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razzlesf Off Abilify, tapering Cymbalta


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#1 razzlesf

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 02:53 PM

I have been on 120mg Cymbalta for nearly two years now. My doctor also prescribed Abilify 10mg along with Cymbalta. I had some really good results when I was on this combination therapy. Until recently, by that I mean within the last few months. I have noticed serious lethargy, fatigue, sweating, headaches, depression and almost no sex drive. (FYI the sex drive I did have was not enjoyable). And that’s just what I believe Cymbalta is doing to me.. The Abilify also has it's unmanageable side effects. I researched Abilify and found the same side effects I was experiencing. After telling my psychiatrist, he weaned me off the Abilify. After two months off of Abilify, I told him I wanted to taper Cymbalta. What he suggested was tapering 120mg to 90mg. The first day, I was so miserable. I had all sorts of dark thoughts. I was panicked and restless so much, I could not stand still. I was literally pacing the around my apartment. After a day I gave in and took the whole 120mg. I went to see my doctor after this. I told him of my frightful experience. After I told him what I had read on the Cymbalta forums, I realized he had no clue. However, I was convincing enough to get him to write prescriptions for 30mg and 20mg to taper off. I have been on 110mg since September 2. He also advised me to use 2mg of Abilify as I taper. Does this sound right? I have never read anywhere abilify would help with tapering. Can Abilify be a subsitute such as Prozac during tapering?

 

Needless to say, I don’t know what to do from here. The time is coming to reduce 10% and I don’t have any idea how to do it. I tried counting the beads in the 20mg capsules along with using a scale I bought (Gemini-20 portable Milligram Scale that measures 20g x 0.001g). I weighed the capsule and decided to cut its weight in half. I opened the capsule and the beads spilled out all in the tray I had under it. I tried to count them. What a chore! I don’t have the patience to do this. Does anyone have any tips on how to do the weighing and filling easier? Should I use a bigger capsule? I have 60mg and 30mg. How do I figure the correct dosage if I use a bigger pill. In order to drop 10% I need to remove enough beads to equal 99mg. I’m overwhelmed at the precise math. Does anyone know how to do this? I have 20, 30, 60mg pills. I have lost all trust with my math skills, which were never that strong anyway. I’m in dire need of assistance. I know if I just stop taking the 20mg pill, thereby decreasing my dose to 90mg from 110mg could be disastrous for me.

 

Thanks. Any detailed help would be greatly appreciated.


I started tapering Cymbalta (Duloxetine) since September 2014. I have been on it for over 3 years now. It stopped working. The side effects were there but I never associated it to Cymbalta. In September 2104, I was taking 120mg Cymbalta. I am tapering 10mg per month. I am at 60mg now. Each taper seems to get worse. I try to wait for my body to adjust to the new dosage before I taper the 10mg. I usually taper the 10mg every 30 days. My taper from 70mg to 60mg has been the most miserable. I know about the bead counting. The general consensus is 10% at a time. I’m beginning to think I’ll have to remove beads from the capsules. The percentage for my last taper was 14.29%.  The 10% dosage decrease keeps getting higher. 60mg to 50mg will be a 16.67% and 50mg to 40mg is a whopping 20%. That's why I might have to start with removing beads. I suggested to my psychiatrist to try Prozac. He started me at 10mg to start and to increase the dosage of Prozac 10mg as I decreased 10mg Cymbalta 10mg. I only got to 30mg of Prozac. I told him it was not making any difference. I have headaches, GI problems, sweating…. The list goes on. He then suggested Nortriptyline (Pamelor). At first, he said staying on the Prozac was OK while on Nortriptyline. The pharmacist called him to tell him that Nortriptyline & Prozac are contraindicated. So I stopped the Prozac. He said that it might help with the serotonin & norepinephrine or epinephrine. I’m forgot which chemical. I am on a low dose of Nortriptyline 25mg, 1 capsule per day. I also take also take Alprazolam for the anxiety and recently Linzess for my GI problems.

 


#2 Altostrata

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 04:20 PM

Welcome, razzlesf.

I moved your post here from the Cymbalta tapering topic to start your Introductions topic, as it's going to be about your personal journey tapering Cymbalta.

How did your reduction from 120mg (a hefty dose of Cymbalta!!) to 110mg go?

We recommend holding a month between dosage changes, to let your nervous system settle down. You calculate the decrease on the last dose you took.

Generally, people reduce Cymbalta by opening the capsules and counting the beads out. How are you taking 110mg? With a 60mg capsule + 30mg + 20mg?

To take 100mg (close enough to 99mg), you'd take 60mg + 20mg + 20mg. To take 90mg: 60mg + 30mg.

