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Cymbalta Causing Brain Fog?


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#1 Pippin12

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:46 AM

Hi all, I'm a newbie here and it's great that there is a whole community dedicated to this stuff. I've been on 30mg Cymbalta for ten days and I've been suffering from a dense brain fog. I'm not sure whether it's the Cymbalta doing it - I've been on Zyprexa 20mg and Lamictal 75mg for years now. Anybody have any ideas?

#2 junebug01

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:35 AM

Hi Pippin,

I think it is a definite possibility the brain fog you describe is from the Cymbalta. I went through something very similar- spaciness, blurry vision at times, and an overall sense of just being out of it. It got better for me at about the 3 week mark. Hang in there and I bet it gets better soon! :happy:

#3 jimbow15

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:42 AM

Hi Pippin and Welcome to DF,

Well it does sound like the side effects of Cymbalta and it is not that uncommon. It always goes when you have achieved the effective dose level (therapeutic level) that suits you,

I can be annoying, however if you focus down on your work and get involved in activities you really love doing it does not bother you so much.

Best Wishes for a speedy recovery

jim Bow
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." Albert E.


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.

#4 Pippin12

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:05 AM

Thanks for your replies guys - it's good to know it goes away.

#5 MaddieLouise

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 07:52 PM

Pippin, I suffered from similar symptoms along with dry mouth, loss of appetite, nausea, headache (you name it), and at about the fourth week, I noticed the side effects slowly decreasing, until I just felt normal again (whatever that is). I've been on Cymbalta ever since (four years) and am very happy with it.

I hope you can tolerate it until you see the positive effects.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise
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#6 Pippin12

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:05 PM

Thankyou for your reply MaddieLouise. I'm going to do my best to stick it out for at least a few weeks more. So far, apart from the brain fog there have been few side effects at 30mg (loss of appetite is one but I like that) - no nausea, a bit of a headache and a dry mouth and that's all. It was a different story on 60mg though. I only lasted three days on that dose as it was giving me intense exhilarating head rushes and ramping up my anxiety. It felt like a street drug ( ecstasy or speed) - crazy. 30mg doesn't do that to me though. I'm pretty sensitive to meds I think.

#7 MaddieLouise

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:11 PM

I felt increased anxiety every time I increased the dosage, but it could be that 30 mg. is all you need. I hope it goes well for you and keep us posted!
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#8 Pippin12

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 02:36 AM

Hi all, well the brain fog is continuing. I'm sure it's the Cymbalta causing it - it's too much of a coincidence that it started happening when I started taking it. It's so intense now that I'm unable to work or focus on my daily activities - it's really quite disabling. I've been on the Cymbalta for 2 weeks today and don't want to throw all that away by stopping taking it. Immediately prior to this I tried Prozac and then Lustral but the side effects of both were to great to continue with them. I really don't know what to do. I guess I'm just hoping that it passes soon. Any ideas?

#9 Pippin12

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:54 AM

I forgot to add that my anxiety has really been ramping up too. I'm so scared all the time it's awful. Does this medication really help anxiety - I do so hope so as it's more of a problem for me than the depression. I was on Lexapro but was taken off it because apparently it causes cardiac problems in high doses and I was on a lot. My doc tried me on Prozac but the side effects were way too bad and then on Zoloft but that was even worse. So this is my third change of meds in 4 weeks. I think my brain doesn't know what's hit it. Just so so scared and so foggy.

#10 junebug01

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:29 AM

So sorry to hear you are struggling Pippin12. As I mentioned before, I had similar experiences to what you are describing. I was also prescribed Lorazepam (Ativan) to use as I needed it when I first started Cymbalta, maybe you could check with your doctor to see about something like that? And for me, yes the Cymbalta does help with anxiety, tremendously- but not until the 3 week mark or so. Unfortunately we have to go through this intial period of hell (best way I can describe it) before we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then it gets better each day. Hang in there and please let us know how you are doing. :hugs:

#11 Pippin12

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:07 AM

Thankyou for your kind reply junebug01. Unfortunately I can't take any benzodiazepines as I was hooked on valium for a period of years and only came off them totally two years ago. I take great strength from your comment that the anxiety improved for you at the three week mark though. That means I would only need to go through this for another week. Of course it may take longer, as we're all different, but it gives me that most valuable of all things - hope.

#12 junebug01

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:12 AM

Well I sincerely hope you start noticing some changes very soon Pippin, I know it's no fun and it seems like time is at a standstill waiting for it to kick in. I'll be praying for you!

#13 mommell

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:28 PM

I was about to post a question about my side effects ffrom Cymbalta, but after reading the posts from Pippin12 and the responses from Junebug01, I feel relieved that the same symptoms Pippin12 is experiencing, I am, too.

