Med changes, need suggestions.....

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/24/2010 8:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new to the forum but am not new to fibromyalgia.  Have had it for 4 years.  I thought it wasn't progressive, but either it is or my tolerance of it isn't, because pain becomes more of an issue every day.  I am presently weaning off of Cymbalta, which I have been on from the beginning.  And starting Effexor for strong depression.  Ended up having withdrawal symptoms, and now am aching more and more.  The whole thing has thrown off my balance, which was shakey at best.    The pharmacist suggested going off the Ultram because of  possible interactions with Effexor, but that has not helped the situation.  Ibuprofen just doesn't light up my life mad .  I do have Vicodin, but use it sparingly, but I just don't know what to do.  I could use some suggestions.
Thanks a bunch, Twinklestar

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4796
   Posted 7/24/2010 9:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the family Twinklestar. I love the name! Sorry to hear you are
hurting, that's one thing we all know about here is pain. Finding what helps the
pain is trial and error for most of us. I have tried Cymbalta but couldn't tolerate
the side effects. I have been on Savella for a year now and it has helped some.
Flexeril, I use for flares,

Many of us were found to be deficient in Vitamin D and that can really add to the
achiness. My doctor had prescribed 50000 IU weekly for 8 weeks untill my level
was back in the normal range, now I take 2000 IU daily. I also take 5000mcgs
og B-12 to help with the fatigue.

Exercise is a must for me, it helps reduce stress and is great for the muscles,
I'm a walker. Deep breathing and meditation also help with the pain and stress.

Be sure to check out fibro 101, second thread , page one for great info for the

I'm so sorry you are suffering and I hope that you find something that works
well for you. In the meantime do what you can to keep your stress down. i
love soaking in a hot tub. Glad you have joined us. The people here are very
caring and supportive. Post often...we really care!

Hugs, Robin
Fibromyalgia, MCTD (Lupus, Scleroderma & RA) Raynaud's, Osteoporosis,
Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Migraines, and Hypertension
Prescription Meds: Savella, Cyclobenzaprine, Methotrexate, Diltiazem, Boniva,
Folic Acid.  OTC Meds: Multi-vitamin. Vit, D, Vitamin B12 & calciim supplements

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 7/24/2010 11:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Twinklestar and welcome!!

I sure can understand the things you are saying about medication. The side effects sometimes aren't worth what little relief you get. As far as stopping the Ultram, I would talk to your doctor about this before going any further. Let him know what the pharmacist said and see if he agrees or maybe more appropriate would give you something different.

I have been taking Effexor for quite a while and I also have been on oxycodone for a long time also. Neither my doctor nor the pharmacist have any concerns about it. BTW, the doctor and pharmacist both are here in our local community and we're not in a big city situation. It's wonderful that the people who take care of your health are also people who know you.

Besides that, ask your doctor for a better pain regime. You are entitled to help with pain control. We all have been shy and worried about asking for pain medication and many of us will always be. The stigma it carries is like having a black cloud hanging over us. That's why most of us don't broadcast to friends and family what we are taking. Not only is it a very personal thing but if word gets out you have these medications in your home it's setting up a situation where they might just 'disappear'. The fewer people who know the better. I hate saying that because we shouldn't have to but I've had to face the facts in the past and now I'm very cautious.

But think about it....if we have strep throat, bladder infection or cancer we won't hesitate to get to the doctor for proper medication. But if we are in pain the brakes go on. Ya, I'm off on a tangent here so I'll But the majority of chronic pain people go either under-treated or untreated and that's not right! We have good medications that can be used safely. We just need the media to keep their noses to themselves. And the ...OK...I'm stopping!

I do think you would benefit by getting an appointment with your doctor and ask about pain control or a referral to a pain specialist. In my case my doc treats my pain and I much prefer it that way. I agree with his type of treatment and we have a strong mutual trust. But that's just me. Everyone has different situations and ways they prefer to get help.

Before you go to your next appointment I would strongly suggest you keep a pain journal. It's a daily diary of your pain levels, where the pain is located, things that affect it, etc. You can download a free journal page and then print one page for each day. I usually filled mine out at the end of the day and sometimes during the day if the pain was bad. It only takes 5-10 minutes out of your day and it will pay back way more than you can imagine. Keep a page a day and put them in a binder, folder or whatever and take the collection of pages to each and every appointment you have. Ask the doctor you are visiting to review them while you wait. He may ask that you leave it with him so he can review it when he has more time but if he won't look at it regularly you might just think about changing doctors.

Why use the pain journal? By letting your doc read the pages he gets a very clear and detailed picture of you pain and everything that affects it and how it affects your life. This way he is in a much better position to help with controlling your pain. If you go in and answer the typical questions..."My pain is a level 6 today"...that doesn't give the doctor any idea what the rest of your life is like. Plus by bringing this along each time the doc will realize you are very serious about wanting and needing help.

