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Found 64 results

  1. Hi, thank you for adding me. My friend recommended this site. I am on 30mg cymbalta/duloxetine, I have been on it over 5 years after developing CFS and associated anxiety and also back pain. It was really good initially and overall it helped me a lot. However, the last 2 years i have put on a lot of weight and it keeps going up despite really trying to cut down food and feeling like I am eating okay and should not be putting on this much weight. Also I feel it is not as useful as it was and I want to come off it. I have come down to 20 mg in last week and can feel symptoms esp in evening, especially head type symptoms and feeling a bit over excited, jittery and weird. However I tried measuring the beads and it did not work for me, for one thing I ended up spilling them all over floor which is not good with kids around! I will stay with 20mg for a few months then will half the 30mg capsules I have, for a few months, then half the 20 mg capsules, then third them, then quatter etc, I plan on taking about a year. I just thought I need support and it is great to have all the info on here. I still have CFS and back pain but milder, but I do not know if coming down on dulox will make those worse, if it does I may have to quit, but I know much more about natural remedies now, and plan to supplement with AShwangandha and Rhodiola and some other things i know about and have tried. I also have some other meds I can use, including cortisol, etc. I was diagnosed with sub clinical thyoroid issues and low adrenal output but only by private GP, I tried thyroxine but did not work or suit me. I have some gut issues too which I am trying to sort out, so have a lot going on. Many thanks, Emily
  2. RipVanWinkle

    Firstly, I want to say how grateful I am to have found this forum and to get a feel for the way it is moderated. Calm, practical and sensible advice from and to those who need it. My 14-year marriage broke down five years ago. I walked straight into a new relationship and the love hormones stopped me from feeling too bad. But when they wore off about 3 years ago (I'm still in love with her without the wash of hormones), I realised that I had become a profoundly sad person with little capacity for joy or pleasure. There were many things but perhaps the clearest example is that I stopped listening to music, once one of my deepest pleasures; there was simply nothing in it for me. Music that once moved me to tears of joy just buzzed in my ears annoyingly. So 25 months ago I started taking Cymbalta. One day, about 2 weeks after starting medication, I caught myself cheerfully humming a tune walking down the street. It actually worked... Wonder Drug!! But life moved on, some of the circumstances that had pushed me into depression softened, and I decided I should be okay without drugs. I was never really depressed before my marriage breakdown so I should be able to stop taking Cymbalta right? Within a couple of days of stopping, (without medical advice), I was swamped with an indescribable sense of impending doom. It was as if everything I trusted was going to fail me and everyone I loved would be lost to me. Describing it now does not capture how utterly hopeless, empty and scared I felt without the drug. I went straight back on Cymbalta and spoke to my psychiatrist who scolded me and said, "This is a long term thing. Don't expect to come off Cymbalta for a long time." That was about 9 months ago and I have decided that I disagree with her. I want to come off it now. I now associate Cymbalta with a bland kind of nothingness. I don't "feel" like I once was able to "feel". It has taken away something real. Hard to define, but I want it back. Three weeks ago I started taking my capsule on alternate days. I noticed the difference in my awareness and general mood, but that has stabilised and I seem to be coping with one dose every second day. I know that this approach is discouraged on this site so I have some reading to do, but it does seem to be working for me so far. For now I will stick to this dose and see how I go. I do not expect to reduce again for some weeks or longer. And, yes, I will tell my psychiatrist before I reduce again. My name is Rip Van Winkle. Sometimes feel as if I have suddenly woken up, at the age of 48, and have a lot of catching up to do.
  3. Hello, I'm new to this site (although I've read a lot of your content by now), and I'm so grateful I found it!! I've been suffering from anxiety disorder and depression since I was a kid, around 8 years old (I'm 30 years old now). I've been in countless treatments since then, too many to remember. I've been taking Cymbalta for about 8 years now, I've tried going off cold turkey and obviously failed miserably and had to be put back on Cymbalta 60mg. Currently I am taking 30mg. My doctor said I should try alternating days to try to taper off, and since reading your content I realized this was the wrong approach. So I bought the Gemini 20 digital scale and the gelatin capsules, and I'm ready to start today with my 1st 10% reduction. I know I'm affected by withdrawal symptoms because when ever I forget taking mi pill I start getting brain saps, confusion, fatigue, etc. So I'm hoping this approach will help me taper off without any harsh side effects. I'm also taking Itravil, this is Clobenzorex, 30mg once a day. Basically I was prescribed and started taking this because of the fatigue I was experiencing, which now I believe could have been a result of the reduction in dosage of Cymbalta... So I don't know exactly what effects this medication will have in my withdrawal. Hoping for the best!
  4. magikpoet

    Hi everybody, I'm sorry I'm not feeling particularly loquacious today as I have a cold, so I'll just write a brief history of myself. I have suffered with Depression/anxiety since I was a teenager and am now in my 30s. My memory is like swiss cheese but I'll do my best to recall my medications. At 18 I was put on Aropax (paroxetine) with relatively good effect. I cant remember how long I was on for but I do remember getting brain zaps getting off. At some point I went on Lexapro and Pristiq, along with Seroquel (bloody awful drug!!). Seroquel gave me the most horrible nightmares! I think I may have transitioned from Pristiq straight onto Cymbalta approx 7 yrs ago after my divorce. My anxiety has increased over the years and is predominantly social anxiety now. My worst side effects of all these meds are memory loss and weight gain. I have put on at least 30kgs since starting Cymbalta. I have tried numerous methods for weight loss but it is damn near impossible! Now I am trying to conceive a baby and have been unsuccessful for 2 years. I REALLY need to lose weight in the hopes of conceiving, but I'm also seriously concerned about the effects Cymbalta might have on a fetus and breastfeeding baby... My long-term memory is awful and recall is almost impossible. I feel like I have dementia already! I also have fibromyalgia, which also affects my short term memory some days, which makes me look less than intelligent at work! Cymbalta is also prescribed for FM so I am fearful of an increase in FM symptoms on withdrawing as well. I look forward to getting to know you all and reading your success stories! All the best xo
  5. today i begin to taper off of cymbalta tonight. i am currently on 90mg and i will be taking 60mg tonight and for the next two weeks. then to 30mg then i will slowly taper off the 30mg by 10% at a time. i'm hoping this will work. i will keep everyone updated!!
