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Jewlz

Jewlz: Scared of the withdrawal process

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Jewlz

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.

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Gridley

Hi, Jewlz and welcome to SA.  I'm glad you found your way here.

 

To start, we ask all of our members to fill out a signature with your drugs and dosages so that members and moderators can understand your situation and better advise you.  Your signature will appear at the bottom of each of your posts.  

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 •    Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
 •    A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
 •    Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
 •    Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
 •    Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.

     
To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a couple of topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here and the steps that you can take to minimize your withdrawal symptoms.

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

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Nordica

Hi Jewelz - I feel the same as you. I have been on antidepressants since 2004 and wonder if it will ever be possible for me to be free of the drugs. In my case, they were absolutely needed but now I wonder if they are doing me more harm than good. I have had disturbing side effects of weight gain and loss of memory. It is also isolating since I don't know personally friends in this position.  Makes me feel very alone. 

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Jewlz

Hi Nordica - I don't have many friends or family who know about my struggle. In the last 3 years a lot of things have come to light. I didn't realize a side effect of duloxetine was dry mouth. I ended up with parotiditis (swelling of parotid salivary gland) and my face swelled up so badly I looked like the "Nutty Professor." There was about a years time when medically I couldn't figure out what was going on healthwise and there was some pretty scary speculation. So basically my whole body is dry, I get the shakes and sweat profusely out of the clear blue! It's disgusting and I was just sick when I completed my signature. It's one thing to talk about psych drugs I've taken and another to see it in black and white. I've talked to my psych about weaning off the duloxetine but have some happy, but heavy duty stuff going on (my daughter's wedding next fall and school for me) and need to be present. Tapering may not keep me in a good frame of mind. Oh and headaches that feel like someone is taking my head and squeezing it as hard as possible. Those usually wake me up out of my sleep or will hit when I first wake up and stretching. I hate this crap I'm isolated with. There will be medical journals written about all of these psychotropic drugs that have damaged people and their lives. 30 years from now people will be like - what? how could that have happened?

 

Thanks for reaching out. It's always nice to know someone else walks in similar shoes. Not that I want the shoes....but you know.

 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Jewlz.

 

That is a lot of duloxetine. Fortunately, there are ways to go off it gradually, though it might take a good while. See Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)

 

You're taking 300mg lamotrigine per day?

 

 

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DC112

Hi Jewlz.

 

You are in a good place for help, advice and support! I wish you the best on your path! 

 

Dan

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Jewlz

In my first post I talked about being scared to start my taper from duloxetine 90mg. The holidays are here (how did that happen?), I’m going to school for an Associates in Science in Health Information Management, and my daughter is getting married in Fall 2018. I’m anxious to get started especially after becoming part of this community. My plan still in thought is after the holidays to go down to 80mg a day. If  I can stabilize after what I know will be withdrawal effects, maintain that dosage until after the wedding and then go down to 70mg for same length of time 6-9 months and continue down 10mg at a time until my brain has adjusted to performing its duties without outside chemical interference. I’m seeking input, opinions and first person accounts of anyone who has attempted a withdrawal from duloxetine and results. My main purpose is to not delay getting started on my taper and to be fully capable of day to day living and being there for my daughter in planning for her big day! Saying thank you now for support and input. Jewlz

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baroquep

Hi Jewlz, I'm not sure if you have had the opportunity to review the recommendations made by Surviving Antidepressants and wanted to stop by and link you to the threads so that you have a solid understanding of how to taper safely off of Duloxetine.  Rest assured that it is possible to safely withdrawal from these drugs while minimizing withdrawal by tapering at a slow and steady rate.  I have added a couple of tags right under your username at the top lefthand corner of the screen and if you click on those tags "cymbalta" and "duloxeine" you will be connected with other members withdrawing from these particular drugs.  Feel free to connect with other members, by posting in their introduction topics, they are a supportive group who know what you are dealing with and are happy to help out where they can.  

 

Surviving Antidepressants (SA) recommends that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.
  
To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a few topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here. If you have any questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to post your questions back here in your introduction thread and one of the moderators will get back to you.  Again, welcome to Surviving Antidepressants, I'm glad you found the site before starting your taper and have the opportunity to taper safely off of Cymbalta for good.  

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Tips for Tapering off Cymbalta / Duloxetine

 

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Jewlz

Alto-yes 90mg duloxetine daily and 300mg daily. Way over medicated. If I think about it too much it makes me upset that a medical doctor could knowingly prescribe meds that interfere with some of the most important functions in our bodies. I can’t focus on that though, bums be out way too much!

