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Gumtree: Cymbalta taper

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Gumtree

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.

Edited by scallywag
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KarenB

Hello Gumtree and welcome to s/a,

 

Clearly I need to point you in the direction of the Aussie thread so you can find local info if you need it.  Thanks for you signature too.

 

It sounds as though you are on track for successful tapering.  In case you haven't seen them here are Tips for Tapering Cymbalta and Why Taper by 10% of my dose?.

 

Though you may be more interested in Micro Tapering.  I'm micro-tapering myself, and have found it much more suited to my sensitivities than going by 10% steps.  

 

I'm sure you'll find plenty of info and support here.  You may like to start magnesium and fish-oil - many people find they give good support during w/d. 

 

It's good to have you here.  Please return to this thread whenever you want to ask questions or discuss things further. 

Karen

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brassmonkey

Hi Gumtree-- Welcome to the group, it's wonderful to see someone getting information and making a plan before starting to taper.  Karen gave you some good places to start.  I have a question about the FM pain.  I'm assuming that you're meaning fibromyalgia.  Was the pain a problem before you started on the anti seizure and psych drugs back in the beginning, or  did it develop after you started taking them?

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Gumtree

 

Clearly I need to point you in the direction of the Aussie thread so you can find local info if you need it.  Thanks for you signature too.

 

It sounds as though you are on track for successful tapering.  In case you haven't seen them here are Tips for Tapering Cymbalta and Why Taper by 10% of my dose?.

 

Though you may be more interested in Micro Tapering.  I'm micro-tapering myself, and have found it much more suited to my sensitivities than going by 10% steps.  

 

 

Thanks so much for the quick links KarenB - I appreciate that.  I'll definitely follow up on the Aussie links as I'm not sure what doctors have experience with Cymbalta withdrawal/tapering.  I've moved interstate so I'm not in touch with my original prescriber but the local doctors here continue to provide prescriptions.  I'll see what is happening in Australia and go from there.  

Yes, the micro tapering is a good idea.  I figure (at this stage) that i'll start and see what affect it has on me and then adjust accordingly.  I'd rather start with minimal effects but I know it is not predictable.  

Thanks for your advice about supplements.  In preparation I've actually weaned off sugar (OMG!!) and most preservatives/chemicals so I'm down to a meat/vegetable diet.  I eat gluten free anyway so I'm hoping that cleaning up my diet will allow my body the chance to be in the best possible shape to process the withdrawal changes.  I'm also taking Vitamin D / multivitamin / Krill and Magnesium to get back to better health.  Thanks again for your tips - really appreciate it. 

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Gumtree

I have a question about the FM pain.  I'm assuming that you're meaning fibromyalgia.  Was the pain a problem before you started on the anti seizure and psych drugs back in the beginning, or  did it develop after you started taking them?

Yes, FM = fibromyalgia.

I was diagnosed with FM by my rheumatologist in 2010 but in hindsight, my FM points on my body have probably been flaring on and off for many years but no one really believed that a light touch could be painful.  I'd seen a Rheumatologist in 2010 for sudden and aggressive onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis which was debilitating and painful.  He also diagnosed FM and suggested Lyrica and Cymbalta.  He prescribed Methotrexate for the RA which I began and it made me very ill.  I was on that for two years and am now in remission with the RA.  I weaned myself off methotrexate and now take none.  It took some convincing to get me on to Cymbalta but I wanted some pain relief and figured the change from Zoloft to Cymbalta would be good.  It was.  I think.  Now I want off it.  

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AliG

Hi Gumtree.  It can be a little confusing , at times because the drugs give you symptoms that " mimic" , other conditions. Then the " doctors" add " fuel to the fire" , with more medications, that can add to the symptoms. However, if you're serious about stepping off, you're in  the right place. Please come back to ask any questions and record progress. Micro - tapering might suit you.  Something to consider. Are you still on  Cymbalta. 60 mg ?

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brassmonkey

AliG is stating the point I was going to bring up.  All three of the medications you were taking prior to 2010 and the Cymbalta can have side effects of FM like symptoms which are frequently misdiagnosed as such.  The point being that once you're free of the medications the pain will probably clear up of its own accord.  However, severe body aches and pains are a WD symptom that many people (myself included) "enjoy" during their tapers.  I truly hope you don't get them but it's a possibility you should keep in mind.

