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Does Cymbalta Really Help W/ Anxiety?


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#1 bunnybear

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 11:54 AM

Hey, I am just about to start cymbalta in a few days, I just got off of taking wellbutrin & paxil which did not help for my anxiety at all. I have horrible anxiety right now, and I am really hoping that this cymbalta works for me! I'm Also worried about the weight problem, has anyone gained or lost weight on this pill?
Thanks :hearts:

#2 MaddieLouise

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 01:28 PM

Hi bunnybear,

In the little over a month that I've been on Cymbalta, it has helped tremendously with my anxiety. For example, decison making has become much more "rational" in situations that I perceived as really difficult previously.

I think the weight issue is quite interesting. Recently, someone made a good point and that was, it's not really the medication that is causing the weight gain or loss. It's our choice to eat too much or not eat enough that causes the gain or loss. I certainly understand that the medication can make us feel more hungry and that we satisfy that hunger by eating. This is when the self discipline has to come into play (in my opinion). In my case, Cymbalta made me lose my appetite in the first few weeks causing me to lose weight. I had to force myself to eat because I knew I needed to, even though the idea was unpleasant at the time. I've since made up for that weight loss (ha!).

Hope this helps.


Hey, I am just about to start cymbalta in a few days, I just got off of taking wellbutrin & paxil which did not help for my anxiety at all. I have horrible anxiety right now, and I am really hoping that this cymbalta works for me! I'm Also worried about the weight problem, has anyone gained or lost weight on this pill?
Thanks :hearts:


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#3 bunnybear

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 07:45 PM

Hi Maddielouise,

Thanks for the reply! Now I am happy to start these meds. I am going to start them tomarrow and I really can't wait to be relieved of my anxiety. I am starting off with 30 mg.. Did you have any start up side effects? When I started wellbutrin a few months ago, I remember I was really 'out of it' and lightheaded for awhile but then it finally went away.

#4 life4me8

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 08:46 PM

Hi Maddielouise,

Thanks for the reply! Now I am happy to start these meds. I am going to start them tomarrow and I really can't wait to be relieved of my anxiety. I am starting off with 30 mg.. Did you have any start up side effects? When I started wellbutrin a few months ago, I remember I was really 'out of it' and lightheaded for awhile but then it finally went away.


I started at 30 mg 8 weeks ago. I lost 15 pounds the first week and a half, due to nausea. The only other side effects I noticed were insomnia the first 2 or 3 nights and diarrhea for about a week or two. At this point, the only side effect I have is dry mouth, which comes and goes. I take mine in the morning, and this seems to help with getting to sleep at night. I have also gained back about 8 pounds, which is fine with me since I am still in a healthy weight range for my height.

I noticed a difference in my anxiety level around the 7th day. I remember waking up and being shocked by the fact that I wasn't anxious about getting ready for work, walking the dogs, making my train, etc... It was such a nice change for once.

By the end of the second week, I was asking my self why I waited SO LONG (about 6 years dealing with anxiety) to start this med. I am feeling better than I have in years and I plan to stay at 30 mg.

Cymbalta has also made me a happier person overall, since I'm not constantly worrying about anything and everything. I hope it does the same for you!
When you're lost in your own thoughts....who finds you?

I can pretend better than the rest of them...but who wants to pretend to be happy????

I just walked into this party and someone yelled "dibs"... it's a shame I'm broken and no one knows

I am thankful for the blessings in my life and remind myself daily of them..somehow it's just not enough.

#5 MaddieLouise

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 09:31 PM

My start up SEs were: dry mouth, appetite loss (lost 10 lbs but am gaining it back -similar to what life4me described), lightheaded, insomnia, and some additional anxiety. I started to feel better my second week and it was amazing when the anxiety lifted. You will all of a sudden be aware that you aren't nervous, upset or reacting to situations in the negative ways you previously did. I too have the dry mouth sometimes and I'm still battling the insomnia with the hope that it will go away.

You will probably want to take the med. with food to ward off any possible nausea. Good luck and let us know how it goes!


Hi Maddielouise,

Thanks for the reply! Now I am happy to start these meds. I am going to start them tomarrow and I really can't wait to be relieved of my anxiety. I am starting off with 30 mg.. Did you have any start up side effects? When I started wellbutrin a few months ago, I remember I was really 'out of it' and lightheaded for awhile but then it finally went away.


