Jump to content

If you find useful information here, your gift would help keep this site going. Our staff is entirely volunteer.

Photo
- - - - -

Doctor is shocked at severe Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,878 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:27 PM

"Doctors need to know that this syndrome can last for months." http://www.healthcen...146506/cymbalta

Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome

By Christina Lasich, MD, HealthCentral.com November 07, 2011

Using an antidepressant for chronic pain might seem simple enough, but did you know that getting off an antidepressant can be a horrific experience?....Many are finding out the hard way that Cymbalta is extremely difficult to stop using. Yes, it may be "simple to use" like Eli-Lilly says in the packaging material; but some people are getting very sick from trying to discontinue using Cymbalta.

Recently, one of my patients and I discussed her use of Cymbalta and the fact that she was working towards her goal of getting off all of her medications because she was experiencing side effects with very little benefits. She had been on Cymbalta for five years since her primary doctor suggested it for the treatment of lower back pain. Neither she nor I realized how tremendously difficult it actually is to wean off Cymbalta. After dropping her dose from 60 mg per day to the next lower dose of 30mg per day, the nightmare began. The severe mood swings started. Her legs became increasingly restless. And she could not sleep. At first, I did not know what was happening to her. All of her blood tests were normal. But when she stopped the Cymbalta all together, WOW! She really started to go through hell. She began experiencing severe nausea, headaches, and an assortment of cognitive problems. That's when I knew that she was experiencing Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome.

A recent FDA advisory committee report about Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome states that there is "much anecdotal evidence" similar to this experience regarding the withdrawal syndrome that people experience when trying to get off of Cymbalta....

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome is not new. All antidepressants have the potential to cause this after six weeks of use. However, no one has seen this type of severity until now. These newer antidepressant medications like Cymbalta are potent and have short half-lives. The primary reason people get sick when getting off these drugs is because they are left with too little serotonin. Without enough serotonin in the nervous system messaging system, everything goes haywire and the patient goes through hell.

Because many doctors and patients are unaware of these dangers, the diagnosis of Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome can be overlooked. Doctors need to get detailed medication histories and know that this syndrome can last for months. Once the diagnosis is made, then the doctor and the patient can try to treat the problem. In the above example, instead of restarting the Cymbalta, I elected to place the patient on an alternative antidepressant, Prozac. This medication replaces the Cymbalta and is easier to discontinue because it stays in the system longer (longer half-life). I treated her symptoms with an antiemetic and an antihistamine. Hopefully, we can eventually get her off of antidepressants all together. For now, I am primarily concerned about getting her through the withdrawals alive. But, I am not sure that this is the best way to go about it.

Avoiding the Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome altogether might be a better route. The company does not make a slow weaning process easy because only two doses are available, 30mg and 60mg. Some patients and doctors have resorted to breaking the capsules open and giving partial doses over a long period of time - often over several months. Bottom line is that Eli-Lilly needs to address this problem and help people get off of the medication when it is no longer necessary. Right now, they seem to be more concerned with getting as many people on Cymbalta as possible. Shame on them; the new packaging should read: "Simple to use; nearly impossible to stop." It is like having a hotel that everyone can check in to but cannot check out.

If you already are using Cymbalta, do not suddenly discontinue this medication. Talk to your doctor. If you are contemplating whether or not to start this medication, please be warned that this medication can put you in harm's way. The benefits from this antidepressant may not be worth the risk. Nothing is a simple as it seems.
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#2 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,878 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:53 PM

Want to quit? See Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#3 Rhiannon

Rhiannon

    Platinum star

  • Moderators
  • 3,783 posts
  • LocationPacific Northwest US

Posted 19 May 2012 - 09:05 AM

"Bottom line is that Eli-Lilly needs to address this problem and help people get off of the medication when it is no longer necessary. Right now, they seem to be more concerned with getting as many people on Cymbalta as possible." DOH hello? LAST thing they want is to help people get off a drug. (I'm just a leeeeetle bit cynical about Eli Lilly, can you tell?)

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease" as I was told. Long and tragic story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything.

 

Now tapering, ironically (but not surprisingly) healthier and more functional than I ever was during the years on the "meds," even with withdrawal (usually fairly mild at this slow pace).

 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 14 2011:   86 mg Neurontin   144 Lamictal,    5.5 Celexa   0.42 Xanax      1.9 mg Valium

Feb 16 2012:   10 mg Neurontin   115 Lamictal     3.7 Celexa   0.285 Xanax     2.0 Valium

Feb 22 2013:   86 Lamictal    2.05 Celexa       0.23 Xanax      1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

Now:                43                    0.625                 0.0775            1.3

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.


#4 Nikki

Nikki

    Platinum star

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,425 posts
  • LocationUSA

Posted 19 May 2012 - 10:19 AM

I still amazes me that after all these years, websites, lawsuits and patients tellin their physicians that they are in WD - the doctors are "shocked."