  6. Oneday77

    I am a mother of 2. I have been on anti-depressants for 10 years, first 8 on Cipralex and changed to Cymbalta 2 years ago. Now that my life situation is more stable and my kids a little older( 6 and 10), I have Decided to start and stay in therapynand also see a Naturopath to help me. I never thought Cymbalta would be so horrible to taper: horrible migraines that won't go away with Advil, caffeine, water or rest, nausea, diZziness, brain Zaps, pain in my arm, tiredness. My doctor has no clue about any of the withdrawal effects. I am going extremely slow As I have to work and take care of my kids. I now take off 8 beads per day. I have try to reduce More but the side effects were horrible... It may take me years Going this way But I don't care...
  7. Greetings and Salutations I have been a longtime lurker and reader of this site and after years of reading and finally getting off of all Psych Drugs I am finally clean and Drug Free. I would like to thank the people on this site for sharing there stories ( which is not easy) and posting them for others to learn from, get support and a place to vent and lets you know you are not alone. Why post and why now? From time to time I come back to this website to stalk and have seen posts lately that when people get better they stop posting and don’t come back , well I am doing the opposite to offer hope and perspective from my view.I just feel now I can compose my thoughts somewhat and put them on paper/text and let people know that there is hope and with this forum for me personally it helped me cope. I just recently had another family member start having mental health issues and I am able to talk and help them out. When reading this please take into account I still have a hard timing putting thoughts to words and forgive my grammar, sentence structure and jumping around. Quick Rundown, grew up in a toxic environment but always had food, place to live and family but it was very dysfunctional, with an alcoholic father and my poor mother was just trying to survive being a teenager and had no clue. I was never physically abused but mental cruelty was real to me. The fighting , yelling and screaming was non-stop, screwed up grandparents and crazy living situation. I was and still am very sensitive to everything and considered a drama queen. I tend to over react at first but in time I can get through it. I have been told I have white people problems but regardless it affected me because of who I am and how I was made. Everyone is built different. I also try use humor as an outlet. In my case from a young age I did not know how to cope with issues and bottled everything up until my mind and body couldnt take it anymore. So after growing up like this, my father drinking himself to death and died @ 34 I started to turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with my pain. Then a few years later finding my grandmother dead and having to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation and having other traumatic events I finally broke and started having panic attacks .This was at the time all of these great psych meds came out and they started to hand them out like candy. I started out on Paxil, the side effects really bothered me, went on to Lexapro then wellbutrin and a couple of others in there and finally settled on Cymbalta. The whole time still with the drugs and alcohol. Why drugs and alcohol? because the meds I was taking only helped the panic attacks and never really resolved anything. While on cymbalta for the next 12- 14 years I gained like 40-50 lbs became a shell of myself and still had the issues. I finally got fed up and wanted no more of the meds and had enough, blood pressure was going up and other health issues started to arise. Here is were it gets fun, I went to my primary GP and he was maintaining my Cymbalta and said I wanted off I was having to many health issues, he said it will take 2 weeks? I have tried to get off this crap before and said no way. Started reading and researching and tried to do what I thought was a gradual reduction from 90 - 60mgs and had withdrawals but still went through it and for me a big mistake. My body and mind said F-You dude and went into super hyper-sensitivity mode. The drug was repressing my nervous system and then all of a sudden it was gone and I felt everything and my body got worse, bp went through the roof so my GP started to put me on BP meds and just made the problem worse and I was in and out of emergency rooms. Here is the other kicker at this time I stopped all rec drugs but in the emergency rooms I told them about getting off of cymbalta and they found pot in my blood work (I smoked pot for years and quit when I stopped taking my meds at this point it made things worse) and immediately blamed pot and they would give me a xanax and my body would instantly calm down and I would go back to normal. They said I was a drug addict withdrawing from pot and I was looking for drugs to get high. In reality I was going through serious withdrawals coming off of cymbalta and needed help and they said you’re a drug addict and really wouldn’t help. This pissed me off to know end. BTW I could get all of the drugs I wanted on the streets.My doctor kept switching BP meds and just made things worse and I was in and out of emergency rooms and hospitals and had to leave work. This went on for 7 weeks but I got lucky and on the verge of being placed in the crazy ward literally and found a place that knew exactly what I was going through. I didn’t sleep maybe getting 6-8 hours a week, lost 30 lbs in 8-10 weeks and my stomach was horrible, couldn’t eat, sleep, think straight and barley function as a human being and thought I was going to die. I would pace all night long, How I got better? It was a combination of finding the correct Dr's and myself. It is up to you to help yourself. I left the Dr who almost killed me and found ones that wanted to help and understood. Meds and Drs can only do so much. I spent countless hours of research and trial and error with diet, vitamins, exercise, yoga, meditation you name it ( screaming at a stop sign ) whatever it takes. I was put on the lowest doses of serequel to sleep and oxycarbinazapine for the anxiety which did very little but I think the Dr's had no idea what to do with me. The plan with these Drs was to have me med free at some point btw; These Dr's understood what I was going through and wanted to help. Finally after 2 years I am med free but not out of the woods and don’t see any drs except my GP for physicals and still dont sleep well but much better than 6-8 a week. I will always be a sensitive person and I have come to terms with that, I eat right for me and what works for me. I take a couple of vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium calcium zinc a healthy diet and exercise. I have good days and bad days and some days I think I need meds again but so far so good especially now I am getting older and my body is breaking down (I have literally broke just about every bone in my body), joints and muscles and everything hurts a little more these days and I am learning to deal with it, my wife calls me a H.A.M - Hot Azz Mess and I concurr In conclusion everybody is different and how we all got to this point and where we are now. Some people can get off the meds and some cant. BTW what I have found out is that whether I am on the meds or not I feel the same exact way and the meds only helped the panic attacks and never got rid of them and in my opinion they did more harm then good. There is hope but you are your own best advocate ,try to find a good Dr, General practioner, Psychologist, Pschyciotrist , Sherpa guru or a friend who understands. There is no easy fix, hang in there and try and think positive thoughts. I feel I was born with a chemical in-balance passed from generation to generation. My father used alcohol to cope and it killed him. It is not easy and when it doubt ask for help, there are still good people out there and sometimes it takes a while to find them Believe in yourself , try and stay positive and never give up. Nutrition , Diet exercise and vitamins are key for me Continue to write your story and good luck R2G2
