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grapeape

Cymbalta Withdrawal... It's Not Pretty

399 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi there, Newbie here. I've been on Cymbalta for a little over a year now. It helped me when I needed it. Just wish I'd known what was awaiting me on the backend now that I want to get off the drug.

This seems to be the most helpful forum yet. I'm getting ready to begin my journey through this withdrawal process and opening up the capsule sounds like a great idea that I will try. Thank you for the specifics and which end to hold down and which to remove. Haven't seen my pdoc and discussed this with him. I only see him for meds anyway, as I was seeing a counselor for "talk therapy" which I haven't seen in a while either, and feel that I am through my issues and doing way better on that front. By pdoc, I'm assuming you guys mean the Psychologist prescribing the meds. My insurance doesn't cover him at $100 per 20 minute med check so it's been out of pocket!

I figure summer is a good time since there's lots of sun and things to do and I have a new interest in my life that I'm diving into. As a women, I'm also getting ready to start on the womens nutritional program offered at womentowomen.com website. Us women need hormonal/endocrine support. I will be starting that program at the same time as I start tapering off the Cymbalta. I'm hoping that will help offset some of the symptoms.

Please tell me more about the raw food/detox plan. I'd love to hear more about natural ways to combat this withdrawal thing.

What exactly is this "zap" thing? Can you describe it fully other than it seems to happen upon quick eye movement?

Thanks for being here. :hearts:

Hi,

Brain zaps are very uncomfortable. It's hard to explain. It feels like electricity that "zaps" you for a second. There is also a sense of "vertigo" and a "rushing" sound. It may also have to do with adrenal issues. You don't just feel it in your brain, but your body as well. That's my experience only however.

Exercise helps quite a bit. Not just walking, but running. And that's running hard and long. It's something all humans should be doing anyway to keep us healthy.

I'm off the Raw Food diet. Just way to difficult to maintain. Now, just simply eating healthy. Lot's of greens!

Hope this helps,

Greg

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Posted

Wow, easily the best thread i've ever read.

I have a question though. I've just graduated college and am fixing to start a new job.

How does the "taking apart the capsule" method effect your everyday life and work? I'm definately going to try this.

It's been over a year since i've started. I started this med because I wanted help to stay focused on school, rather than always being down all the time.

Now I think it's time to go off.... Currently my emotons have been deadened for a while.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Greg for keeping in the loop. I'm doing a little better this last week. I'm approaching 5 granules of medication. I'm hoping that I'll be off fully by next week, though as always, I may continue for a bit longer if things get super-ugly. Agreed about the brain zaps coming mostly at night. I suspect the fact that I tend to make my meds at night may play into this, as I'd be lowest on the med right before taking the next dose. But there could be other reasons as well. I'll continue to post. And yes, I agree that the zaps are less then before. Here's hoping that they do eventually go completely away.

telephofee - thanks for the support

flathorse -- I agree with Greg's assessment of brain zaps. It's really a "you'll know em when you get em" thing; if you don't know what we're taking about, consider yourself lucky, you don't currently have them. :) I find that a twinging feeling right behind my eyes, and a slight feeling as if I've gone over a crest on a roller coaster, are the best way to describe them. There's also an almost-audible pop, as you sometimes get in your ears when the pressure outside has changed.

Lionheart -- taking apart the capsules works fine, it's just a painstaking process to get the dosages right. If you have the patience, it may be best to start counting individual granules right away, as this way you will be sure not to give yourself an uneven dose (10 mg one day, 12 the next, 9 the next). I find you have to set aside a little time to make a batch; I make a week at a time.

As far as your mood, etc., I won't lie -- for me, at least, it's been hard. I've had some days when I cannot stop thinking about something silly that bothers me, and days when I have no specific negative thought, but I have the same mental weight that I usually get when I *do* have something really on my mind. On those days I keep thinking: what is it that I'm unhappy about, again? And I can't think of anything, but I am unhappy all the same.

