazepam norvasc multi vitamin and magnesium

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34324
   Posted 1/8/2012 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Maggie is right, you are a grown adult and you can make your own decisions. I hope that the zaps aren't too bothersome. When I stopped effexor, it got bad. I finally gave in and went to the doctor. I could barely walk and my emotions were everywhere. But I got stableized. Fortunately I could get into the doctor that day. I am sorry that your healthcare system and appointments are so few and far between. No matter what, know that we are here for you. And we support what you are doing. Though it isn't recommended. I hope that you weather through this and feel better. I hope that you can get into psychiatrist and counselor soon. Take care and keep posting. It does help to know that you aren't alone.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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