  8. Hi, I need to keep this short because I have chronic fatigue & can't concentrate for long. I've been off & on (mostly on) medication for 25 years. I've just come to the conclusion that my Bipolar 2 Dx may be incorrect in that, I think my hypomanic symptoms may be caused by antidepressants. I never had those symptoms before I started taking them. I guess I'll never know for sure :-( I've just been reading about how long term use can turn depression into a chronic disease (if it wasn't already) and about the symptoms of Tardive Dysphoria. Sounds like me. I've been taking Lithium, Cymbalta and a bit of Valium for years now. I feel like I'd like to try to come off the Cymbalta (to start with) but I just wonder if it's too late for me now. I've been reading about how some of the side effects may not be reversible. I've come off meds before and I would use Prozac to get off the Cymbalta as I've done before successfully. But how do you know - two months, six months, a year down the track, if you're still feeling the effects of withdrawal in your moods etc, or if you're back to yourself - or at least as good as you're going to get post years of meds??? Thanks for reading, Zel
  9. Introduction. 61 years old, male. I take Cymbalta, Buproprion and Lamictal. I will continue with Buproprion and Lamictal after Cymbalta tapering is complete. Before I started Cymbalta I tried several SSRI's. They made me feel better but have terrible side effects including shaking hands, erectile dysfunction even with Viagra and the other one, and they poop out. On advice of Shrink I switched to Cymbalta and after 15 years on it now I must taper. It has never pooped out, but the erectile dysfunction can last for several months until it decides to cooperate, usually while dreaming at night. Since having to get out of bed to disrobe ruins the moment, I started to sleep in the nude in order to be ready for action upon waking. Even then it is an uncertain proposition. I am divorced twice, do not want a relationship. and even if I did it would still be sexually unsatisfying (for me). A relationship with Rosey Palm and her five sisters is difficult enough. After taking 60 mg for years I reduced to 30 milligrams by simply taking one generic capsule rather than 2. I did not know about the severe symptoms associated with Cymbalta withdrawal. When I first reduced, after about a week I became nauseous and vomited multiple times per day, often for minutes at a stretch to the point I had trouble taking a breath. The symptoms lasted about a month. I thought I might have pancreatic cancer and my doctor scheduled me for a GI scope exam. It was normal. The doctor did not know I was quitting Cymbalta. I have now been taking 30 mg/day consistently now for about 6 months. During that time I came to realize my sickness was due to Cymbalta withdrawal. It was this website that made me realize it plus the fact I remembered the shrink did tell me to be very careful when I discontinue the Cymbalta and he rolled his eyes but gave no further details. Before I reduced to one pill per day my symptoms became absolutely intolerable. I visited Rosey less and less often, my hand shaking became so severe I cannot write by hand because it is so completely illegible it looks like a young child's scribbling. Using the keyboard is difficult because my hands miss the key I intend to press, and using the mouse requires my left hand to apply pressure on my right hand to keep it from jerking around so much. I also had to adjust the mouse settings to better allow for shaking. My legs also became week above the knees, and I was unable to control them. I could not walk down a straight hallway without crashing into the walls. Sometimes I could barely crawl. I would fall often and crash into furniture and the walls every time I went from one room to another. I had to keep my arms and hands ready to save myself from harm, but I was still falling, even over a pair of socks on the floor. I could not live that way anymore and I was able to associate it with Cymbalta because my hands started to shake, much more mildly than they do now, as soon as soon as I started the SSRIs. After reducing to one pill (30 mg) per day, I still have those symptoms but to a much lesser degree. I am now sure it is the Cymbalta that was and is responsible for it all. This site recommends 10% per month. I bought #4 gel caps and a filling machine. I filled ten capsules with nine 30 mg pills. Unfortunately my hands shake so severely that many of the beads went flying off. I suspect about 20% reduction is what resulted with no adverse effects. I took those ten pills once per day until gone. Because of the problem with my shaking hands, I decided to figure out a better method of reducing. I have. I went to a store that sells cloth and sewing supplies. For a couple of bucks I purchased some very sharp dress-maker needles with an end I could firmly grip. I also got a pin cushion. The pin is so sharp it is easy to puncture the 30 mg capsule, after I stabilize my right hand. For several days I let the pin penetrate the capsule at one end and pushed it through to penetrate the other end and come out that side. It now looked like a hot dog on a stick through both ends of the hot-dog. The pin allowed me to hold the capsule steady while I twisted the two sides of the capsule into a container until they separated. There was a lot of loss and ruined capsules. I went back to the store and purchased a nifty device used to retrieve thread from under the business end of a sewing machine, the part that goes up-and-down and holds the sewing needle. The device was pointed at one end, and tapered up to the handle. I already had a hobby puncturing tool that had a larger diameter at the sharp end than the pin, but more narrow than the nifty sewing device. Because the pin puncture was so small, no beads would come out of it. With the hobby tool, I was able to enlarge the pin hole but alas still no beads came out. But the sewing device tapered up to a very large diameter and I can easily create a hole big enough to let a single bead at a time come out of the hole when I give a slight squeeze to the capsule. I learned quickly how not to make the entire capsule to crack open, which is why I enlarge the hole in successive steps. I squeeze each capsule such that the bead escapes to the top of my cell phone that has black glass on it. The beads are easily identified. I have a rubber protector on the phone which contains the beads on the glass. For a little over a week I removed 20 beads from each capsule before taking it. I close up the hole with Burt's Bees chapped lip stick. It works great and is non-toxic. After over 3 weeks at a 10% taper, this morning I removed 40 beads which is contrary to advice given on this side. If I become sick again I know what to do at the first sign of nausea or other symptom. I want off Cymbalta as soon as possible so I am being more aggressive than perhaps I should in the hope I am one of those who can. If not, I will go slower. Good luck. My method of removing a counted number of beads really works, and I doubt a few beads more or less would matter much, at least not to me.
