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  1. Hello, Part 1, Intro. I would like to start by sincerly thanking websites such as Survivingantidepressants for essentially helping me to understand my plight more accurately. I have found the success story sections to be particularly helpful, and have turned to these wonderful stories to help raise my spirits in times of utter hopelesssness. After lurking around on these websites, often too incapacitated to do much in the way of meaninful writing, I decided that it might be helpful to someone out there if I shared a little bit about myself. This is going to be a long post, and I understand that some folks going through the ringer will not be able to read this post in its entirety due to eye issues, or just information processing issues. I've been there, I couldn't read for probably a year in total. Nevertheless, I hope that you can eventually read this and garner some useful information, or at least some knowledge that you are not alone out there going through this unjust, cruel, and totally unecessary hell that we've been subjected and in my opinion, decived into undertaking. 2 Background. To give a brief background, in January of 2013 I was prescribed 50mg of pristiq, had a bad reaction to it, then switched to effexor 75mg for ~2 months, and then after requesting a medication that doesn't give me sexual dysfunction, prescribed 30mg of cymbalta. All said, I spent about 6 months on medication and I must say that it definitely relieved my moderate depression and my above average anxiety. Simultaneously, I was taking ~10-15 mg of adderall nearly daily for over 7 years to relieve "ADHD". Unfortunately, after going on cymbalta, I had a severe manic and borderline psycotic reaction to all of this stimulating medication, and proceeded to spend a tremendous amount of money over a short period of time because I became convinced that the economy was going to crash and that I needed to prepare NOW. At the time, I had a sneaking suspicion that something was wrong, but I always trusted my brain's intuition, and my ideas just seemed "right". So I basically bought 400 pounds of non-perishable food, and nearly 4 grand worth of prep supplies and equipment. Seeing that I was employed as a graduate student, earning my PhD, my funding was very small, so this basically bankrupted me and I had to borrow money from my family just to stay out of debt. I also opted for a very invasive, and not entirely necessary shoulder survery to correct a torn labrum that had been annoying me for years. I went ahead and had the proceedur finished, and was excited at the prospect of having a fully functional shoulder again. As it turns out, my intentions were pure, but life had other plans for me (if you'll read on and bear with me). At the end of my 6 month stint on this medication, I started to have severe memory issues. I would be trying to explain something to someone, and all of a sudden I would hit a "road block" and couldn't figure out the correct word to say. Obviously, as a PhD student, this would not do, so I told my doctor I wanted off of this stuff and I wanted my old brain back. Well, I tapered from 30mg to 10mg somewhat quickly (as I have now learned), over about 1 month and from there, based on my doctors advice, I "bit the bullet" as he said, and went from 10mg to 0mg. What proceeded to happen was that I went through very similar symptoms over a 1 week period as people often describe for benzodiazapine withdrawal. Indeed, I had been prescribed clonopin for 5 years, and withdrew from thsi medication back in 2012, and for 3 whole months I was basically bedridden and completely incapactated before being able to function in the world again. At that time, I swore I would NEVER EVER take a benzo again for the rest of my life. Unfortuantely, I was unaware of the fact that SSRI/SNRI's could produce similar symptoms. I was even moreso unaware of the fact that SSRI's could produce symtpoms that were even worse and even more debilitating. To make a long and disappointing story short, I went on an epic vacation just 30 days after I quit taking the medication. I had planned this trip very meticulously during my medication induced mania, and spent a tremendous amount of money on this trip - it was essentially meant to be the trip of a lifetime. Instead, it became one of the more awful experiences of my life. Try navigating 5 countries and managing an expliciting budget just 30 days after coming off SNRIs and having awful symptoms. It was just really hellish, but by the halway point I was hoping that my symptoms would abate within 60 days and I would be able to resume normal functioning at the unviersity. I was hoping to put all of this behind me. Upon returning, I discovered to my horror that I was not much improved after 2 months. My symptoms included, but are not limited to: severe memory loss, burning sensations, problems with my eyes (blurry vision, floaters, etc), difficulty concentrating, difficulty thinking, hot flashes, vertigo, and depersonalization/derealization, fatigue, etc. You guys and gals know the deal, it was GRIM, GRIM, GRIM. Looking back however, I actually had it pretty good. 3. From bad to worse This is where the story goes from bad to worse. As a PhD student, I had worked exremely hard to make a good career for myself once I graduated. One way of doing this way to teach a college level class. So upon returning from my trip, I was meant to teach a laboratory class in an advanced course in Biological Sciences in the summer for 1 month. I was so severely depersonalized/derealized, and with all the other symptoms I listed above, that I could barely remember any of my students names, and I certainly couldn't remember any of the subject matter that I was supposed to be an expert in and deticated the last 6 years of my life to memorizing. Ouch. Nevertheless, I pressed on because the course had to be taught. So I did, and the student's didn't seem to mind, although I was acutely aware of the fact that I had lost a tremendous amount of intelectual ability and could no longer "speak off the cuff" and go on intelectual tangents. I recall one student asking me about a relatively simple mathematical formula, and my inability to easily answer this question that drove me to the point of calling my ex-psyciatrist back and demanding a meeting. In this meeting, he indicated that a quick fix for my problems would be a prescription of prozac which has a long half-life, and reinstating this medciation for about a month or two, and then going off of it again. I thought "well, this better work" and went ahead and tried. As I had mentioned earlier, I had shoulder surgery, and as a consequence I needed to take some pain meds to help me through the immensly painful physical therapy sessions. So I was prescribed tramadol, which is an SNRI (UH OH!). One day I will never forget, I took this tramadol, about 1 week after being on prozac, and I had an adverse reaction to this combination that has haunted me for about 1.5 years now. My entire body went numb, particularly