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Coming Off Cymbalta


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#1 mabear2

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 12:35 AM

Hi, I came across this website today while looking for "typical" withdrawal symptoms of Cymbalta. It was great to read that some of the things I am going through are somewhat normal for some and that I am not about to fall off the deep end!

To give a little history, I suffer from chronic pain and am awaiting surgery on something that the medical field has overlooked for over 1/2 a decade and still consider "benign"! It has been a long fight mentally, physically and emotionally, but one that I am optimistic to report may have been worth the fight! Thankfully I am very stubborn and I spend a lot of time researching alternatives to regaining my life back and by going off the cocktails of drugs that I have been prescribed (right up to ratio-fetanyl - opiate derivitive), spinal injections and Medial Branch Blocks that, to my pain specialists, would be part of my life and that I had to learn to "live with it". This statement alone was enough to provoke the fighter in me!

I have been on anti-depressants for some time now and didn't find much helped me, but I also think it's because I went from being a very active person, to not being able to walk for more than 10 minutes without pain, so for me, it was situational. I also suffered from insomnia and did not sleep for more than 3-5 hours intermittently a night for the last 6+ years, so this impacted my pain levels, which subsequently impacted my feelings of depression.

I went off all of my prescription drugs over the summer, and although my pain continues, my mind is free from the fogginess that made it difficult for me to live my life daily and parent my children. At the same time, I switched to taking Cymbalta from Wellbutrin as it was felt it would help with neuropathic pain and a diagnosis (wrongly) of fibromyalgia. Over the last few months, I have found myself to be suffering from a more severe depression than ever before and fighting suicide ideation - something that I have always been in control of. When I spoke to my GP about this and indicated my concerns, I was simply told to wean myself from the Cymbalta (taking it every 2 days, then 3, then slowly working myself off of it. My GP did not do a suicide assessment which is generally standard procedure when a patient reveals suicidal ideation. I think he knows how stubborn I am though and knows full well I wouldn't make any attempts!

However, that being said, and my short story being told, since being off the Cymbalta, which by the way, I went off cold turkey one week ago; I have had some major incidencees of depression, I have cut myself off from family and friends on a few days wanting only to be alone, I have episodes of "buzzing" in my head where I look in certain directions and it feels like my head is going to explode and/or the buzzing in my ears is intense, dizziness, I have intense cravings for food where I eat and eat and do not feel fulfilled, and I have relatively little energy or desire to do anything but lay in bed. Does this sound about right for those who have gone off Cymbalta? How long do these symptoms last and are there any more that I can expect?

Is there anything I can do to help alleviate some of these symptoms? Obviously the "buzzing" is annoying and disturbing, but my biggest concern of course is the prolonged sense of depression. My body feels "hyper-active" right now where I feel like I'm going through "aches and shakes" so I'm assuming my nervous system has been impacted more than normal, I'm wondering if this is from coming off of the Cymbalta as well.

Any feedback I can get would be much appreciated. I have two young children at home and outside of my husband, I have very little family support as we live far away from everyone. My daughter said to me tonight that "I'm never happy" which near broke my heart. I can't let this affect my family for much longer, depression really does have an impact on those around you!

Thanks for reading...

