Which "does more" Cymbalta or Effexor?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

RobLee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 5/2/2017 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I posted about this in another thread late last night (my nights have largely been sleepless lately due to opiate discontinuation). I will be starting some SNRI in a couple weeks after more surgery. I'm hoping for mood stabilization, minimizing hot flashes and night sweats, and pain relief from chronic osteoarthritis... This will probably be taken concomitant with gabapentin.

I've read about as much as possible and was wondering for those in the know what might be the differences between these two? Basically the choice is mine per my PCP, but I chose Effexor. I know there is a ramp up and eventually (hopefully) a draw down.

Most of the symptoms I'm combating are side effects of my current cancer treatment, but looking back I recognize that I had become moody three years ago when the cancer started but did not yet know it was cancer. Now we recently discovered my wife of 35 years also has cancer, so I guess I have good reason to be depressed... though, actually I feel pretty good, for now. But I never know when I might spend a day crying about some stupid stuff. Makes no sense but it happens. Hence the change in meds.

So anyway I'd appreciate any comments on Cymbalta vs Effexor, particularly regarding pain management. Thanks.

Post Edited (RobLee) : 5/2/2017 10:09:52 AM (GMT-6)


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41698
   Posted 5/2/2017 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
It is difficult to say which does more. Everybody reacts differently. I took Effexor for about 15 years. The only reason I switched to pristiq was because of Effexor going generic. But it didn't poop out on me after all those years. Cymbalta is also used for fibromyalgia and other pain. There are some people here who have taken it but I haven't. They are all more difficult to go off of as are most SNRI's. But it isn't impossible. I have been on pristiq now for seven years or so. It has worked well. I also take a mood stabilizer called Abilify. That helps a lot.

As we are all different, your journey will be yours. Give the meds a chance as they take six to eight weeks to reach therapeutic level, though you can start feeling better much sooner. They are subtle in changes on feeling better. So all of a sudden one day you just notice you don't feel as bad as you did.

I am sorry to hear about you and your wife both having cancer. I hope there is good prognosis for both of you. Though I imagine the surgeries were for that. Often after surgery people get depressed and I don't know why. It is a shock to your body so maybe that has something to do with it.

Keep track of good and bad days. If you can feel good more than 50 percent of the time, that isn't so bad. Keeping a journal helps a lot. Keeps your thoughts sorted.

Keep posting, people will give you their opinions and tell you what they went through, though we all have different experiences.

I hope you continue to feel better. One day at a time. That is all we can do.

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

RobLee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 5/2/2017 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your reply. First, I'm curious why Effexor "going generic" led you to DC? Or were you going to change to pristiq anyway? I've read that Cymbalta is often used for fibromyalgia, and I have been using Lyrica for my leg pain after stopping Tramadol. Lyrica works okay but is so darn expensive because it won't go generic until next year.

Yes, the surgery is related to cancer treatment but not actually for the cancer. It's a fairly simple implant basically, but will change how I live everyday life forever, and admittedly I'm scared. Post op depression is often due to extended anesthesia. I did have a 6 hour surgery a decade ago and know about that. Many procedures today are same day or overnight and use Propofol - "milk of amnesia", which has hardly any SE's.

Anyway, after the surgery, assuming no complications, I will finally be able to begin radiation for the residual cancer. In the meantime I'm on hormone blockade intended to starve the cancer, which is what's causing the SE's. By the time I actually begin radiation I will hopefully be stabilized by the SNRI.. So I had to get the ball rolling now.

The cancer is something I can handle, it's the crying over stupid stuff that I worry about. And my wife is doing well, thanks. We get her final scan results next week. It was a big concern for a while as hers was stage 4 metastatic and mine only stage 3, but "locally advanced" and high risk.

I'm assuming that once I start an SNRI such as Effexor I can possibly switch to Cymbalta if the Effexor does not provide adequate OA pain relief... assuming it adequately addresses the other therapeutic needs. Again, I'm all new to this. My world is about to change all over again, so would like to have a road map before going in.
2014-15: PSA 9,12,20,25 Neg DRE, Neg TRUS biopsy
2016: MRI Fusion biopsy, Rt Base, 2x 100% G8 (4+4)
8/16: DaVinci RP, PNE, 6mm EPE, 2xSVI, pT3b N0M0
2017: Lupron ADT, AMS800 AUS scheduled 5/15/2017
IMRT SRT postponed til that heals, PSA's ~.03
Age 66, recently retired to Florida 'just in time'

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41698
   Posted 5/2/2017 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Needing a road map is so understandable. It is nice to have an idea of what to expect.

When Effexor was going generic, my doctor asked me if I would like to switch. I was taking five Effexor (75mg) capsules a day at different times (total 374mg) and the pristiq seemed easier as at that time it was only one pill. I now take three (50mg) of pristiq (150mg). Now the pristiq went generic but I stayed on it as it is almost the same exact thing. I notice no difference. But I heard that the Effexor generic was a little different than the name brand. I think if I wouldn't of been at such a high dose of Effexor I probably would of stayed on it, as there would of been room to go up. As it was, I was on the highest dose I heard. Either way I kind of like the pristiq better. I got brain zaps on the Effexor at times. None on the pristiq unless I don't take it. Which one day I got sick in the morning and lost it. I was afraid to take more, but got bad brain zaps at the end of the day. Long story...