No, taking Abilify will not make reducing Cymbalta any easier.
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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#3 razzlesf

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 03:42 PM

I have read many forums looking for the answer to this question. I’m feeling like I’m heading into a tailspin. My story: Until June 2014, I was on 120mg Cymbalta, for two years. Additionally, I was on 5mg Abilify. I have discontinued that. The side effects were obvious. I really feel foolish that I did not associate my miserable physical symptoms with Cymbalta. I take so many drugs. It’s hard to nail down the cause of the worst symptoms. After reading all the forums here and at other sites, it dawned on me…Its gotta be the Cymbalta!

 

I read about the difficulties of tapering Cymbalta and am really scared what the next year has in store for me. Cymbalta has already ruined 2 years of my life. I’ve calculated that it will be close to another year before I’m done tapering.

 

NOW TO MY POINT: My doctor first instructed me to start tapering 30mg. I did not last a day. I was so messed up and in dark places; I was scared I really might hurt myself. I gave in and took the 30mg I’d stopped and was back to 120mg per day again. That was in May 2014. My doctor was surprised I had such a bad withdrawal experience!! So I came up with a schedule to taper 10mg every 30 days or until I feel stabilized on the lowered dose. I have attached the excel worksheet. Box 1 and 2 are percentage calculations. Box 3 is the dosage combination. Box 4 is meaningless to anyone, its just my pill count. My doctor was very cooperative and wrote the prescriptions I needed. I would need to do 10mg per month. In June 2014, I bought a mini scale from Amazon to measure the beads. Well that did not go well, at all! I simply don’t have the patience to take the capsules apart and separate the beads into smaller doses. Those little beads have a life of their own. I followed all the instructions I’ve read on removing the beads. What a nightmare. I read a lot of recommendations to by reduce 10%, but that’s back to bead counting. That’s when I came up with my method.

 

Now I’ll get to the my biggest concern mentioned in my topic! Since I have trouble with the bead counting, I asked my doctor about using Prozac while I taper down. NOW, MY MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION HERE IS THIS. I am using 30mg Prozac now. Does anyone know the proper dosage of Prozac to use as I taper down each month? I know most of you believe in 10% at a time rather than 10mg at a time. I believe that there must be a proportion of Prozac to Cymbalta to use as I taper. There are so much success stories of using Prozac to supplement the Cymbalta tapering but nowhere, from what I researched, has ever  explained how to do it properly.

 

Can anyone help me out here? I am down 30mg, 90mg total from my 120mg starting point. For the 10% taper believers, I am still within the 10% tapering range. What I am getting anxious about is, as I continue 10mg a month, is how much more Prozac will need. I am on 30mg Prozac now, along with 90mg Cymbalta. Will I need more? It sucks I can’t rely on my doctor’s advise. After all, he did not understand why I failed 30mg at the beginning and the Prozac idea was my idea that I learned about from withdrawal forums.

 

Can anyone help me? Thanks for reading my story. I wish everyone well that is suffering withdrawals as I am. I feel like a prisoner and an addict. I just want this stuff out of my system. Cheers everyone!


Edited by Altostrata, 29 November 2014 - 04:58 PM.
removed redundant paragraphs

I started tapering Cymbalta (Duloxetine) since September 2014. I have been on it for over 3 years now. It stopped working. The side effects were there but I never associated it to Cymbalta. In September 2104, I was taking 120mg Cymbalta. I am tapering 10mg per month. I am at 60mg now. Each taper seems to get worse. I try to wait for my body to adjust to the new dosage before I taper the 10mg. I usually taper the 10mg every 30 days. My taper from 70mg to 60mg has been the most miserable. I know about the bead counting. The general consensus is 10% at a time. I’m beginning to think I’ll have to remove beads from the capsules. The percentage for my last taper was 14.29%.  The 10% dosage decrease keeps getting higher. 60mg to 50mg will be a 16.67% and 50mg to 40mg is a whopping 20%. That's why I might have to start with removing beads. I suggested to my psychiatrist to try Prozac. He started me at 10mg to start and to increase the dosage of Prozac 10mg as I decreased 10mg Cymbalta 10mg. I only got to 30mg of Prozac. I told him it was not making any difference. I have headaches, GI problems, sweating…. The list goes on. He then suggested Nortriptyline (Pamelor). At first, he said staying on the Prozac was OK while on Nortriptyline. The pharmacist called him to tell him that Nortriptyline & Prozac are contraindicated. So I stopped the Prozac. He said that it might help with the serotonin & norepinephrine or epinephrine. I’m forgot which chemical. I am on a low dose of Nortriptyline 25mg, 1 capsule per day. I also take also take Alprazolam for the anxiety and recently Linzess for my GI problems.

 


#4 Altostrata

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 04:59 PM

Welcome, razzlesf.

 

Did taking the Prozac reduce your withdrawal symptoms? What are your symptoms now?


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

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#5 razzlesf

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 06:12 PM

Hello all,

 

Ideally, I am hoping and praying that this reaches Cymbalta users who have tapered off successfully and are ex-Cymbalta users. I am going through hell on earth. I’ve read so many stories and most was hellish. I’m scared out of my skin. This is my story as it stands today.

 

I’ve written on this board in the past. I have not updated my progress for a while. I'd like some comments, opinions or advice about my tapering method. At September 2014, for over 2 years, I was taking 120mg of Cymbalta for pain and depression. Around mid-2014, I told my doctor that I have been lethargic, depressed, and have losing a lot of stamina. I also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which was manageable until recently. I’ll mention other symptoms like excess sweating and no sex drive, etc… to relate to others that have the same symptoms and never related it to Cymbalta! I had been having symptoms for so long, that I just lived with and hated. It was not until I did some research, I realized that Cymbalta had to be the most likely culprit causing the symptoms.

 

In August 2014, I pleaded the case to my doctor, to stop Cymbalta. Like I said, I was taking 120mg. He recommended that I taper 30mg! I knew 30mg was too much from the case stories I had read. I was complacent and hoped for the best. I can’t tell you the hell I went through for 2 days. I went back on the full 120mg dosage until I talked to my doctor. I told him about what I had learned through this site www.cymbaltawithdrawal.com and other various sites. I read about bead counting and weighing the pills and even measuring the pills on a paper ruler, etc.. I bought the scale on Amazon for $20, Gemini-20 Portable Milligram Scale, 20g x 0.001g. I took the pills apart. I did the math for measuring the dosages. I did the measuring method too. Honestly, it was a nightmare. I could not control the beads. I contained them on a tray with a dark cloth under the scale and/or the measuring paper. The little pellets still ended up sticking to the paper, off the tray, on the floor. (I was so worried that my dog would sniff them up.) It made me crazy. Also, I am inpatient and a little shaky, which I blame Cymbalta too. I attempted all these methods because it seemed easy enough, reading about it anyway! Also, tapering 10% seemed to be the consensus. I was so frustrated which added to my symptoms and made me even more stressed and ultra-anxious that I would never get off Cymbalta. I wasted the rest of August 2014 trying the bead counting method. I commend the people that can endure those methods. I really wish I had the ability to be precise. I know it would help with my withdrawals symptoms. I finally came up with the method I am doing now. This is the reason I am here today. Please, tell what you think. If you please and not to offend anyone, I’d like to hear the reality of it and not “if it works for you…”  It has not been easy since I started tapering by my method, 10mg every 30 days. Starting at 120mg will take one long year, doing10mg at a time and only if I stick to the 30 days estimated scheduled.

 

What I have come up with is doing the math with the mg’s available and longer periods of tapered amounts. (I’ve attached my worksheet, if you’re interested) Here is an explanation of the attached worksheet, if you’re interested. Otherwise. Skip over the next paragraph. You already know I’m tapering 10mg every 30 days. If, I feel my body has not adjusted to the lesser amount, I continue with beyond the 30-day mark. On September 2, 2014, I stared tapering 10mg for 30 days

 

Box 1: Calculates the percentage by tapering 10mg every 30 days, beginning with 120mg. This is how I am doing it now. It also includes the percentage tapered by 10mg at a time. As you can see the percentage increases with each 10mg decrease. According to this scale, when I get to 40mg, decreasing 10mg is a 25% decrease. Like I said above, my doctor first told me to taper 30mg to start. I was on 120mg and decreasing 30mg was 25%. Could I have the same level of withdrawal reducing 25% despite its lower dosage?

 

Box 2: As you know, Cymbalta and Duloxetine doses available are 60mg, 30mg, and 20mg. This box calculates the combination of mg pills available needed to taper 10mg at a time. I also used it to calculate the number of each dose needed to get through the tapering period.

 

Box 3: Starting at 120mg, this box calculates the dosage by tapering at 10% at a time. This is where I started with bead counting and gave up. Is this the way people in my place do their tapering? Am I overreacting using this table. Am I missing something? If I am not mistaken, this is the method suggested throughout this web site and www.cymbaltawithdrawal.com

 

I did not think this post would be so lengthy. Thanks for reading and I hope I was clear about my dilemma. I truly feel like an addict. I feel so terrible most everyday. I take Alprazolam to help with the anxiety but it does not help with my other problems.

Attached Files


I started tapering Cymbalta (Duloxetine) since September 2014. I have been on it for over 3 years now. It stopped working. The side effects were there but I never associated it to Cymbalta. In September 2104, I was taking 120mg Cymbalta. I am tapering 10mg per month. I am at 60mg now. Each taper seems to get worse. I try to wait for my body to adjust to the new dosage before I taper the 10mg. I usually taper the 10mg every 30 days. My taper from 70mg to 60mg has been the most miserable. I know about the bead counting. The general consensus is 10% at a time. I’m beginning to think I’ll have to remove beads from the capsules. The percentage for my last taper was 14.29%.  The 10% dosage decrease keeps getting higher. 60mg to 50mg will be a 16.67% and 50mg to 40mg is a whopping 20%. That's why I might have to start with removing beads. I suggested to my psychiatrist to try Prozac. He started me at 10mg to start and to increase the dosage of Prozac 10mg as I decreased 10mg Cymbalta 10mg. I only got to 30mg of Prozac. I told him it was not making any difference. I have headaches, GI problems, sweating…. The list goes on. He then suggested Nortriptyline (Pamelor). At first, he said staying on the Prozac was OK while on Nortriptyline. The pharmacist called him to tell him that Nortriptyline & Prozac are contraindicated. So I stopped the Prozac. He said that it might help with the serotonin & norepinephrine or epinephrine. I’m forgot which chemical. I am on a low dose of Nortriptyline 25mg, 1 capsule per day. I also take also take Alprazolam for the anxiety and recently Linzess for my GI problems.

 


#6 cymbaltawithdrawal5600

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 07:08 AM

RSF,

 

Glad to see you back and I hope we can help you figure out how to proceed with your taper. I survived a cold turkey withdrawal off a high dose of cymbalta and I don't recommend anyone else go that route. The worst thing that happened was protracted wd which did not occur until the beginning of year 2 and unless you know what is going on, can have you trying to treat it by medical means which will only make it worse. So you want to avoid that at all costs. Believe me, it can be really awful.

 

I merged all of your posts (including one you made last Nov.) into your introduction thread so all of your information is in one place. The last 2 posts are nearly identical as far as I can tell but one has your tapering plan attached. If you want, I can delete the other one or both can stay, it is not a problem.

 

I am wondering if you have abandoned your attempt to add in prozac? You do not mention it. When did you stop it? Are you only taking cymbalta now at the 120 mg dose or have you started a taper? ow much and how often are you taking aprazolam? If you could summarize this information and put it into a signature that would be most helpful. The instructions are here:

 

See how to create a signature here http://survivinganti...your-signature/

 

What have you gleaned from your reading of the www.cymbaltawithdrawal.com board? I notice that they, in their bead counting method, are actually recommending a quite faster taper than we do here. I have tried to find posts from long term survivors of this method to see if they get the same awful wd symptoms I got which were very delayed but I have not found any yet. That, to me, is why you need to choose your tapering method carefully. If you go too fast and everything seems to be ok (but in reality is not because your body has not caught up with the dosage reductions) you can end up feeling really badly and for some time and actually have to delay your taper which makes your time on the drug that much longer.

 

The 10% harm reduction seems to work well for so many people because it is minimally disruptive to the body's physiology and gives it ample time (if you stay attuned to your particular symptomatology) to adjust and allow you to live a productive life while reducing the drug.

 

Whatever you decide to do we can help and support you here.


What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivinganti...ion/#entry50878

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

#7 Altostrata

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 05:52 PM

razzlesf, I can see how figuring out 10% of 120mg Cymbalta -- an extraordinarily high dose -- would be very confusing via the bead-counting method!

 

We recommend reducing by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. This seems to be safe for most. It could be too safe for some, who conceivably might be comfortable tapering faster. Your nervous system will determine the length of time it takes.

 

Doctors tell people to taper by, say, 20mg or 30mg because they don't have the faintest idea what a gradual taper might mean, they don't recognize withdrawal symptoms, and they cannot conceive of a dosage different from that provided from the manufacturer in the pharmacy-vended capsules.

 

I definitely would NOT count on being able to reduce faster or by a greater percentage as you go lower in dosage. People tend to have the greatest difficulty in the last leg of the taper (see Why taper? Paper demonstrates importance of gradual change in plasma concentration )

 

We can't tell in advance who can taper more rapidly, so we recommend starting at the most conservative rate. The only way you can find your own personal rate of taper is by trying it. The way to speed it up is to make 10% (or less) decreases at shorter intervals, not to make bigger decreases. I would not go faster than a decrease every 2 weeks, to see if withdrawal symptoms occur. (If you end up with extra capsules of any strength, save them in a container marked with the original dosage.)

 

This is how I'd do a 10% decrease in your situation, in the easiest way possible.

 

1st decrease 120mg --> 110mg

As you have observed, you are taking 120mg now, you can get your prescription filled with 60mg + 30mg + 20mg capsules to take a total of 110mg. That could be your first 10% decrease.

 

You can see how you tolerate that. If it all goes smoothly, you may wish to make your next 10% decrease in 3 weeks rather than 4 weeks.

 

2nd decrease 110mg --> 100mg

For the second 10% (or less) decrease, if I were you, I'd go to 100mg. I'd have my prescription filled with 60mg + 30mg + 20mg capsules (totaling 110mg) and take only half of the 20mg capsule, for a dosage of 100mg.

 

You can calculate half a 20mg capsule by weight. If that is impossible, if I were you, I'd get a compounding pharmacy to make 10mg capsules. You will need a prescription for this. (At the end of this period, you will end up with 30 extra 10mg capsules. Save them in a separate container marked with the current dosage, 10mg, and the original dosage, 20mg.)

 

3rd decrease 100mg --> 90mg

Get your prescription filled with 60mg + 30mg capsules for a total dosage of 90mg.

 

4th decrease 90mg --> 80mg

This is slightly greater than 10%, but if you've been doing well so far, it should work.

 

Get your prescription filled with 60mg + 20mg capsules for a total dosage of 80mg.

 

This brings you down to 80mg with the least amount of manipulating the capsules.

 

5th decrease 80mg --> 75mg or 72mg

Going to 75mg would be a decrease of 6.25%, but does not require a lot of capsule fiddling. To taper by 10%, to 72mg, you'd either have to count beads or have custom capsules compounded.

 

I would get my prescription filled with 60mg + 30mg capsules. Take only half of the 30mg capsule, calculated by weight, for a total dosage of 75mg. (At the end of this period, you will end up with 30 extra 15mg capsules. Save them in a container marked with the current dosage, 15mg, and the original dosage, 30mg.)

 

If you choose to get custom compounded capsules, you might as well get your prescription filled with 60mg capsules plus 12mg custom capsules, for a total daily dosage of 72mg.

 

 

6th decrease 75mg --> 67.5mg or 72mg --> 65mg

If you're taking 72mg, get the prescription filled with 30mg + 20mg capsules. Add the 30 extra 15mg capsules from the prior decrease for a total daily dosage of 65mg.

 

If you're taking 75mg, get the prescription filled with 60mg capsules. Add 7.5mg by weight or by bead-counting from your extra capsules for a total daily dosage of 67.5mg.

 

If you choose to get custom compounded capsules, you might as well get your prescription filled with whatever calculates out to be a 10% reduction on 75mg or 72mg -- 67.5mg or 65mg custom capsules.

 

7th decrease 67.5mg or 65mg --> 60mg

Get your prescription filled with 60mg capsules.

 

8th decrease 60mg --> 55mg

Get the prescription filled with 30mg + 20mg capsules. Add either half of the 10mg capsules you have saved, or get 5mg capsules compounded for a total daily dosage of 55mg. (At the end of this period, you will end up with 30 extra 5mg capsules. Save them in a container marked with the current dosage, 5mg, and the original dosage, 30mg.)

 

9th decrease 55mg --> 50mg

Get the prescription filled with 30mg + 20mg capsules.

 

10th decrease 50mg --> 45mg

Get the prescription filled with 2 20mg capsules. Add the 5mg capsules you have saved for a total daily dosage of 45mg.

 

11th decrease 45mg --> 40mg

Get the prescription filled with 2 20mg capsules.

 

 

After this, you're going to have to either open up 20mg capsules and count beads, or get custom compounded dosages.

 

If you decide to count beads, to decrease your dosage you could remove a set number, 10 beads for instance, per month or whatever interval you choose for your taper. (Put the beads you remove in a container marked with their original dosage.) You'll get a very good idea how often you can decrease by 10 beads. It might be monthly, every 3 weeks, or 2 weeks.

 

Depending on your reactions to decreases of 10 beads, you may wish to make smaller decreases when you get down to the last 20mg capsule. Do not be surprised if you have to slow down or even decrease bead by bead at the end.


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.

#8 razzlesf

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 02:47 PM

cymbaltawithdrawal5600 & Altostrata...... Thanks for your input. (cymbaltawithdrawal5600, you can delete my message the duplicate message with no attachment. It was an error. Thank you)

 

I have not been on the boards in a while. My concentration is low and sometimes, for weeks, I had not even gone on-line. I have kept to my schedule, tapering 10mg every month, like my worksheet shows. I've attached a new schedule. I am at 60mg now. Altostrata, as you pointed out, the percentages at the beginning, using my 10mg/month method, were close enough to 10%. Well, it has been no cakewalk.... I am at 60mg. According to my schedule and if my math is correct, going from 70mg to 60mg is a 14.29% decrease. So far it's been the worst period since I started tapering in September 2014. Headaches, fatigue, lethargy and GI problems have been the worst of all. I also was feeling dizzy and lightheaded. I noticed that when I increased the Prozac. I told my psychiatrist and he does not think it was the Prozac. My theory was I had too much serotonin in my system. He said too much serotonin would cause other symptoms. Then, I saw my GI doctor and he suggested Linzess (Linaclotide), a fairly new GI drug on the market. It helps with constipation but my gut still aches. I told him that it's like my gut has a constant headache. It's difficult to describe!

 

My psychiatrist took me off the Prozac. The combination was really not working at any dosage. He now has started me on 25mg of Nortriptyline (Pamelor). It’s just been a few days since I started it, so I have no results yet. I can say after three days, I have noticed no difference. But, I am getting the feeling I may have to start increasing the 60mg Cymbalta using a 20mg capsule with some beads removed, like you have suggested. I am so miserable now. I think I have no other choice. I just hope I have the patience to monkey with those beads. I have 60mg capsules I can work with to divide into 20mg at first. I think the beads are bigger than the 20mg beads. I’ve read that here but have not checked myself.  

I have to stop now. I’m not feeling well. I’ll check in again, soon. Thanks again for your suggestions. ….Joe(razzlesf)

Attached Files


I started tapering Cymbalta (Duloxetine) since September 2014. I have been on it for over 3 years now. It stopped working. The side effects were there but I never associated it to Cymbalta. In September 2104, I was taking 120mg Cymbalta. I am tapering 10mg per month. I am at 60mg now. Each taper seems to get worse. I try to wait for my body to adjust to the new dosage before I taper the 10mg. I usually taper the 10mg every 30 days. My taper from 70mg to 60mg has been the most miserable. I know about the bead counting. The general consensus is 10% at a time. I’m beginning to think I’ll have to remove beads from the capsules. The percentage for my last taper was 14.29%.  The 10% dosage decrease keeps getting higher. 60mg to 50mg will be a 16.67% and 50mg to 40mg is a whopping 20%. That's why I might have to start with removing beads. I suggested to my psychiatrist to try Prozac. He started me at 10mg to start and to increase the dosage of Prozac 10mg as I decreased 10mg Cymbalta 10mg. I only got to 30mg of Prozac. I told him it was not making any difference. I have headaches, GI problems, sweating…. The list goes on. He then suggested Nortriptyline (Pamelor). At first, he said staying on the Prozac was OK while on Nortriptyline. The pharmacist called him to tell him that Nortriptyline & Prozac are contraindicated. So I stopped the Prozac. He said that it might help with the serotonin & norepinephrine or epinephrine. I’m forgot which chemical. I am on a low dose of Nortriptyline 25mg, 1 capsule per day. I also take also take Alprazolam for the anxiety and recently Linzess for my GI problems.

 


#9 Petunia

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 09:42 PM

Hi razzlesf,

Thank you for updating, I'm sorry the prozac didn't work for you.  What dose were you on?  What did you increase to and when?

 

How did your doctor switch you to Pamelor? 

 

What dose of Cymbalta are you on now?

 

I've read through you last few posts and I'm a little confused.  Do you think you would be able to summarize your history in your signature.  Putting a short version of your drug and tapering history in your signature helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts.  Here are instructions for how to do it:

 

http://survivinganti...your-signature/

 

Its difficult to know if your symptoms are the result of too fast tapering or adverse effects from an interaction beween prozac and cymbalta, and now pamelor and cymbalta.  Both these combinations have potential major interactions.  Please put all of your drugs into the interactions checker at www.drugs.com

 

I suggest you stop tapering for now, and let your nervous system settle down from the tapering and drug switch.  When we have some more details it will be easier to know what to suggest.


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

 

My Introduction Thread

 

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

 

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety)

Xanax PRN

Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes animal25.gif

 

Supplements which seem to help:  High doses of Vitamin C, Magnesium, Garlic and Ginger.  Taurine, Vit D3, L-Theanine and Inositol. I'm one of the rare people who react badly to fish oil.

 

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

 

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 


#10 razzlesf

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 12:36 AM

Hi Petunia,

 

I am in my 30-day period on Duloxetin 60mg. I filled in my “signature”, as you suggested. It needs work. I’ll improve it in time. I only got up to 30mg of Prozac before I stopped. My psychiatrist started me on low dose Nortriptyline, 25mg 1x/day. He said I could increase to 50mg in two weeks, if I want.

Thanks for the tip on the interactions tracker. I will try it out. I just try to keep going day to day!