#2 BetterOff

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 01:27 AM

Hello, just wanted you to know that I too stopped taking Cymbalta, and it was an abrupt stop. I developed a rash on it and thats an indication that I am allergic to the medication so I stopped it asap and went to a different AD. Um, I dont think depression is side effect for coming off any AD i.e. I dont personally think (and I may well be wrong and if so another DFer will chime in) the cymbalta is *causing* the depression, instead I think it was helping the depression and now that you have stopped the med, depression is creeping back real fast. I did develope a bussing in my ears that went away pretty quickly, but Cymbalta is not one of the harsher AD's to take and its withdrawals are suppose to be pretty mild from what my pdoc told me and also it depends on how long you were on the medication. I was on it for three months and stopped abruptly and really the only side effect I have had has been the bussing in my ears now and then. I really do think you may need to consider remaining on an AD and talk to your doctor about this because I have never heard (again I may be wrong here as not a professional) depression being a side effect of withdrawing from an AD. I have see lots of complaints of withdrawal effects on all mind-altering medications but not depression as one of them, though I have heard of people coming off an AD and depression slowly coming back sometimes fast even.
I look at this as a sign that you may well need to stay on an AD. Also I find you message a *bit* confusing because you say for months and months you have been suffering from severe depression and then you say you got off cymbalta and are still having sever depression the past week so actually it appears that you have had *constant* severe depression for a while. My opinion that is non-professional is that you do need some help for depression and maybe cymbalta or wellbutrin (which I dont care for myself, tried it and hated it) is not the one for you but another may well be. Dont forget you have to *play* with a dosage just right. You cant just take the doctors prescription and go get the med at one dosage and expect to get it right at the beginning, instead you have to up the dosage if its not working for you til you hit the proper mgs. Often doctors start patients out on low dosages and then slowly increase the dosage until the patient says they are *there* i.e. its kicked in and they are feeling good.

Anyway I hope I havent offended, but its hard to see the forest for the trees when looking from the inside out so to speak than observing from the outside in. I appluade your efforts to get off all the medications you were taking, however I cant see an AD causing depression as a withdrawal effect, instead i think its depression creeping back in. I dont know your dosage but I think you were underdosed on cymbalta as it is known to have effects on reducing pain as well as an anti-depressant. I was on cymbalta 60 mg for a while and that is considered *the* beginning dose for depression, I wonder if you were not at 30mg which is sub-par for treating depression? Am curious if you will respond please as to what mg you were on. If only 30 mg methinks you were underdosed and when underdosed an AD does *nothing* for you at all... you have to hit that just right threshold... not to much and not too little. Again this is where your doctor comes into play, you have to tell him 30 mg is doing nothing for you and can you please have a dosage increase. Naturally if you are admittedly stubborn, if you tell your doctor you want off the medication then he must acceed to your wishes. I just hope you are doing the right thing and stubborness is not preventing you from trying a higher dose.
Good luck and best wishes...
Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#3 Trace

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:58 AM

Hi mabear2

Coming off cold turkey can have some severe side effects and can have a lot to do with how you are feeling at the moment. I really hope that you start to feel better soon. Please check out the Cymbalta Room, as there is a ton of information and support in there.
Please make yourself feel at home.

Trace
Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind.... Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world. - A course of miracles.

True beauty must come, must be grown, from within.... - Ralph W Trine.



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#4 mabear2

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 04:19 AM

Hi mabear2

Coming off cold turkey can have some severe side effects and can have a lot to do with how you are feeling at the moment. I really hope that you start to feel better soon. Please check out the Cymbalta Room, as there is a ton of information and support in there.
Please make yourself feel at home.

Trace



Thanks Trace, I will look for the Cymbalta Room!

#5 lindahurt

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 08:07 AM

Hi mabear2 and welcome to DF. I want to say we are glad to have you apart of DF. Its a wonderful community of members suffering with mental health issues as you are so you among kindred folks who can identify with you. Betteroff and Trace have already shared some enlightening info with you so do browse and check out the other resources available. I hope that you find them helpful. Please make yourself comfortable and let us here more from you.

Lindahurt
Even in the most horrific of situations, one's attitude has an enormous role in shaping what happens ~ Viktor Frankl
In you lies the power to choose, to commit - Stephen Convey

 
The kind of person you want to become is greatly influence by your inner decisions, and not from outside influence alone. We can even under adverse circumstances, decide what shall become of us ~ Brian C. Stiller