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#6 americandancer

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 09:19 AM

My start up side effects were dry mouth, terrible nausea (only lasted about a week), fatigue, constipation and nervousness. It took a few weeks to a month and a change in dosage for the effects to even out. Try to stick with it awhile, as it seems most side effects go away with time.

I had some weight loss - maybe around 8 pounds. I haven't gained it back, but my weight does go up and down due to the constipation. :hearts: I have read where weight can go either way, but in my case, I am just not very hungry on this med. I know someone else who takes it, and she says it makes her "hold on to her weight", but she is on other meds and I am just not sure they are not to blame.

Are you weaning off the paxil and wellbutrin before starting the cymbalta?

#7 bunnybear

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 06:19 PM

Hey,

So today is my first day taking it, I feel like crap...probably b/c of getting off of the other 2 meds and switching over. The doctor said that I didn't have to slowly wean off the other meds she said I could just stop taking them all together if I wanted. But I did do only 150mg of the wellbutrin for about 2 weeks and cut the 10mg of paxil in half a few times.
So I guess I thought now would be a good time to start the cymbalta. I am hoping it kicks in soon b/c I need to get through my class without having to miss so many days due to being so anxious in class. :hearts:
Do you think It was okay to switch over so suddenly? I was only on the paxil for about a month so I figured since it was only 10mg it would be okay to stop. but who knows. I just hope I start feeling NORMAL soon!
Thanks again so much for the advice.

#8 MaddieLouise

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 06:28 PM

I'm sorry you feel so badly bunnybear. I'm sure there are others on the board who can tell you about experiences weaning off other meds. before starting Cymbalta. I had only been on Lexapro for a very short period before starting Cymbalta, so I can't say much about that. As for the anxiety you are experiencing; you may want to call your doctor and ask her if she would be willing to give you something temporarily to get through the anxiety phase (like a benzo such as Ativan, Xanax, etc.). I don't know your exact situation, so I don't know if she will, but it might be worth asking.

Hang in there! I've been there and I hope you start to feel better!

Hey,

So today is my first day taking it, I feel like crap...probably b/c of getting off of the other 2 meds and switching over. The doctor said that I didn't have to slowly wean off the other meds she said I could just stop taking them all together if I wanted. But I did do only 150mg of the wellbutrin for about 2 weeks and cut the 10mg of paxil in half a few times.
So I guess I thought now would be a good time to start the cymbalta. I am hoping it kicks in soon b/c I need to get through my class without having to miss so many days due to being so anxious in class. :hearts:
Do you think It was okay to switch over so suddenly? I was only on the paxil for about a month so I figured since it was only 10mg it would be okay to stop. but who knows. I just hope I start feeling NORMAL soon!
Thanks again so much for the advice.


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#9 americandancer

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 08:19 PM

I would think if you've only been on paxil a month, you should be okay switching over, since your dr. recommended you do that. I agree you may need to ask for a benzo to help with the anxiety until the cymbalta kicks in. Did you take the 30mg this morning? It might be hard for you to tell why you feel badly - if it's from the start up of cymbalta or the w/d of paxil. Hang in there!

#10 inspiredbychaos

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 09:41 PM

Hi, i'm new here and just started cymbalta 10 days ago for anxiety and depression (30mg a day). The main thing I notice is the anxiety is gone, however, I don't feel "happy" like I remember feeling when I was on paxil years ago (it's been nearly 10 years since i was on any ad). Maybe it's just still early and I need to give it more time. I do have several of the side effects most other people have, the insomnia (taking xanax .25mg at night for that... not sure if i should try something else, i still wake around 4am), dry mouth, brain fog or "out of it", extremely sleepy during the day, i yawn all the time. also, somewhat apathetic not really feeling much of anything, no appetite, and low sex drive (well, this was a problem even before the cymbalta so i can't blame it on that). i've also been somewhat forgetful. most of these things are worse a few hours after i take it (mornings), but then in the evening it's not so bad. but i have a hard time doing things i need to do (laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning etc).... i had more energy to do all those things before cymbalta even with anxiety/depression. I am hoping it will get better, but if it doesn't i may just stick with xanax or something else just for anxiety since it's more of a problem than the depression for me. any advice will be appreciated... :hearts:

#11 Jkm

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 07:45 AM

Anxiety is a major issue for me and using a benzo while waiting for this med to get in your system seems to be pretty routine with most people. I think it really takes 6 to 8 weeks to start fully working. The blah feeling in the morning after taking it seems to be a normal reaction, too. Just try to wait it out. I does get better and my mood continues to be fine after three years. All my emotions came back after them being pretty flat on Lexparo for 15 months.