Best …..Joe


I started tapering Cymbalta (Duloxetine) since September 2014. I have been on it for over 3 years now. It stopped working. The side effects were there but I never associated it to Cymbalta. In September 2104, I was taking 120mg Cymbalta. I am tapering 10mg per month. I am at 60mg now. Each taper seems to get worse. I try to wait for my body to adjust to the new dosage before I taper the 10mg. I usually taper the 10mg every 30 days. My taper from 70mg to 60mg has been the most miserable. I know about the bead counting. The general consensus is 10% at a time. I’m beginning to think I’ll have to remove beads from the capsules. The percentage for my last taper was 14.29%.  The 10% dosage decrease keeps getting higher. 60mg to 50mg will be a 16.67% and 50mg to 40mg is a whopping 20%. That's why I might have to start with removing beads. I suggested to my psychiatrist to try Prozac. He started me at 10mg to start and to increase the dosage of Prozac 10mg as I decreased 10mg Cymbalta 10mg. I only got to 30mg of Prozac. I told him it was not making any difference. I have headaches, GI problems, sweating…. The list goes on. He then suggested Nortriptyline (Pamelor). At first, he said staying on the Prozac was OK while on Nortriptyline. The pharmacist called him to tell him that Nortriptyline & Prozac are contraindicated. So I stopped the Prozac. He said that it might help with the serotonin & norepinephrine or epinephrine. I’m forgot which chemical. I am on a low dose of Nortriptyline 25mg, 1 capsule per day. I also take also take Alprazolam for the anxiety and recently Linzess for my GI problems.

 


#11 Petunia

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 11:10 PM

Thanks for filling in your signature Joe, that helps.

 

It sounds like your doctor doesn't have a clue what he's doing, perhaps you could find a new one.  Have a look on our list of recommended doctors, there may be someone near you:

 

http://survivinganti...sts-or-clinics/

 

You've mentioned that you need to slow down your taper and I definitely agree with you. As the dose gets lower, the cuts need to be smaller.   Its important to taper slowly as the dose gets lower.  What we recommend is a taper that's based on a percentage of your current dose not of your original dose. This paper will show you why: http://survivinganti...concentration/ 

(Check out the charts on page 4 and see how the receptor occupancy drops much more sharply at lower doses.)

 

If you are trying to come off medication, I don't see how increasing your dose of Nortriptyline would be helping with that goal, does your doctor realize you are trying to reduce your drugs?

 

Something else I noticed was that you are taking Alprazolam, (xanax)  this is a short acting benzo and can sometimes cause rebound anxiety if not taken regularly.  How often are you taking this, and what dose?

 

How are you feeling at the moment, what symptoms are you having?  Do you feel like you are getting worse, better or staying about the same?

 

Petunia.


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

 

My Introduction Thread

 

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

 

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety)

Xanax PRN

Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes animal25.gif

 

Supplements which seem to help:  High doses of Vitamin C, Magnesium, Garlic and Ginger.  Taurine, Vit D3, L-Theanine and Inositol. I'm one of the rare people who react badly to fish oil.

 

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

 

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 


#12 Altostrata

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 05:34 PM

i would definitely find a new doctor. You've been on an unconscionable high dose of Cymbalta. Plus "only" 30mg Prozac?

 

It's a good thing your body has held up so far.

 

razzlesf, you're welcome to participate here, but it looks like you check in once in a while, ask a question, and then don't come back for an answer or you miss the answer. This is hard on the staff because we put a lot of care into our responses.

 

Please look at your topic more regularly so we can have a constructive dialog.


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.

#13 razzlesf

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 03:02 PM

Hello Altostrata and fellow Cymbalta taperers....
 
I know I have been absent too much. But my withdrawal schedule has a kink in it and I have not been keeping a regular day to day. I don't have the interest or patience to sit at my desktop or stare at my iPhone. I put off things, like doing errands to the grocery and even walking my dog! I am a different person today. It started when I started Cymbalta and even a more different person since I started tapering down from it. I don't know who I am anymore and I don't seem to have a reason to exist. That's not a suicidal thought but a self-esteem and confidence assessment. Although, I will not lie, I do have thoughts of not being around. Especially when my family is involved and the few friends I have here in San Francisco, are concerned. I turn down invites. Nothing will top this disappointment. My mother lives in Central New York State, up near Lake Ontario. Well.... I have not been back to my hometown to visit in over twelve years. In those twelve years. I have gone through a lot of chronic back pain, cervical neck headaches mixed with migraines and anxiety that caused me to put off traveling. During that period, I still had hopes that things would be better with treatments and surgery. During the same period, factor in depression, despite antidepressant regimens and side effects from HIV drugs that lead to even more prescriptions to counter the side effects of those drugs. I did not dare travel all those years. The time just flew by. Then Cymbalta was introduced into my drug regimen. It would help my pain and depression, so said by my psychiatrist. Now, factor in the “discontinuations effects” (I prefer “withdrawals”) of Cymbalta, which is beginning to look like more than 18 months rather than the 12 to 13 months, I had estimated on a worksheet. I’ll never get that time back!