  10. I started at 60mg of Cymbalta which was 12 pellets inside the capsule. I started to reduce every 14 days for two reasons: Insurance was running out and so was my patience with the meds. Everything was going great until I got down to 4 pellets and now i am miserable. I have severe pressure headaches, brain zaps, nausea, vertigo, panic attacks, agitation, mania, etc. I don't know how much to add back to stabilize or do I just suffer it out and stay at 4 till it settles? Trying not to panic......because I know this will pass. But yesterday, I actually thought, "Maybe it is just a brain tumor and not the meds!"
  11. Ok so I was taking Cymbalta 60mg, Suboxone 16mg, and Klonopin and Xanax(off and on) for nearly 7 years.. Over that time I became severely depressed. I wanted off all of it.. about 6 months ago I started eliminating them one at a time.. first i did the klonopin and xanax because it was off and on and thought i wasnt very dependent on it but it ended me in a hospital for 7 days. Then within a week of that i was in rehab for a month to come off of the suboxone.. 4 months ago I came home doing better and was able to stop the Cymbalta with only minor issues(brain zaps for a couple of weeks) it seemed.. Maybe because in rehab I was given Gabapentin .. i thought it was helping me. I seemed to be doing ok for the last couple of months, just some depression and anxiety but not that bad. Now im pretty sure Ive become dependent on the gabapentin .. i was taking 1200mg a day and started feeling terrible.. very strange symptoms .. i almost feel like im coming off benzos again. So I went down to 900mg and things got a lot worse.. I had no idea this medication could do anything like that. I went through hell the first time i stopped benzodiazapines many years ago.. interdose withdrawals, panic attacks, severe nerve pain, you name it.. I feel like the same is happening with the gabapentin.. the longer i stay on it the worse it gets so how can i taper off it? I'm really just lost, I'm sure Ive done a number on myself coming off so many meds so fast but I felt like I was going to die on them and wanted off.. I felt better by far before the cycle of going from med to med started years ago. should i try to dose back up to 1200mg and do the 10% taper? I was only on the gabapentin for about 5 months and im sure its been masking some of the effects from stopping everything else. If its anything like benzos were, I couldn't taper at all. I had severe interdose withdrawals, and my tolerance went up very fast once I became dependent on them having worse and worse side effects over time.. trying to taper when my tolerance seems to be going up rapidly seems impossible.. Im waking up to panic attacks now, having flu like symptoms, severe pain all over, i feel out of breath and super fatigued all the time. None of which was happening even just a couple of months ago. I just want to be free of it but i dont know if i can handle another benzo like withdrawal. Sorry if this indroduction is a mess but im really scatter brained at the moment..
  12. Thank you for your help! I can't believe how awful my symptoms are just trying to get off Cymbalta. Not even my pharmacist was of help. It helped a bit to open capsules and remove some beads. I realized I needed to be more accurate so I found a compounding pharmacy which was willing to take my capsules and make 15 & 3 mg capsules (they could not make 2 mg) to try out. When I got them home last night I opened a 3 mg capsule to see how it compares to the amount I had been removing. I noted that the beads had been crushed, weighed and redistributed into capsules. I thought the beads aren't supposed to be crushed. Is this cause for concern? Should I go back to the compounding pharmacist? Appreciate your feedback!
  13. CuppaTea: Cymbalta

    Hi, I've been struggling with generalised anxiety and depression and have tried a few SSRIs and SNRIs to manage. First I tried sertraline, but as the dosage increased so did my anxiety, so we switched to escitalopram and I had similar results. Not much if any change in depression and my anxiety worsened with dose. Both gave me headaches, upset stomach, and escitalopram made me feel sensitive to bright light. Along with these I was taking propanolol to help with shaking hands from anxiety, this helped me get on with work (I work in a lab as a researcher so shaking hands made it difficult to get consistent results!). I gave up on medicine for a while and then went back for help after being unable to control my panic attacks. My psychiatrist put me back on propanolol and then started effexor xr. Unfortunately I couldn't tolerate this and woke up the first night sweating and had to vomit. I was on it for less than a week. We moved on to try cymbalta. I tolerated this ok, struggled with diarrhea and nausea but this lessened with time, and gradually increased to 30mg, and then to 40mg. I've been on this for 5/6 months now. However, I don't feel like myself anymore. I'm forgetful, and I just don't really care much anymore. Instead of wanting to do my best on my work, I just do it and move on making careless errors and mistakes. I'm still struggling with nausea and diarrhea so we've decided to come off it as it's not really helping. My psychiatrist suggested going down to 20mg (was at 40) for one week. Then to stop taking it. I voiced concern that this would be too fast and she suggested one week at 20mg, and then one week at half a capsule (10mg) before stopping. This is what I started, but after starting on 10mg I've been getting dizzy, headaches, and brain zaps. I don't feel like me. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist today who recommened I go back up to 20mg until side effects subside, and if they do not in a few days to go to 30mg. And then we'll try to taper from there. From many of the things I've read 40mg is not a very large dose, and I wasn't on it long so I'm left feeling frustrated with coming off it. I'm also left feeling afraid to try any different medications, it seems as if I do not tolerate them well and the side effects are worse than the depression and anxiety!