my sensory neurons, and I felt like an strange tickling and itching sensation over all of my skin. I never took tramadol again, but as I continued to take prozac over the next couple of weeks, I began to have an odd sensation over all of my skin: it felt as if I had wet paper bags over my entire body, and my face was becoming anesthetized. I returned to the doctor, and told him about this a couple of times and he basically told me "how could that possibly happen, you're probably just anxious". At the 1 month mark, things were not improving, and all of the original cymbalta withdrawal symptoms were still there. Instead of taking me off the medication, like any reasonable human being would have done, this doctor UPPED my dose to 20mg (from 10mg) after I told him about these adverse effects. After just 2-3 days of this, I started having insomia, and I said "**** it" and tapered off quickly in a 4 day period. It was around September 1st, 2013 when I had my last SSRI/SNRI. I should note here that I was miraculously able to finish teaching the course in anatomy and physiology with decent reviews - the prozac did help in the sense that it produced a mild mania again, which allowed me to sort of interact with the students better. What also helped me was the fact that it was around this time that I got together with my then girlfriend who saw me through the worst of the issues, so I was not completely alone thorugh this hell. It was really this wonderfully patient and kind woman who, amongst others, I attribute to saving my degree and possibly my life. 4. Recovery begins Afer coming to the realization that reinstatement was not an option for my body, I had to deal with the fact that my reinstatment attempt was not only a failure, but it made my symptoms like 40% worse. Now I also had tingling and numbness in all of my limbs, profound sinous headaches, and trigeminal nerve problems, and more serious eye problems than before. I was seeing a psyciatrist through all of this, because I was still taking adderall and had developed quite a habit for this pill (later on, I did successfully quit), which was the only way I was going to write my dissertation and complete my degree. This doctor told me that many of these symptoms may disappear after 3 months, so I waited patiently and tried my best to be physcially active and write my dissertation. Unfortunatley, releif came VERY slowly, and it wasn't until the 6 month point that I began to feel substantially better (Feburary-March 2014). At this point, with the help of my wonderful girlfriend, and a moderate dose of adderall, I began to be able to write my dissertation, and in the next ~2 months I wrote a massive chunk of this work. The symptoms sort of started to melt away, and I began to be able to read and function again - although I was still severely damaged and had not recovered. In anticipation of the fact that this might take a very long time, I scheduled my PhD defense for Summer of 2014, so that I could be at my very best. I also began applying for jobs, and succeeded in securing an interview. One unfortunate event that I should mention is that I reinjured my shoulder, so that now it was worse than it was before I got surgery in the first place. I attribute my reinjury of the shoulder to the SSRI withdrawals, and the adderall - the level of fatigue and the lack of awareness of my body due to sensory nerve damage (or what ever the heck it is - I'm still not entirely sure I understand what precise physiological mechanism is responsible for all of the symptoms I experienced) caused me to just not work on my shoulder exercises like I should have, and to play with it the wrong ways while in bed one morning. 5. Hypersensitivity This is a very important part of my story because it explains my great downfall and what happened next most precisely. Basically, as I've read on this website, and others (particularly paxilprogress.com, which was my very favorite and brings me great disappointment to see it taken offline), many people experience an inexplicable hypersensitivity to various substances when going through an adverse reaction or an ssri withdrawal. I too had this experience, most profoundly after my issues with prozac and tramadol. For example, I would drink 1 beer and be totally incapacitated and brain dead for 3 days, and if I got drunk, I would be seriously messed up for no less than 14 days. This was also true for niccotine, or any central nervous sytem agent - and it severely limited what I could do and how I could enjoy my life. Thankfully, I was still able to escape my horrible existance by watching movies and playing videogames. Indeed, videogames very effectively passed time for me in the early stages of withdrawal. Anyways, I also noticed this in regards to other medication - I took one, ONE .5 mg clonopin pill to help releive the "rebound anxiety", if you can really call it that, during my recovery process in the spring of 2014, and it completely incapacitated me for like 2 weeks. I then took a valarin root to try to see if that might help calm my nerves, and another 2 weeks of my life were gone. It's very scary to realize that small doses of commonly taken medication can completely incapacitate oneself, and I seriously had no answer for any of this other than to very cautiously avoid any and all substances if it could be helped. I should have taken this as a warning for things to come, but unfortunately I did not. One night, with my girlfirend, I had ingested a marijuana brownie in an attempt to have a good time and to escape from my unimaginable horror of losing my intellectual ability, my career, and everythign that was important to me (especially losing my emotions, the anhedonia was SEVERE and pathlogoically bad - instead of feeling emotions, I would just feel a vague burning sensation in the frontal part of my brain). This pot brownie was suprisingly effective and I had a good night with her and her friends. The only reason I mention this is because that pot browning made me believe that I could handle a small dose of marijuana without any ill effect - maybe I could find a way to medicinally deal with the agony of my condition. 