But there are also good days. I have some of my sex drive back, and some of my lost athletic desire and ability is returning. I also know from experience that I will lose weight soon, and my hair seems to grow in better when I am off SSRIs. There are moments when things really seem meaningful or beautiful to me, whereas on the cymbalta I do really lose that sort of emotion, along with the negative stuff; it all goes out the window, both good and bad, when I'm on the meds -- along with my desire to accomplish things.

In short, tapering off Cymbalta is an uneven process. And so, to a somewhat lesser degree, is going without meds in general -- if your brain's chemistry is screwed up, as many of ours are. But for me, right now, it's worth it to be nearly off the drug. I say this knowing that in the future I may change my mind again.

For what it's worth, I am also on Omega 3 pills (both for mental health and cardiac benefits) and SAMe supplements (which seem to give me a little energy). I also take a multivitamin daily. These things may not have a profound effect, but I think as a whole they help a bit.

Edited by grapeape

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Posted

Where is everyone? I want to hear how this works out. I missed a couple of doses this weekend and was paying the price with the dreaded brain ZAPs! Excellent description.

I would like to taper off of Cymbalta. Last night I tossed and turned for hours trying to get to sleep. Obviously, this is a major issue.

I'm sure my GP would balk at the idea of me going off of it. However, I'd like to have "relations" :hearts: with my wife where I could actually feel it. (That is another entirely different issue.)

Has anyone checked the manufacturer's website? They shoud darn well take this withdrawal thing into account. I work for a big Pharmaceutical company. We are sued on a regular basis for this type of thing.

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Posted

Has anyone else had some weird sleep disturbances?

When taking Cymbalta, I had night sweats, always tired, difficulty sleeping, etc. I'm trying to get off it now (i'm not a big meds fan) and have been having the STRANGEST and most VIVID dreams, including occasional somniloquoy(sp?).

I hate going to sleep, because I usually wake up in quite a screwed up mood. I've been very moody since I've tried to stop too but that's not as surprising. I hate my "biological defect" and I hate when people say "If you had diabetes you wouldn't feel bad about needing to take insulin would you?" Sorry a bit off topic but had to get that out there.

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Posted

Has anyone else had some weird sleep disturbances?

When taking Cymbalta, I had night sweats, always tired, difficulty sleeping, etc. I'm trying to get off it now (i'm not a big meds fan) and have been having the STRANGEST and most VIVID dreams, including occasional somniloquoy(sp?).

I hate going to sleep, because I usually wake up in quite a screwed up mood. I've been very moody since I've tried to stop too but that's not as surprising. I hate my "biological defect" and I hate when people say "If you had diabetes you wouldn't feel bad about needing to take insulin would you?" Sorry a bit off topic but had to get that out there.

Yeah, it's alwyas to give advice when your not wearing that person's shoes. Your statement about being born like "this" truly hits home.

I haven't noticed the dreams but can't stop my mind for running very fast in a million different directions.

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Posted

Hi

I have just read this topic and now am a bit frightened by the prospect of going off of Cymbalta. I have been taking Cymbalta 60mg for a little over 2 years.

I missed my dose yesterday and started thinking that I should get off of it. I spoke with my doc today and he gave me two weeks worth of 30mg to taper myself off of it. After reading the thread and the helpful advice I think I am going to do a more gradual taper.

Obviously the people who have posted to the topic have experienced some pretty bad withdrawal symptoms, but does everyone experience this? Do you know of anyone who has had less severe or no withdrawal symptoms?

As I point of reference I also take Adderall XR. I will keep you posted on how I am doing and would appreciate any insight that you all have. Many thanks.

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Posted (edited)

:hearts: I am so glad I found this site and message board. Right now I am mad and scared and all because of Cymbalta. I guess I mad that my dr. that I had trusted for the past two years with my meds after being diagnosed with depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress, put me on the stupid stuff. After a little over 2 months of using it, it was just making things worse. I had been taking Lexapro for a year and a half and it just wasn't doing the job anymore. She she tapered me off of the Lexapro and put me on Cymbalta. So here I am two months later tapering off of Cymbalta and being use of Wellburtrin. She never told me any of the horrible side effects when using Cymbalta or withdrawing from it. I asked her when starting the drug and when she decided to switch me. Her response was" Oh, you might have some nausea, constipation and fatigue but that is it." Well.......that hasn't been it.

It was so reassuring to read your posts and have you describe the same things I am feeling. The scariest part for me is when I move my eyes or head and get that "funny" feeling. Thank God, I have the most understanding husband that has walked every step of this horrible trail with me. I could not imagine going thru this alone. I thought I had been battling the flu, a bacterial thing or heaven-forbid parasites! Have had diarhhea for 5 weeks, about the time I was finishing up the Lexapro, and really getting going with the Cymbalta. Even had samples sent to the lab. Nothing.

After reading more about this horrible stuff I know my nausea and other icky stuff was the Cymbalta.

I have not been able to see my therapist to see what he thought since all of this got so bad or my regular dr. (They are really good and always booked.) So I was patient and am sneaking in with my husband to when he goes in for a diabetes follow-up. Had been concerned about the things I described and wanted her diagnosis and thoughts.

Any advice for me out there to help me deal with this? I have to drag myself thru the day, cry, get mad, have the funny feeling described when moving eyes, etc. I have spent so much time in my bathroom lately, it is driving me to have thoughts of redecorating it, something that I did not long ago!

The dr. prescribing my meds is actually a psychiatrist that I had lots of faith in when it came to my meds and any help with them. Guess the search begins for a new one. My family practice dr. is great, but I want someone who really knows about this fun stuff we live with.

Sorry for being so long winded, but needed to vent. Thanks for listening. Will keep an eye out here for your thoughts.

Bless you all.

Edited by lovesranchlife

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Posted

Does anyone ever post on here as their withdrawl from Cymbalta progesses? Or afterwards with good results? I would love to hear some thing positive on this.

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Posted

I have found this thread really helpfull . My thanks goes out to everyone one here who has told their story . I'm trying to get off of Cymbalta too . I am currently taking 60mg . I have been wanting to stop for a while now and for the last week I have not taken any and trying to quit cold turkey. I thought that the withdrawl symptoms would lessen as time went on and much to my suprise they have gotten worse . I get the brain zaps couple times an hour. I decided I can't handle this anymore and decided to take half of a pill (as close as I can tell ). As far as I can tell it has not taken affect yet because im still quite dissoriented. I have read through this thread from the begining. If any one could suggest something to help with this I would appreciate it , I am going to see if I can get on a lower dosage to try and get off of this . I wouldn't wish this on my worse enemy it's horrible . When I got on this 6 months ago I was never told about any of the negative side effect if I ever had to stop taking this or chose to stop

P.S. I have been trying to find info about any lawsuits against Lilly on Cymbalta, so far nothing. Has anyone given serious thought into a lawsuit . It should be criminal for them to make drugs like this.

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Posted

I agree with lovesranchlife. I want to hear from soneone who has successfully weaned themselves from Cymbalta. I was on Zoloft for years and was able to stop without too much difficulty. Pfizer actually produced a blister pack that contained pills of varying doses. The first week started at a lower dose than normal, and the pills decreased in drug concentration over time. After you completed the blister pack, it was no longer necessary to take the drug. I think the entire process took a month?.

Please post any information you may find about getting off of this stuff.

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Posted

Does anyone ever post on here as their withdrawl from Cymbalta progesses? Or afterwards with good results? I would love to hear some thing positive on this.

Hi

I am about a week into my move off of Cymbalta. As I stated before I had been on 60mg for a little over 2 years. I have been gradually reducing my dosage and took about 35mg today.

So far (knock on wood) I haven't experienced any serious discomfort from the reduction in dosage. In fact, I have actually enjoyed far fewer nightmares and frustrating dreams since the reduction. I can't say for sure that the reduction in dosage has caused this, but any reprieve from my daily unpleasant dreams is a major positive for me.

Good luck everyone. I will keep you posted on my situation.

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Posted

Checking in...

I'm glad that some are finding this thread helpful. It has been useful for me to list my problems (cheap therapy, I suppose). I would be keeping notes anyway, as I find it's important to keep notes with dated entries when you're on these meds. Periodically write down the date, your dosage, and your current state in a Word document or some such; it is useful to refer to it later if necessary, and see where you were (mentally) before. I make a note of side effects and general mood, and thereby can compare previous times with my current state, and more easily figure out whether my drugs are or are not working.

I have now come completely off the drug. I believe most of the side effects are largely gone, though some may be lingering. (It is difficult, sometimes, to know what causes some of the more subtle problems I have.) Brain zaps are largely gone, though I do get brief periods of them sometimes, mainly at night. As noted before, I think this is because my dosage always was at night, and my brain "remembers" that it's supposed to get its drug them. Regardless, I find that I don't notice them much anymore; I usually notice them when I am testing for them by flicking my eyes back and forth rapidly.

Other issues I still have, that may or may not be related: I've had some "stuffiness" in one ear during most of the time I came off the drug, a condition that sounds unrelated but corresponds very closely to my withdrawal, so I suspect the drug. I've had some bouts of stomach upset and general gastrointestinal distress -- but it is not persistent. Like the zaps, this comes and goes. And I've had a few headaches and some serious mood changes.

The last part (the mood changes), I anticipate from any drug. But even this has been much more pronounced with Cymbalta. I have times when I get this awful feeling -- the same feeling I always get when some problem is really eating at me, and I cannot stop turning it over in my head -- but there is no problem at all; I am not actually thinking any specific negative thoughts. This is when I know I'm having withdrawal issues.

By and large I do believe the severity and incidence of side effects are lessening. I do feel like I'm mostly (thought not completely) done with this drug. I think anyone worried about the withdrawal can take some comfort in my case, as I do seem to be getting better. At the moment I do believe I will make a full recovery from it. The process of withdrawal is just so amazingly slow... It was a truly painstaking process of tapering down; at the end of the ramp-down I was literally taking capsules with two grains of the drug inside. And yet whenever I tried to speed things up I ended up feeling terrible. The ramp-down of somewhat over two months was completely necessary. And even then it was a difficult process. I am fortunate to have a job that gives me whole months off; I needed them.

I do feel like my pdoc threw a grenade at me without even knowing it. I think many of them are equally oblivious; only the truly caring ones really research the side effects. If a major study or a class action lawsuit gets their attention, they'll stop prescribing a drug -- but short of that, they are not out there collecting data.

My best advice, again, it to take your taper-down as slowly as you can. I am glad that I bought the the empty gelatin capsules and made batches of homemade pills. And I think what I was doing at the end -- counting individual granules -- was the best route, even though it takes time. t's the only way to keep your dosage consistent, and ever-shrinking. If you eyeball it you'll probably end up jumping up and down in dose, and making things harder than they need to be.

Beyond that, I am taking Omega 3 capsules and SAMe pills. I cannot say whether either truly helps, though I would be taking the Omega 3 anyway because it has well-proven heart benefits. If I were to guess, I think they may provide some small mental health benefit.

And finally -- some of you may not have the problems I have had when it comes time to get off the drug. I just know that for whatever reason, this drug is a lot more toxic to me than any of the other SSRIs I have taken. It certainly adds weight to the idea of living drug-free, at least as much as possible. ;)

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Posted

Just a quick update for anyone interested... I have had a period of more brain zaps for the past week or so. This is distressing because I've been completely off the drug for a few weeks now (after the long discontinuation process detailed in this thread). Obviously, I am concerned about this and hope very much to put all the side effects behind me in time. If the side effects continue for weeks or even months after discontinuation... well, let's just say that I hope not to face a life of permanent brain zaps.

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Posted

I think this is just a discontinuation effect that I've read about when other people go off different ad's. I'm hoping that this quits soon for you as I know how unnerving this is especially when you're driving or doing anything that requires concentration.

Love, Jackie

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Posted

Thanks to everyone....this thread has been the most helpful I have found in the past 48 hrs.

Similar experience to others.....on 30mg Cymbalta for 2 months, pdoc increased it to 60mg.....only lasted 2 weeks at that level.....felt awful......no energy, fallling asleep at work, didn't care about work or much of anything.......went back to 30mg.....did not encounter Brain Zaps.......still felt lethargic and that Cymbalta was not helping my depression and anxiety.

Pdoc then tells me to ramp up with Wellbutrin (starting at 150mg) for a few days and then drop from 30mg Cymbalta to zero. Well it's day 5 of this grand plan and two days ago I started having what I know now are called Brain Zaps. You guys have all described them very well.....I told my wife last night that when people were talking to me at times I couldn't hear them well or at all because it felt as though I or we were both underwater. At first I thought it was the Wellbutrin but then found some other forums last night that made it clear it was related to cymbalta withdrawal.

Anyway, my point is....one thread elsewhere mentioned Benadryl as possibly helping reduce the Brain Zaps. I had some at home and took one last night at bedtime. It definitely helped with the insomnia/vivid dreams and thus far today my zaps have been less intense and less frequent. Of course the problem with Benadryl is that it makes me very sleepy so it is not a good option during the day. But those of you looking for some relief may want to give this a try (Big disclaimer here.....I'm not a Dr., nor do I play one on TV, etc.)

The best thing about these forums is the feeling that I'm not totally cracking up and ready for the looney bin. That's how I felt most of the last two days.....like no one would believe what I was saying even if I could find a good way to describe it.

I share everyone's frustration with the lack of information given about withdrawal from this drug. I plan to bring it up very strongly with my pdoc next time I see him. Thanks again and sincere best wished to everyone going thru this.

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Posted

:taz:Hi all,

I am new to this forum and I came across it when I was looking for help with cymbalta withdrawal. This is day six of being off the 90mg's dosage. I was also on 75mg. of welbutrion which I never bothered refilling because I did not believe it was helping me at all. I take 15mg. of miritzapane to help to sleep. (I am still taking that thank you jesus.) Otherwise I would be on my way somewhere. It has been pure H!!!. I have had all the withdrawal symtons Grapeape you so adequately described. Its like I am walking three feet ahead of my head and its hurrying to catch up. Nausea, sweats and chills all at the same time.

With all I am hearing about cymbalta today I have basis for a pretty good Law Suit. I have documented liver and kidney disease. I am boderline diabetic and I have gained 80lbs on cymbalta and effexor in the last 2 yrs. For the past 10 weeks I have spent a great deal of money with Jenng Craig trying so very hard to loose weight. I can't loose weight on cymbalta because I have liver disease.

Im so tired of dr.s practicing on me that I have vowed I am done with them. I am pretty sure the longer cymbalta is around the more horror stories we are going to hear. It sounded so good though a medicine that could help with anxiety,depression, and pain all in the same pill. We had all been waiting so long for something that would work like this we ran over each other getting some. The old addage if it sounds to good to be true it probably is. Keep pressing on all and we will find a way to feel human again. The same old Merrygornd. :hearts::bump::shocked::shocked:

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Posted (edited)

Hello.. I am new to all this but i feel like I want to get the word out to as many people as I can. This withdrawal from cymbalta is HORRIBLE. It is by far the sickest I have ever been, with symptoms I have never even heard of. I am on day 7 of quitting and almost checked my self into the hospital. The "brain zaps" were so bad I was afraid that I wouldn't come out of them. I couldn't even move my eyeballs without an electric shock pulsing through my brain and down into my fingertips. i can deal with being sick to my stomache, the muscle aches, headache, irritability. But my brain is misfireing an I can't even get it to connect.

Heres my HELPFUL TIPS TO DEAL WITH THE WITHDRAWAL: I went to a naturalistic doc. He gave me this stuff called CAL-AMO... It's all natural(givin to older people with heat stroke and such) it slows down your brain from fireing so much. IT HAS SAVED ME!! I was able to get out of bed, and even do some running around. This is a miracle!! A day ago I couldn't even take a shower without crying because of the zaps! You can get this from any doc that all natural (mostly chiropractors...I know!!... but please try! It helps) Also DRAMAMINE helps with the dizziness. OMEGA-3 pills help. 100% Whey Protein shakes. AND SLEEP, let your brain rest and heal. Stay away from sugar or anything that will make your brain work harder. I just want to help as much as I can... I know how hard this is for everyone, and I am sooo sorry that we are going through this. It is awful!! I pray several times a day for the Lord to get us all through this. He will make a way where there seems to be no way! If you need to contact me please do, I am fighting to get past this to! WE CAN DO THIS!!!

Edited by DeeBear

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Posted

Gosh, What people are going through to get off this med!?! I guess I'd ask for a cross-taper if I wanted to go off and I've been on it since it came out! I get the zaps if I'm a couple of hours late in taking the cap, but I also did on lexparo, so I guess my brain is asking when I'm going to get on the stick!

I think the brain zaps much be connected to ssris, and some of us are just prone to them. I first heard about the zaps on another site that talks about different psych meds and have never experienced them until I was on Lexparo. Never had them on Paxil and tapered off Paxil in a couple of weeks with no effects.

I'd be interested to know what's going on with your kidney, merrygornd. One of mine was seen shrinking, but this was prior to meds and this was picked up on a CAT scan when I had appendicitis about 5 years ago. I had it scanned later, and it still works. One of my many worries.......

Love, Jackie

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Posted

I think every person has to weigh the advantages and disadvantages when taking any medication. For example, I've heard all kinds of stories about people who talk certain Cholesterol lowering medications and have some nasty side effects, but they choose to live through them because the alternative is clogged arteries and heart disease. For some of us, ADs have been a life saver. Many people literally could not function without these medications. Obviously, if a person has liver or kidney disease, many of these ADs are not a good idea.

I too feel for anyone who is coming off this medication (as you probably know some of the other ADs have similar withdrawal effects).

Please understand that I am in no way minimizing how awful it must be for anyone who is coming off of Cymbalta and feeling some of the symptoms many of you are dealing with. I truly sympathize, and I also really appreciate the tips on supplements that may help when trying to come off of it, because someday I too might be in your shoes.

Gosh, What people are going through to get off this med!?! I guess I'd ask for a cross-taper if I wanted to go off and I've been on it since it came out! I get the zaps if I'm a couple of hours late in taking the cap, but I also did on lexparo, so I guess my brain is asking when I'm going to get on the stick!

I think the brain zaps much be connected to ssris, and some of us are just prone to them. I first heard about the zaps on another site that talks about different psych meds and have never experienced them until I was on Lexparo. Never had them on Paxil and tapered off Paxil in a couple of weeks with no effects.

I'd be interested to know what's going on with your kidney, merrygornd. One of mine was seen shrinking, but this was prior to meds and this was picked up on a CAT scan when I had appendicitis about 5 years ago. I had it scanned later, and it still works. One of my many worries.......

Love, Jackie

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Posted

Thank you so much for this thread

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Posted (edited)

Just curious and only if you are willing to share. . .For those of you going off Cymbalta, is it because it wasn't helping your condition or are its side effects intolerable for you? I certainly understand the latter because I couldn't tolerate Lexapro, yet I know it works wonders for many people.

Edited by MaddieLouise

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Posted

Just curious and only if you are willing to share. . .For those of you going off Cymbalta, is it because it wasn't helping your condition or are its side effects intolerable for you? I certainly understand the latter because I couldn't tolerate Lexapro, yet I know it works wonders for many people.

:hearts: I'm curious about this also!

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Posted

Has anyone else had some weird sleep disturbances?

When taking Cymbalta, I had night sweats, always tired, difficulty sleeping, etc. I'm trying to get off it now (i'm not a big meds fan) and have been having the STRANGEST and most VIVID dreams, including occasional somniloquoy(sp?).

I hate going to sleep, because I usually wake up in quite a screwed up mood. I've been very moody since I've tried to stop too but that's not as surprising. I hate my "biological defect" and I hate when people say "If you had diabetes you wouldn't feel bad about needing to take insulin would you?" Sorry a bit off topic but had to get that out there.

Hi there SummerHeart ~

I have been on Cymbalta for a few years now. I want to add that when I don't take it (because i forget) I pay for it royally. Perhaps doing a bit more research regarding the effects of this medication and maybe what other types of coping skills could be tried might be of help, too. My psych doctor would frequently say to me, "how come I don't have a problem taking all of the minerals and vitamins but feel quite strong about taking this two extra pills that actually DO make me feel better?"

Interesting question and I remind myself of the benefits which far outweigh my personal aversion to "prescription" medications.

I have quite the vivid dreams but not bizaar ones....and the night sweats and stuff too. But I am also 52 and going through that time of my life that seems to be taking forever. I call it "mental" pause.....I hope you seek professional help when it comes to tappering off any medication. This one takes times and can cause "anxiety" and other emotional disturbances.....

MEZ

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Posted

:hearts:

I've been on several SSRIs before, but none of them kicked me as much as Cymbata. I know there's a thread for various Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms, but I feel like my experience warrants more than a "me too".

I had been on 60mg, then 30 for a long time, then I decided that the side effects were too much and I quit. If there is a 15mg capsule I haven't seen it; I figured that since I was on 30 for awhile, and since my pdoc did not object, I could handle dropping to zero. I have done much the same with Wellbutrin, Celexa, Lexapro, and Fluoxetine. After a day or two of minor discomfort, I was OK from ending those other drugs.

This one is a lot tougher. The whole 'brain zaps' thing -- I was never sure I knew what people were talking about, but now I suddenly have them. Every time I glance in one direction or the other, or swivel my head too fast, it's like a pressure drop and momentary, barely audible effect -- yes, like an electrical zap in my ears. It's accompanied by a slight dislocated feeling, like what you get in your stomach when you're falling -- but in your head.

I'm irritable and angry. One of the reasons I'm dropping Cymbalta is because it kills my energy; now I'm more energetic, all right, but want to fight someone.

I'm alternately hot and cold; I find myself changing clothes a lot.

I alternate quite rapidly between feeling like doing something productive, and feeling like it's not really worth it. This last bit is actually not that worrisome; it seems like a normal result of dropping an antidepressant. It doesn't bother me like the zaps.

Anyway... it's day 5 and I find myself nervous. I have read horror stories about people stopping this drug and having withdrawal effects go on long after they're off. (The fear is, they will never go away.) I will stop short of making any predictions about my long-term condition, as 5 days isn't much time, but it's longer and more severe than any withdrawal I've experienced. I admit it has me worried that the drug has done something to damage me permanently. The 'brain zaps' are the most clear-cut example of something I have never, ever experienced before going off Cymbalta, and I am frightened by them. At the same time I am reluctant to go back on any amount of the drug, as I want this to be done with this as soon as possible. I will talk to my pdoc on Monday and hopefully decide on a course of action.

For anyone else wanting to get off Cymbalta -- my advice is to taper like mad. Find out if splitting capsules is safe, and do it if it is. Take it slowly. I have the luxury of an on-again, off-again job that's currently off, so I had the luxury of going into a shell and not having my life fall apart because I couldn't deal with work. (Hopefully I can get myself together again before I'm once again busy.) If your situation is different, ramping down slowly is doubly important.

For those who are not on Cymbalta but are considering starting the drug -- well, again, I don't want to be the guy who runs in and says the sky is falling, but I've used a lot of antidepressants in my life and this is the only one with a withdrawal that has me scared. I just hope that in a month or two I will feel more like myself again, and that the decision to use this drug isn't one that haunts me in later years.

If anyone else has had a particularly rough time getting off Cymbalta, I'd love to hear from you. (It would help if your story has a happy ending, of course -- but I'll take any sort of information I can get!)

Thanks

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