  14. I am withdrawing from Duloxetine 30mg and my doctor has taken me down to 20mg every other day and 10mg of Brintellix every other day. I am not sleeping at all and my head feels foggy all the time. Since I have been on Duloxetine I have had feelings of depression, anxiety, tired all the time and did not realise all this time that Duloxetine is obviously not right for me. I have been on Duloxetine for 1 year.
  15. Michael: What to taper first?

    Hello,my name is Michael.I would First like to thank everyone for having me.I hope this group can help with my tapering off of psych meds.I know to go slow and 1 at a time.I take Xanax 3mg,Cymbalta 60mg,and Depakote 1000mg daily.Which drug would be recommended to taper first.Any help or feedback is greatly appreciated
  16. Hi, I'm Mario from Italy, I'm 38 years old. I stopped taking cymbalta from 15 days. I made a dosage reduction, but I think I went too fast and I'm having a lot of problems. Anxiety, crying, nervousness. This afternoon I'll go to the doctor and I think I'll take the drug again and then try again in a bit 'of time. I think I will need your help ... Exscuse me for my english...
  17. KD0105: Cymbalta

    Thanks! My 60mg cymbalta has the 12 bigger beads. Some say I need to get the caplets with the hundreds of tiny beads. What is the consensus here? I have been on 11 of the 12 beads for 2 months now and am pretty stable. I am thinking of going to 10 of 12 beads for the next cut. If I feel too awful, I can always go back to the 11/12? Is this okay strategy? I realize that when I get down further, I will have to get the ones with the tiny beads so my cuts are not so large percentage wise. Thanks for being here for us!!!
  18. Hi there, I am 27. I have been on anti-depressants since I was 12. Originally put on to counter a bad side effect of a different medication, due to family history, just never have come off. Originally took Celexa, at some point got on Effexor and have now been on Cymbalta 60mg (took 90mg for about 6 months) for almost 9 years. I've been wanting to get off anti depressants for years, just has never seemed like the right time until now. I hadn't done any research into coming off Cymbalta until tonight and now I am so scared of coming off. I had no idea it was so difficult. I've requested to join the FB group and plan to follow the tapering advice of ~10%
  19. hello. first point to note: in 2001-2003 I was on effexor and weaning off that; counting beads, insomnia, paranoia, the shakes and brain zaps.... I still remember it all to this day. I swore I'd never go on an antidepressant again. wish I would have stuck to that. I'm a depressive personality to begin with, I'm hard on myself, a perfectionist. external life events get to me more than they should be allowed. I live in my head and it never sleeps. except when it's on an AD. well, even then I'm a mild version of myself (just dulled). So in May 2012, I began zoloft 1 month after the birth of my 2nd child. (my 1st was merely 19 months). a bit of it was baby blues/depression but the majority I believe was/is ocd. I had gotten it in my head I was in love with my ob doc (who had delivered both of my children and up until the day he delivered #2 I'd had none of these thoughts) and I was doing really stupid stuff (in addition to thinking about him all the time and dreaming of what I wished and hoped could be, I was driving past his house a few times a week, trying to learn which car was his in the doc parking lot - so I could leave an anonymous note on his car -I guess to satiate my desire but not really risk too much. but then I started thinking about doing things of risk (saying something at a next appointment, etc.) And that was enough, I needed to find a way to stop my brain. (there were a couple other things, family of origin issues and feeling overwhelmed with my almost 2 year old starting to need more consistent disciplining, etc.but those didn't... ?scare? me like the doc piece did. I couldn't stop my brain from ruminating on it all, so I did my research on Google like any normal person would- HA! and decided it was time to let some meds work on my brain. they worked. got off the doc crazy train (changed to a different ob in the office) and well, started living the somewhat dumbed down life of a person on ADs (and by that I mean, no emotion or thought or action or anything straying too far from the equilibrium line ADs create). obviously my person still had struggles over the last 3 years and life didn't magically become perfect but it was a bit more managable, I guess, or I just didn't care, maybe? I don't know. i tried to wean myself in the fall of 2013, unsuccessful due to withdraw symptoms being unbearable. talked with my (new) ob near the end of 2014 about weaning and agreed I should try again after winter blues were no longer a concern. why did I want to wean? 30 pounds!!! feeling like I should/could/wanted to handle life without this mind altering drug. a very hard thing for someone with ocd (I'm merely self diagnosed-never been treated for this by any means) to not be clear on "is this me or the drug thinking/feeling/saying this? " just want to be free of that barrier. let alone it just doesn't seem like being on a very effective drug like that can be great for organs/body/health in the long run. damn the fact that it does help to a degree. So, Feb. 2015 i went from 100mg a day down to 50mg a day. stayed there until March 25, then cut down to 25mg a day until May 7th - last pill!!!! I realize I could have cut 25mg in half or shaved.... but it got to a point where I just wanted to be done. bring on the withdraw let's face it and fight it and be done. I'm 3 weeks, 3 days with zoloft. 1 week out was horrible. paranoia, vertigo, brain zaps, confusion, insomnia, impatient, short fuse, the list goes on. 2 weeks out a smidge better but all the symptoms still there. 3 weeks out and I do believe those symptoms I listed are alleviating - not gone by any means but the brain zaps don't stop me in my tracks now (and it occurs to me as I write this, maybe I'm just getting use to them, not that they are getting better?!?! no, I really think they are happening less and not as powerful). I think I can feel the light at the end of the tunnel... with those symptoms. however, the symptoms that have bothered me the most since 3 days post last pill are my rage and anger. I have practically no patience, super short fuse, and have yelled/talked from a place of anger more in the last 21 days than quite possibly the last 3 years. my babies are 3 and almost 5 and I hate the mother they have right now, she is not what they were living with - I wasn't the picture of patience and all things happy on ADs but it definitely took my edge off. so I just keep wondering, is this just a withdrawal symptom that will level off over time (if I'm not just creating horrible habits that will also need to be broken)... or is this ME. the me my family gets if I choose to refuse ADs? is it unrealistic to think my person can live a somewhat normal life without ADs? I've cried more in the last 3 weeks then I have in 3 years (just as I'm crying over things that don't really deserve tears now, there were definitely times tears should have been shed over those 3 years that I just didn't FEEL it. I've joined a gym determined to get some semblance of my figure back. and I love knowing a drug isn't rushing though my body/brain anymore. however, yelling/raging at my children, damaging my marriage and returning to a bit more serious ocd tendancies (finding it hard to eat off of metal utensils, paranoid of allergens/spores/the smell of outside, turning away from God and obsessing about overhauling my life - making drastic changes, moving far away, divorce, cutting out family who've continually hurt me, etc.) NONE of this is new since quiting zoloft, just while on zoloft I would think it briefly, not really feel much from my thought and let it go, until it pooped up again and repeat cycle. so does that mean zoloft living is better or I was in a muted state and not living!?!? lastly, I'm in touch with a counselor (employee assistance program)and I'll get 5 sessions, after that I can't afford counseling. but I have years of out patient, self-initiated counseling under my belt and am not confident 5 sessions will really help me determine what I need to know... is it just not possible for me to live comfortably and happily without ADs? so I have to resign to using when I then have to question based on everything I've just written above, what IS real? me on ADs,or everything I think, feel or want not on ADs?! thoughts?