Intro: http://survivinganti...ndown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine


#5 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,878 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 19 May 2012 - 11:22 AM

At least this doctor is showing a lot of concern.
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#6 jr1985

jr1985

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 435 posts
  • LocationBelfast, UK

Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:03 AM

I hate how they refer to it as "discontinuation syndrome"! Just call it for what it is - withdrawal! Of course, withdrawal implies addiction, and we can't have that now can we?
2003-2005: Paroxetine
2006-2009: Citalopram
2009-2011: Effexor
Aug/Sept 11: Fast tapered Effexor to Mirtazapine
Oct: C/T Mirtazapine after bad reaction and back on Effexor
Nov/Dec: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell
5/2/12: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg
30/6/12: Dropped to 35.6mg

#7 moses

moses

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 110 posts
  • LocationOttawa, Canada

Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:29 AM

Alto, In the quote below, it talks about the depletion of serotonin. How do we built the serotonin back as we are weaning? "The primary reason people get sick when getting off these drugs is because they are left with too little serotonin. Without enough serotonin in the nervous system messaging system, everything goes haywire and the patient goes through hell." Thanks, Rosie
2009 Efexor 75mg tapered twice
November 2011 Pristiq 50 mg
January 2012 Pristiq 100 mg, became very dizzy and anxious with a lot negative thinking! Ear aches, eye pain, headaches, bruxism, night sweats.
Currently on 30 mg of compounded Pristiq

#8 Barbarannamated

Barbarannamated

    Platinum star

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,178 posts
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:32 AM

I hate how they refer to it as "discontinuation syndrome"! Just call it for what it is - withdrawal! Of course, withdrawal implies addiction, and we can't have that now can we?


Need a LIKE button! Thumbs up... +3....
Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

#9 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,878 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:33 AM

Alto,

In the quote below, it talks about the depletion of serotonin. How do we built the serotonin back as we are weaning?


"The primary reason people get sick when getting off these drugs is because they are left with too little serotonin. Without enough serotonin in the nervous system messaging system, everything goes haywire and the patient goes through hell."

Thanks,

Rosie

This explanation by Christina Lasich, MD, is incorrect, but typical of the simplistic thinking encouraged by the "chemical imbalance" theory.

The problem is serotonin receptors are downregulated. There may be plenty of serotonin in the system, but they cannot sense it and correctly engage in feedback operations with other hormonal systems.
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#10 Barbarannamated

Barbarannamated

    Platinum star

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,178 posts
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:24 AM

Whenever I read of attempts to explain withdrawal in simplified and reductionist terms, I think of the chart in this article about A Unified Concept of Endocrine Withdrawal: http://survivinganti...4972#entry14972 No, I don't understand the chart, but it represents the complexity of the situation we are dealing with. I, too, find myself attempting to unravel the unravelable in hope of finding the key to feeling better after years of assault by drugs. Nobody really knows what these drugs do as is stated upfront in the prescribing info.
Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

#11 zibius

zibius

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Locationgatineau

Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:07 AM

Well, I just learn allot from this site. I was on Celexa for 2 years then my Doc switched me onto Cymbalta because of pain in my thigh (she thought it was in my head but was actually a torn ligament). So I wanted to stop cymbalta and asked her to switch me to something else. She got me on cipralex which I took for 4 weeks before stopping completely.

 

I now realize that I probably made things worse for myself. As I understand it, cipralex is not really a substitute for cymbalta. It will not prevent the withdrawal symptom from cymbalta to show up.

 

What should I do. Restart cymbalta or cipralex and start a very gradual phasing out. Like so many of you have said, family doctors or not the most knowledgeable when it comes to getting of SSRI or SNRI.

 

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.



2009 First brake down. 3 months off work. AD put me on Celexa 40 mg
2012 (August) Switched to Cymbalta 20mg to cure a Tendinitis
2013 (June) Cold turkey Cymbalta
2013 (July) Asked to be put on Cipralex 10 mg since Cymbalta was useless for my condition

2014 (January) Doc switch me from Cipralex 10 mg to Remeron 30 mg suspect Cipralex for weird skin sensation problem

2014 (April) Decided to quit antidepressant at 1 mg /month
2014 (July) Now at Remeron 27 mg

2014 (September) Switched to 10 mg


#12 UnfoldingSky

UnfoldingSky

    Gold star

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,069 posts
  • LocationSomewhere

Posted 07 October 2013 - 03:51 PM

I am completely convinced Cymbalta was manufactured expressly with the purpose of being addictive.  They might be able to claim they had no idea Prozac was addictive, but when the same company manufactures a very similar drug with a much shorter half-life after tons of people complained and sued over the first and longer acting drug then it becomes rather obvious the drug is designed not to be stopped.

 

All the more reason not to buy into their marketing pitch to start with.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Partly recovered from AD withdrawal/reactions as well as issues with other psych drugs.  Also, I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions. Also due to the withdrawal/reactions I have had I may at times have cognitive problems so please keep this in mind when reading my posts (also please note, these issues are improving as I recover).

 


#13 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,878 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 20 April 2015 - 04:49 PM

Testimony regarding Cymbalta withdrawal syndrome:

Just found this legal document by Dr. Glenmullen. It really made me sit up and go "Whoa!"

I'm going to give it to my psychiatrist and my therapist. Even though they are going along with my whole antidepressant withdrawal claim, I don't feel that they really take it seriously or really believe me. Also my therapist is totally not equipped to handle what it is that I'm experiencing. Will attempt to educate them. Again. Sighhhh.....

http://www.baumhedlu...taClassCert.pdf


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#14 mammaP

mammaP

    Platinum star

  • Moderators
  • 3,902 posts
  • LocationEurope

Posted 21 April 2015 - 01:01 AM

BRILLIANT! Thank you for posting that Alto, I'm going to print it and keep it as evidence. 


**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

See how to create a signature here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Many drugs for many years, prescribed diazepam first 1973, took occasionally. 3 or 4 tricyclics  for short periods.

1993 had a breakdown leading to 10 years of drug experiments with all classes of psych drugs.

2002  effexor. 

Tapered by counting beads from March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

 

Also tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg -hold- Feb2016 46mg  March 8 2016 45 April 44mg  May 11  43mg June 14 42mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, pro biotic.

 

My story http://survivinganti...king-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

Following every sunset is a brand new day