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Concerned Wife - Cymbalta And Abilify Success????


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9 replies to this topic

#1 stace

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 07:21 AM

Hi everyone,

I stumbled upon this forum as I was doing research on antidressants in my husbands behalf, I have a few questions that I sincerely hope someone can shed light on.

Has anyone used Abilify and cymbalta together and what are your thoughts of this combination? Has anyone seen an improvement with this combination? Does this combination cause you to be in a constant zombie state of being? Is there side effects of loosing interest in your favorite activities, family things that you once enjoyed doing and how is the sexual side effects of this combination?

I would really appreciate if someone could answer any or all of these questions. My husband was injured at work to the point that it will be a lifelong dabilitating injury. His dr. started him on 30mg of cymbalta 1 1/2 years ago and increased to 90mg 3 months ago. My concern started within the first 8 months that he was on cymbalta, he began side effects of low sexual desire and progressed into heartburn, sleeplessness at first then sleeping 18+ hrs a day, no desire to interact with family, friends, or life in general, he became so depressed that he was planning suicide (to the point that I was so concerned that I had him admitted from the ER) he is literally in a zombie state of mind 90% of the day 7 days a week and now there is little to no sexual function and the most frustrating and dangerous part of this is he was completely unaware of everything untll I sat him down and forced him to listen to me and get help before it was to late.. In the ER they suggested that his cymbalta be decreased gradually by adding abilify until he was completely off cymbalta and on Abilify. Unfortunately neither of us are familiar with antidressants because we've never had a need or knew anyone who did until now.

I know that cymbalta may work wonders on many people and I am happy for those people but at the same time in doing my reasearch I found many more negative feedback than good. I would just like to warn everyone to please talk to your doctor before you start this medication because as I understand not only are the side effects dabilitaing while on this med the withdrawl is painful, depressing (suicidal), and in some cases makes people loose their minds and down right dangerous not to mention there are cases of permenant side effects.

#2 Rich_30

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 08:45 AM

Hi Stace

I use Cymbalta, and while it's not a magic bullet, it helps me to cope, which I'm happy with.

I'm not a doctor, but it sounds as though this med definitely does not 'suit' your husband. As for researching pros and cons on the internet; ask yourself who is more likely to take the effort to write a post on a particular med: someone who has had a bad experience? Or somebody is feeling good on a med and getting on with their lives? The former, I suspect anyway. The internet is essentially a global complaints forum. I don't mean to sound patronising.

Everyone reacts differently to different anti-depressant meds, as you obviously know. I have no experience of Abilify, but trial and error is the only option I'm afraid. It does however sound to me like your husband was 'tried' on Cymbalta for far too long when it obviously wasn't for him.

For the record, my experience with 60mg Cymbalta is a little sexual disfunction (which can be controlled through by dosing at different times of the day), and not a great deal else. I have good days, and I have bad days, but it gives me base to move on. As I said, I can cope. With regards to coming off of it, I've read the horror stories as well, but when I last came off for a period, the withdrawal was no different to an SSRI... a few brain-zaps, some mild disorientation, and that was that. Completely manageable. And I don't count myself of one of the 'lucky ones', I just didn't feel sufficiently bad to come online and write an negative story about it!

I wish you and your husband the best of luck, and if you need any more advice/perspective, give me a shout.






#3 stace

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:39 AM

Hi Rich,

Thank you for your insight and the time you took to reply back to me. Congratualations on your success : ) I agree, people are more likely to post a negative experience far more easily than those who are doing well. As I said, with never having an experience with a situation such as this and antidepressants with my husband being the one effected a sence of despair sets in it is easy to believe what people are writing, it's been difficult to watch him decline so rapidly in such a short time and yes you are right again, he should've never been allowed to continue on this medication as long as he had when it clearly was not right for him, and he certainly shouldn't have had to resort to me forcing him to go to the ER. He will be seeing a Psych Dr. for the first time this week and I am hopeful that she will know what's best for him.