I started out on 20 mg of Cymbalta on March 10 and changed to 30 mg on March 23; so, a total of about 3 1/2 weeks. This is the 7th or 8th AD I've tried; all the others gave me terrible side effects, so my doctor changed me to Cymbalta. The side effects I'm experiencing are brain fog and fear of everything, and I really don't want to get out of bed in the morning. Actually, I'm still depressed, but not quite at the same level as before.

I have to keep busy and I run from one thing to another, because I feel much better when I'm around people and either volunteering or taking a class.

My oldest daughter committed suicide on 12/24/2009, and it took a year and a half (on April 7, 2011, her birthday) to become depressed. Any feedback will be very much appreciated.

#14 Pippin12

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:51 PM

Hi Mommell, really sorry to hear you're going through it too. It's no wonder you became depressed after suffering such a terrible tragedy as your daughters death. My heart goes out to you. Hopefully the side effects of the Cymbalta will wear off for you soon and you'll start getting the benefit of it. Keep posting and let us know how you get on. Good luck and best wishes.

Edited by Pippin12, 03 April 2012 - 07:52 PM.


#15 MaddieLouise

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:35 PM

Do you take your Cymbalta in the morning or before you go to bed?
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#16 Pippin12

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:41 AM

I take it in the morning.

#17 Pippin12

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:22 AM

Still suffering badly from the brain fog and anxiety. I was meant to meet a friend in town yesterday but I had a panic attack as i was about to get on the bus so I had to come home. I was thinking about it and I didn't experience any brain fog when I was on 60mg strangely enough. Other side effects though. Today I've done an experiment and taken two 30mg tablets at different times to see whether I can tolerate the 60mg better taking them that way. I want to see if this works before i approach my doctor to change my prescription again. Wish me luck.

#18 junebug01

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:50 AM

Let us know how that works for you Pippin. I take mine in the morning too, and back in the beginning when I was having the symptoms you are having, my dr. really pushed that I try taking it at night. I decided at the time to not do it just because I was afraid it would mess with my sleep. Thankfully right around that time was when the side effects started diminishing. Do you have a particular time of day that you notice the fogginess/anxiety is worse? I always had a general feeling of spaciness, however it seemed to get worse the later in the day it got.

#19 Pippin12

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:27 PM

Hi Junebug, thankyou so much for your reply. Well I tried splitting my dose but I think I took them too close together - I should have left 12 hours between doses to really tell I think. My fogginess and anxiety are worse in the morning a few hours after my dose. I wonder if that means i should take it in the evening. Like you however I'm a bit concerned it will interfere with my sleep. Hmmm...food for thought... I see my psychiatrist so rarely - my next appointment is two months away so i feel like I'm operating in the dark here. I'm in the UK and the NHS is a fantastic free service but psychiatric services are pretty poor - chronically underfunded and understaffed.They're callled the 'Cinderella Service' here.

I really hope you're well Junebug

Take care

Px

Edited by Pippin12, 06 April 2012 - 01:32 PM.


#20 junebug01

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 02:07 PM

It might not hurt for you to try taking it in the evening and see how it goes, I know there a lot of people that do. In fact my dr. was surprised that I wasn't taking it at night, she acted like most people took it in the evening.

Sorry to hear about your experiences with the services in the UK. I have been fortunate to find a good doctor over here in the US and it has helped me tremendously to know that I can contact her whenever I feel like I need to. But my sister-in-law works in the mental health field and is seeing budget cuts all over the place. Such a sad thing to see.

#21 Pippin12

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:57 AM

I'm glad you've got a good doctor Junebug - that makes all the difference. I still haven't tried taking my tablet in the evening yet - I'm a bit scared to try it. I went out today and had a panic attack when I was doing my shopping. Horrible. Just living in hope it gets better soon. It'll be three weeks on tuesday since I started it. It's got to get better soon right?

#22 junebug01

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:13 AM

I dont blame you on being scared to try it at night, I was too. I really do believe it will get better for you. Just wish you didn't have too wait so long to see your doctor to get your questions answered. Hang in there Pippin.

#23 Pippin12

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:00 PM

Thankyou Junebug. Well, good news, today has been a much better day. I've not had any brain fog at all and my anxiety has been much less too. It's been three weeks today since I started on the Cymbalta. Today i was able to go into town and do some shopping and also go to the hairdressers and get my hair cut. Going to the hairdresser makes me quite anxious anyway so it was a big achievement today. I really hope this is the start of things turning around for me. I'm so hopeful!

#24 junebug01

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:26 PM

Great!!! :thumbs-up: I'm so glad you having a better day today! I pray it's the start of many, many of them for you!

#25 Pippin12

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:58 PM

Well the last couple of days have not been so good. My psych (over the phone) has increased my dose to 30mg twice a day as I've been feeling really quite depressed. Today was my first day of the new dose (apart from the little experiment I did a week ago). I really hope this increase doesn't mean the brain fog and high anxiety come back... Wish me luck!