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#6 mabear2

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 01:19 PM

Hello, just wanted you to know that I too stopped taking Cymbalta, and it was an abrupt stop. I developed a rash on it and thats an indication that I am allergic to the medication so I stopped it asap and went to a different AD. Um, I dont think depression is side effect for coming off any AD i.e. I dont personally think (and I may well be wrong and if so another DFer will chime in) the cymbalta is *causing* the depression, instead I think it was helping the depression and now that you have stopped the med, depression is creeping back real fast. I did develope a bussing in my ears that went away pretty quickly, but Cymbalta is not one of the harsher AD's to take and its withdrawals are suppose to be pretty mild from what my pdoc told me and also it depends on how long you were on the medication. I was on it for three months and stopped abruptly and really the only side effect I have had has been the bussing in my ears now and then. I really do think you may need to consider remaining on an AD and talk to your doctor about this because I have never heard (again I may be wrong here as not a professional) depression being a side effect of withdrawing from an AD. I have see lots of complaints of withdrawal effects on all mind-altering medications but not depression as one of them, though I have heard of people coming off an AD and depression slowly coming back sometimes fast even.
I look at this as a sign that you may well need to stay on an AD. Also I find you message a *bit* confusing because you say for months and months you have been suffering from severe depression and then you say you got off cymbalta and are still having sever depression the past week so actually it appears that you have had *constant* severe depression for a while. My opinion that is non-professional is that you do need some help for depression and maybe cymbalta or wellbutrin (which I dont care for myself, tried it and hated it) is not the one for you but another may well be. Dont forget you have to *play* with a dosage just right. You cant just take the doctors prescription and go get the med at one dosage and expect to get it right at the beginning, instead you have to up the dosage if its not working for you til you hit the proper mgs. Often doctors start patients out on low dosages and then slowly increase the dosage until the patient says they are *there* i.e. its kicked in and they are feeling good.

Anyway I hope I havent offended, but its hard to see the forest for the trees when looking from the inside out so to speak than observing from the outside in. I appluade your efforts to get off all the medications you were taking, however I cant see an AD causing depression as a withdrawal effect, instead i think its depression creeping back in. I dont know your dosage but I think you were underdosed on cymbalta as it is known to have effects on reducing pain as well as an anti-depressant. I was on cymbalta 60 mg for a while and that is considered *the* beginning dose for depression, I wonder if you were not at 30mg which is sub-par for treating depression? Am curious if you will respond please as to what mg you were on. If only 30 mg methinks you were underdosed and when underdosed an AD does *nothing* for you at all... you have to hit that just right threshold... not to much and not too little. Again this is where your doctor comes into play, you have to tell him 30 mg is doing nothing for you and can you please have a dosage increase. Naturally if you are admittedly stubborn, if you tell your doctor you want off the medication then he must acceed to your wishes. I just hope you are doing the right thing and stubborness is not preventing you from trying a higher dose.
Good luck and best wishes...


Hi BetterOff,
Thanks for your input, I was on 60 mg and it was not worth it to me to fiddle around with the dosage, and I am not being self-deprecating when I say it's not worth it - I just don't think the side effects and seemingly minimal results of being on Cymbalta was worth it. I am aware of my depression and recognize that it is largely related to many situational factors in my life including my pain levels, which have been extremely high over the last few months (for obvious reasons of coming off all pain meds), having to put my career on hold, not being able to be the active person/mother that I am accustomed too and other mitigating factors that are associated with living with a chronic pain condition.

I understand that anti-depressants do not increase or cause depression, however, there is research that indicates that some AD's do increase suicide ideation among some users so my thoughts are not that it was causing my depression, but certainly having a more profound effect on my mental state of being.

I am a very stubborn person and refuse to let myself feel severe depression for extended periods of time - if I indicated that I was suffering from severe depression, it was more in reference to the increased periods of which I felt I was suffering from it, but it is certainly not a daily occurrence for me to be feeling "severe". I do a lot of cognitive behavioural therapy for myself (I am a trained practitioner) and wake up every morning starting fresh and setting my affirmations for the day. I have many great supports when I utilize them and my close family and friends recognize that when I withdraw from them, it's not personal and I just need space to bring myself back together. I am not suicidal, although there has certainly been ideations, given the same situation, I challenge anyone not to think things could be easier. However, I value my life, my family and friends too much to consider ever harming myself. I also spend a lot of time researching things so I have a better understanding of what I am dealing with and knowing there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, helps propel me through every day, it just may be some days are a longer journey through the tunnel than others.

So again, thanks for your input, I was looking more for feedback on the side effects of coming off Cymalta and how long I can expect to be suffering with withdrawal type symptoms.




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