#4 IsoZeiss

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 10:26 PM

Was it a psychiatrist that suggested your husband eventually replace cymbalta with Abilify? Because Abilify technically is an anti-psychotic and not an anti-depressant. It is used mainly to treat mania in bipolar patients and schizophrenia. It could end up working out for him though. Abilify is often used as an adjunct to an antidepressant for treatment resistant depression. I think Abilify is less sedating than other anti-psychotics so he might fare better with it than cymbalta.
Humor can be a powerful tool.

The ability to make others laugh when you yourself are in pain shows there is hope. To have hope for yourself and for others to have hope in you.


"Yet why not say what happened?" - Robert Lowell

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#5 stace

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:31 AM

Hi Izo,

Yes, it was a phsychiatrist that recommended that he use Abilify to be weaned off Cymbalta. We did some research of our own and found that people actually did better with a Cymbalta/Wellbutrin combo with minimal side effects. So, we are going to talk to his dr. today about it. He wasn't really depressed to begin with he just had some coping issues with his injury it was the phsycologist that said he was depressed. Between the phsychologist and the pain management dr. they decided he should be on Cymbalta for pain and depression. He started at 30mg increasing to 90mg to quick for his body to adjust and I think that is what ultimately caused him to be depressed. Prior to this episode they were going to increase again to 120mg the highest dosage outside of what's recommended.

#6 starr

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:58 AM

Hi,

I just wanted to share that I am on zoloft/wellbutrin
and abilify and am doing really well. The abilify
was a lifesaver for me. It helps my other meds work
better and I have not had any side effects from it.
My diagnosis is depression/anxiety by the way. I
have never tried cymbalta but my psychiatrist said
she had only had marginal success with it. I hope
your husband feels better soon. You are really good
to care so much for him by doing this research.

best wishes,
starr

#7 stace

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:09 PM

Hi Starr,

Thank you for sharing what works for you, it is wonderful that you are doing so well on your meds, I have noticed in my research that many people have major issues finding the right combo and still don't feel 100%. He saw the dr. today and he is relunctantly weaning him off the Cymbalta and onto Wellbutrin and it may be that he'll need to add a suppliment to the wellbutrin in the future. We're going to take it day by day from here, It can be frustrating though when a dr. questions whether or not you know whats best for yourself or a loved one.

#8 RavensSilenced

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 04:38 PM

I don't even know what to say about Abilify and I need to add Celexa in here also. Those two drugs nearly killed me and though I am alive to tell the story they have basically destroyed the live I had.

Abilify was working fine and meds doctor decided to up dosage, in my opinion way too high all at once and at the same time add Celexa and discontinue the use of
Wellbutrin as I couldn't stand the constant ringing in my ears. Now I'm not a doctor and this was my first time taking any of this meds, but I did ask so I go off the
Wellbutrin gradually then start the Celexa which to me is just common sense? And she looked at me like I had a elephant standing on my head..and said "no, why would you need to do that?" So I trusted her professional judgement.

About 5 days later, I started feeling weak and anxious. Couldn't sleep, a strange pain in my neck and disoriented. So my daughter rushed me to the ER and 4 hours later I got lunch and two pills for anxiety and told oh it's just from going off the Wellbutrin. It all went downhill from there, I lost about 15 pounds and looked like a Zombie. This was not anxiety...it was life threatening.

Ten days later I was almost dead.

My daughter called to see if I was allright. I said yes and that I was going to be and would call her in the morning. I hung up the phone and walked to sit on the sofa to sleep as I couldn't lay down due to the pain in my neck. I never made it to the sofa. My entire body became ridge, my arms folded up to my chest and I hit the floor face down. I couldn't move any part of my body....nothing. For 7 hours I screamed for help...hoping that somebody in my apartment complex would here me. It was just after midnight when I hit the floor and it was 7:30 am when a neighbor coming down the stairs finally realized the screaming she had heard for over a hour was me and the television. A frantic 911 call, police and EMT's crashing through locked windows and I was rolled over. They thought I had a heart attack but there was no signs of that and I was raced to the ER.