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Gumtree

Micro - tapering might suit you.  Something to consider. Are you still on  Cymbalta. 60 mg ?

Thanks AliG - yes still on Cymbalta 60mg and preparing/researching to start withdrawal soon (in about a month's time).  I know that is a while off and I'm not procrastinating - I just feel anxious even thinking about withdrawing because I know I still get anxiety and horribly depressed (at times) while ON the Cymbalta.  So, I'm trying to make sure I'm in good physical shape (as best I can) before I start withdrawal, and then have a good idea what I could possibly expect, so that I don't go completely around the twist overthinking things when I'm withdrawing.

Microtapering is what I'm looking at to start with.  I opened a capsule yesterday and counted the beads - 60mg held 552 beads and it was an arduous task counting.  I think I'll order some scales so I can weigh an accurate amount to remove each time. 

 

 

AliG is stating the point I was going to bring up.  All three of the medications you were taking prior to 2010 and the Cymbalta can have side effects of FM like symptoms which are frequently misdiagnosed as such.  The point being that once you're free of the medications the pain will probably clear up of its own accord.  However, severe body aches and pains are a WD symptom that many people (myself included) "enjoy" during their tapers.  I truly hope you don't get them but it's a possibility you should keep in mind.

Yes, that's a good point I hadn't considered.  I do continue to get pains and fatigue but hadn't considered these to be a side effect of the medications that are mimicking FM, but thought that my FM was 'flaring' which is usually what I've been told.  I am having quite a deal of fatigue of pain and fatigue (and depression) which makes me wonder if the Cymbalta has stopped working. 

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Gumtree

CYMBALTA  and  GLAUCOMA  ONSET

 

I don't have questions here - just my story.  I'm documenting it for anyone who is taking Cymbalta to be vigilant about their eye health.  Admins - please move this to a different thread if you think others can access it more easily somewhere else. 

 

Glaucoma and eye pressure

Eye pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Normal eye pressure ranges from 12-22 mm Hg, and eye pressure of greater than 22 mm Hg is considered higher than normal. When the IOP is higher than normal but the person does not show signs of glaucoma, this is referred to as ocular hypertension. (www.allaboutvision.com) 

 

My brief history

1987 - first eye glasses at age 17 for general use, noticed that I had difficulty with judging distance when driving. 

1990 - regular check. Prescription hardly changed, but I'd get a check up and update my frames. Always had puffed air test for glaucoma with no indication of any abnormality. 

2010 - began taking prescribed Cymbalta 60mg daily

2010 - turned 40 and had full eye exam including puffed air for glaucoma test and retinal photography.  Thought it was a good idea to have on record as a reference for any changes to my eyes as I got older. IOP (eye pressure) noted as 21mm/Hg which was at the higher end of the scale.  No action taken.  No family history of glaucoma but my nana had cataract surgery at age 80. 

2011 - eyesight deteriorating with some headaches.  Headaches dismissed as a side effect of Methotrexate and eyes deteriorating because of working on screen all day. 

2012 - eyesight deteriorating noticeably to point of needing new prescription glasses.  Saw optician who ran tests and noted IOP eye pressure of 23 in the left eye.  Immediately phoned the eye specialist who saw me straight away.  He ran tests to measure angles and pressure.  Pressure was high.  I explained I had been having debilitating headaches in the left eye, like it was literally going to pop.  The headache only came on as I got in to bed to go to sleep.  It would make me vomit. I would eventually just get up and go to the lounge room and it would then subside.  He diagnosed it as 'ocular migraines' and told me to take aspirin when the headache occured.

2013 - moved interstate.  

2013 - horrendous headaches continued.  I took aspirin and kneeled on the floor rocking to try to abate the pain when they came on. Felt like my eye was going to burst.  Occurred about once a week.  I "accepted" that migraines were awful and debilitating and the doctor, optometrist and eye specialist had made the diagnosis, and they were "the experts". I'd been given direction to take aspirin when in pain and followed their advice.  Apart from that I resigned myself to being a 'migraine sufferer' and just had to deal with it the best I could.  My eyesight continued to deteriorate.  Needed new glasses again only a year after my last change.  Got a stronger prescription from local optometrist (not my usual).  