  20. Hello all, I was on a benzodiazepine for one year and then was diagnosed as having depression. I was put on Prozac, and when that didn't work; put on cipralex. That was 15 years ago. We moved in 2008, and another doctor put me on Cymbalta for fibro pain. She now says it was for depression, even after I told her that I wasn't feeling depressed. I have withdrawn from the benzo, and am off now for 4 months. I want to come off of the Cymbalta next, however I am still very sick from the benzo withdrawal. I am hoping to learn all I can about coming off of Cymbalta and cipralex. Thank you everyone.
  21. I had been on cymbalta 60mg for a few months. My doctor took me down to 30mg for two weeks and stopped me. I have been in and out of the hospitals for 4 weeks now. I can not function . Am I past the point of reinstating
  22. I am new here and writing at this time on behalf of my son (53) who is in the very beginning stages of AD discontinuation. Diagnosis: Major Clinical Depression. He has been on numerous ADs in the past 10-15 years, but these last 6+ months it is 120 mg Cymbalta, 600 mg Lithium, 300 mg Wellbutrin. He also is on other meds for diabetes, hi blood pressure and cholesterol, feels like a walking pharmacy, and desperately wants to come of the ADs. He has been feeling absolutely terrible for a long time, and there have been many times when I feared for his life (has made an attempt before). The last psychiatrist simply pileed one med upon another whenever my son reports all the symptoms he is experiencing (hi anxiety, panic attacks, terrible fear, relentless depression, night sweats, brain zaps, etc.). He has been with the same CBT therapist for 10 years, and is currently also attending a NAMI support group. I also have told him about this site and hope that in time he will join himself (he isn’t much of a writer but otherwise very articulate about what he is feeling). After a long and arduous search I found a holistic clinic where he is currently receiving acupuncture, massage, chiropractic manipulations, nutrition and, most importantly, is seen by an M.D. who is managing the AD discontinuation, starting with Cymbalta in 20 mg slow increments (unfortunately, there is no 10 mg capsule). He was told by his pharmacist (confirmed by the M.D.) that if one opens the capsules (Cymbalta) then the formulation is destroyed and the med releases in different parts of the body incorrectly. This can be dangerous and can cause mood swings, which he has been experiencing. There is no way of knowing how successful the work at the clinic will be. Having gone this route myself, I know how slow and excruciating it is. BTW, MCD seems to be generational and runs in my family which, of course, had remained unrecognized until my adult life. Needless to say, he gets very discouraged. Amazingly, though, he is still able to soldier to work every day (as a digital matte painter at a major film studio) where he apreciates the “normalcy” of the day’s structure and interaction with colleagues. However, he is terrified of losing the job and never finding another. He is in an extremely vulnerable state, cries easily, gets terribly frustrated and hits himself. I guess this is a state that has been called neuro-emotions? I have yet to find any useful information about what would minimize these terrifying withdrawal effects. Cymbalta only being one (and possibly the worst), followed later by Lithium and Wellbutrin. Nevertheless, this website is very helpful and I thank the operators for keeping it going. Lastly, I apologize for this rambling post…..