6. True hell: Boy was I wrong. One night I shall never forget, my friend and college invited me to a party where people were smoking some pot in a casual way. I was just coming down from a daily dose of adderall, so I was a bit anxious and thought I would now have an opportunity to relax and enjoy myself with these folks and have a nice weekend. I smoked the pot, and what happened next was that I went from euphoria stright to utter terror. It's still very difficult for me to write this, and I'm having some emotional issues with articulating what happened, but I basically had a terror (panic) attack for like 12 straight hours, and proceeded not to sleep for the next 2 months. Yes, you read that correctly, I did not sleep for 2 months. The hell of SNRI withdrawals and an adverse reaction PALED in comparison to what I experienced when I smoked pot. ALL of the original symtpoms came back in full force, simultaneously. I went from being partially recovered to fully incapacitated again, and this time I had the awful experience of constant panic attacks that could be set off from any little thing, and PROFOUND bodily anesthesia, in addition to profound derealization and depersonalization. I had esentially lost all progress I had made over the previous 10 months, and became WORSE than I was before any of this started. As I am still recovering from this experience, I can say with some confidence that what happened was that I overdosed on marijuana. The weed in California is NOT the weed I remember back in NY - it's VERY strong and one can overdose on just a couple of hits. I personally took 4 hits I think. I know this is not a forum for drugs, but I must be explicit in my story and explian this because I do not EVER want ANYONE to go through what I went through. Please, if you're on the fence about doing drugs to help edicinally allieviate your SSRI withdrawal symptoms, do not do it. Please, I beg of you, with all of my heart, please do not risk it. 7. Partial Recovery I'm not going to go into all the fallout from my terrible mistake of overdosing on that pot, perhaps I will once it's all over. I should just say that I just BARELY clung onto reality well enough to finish. I thank God every day that I lived alone, and that I was in contact with a very understanding Aunt who had gone through similarly difficult situations. She basically saved both my career and probably my life in the 6 months or so that I endured absolutel hell as a result of smoking that stuff. At this time, I also started attending 12 step meetings of AA, and these kind and amazing people helped me out so very much. I will forever be grateful to these wondeful people for their kindness during this time - these meetings esentially kept me out of the psych ward and off of medication. I want to point out and focus on the positive: I successfully completed my Phd in Biological sciences from a prestigous institution, and defended my PhD in front of the entire department and no one suspected a thing. I also stayed with some friends after I lost the lease in my appartment due to graduation, and then found an appartment in the state of California nearby my old university that I was able to hang out in until I was well enough to make the drive across the country back to my father's house in Pensilvania. I survived, barely. Just barely. *In the very unlikely, by theoretically possible chance that someone else in this wide world is experiencing something similar to that which I have just described, I would like to describe my timeline of recovery. First 3 months, absolute hell - but by the end of the 3rd month, I was able to be somewhat peaceful and calm from time to time. At the end of 6 months I was still having panic attacks from time to time, but I was getting pretty good sleep 75% of the time time and I was able to enjoy myself sometimes. At the end of 9 months is when the panic attacks stopped, and I just had bad migranes most of the time. This is when I began to be able to read and write fairly well, and enjoy life even more from time to time. I'm currently at 11 months, and still feeling pretty bad, but I'm much much better and get good sleep nearly every single night. *If someone else is also trying to quit a stimulant while going through SSRI withdrawal hell like I did, I can outline my timeline for recovery if it might help you. By the 3 month mark, I had all of my phiscal stamia back, and just lacked motivation. By the 6-7 month mark, I have begun to recover intellectual motivation, but I'm still beset by migraine headaches most of the time. I tapered from 10mg to 2.5mg and then off completely over a 6-7 week period. 8. Closing statements Now, I'm currently on the mend. I quit taking adderall immediately after completing my degree, and have been off that toxic and dangerous drug for about 7 months to date. I am also 20 months free from SSRIS, and certainly will never go back that route again for the rest of my life. I'm not employed, and really am not employable at all. I will probably have to find a job at some point, but I'll most likely not be able to go back into academia until my brain fully recovers. I don't know when that will be. For now, I'm grateful to A) be alive, and be able to enjoy some things again. I'm grateful for the fact that I have my health coming back, that I'm able to write somewhat articulately again, and that most of my symptoms are slowly improving. I apologize for this massive essay - I know first hand how difficult it is to focus on things like this when you're going through withdrawal, but I just felt inspired this evening enough to write this post. I hope that this helped someone in some way, and please let me know if you have any questions. There is A LOT that I've left out from my story, especially in regards to the hell I experienced after smoking the marijuana. I learned a tremendous amount about life that I really never wanted to learn, and I've learned a great deal about recovering from ssris, what works, and what doesn't. there's a lot that I don't really know yet, and I could use some advice from the community on a few things. 1) how the heck does one make money and support themselves through this? I'm not entirely sure how to proceed from here. I've attempted to figure out if there's another medical condition that I'm experiencing that is unrelated to ssri withdrawals - got an MRI (totally normal, from what the doctors at the ER said). One doctor said it's possibly a neuropathy, or a metabolic disorder - but nothing concrete. I'm scheduled to go see another doctor in an attempt to get an actual diagnosis so that I could possibly apply for disability, but I'm not too sure what to do. I'm not so sure if going back to western medicine is a great idea, but I did get a lot of releif from knowing that there's nothing highly abnormal with my MRI, so I figure it might be good to rule out common disorders that can cause the symtpoms I'm still experiencing. If there's one thing I've learned from all of this it's that the worst thing I can do to help myself is to introduce new chemicals in my body in order to fix the problem. I've read countless recovery stories on this website and on paxilprogress, and I've been able to determine that if what I'm going through is SSRI withdrawal/adverse reaction, the only real cure for all of this is: time. From what I've read, it takes between 6 months and 5 years for people to recover completely. That's a long time, and I'm not sure how to survive for that long. I've just barely made it through 2 years. Just BARELY. I've thought about taking my life so many countless numbers of times over the past 2 years, but never did it - I don't think I will either. I just think about it, because the pain is so severe and unending. Although things have improved a LOT, and I mean A LOT from last may when I smoked that pot, I'm still far from recovered. I have hope that I'll recover in the future, but I think this process will take a long time. Thank you for reading.
