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magikpoet

magikpoet

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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

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ChessieCat

Hi magikpoet and welcome to SA,

 

It's good that you have found this site before trying to get of your Cymbalta.  Thank you for completing your drug signature.  Is Cymbalta the only drug (prescription/non-prescription) that you are taking?  If you are taking any others please include them in your signature.

 

I'll give you some links to check out:

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommended tapering of no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug:

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

To search the site for existing discussions I use google and type in survivingantidepressants.org + topic.  We have some topics about pregnancy and babies etc.. I've just found a couple by using baby as the topic.

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.  Click "Follow" top right and you will be notified when someone responds.

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magikpoet

Thanks so much ChessieCat for all that info! I've read a fair bit already and worn myself out! Time for a nap me thinks! Was just reading about Acupuncture, which is something I'm also interested in. Sooooo much info to get through! I want to be armed as much as possible through this process!

 

magikpoet xo

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EmGiblets

HI, I read your post. I am reducing down on Cymbalta/duloxetine and have CFS, i am also worried about return of worse symptoms, i also put a lot of weight on this and have been on it 5/6 years.  I am on only on 30mg and now down to 20 mg for about 2 weeks, I am okay, with CFS and fibro symptoms fluctuate a lot anyway, I have felt weird in mornings and quite stressed, more than usual but better as day goes along,. I think I will stay at 20 a while, it is so hard having these illnesses too. I plan on taking alternative remedies, Ashwangandha has helped in past and I plan on trying theanine, and some others.  I have weak adrenals so supplement also with Pregnenolone and cortisol at times which was prescribed by a private GP.  But the weight gain and loss of libido main drivers, I haev put on over 3 stones and it just keeps going up, but i dont know if it my age (46) or what.

Good luck, Emilyxxx

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scallywag

magikpoet -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA) from me too!

 

I started taking Cymbalta 5 years ago, and started decreasing in the fall of 2015. You may be encouraged by my experience: as I have tapered, my appetite has dropped and so has my weight.

 

The decrease you made from 30 mg to 20 mg is a large one, 33%. We suggest that people start testing the waters by decreasing no more than 10% once per month.  To do that with Cymbalta, you'll need to open up the capsules and count or remove the beads.

Counting beads in a capsule versus weighing.

 

You've posted an excellent plan -- hold at 20 mg to stabilize. If and when you're ready to decrease the dose again, you'd want to have a dose that's between 18 mg and 20 mg. There are tips in the "counting beads" topic I've posted and in the "Tips on Tapering Cymbalta" topic that ChessieCat posted.

 

Is your Cymbalta the name brand (by Lilly) or a generic duloxetine?

Is Cymbalta the only medication you take?

 

Please let us know how things are going for you.

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magikpoet

Big thanks to Emily and Scallywag for your kind replies!

Scallywag it was Emily who has decreased from 30mg to 20mg. I'm on 60mg. I finally got to see my GP last week and he's agreed to help me. He advised 30mg/60/30/60 for a week or 2. I know this isn't highly regarded, but I'm 4 days in and apart from some anxiety last night and bowels acting up, I'm feeling fine.

I contacted a compounding pharmacy last night and they have just replied saying they can help with the taper! Had anyone had this help?

Magik.

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scallywag

magik, Oops I read the post and not the username. Thanks for pointing out my misunderstanding because it's best to sort that out PDQ.

 

Our topic on Compounding.

 

ChessieCat, also an Aussie, is tapering Pristiq (an SNRI like Cymbalta) and has been working with a compounding pharmacist on Pristiq. You may be interested in her intro topic and her posts about how she's made it work for her.

 

I got the same advice from my doctor. The alternating doses/skipping doses program didn't work for me.

 

I'd be remiss in not mentioning that you probably wouldn't be experiencing new anxiety and bowels acting up if you were taking the same dose every day. Alternating doses of medications with short half-lives (< 4-5 days) is a recipe for creating symptoms. Cymbalta has an average half-life of 12 hours. Within 24 hours (so about the time of your next dose) your serum level of the medication is 25%. You're setting yourself up for some suffering on the days you switch from 60 to 30 mg.

 

In this post, I included a chart that shows what happens with skipping a Cymbalta dose. Alternating doses, 30/60, would result in a similar pattern. I sure hope you'll consider stabilizing on a "same dose, same time, every day" plan.

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magikpoet

Makes complete sense, thanks scallywag!

 

I called my local compounding pharmacy today and they actually can help me taper slowly! No counting beads for me! I'll see if I can find info on here tonight, but they need to know what doses I want. I'm thinking 10% decreases? Wht do you think? They'll make it in a liquid suspension so i can titrate as needed if i get symptomatic. Sounds good to me, just need my dr to write them a letter!

Magik.

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scallywag

magik -- the compounding pharmacist may not be able to make a liquid for you.  Is s/he aware that you're talking about duloxetine (Cymbalta)?  My understanding of the drug information is that duloxetine is destroyed by stomach acid and therefore must be formulated with protective coating. This prevents liquid titration.

 

I don't know what is required for a compounding prescription in Australia. Ask them:

  1. What the prescription from your doctor needs to have on it. 
  2. The minimum quantity they'll compound for a given dose, and the most most cost-effective quantity.

Please read the posts in this topic for ideas and tips about working with a compounding pharmacist.

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magikpoet

Update: 

I'm doing well!

Compounding pharmacy made me a suspension (liquid) (that tastes like it came from the depths of hell!) But as long as I chase it with some cordial its survivable. At 60mg per 2mL I started on 1.8mL, 10% less. I was having it at night like my pill but decided to change to am as I was beginning to withdraw while still at work about 3pm. So took half one night and other half the following morning and have now moved to mornings. Been working much better as I'm asleep when i withdraw now. 

Only symptoms, anxiety and brain zaps/foggyness. Oh got a little teary the other night, but likely that was pms.

Feeling good, hoping this proves goes smoothly!

Magik.

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magikpoet

Hi everybody. Just checking in! I'm still doing well on my liquid suspension of duloxetine. I'm down to 1.4mL which is 42mg from 60mg only a couple of weeks ago! I feel a bit anxious/hyper in the morning when the next dose is due but that's it! I'm taking it with orange juice as it tastes disgusting but survivable!
Magik.

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scallywag

magikpoet -- glad to read that things are going well for you as you taper.

 

Your dose reduction is much faster than we suggest -- 10% per month. The first step down from 60 mg would be 54 mg (60 * 90% = 54). A dose of 42 mg is below where you'd be at the start of the THIRD month. Your symptoms are likely because the reduction has been too large for your CNS (central nervous system). Please look at the information at these two links:

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants

 

Would your compounding pharmacist be willing to share the components of his duloxetine liquid?  Are the ingredients listed on the bottle? I've always thought that duloxetine had to be protected from stomach acid and therefore a liquid could not be made.

Edited by scallywag
add information about taper speed

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