The page to download in noted in the Fibro 101 thread but here's the link so you don't have to look it up. I hope it helps and please keep in touch. I won't always go chatting on like a jaybird.

Nice to meet you!
If you're going through hell, keep going.

Winston Churchill

(> <) Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, PTSD, UC, Diabetic on insulin, collapsed disk, arthritis scattered around and a few other delights.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2858
   Posted 7/25/2010 4:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Twinkle...

I would say that you are going through very typical Cymbalta withdrawals.  Some people can stop these drugs and move on to another one with no problelms.  Your pharmacist is correct about an SSRI/SNRI, Ultram combo(they both boost serotonin) and since you stopped that drug also you might be having withdrawals from that.  Increased pain and balance issues are classic w/d symptoms for both drugs.  Ultram is yet another drug that should not be stopped abruptly.

During my journery with being poly drugged, I have discovered that many doctors are not aware of the interactions some of these meds as Chutz suggested, tell your doctor what your pharmacist said.  Honestly, I consult my pharmacist now before taking anything after very bad Lexapro weaning advice that came from my doctor.  JMHO.

Feel better and listen to your body.


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: valium Advil
Reach out and touch someone.  If they don't touch you back it's because you still  have brownie batter on your face.

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41844
   Posted 7/25/2010 5:14 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Twinkle,


I too would like to welcome you to the forum.  You have come to a wonderful place.  And I think Chutz's pain journal is one of the ways to go.  It keeps it realistic in our minds.  It is so easy to just forget about it and then when the doctor answers some questions, you have no answers.  But this way you can just show him the journal and it will say everything.  So please do copy and use.

As was mentioned above, fibro101 is a good place to start reading.  There is a wealth of information in there and I am sure you will find it helpful. 

Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.  We are all here for you with support and hopefully a little humor, becasue laughter cures all. 

Take care,

Hugs, Karen

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

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17501
   Posted 7/25/2010 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
HI, Twinklestar, and welcome!  You have gotten some great suggestions already.  I just wanted to welcome you.  I do take Ibuprofen and it does help me but I have to take 600 mg at a time.  Anything less that that does squat for me! 
I'm so glad you found us and joined in and I hope to hear more from you soon.
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 1556
   Posted 7/25/2010 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Twinkle, just wanted to add my welcome to the family. We have a great bunch of caring and supportive people here. I agree that it seems like fibro is more progressive than they say it is. Either that is usually along with the fibro comes wonderful things like arthritis, and restless leg syndrome and many other problems. You have had some great suggestions from others and like Robin said finding meds to help us is hard because each of us tolerates them differently. I myself couldnt take cymbalta but did well with effexor. Hope you feel better soon.
Gentle Hugs
DX: Fibro, Gerds, COPD, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, High Blood Pressure, and Depression.
When I get where Im going dont cry for me down here. (Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 7/25/2010 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi.  I'm new here.  As a matter of fact, I just found this forum today while searching for more information about my fibro, meds and some other issues I've had going on recently.
I was dx'd with fibro 2 years ago now, though I believe I have been dealing with it for over 10.
When I was first dx'd both what I was told by my doc and what I had read in medical infor ALL said fibro was NOT progressive.  My fibro has gotten worse over the last 2 years despite the rx's added and learning what I can and cannot do in the course of my day.  I asked my doc to please explain to me how and why my fibro was getting worse... to the point when it's really bad I cannot walk across the room.
Her explanation was fibro is not considered a progressive diease because it does not actually harm the bones or muscles, despite the pain we might be feeling.  She continued on to say, yes, fibro can become more debilitating and get worse. 
Not exactly happy news, but at least I felt I had a bit of understanding and in a strange way,  it made me feel better.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/26/2010 3:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for making me feel so welcome. It truly does help when you know you are surrounded my people who know what you are going through. You have shared some good sound advice. I have been trying stretching, and walking, and it does help some. I am working the night shift, and I was hurting quite badly when I first woke up before going to work. I tried some gentle stretching, a hot shower ( that just made me want to go back to bed... so I just relented and took an Ultram. Boy, I didn't realize how bad I felt until I felt better, if that makes sense! So I guess I will have a talk with my MD about what I can take so I don't get into a flare.

Oh, and welcome to 'just_grace.'

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 7/26/2010 5:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Twinklestar,

I'm sorry you are having such a rough go of things.
I'm new to the board as well.

I'm not on any of the meds that you are so can't offer any advice there.
I have trouble with being lightheaded and the "not right" feeling as well as unbalanced most days.
Some days are worse than others but most days I just deal with it.

Hope you find something to work for you that makes you feel better.
Fibro    Acid Reflux    IBS

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