Six months later I needed yet another prescription for new glasses as my vision had deteriorated.  By this time I was living interstate from my usual optometrist and thought the ones in my new town must be hopeless so I flew interstate back to my original optometrist for tests and a decent set of glasses.  I had no long vision and short vision was difficult.  Saw my regular optometrist who ran usual tests.  My IOP was again 23 when tested, but I explained that 23 was 'normal' for me and it was currently not a spike in pressure, those came late at night.  He sent me again immediately to the Specialist, who again told me it was just ocular migraines.  He conceded, when pressed, that my 'angles are narrow but not closed'.  I had researched migraines and glaucoma and I was positive it was not migraines.  He did not like to be challenged.  I was living interstate at a remote location so asked him what he would do if it WAS narrow angle glaucoma and he performed a laser iridotomy on my eye then and there.  A gush of fluid eminated, which indicated a build up of fluid and pressure in the eye.  It also bled profusely, probably from taking aspirin.  I flew out of town a few days later.   I'd arranged for my new glasses from the optometrist to be posted to me because I wouldn't be there to collect them.  Two weeks later my new glasses arrived and when I put them on they were useless, my eyes had changed again. 

2014 - my headaches increased since the iridotomy and were almost nightly.  Within six weeks of the iridotomy and examination, I knew I was not just losing vision but I was going blind.  My left eye was worse than the right eye. I could no longer see at night while driving.  Then I could barely see to drive in the day.  It was a rapid loss of sight with accompanying nightly headaches and vomiting. I could no longer work in my job as I could not see enough to handle money.  I walked around like a dressage horse, tapping my foot ahead of me because I was unsure of the ground level or surface changes.  I made cups of tea by pouring water into the cup until the water burned my finger.  I lost all vision in my left eye and 50% in my right. I made contact with a visiting eye specialist in my new town and he noted the pressure in my left eye was now 44 (not at it's worst either) and 32 in my right.  He diagnosed two full blown cataracts that had clouded my vision.  He was the first to put me on any medication and drops to lower the pressure in my eyes and suggested surgery for new lenses.  I decided to find a specialist surgeon in my hometown as there was more options and my family was based there.  I had both cataracts removed (in a fortnight) and new lenses at age 45 - I have sustained some irreversible damage to both eyes and now wear high prescription glasses full time.  I can drive again in the day but choose not to drive at night. 

 

WHAT DID I LEARN?

- vision is SO precious in ways you don't even realise until you can't see and start to lose independence

- glaucoma headache is common when in a darkened room because the pupil dilates, pushing the iris back and narrowing the angle, thus increasing pressure.  When I got regular headaches at bed time it was because I'd gone in to a darkened room.  When I then retreated to the kitchen to take aspirin and sit in the lounge room, I'd turn on the top light, my pupil would change and the headache would eventually subside.  

- iPad / iPhone and Siri became best friend. Making text bigger with a pinch or flick on screen and asking Siri for the time, weather, to text or read messages or dial a number helped me maintain some independence

- to do my own research from reputable journals and sources, and get more than one medical opinion

- glaucoma 

- not to believe everything the doctor or specialist tells me just because they are "the experts"

- doctors hate being contradicted and label me a 'difficult' or 'challenging' patient.  I'm actually very compliant, but wary now. 

- no one had any idea that Cymbalta and Narrow Angle Glaucoma are well documented as a significant warning

- no one had any idea that Cymbalta itself can RAISE EYE PRESSURE to abnormally high levels

- sudden high eye pressure and excruciating pain in the eyeball is actually a medical emergency 

- compassion for people with low vision and the everyday obstacles and energy required just to do routine tasks

- compassion for anyone who is 'encouraged' to give up their drivers licence. It hurts.

- oh and it really doesn't matter if you go shopping in clothes that don't match or a t-shirt that is inside out.   

 

If there is anything in my story that raises concerns for you, please consult with your doctor or optician for eye pressure testing.  This is just my personal story and I can't diagnose your issues but am happy to answer questions about my own experience. 

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KarenB

Thanks for posting what you've learned re eye health.  Insane what these drugs can do. 

 

Also - weighing will be much easier for you.  Each capsule will have a different number of beads and a different weight.  I weighed 10 capsules and worked out the average weight to use.  I have a gemini-20 which is fairly good but you need to be on to it concerning calibrating each time so the weights remain constant. 