I did a taper in one week as my doc said they were pretty much in the same class of meds. Cymbalta works on pain that some of us experience with depression and I already have a couple of diagnosed pain disorders that I have been dealing with all along.

As far as weight gain, I gained 7 pounds in three years. Not bad and I'm pretty close to what I should weigh after all these years. I have been underweight in the past and lost 10 lbs. when I first went in for a relapse. My doc said if I didn't gain it back, she'd put me in the hospital. I was origionally diagnosed with major depression and panic disorder. While the Lexparo took 7 mo. to get the anxiety down so I didn't have to take ativan with it to sleep at night and not have panic attacks, the only time I used ativan again was when I first got on this, and not really too much, and when my Father died.... This was a major stress to me when he was sick as he was a real big support and his loss was big.

I don't have anxiety due to also being on a beta blocker for high blood pressure and tacycardia. Just a medical wonder, I am!! 107 pounds and high blood pressure? I have had high blood pressure since I was in my 30's and my family has a tendency for this. I'm pretty wound up, too, and am not hyperactive, just stressed. I can function with all the stress on this med without a benzo, although my doc would give it to me if I needed it. I don't.

Hope you both have good success with this med.


:hearts: :bearwub: :bump: :shocked: Love, Jackie
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I have GAD. I worry about everything, lol!

#12 bunnybear

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 10:40 PM

Today was much better for me, it was only my second day on cymbalta and I am already noticing my anxiety level going down! yay! I am really sensitive to drugs, so maybe that is why I notice so soon. Well, I hope that this med will finally be the one for me! :hearts:

#13 inspiredbychaos

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 06:34 AM

That's great bunnybear! Yesterday was a better day for me as well, I actually felt good and more energetic later in the day, but I had a tiny bit of anxiety when i was outside and my new neighbor walked over to introduce herself. We talked for about 15 minutes, so that was a good thing, before cymbalta I would have made an excuse like dinner is on the stove after about 5 minutes if that long. So I will keep taking the cym for awhile. Thanks for the welcome and advice here, this forum is awesome. I'll keep you all updated as I go along this journey.

#14 MaddieLouise

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 09:22 AM

Bunnybear and Inspiredbychoas,

I'm happy to hear that you had a better day on day 2. I'm sure with each day you'll find that you will feel even better. I think we all have some idea that these medications should make us feel "happy", and maybe with time our moods will lift, but I'm not sure that's really their purpose. It's interesting that you felt that way on Paxil. These meds. have always made me just feel "even keel", which was needed. Keep us posted on your progress (like I'm some pro having been on it a whole month-ha!).

That's great bunnybear! Yesterday was a better day for me as well, I actually felt good and more energetic later in the day, but I had a tiny bit of anxiety when i was outside and my new neighbor walked over to introduce herself. We talked for about 15 minutes, so that was a good thing, before cymbalta I would have made an excuse like dinner is on the stove after about 5 minutes if that long. So I will keep taking the cym for awhile. Thanks for the welcome and advice here, this forum is awesome. I'll keep you all updated as I go along this journey.


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#15 Bon

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 10:35 PM

Today was much better for me, it was only my second day on cymbalta and I am already noticing my anxiety level going down! yay! I am really sensitive to drugs, so maybe that is why I notice so soon. Well, I hope that this med will finally be the one for me! :hearts:


This question is for Bunnybear. are you still taking the cymbalta, if so how are you doing on it.
I have been on it for 5 days now and still am getting headache and feeling very tired. Kind of spacey at times also.
Just wanted to see if you stuck with it and what were your side affects.
Any advice for me would be appreciated.
Bonnie

#16 bunnybear

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 11:06 PM

Today was much better for me, it was only my second day on cymbalta and I am already noticing my anxiety level going down! yay! I am really sensitive to drugs, so maybe that is why I notice so soon. Well, I hope that this med will finally be the one for me! :hearts:


This question is for Bunnybear. are you still taking the cymbalta, if so how are you doing on it.
I have been on it for 5 days now and still am getting headache and feeling very tired. Kind of spacey at times also.
Just wanted to see if you stuck with it and what were your side affects.
Any advice for me would be appreciated.
Bonnie





Hi Bonnie,
I have been on it for about two months. So far it has been working fine...I can control my anxiety better and haven't had many side effects except for some muscle twitches, and I also feel spacey and 'out of it' sometimes. It does get better the longer you stay on it though.
good luck to you! :)

#17 Bon

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:16 AM

Today was much better for me, it was only my second day on cymbalta and I am already noticing my anxiety level going down! yay! I am really sensitive to drugs, so maybe that is why I notice so soon. Well, I hope that this med will finally be the one for me! :hearts:


This question is for Bunnybear. are you still taking the cymbalta, if so how are you doing on it.
I have been on it for 5 days now and still am getting headache and feeling very tired. Kind of spacey at times also.
Just wanted to see if you stuck with it and what were your side affects.
Any advice for me would be appreciated.
Bonnie





Hi Bonnie,
I have been on it for about two months. So far it has been working fine...I can control my anxiety better and haven't had many side effects except for some muscle twitches, and I also feel spacey and 'out of it' sometimes. It does get better the longer you stay on it though.
good luck to you! :)

Thanks for your reply bunnybear, also I wanted to see about the weight issue. Have your gained or lost. I really don't need the gainning part of this.
Thanks again for your help
Bonnie

#18 Tbone

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:21 AM

Happy your feeing better...hope it continues that way!

I suffer from extreme anxiety, phobias, panic - in the 3 weeks I've been taking cymbalta, I have noticed a huge difference in my anxiety. I'm not as panicky or phobic as I was prior to starting this med. For example: in the last few years I have developed a driving phobia; especially on freeways, well yesterday I drove in the fast lane!!! not for long, but the point is I did it.

Weight has not been an issue so far. The only negative thing really are headaches. They are pretty intense and I have been taking headache tablets daily. I hear this is common while your body adjusts, so I'm not too worried; the trade off is worth it!

Hey Bon, I felt a lot like you do the first week. Very spacey, tired, lightheaded and just plain out of it at times, but that went away for the most part after about a week. I'm more relaxed than I have been in ages, so I do feel a bit more tired throughout the day, which I think is a combination of adjustment and dropping some of that anxious weight I've been carrying around. Hang in there, hopefully you'll start feeling better in a day or two.

#19 Tbone

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:26 AM

The end of my last post was meant for Bonnie.

Bon - happy it's working for you!!!

Edited by Jkm, 28 September 2007 - 11:41 AM.


#20 Jkm

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:52 AM

I was initially diagnosed with Panic Disorder and Major Depression about 5 years ago. My newer diagnosis is Generalized Anxiety. Everything makes me anxious, lol! I worry about it all!

I was first put on Lexapro and it took 7mo. to take the anxiety down by its self. Seven long months! I had to use a small dose of Ativan to keep things under control so I didn't have an anxiety attack to go into a panic state. When Cymbalta came along, I wanted to try it as I have a couple of things going on with pain, especially in my feet and legs. I knew I was taking a big gamble when I changed, but it's been over three years and no anxiety.

When I hit a trigger, I get a gently feel of anxiety, but then, that's it. I know it's bothering me, but I don't get all the physical responses and am able to sort whatever it is, out. I function just fine and don't need benzo's at all.

I don't know how long this anti-anxiety property takes and whether it helps everyone who is on Cymbalta. I think mine got reduced while on Lexparo and the med has a similar effect on brain chemistry that Lexapro did.

Maybe someone will also do a poll on this??

Jackie
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I have GAD. I worry about everything, lol!

#21 Bon

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 02:37 PM

The end of my last post was meant for Bonnie.

Bon - happy it's working for you!!!