  2. Cymbalta comes in 20 mg, 30 mg, and 60 mg capsules. Full prescribing information: http://pi.lilly.com/us/cymbalta-pi.pdf Cymbalta is tricky to taper. It does not come in liquid form and cannot be compounded into a liquid. To protect the drug, each bead inside the gelatin capsule has an enteric coating to protect the drug from stomach acid, which would destroy the drug. (It is absorbed further down in the digestive tract.) The pellets cannot be dissolved in any liquid without destroying the active ingredient. You cannot crush the pellets (see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/275-do-not-crush-list/page__view__findpost__p__3021 ) or dissolve them in a solution -- the drug would never get into your system, it would be destroyed in your stomach and you would have immediate cold-turkey withdrawal. Of course, the range of dosages from the manufacturer is inadequate for very gradual tapering. Like all psychiatric drugs, do not skip doses or alternate doses to taper Cymbalta. Its half-life is very short, about 12 hours. It is metabolized via the liver enzymes P450 1A2 (substrate, inhibitor) and 2D6 (inhibitor). This post has a chart that shows what happens with the Cymbalta dose when skipping days. See Doctor is shocked at severe Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms and testimony by Dr. Joseph Glenmullen regarding Cymbalta withdrawal syndrome: http://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/pdf/DrGlenmullenDeclarationSupportofCymbaltaClassCert.pdf (PDF) Reduce by 10% per month to start As with any neurologically active drug, a conservative taper is the safest way to go off Cymbalta. Some people find they can go faster and some people find they have to go slower -- they can only tolerate decreases of a fraction of a milligram at a time. A conservative taper for Cymbalta, like other psychiatric drugs is: Reduce by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.) See Why taper by 10% of my dosage? Cymbalta CANNOT be crushed, compounded into a liquid, or dissolved in a liquid The pellets in the capsule cannot be dissolved in a liquid; this would destroy the active ingredient. High-dosage Cymbalta: Using different dosages to decrease to 40mg If you are taking as much as 120mg Cymbalta, see this topic for an example of how to taper to 40mg using existing capsule dosages and a few compounded prescriptions: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7060-razzlesf-off-abilify-tapering-cymbalta/?p=129252 To taper from a dosage of 40mg, you're going to have to either open up 20mg capsules and count beads, or get custom compounded dosages. The bead-counting method Like Effexor XR, some people have tapered by opening the Cymbalta capsule and taking out the beads to gradually reduce the dosage. (See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tapering-off-effexor-venlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__2985 for the technique.) You can do this if you have brand-name Cymbalta or generic capsules containing hundreds of tiny beads rather than 4-12 "mini-tablets" (see below). The number of tiny beads in each Cymbalta capsule will vary within a given dosage, across dosages, and from different manufacturers. The capsules are filled by weight. To find an average number of beads per capsule, you will have to carefully count the beads in several capsules. Then you can estimate how many beads amount to 10% of the dosage and manage your taper accordingly by keeping notes on paper showing the number of beads removed and equivalent Cymbalta dosage. Take out 10% of the beads at each step of the taper. Put unused beads into a clean, dry, capped prescription bottle marked with the dosage of the original capsule and expiration date. You might want to use them later. Do NOT mix beads from capsules of different dosages, such as 30mg and 60mg. NOTE When you are taking loose beads, put them in an empty capsule to swallow them. Gelatin capsules and vegetarian capsules are available at health food store. The FDA reports here http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm103473.pdf there have been some instances of the beads causing throat irritation when swallowed without a capsule. Dividing Cymbalta beads into empty gelatin capsules To make counting of the beads easier, this technique may work with Cymbalta, see details at http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__3033 Opening capsules and weighing beads Eventually, as you remove more and more beads, it may become too confusing and time-consuming to count out them. You may wish to weigh them instead, see Using a digital scale to measure doses and Counting beads in a capsule versus weighing. Have a compounding pharmacy make up capsules of smaller dosages For precise dosing, a compounding pharmacy will accurately weigh the doses and put the right number of beads into capsules for you. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__3001 Dividing Cymbalta beads into apple juice or applesauce Follow the instructions above for dividing the beads in a capsule and put your reduced dose apple juice or applesauce. --------- It has been scientifically demonstrated that the Cymbalta pellets survive being put into apple juice or applesauce but NOT chocolate pudding: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18691989 Clin Ther. 2008 Jul;30(7):1300-8. In vitro stability, potency, and dissolution of duloxetine enteric-coated pellets after exposure to applesauce, apple juice, and chocolate pudding. CONCLUSIONS: Results from this study found that the enteric coating of duloxetine pellets mixed with applesauce or apple juice was not negatively affected. The pellets were stable at room temperature for < or = 2 hours and should quantitatively allow delivery of the full capsule dose, provided that the pellet integrity is maintained (ie, not crushed, chewed, or otherwise broken). Therefore, mixing duloxetine pellets with applesauce or apple juice appears to be an acceptable vehicle for administration. However, exposing the pellets to chocolate pudding damaged the pellets' enteric coating, suggesting that pudding may be an unacceptable vehicle for administration. --------- Tapering generic Cymbalta (duloxetine) capsules containing "mini-tablets" The generic forms of Cymbalta may contain beads, like brand-name Cymbalta, or 4 to 12 "mini-tablets" rather than beads. From Lupin Pharmaceuticals http://medlibrary.org/lib/rx/meds/duloxetine-3/ The "mini-tablets" cannot be split or dissolved to make a liquid. Suggestions for gradual tapering: If you are taking 20mg, 30mg, or 40mg (two 20mg capsules) per day, switch to brand-name Cymbalta or a generic containing tiny beads rather than mini-tablets. Use the bead-counting method. If you are taking 50mg (20mg plus 30mg) per day, reduce by one mini-tablet from the 30mg capsule (5mg, or 10%) initially for a month, then switch to brand-name Cymbalta or a generic containing beads rather than mini-tablets. Use the bead-counting method. If you are taking one 60mg capsule per day, reduce by one mini-tablet (5mg) per month for 2 months until you are taking 50mg per day, then switch to brand-name Cymbalta or a generic containing beads rather than mini-tablets. Use the bead-counting method. If you are taking one 60mg capsule plus any of the other dosages per day (at least 80mg), reduce by one mini-tablet (5mg) from the 60mg capsule per month until you get to 45mg total daily dosage, then switch to brand-name Cymbalta or a generic containing beads rather than mini-tablets. Use the bead-counting method. You can combine brand-name Cymbalta or generic beads with generic