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Cymbalta Withdrawal And How To Cope


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Brainzaps,

I think you have the right attitude and all you can do is keep trying to make each day a little better by staying occupied and not obsessing about withdrawal.

The fact that today you felt neither anxious nor depressed indicates some progress in my opinion.

Hang in there!

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

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The nausia was very bad for mé also. I just tried to eat whenever I could.

I been of for about 5 weeks. And are experincing panic attacs - I have good reason to be feeling like crap - how ever the panic is terrible! I really hope to stay of Cymbalta since the withdrawel was hellish.., whats a Girl to dó.....

I also experienced panic attacks, but they did subside, so I hope that you can see some relief in about a few more weeks. I'd certainly keep in touch with your Dr.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

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This forum has been good for me to read through. Thank you, everyone.

I will never understand why doctors so casually prescribe drugs. I was placed on 60mg Cymbalta for depression and anxiety a bit less than a year ago; assured it was the best drug out there, with the fewest side effects. It worked for the chronic anxiety, but the way it accomplished that was by making me too tired to feel anything. I slept 12-15 hours a day, and when I was up, could not get out of my own way, yawned constantly, and accumulated a huge amount of guilt for not getting anything done. I gained at least 20 lbs., mostly around the middle...and if you think about it, that's darned depressing in itself.

I have no medical insurance and this stuff is very expensive. I was assured there were always samples available, and to just let the office know when I needed more. Ooops, not the case, and I had to shell out some big bucks because, as you know, it's not advisable to just stop taking the drug. I finally reached the end of my rope; couldn't get any samples, my sliding-scale application was denied so no help there and no money to pay out of pocket.

Cold turkey time, brain zaps and extreme dizziness which caused me to lose my balance while climbing to the tailgate of my husband's truck, resulting in a broken wrist.

Eighteen days since I went cold turkey and still having brain zaps and dizziness, causing me to wonder what on earth this drug did to my brain!!!! And will I be in withdrawal forever? Some days are better than others, a fact I don't understand. Yesterday I was dizzy all day, today just every so often, and that's how it's been. Just when I think it's going away, Bam! It comes back with a vengeance. I will never take another ssri. I'd rather deal with honest anxiety and depression than ill-understood drugs.

I would have weaned myself off if I could have; couldn't afford the prescription in the first place, and now I have to pay for the broken wrist...ER alone was $1000; still haven't gotten the bill from the orthopedist for their xrays and the cast. My SS stipend is shrinking rapidly!

Thank you for listening. It helps in some basic and visceral way to be able to talk.

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Hi, I am so happy I found this site. I've been taking Cymbalta for pain for the last 6mo or more and did not care for the side affects. Originally, my doctor decided to move me up from Lexapro to Cymbalta hoping to help with the pain. Personally, I didn't notice any difference. So about 2wks ago I had decided to end my relationship with Cymbalta due to the side affects. My doctor told me to finish the last week of 60mg and then take 30mg for a week and I'd be fine afterwards.

OMG--it's been 3days now and I feel like I am losing my mind! I never knew of the brain zaps, but someone else who had gotten off of Cymbalta called them the "vit-vits". Brain zaps definitely describe the feeling I am having better than anything. I'm also nervous,have vertigo, can't sit still, legs shaking and feeling depressed (and I was never depressed before). And, I'm worried about driving as I have to go to work everyday and not enjoying that either.

Ugh....any idea how long this ordeal will last? Any natural products to help ease the zaps?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.....

Ktab

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Hi, I am so happy I found this site. I've been taking Cymbalta for pain for the last 6mo or more and did not care for the side affects. Originally, my doctor decided to move me up from Lexapro to Cymbalta hoping to help with the pain. Personally, I didn't notice any difference. So about 2wks ago I had decided to end my relationship with Cymbalta due to the side affects. My doctor told me to finish the last week of 60mg and then take 30mg for a week and I'd be fine afterwards.