Thank you Tbone your response really helps me. You are right this is my 5th day and I have had a headache every day. I think I will have to stick with 30mg. for a while before I go to 60mgs. I stopped by my pschy. office today and got more samples of the 30's. I ask him for a script to take 30 mg 2 times a day, but he said he didnt think my insurance company would do that since it does come in 60's. I am not too sure about that. I will have to check that out. Anyway he offered to give me a script for 20 mgs, but I took the sample for 30. I can always open them and take half. In fact I have been doing that for a few days. Still have headaches, but they are not as intense.
I was taking 150mgs. of zoloft and 300 of Wellbutrin together before this and never experieced anything like these headaches. I really thought cymbalta was these same as taking those two together.
Anyway, I appreciate everyone's words of encourgement.
Hope to hear for you all again. I need all the talking to I can get. LOL

I am Bon and Bonnie also Tbone. Sometimes I forget which name I am using on here.

Thanks again guys
Bonnie

#22 bunnybear

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:35 PM

Hi Bonnie,

I haven't gained any weight with cymbalata. I have been noticing in the last week a huge decrease in appetite...like I know that I need to eat because I feel weak but I just am not hungry. This is how I felt on WB too. But lexapro was the one that made me gain.
I still feel lightheaded and out of it, but I get that side effect all the time it seems like.
I haven't experienced the headaches at all on this med.
good luck with everything! :)

#23 bunnybear

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:39 PM

Happy your feeing better...hope it continues that way!

I suffer from extreme anxiety, phobias, panic - in the 3 weeks I've been taking cymbalta, I have noticed a huge difference in my anxiety. I'm not as panicky or phobic as I was prior to starting this med. For example: in the last few years I have developed a driving phobia; especially on freeways, well yesterday I drove in the fast lane!!! not for long, but the point is I did it.

Weight has not been an issue so far. The only negative thing really are headaches. They are pretty intense and I have been taking headache tablets daily. I hear this is common while your body adjusts, so I'm not too worried; the trade off is worth it!

Hey Bon, I felt a lot like you do the first week. Very spacey, tired, lightheaded and just plain out of it at times, but that went away for the most part after about a week. I'm more relaxed than I have been in ages, so I do feel a bit more tired throughout the day, which I think is a combination of adjustment and dropping some of that anxious weight I've been carrying around. Hang in there, hopefully you'll start feeling better in a day or two.





Hey Tbone,
I started getting the driving anxiety last year when I stopped taking lexapro. it was horrible! I hated having to pull over on the side of the highway to calm down! But the cymbalta has been helping with that problem! I know how you feel!

#24 Tbone

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 02:32 AM

Happy to hear cymbalta has helped with the driving, I'm hoping it helps get past that because even my kids question me about it.

#25 Jkm

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 10:59 AM

I know how bad I felt when my children wanted to go somewhere and I felt too anxious to drive. I was taking 3 girls to gymnastics and it was about 30mi. drive. Somehow, I made it! I really fought going on the the bigger roads... One night, I only had my daughter with me and it began to snow before we got out of the lesson. I tried driving and noticed that they snow trucks hadn't been out yet, but the traffic was moving well on the interstate, so I turned around and went up the ramp.

OMG! The visibility was only to the car's headlights in front of us and I knew that if this car went off the road, we were goners! There were hundreds of cars and I inched on. My heart was beating really fast, but there was no where to pull off, so I said a prayer and put my foot on the gas. I don't know if the salt trucks had been on this road, either, but we flew with the rest of the traffic. I was so scared! We stayed on until we got to the ramp for the big mall, and I got off and we went there so I could walk around and 'chill out'. The snow kept coming down, but I knew the salt trucks would cover our drive back home, so I did survive this experience!

After that, I lost the fear and anxiety. I guess you learn that you can get through these kinds of experiences. I think when you're dealing with anxiety, it really pays to work against the fears that bother you. I know it's like you have to unlearn the physical responses that anxiety makes your body go into. Meds really help, but fighting the 'fight or flight' response is well worth the battle. I refer to it as 'un-train your brain'. I know just driving around the block was a start for me and as time went by, venturing around the roads where I lived and eventually driving to the small store about a mile away was the goal. It's much easier to take someone along to talk to and distract you from the thoughts that get anxiety started was very helpful. I also had plenty of things in the car to distract myself with. I sang to the radio and had water and candy and would even stick my hand in my purse and see if I could identify what I was feeling...... Anything to distract myself from the negative thoughts that anxiety can make. It was like a work in progress, but it worked. :hearts:

Jackie
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I have GAD. I worry about everything, lol!




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