#26 MaddieLouise

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:22 PM

Hi Pippin12,

I do hope spreading out the dosage a little bit will help, while not getting a recurrence of feeling lightheaded and increased anxiety. I've heard that staying well hydrated is a good strategy since Cymbalta is a time release capsule. It shouuld help if you have dry mouth. The fact that you saw a day of relief is a good sign of what's to come (I think), so I hope you can stay with it.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise
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#27 Pippin12

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:13 AM

Thanks MaddiieLouise. I'm determined to stick with it. As you say I am encouraged by the fact that I had a good day this week. Hopefully there'll be many more to come. Thanks again for your reply.

Px

#28 MaddieLouise

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:18 AM

I admire your perseverence!
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#29 junebug01

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:36 AM

I agree with you both, the fact that you had a good day is encouraging. I wish you luck on the 60 mg. When I bumped up to 90 I didn't notice much at all in terms of side effects so I hope for the same with you Pippin.

#30 Pippin12

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:52 AM

Hi Junebug, thankyou so much for your reply. No brain fog today but my anxiety was quite bad. Still, it's been copable with so I won't complain too much. As long as the brain fog stays away I'll be a very happy bunny!

#31 junebug01

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:08 PM

Hi Pippin, hope you have had a good weekend with less anxiety. It sounds like you are starting to turn a corner. :)

#32 Pippin12

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:17 AM

Hi Junebug, yes I had a good weekend thankyou. The anxiety was far less and I didn't have any brain fog at all. That made six whole days with no brain fog! Unfortunately this morning it was worse than it's ever been. It just makes me feel so anxious as everything seems so unreal and I worry I will lose control and have a total breakdown. I don't know why it came back but I'm hoping it's just a blip. How are you doing Junebug? I really hope you're well.

Pxxx

#33 junebug01

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:33 AM

Mornings were always the worst for me too, I remember I would wake up in the morning and start trying to get ready for the day, and the anxiety would creep in almost immediately. I don't have that anymore but I do still have my ups and downs. Towards the end of the week last week I was struggling some with the anxiety- not nearly as bad as I'd had before but it was just 'there'. I have a little commute to and from work and I think just sitting there let's my mind wander and brings the negative thoughts in. Thankfully I had a pretty good weekend too and am doing fine this morning. I know it's hard but be patient, your body and mind (and mine too) is still trying to adjust to this drug. Today starts the 9th week that I have been on Cymbalta.

#34 Pippin12

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:59 PM

Well I've taken a turn for the worse. I've been a week on 60mg and the side effects are awful.Anxiety, terrible headache, intense brain fog and a feeling like I'm going to go completely mad. All evening yesterday i was afraid I would have to be institutionalised and that fear is still with me today. It's been a month in total since I started on the cymbalta and I really don't want to throw it all away with the progress I've made on it till now, but I'm just so afraid I'm going to lose it big time. I really don't know what to do. I'm hoping it's just a blip and will get better soon.

#35 Pippin12

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:07 PM

I forgot to mention that for a few seconds several times a day I get an intense feeling of euphoria. Not that I'm complaining about that but it seems strange considering how awful I'm feeling the rest of the time!

#36 junebug01

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:27 AM

I am so sorry to hear of your struggles Pippin. So how long have you been on the 60mg now? I have the euphoric feelings every once in a while too, it is strange but like you said I will take that over the alternative.

#37 Pippin12

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:37 AM

Hi Junebug, thankyou so so much for replying, it really helps to know I'm not alone with all of this. I've been on 60mg since last thursday - so seven days. Hey - you get the euphoria too eh? That's definitely a fringe benefit of these meds lol! Today has turned out to be so much better than yesterday thankfully. I've had the brain fog this afternoon but none this morning and hardly any anxiety all day either. That meant I was able to leave the house this morning and go shopping - something I just couldn't do yesterday. I've felt in a really positive frame of mind too. Hopefully this means that yesterday was just a blip. Hope I'm not tempting fate there... How are you doing Junebug? Hope you're getting on ok. x

#38 junebug01

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:26 PM

Super! So glad you are having a good day today. Seems like you a really experiencing some ups and downs with this med but it's really going to get better and you'll start having more days of ups and less of downs. I've been doing great this week so not sure what last week was all about. Yes the euphoric feeling is really kind of strange isn't it? It's funny, I'll just be sitting at my desk at work and all of the sudden feel so great about life! Definitely not something I usually associate with my job! :smilingteeth:

#39 Pippin12

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:01 PM

Thanks Junebug. Really glad you've been doing well this week. Yes, I'm really going through some ups and downs with the Cymbalta. Sometimes I think we have to endure some bad initial side effects if we're on an antidepressant which actually does something (I've been on a few which didn't seem to do anything to help with my anxiety and depression and had no startup effects either).
What you said about the euphoric feeling when at work made me smile - I guess that's what they mean when they say some antidepressants make you 'better than well' lol. Take care hun,

Pxxx

#40 junebug01

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:22 PM

I couldn't agree with you more, as terrible as the start up effects were, I am so glad I stuck with it because it was worth it to feel better.




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