OMG--it's been 3days now and I feel like I am losing my mind! I never knew of the brain zaps, but someone else who had gotten off of Cymbalta called them the "vit-vits". Brain zaps definitely describe the feeling I am having better than anything. I'm also nervous,have vertigo, can't sit still, legs shaking and feeling depressed (and I was never depressed before). And, I'm worried about driving as I have to go to work everyday and not enjoying that either.

Ugh....any idea how long this ordeal will last? Any natural products to help ease the zaps?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.....

Ktab

Oh....and did I tell you about the ringing in my ears? It's unbearable and inhibits me from sleeping......

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Hi Guys,

I've been contemplating going off Cymbalta for a few months now. I've been on 60mg for at least 4 years. Although I feel fine, except for a few side effects (I can't handle the bad dreams at night and sometimes that affects how I feel during the day). My doctor told me not to stop cold turkey as the withdrawal symptoms are very bad (and I have first hand experience with that as my daughter did and went through hell). Skipping tablets by taking them every other day doesn't really work either because the lifespan of a tablet is about 12 hours and as soon as you skip a tablet you start going into withdrawal. I have, over the past 43 days, been tapering mine (please don't laugh) by opening the tablet and by counting the little grains inside. There are more or less 600 grains in a 60mg tablet (I've counted). Every 10 days I've made it 10% or 60 grains less (ok this is where the counting comes , you don't have to count every tablet, just remove 60 grains) but to this day, and I am now on 30mg, I have'nt had any withdrawal symptoms at all and I'm feeling fine, no depression, no panic attacks what so ever and I don't even dream so much anymore! I'm going to stay on 30mg for about 2 weeks to see if I feel ok, and if so I will start "counting" again till I'm off completely. I know it a lot of work and you need a lot of patience counting those little grains, but it's definately worth it.

Rmap23, the worse thing you can be on for Bipolar is Cymbalta. It will make it 100% worse. My daughter, which I mentioned above, was on Cymbalta and for a few years now her lifes been really bad. She's been put on the correct medication for Bipolar (Seroquel) and she's a different person.

Hope that helps!

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Ktab: when I went from 30 mg to zero I experienced zaps and headace and dizzynesd and bad nausia for 2-3 weeks. I had to stay home from work in the beginning. I dident trust my self to drive for 2-3 weeks.

Now it has been about 6 weeks and I am experiecing panic - but try to tell myself that now of the meds I need to learn other ways to cope.

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MaddieLouise: thanks for your comment :-) When did you stop experiencing panic? Wich I assume you did since you advice me to hang in there...

I have a therepist that I see - my doc is not very helpfull - I know he would just suggest going back om my meds - and I really want to give myself a fair chance to stay of.

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Woman32,

I misunderstood you, because I thought you had gone back on Cymbalta! I'm still on it, but had anxiety episodes in the beginning as a start-up side effect.

So sorry! I know if you read other posts in this topic, you will see where many people experienced anxiety and panic. Even though your therapist is helpful, you should find an MD that you like while you go through this tapering off Cymbalta because it can be very unpleasant.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

Edited by MaddieLouise
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Hi Guys,

I've been contemplating going off Cymbalta for a few months now. I've been on 60mg for at least 4 years. Although I feel fine, except for a few side effects (I can't handle the bad dreams at night and sometimes that affects how I feel during the day). My doctor told me not to stop cold turkey as the withdrawal symptoms are very bad (and I have first hand experience with that as my daughter did and went through hell). Skipping tablets by taking them every other day doesn't really work either because the lifespan of a tablet is about 12 hours and as soon as you skip a tablet you start going into withdrawal. I have, over the past 43 days, been tapering mine (please don't laugh) by opening the tablet and by counting the little grains inside. There are more or less 600 grains in a 60mg tablet (I've counted). Every 10 days I've made it 10% or 60 grains less (ok this is where the counting comes , you don't have to count every tablet, just remove 60 grains) but to this day, and I am now on 30mg, I have'nt had any withdrawal symptoms at all and I'm feeling fine, no depression, no panic attacks what so ever and I don't even dream so much anymore! I'm going to stay on 30mg for about 2 weeks to see if I feel ok, and if so I will start "counting" again till I'm off completely. I know it a lot of work and you need a lot of patience counting those little grains, but it's definately worth it.