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Jewlz

Thank you for pointing me to some helpful articles. I’ve developed a taper plan to reduce by 10mgs that will take me down to 20mg strictly using the available doses for duloxetine. The pharmacy I use is also a compounding pharmacy which will be helpful going from 20 to 10mg and then 0! I’m still wrapping my head around the ‘hold’ time. 

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cokemachineglow

Hi Jewlz,

It sounds like you`ve come up with a good taper plan - I truly think that finding the article about tapering by 10% saved my life. As someone who has been tapering off their meds for about 1 year now, I can definitely say that starting slow is really the way to go. I started a bit too fast, and started to have bad wd symptoms until I significantly reduced the taper. I won`t sugarcoat it - it can be really discouraging to go so darn slow when all you really want is to be free, and feel real emotions, but slow and steady is really the best course, I`ve found anyways. 

 

You can taper off - if you have some upcoming time off work, or a 3 day weekend that might be a good time to start. Just a thought. 

Cokemachineglow

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Jewlz

Hi Cokemachineglow-

 

Thank you for the encouragement. I have the plan in place, now I just need to execute. That will be the challenge for me. Maybe after the holidays, I’ll have a few weeks before 2nd semester starts at school. I was thinking about getting a script for Xanax to help me thru-ha! Old habits. Actually I would like to find a psych counselor that can guide me thru.

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manymoretodays

 

Hi Jewlz,  found you.  Thanks for the msg. 

 

On 11/14/2017 at 1:52 AM, Jewlz said:

Thank you for pointing me to some helpful articles. I’ve developed a taper plan to reduce by 10mgs that will take me down to 20mg strictly using the available doses for duloxetine. The pharmacy I use is also a compounding pharmacy which will be helpful going from 20 to 10mg and then 0! I’m still wrapping my head around the ‘hold’ time. 

 

Do you get what baroquep was saying about considering drops of 10% of your previous dose  each time?  Look at the links provided about 5 posts up.  Not 10 mg. each drop.  10%.   That could be important in reducing withdrawal effects and staying functional through your withdrawal,  and in general is a more judicious harm reduction approach.

 

10% of each previous dose.  Not of the starting dose.  Please consider that.  Cymbalta can be a rough one and especially since you have been on it for years now.

 

I'll have to read more of your introduction/journal later.

 

Welcome aboard.  :)

 

Love, peace, healing/recovery, and growth,

 

manymoretodays

 

Oh.......how did you find your way here?  And have you read "Anatomy of an Epidemic" by Robert Whittaker or any other stuff that inspired/ led to your recent decision to come off Cymbalta in a different way ?  I guess I am always interested in others beliefs around psycho meds. and their psychiatric experiences in general.

 

I vote no on Xanax, especially if you have been off it for awhile.  I was only briefly on Klonipin and then once Ativan........briefly, as they zombified me completely.   I never really enjoyed the couch potato or bedridden existence called "treatment". 

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Jewlz

mmt-

here's what I was thinking...I'm at 90mg now-10% would take me down to 81mg which is impossible to dose unless I count beads. So I'm gonna see how the 90 to 80 goes and will hold there for at least 4 weeks. I'm very sensitive to drugs. I switched my dose of cymbalta from 3-30's to 1-60mg and 1-30mg. I swear that has given me slight withdrawal-headaches every day, isolating myself, unmotivated-blah! The metabolism or whatever happens once I take this junk must break down differently with the way I'm taking it now. I made that change mid-summer. So yeah. Eli Lilly execs need to be strung up in a dark closet by their toenails, along with whoever approved cymbalta at the FDA. 

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manymoretodays

Hi Jewlz.  Hope you found your way back:oB) 

 

So hey........you could also consider doing the bead counting thing and go down that way........just a few beads at a time.  I'm not sure if one of the links provided discusses that method, probably or browse around.........particularly concerning tapering Cymbalta or Effexor, which are cousin like meds. and come in capsules with beads.  It takes a bit of study and careful counting and measurement at first but then you can control the decreases more efficiently, even going slower than 10% and maybe not even getting much W/D.

 

Hope your day is going well.

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Jewlz

mmt!!

 

I've found my way back!  Thanks for the guidance!  I've book marked this page so I won't forget.