duloxetine mini-tablets to taper. (This would cost less than using brand-name Cymbalta for your entire taper. A prescription for 60mg brand-name Cymbalta capsules will go further.) You could take part of your dosage in brand-name Cymbalta beads and the rest of your daily dosage in generic mini-tablets. For example: If your 30mg generic duloxetine capsules contain 6 mini-tablets, each mini-tablet contains about 5mg duloxetine. Let's say you want to reduce 10% from 30mg to 27mg. You can take 5 mini-tablets (25mg) and add 2mg in beads to it. If a 60mg capsule of brand-name Cymbalta contains 200 beads, each bead contains about 0.3mg duloxetine; you would take 7 beads (2.1mg) to total a daily dose of 27.1mg. (BE SURE TO COUNT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BEADS IN YOUR CAPSULES -- THEY CAN VARY FROM THIS EXAMPLE.) When you are down to 5 mini-tablets (25mg) per day, take 4 mini-tablets and the rest in beads to reduce another 10%, and so forth. Reduce by micro-taper The very smallest dose of brand-name Cymbalta is one bead. Some people find they can better tolerate a reduction of one bead at a time rather than a 10% decrease. You may be able to make reductions of one bead more frequently; try reducing by one bead a week for a while to see what your tolerance is. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2878-micro-taper-instead-of-10-or-5-decreases/ Do not reduce by one additional bead per day. This is too fast, you may develop withdrawal symptoms before you know what's happening. Here is an example of a micro-taper from cymbaltawithdrawal.com http://www.cymbaltawithdrawal.com/topic/8325-dose-down-bead-counting-chart-anywhere/?p=50499 Switch to Prozac Like its fellow SNRI Effexor, withdrawal from Cymbalta can be very difficult. Recently, I asked a knowledgeable doctor about how he switches patients to Prozac. He said if the dosage of Cymbalta is "normal" -- 30mg-40mg -- he would switch to 10mg Prozac with a week of overlap. In other words, take both medications for a week and then drop the Cymbalta. Later, taper off Prozac. He acknowledged Prozac can have its withdrawal problems, but given Prozac's long half-life, gradual tapering should be much easier than tapering off Cymbalta. And, at least Prozac comes in a liquid. He confirmed that Cymbalta cannot be compounded because the pellets are enteric-coated to get the medication past the stomach acid, which destroys it. Other than the Prozac switch, he said counting pellets is the only way to taper. See more about the Prozac switch http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1463-the-prozac-switch-or-bridging-with-prozac/ NOTE Also see 2009: FDA hears testimony about Cymbalta discontinuation syndrome Study finds some Cymbalta withdrawal "severe and persistant" Doctor is shocked at severe Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms Cymbalta Withdrawal Lawsuits Progressing in US
  3. Hello, my name is Manny. I was diagnosed 0CD and schizophrenic in 2008, but I been taking benzos and amiptriptiline since 2005. Currently,taking abilify 20mg,risperidone 2mg,cymbalta 60mg,biperiden 4mg. I am tapering klonopin down to 0,27mg from a dose of 1,25mg. I went to see my doctor this week because a blood test that I did. He said my hepatic transaminases are high because of the medication that I take. I am assuming the APs that I take. What can I do to get my liver function well? I know, quitting the APs, but I can t cold turkey. Any advice,please.
  4. Hi everyone, I'm in a pretty desperate state. Over the past couple of months, I very slowly tapered off 60mg (1x a day) of Cymbalta, 5-10 beads at a time. I felt great during the taper. Then a few days after my last dose, I began to experience diarrhea and anxiety. I waited ten days to see if the withdrawal symptoms would improve, but the anxiety became so severe that in order to function at my new job, I decided to go back on the Cymbalta at 20mg/day. A few hours after taking that first dose, my symptoms went away. But in less than 24 hours, they were back. So I decided to go up to 20mg 2x a day, which I've been doing for the past two days. The problem is that the dose seems to wear off in 8-10 hours, and I'm left with crippling anxiety and stomachaches between doses, and zero appetite. I've started to take 0.25mg of Xanax to bridge the doses, but I don't want to be doing that. (FYI, I am still on 200mg of Wellbutrin XL and not planning on doing anything with that just yet.) What should I do? I'm reluctant to increase my dosage back to 60mg/day, both because I don't want to go up too fast but also because I really, really want to get off this drug and I worked so hard on that initial taper. And why did 60mg (and even much less than that during the taper) just once a day work fine but now I can't even get through 10 hours of 20mg without needing another dose? I'm so terrified that I've wrecked my brain with this stuff and I'll never be able to get off it. I'm wondering if I will need to give up this job - the anxiety makes me feel like I'm trapped in a box and I'm completely useless. I would be so grateful for any advice. Thank you. Laura
  5. Hi all, I'm going to start to taper off Cymbalta this year and am doing some research into the process of tapering, speed and side effects. Thanks to all those here and all who've walked this path, for sharing your experiences and stories which all really help. I'm strongly considering the 'bead' method and going very slowly, although even the thought of it has kicked up my anxiety. I'm quite concerned because I know I'm sensitive to chemical changes and medications so I will need to take it very gradually. I also don't know if I will get a lot of FM pain back again once I stop taking it or cut down. Anyway, lots of reading for me to do first before I start. I'll keep posting as I get going.
  6. Hi folks, After 13 years on SSRIs and SNRIs I stopped taking them due to parkinsonism, and it turned out that they were causing the rapid cycling up and down high to low mood swings in my bipolar disorder as well as the ramp up into mania. I didn't taper off as I read that it only affects the short term withdrawal syndrome and not the long term, plus as soon as I dropped the dose I went into the full rage and needed to get it over and done with as soon as possible (2 weeks of the bad bit). I experienced a number of symptoms including The Rage, Tardive Akithisia, Depression, Anxiety, Suicidal Impulses, Intrusive thoughts, Dissociation, Depersonalisation and a wrecked concentration span. I have started a website to collect some writings of people's experiences in long term SSRI and SNRI withdrawal, or of the rage in the short term syndrome. They would be a blog post of the whole experience rather than journal entries, maybe following up later with another post. I have started the site and put my experience on it (which needs rewriting) and was hoping to seek writings from folks on this site, if that's ok to ask folks to contribute? Support for my broken brain would also be nice. At one point I actually thought I was in hell. This is my site https://ssriwithdrawal.wixsite.com/discontinuation and I would love to hear your thoughts on the site, my writing and any ideas you might have. My email address is on the site, I hope this forum doesn't block my link, I would request that admin let it through as I am not a spammer, just a broken person trying to find meaning in other people's experiences. If the link is blocked you can email me at ssriwithdrawal *at* mail *dot* com (please let this though). For me this is my proactive way of holding it together, please help!