Rmap23, the worse thing you can be on for Bipolar is Cymbalta. It will make it 100% worse. My daughter, which I mentioned above, was on Cymbalta and for a few years now her lifes been really bad. She's been put on the correct medication for Bipolar (Seroquel) and she's a different person.

Hope that helps!

Koenoes,

No one will laugh at you for doing that! I've read where others have done the same thing, and this method actually seems to work well, although wow! That's a lot of work, but probably worth the effort.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

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Brainzaps,

I think you have the right attitude and all you can do is keep trying to make each day a little better by staying occupied and not obsessing about withdrawal.

The fact that today you felt neither anxious nor depressed indicates some progress in my opinion.

Hang in there!

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

Thank you for the supporting words. Since my last post I have been increasingly anxious and depressed. Then my Step father died on Wednesday after a long battle with cancer and I'm all messed up. I'm going to tough it and go through this grieving process before making any decisions regarding antidepressants. I believe this whole thing has more to do with low self esteem and self trust. I want so badly to get better even though every sensation I feel is of defeat. But I have been here before and maybe, just maybe this is the final cycle. I have too many reasons to win.

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I have been totally off Cymbalta since July 11, having tapered down from 90mg. over a 3 week period. As I stated previously, I also stopped taking Percocet during the same time. I felt really awful..weak, nauseous, etc for about 3 weeks. I am so much better the last few days. So there is hope. I feel like a new person. Since I was already feeling so bad I also decided to wean myself off of Xanax .5mg @ HS. I weaned to .25 for a week (at the suggestion of my Dr.) and now I am off totally. That was horrendous as well. But now I feel so good that I am "Clean". The only thing I take now is Nexium and an occasional Ibuprofen. So everyone please, please hang in there...it really does get better and I was absolutely convinced I would feel terrible for the rest of my life!!! Good luck everyone!!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Had to stop 90 mg Cymbalta cold-turkey because got bilateral edema in hand and feet and was on my way to anaphylactic shock. Can't taper or get back on it. It has been 3 days and it is good to read success stories. Also on a small dose of lithium and taking Benadryl and supplements and hoping for the best. Please keep posting your progress because it really helps with the "one day at a time"!!

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Oh, MaddieLouise, the list is long and painful and, mostly repeats what has been said before. I find the worst are the mood swings into suicidal ideation. Also found another that was not mentioned before: coital cephalgia- severe pounding headache at the most inconvenient times... Read up about it and "they" suggest taking some anti inflammatory before trying the next time. I hope that helps someone. The nausea and dizziness lasted about a week. I find the zaps and hearing my eyes move humorous, and I actually have a few good hours every day. But then the crying and irrational thoughts start, and I am convinced my family would be better off without me. Zyprexa in small doses helps with that. Good friends help too ;)

I keep reminding myself why I am doing this- there is no way back. I no longer need mega doses of benadryl and the edema in my hands and feet is minimal. One week down, time to tackle the second one!

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Thank you so much AmandaJayne for the encouragement. I am on day 2 of cold turkey after about 9 months of 30 mg. I hope to follow in your footsteps. Today has been extremely difficult though. I can't handle noise AT ALL. I'm so dizzy I don't want to move and every time I turn my head or move my eyes I feel like I'm sideways or something. And I can't seem to quit crying. I have cried in public multiple times today. My partner is unsympathetic and somewhat embarassed by me, and tells me I need to go back on the meds. But I can't afford them. I lost my job and insurance and ran out of money. I have been unemployed for 4 months and just relocated across the country to "start over". This is a very challenging thing to go through during what is already a very difficult time in my life. I hope you continue to feel better as each day passes. You've inspired me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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Auti,

I'm glad you feel inspired, however, it's usually not recommended to go off of these meds. cold turkey. I'm certain your previous Dr. or a health clinic (free or low-cost) would guide you through this by giving you enough meds to taper off slowly (read the article under http://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/4137-symptoms-following-abrupt-discontinuation-of-duloxetine-treatment-in-patients-with-major-depressive-disorder/).