 

Okay, so if I go down 10% from 90, it will be 81 which my plan is to take down by 10 mg to 80mg. I'm typing out loud right now,  if I do okay with my hold at 80mg, 10% would put me at  72% , and then 64.8%, and then 58.32%. Hmmmm-I understand what you're saying about 10% v 10mg. I have some time to think about it, I get the shakes (from the drugs, of course), so counting beads could turn into a bit of a bead mess. :o

 

My day is going well, thanks for asking. I hope yours is going well, too!

 

Jewlz

 

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Jewlz

Journaling

 

It's funny how I thought I was doing so well on my AD and mood stabilizer (Lamotrigine). I don't know if I was trying to fool myself or the shrink.  In any case, I'm thankful I''m here and finding the support that is really important as I contemplate and prepare myself for weaning off the meds.

The thing that gets me the most is I make plans to lets say just go to the store to get the turkey and other things that go along with dinner for next week and I wake up and do not want to leave the house. I get disappointed when I realize oh I need to go to the store, but I really DON'T want to leave the house. And so it goes. I do get out in late afternoons 2x a week for school and usually 1 weekend day, but not always. I can bury myself in studying to pass the time. And then as soon as the sun sets I come alive, still not going out to the store, but not feeling as lethargic and unmotivated. I've been keeping ungodly hours binge watching  netflix and in the past week have not gotten to sleep any earlier than 2am!  And I'm not even tapering yet. Then I get depressed or a little down. I don't want to own being depressed. What's really sad is I used to be vibrant and social and loved living. I still love living it's just dulled down, a lot. Now the next challenge is to fix dinner. Usually I forgo the task and end up snacking which is not good either. 

 

Today was better than yesterday, which is good!

 

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Gridley

Jewlz,

 

I saw that over in the Tapering forum you mentioned supplements.  The two supplements that SA recommends are magnesium and omega 3, which can be helpful for relaxing and for 

 healing the central nervous system. You can read more about these supplements below.  I have found the Magnesium Glycinate form of Magnesium to help with anxiety.

 

Magnesium

Omega-3 Fish Oil

 

Start only one supplement at a time so you can monitor its effects on you.  Start at a low dose.

 

Best,

Gridley

 

 

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Jewlz

Thanks Gridley. I've read about supplementing magnesium. Isn't this the one that is gentle on our brains?  I think that's what I read. Right now I'm using up my supply of JP(juiceplus+). It's so expensive but they came out with their own omega product this past summer. It's not omega fish oil, but oils derived from fruit seeds. I found it interesting. I am not endorsing this product, just speaking to my own experience.

 

Enjoy the evening!

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Jewlz

Journaling-actually got outside today and studied with a classmate and went to Aldi and the grocery store. I was so scatter brained while I was out shopping. I got in to Aldi and realized my purse was in my book bag. Thank goodness I only had one item in my cart and no one took it to use while I ran out to retrieve my pocket book. The grocery store was a little bit busier and I parked my cart down an aisle to look for something and then forgot which aisle it is was on. Had a slight panic over that but was able to gather myself and find it. When stuff like that happens or if I see an old friend while I'm out and feeling happy, the duloxetine sweats creep in-hate when that happens. It's almost like any emotional range I have makes that happen. All of these symptoms I'm realizing are part of the drug which gives me a different perspective. Last night I spent quite a bit of time studying action potentials, synapse, calcium and sodium channels, serotonin binding on the post synapse neuron. I have lots more to learn. Reading and pictures help give me a better understanding. So, yes today was a good day-2 in a row!

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Jewlz

It's been awhile since I've been out here, so I hope my med history posts too. Anyway so I've been taking lamotrigine for close to 20 years, always from the same manufacturer (Teva). The last time I got my script filled there was a different manufacturer (Torrent). Ever since that refill I'm weepy, shakier than usual, dizzy, brain fog really bad. I'm an adult student and I'm messing up on assignments in the time since this change in manufacturer. I'm a dean's lister meaning a 4.0 student and I'm missing entire chunks of assignments. This is so ridiculous! I hate this stupid drug. I've emailed my mail order pharmacy to see if they will send another fill with TEVA as the manufacturer so I can get my brain back to what it's used to.  A TEVA lamotrigine brain-I'm so disgusted right now!  Any bets on what ExpressScripts, the mail order company, will say?