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Gumtree

Thanks KarenB, I'm just looking at the Gemini-20 via Amazon.  It's a reasonable price.  Just a question - apart from making sure about tare/calibration, is it quite reliable?  I will hope to do a few capsules at a time so that I'm set up on a microtaper.  

 

I still haven't found a local doctor in my area who has any experience with Cymbalta tapering so that's a bit of a concern.  They're fine to write me out a prescription but aren't sold on the idea that coming off medication is wise.  Anyway...  I will try to find a Skype doctor who might be able to assist. 

 

I have decided to start with a micro-taper.  From what I've read that seems to be a good way for me as I'm pretty sensitive to changes in my body. I'm a bit dismayed though because I opened a 60mg capsule and it had 552 beads inside, so if I taper off by one or two beads, it is going to take me a very long time (all being well). 

 

I know that doing some research has been good - it's given me an idea of what to expect, but it's also scared me half to death!!  That sounds like I'm jesting but I'm not - I'm quite anxious about it and am torn about what to do.  Just scared I suppose.  I'm concerned about the experiences where people have tapered and it seems to go okay, then they get a rebound effect and feel horrible, so they reinstate and that doesn't seem to make them feel any better.  I have a busy period of work ahead of me and I'm scared that if I start and crash, I'll be out of action for a while.  I know no one can give me the answers, or decide for me, but I'm just worried about how incapacitating it can be.  

Okay, rant over - that's all for now.  

My body is in good shape in preparation.  I'm now off sugar, gluten, and on fresh foods, good proteins and fats, Magnesium, Krill, Vitamin D and a multi vitamin - which is a good combination for me.  

I'm ordering the scale so I'll see how many beads is 1% and that might give me a better idea of a starting place for how to structure my microtaper.

Thanks all for your company and comments on the journey.  Much appreciated to know we're not alone with this. 

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KarenB

Hello Gumtree,

 

I find the Gemini to be reliable, but I have heard others on here say they've had some issues with it.  There is some discussion here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1596-using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses/  You'll need to read right through to get to the cons. 

 

I think very few of us have doctors who are sold on this tapering lark.  Mine knows I'm tapering and continues to write prescriptions, but I know she'd rather me just try different drugs.  I get all my real assistance here :).

 

My maths can be a tad shady, but if you've got 552 beads and want to try a 1% taper, then you'd be taking out 5 beads.  Sounds a bit better than 1-2 beads. 

 

I understand how you feel scared making these decisions.  What I like about micro-tapering is that I feel very in control of the process.  A small change can't put you in a really bad way and then keep you there for ages.  Small changes mean small effects.  You can make a reduction one week, then hold the next while you are busy at work, then reduce the next etc.  Once you get into it, you will hopefully feel more reassured. 

 

I've worked with quite a few here who, once they found their personal tapering 'sweet pace,' started to do really well, got less symptoms, and felt more confident about it all.   

 

Great work with the self-care - you're getting everything together.

Karen

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Gumtree

Thanks KarenB - I'm trying to stay positive about it and remind myself that I'm doing good prep work, not procrastinating.  I've emailed off to several doctors around australia who offer Skype sessions (as I'm in a country/remote area) so I hope to hear back from some of them and I'll add any to the Australian list on the site.  I think 5 beads is the maximum I'll try at first and see how that goes on my system.  At this stage I'm planning to start on March 14, all being well. Thanks for your response, much appreciated. 

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Fresh

Hi Gumtree ,   if you're looking for an Aussie  doctor who skype's , you can't do better than Dr Yolande Lucire

who's in Sydney.  She sees quite a few members , just mention this site when you email her.

 

Having said that , you'll still need to be the master of your own taper , and listen to your body to guide you along

the way

See  Dr. Yolande Lucire: Adverse Reactions to Psychiatric Drugs

 

 

bw ,  Fresh

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Gumtree

Hi Gumtree ,   if you're looking for an Aussie  doctor who skype's , you can't do better than Dr Yolande Lucire

who's in Sydney.  She sees quite a few members , just mention this site when you email her.

 

Thanks Fresh! I've read an article by her but I didn't know she was in practice - I thought she was in research.  Thanks, i'll send off an email to her.  

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Gumtree

Hi all, 

I chickened out of my original plan. 