 

The big disappointment has finally arrived. Like said, I have not been back to visit my hometown in twelve years. Sense my mom’s 89th birthday, last year, I had hoped I could go back there for her 90th. That time has arrived. Later this month, my Mom will turn 90. There is a surprise family party planned. Everyone, even from out of town, has confirmed they will be there. I knew I could not do the trip in my condition, especially during the tapering. The time came to tell them all about what I am going through. I had to explain my misery to them why I could not attend. (No easy task, I have five sisters and two brothers) They all “seemed” to understand. They keep offering to come to San Francisco and fly back to Syracuse with me for support. I know they mean well but it’s not about comfort and support. Having someone flying with me would not help. Do you know what I mean? It’s the terrible emotional and physical way I feel.

 

Sorry for getting off topic. Just to review, I started tapering 120mg of Cymbalta or Duloxetine in September 2014. My method was to do 10mg/month despite the forum’s encouragement to do 10%/month. In the beginning 10mg was close to 10% for he first 4 tapers, 70mg. Well, 10% from 70mg to 60mg was a 14.29% decrease. The other decreases were not a cakewalk but I seemed to tolerate it toward the end of the 30 days. I did not always stick to the thirty days either. I waited for my body to stabilize or adjust to the new dosage. I listened to my body! Then it stared all over again when I would taper another 10mg. Now, I’m stuck at 60mg. 60mg to 50mg is a 16.67% decrease. What a difference!! I still have not stabilized on 60mg. My schedule was to be on 60mg from February 28, 2015 thru March 29, 2015. It’s been twelve days since I was supposed to taper. I still feel terrible and I don’t know if I should go back up 5mg to help my system cope. It has been the scariest time I’ve ever spent since this started.

 

 Altostrata, that’s where your note to me on Feb 11 comes into play. I have to be patient and open those capsules and follow your lead. I have bought the empty capsules at the health food store. I already have my $20 “ AWS Gemini-20 Portable Milligram Scale” (20g x 0.001g). For others interested in the scale, I bought it on Amazon. Just do a search on the Amazon site for the scale.

 

I’ve taken enough of your time and I hope this makes up for lost time Alostrata!! Let me know if I left anything out. My mind is scrambled and I get off track. Please be patient with me! I will do my best to stay currant in my updates too.

 

My best to all,

Joe


I started tapering Cymbalta (Duloxetine) since September 2014. I have been on it for over 3 years now. It stopped working. The side effects were there but I never associated it to Cymbalta. In September 2104, I was taking 120mg Cymbalta. I am tapering 10mg per month. I am at 60mg now. Each taper seems to get worse. I try to wait for my body to adjust to the new dosage before I taper the 10mg. I usually taper the 10mg every 30 days. My taper from 70mg to 60mg has been the most miserable. I know about the bead counting. The general consensus is 10% at a time. I’m beginning to think I’ll have to remove beads from the capsules. The percentage for my last taper was 14.29%.  The 10% dosage decrease keeps getting higher. 60mg to 50mg will be a 16.67% and 50mg to 40mg is a whopping 20%. That's why I might have to start with removing beads. I suggested to my psychiatrist to try Prozac. He started me at 10mg to start and to increase the dosage of Prozac 10mg as I decreased 10mg Cymbalta 10mg. I only got to 30mg of Prozac. I told him it was not making any difference. I have headaches, GI problems, sweating…. The list goes on. He then suggested Nortriptyline (Pamelor). At first, he said staying on the Prozac was OK while on Nortriptyline. The pharmacist called him to tell him that Nortriptyline & Prozac are contraindicated. So I stopped the Prozac. He said that it might help with the serotonin & norepinephrine or epinephrine. I’m forgot which chemical. I am on a low dose of Nortriptyline 25mg, 1 capsule per day. I also take also take Alprazolam for the anxiety and recently Linzess for my GI problems.

 


#14 Altostrata

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 02:49 PM

If I were you, I'd add that 5mg and plan to stabilize at 65mg for at least a couple of months, then use the scale to decrease at 10% or less per month.

 

Also, I would book a flight for your mother's 90th birthday. You will be surprised at how much you can do, although you might need to do it slower.


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.

#15 ChessieCat

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 07:58 PM

(Hi LongRoadtoFreedom - I've moved your posts and created your own Intro topic here longroadtofreedom-effexor-capsules)


Reminder to self:      P A T I E N C E       I want to go faster    but I won't

 

Antidepressants:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft; Cipramil CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks soon after)

Pristiq:  50mg mid 2012, 100mg beg 2014 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)     Current:  Pristiq 24mg (from 19 May 2017)

 

Tapering history & graph

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

 

Podcasts:    Let's Talk Withdrawal

 

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.