  23. Hello everyone, My name is Marie, age 50. I have been on antidepressants and Clonazepam since the age of 25. I quit drinking and using drugs at age 24 and fell into a depression a year later. I signed myself into a rehab for relapse prevention where I was medicated within a few days. I have been medicated every single day since, nonstop. I am feeling a lot of anger and sadness about how I, and countless others, have been treated/mistreated by the medical/psychiatric profession. I am currently tapering Cymbalta and Clonazepam, since September of 2015. I am using a scale and began at decreasing 5% weekly. That went ok until I made my last tiny decrease of Clonazepam simultaneously (Nov-Dec thereabouts) and hit a brick wall of withdrawals. I decided to hold off on the remaining taper of .125 mg Clonazepam until I'm done with Cymbalta. Maybe I'll try again before then, I don't know. I just want to be done with all of this but I know I need to be safe about it, too. I started tapering Cymbalta at 90 mg and am currently at 24.9 mg. After the last brick wall at 5%, I held for a few weeks then made 2.5% cuts working my way back up to 4% where I thought I was ok. I had decided a couple weeks ago to hold an extra week because I was having anger issues. Well, all kinds of stressors came up - infection in my gum above a front tooth which led to incompetent dentists. And antibiotics. And tooth removaI. I ended up with a C-Diff infection which caused me to experience hellacious withdrawals due to what I believe was malabsorbtion and majorly altered gut flora. It's common to experience emotional symptoms with this illness. The medicine for the C-Diff has a rare side effect of depression and anxiety and sure enough, I felt intense emotional pain, despair and panic. Up until my last dose, last night, I have been hiding in my bed under the covers. I am still shakey and unstable but it's not quite as intense as it has been. I am holding this dose again next week, and longer, if necessary. I am wondering if my underlying condition has overlapped with the withdrawals. That scares me. I have struggled with depression and anxiety all my life, even on the meds. I caved to the meds when I was told I wouldn't ever feel better without them. Honestly, I think I had hormonal imbalances and I think my thyroid and adrenals were a big problem back then just as they are now and have been all along. I am being treated for my thyroid but not the rest. Oh, and there's menopause to join the party... I went through a horrible depression in 2011 that lasted nearly 2 years. I tried switching to Pristique and within 10 days, began having severe panic attacks. So, I went back to Cymbalta. Then, my life blew further apart, I moved us halfway across the country, eventually met a wonderful man, and began what I thought would be smooth sailing. Not so much. I began feeling lousy and decided to get rid of all the rx drugs in my life. I suspect the Cymbalta had been giving me side effects and/or stopped working but I didn't notice it back then because I was taking either Provigil or Nuvigil for most of the time I've been on it. I stopped taking Nuvigil a year ago and began noticing lack of affect, no ability to feel joy, and brain fog. And, zero motivation or interest in anything. Absolutely none. I have a lot of fear right now. Fear I won't recover, fear I'll lose it and do something stupid, fear of depression, fear of anxiety, fear of growing old, fear of doctors, fear of death, fear of being on meds, fear of being off meds, fear of never feeling joy again, fear of brain damage, and the list goes on. I can literally feel my brain trying to right itself after being traumatized these past few weeks. My thoughts are all over the place from the past to the future to random scary weirdness, it's overwhelming. Thank you all for being here, it helps so much. Sorry for the disjointed rambling.
  24. To make this short and sweet, I got put on these drugs by my doctor that was treating me for Lyme Disease as a way to help me feel better through the symptoms and problems of Lyme disease. And of course I believe that this actually made all the problems MUCH worse. Cut to now, I'm ive been on: 1 mg of Klonopin a day, split into 2/0.5mg doses. 450 mgs of Lyrica a day, all at once before bed for sleep. 100 mgs of Tramadol a day, split into 2/50mg doses. 60 mgs of cymbalta a day taken all at once in the morning. Basically before doing my research into the proper speed to taper, I was trying to drop klonopin first and basically had it down to 1/4 of a 0.5mg tablet. But I was feeling terrible as you might imagine because I was tapered down to that from the full amount over just 8 weeks. I though it may have just been lyme disease and feeling bad, but nope...So basically I went back up to the 1mg total again for now as to not completely fall apart mentally and physically. It was making me a nervous anxious wreck, and drained me of all energy, willpower, physical stamina, or physical strength. So now I'm here asking how I should go about getting rid of these medications and in which order please. I want them all gone at some point, but I would just like to get moving on whichever one I SHOULD knock out first etc. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you. Jeremy
  25. Hi, So I finally understood that it is strongly recommended to write a little something about my experiences here. I will just copy some parts of my posts I have shared in this forum to sum up. Recent developments: I myself have intolerable withdrawal symptoms even reducing 5% of the drug. They are unbearable, both physically and mentally. They totally incapacitate me for weeks (I sleep up to 15h a day, terrible brain fog and dizziness up to the point where I cannot walk, of course the brain zaps and lots of pains in different parts of the body etc) (I will not mention the mental effects, they are really bad...) and then on it is still bad but keeps stabilizing very slowly. At this point (after tapering for years) I am seriously considering coming off the 8,44 mg altogether because I am just unable to go through the symptoms that come after a reduction so many times any more. Because the withdrawal symptoms are extreme for me I am thinking it would be better to cut off the drug now at 8,44 mg and hope the nervous system will start balancing itself out than to go through this hell for at least another year (which is the very optimistic time frame). Note: I have decided to go with this idea - I am going from 8,44 to 1 mg in 8 days. (today being the 3rd day: April 3rd 2015 ). Before judging please read the history of my experiences to understand why I personally have decided to take this approach now in the very end of tapering. My experience: I have been tapering at different pace throughout the process. Since the beginning I have made the reductions by 10% or even 5 % when I realised that the symptoms were directly caused by the reductions. I was aware (theoretically) that my symptoms can be caused by the drug, its side effects and withdrawal, but I didn't really believe it for a long time. Or it would be more correct to say I always had doubts whether it was still more me being crazy and ill. So for a long time in the beginning (I have been tapering for over 2 years) I kept tapering with intervals that I now realise were not nearly enough for my brain to stabilize, but I was not fully aware that the withdrawal symptoms could be so severe and last for so long that I figured the reason had to be somewhere else. I just tapered according to the planned schedule, keeping aprox. 