  7. I started on Cymbalta 60 mg 4 years ago, (after 1-2 weeks @ 30 mg); the scrip was from a psychiatrist for major depressive disorder. My depression lifted significantly. After 1 year (+/-) the psychiatrist and I agreed that my family practitioner would handle the prescription and supervision. I was ready to go off the cymbalta and was planning to go of the meds until a couple of deaths close to me occurred. I agreed with my doc that it wasn't the time to make changes in the meds. About 15 years ago I was on Effexor XR and had a helluva time getting off it, even with bead counting. After having read the slow pace recommended here, I probably decreased too quickly. I remember the roller-coaster ride of symptoms (physical, emotional, and cognitive) but forgot about the bead counting. When I started both Effexor & Cymbalta, I had nausea for a couple of days. On my FP's advice, I started going off cymbalta in Feb. by taking 30 mg every other day for a few weeks, then every 3 days, etc. This last week I was starting with 30 mg every 4 days. Fortunately I was using a calendar reminder in my google calendar to keep the schedule. I say fortunately because on Tuesday I had nausea and on Saturday. When I looked at my calendar to mark the reminder as "done," I realized that the nausea was probably related to the cymbalta. Now that I think of it, I started having disrupted sleep and messed-up wake/sleep cycles in March. A web search (DuckDuckGo instead of the big G) led me here and reminded me that slow tapering and counting the granules worked better for me before. My plan now: I have 6 capsules leftover from 60 mg doses. I'll split each into 3 doses, approx. 20 mg, and try 20 mg/day for 18 days (to use them up), making adjustments if necessary. Based on how that goes, I'll either continue at 20 mg or start a 10% taper to 18 mg over 28-30 days.
  8. Hi everyone. My name is Manny. I have been polydrugged. I take abilify 20mg,risperdal 2mg,klonopin 0,27mg and cymbalta 60mg. I was tapering klonopin, but I read that abilify can make your liver to not function very well. My transaminases are high.My question is what drug do I taper first? Can I stop klonopin taper and start abilify taper. I use an scale,but my abilify is the one that disintegrates in your mouth. Thanks, Manny
  9. Been quietly observing and reading other peoples posts and finally decided to post my story. My path with AD started with a full blown panic attack. I had never in my life experienced a panic attack so it was very difficult at the beginning. Everybody's different. My panic attacks were debilitating lasting for several hours. Went to see my doctor and was quickly put on benzos. Started with xanax 0.5 mg and was quickly raised to 2.0 mg. Later it was switched out to klonopin 2.0 mg. It did control my panic attacks and my anxiety attacks. Later on I was told to add an AD to further control my panic attacks. This was the fun part where I became my own guinea pig where I had to "FIND THE RIGHT MED" for myself. Initially started with lexapro and was told that it could take up to 4 months for the drug to kick in. 4 months past by and it did nothing. lexapro had no effect on me. Tried viibryd, celexa, paxil, and prozac. Settled with paxil and klonopin for a long time. Towards the end made the jump to cymbalta and klonopin. If it wasn't for people around me telling me how I've changed, over the time frame that I was on these drugs, I would have probably continued taking these drugs. I've lost all emotions nothing in the world gave me any enjoyment. Started drinking heavily to the point where I was drinking every day. Spent money like money grew on trees. I had no apathy at all towards others. I became completely indifferent towards the entire world. I have so much respect towards people here that are maintaining their strict taper schedule. I tried to slowly taper from my drugs but I could never keep it myself. At the first sign of withdrawal I kept running back to my drugs. I decided to throw all my meds out and go the cold turkey route. I fell into a dark abyss. I didn't bother going to no doctor because I knew it was my fight and my fight alone. Woke up with severe panic and dread. It was as if all my nerves were fired up. Every person was associated with a flash back from the past with a very negative flash back from my past. For example, my dad was asking me how I felt and I had a really bizarre flash back from the past where my dad was not so kind to me when I was a kid. It was a memory from the past that I had forgotten for a very long time. This flash back resulted in me with a rage like emotion towards him. Pretty much everyone I met, that had an unkind past with me, brought up these negative flash backs. Entire body feels numb. Light/noise sensitivity. Blurry vision as if I'm surrounded by fog. All my muscles were sore, aching and shaking. Tingling burning sensation on the skin. Itchy anus. Joint pain like I've never experienced before. Difficulty breathing. Flu like symptoms. Severe headaches. Head felt really heavy as if there was a rock embedded in my brain. Messed up sinus. Weak legs. Weak neck. Difficulty speaking. Difficulty balancing myself. Coordination skills severely impaired. Severe tinnitus. Body feels heavy as if gravity increased. Severe dp/dr. One day I spilled my entire plate while eating and I could see my plate fall down in slow motion in 3-D. One day I was cooking and accidentally burnt my hand and I could feel the pain from my hand travel all the way to my brain. I'm pretty sure there were a lot more symptoms that I really can't remember them all. It's been six months now that I've gone cold turkey. I'm still a long ways from recovery but looking back sure as hell feels like I've made some progress. Going cold turkey put my body in full reboot mode and slowly one by one I get to feel parts of my body come alive one by one.
  10. I’ve been taking anti-depressants and a mood stabilizer for 20+ years. I want to wean off duloxetine first. I’ve experienced horrible withdrawal symptoms when I failed to get a refill about 3 years ago. After about 2 days not taking duloxetine I was in full blown withdrawal and it was a flipping nightmare. That experience led me to believe I would never be able to not use the drug. I am to the point of being tired of dry mouth, dry eye, constipation and sweating. This may not be a good time to wean as I’m planning my daughter’s wedding for next fall and going to school part time. I will be 59 in 2018. Finding this forum is a godsend for me and hope I can be active even if I’m unable to start a taper right away. I’m really scared that I will never feel like the self I was before taking these drugs. I’m not even sure if I remember, which is even scarier and causes some anxiety if I focus on it too much. Thanks.
  11. Hello everyone. I had been on this forum many times before reading all the posts, usually in the dead of night when feeling so desperate and alone with insomnia but did not sign up until now as hoping I would be feeling a bit better by now. I don't. I came off Duloxetine/Cymbalta, 60mg,in June 2016 cold turkey, probably a huge mistake to do it this way but I had been in touch with my doctor and he suggested to change antidepressant to Citalopram 20mg which I tried for a week and felt strange so ended up ditching both. I went through a terrible time of adjustment for the first 100 days but then seemed to manage slightly better, although it was tough I had hope for a while apart from the no sleep. After another few weeks all kinds of symptoms came at me like an express train and these now remain. I feel generally unwell all the time, depressed, no interest, no zest for life and just not functioning very well. I do have Citalopram tablets, 20mg, here in the house and feel tempted to take them but unsure of what to do. I also have Diazepam which I have taken on and off for 8/9 years 2mg. The Diazepam does not help me sleep at all but does calm me down a little but I feel it is not helpful to my withdrawal off the anti depressents and may be making symptoms worse. Would like to ask advice as to whether or not to reinstate antidepressents for a while as struggling so badly with suicidal thoughts and of little hope in recovering. 8 months of feeling so ill everyday is such hard work and is like living less than half a life. All hope I had in feeling better has gone, I cant believe I can feel this bad and still continue to try and get on with the days activities. I keep thinking that I should be in a hospital being looked after but of course any doctor would just dose me up, seems appealing today. Any suggestions would be appreciated very much.
  12. Salutations. I'll get right down to it. Apologies, this'll be long. I'm trying to get off of Cymbalta 60mg after a repeat of my experiences on it the first time. That's right, this is my second time on the drug after an extended absence of being drug-free. I guess I'll start with that. In both cases of being on Cymbalta, the first 3 months were pretty great in terms of energy and general emotions. Not in terms of side effects, but will get to that later. Then, after those 3 months, comes the slow progression of what I call the period of "nothing" - no positive or negative emotional feelings, but the side effects are there. So it feels like I'm taking a placebo with side effects. Then around the 8-9 month mark, it feels like I'm taking a pill that makes me more depressed than I initially was with side effects. First time around, I was at 30mg for those first 3 months and they bumped it up to 60mg, which extended things by a few weeks, but I still bottomed out. Second time, they bumped me up within 2 weeks (which was an incredibly brutally short time span in terms of side effects but I suffered through it). Still same bottoming out. What made me want to stop the first time was less the issue of it not particularly working but right around the time it began to seriously bottom out I had a life situation change and lost my insurance. With prescription cost being hilariously unaffordable after that, I really had no choice. I was able to secure 2 months of 30mg from my psych and didn't taper from 60mg down to 30mg at all; just started taking the 30 for two months, then went cold turkey. That sucked for about three weeks of my life and I decided then and there I wouldn't go back on it. Fast forward about 6 months, something triggered my depression in a bad way and I ended up in the psych's office again. It was determined that I'd be put back on Cymbalta, which I was hesitant about, but the way my new insurance worked in order to get a referral for therapy covered I needed to work through with the psych. Alternative doctors were limited with massive wait periods and I felt the therapy was worth the drug prescription. So gave it another go. Now here I am, nauseous, can't sleep, sweating in 50-60 degree weather, exhausted, 20lb weight gain, but also feeling like balling my eyes out and hopeless. Worse than when I went into the doc to get relief. What was interesting is that for nearly the whole 6 months off of Cymbalta last year I felt great, like I never needed it in the first place. Heck, I didn't even need to change my lifestyle and the weight I had gained the first time on it literally melted off me with no effort and stayed off me. Two weeks ago I thought because I could drop from 30 to nothing I could do the same at 60 to nothing. Tried toughing it out for a week, oh my god. Never again. I might as well have been dying. So, I have to taper, but my doctor isn't convinced enough to give me a lower dose...so some Google searching about later and here I am.
  13. 20mg of Cymbalta for 10 years without problems for neuropathy I read about negative side affects and ignorantly stopped it cold turkey on 11/25/2015. I had mild depression and insomnia for about 4 weeks. Then one month later, it all hit me WAY hard 10/10: anxiety, agitation, insomnia, Tinnitus and dysphoria. After 6 weeks I restarted Cymbalta at my previous 20mg per day dose and although the symptoms have improved down to about 4/10, I am super sensitive to any psych med, alcohol etc. I have been back on the Cymbalta for almost 3 months now and am wondering how long does it usually take to stabilize to back to where one was? Is this even "neural destabilization?" Should I try and ask my doctor to increase my dose to 30mg of Cymbalta per day? Your site is great and I thank you for all you do. I have been taking Valium 25 mg per day for the past 6 weeks to try to help with the anxiety and insomnia, it does help, but I am still super sensitive to all other meds Weird thing - 1 drink of Alcohol makes all my symptoms dissapear, and then my symptoms are all way worse for two or three days.
  14. Hello everybody, First of all, sorry for my poor English. I'll try to write short but correct sentences, so you can understand my case. I'm 21 years old and currently I'm studying Medicine. In 2013 I started psychological treatment for social anxiety (only psychotherapy, without medication). I'm positive that this helped me a lot, but the psychologist thought that I wasn't improving fast enough, so he prescribed me Escitalopram 5 mg/day. I didn't notice any improvement or adverse effect while taking this drug. The summer of 2014, before I started College, was the worst phase of my life. I didn't want to get out of my bedroom, and I only wanted to die. That fall, I visited a psychiatrist for the first time, and he prescribed me Desvenlafaxine 100 mg a day. This drug completely killed my mind. I felt numb, dizzy, emotionally flattened, I had severe memory problems... When the College semester ended (I failed 3 subjects), I withdraw the drug with the help of the psychiatrist. Several months later, I felt better, but I had the feeling that the drug had left some type of "residual damage" in me...I wasn't the same person than I was one year ago, and the memory problems were there. I committed the great mistake of asking another psychiatrist for advice: I wanted to know if the Desvenlafaxine was the culprit of the symptoms I was suffering. The new psychiatrist told me that I was suffering from anxiety and obsessive-like behavior, so he gave me Duloxetine (60 mg/day during the first 3 months, 30 mg/day later) & Alprazolam (0.125 mg. 3 times a day during the 3 first months, once a day later). This time, I got better results than the year before. I felt better, I even obtained A+ in two subjects. When the summer came, I decided to withdraw the drug with the help of my doctor. I suffered a considerable withdrawal syndrome (dizziness,photophobia,tinnitus,swinging mood...It was horrible!). When the College course started, I felt really anxious, I could barely study, so I started taking the Duloxetine & Alprazolam again. However, this time the medication didn't helped anything. I felt worse everyday, so I decided to leave the College for a while and search a good psychotherapist. I found one who is helping me a lot, she encouraged me to withdraw these horrible drugs, so I'm "clean" since December, 2016. I'm going to summarize my drug history and the withdrawal symptoms I'm having: Medication history · March 2014-October 2014: Escitalopram 5 mg/day. · October 2014-July 2015: Desvenlafaxine 100mg/day. · October 2015-July 2016: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg/day & Alprazolam (0.125 mg/day). · October 2016-November 2016: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg/day & Alprazolam (0.125 mg/day). · 2 and a half months "clean" (since the end of November until today) My withdrawal symptoms · I don't feel anything, I don't enjoy anything in life, my mood is completely flat. I don't enjoy things that I used to enjoy, I have to think "hey, you used to enjoy doing this, so you should be having a good time", but I don't have the "natural" and "automatic" feeling of enjoy. · My memory is not sharp anymore, I have problems remembering what I've done yesterday or some days ago, I have to do great efforts in order to remember things. · I feel mentally slow, I have enormous concentration problems, I feel absolutely useless. That's the summary of my situation. I can't talk about it with anybody (my fathers don't understand what's happening, my girlfriend and friends don't notice any problem and my psychotherapist, although she think I was medicated without reasons and she thinks the two psychiatrists committed malpractice, says that these drugs don't cause any permanent damage and that I mustn't get obsessed with all these symptoms. So, my last hope is this community, while I expect to find people with knowledge of the topic. Is this "damage" permanent? Will I recover my old self? I'm terrified just now, and the idea of not being myself anymore is scaring me a lot...I don't want to live like this, and if this situation don't revert, I'll have to take radical measures. Thank you very much for your time, I hope you can help me with your experiences and knowledge. Best wishes, dav267