I hope that the Effexor or Cymbalta help you so that the radiation goes well. My first husband had lung cancer and did radiation for it. It was stage 4 though so he did pass away. They couldn't make it any better, just more tolerable.

I have heard Cymbalta does help with pain. I think I mentioned that I have never tried it. There are people though on the forum who have, hopefully they will reply.

My husband was taking Lyrica for nerve pain in his feet, but a daily dose made him a little tipsy. Or not steady on his feet so now he only takes it when it is needed. He says it still helps. I hope that it helps you too.

I guess I was afraid that the generic Effexor would be different than the brand name as some drugs are. The abilify (mood stabilizer) was and I had to double the dose. It works good now.

I hope you get answers to your questions so that you have an idea as to what you want to do and which way you want to go with the medications. Take care and have a good rest of the day.

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

RobLee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 5/2/2017 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Karen. Sorry to hear about your late husband, but glad you were able to find another. My wife and I, as we both have Ca, often wonder which one will eventually have to get by without the other. Sad, but happens to every couple eventually.

I've read about the brain zaps, and TBH that's probably one of the scariest aspects (to me) of going on a med such as this. And you brought up something I had never even considered before... I do sometimes get food poisoning, most recently at my wife's last infusion. I ate a turkey sandwich from the lunch cart. Must have been out of refrigeration too long (she didn't eat anything as chemo messed up her appetite).

Anyway, what was supposed to be a celebration of her final chemo turned out to be 12 hours of dry heaves for me, and I lost eight pounds that weekend. Could barely keep down tea, much less take any sort of meds. I'm hoping that a couple days without food doesn't mean a day full of brain zaps for me sometime.

Well, thanks again for replying to my posts. I'm hoping some others chime in here soon.

theHTreturns...
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 19772
   Posted 5/2/2017 9:49 PM (GMT -6)   
for the depression part it is equal, however effexor has a good depressive shelf life. before it poops. cymbalta is good for the pain element it helps a little with conductivity. mixed with ya gab, should be a good fit. effexor is useless for any pain elements. i am trying pristiq for both elements. cymbalta is a hard wean, so if ya going to do it, best stick with it for the trip. yep, me arthritic, disc bulges. i send many healing thoughts to ya. keep strong.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 14976
   Posted 5/3/2017 6:03 PM (GMT -6)   
RobLee, I stumbled across your post & wanted to pass some info on to you. I looked up Cymbalta and was surprised to find that it can help with osteoarthritis pain. I knew that is helped with neuropathic pain plus depression. If you go with Cymbalta you may get a 2 for 1 out of it. However, you mentioned Gabapentin which also works on neuropathic pain & you may have to forego it. That would be a question for your dr. You can go to Drugs.com & read up on these meds. The Effexor will not help with arthritis pain.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

RobLee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 5/3/2017 6:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Susie. Yes, I am aware that Cymbalta is often used for OA pain, and I had to make a choice. Effexor seems to be used more often for PTSD, OCD, and "unwanted thoughts". I figure I can find something else for my leg pains. I know I may also need to limit the amount of ibuprofen I take because of the same serotonin syndrome, however, I have never seen anything saying that I could not take gabapentin with Effexor. I know that gabapentin is often prescribed in conjunction with Cymbalta for both skeletal and nerve pain.

Given that right now my need for an antidepressant is more related to those unwanted thoughts - a downward mental spiral which is difficult to climb out of - rather than for relief from physical pain, I hoped that I might be able to get started with the Effexor until my cancer treatments are near an end, and then perhaps switch over to Cymbalta as maintenance of mood as well as obtain relief from physical pain. Where the gabapentin might fit in I'm not sure, though I do know that Lyrica - a derivitive of Neurontin, does help with the leg pains. Perhaps by the time my cancer therapy nears an end the Lyrica may be available as an affordable generic.

Thanks again for responding. I hope I have addressed what you mentioned that I may "have to forego" the gabapentin... unless there's something I don't know. Or perhaps you meant that I "could" forego the gabapentin. Come to think of it, that's probably what you meant. In the long run, Cymbalta would likely kill two birds with one stone, but for my immediate needs, the Effexor seems to be the one that hits the nail on the head.
2014-15: PSA 9,12,20,25 Neg DRE, Neg TRUS biopsy
2016: MRI Fusion biopsy, Rt Base, 2x 100% G8 (4+4)
8/16: DaVinci RP, PNE, 6mm EPE, 2xSVI, pT3b N0M0
2017: Lupron ADT, AMS800 AUS scheduled 5/15/2017
IMRT SRT postponed til that heals, PSA's ~.03
Age 66, recently retired to Florida 'just in time'
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Thursday, October 19, 2017 1:39 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,884,019 posts in 316,450 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 157578 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, annrubertsko.
243 Guest(s), 2 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
looking4acure, Subdenis


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2017 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer