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Cymbalta Withdrawal... It's Not Pretty


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#41 lefanman

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 12:46 PM

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.

#42 merrygornd

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 04:58 PM

: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:

#43 ShannelG

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 08:37 PM

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, 02 August 2007 - 09:26 PM.


#44 Jkm

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 09:55 PM

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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I have GAD. I worry about everything, lol!

#45 MaddieLouise

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 08:38 AM

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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#46 georgepeter

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 12:55 AM

Thank you so much for this thread – it has given me hope and solace. I am on day 5 of withdrawal from this nightmare medication. The zapping is horrible. I had the same experience with Zoloft a few years ago but don’t remember it being this bad. Along with the zaps, my body aches, I’m nauseous, sweating, and generally feel ill. This is it for anti-depressants and me. I am going to suffer this nightmare then exit the pharmaceutical world for good. I just hope I feel better soon.

#47 MaddieLouise

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:13 AM

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, 06 August 2007 - 09:14 AM.

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#48 americandancer

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 10:06 AM

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!

#49 MEZooKeeper

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:03 PM

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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#50 Annaone

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 01:02 PM

: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



#51 lambvet

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 01:20 PM

Hi there,

There is ample information about tapering this drug on the web, even Lilly's site has a strong recommendation about tapering. The usual recommendation hovers around 10-20 mg. every two weeks, but you want to ask your doctor about this as you will get a more personalized schedule for your dose and symptoms, maybe even a cross-over regimen.

Law suits? Good luck, this is the most prescribed AD currently. One million prescriptions last year, and growing in popularity. According to some large studies the discontinuation rate is about 10% and most frequently due to continued nausea. Otherwise, it has been very successful. I know many of you that it hasn't worked for think that this is a terrible drug. But for each one that has discontinued, nine are just fine with it, in fact are grateful for it.

So the bottom line is that everyone has a different body chemistry, and will have different reactions to this or any other one for that matter. Personally, Cymbalta didn't work for me, it aggravated my anxiety. Yet it is FDA approved for anxiety, not an off labeled use. Mirtazapine (Remeron) works great for me, relieving my anxiety the first dose and stopping all my cravings for self-medication. Other people have had no relief from depression or anxiety taking mirt. And I took Cymbalta with all the hope, desires and wishes that it would be the one that worked.

So ask your dox how to discontinue, get your ideas here and then share them with your dox. One thing we must all remember about this and any other depression related forum, that is most people suffer from depression, go to their dox, get a prescription and take their pills and are fine and return to their usual routines. It never crosses their minds to look for and join a forum. I came here only because I was looking for answers after trying many different medications.

BE Peace and BE Love.... wayne

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#52 davidrj

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 06:36 PM

After taking this for eight mos @ dosages up to 90, I did a two month taper and have been completely off for five weeks. I decided to quit because of the onset of lethargy. Although the zaps have slowly decreased to rarely now, I have seen no improvement in the physical and mental fatigue - so xtreme that I cannot work, organize thoughts, or engage in physical activity [working out has been my salvation for depression in the past]. The fatigue is overwhelming, and my comprehension is nil. Has anyone else known of similar withdrawal symptoms lasting this long?

#53 lambvet

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 07:22 PM

Hi David,

No personal experience of any SEs lasting that long. My symptoms actually stopped before I was fully off them. However, I was crossed-over to another med. I wonder if you are on a new medication or totally off meds now. Could this be a re-emergence of depression? But the dosage that you were taking was high to begin with, so perhaps your taper schedule was too fast, seems unlikely seeing how you were feeling these symptoms when you were on the high dose. Everyone is different and you should take this up with your doctor. It does seem odd you were on such a high dose.

Hope it resolves soon, but I would check with your doc, this could be anything. Maybe not even related to the drug, some other medical condition. That's why it is always best to take these concerns to your doctor.

Peace and Love... wayne

After taking this for eight mos @ dosages up to 90, I did a two month taper and have been completely off for five weeks. I decided to quit because of the onset of lethargy. Although the zaps have slowly decreased to rarely now, I have seen no improvement in the physical and mental fatigue - so xtreme that I cannot work, organize thoughts, or engage in physical activity [working out has been my salvation for depression in the past]. The fatigue is overwhelming, and my comprehension is nil. Has anyone else known of similar withdrawal symptoms lasting this long?


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#54 davidrj

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 07:56 PM

Thx, wayne. Been to three different medical and psych doctors, who, essentially, have no ideas other than trying different medicatons, which after this experience I cannot bring myself to do. Now on no other medications. My previous depression was not even close to what i feel after taking cymbalta. Also, now have short term memory whatsoever.

#55 lambvet

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 12:02 AM

Thx, wayne. Been to three different medical and psych doctors, who, essentially, have no ideas other than trying different medicatons, which after this experience I cannot bring myself to do. Now on no other medications. My previous depression was not even close to what i feel after taking cymbalta. Also, now have short term memory whatsoever.


OK David,

I hope your symptoms subside soon. But remember, there are many here that had to try more than one AD before getting the right one. If the dox could take a blood test or such and determine just which brain amines and which synapses were not working correctly, they could get it right the first time. But as it is, there is some trial and error for some of us. I know in my personal experience Cymbalta caused me some anxiety symptoms that were uncomfortable and then we changed to Seroquel, which help me off of the Cymbalta but left me too drugged up to practice.

So we changed to Celexa which drove my anxiety through the roof and I ended up in a pWard for 15 days. My family stepped in with a recommendation for a pDoc with a PhD in Psycho-pharmacology and after a 2 hour session, he prescribed mirtazapine (Remeron) which fully alleviated my anxiety on the first dose! And after about 2 weeks my depression dissipated. Wonder drug for me after years of struggles.

I just hope you can find the answers for you. And I hope that without any medication, your depression won't return although from what you say, it would probably be a blessing right now if it stops the possible SEs that you continue to experience. I would still recommend that you see if you can get some blood tests to at least rule out a non-MH cause of your symptoms. A leading cause of depression symptoms not related to MH issues is hypothyroidism, and the extreme lethargy is a primary symptom of this disease. I am not saying that is what it is, but it would sure be nice to eliminate it as a cause before you go through too much more discomfort. At least you could bring it up your next visit. Can't hurt.

Be Peace and BE Love.... wayne

* * * NOTE: Administration/Moderator Team members are not Mental Health or Medical Professionals. * * *

(if you have any questions about your care or treatment, please contact your Doctor or Therapist for advice,
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#56 zoetman

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 12:09 AM

Thx, wayne. Been to three different medical and psych doctors, who, essentially, have no ideas other than trying different medicatons, which after this experience I cannot bring myself to do. Now on no other medications. My previous depression was not even close to what i feel after taking cymbalta. Also, now have short term memory whatsoever.


davidrj

I found that taking lots of supplements helped me tremendously with short term memory problems, specifically B complex, VItamin C and Omega 3 fatty acids. There is this great Vitamin C in a powdered form buffered with minerals (Pathway brand; can be ordered from TheVillageGreenApothecary (not sure of exact website but you can google it). Anyway the Vitamin C: you stir it into water and it tastes pretty good - refreshing. It helps with detoxing and you can take it up to bowel tolerance because Vitamin C is not toxic.

Also I was reading about other "natural" antidepressants - something called SAMe and products containing 5HTP and tyrosine which help with seretonin. Note: The latter 2 are not supposed to be taken at the same as an SSRI or, I should say, use caution or check with your doctor about taking them at the same time as an SSRI.

Hope some of this helps

zoetman

#57 eimh

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 09:22 PM

I am tapering off of Cymbalta and so far I have avoided brain zaps by taking it really slow and by trying to get as precise measurements as possible.

I was down to the lowest manufactured dosage (20mg) and started to taper from there using a milligram scale to drop 10% of my last dose at a time every week.*

When I was sure that I was not getting any worse by doing this I dropped 2.5mg per week. After I got to 5mg I did not make more than .5mg drops at a time.

I am down to approximately 2.4mg (20 pellets from 20mg capsules)** and I am doing better than I was at the 20mg dosage.

When I was eyeballing the dosage and dropping more than .5mg I felt really horrible.

When I stabilized my worst problems were headaches and insomnia.

Around the time that I was on 8mg - 5.5mg my physical symptoms seemed to get better; but my mood was very low.

It still feels that way; but I can deal with that a lot better than the daily headaches I was having.

Anyway, I hope other people can wean off this successfully as well.

I think that the best way to do this is to make sure that the doses are even and to go slow. Some people recommend going as slow as 10% every month.



* The formula I used for the scale was based on my calculation that the contents of the 20mg capsules weigh .110grams on the scale.
** 1 pellet is the equivalent of a .12mg dose

Cymbalta (5/2006-10/2007)


#58 maintainin

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:38 PM

I was given this last Friday by my pdoc and I have yet to take it. After reading posts like this all over the web I'm thinking I might ask for something else. The amount of posts about going thru bad withdrawals is very, very troubling. All the AD's have withdrawal potential but the cymbalta is especially disturbing to me because of this: I have yet to find one single post anywhere that states getting off cymbalta was anything other than, at best, a painful experience. You can often find the words hell, horrible or "the worst thing I have ever gone thru in my life" in people describing their withdrawals. Another thing that scares me is that tapering does not seem to matter that much. Its gonna be hell, regardless. Only dropping the dose 10% a month just to make the withdrawals managable???? You......have......got.....to.....be.....F'ing......kidding....me!!! Its still new, but I think in time this AD is going to take the throne from effexor/paxil as the absolute worst AD to get off of.

Edited by maintainin, 27 August 2007 - 08:45 PM.

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you!

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#59 Fried

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 06:40 PM

I've been on and off SSRI's...had no problem what so ever weening off. The only problem I do have is depression and anxiety when I'm not on meds to correct my chemical imbalance.

So I guess I'll stay on meds forever and just be happy :hearts:

#60 OCDRunner

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 07:01 AM

I withdrew from Cymbalta in late June, early July after being on it for about 1 1/2 years. It was pretty uncomfortable. On the other hand, it worked fairly well while I was taking it.

For men, Cymbalta effects one's sex life. It causes everything from the inability to achieve a "happy state," to reducing the ability to feel an orgasm. I was in the latter group. It literally took away my ability to feel down there. It was as if someone could stop the synapsis from firing. My GP confided to me that SSRI's are sometimes given to guys who go too fast. It lowers ones ability to feel sex. After about 15 months, I could function but couldn't feel it.

So, that is why I dropped it and was willing to go through the brain zaps and shudders etc... Benadry (diphenhydramine) helps alleviate the side effects.

The hard part is staying off those drugs.

#61 maintainin

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 09:35 AM

So I call to make an appt with my pdoc and come to find out he's on vacation for the next two weeks. I swear to God, this guy takes more vacation than anybody I've ever known. He was just out for two weeks last month. If I could I'd find a new one, but unfortunately I live out in the middle of BFE, South Dakota and the rube is the only pdoc for 200 miles. Sorry, I'm not trying to scare anybody with my previous post, but this really, really concerns me. Do a search, its very alarming. I just wish I could get hold of my eternally vacationing pdoc and ask him a few very pointed questions. The main one being when I specifially asked him how the withdrawals are with cymbalta he just kind of waves his ahand and says "Ehhh, not too bad." Not too bad my ***. Hey Einstein, then how come just about every personal account on the net says otherwise? You are either lying to me or you are just incompetent. I'm so depressed, scared and pi**ed off right now.

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you!

Brian
 


#62 MaddieLouise

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 06:20 PM

Maintainin,

I believe if you look for the bad about any of these medications on the web, you are definitely going to find it. I think it's important to keep in mind that the majority of people who post all the negatives are people who have had some type of problem. You are not going to hear as much from people like some of us who have had positive experiences or withdrawals that weren't that terrible. I haven't ever gone off of it, so I can't say anything about the withdrawals, but I would guess they are bad. I think as these drugs get stronger, they will be harder to come off of. I certainly understand the fear of going on a new medication, although I guess you have to weigh all positives and negatives. The positives far outweigh the negatives for me.

Is there another medication you would feel more comfortable with? You have an interesting perspective as I never even considered how I would feel coming off of a drug before I'd ever even tried it. I'm not being critical, I just find this interesting, and it is something that should probably be considered.

Good luck getting in touch with your MD.

So I call to make an appt with my pdoc and come to find out he's on vacation for the next two weeks. I swear to God, this guy takes more vacation than anybody I've ever known. He was just out for two weeks last month. If I could I'd find a new one, but unfortunately I live out in the middle of BFE, South Dakota and the rube is the only pdoc for 200 miles. Sorry, I'm not trying to scare anybody with my previous post, but this really, really concerns me. Do a search, its very alarming. I just wish I could get hold of my eternally vacationing pdoc and ask him a few very pointed questions. The main one being when I specifially asked him how the withdrawals are with cymbalta he just kind of waves his ahand and says "Ehhh, not too bad." Not too bad my ***. Hey Einstein, then how come just about every personal account on the net says otherwise? You are either lying to me or you are just incompetent. I'm so depressed, scared and pi**ed off right now.


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#63 maintainin

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 06:35 PM

You are right. I'm going to go ahead and start it tommorow morning I think. I really broke down earlier today talking to my dad and it made me realize I'm alot worse shape than I thought. I'm in a bad place right now. I've been crying for the last two hours. I'm not sleeping worth a s***(hardly at all last night), I'm about this >< close to quitting my job and just moving back home, I've been spending money on crap I dont need, I've alienated myself from my friends again............

I need to just take the cymbalta and worry about withdrawals when I cross that bridge. I did the same crap with lexapro. Obsessed about all the possible things that could go wrong instead of focusing on what could go right. It's like I'm trying to psych myself out and make myself believe that I dont really need it. I'm really sorry to everybody for coming on here and Biotching(LOL at how it automatically sitcks the o in there) and moaning about possible withdrawals. It's not very constructive and not what folks really want to hear.

Edited by maintainin, 28 August 2007 - 06:45 PM.

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you!

Brian
 


#64 beaureve_ephemere

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 07:29 PM

Hello all,

I've been on Cymbalta for over a year now for 1. Fibromyalgia and 2. Depression. It seems to be the only AD I've been able to tolerate and it does lessen the pain from Fibromyalgia. Problem: I'm wanting to become pregnant and Cymbalta is no longer an option. Thinking I could stop cold turkey (I'm tough, or so I thought) I quit my 60mg dose two (or was it three...days ago) and wondered (silly me) why suddenly I: 1. felt like I was having mini seizures, black-outs, (BRAIN ZAPS!!!) 2. am crying one minute and wanting to punch somebody out the next 3. Want to sleep and or have sex 24/24 4. am having the most vivid, apocolyptic, frightening dreams 5. waking up feeling like I've been run over by more than a Mac truck and wondering if I'm going mad. Struggling to work today I thought I could just curl up and die and I'd be one happy girl.

Luckily I still had the presence of mind an hour ago to Google "Cymbalta Withdrawal" and to read a few very familiar accounts....I had no idea. (I'm also coming off, yes cold turkey, Lunesta for sleep....to make matters even worse)

at least I'm probably not having a stroke :-)

Do you think I could go run 10k without having my brain fall out?Oh...

#65 MaddieLouise

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 07:50 PM

Hey Brian,

This is one of the few places where people don't seem to mind any complaining and it's really one of the purposes of the forum (at least in my opinion); to get support when you are in a state like you are right now, so I don't think there's ever any reason to apologize.

It sounds to me as if you are having some anxiety along with your depression, and that is probably why you are focusing on all the negatives, breaking down, and wanting to quit your job. I speak from experience as whenever I had bad anxiety, I would just about go crazy thinking I needed to quit my job and had to get away from what I was doing. I am amazed at how much my anxiety has calmed down since starting Cymbalta. I've regained my confidence and physically feel much better, although I'm still not sleeping, so that could improve for me.
It's tough not to sleep. That is probably contributing to your feeling so lousy as well.

When did you come off Lexapro? If it was recently, could some of your symptoms be related to withdrawal from it?

I really hope the Cymbalta works for you. Be brave if you have some start up SE's. Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones who doesn't.

Sincerely,
Maddie

You are right. I'm going to go ahead and start it tommorow morning I think. I really broke down earlier today talking to my dad and it made me realize I'm alot worse shape than I thought. I'm in a bad place right now. I've been crying for the last two hours. I'm not sleeping worth a s***(hardly at all last night), I'm about this >< close to quitting my job and just moving back home, I've been spending money on crap I dont need, I've alienated myself from my friends again............

I need to just take the cymbalta and worry about withdrawals when I cross that bridge. I did the same crap with lexapro. Obsessed about all the possible things that could go wrong instead of focusing on what could go right. It's like I'm trying to psych myself out and make myself believe that I dont really need it. I'm really sorry to everybody for coming on here and Biotching(LOL at how it automatically sitcks the o in there) and moaning about possible withdrawals. It's not very constructive and not what folks really want to hear.


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#66 maintainin

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 08:07 PM

Yeah, I'm really exhausted from not sleeping well so I'm sure its contributing. Today makes one month off lexapro. Hard to say if its withdrawals. Thats the thing with these meds, how do you really know if its the depression returning or still suffering some kind of mental withdrawal. I havent had any physical withdrawal symtpoms for three weeks. So who knows. I just know I'm not feeling very well at the moment.

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you!

Brian
 


#67 MaddieLouise

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 08:14 PM

I wish you well in starting the Cymbalta. Keep us posted!

Yeah, I'm really exhausted from not sleeping well so I'm sure its contributing. Today makes one month off lexapro. Hard to say if its withdrawals. Thats the thing with these meds, how do you really know if its the depression returning or still suffering some kind of mental withdrawal. I havent had any physical withdrawal symtpoms for three weeks. So who knows. I just know I'm not feeling very well at the moment.


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#68 americandancer

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 09:13 PM

Good luck, maintainin! FWIW, I stopped and started cymbalta a couple of times and the only w/d symptoms I experienced was some "weird head feelings" when I turned my head really quickly, and some irritability, but that only lasted a day or two. I'm taking it again, and I'm not worried about the w/d symptoms if I have to go off of it, even though I've already experienced them. I think all the negatives are from people who either quit cold turkey or did not wean properly. When I stopped before, I went cold turkey straight from 60mg. That was my fault! Like MaddieLouise sad, be brave if you have the start up side effects and let us know how you're doing! We've all been there!

beaureve, it sounds to me like you need to see your doctor for a weaning schedule. Maybe he can give you some 30 and 20mg samples to get you through. Good luck.

#69 lambvet

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 10:23 PM

I was given this last Friday by my pdoc and I have yet to take it. After reading posts like this all over the web I'm thinking I might ask for something else. The amount of posts about going thru bad withdrawals is very, very troubling. All the AD's have withdrawal potential but the cymbalta is especially disturbing to me because of this: I have yet to find one single post anywhere that states getting off cymbalta was anything other than, at best, a painful experience. You can often find the words hell, horrible or "the worst thing I have ever gone thru in my life" in people describing their withdrawals. Another thing that scares me is that tapering does not seem to matter that much. Its gonna be hell, regardless. Only dropping the dose 10% a month just to make the withdrawals managable???? You......have......got.....to.....be.....F'ing......kidding....me!!! Its still new, but I think in time this AD is going to take the throne from effexor/paxil as the absolute worst AD to get off of.


Hi Brian,

I think one thing that you and everyone else needs to remember is that people who are unhappy about their meds whether it is SEs, whether they work or the discontinuance of them, they are the ones most likely to post. Those that are happy or have good experiences just don't feel like they need to come online and say "Hey, I took X and it's great, I feel great now, no SEs and I just won the lottery." I am associated with a self-help client based MH community and the majority of people are satisfied with their medications.

If you really want to know what to expect, read academic review studies, these are not drug company finance, and they combine many different clinical trials and combine the statistics. And then they present you with a picture that reflects what people are actually experiencing. For instance, not all males experience SSE's from SSRI's, the actual number is about 50% and even the review states that they felt this number may be low because some might not reveal something like that to their doctors, so they put the number as near 70% (and that is an assumption, not backed by research) but that is not all males. The same goes with discontinuance, when tapering only a minority experience truly troubling SEs, the rest do just fine. Of course these figures are taken from academic studies and do not reflect the experiences we read about in forums or blogs.

I had to chuckle a bit when I read your post, worrying about discontinuance and you haven't even started taking them. Who knows, maybe you will be lucky and it will work for you just fine and you won't have to worry about discontinuing them.

Peace and Love good friend, I hope whatever you decide to do will work for you... wayne

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#70 Looking Up

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 10:44 PM

I have been taking Cymbalta for 7 days now... and I must say.....

I feel FANFRIGGINTASTIC!! ALREADY!

I feel the best I have in a looooooooooong time.

As for weening off... who cares at this point?! I'm going to linger in my new found happiness! :)

#71 beaureve_ephemere

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 02:48 PM

Couldn't take it...I emptied a 60 mg. to equal 30mg. and took that last night. Slept well and woke up a completely different person. Even went for my usual 10k Wed. run and will see my doctor about a weaning program. I just hope this won't take too long and that I'll feel humain without Cymbalta. Does anyone know of a girlfriend/spouse that took Cymbalta while pregnant? My OBGYN has said no way.

Thanks! BR

I forgot to add regarding breathing abnormalities and Cymbalta: I too have had these weird extra "puffs" in my breathing (while awake, asleep, running or not). A serious runner, I have noticed that while taking Cymbalta my breathing is much heavier, noisier...and every few minutes I have to exhale three extra "puffs" of air out. In listening to my breathing, one would think I were completely out of shape but I recently did a 16 mile run in 2 hours, shockingly absurdly fast for me--with lots of those weird "puffs". Not sure what's really going on, perhaps Cymbalta alters Oxygen intake/absorbtion.

Any other ideas out there from runners on Cymbalta?

beaureve

#72 MaddieLouise

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 07:43 PM

Great Looking Up! I was wondering how you were doing and asked in another post. Glad to hear it's working well for you.

I have been taking Cymbalta for 7 days now... and I must say.....

I feel FANFRIGGINTASTIC!! ALREADY!

I feel the best I have in a looooooooooong time.

As for weening off... who cares at this point?! I'm going to linger in my new found happiness! :)


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#73 OCDRunner

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 06:40 AM

The nasty side effects of going off Cymbalta were "short-lived" for me. It is not like your body is stuck. For me, the side effects diminished in severity with each passing day. I quit in the early part of July and have no last effects.

You just have to deal with some Brain Zaps and dizziness. They are not comfortable but are not painful. If you have a decent doctor who will give you something to sleep, the situation really wouldn't be that bad.

#74 MaddieLouise

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 10:49 PM

Maintanin,

Did you start Cymbalta? If so, how is it going?

Maddie

Yeah, I'm really exhausted from not sleeping well so I'm sure its contributing. Today makes one month off lexapro. Hard to say if its withdrawals. Thats the thing with these meds, how do you really know if its the depression returning or still suffering some kind of mental withdrawal. I havent had any physical withdrawal symtpoms for three weeks. So who knows. I just know I'm not feeling very well at the moment.


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#75 MorbidAngelz5150

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 02:17 AM

hi, i posted quite a few months ago when i was just starting to taper off of Cymbalta. took Cymbalta for about a year and a half and i felt pretty good the first few months. but couldn't deal with the side effects: muscle tension, insomnia, sexual side effects, weight gain, anxiety, and no real emotions, i felt dead inside, at the same time i would cry for hours about nothing. when i couldn't stop crying i would take a hot bath stay in there until i felt better and there were A LOT of days where i stayed in the bathroom all day long! i couldn't get anything done, nor could i remember much of anything. i couldn't even remember my phone number, someone would ask and i would get this blank look on my face until my boyfriend told me the number. and this is not like me at all!! i've never had memory problems, ever! i started having word-finding problems too. and i mean simple words.

so i decided to go off Cymbalta because of those side effects. i talked to my doctor about stopping the meds and he said go down to 30 mg for a week (i was on 60 mg) and then stop completely. he said that i shouldn't have any discontinuation symptoms. BULL****!! i went right back to 60 mg after 2 days on 30 mg. a couple of months after that i decided to try again but slowly tapering off. i looked for info on the web and found a couple of sites recommending reducing the med by only 10% a week. so i opened up the capsule and counted the beads inside (no easy task). there was 550 in that capsule so i just went with that #. i slowly reduced the dose by removing beads from each capsule starting with 55. i had withdrawl symptoms, mild ones, even while tapering off this slowly, and so i would go by how i felt as to when i reduced the dose again. i went slower than 10% a week. sometimes i had to go back up a little in the dose and then back down, and sometimes i had to just stay at a dose for a longer time than i had planned, but i was able to taper completely off of cymbalta without having terrible withdrawls while doing so over a period of 2 and 1/2 months.

but wait, my story is far from over! since that day 7/19/07 when i completely stopped taking cymbalta i have felt SO ****ING SICK!!! i thought i had the flu (dizzy and nauseated and fatigued with hot and cold flashes) and i was flat out laying in bed for 10 days. since then i continue to feel like SH** about 5 days out of the week, i am so dizzy i can't get out of bed at least 2 days a week. then i'll have a day or two where i feel ok, almost normal, and i think, i've finally made it thru the cymbalta withdrawls, but NO...... i am so dizzy today it feels like my head is going to hit the ground if i look down. i just wanted to stay in bed, i'm nauseous too and burning up like i have a fever, and sweating, but my AC is on and my body temp is normal. oh and the head rushes/brain zaps - when i stand up after laying down or sitting for a while ill have a head rush (that can last up to a minute long) where i can't see, just blinding light in front of my eyes.

i just want to know when this is going to end. i've been complletely off cymbalta for over a month, almost a month and a half and i tapered off of it really slowly but i am having withdrawls symptoms from hell. i have been on many antidepressants in my life, Zoloft Prozac Paxil Celexa Elavil Wellbutrin Trazadone Lexapro Doxepin Effexor and was alwyas able to minimize the withdrawls by tapering off the drug slowly. Prozac and Effexor had the worst withdrawls for me - Effexor took me a long time to stop taking, it was pretty bad. but i've never experienced a withdrawl like this. is there anyone who's been through this and is feeling better now? im too tired to write anymore, but i will later.

#76 OCDRunner

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 08:10 AM

I was on 60 mg for about a year and a half. It was actually longer but it doesn't matter. I didn't taper like I should have. AFter a few months of not being able to feel sex, I said enough is enough.

The crappy feelings WILL GO AWAY. Try Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to help alleviate the side effects. It isn't 100% but each day will get increasingly better.

One more thing, I noticed you said that Cymbalta helped INCREASE ANXIETY. I whole heartedly concur with that statement. Anxiety is on of my biggest problems. ***! Why would you put someone on Cymbalta if they have Anxiety issues? It seems the common practice is to give an SSRI for any mental issue.

Good luck with getting off this drug. Just hang tight through the hard times. It will get better.

#77 MaddieLouise

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 06:45 PM

I'm certainly sorry that you are feeling so badly and I hope the withdrawal symptoms subside for you soon.

OCDRunner, regarding your question: "Why would you put someone on Cymbalta if they have Anxiety issues?", I think you'll see many people on this board being successfully treated for anxiety with Cymbalta. That is one of the disorders it was approved to treat just this year. I have GAD and it has lessoned my anxiety tremendously. Of course, it's not for everyone, and when I first started it, one of my start-up SEs was increased anxiety and agitation, but it subsided.

I was on 60 mg for about a year and a half. It was actually longer but it doesn't matter. I didn't taper like I should have. AFter a few months of not being able to feel sex, I said enough is enough.

The crappy feelings WILL GO AWAY. Try Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to help alleviate the side effects. It isn't 100% but each day will get increasingly better.

One more thing, I noticed you said that Cymbalta helped INCREASE ANXIETY. I whole heartedly concur with that statement. Anxiety is on of my biggest problems. ***! Why would you put someone on Cymbalta if they have Anxiety issues? It seems the common practice is to give an SSRI for any mental issue.

Good luck with getting off this drug. Just hang tight through the hard times. It will get better.


Edited by MaddieLouise, 04 September 2007 - 06:46 PM.

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#78 OCDRunner

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 06:57 AM

MaddieLousise

I've been on a bunch of SSRIs and all of them seem to have increased my nervousness/angst/anxiety. With Prozac and Zoloft, my hands shake uncontrollably.

For whatever reason, weekends are the worst. I go from 0 to furious in seconds and most of the issues are NOT important. It might be something as stupid as my kids not picking up after themselves. My father was the same way, and they had him on Trillifon (sp?) for years. My GP won't prescribe anything other than SSRIs and/or tricyclics.

We obviously don't completely know how these drugs effect people. (I say we because I work for the research side of the Pharmaceutical industry.) We may know that they go after certain receptor sites etc... but we don't know their overall impact.

An interesting side note to this is that Cymbalta helped me sleep. My anxiety level was higher and my fuse was shorter, but it helped me sleep. Future generations will have better options than we have now.

#79 MaddieLouise

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 05:17 PM

OCDRunner,

I remember you were looking for something else to help your OCD. Have you tried anything new (for you) yet?

If I were to guess, I would say weekends are worse for you because (at least in my case), we aren't in a routine, and routines are vital with these conditions.

One of MD friends told me that the reason pharmaceutical companies are constantly researching and trying to develop new SSRIs/SNRIs is because they react so differently for so many people and for some unknown reason, they also stop working for many people and people have to try something else. Sounds like a lucrative business for pharmaceutical companies. Good job security, huh?

MaddieLousise

I've been on a bunch of SSRIs and all of them seem to have increased my nervousness/angst/anxiety. With Prozac and Zoloft, my hands shake uncontrollably.

For whatever reason, weekends are the worst. I go from 0 to furious in seconds and most of the issues are NOT important. It might be something as stupid as my kids not picking up after themselves. My father was the same way, and they had him on Trillifon (sp?) for years. My GP won't prescribe anything other than SSRIs and/or tricyclics.

We obviously don't completely know how these drugs effect people. (I say we because I work for the research side of the Pharmaceutical industry.) We may know that they go after certain receptor sites etc... but we don't know their overall impact.

An interesting side note to this is that Cymbalta helped me sleep. My anxiety level was higher and my fuse was shorter, but it helped me sleep. Future generations will have better options than we have now.


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#80 OCDRunner

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 06:38 AM

ML,

Thanks for your response. I haven't been able to try something new, because I havent been able to get into my pdoc yet. It takes anywhere from six weeks to two months. The last appointment had to be cancelled due to my daughter's cross-country meet. I made the appointment in early July.

Your MD friend is partially correct. Big Pharma sees the Anxiety/Depression field as a cash cow. I work for the largest Pharmaceutical company in the world (for now). Having a drug indicated for GAD is like finding a urn-of-gold.
People who suffer from those disorders (us) are so anxious to find a magic bullet.

I worked on a drug called Indiplon for years. It is similar to Lunesta, Ambien etc.. but the half life of the compound was much shorter than the best on the market. That means you could take it and sleep for say an hour or two and wake up with no side effects, grogginess, etc... When we went to file, the FDA wouldn't give us immunity from the "sleep driving" issue that has plagued the makers of those drugs. Rather than put the drug on the market for the "betterment of mankind," we just dropped it.

My point is this, we are in the business of making money. I am not trying to sound jaded, but that is the cold hard fact.
The positive side of this is that so many people suffer from depression/GAD disorders that there will always be money to drive research.

Thanks again for your response.

OCDRunner




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