 

  • Prozac May 1991 to June 1991-can’t remember dose.
  • Xanax 0.5 mg May 1991 to May 2015 PRN.
  • Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor in March 2000 to August 2000 to find anti-depressant that didn’t have intolerable side effects.
  • Anti-depressant that proved tolerable can’t remember name or dosage August 2000 to May 2004.
  • Citalopram 40mg AM May 2004 to June 2009.
  • Lamictal 100mg AM, 200mg HS March 2000 to present.
  • Duloxetine 90 mg (3-30mg) AM  June 2009-July 2017.
  • Duloxetine 90mg (1-30mg plus 1-60mg) AM July 2017 to present

 

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ChessieCat

Hi Jewlz, I've moved your post.  You had posted in another member's topic.

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Jewlz

Thank you! I'm a little remedial at posting on the site. 🙂

 

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Jewlz

Things have been rough for me, more than usual. I had updated about the difference in manufacturer's for my lamotrigine and got that straightened out. But I'm still suffering from brain fog when it comes to my school work. I almost feel like the teacher is singling me out and now I sound paranoid. I did share with the teacher that I was experiencing a mix up in meds to point out why my work is suffering. I didn't tell her what meds I was taking, but most people make the assumption that 'meds' equals psych drugs. I'm so frustrated right now and feel like quitting school. I won't do that because I'm invested to better myself and also because the cost of this program is coming straight out of my pocket. But continual negative feedback that impact my grades is definitely a brain changer. Thank goodness spring break starts Monday, I need the BREAK big time!

 

p.s.-can someone tell me how to use tags? I

 

Thanks-Jewlz

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ChessieCat

Hi Jewlz,

 

I merged the new Intro topic you created with your original Intro topic.  Each member has only 1 Intro topic where they can ask questions and journal their progress.  Please do not create any more Intro topics.  Thank you.

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ChessieCat

Only the mods can change tags.  I've added lamotrigine and Lamictal to yours.

 

If you click on any tag it will bring up a list of other topics which have the same tag.

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Jewlz

Hi Chessie-I seem to have a lot of difficulty understanding how to post, where to post, etc. Is there a tutorial I can utilize?

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ChessieCat

You post questions about your own situation in your Intro topic, this topic.  It keeps your history in one place and can be helpful to other members who will read your question and see the response.  You can also journal your progress in this topic.

 

You are welcome to post in other topics and other members' Intros but remember to ask questions about your situation here in your Intro.

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Jewlz

I am really having a difficult time with duloxetine and lamotrigine. I think it's mostly the duloxetine. I've always had side effects from dulox but it's really bad now. I cry uncontrollably for no reason. I get angry like blowing up at my dogs because they want to go out. That sounds so silly, but it's not me. I need to get off this drug. My primary doc told me the other day that my depression is incurable and i will need to be on meds the rest of my life. My shrink doesn't seem to want to talk about me withdrawing from these meds and I don't push it because I don't know what to expect. I've had 2 episodes of rapid heart beat, high blood pressure and not knowing if I should go to the hospital or not. Yesterday was really bad, my whole body was shaking, my heart rate was over 100 and my bp was high. Isn't there some way to come off of this ish? In a controlled, medical environment? Dry eye, dry mouth-when I wake up in the morning I have to cough up glops of thick saliva that has rested at the back of my throat all night because my flipping salivary glands don't work! I feel out of my mind and I can't do this anymore meaning taking this drug. Are there any programs in major cities to  help people get off these meds? If not, who wants to start a business with me? Major headaches, like a vice grip is squeezing my head at the worst, but usually have some form of headache every day. My finger tips burn with pain, my joints have suffered terribly. I imagine with duloxetine being known for drying out mucus membranes, it could possibly have some adverse effect on synovial fluid? Both of my knees are bone on bone and I've never been involved in sports activities. It could be a genetic dispostion for arthritis, but I really just want to bash duloxetine right  now. Oh yeah, does anyone's brain ever feel waves of hotness? I really feel helpless right now and concerned that I will more than likely have life long effects from this mess. 

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ChessieCat

I've merged the new topic you created with your Intro topic because it's a journal entry.  It also means that other members can easily check back through your topic to see your history.

 

SA encourages members to visit other members' topics so that you can support each other.  Please remember not to take over another member's topic with your own issues because it is a journal of their progress and the place where they ask questions about their own situation.

 

There are many existing topics on SA.  I use google and include survivingantidepressants.org in my search string.  

 

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


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

17 minutes ago, Jewlz said:

My primary doc told me the other day that my depression is incurable and i will need to be on meds the rest of my life. My shrink doesn't seem to want to talk about me withdrawing from these meds ... Isn't there some way to come off of this ish? In a controlled, medical environment?