I was preparing to start tapering from 60mg Cymbalta in March this year...... but I didn't do it.  It sounds like an excuse but I had a flare up of my rheumatoid arthritis which has been difficult to manage and had to go back on Methotrexate which made me feel horrible.  I guess that is what has kept me locked into taking antidepressants for so long - there NEVER seems to be a "good" time to come off them when life seems 'stable'.  It doesn't work like that for me.  I don't know if I'm just procrastinating, or scared, or in denial... (not looking for answers here), just saying that I haven't started and am feeling scared about doing so, particularly as I do get anxious from time to time and even the though of going off has made me anxious.  That's what makes me concerned about doctors - they just tell me that I need the drug to combat anxiety.  But the reason for my anxiety is because I'm anxious about the damage the drug is doing to me and anxious about what it might do when I withdraw.  Anyone got any words of advice? - much appreciated. 

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scallywag

If you want to taper, just start with a very small decrease. My 60 mg Cymbalta capsules had 540 - 560 beads; and yes, I counted every @&*% one of them.  10% would be 54 beads, you could start with removing ten beads, a much smaller reduction.

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KarenB

Scallywag is right - you can totally be in control of your own taper.  Reduce a small amount, wait as long as you like, reduce another small amount - this way you can find your own manageable way off cymbalta. 

 

It doesn't have to be like jumping off over a waterfall where once you go there's no going back.  Go slow, with small steps, and you can keep control. You can step-up your self-care before beginning to taper, especially learning techniques for managing anxiety.

 

You might be interested to note that psych drugs actually cause anxiety.  I had my first ever panic-attacks while on them. 

 

Gumtree, you can do this!

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Gumtree

Thanks @Scallywag and @KarenB for your replies. I'm just over thinking and getting ahead of myself. It's crazy how these drugs make me so crazy! Seriously!

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Gumtree

1 December 2016: STARTED MY TAPER TODAY

 

Cymbalta 60mg taper at 5% and will hold for 14 days

I am using the bead counting method. I have bought scales but even though they are good and I have checked and rechecked them, I live in a very humid environment and I just don't feel confident they tare accurately each time so opted to count.

 

I felt a bit off today but not sure if that was being hypervigilant / hyper aware or actually feeling off. I had a bit of a headache, felt very restless but also fatigued. Had to have an afternoon nap. Weird. I will see how I go during the week and what withdrawal symptoms appear.

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scallywag

The first step -- congratulations!  I hope your taper goes smoothly.

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Gumtree

The first step -- congratulations!  I hope your taper goes smoothly.

Thanks @scallywag. I'm hoping it goes well too. Seems to be okay although only three days in. I seem to have good and bad patches in the day in terms of feeling physically unwell, but to be fair, I've always felt like that even on Cymbalta, so there is not much difference for me at the moment.

My method:

I opened and counted all the beads in 3 capsules of 60mg Cymbalta.

They contained: 579 / 581 / 573 beads each. It gave me an average of 577 per capsule.

My taper is at 5% so each new gel capsule contains 548 beads for this first 5% step down.

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scallywag

Sounds like a good plan - 5% from 577 beads. Counting all those little so-and-so's is a drag. I've counted over 15,000 so far in my taper!

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Gumtree

Horrible Horrible Horrible.

I prepared really well physically for this taper and took my time getting my body on a healthy eating plan etc.

I took my first taper dose (5% bead counting of 60mg Cymbalta) on 1 December 2016.

The first few days were okay, but it seems like each day I feel a bit worse - fatigue, headache, nausea, jittery, really really restless legs, hot flushes, and last night I really felt on the verge of a panic attack which didn't escalate but was disturbing. I have not had any panic episodes when on Cymbalta, so naturally that concerned me.

Does anyone know - does the beginning of a taper adjustment feel like this and then it stabilises over the period (21 days) or does it continue to get worse? I can't imagine going through this for years.

If it does get worse over time then I'd rather adjust my dose to only a 2.5% taper, especially if it is going to knock me around like this.

Any advice appreciated,

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brassmonkey

Hi Gumtree--  I'm sorry to hear that your first taper is hitting you so hard.  With every drop in dosage there will be an uptick in symptoms a few days after the drop. It can vary from a couple of days to a week.  The symptoms should settle out over the next week or so back to about where you were before you did the drip.  The first few drops can also be a bit of a shock to the body because the body is very used to a set dosage.  Over time your body should adjust to the idea of the decreases and tolerate them better.