Thankful for the ER doctor on duty as he told one look at me, asked when the last time I had passed urine and when I said oh, days ago. He sent nurses flying. I had Rhabdomylosis and he said if my neighbor had not found me I had about one hour to live. Everything was shut down and the kidneys were the first thing to go. The little bit of urine they managed to get out of me was the color of tar. I was raced to a major hospital in the city and back to my hospital where I stayed for five more weeks. At first they weren't sure I would ever walk again as there was so much muscle damage and because I had laid so long. I still could not walk when I was released from the hospital. I was admitted on Nov 2nd and never came home until Feb 14th. But because I had no insurance I was not able to go to rehab, I was basically told teach yourself how to walk. I was left with about 60% muscle tone and hardly any upper body strength, use a cane and because my body and face slammed the floor so hard and smacked my head/neck back it did damage (long story) I have brain tissue sliding into my neck, my hands and feet tingle constantly and some muscles never returned 100%...like facial muscle. I am not disabled and unable to work. Walking one block is exhausting.

Be careful of Abilify as it does not come right out and state that Rhabdomylosis is a side effect, it lists some of the things that are part of it. Celexa states that it does.

Also Lipitor also is one drug to be very careful of, I can't take any cholesterol lower drugs because they fall into the same category.




#9 stace

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 06:45 PM

Hi Raven,

I am not surprised by what you have shared at all and I am so sorry for the misery that you had to endure, I surely hope that over time you can regain your strength. I have always been dead against any medications that doctors offer for various conditions. I have always stuck to natural remedies and encourage others to do the same if it is an option for their situation. I went with my husband to his doctor appointment and spoke with the dr and explained that I respected his attempts to help my husband but I felt that he needed to come off the Cymbalta. He bucked a few moments and finally he gave in and he is weaning him slowly off Cymbalta and on to Wellbutrin as it comes with much fewer side affects than most when given alone.
I understand that there are many people that need these medications and do fantastic on them. I'm not degrading the medications or the doctors for that matter, however, I do feel that the manufacturers of these meds need to do more research of their own over a longer period of time as most companies claim they've done a six week study with a number of volunteers, and the doctors need to be more educated about the meds so that they can in turn educate their patients and allow the patient a choice.
I do feel that I may have lost my husband to this medication if I hadn't noticed the warning signs in time. I will monitor him closely as he makes his transition and during the time he is on any meds.
I wish you the absolute best.

#10 MsJany

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 05:49 PM

Hi Izo,

Yes, it was a phsychiatrist that recommended that he use Abilify to be weaned off Cymbalta. We did some research of our own and found that people actually did better with a Cymbalta/Wellbutrin combo with minimal side effects. So, we are going to talk to his dr. today about it. He wasn't really depressed to begin with he just had some coping issues with his injury it was the phsycologist that said he was depressed. Between the phsychologist and the pain management dr. they decided he should be on Cymbalta for pain and depression. He started at 30mg increasing to 90mg to quick for his body to adjust and I think that is what ultimately caused him to be depressed. Prior to this episode they were going to increase again to 120mg the highest dosage outside of what's recommended.

*********************

I had been on Cymbalta 120 mg and Wellbutrin 300 ER combo for many years. They worked great for me. However, like all the past AD I have taken, after 3 to 4 years
the effectiveness wears off. Usually I go up on doses but the doses are already high. This week I was started on Abilify 2 mg to increase to 5 mg. The Wellbutrin is
being tapered off and I will continue on the Cymbalta. So far the 2 mg of Abilify has made my eyes tired and for awhile I felt a bit zippy for about an hour. I have always
responded faster to meds than other people. I am hoping this combo works for me. I have been on all the other tried and trues. Nothing left but the new meds coming out.
I hope they keep making new ADs.





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