 

The medical profession get their information about drugs from the pharmaceutical companies.  It is because of this that SA exists.

 

Gwen Olsen was a drug rep for 15 years.

 

We are trained to misinform (6 minutes)

 

Manipulating Doctors (10 minutes)

 

Interview:  Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher (51 minutes Gwen Olsen - ex pharmaceutical representative)

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ChessieCat

 

30 minutes ago, Jewlz said:

 

I get angry like blowing up at my dogs because they want to go out. That sounds so silly, but it's not me. ...

 

I've had 2 episodes of rapid heart beat, high blood pressure and not knowing if I should go to the hospital or not. Yesterday was really bad, my whole body was shaking, my heart rate was over 100 and my bp was high...

 

Oh yeah, does anyone's brain ever feel waves of hotness?

 

 

 

On 11/10/2017 at 6:17 AM, Altostrata said:

That is a lot of duloxetine. Fortunately, there are ways to go off it gradually, though it might take a good while. See Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)

 

Q:  Are you taking 90mg duloxetine/Cymbalta?

 

You may be experiencing Serotonin Toxicity.  I suggest you do some research on this.

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Jewlz

I really hope I'm posting this correctly.

 

On April 9th I finally reached the point of being fed up enough to say enough to duloxetine. The side effects of taking the drug are horrible. So I went to psychiatrist last week to talk to him about tapering off the meds.  He didn't like the idea, but did recognize that "obviously you want off the drug". He set about telling me that I can go from 90mg (my current does) to 60mg for two week, and then from 60mg to 30mg for two weeks and be done. I told the doc that I wanted to decrease slowly with a 10% reduction of my current dose. He was rather condescending in his reply back that It would take me forever to come off the drug and that I wouldn't even notice a difference which is the point, right? Ugh!

So, I've dropped from 90 to 80 and been doing that for about 6 days and will continue until May 9th where my dose will drop from 80 to approximately 72mg if I'm doing the math right. I could go directly to 70mg without asking the pharmacist to compound the medication to 72mg. I don't know if that's advisable or not. I do  not want to count beads because I know they will end up on the floor or anywhere but where they should be ( I have hand tremors really bad). I didn't realize that compounding actually converts the drug into a liquid form. Has anyone else compounded duloxetine to a liquid? Should I just go from 80mg to 70mg? Won't a liquid get in to my system more quickly with the potential for a rapid response to the chemical?

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Altostrata

Hello, Jewlz. Please put questions about your particular situation in this topic.

 

The entire point of gradual tapering is to lower the dosage so you don't notice it. Your psychiatrist, like most, does not understand tapering.

 

The 10% method we suggest is designed to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Please read this link, which you've been given several times Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)

 

I can't predict if you'd get away with a decrease from 80mg to 70mg, that's about 12.5%. Maybe.

 

You cannot compound Cymbalta into a liquid. It is impossible. A compounding pharmacy would fill capsules with beads by weight calibrated to specific dosages.

 

Otherwise, counting beads is the only way to go off Cymbalta. Some people also use a scale to weigh the beads so they can better control their dosages. This becomes very important at lower dosages.

 

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Loreli

Jewlz, could your daughter or a close family member count the beads for you until your shaking gets better?

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Jewlz

Loreli-

 

That's a really good idea!
 

I'm feeling discouraged right now because I'm experiencing very high-pitched ringing in my left ear. I've had tinnitus in my right ear, but this is much, much higher. Like I want to grab my head to try and make it stop. Dizziness is starting to creep in a bit, but I can attribute that to several hours of studying today and not eating like I should. Nutrition is so difficult when preparing a meal for just me. I need to work on that though, eating right will go a long way in this process. I just didn't anticipate this bullshivika starting so soon.

 

Thanks for the idea!

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Jewlz

Update: I had a great session with my psychologist today and I've got their support 100%. They completely 'get' counting beads from their experience with other clients. Of course, no private information was shared. I feel so much better knowing I have this professional's support. The goal is to get to the root cause of my depression and get out and enjoy nature. Also, becoming more social with existing friends and chosen family members. I'm also going to try and make new friends, which is scary for me. But I'm going to take 'baby steps.'  Withdrawal symptoms today-ringing in my ears, but not as bad as 4/17, a little off balance, headache (experienced before my taper started), feels like my allergies are flaring up, no dizziness. I did take 0.125 xanax last night at bedtime. I'm going to explore more about magnesium and  melatonin.

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