 

The first several drops is a learning experience in how your body will tolerate the drops and some adjustments in the amount of the drop may be called for.  Might I suggest that you try the Brassmonkey Slide Method and do 1.25% drops each week for 4 weeks and then hold an additional 2 weeks.  That will give a total of 5% every 6 weeks which should be a manageable rate.  By dropping only 1.25% a week you sneak up on the symptoms instead of experiencing them all at once, which makes things a lot more manageable.

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Gumtree

The first several drops is a learning experience in how your body will tolerate the drops and some adjustments in the amount of the drop may be called for.  Might I suggest that you try the Brassmonkey Slide Method and do 1.25% drops each week for 4 weeks and then hold an additional 2 weeks.  That will give a total of 5% every 6 weeks which should be a manageable rate.  By dropping only 1.25% a week you sneak up on the symptoms instead of experiencing them all at once, which makes things a lot more manageable.

Thanks brassmonkey - I must say it has floored me and I'm a bit dismayed and quite astounded at how a relatively tiny change has really thrown me out. I initially planned on a 2.5% taper because I know my system is pretty sensitive to changes but when I worked out how many YEARS it would take, I thought I'd start with 5% and see if that would work for me. I guess I've answered my own question there and should try a lighter taper and be more patient, but damn I just want off this stuff. Thx again, I haven't heard of your approach before but it seems like a good alternative.

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KarenB

I'm using Brassmonkey's approach too, and it works very well for me.  Definitely worth a try for you too, especially as you are more likely to be able to live your life as you taper. 

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Gumtree

Stepping down my dose each fortnight - by 5%. I started with counting microbeads (577 in 60mg) and have dropped each fortnight since December 1, 2016 and just started another step-down today (my fifth step down). It's been interesting.

 

A pattern emerges where I seem to be okay on day 1/2/3 of the new taper dose, feel a bit seedy for days 4/5/6 with headache, nausea then I hit a couple of bad days somewhere in day 7/8 where I cannot think and my memory and brain is shot to pieces. I can't string a sentence together or sometimes even remember how to perform routine tasks. I can't read at that point because it just doesn't make sense. Sometimes I get the totally wrong word and occasionally stutter. I try to sleep those days (I feel really fatigued) when I can. Then I feel a bit better for a few days, just a bit rough, like a bad hangover. Then I get a few good days at the end of the taper fortnight before I start again. So it roughly has a pattern where I feel okay for about a week (end of taper and beginning of next one) then rough for a week.

I'll summarise some concerns here for me to revisit at some point:

 

- concerned this is causing me some brain damage, I'm definitely struggling to perform any brain processing at times. I tried to set up my new printer, which can be a bit of a fiddle at times, but I'm really good with technology. None of it made sense at all, it might as well have been written in another language. Sometimes my partner can ask me something and I just don't understand. I find it hard to make a shopping list and plan meals. Some days I don't drive.

- haven't had any depressive moods. In fact I'm usually feeling nothing. Just not anything at all. If you asked me how I felt I really wouldn't know.

 

- feel a bit dizzy from time to time. Restless legs are driving me crazy and I've ripped off all my fingernails because I'm fidgeting and I've got a fidget toy now so that I've got something to wiggle.

 

- Taking my supplements and also doing a daily guided meditation, which is good.

 

- Cycling at least every second day for some exercise and riding about 60km per week, feeling good and enjoying it.

 

- getting lots of aches/pain in my body, similar to Fibromylagia pain. Not sure whether this is the FM being active, or the Cymbalta playing tricks on my system. Some days it's very painful and tiring.

Edited by scallywag
added paragraph breaks and extra lines for readability

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KarenB

Just a quick thought - perhaps it's time for a short hold?  Let things settle a bit before continuing on downwards. 

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Gumtree

Thanks Karen,

Yes I think I'll need to hold. I'm not good this week and can't think I've also had some wild mood swings which is quite uncharacteristic. I'll hold this for an extra week and see if that helps. Damn this is hard.

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Gumtree

ADJUSTING MY TAPER AMOUNT

60mg Cymbalta microbeads / Currently bead counting / reducing by 5% and holding for fortnight / started 1 December 2016.

 

I think I need to change/slow my rate and would appreciate advice on how to change my taper.

 

My main problems - incredible difficulty in thinking and doing things and talking. Some things I just don't understand and I know that ordinarily I would understand them.