I wish you luck.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

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Thanks MaddieLouise -

I appreciate your concern and I realize this isn't the ideal way to go about things. However, I did try to taper in July and had some of the same issues. At this point I am just so OVER this drug that I want it out of my body. I am unemployed and out of money - even the thought of driving to a low-cost clinic to get more of this toxic stuff makes me cringe. With gas at 4.69 per gallon where I live, it's just not worth it.

I was thinking today that I would feel much better if I could just understand what's going on with my body. Knowledge is power, after all. Why, for example, do I feel like I'm going to fall over when I move my eyes? Why do I keep breaking out in clammy sweats? Why am I crying for no reason? Why is noise just UNbearable? Can anyone out there tell me a story about what's happening in my body? That would be far more comforting than seeking out more poison to slow down the inevitable, you know?

Edited by auti
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Hi Auti,

You can do any number of searches that will give you all kinds of nightmarish details about what others have experienced, but honesty, I bet no one can really fully explain what is going on with you individually. Because Cymbalta is a powerful medication meant to balance neurotransmitters' output, thus reducing depression, I would imagine that anything in the withdrawal category can happen. Afterall, the brain is the core to our whole central nervous system and in essence controls all our other organs. Once you change that sensitive balance, whether it be by starting a medication or stopping one, I would imagine all your senses can be heightened (thus the loud noises), emotional outbursts seem rather expected since you have altered that area of the brain trying to keep serotonin and norephinephrine balanced. I don't see how any of this is comforting, and I'm not a Dr., but I think you might expect just about anything. However, if you won't drive to a clinic, maybe you should just keep in touch with one by phone. They may not put you back on it. They might have some other solution, but what you are going through might get worse, and I would think it might be better to just let some professional know, in case you need to make a visit.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

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Hi all, thought I'd update and give another success story. (Auti, how are you doing?)

The bad symptoms- dizziness, nausea, crying, moods wings, irritability, suicidal ideation, zaps, and noisy eye movements- lasted about 2 weeks. Now, a bit over 3 weeks, the eyes are just audible and the rest is OVER!!!

Like Auti, I have looked for answers to why is this happening. Nobody has a good answer but all the symptoms are associated with frontal lobes. That is the area connected to emotions, the area responsible for eye movements (and any disruption of that will trigger dizzy spells), area associated with motivation, connected to smell areas (felt like I was pregnant again). So, not a scientific response but a reasonable one.

The most important thing is to remember "this too shall pass" and your brain will accommodate because it can.

I am very happy to be off it and do not plan to use an SSRI or SNRI again. The plan is to use "old medications" - they are cheaper and we have a lot of research about effects, side effected, and interactions. Good luck to all who are quitting!

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Hi all, thought I'd update and give another success story. (Auti, how are you doing?)

The bad symptoms- dizziness, nausea, crying, moods wings, irritability, suicidal ideation, zaps, and noisy eye movements- lasted about 2 weeks. Now, a bit over 3 weeks, the eyes are just audible and the rest is OVER!!!

Like Auti, I have looked for answers to why is this happening. Nobody has a good answer but all the symptoms are associated with frontal lobes. That is the area connected to emotions, the area responsible for eye movements (and any disruption of that will trigger dizzy spells), area associated with motivation, connected to smell areas (felt like I was pregnant again). So, not a scientific response but a reasonable one.

The most important thing is to remember "this too shall pass" and your brain will accommodate because it can.

I am very happy to be off it and do not plan to use an SSRI or SNRI again. The plan is to use "old medications" - they are cheaper and we have a lot of research about effects, side effected, and interactions. Good luck to all who are quitting!

3 weeks! I'm so close. 2 weeks and 4 days of brain zapping, eye twitching, headaching, stiff neck problems.... I hope that it will start to end. I've gone back to Manerix (Moclobomide) and wonder if the two are overlapping, causing the withdrawal symptons to be worse. Glad to have found this forum and to read that there is relief in the future.

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