3 week intervals (and unfortunately, optimistically 2 week intervals). I also tried micro tapering every week, but needless to say that proved to be harsh on my nervous system and was keeping me in a constant state of agony. During the last 9 months or so I have had to keep longer periods between reductions in order to stabilize (I realised more and more that what I was experiencing was due to the reduction of the medication and the link got clearer by the day), but I cannot even estimate the stabilization point. For some of my friends it is perfectly clear - their withdrawal "cycle" is short and simple: they know that their symptoms will come 1-2 days after the reduction and last for about a week (max). This is not the case for me. One week for me is the extremely acute period (which would correspond to maybe the 1st 1-2 days of my friends' cycles) and as much as I would like to see a noticeable improvement during week 2, I can only say that it gets slightly better than the extreme, but not nearly enough to function to a standard that would/could be acceptable or tolerable. After recently having a 6 week and a 2 month gap between reductions I can say that during the 2 month gap I guess you cold say that I started to feel like the symptoms were starting to actually stabilize for the fist time for me subjectively. That enabled me to observe how the affects of withdrawal came about abruptly and directly connected to the reduction. In more detail: I'm having a hard time remembering exactly how long I have been taking certain drugs. Seems like forever. I was first prescribed Fluoxetine when I was 17. I am 30 now and for 13 years I have constantly been on and off different antidepressants - the whole spectrum of them. For a very short while I was even on antipsychotics (a month or so). I have always had awful side effects and have discontinued the drugs after a while, switched from one drug to another etc. It wasn't until a few years ago when I finally became aware and educated myself on the topic of antidepressant withdrawal and the harm they cause. (I would really suggest two books for a real eye-opening: Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide, and Crime by Peter R. Breggin and Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker). When I think back on the years on these meds and realising now what they have done with me, it makes me indescribably angry and sad. I have had awful side effects for years and discontinuation effects that I only realise in retrospect for what they were. Last drug I discontinued before Cymbalta was Venlafaxine (Effexor) which is another nightmare next to Cymbalta. Unfortunately then I was not aware of the methods of slow tapering and the discontinuation symptoms literally almost killed me (the "brain zaps", disorientation and dizziness were so severe that I almost tumbled in front of a moving car one day). By then I was already google-smart on the discontinuation side effects these meds have but was still unaware how to slowly taper. I was very reluctant to start taking Cymbalta but was convinced it was necessary by mu doctor. I started with the idea that I would only be taking the drug for a few months. Well, months become a year before I started tapering. I was taking 60 mg of the drug. When I started tapering it was very difficult for me to distinguish between the effects of withdrawal symptoms and my usual symptoms. A lot of the time I did not believe that the drug could be causing all the mental and physical symptoms and was afraid that it was just me. By know (as I described in my previous post) I have realised that a lot of this has been the drug's effect, but I am still afraid whether these effects can be undone. I have no way of knowing whether the decade of these drugs has caused permanent damage on my nervous system. I have tapered using different strategies. I have never tapered more than 10% of the last dosage, but I did reduce very often for a long time (after making a schedule I tapered every 2-3 weeks). It was because I could not really believe that my symptoms were so severely caused by the withdrawal. Later when I tried longer stabilizing periods I experienced how the withdrawal effects were sudden and obvious and followed a certain pattern (for Cymbalta and for me it is 1st day - no different, 2nd day slightly lowered mood, mild brain zaps etc, 3rd day - hell!). Withdrawal symptoms: The first week, on day 3 I start to have terrible crying spells. Literally for days I keep crying. Well, of course not 24/7 but for most part of the first days I am in tears. I am not sure how long that lasts but at least half a week. At some point the crying is replaced by despair and major depressive feelings. This is the worst symptom and the best I know to describe it is that while having this I feel that I cannot bear living for another minute more. I just want the suffering to stop. And it doesn't. And that can get better for half a day or even an entire day, but still last for... well, an unknown amount of time. I know I could handle any kind of symptoms - all the pain and crying and everything, but this is unbearable. The only thing that helps is numbing the feelings with Xanax. I do not drink alcohol but I can totally understand why people would choose to numb their pain with it. I suppose it is not at all different from taking Xanax - they're both a sort of a poison for the body and the brain. From physical symptoms the strongest ones I have is exhaustion (up to the point where it is ridiculous even), I have strong neurological symptoms (brain fog, brain zaps - they are a sort of a mini seizure, extreme sleepiness - sleeping up to 15h a day, not being able to shake the drowsiness and fogginess for the most part of the day, I have strong neural pain in the left side of my body - in the left arm, shoulder, back of the head, behind the eye, vision problems, extreme sensitivity to sounds (!) and a general sensory oversensitivity, nausea of course. Oh, I remembered for some period during the tapering I sweated extremely. I usually sweat really little. I also sweat a lot during the night. The flu-like symptoms occur. Ohwell... the list is so long it is embarrassing. And these symptoms don't really seem to pass fast. They just last and last so that I get to thinking it is ridiculous. But it still keeps happening. Oh and from time to time comes the agitation and irritability. I can feel how my thinking gets impaired - it slows down, the memory gets really-really bad, I cannot remember words and names (I used to think it was just me or a symptom of depression, but now I have established a clear link between the symptoms and the reduction of the meds). Oh, and the restless legs of course. My method of tapering: I have developed a method for myself for tapering off Cymbalta that I have not encountered in this forum or any others so I thought I should share it. For the very reason that the beads inside a Cymbalta capsule are not the same size (two capsules might not contain the same amount of beads) and I do not have a scale to measure such small portions, I have come up with an alternative. What I did is I folded a paper in half from the middle, creating a void where I could pour the beads and they would stay in a straight line next to each other. In that way I created a measurable line of the contents of a capsule. Right now I use a 30 mg capsule which creates a 25,5 cm line (fits on a regular A4 paper), but when I was using a 60 mg capsule I had to devide the beads into portions and measure them all and calculate from there on. Now I am not particularly fond of mathematics, but with a few simple calculations and a lot of concentration ( ) I was able to calculate how many mg of the medicine was in a line of the medicine of a certain lenght. So when 30 mg of Cymbalta is 25,5 cm, that meas for example, that 15 mg of Cymbalta would be 12,75 cm etc. (This is specific to the capsules I use bought from Estonia, yours could be very different so you should always measure your own medication!) I use the same folded paper (with markings on it) every day to pour a certain amount of beads out from the capsule. So if I am using a 30 mg capsule and I am - let's say - at 20 mg daily dosage I would have to calculate how many (what lenght) beads I would have to extract from the capsule before taking the medicine. So I have established that 30 mg = 25,5 cm. That means 20 mg = 17 cm. I know that there is 25,5 cm of beads (30 mg) in the capsule so I have to pour out 10 mg = 8,5 cm. It really makes no difference, if you calculate it in cm or mg after you have established the relation between the two. So I have a marking on the paper and each day I pour out a 8,5 cm line. And if i reduce the dosage I just make another marking. It is actually very easy to do the reduction just visually, when you have drawn the lines beforehand and calculated what necessary. You also have the history of your reductions right there under your eyes. I always write the date of the reduction next to the specific line every time, so I have a good visual overview of what, when etc.
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