 

Question - advice on whether to decrease taper amount OR to keep at 5% and hold longer. I don't want to to both because then I won't know what made the difference. Sorry if the answer seems obvious to you - I can't reason well at the moment. Advice appreciated.

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ChessieCat

Hi Gumtree,

 

I've moved your post to your own Intro/Update topic because it is about your own situation and will keep your history together.

 

I haven't read through your topic, but if you are doing 5% drops and holding for 2 weeks, you might want to consider still doing the 5% drop and holding for 3 weeks.  And of course, keep notes on paper so you can spot any pattern and/or improvement/worsening of symptoms.

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Gumtree

OMG I feel SO rough.  I'm due to drop my taper again on Thursday but I'm going to hold for another week.  I've literally lost about four days in the last ten that I cannot remember. Obviously I functioned and did things but the memory part of my brain didn't save any information.  It's pretty scary really.  I seriously could not even string a sentence together at one point and was very fatigued and confused.  Even tasks that I do regularly I just couldn't manage, like knowing how to make a salad, and couldn't even remember how to do some simple things.  It was hard at that point to control my anxiety and not let that get me more worked up.  I had a couple of times where I felt my emotions plummet into a black hole and felt so awfully miserable and hopeless.  It seemed to side-swipe me and come out of nowhere.  I haven't been able to work with clients this last 10 days as I just don't understand some conversations and can't keep up or keep on a train of thought.  Wow, I'm amazed at the affect this drug has and the damage it is doing as I come off it.  I'm also amazed at the brain and what it can do to repair.  Pretty scary times for me - I'm hoping that holding and stabilising for a week or so will help me to step down my dose again soon.  I am really hoping that this bad patch is not a cumulative effect, like a build up that makes each fortnight seem worse and worse.  I've got such a long way to go and it's really concerning that it has such a massive effect on my everyday life and functioning.  What have I got myself in to?  I can't go back up in dose but going down is making me feel really awful.  I feel a bit stuck right now. 

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KarenB

Did you drop by 5%?  How long had it been since your previous drop?  (Getting these details in your sig. would be very useful). 

 

Keep holding Gumtree - for longer than a week.  You need time for your system to regroup before you make any more changes.  You may find that a micro-taper is what you need.  Some of us are just more sensitised. 

 

For the time being, pull out all the stops in your self-care.  Rest, hydrate, meditate, do some very gentle yoga like legs up the wall...You've just got to get yourself through this dip.  Then you can work out how to taper in a way that your CNS can handle.  It's so individual. 

 

Hugs - I do know how crappy it is when you're in that place.

Karen

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Gumtree

Thanks Karen, yes it's been pretty awful and scary at the time, not knowing how long it will last, and not really being able to communicate well at that point either. Yes, I went down by 5%, but it is really 5% of the balance (not 5% of the original amount), according to the excel spreadsheet I'm using. Today is the first day I've been out cycling - which I've found is a great gentle exercise, plus gives me fresh air, sunshine and a good sweat! I find it quite meditative and it's been good for me. I'll go out again tomorrow, otherwise I get jumpy and fidgety and restless legs from hell. Thanks for your response, I feel quite alone in this so appreciate your comments and encouragement. I will settle for another week and see how I feel but you're right, I'll likely need to hold longer to get back up to full strength again. Wow, what a crazy drug this is. Thanks again, I'll amend my signature too, so it's clearer where I'm up to.

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Gumtree

TAPER PROGRESS

# micro beads in 60mg Cymbalta capsule = 577 / Taper rate 5% / Holding for 14 days between tapers

 

#01 Taper - 1 Dec 2016 - 5% = 548 beads continue for 14 days (headache but otherwise okay)

#02 Taper - 15 Dec 2016 - 5% = 521 beads continue for 14 days (headache, restless legs, fidgets, ticcing)

#03 Taper - 29 Dec 2016 - 5% = 495 beads continue for 14 days (headache, dizzyish)

#04 Taper - 12 Jan 2017 - 5% = 470 beads continue for 14 days (fatigue, some lost words)

#05 Taper - 26 Jan 2017 - 5% = 446 beads continue for 14 days. By day 3 I felt HORRIBLE. Lost some days totally with no memory of events. Also headache, insomnia, sudden plummet into depression, sudden cold sweats, lost memory)

HOLDING same dose until 16 Feb (extra 7 days) to review symptoms and consider holding further 7 days.

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