  15. Please i need help. I am on cymbalta generic and have tapered down to approx 10 mgs from 90 using bead method. I also take a very low dose of ativan. I had tapered off the ativan in july 2016 and went back on much lower dose 4 months ago. I also take zyprexa at approx. 3.75 mgs. I have been trying to taper all three meds because i have fatty liver disease and need yo get off this junk before it turns into cirrhosis. So i made a cut last week and about 4 days ago i started to get severe anxiety. I was doing fine up until then but it seems like every time i get to a certain point with the zyorexa i get so anxious. I have tried several times to taper zyprexa. I am under alot of stress and i dont know if its me or withdrawal. I was put on these medications 9 years ago for anxiety. It was very bad. But i dont know if that anxiety was from klonopin or celexa. I did not have this kind of anxiety before those two meds. Someone please help me. I had to increase the zyprexa yesterday or i was going to end up in the hospital. I have to find a job because i will soon be homeless if i dont. How will i get off these horrible drugs and function at the same time??
  16. Hi Everyone! i have started a taper a few months ago from duloxetine 60mg and am now on 30mg. I've been on antidepressants for about 14 years almost straight through. I've tried different ones and always tapered down while starting another to taper up. I had awful withdrawals when I stopped Paxil and felt labile like I was hypomanic, crying and agitated. I soon started something else. I'm ready to try stopping. My liver tests are elevated, I'm overweight, and I'm always tired. I had night sweats on 60 mg of duloxetine and they are lessening with a lower dose. I also always had challenges with orgasm, and really had to work for it. That's improving a bit. Thank you for having this forum!!!!!
  17. I don't know what we would do without the Internet, I was looking for guidance and support and stumbled across this website. First let me say that I have been on and off SSRI's for 16 years....I had never suffered depression and only developed anxiety a few years ago but with education and forums such as this, I wonder if it wasn't withdrawal from the cocktail of SSRI's my dr. was trying at the time. Whatever it may be, I am 6 months off of Cymbalta and have good days and bad....the bad days feel endless. Here is a little history of how my life with medication began....I suffered a very traumatic childhood which I repressed for decades...when I finally confronted things I was already on medication which started for symptoms of PMS. At the time I believe it was Serafem back in the early 2000's, then I was switched to Lexapro as I would have bouts of anger that the dr. felt this would help. I took Lexapro for several years until I wanted off because it killed my emotions and my sex drive. I was off for a few months and just felt like I needed to go back on something. This began the next 10 + years of being on SSRI's including Cymbalta for the last few years and a mixture of (Lexapro again; wellbutrin and God knows what else at one point which didn't work so back to the Cymbalta he sent me) A few years ago I was going through a difficult divorce and began to have panic issues. I had had one or two in the past and now looking back, think they were from repressed emotions pertaining to my childhood. The dr. decided to give me benzos, which I'd never taken. When Xanax didn't work he put me on Ativan. I took Ativan sporadically for about 2 weeks and couldn't figure out why the life was sucked out of me. I could barely leave my house, I forced myself to go to work but I was in the deepest depression imaginable and didn't know what to do. I started doing my research and realized that benzos could spark depression. I stopped taking them immediately and with time I started to feel better again. I was still on Cymbalta at the time but eventually wanted to be free from these meds. I have never done drugs in my life and had no idea the impact these prescription meds would have on my life and my mind. I decided to taper off of Cymbalta late last year...trauma being healed (slowly); divorce behind me; new happy and healthy relationship....it was time. At first I felt ok then I had another traumatic event happen in January which spiraled me into depression again. I have been struggling for the last 5 months...but now some days are ok and some not so ok. I am a strong woman and know that I have gotten this far (6 months off!) and will continue. I drink lots of water, exercise a few times a week, make sure I spend time outdoors enjoying the sunshine, my puppies; my love and my friends. It's still a struggle but seeing the posts about the windows and waves now makes sense. I have new hope that my body is in fact healing itself and all of this is part of the process, albeit a scary one. I only wish we as a society were more educated about the long term effects these medications will have on us not only while on them but if we make the brave decision to go off of them. When we go on them we are thrilled to be able to get them from our primary dr. The ease of getting the prescriptions is comforting, however, I really think there needs to be tighten regulations on who can prescribe these meds. Someone well versed and educated on the effects and dangers....
  18. I am on Cymbalta and Temazepam. I know conventional wisdom says Benzo taper first. I am in severe tolerance. I am afraid of total insomnia as I am in severe pain from cervical dystonia I believe caused by Cymbalta. Can I taper Cymbalta first?
  19. Having successfully weaned from gabapentin, I felt ready to begin tapering from duloxetine. Then I found this site, entered my meds & viewed the interaction between them and I feel rather worried and would like help knowing which to leave off first. The ones I'm concerned about are duloxetine, amitriptyline, and trazodone. I also take tizanidine. tia
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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!
  23. 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
  24. 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!!
  25. 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...
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