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Cymbalta Withdrawal And How To Cope

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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.

Woohoo! So happy to hear that you're feeling better! I am too! :nod: No more brain zaps and wicked dizzy spells. Still experiencing quite a few lows and I'm quick to cry, but this seems to ease up a tiny bit as each day passes. And on the flip-side, I'm experiencing some really good moods every once in a while - always a pleasant surprise when those strike, and my kitties are happy that I'm singing to them again - haha! I'm sleeping a lot more (which is both good and bad!) and I've lost a few pounds of my cymbalta belly (which is AWEsome!). I didn't realize how much the medicine was helping with my pain. . .so it's been kinda tough to have the pain return and not know how to manage it. But honestly, I feel so good knowing that I'm off this drug!!! I still have a lot to learn about managing pain and improving my emotional health. . .but it's almost like I've got a new lease on life! I'm free! :thumbs-up:

I'm inclined to believe we are all spritual beings hanging out in these physical vessels having a human experience. I have apoloized to my self/my body/my temple for poisoning it. I've been a vegan for about three years, and as I tune in to my body I'm feeling the need to consume more raw foods. Green juices make me feel incredible! I'm also weaning off caffiene and refined sugars. Like a previous poster, I figured it was a good time to detox from some other junk as long as I was getting this cymbalta out. ;)

In the spirit of full disclosure: I was drinking a couple glasses of alcohol every night when I first stopped the meds. I guess I thought this would help me relax or something. Honestly, this was a HUGE mistake, and if you're doing the same please do your body a favor and stop! The relaxing buzz might be nice at first, but it's just more poison your body doesn't need.

So, here's a quick peek at some of the things in my current tool-kit - hopefully it will be useful to some of you:

- hot water w/lemon in the morning 1/2 hour before food

- LOTS of water

- LOTS of raw fruits and veggies!

- healthy raw fats daily (coconut oil, avocado, flax)

- Bach's Rescue Remedy - this really comes in handy in noisy/crowdedk environments that tend to make me short-circuit (oh god, please don't try to talk to me in a busy Starbuck's! Still struggling with noise sensitivity)

- Apple Cider Vingear (Bragg's raw/unrefined) - I put a little splash in a couple ounces of water and drink it like a shot whenever I get cranky - it's an instant pick-me-up

- Magnesium Citrate (I use NOW brand in powder form) - this really helps with muscle spasms and tension; helps me relax!

- Exercise - just a little bit every day when my pain doesn't prevent it; LOTS of short walks and yoga

I hope this info helps someone on this forum! Feel free to reach out to me if there's any additional support I can offer. It's so good to have this little community :smile:

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I think I'm getting there..... I'm going hours without brain zaps. The eye twitching has pretty much stopped. I'm still feeling pretty weepy and emotional, but that might be that the manerix is not up to par yet. That's it for me, I'm never switching again. I thought I'd try Cymbalta to see if it helped for Fibromyalgia (it did about 50%), but the side effects from Cymbalta were horrific. I'll take Manerix and no pain relief over Cybalta.... Now...another week and everyday clearer. :)

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Good evening, I read every post over the last 3 days. Withdrawal sucks. Started at 60 - 2 years ago. Ween to 30, then to 20. Today is day 6 without. Working out 3 days a week. Taking B12 2x daily, 500 C 2x daily, and Fish oil 2 x daily. Sweats, chills, brain zaps, dizzy, irritable, grouchy, this needs to get better soon!

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Thanks Maddie,

Day 7. Still feel bad. The workouts are tough I'm not even sure I will get through them, however I do and always feel better afterward. I have so much more energy then when I was on the big, "C". I started the medication due to major changes in my life that I could not handle. I explained how I felt but no one cared. My anger turned in and I became a mess. Going through withdrawal is hell and I will not ever give my power away again! People will either step up and do the right thing or they will have to leave my life. Period. It feels good to be angry and making positive changes. Can there be an upside to withdrawal? I think so.

I continue to eat healthy foods and take my B's, C's and fish oil. I treat myself to some comfort treats (brownies) when I feel really bad, usually in the evening. My only beverages are water, tea and coffee. I stay busy doing things for others every day to avoid self-pity. I am learning to set boundaries, say no and stop the people pleasing. Even feeling like...poop, I can take time to count my blessings each day.

Glad I am not alone in this.

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Day 12 off of Cymbalta! Continue to experience brain zaps, nausea, headaches, sweats, chills and bursts of anger. However, it is less intense each day. For that I am grateful! I can live with each day being a little better. Exercise, seems to be the answer for me. Long walks, yoga, low-impact aerobics and pilates. I believe it helps the nervous system. The biggest downside so far is the weight gain...about 6 bounds in 12 days. I want to eat comfort food. I hope this too shall pass. Hope this is helpful to anyone trying to get off this horrible drug.

Peace

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Can I just say that it has been so helpful reding through everyone's experiences here. It makes me feel a little more sane!

I am in the process of changing from Cymbalta 60mg to Lexapro 20mg.I was advised to stop taking Cymbalta for 3 days before starting the Lexapro by my doctor and I am on night 3 and cannot wait for this to end. The brain zaps are driving me insane, I am cold but sweating like crazy, having unprovoked bouts of anger and irritation, my concentration and vision are all strange and my head will not stop pounding.

Has anyone switched to Lexapro or similar from Cymbalta before and have any advice on what to expect and how to cope?

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Can I just say that it has been so helpful reding through everyone's experiences here. It makes me feel a little more sane!

I am in the process of changing from Cymbalta 60mg to Lexapro 20mg.I was advised to stop taking Cymbalta for 3 days before starting the Lexapro by my doctor and I am on night 3 and cannot wait for this to end. The brain zaps are driving me insane, I am cold but sweating like crazy, having unprovoked bouts of anger and irritation, my concentration and vision are all strange and my head will not stop pounding.

Has anyone switched to Lexapro or similar from Cymbalta before and have any advice on what to expect and how to cope?

Also, ringing in my ears is driving me crazy, I feel like I may have a tough few weeks ahead of me...

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Why do I keep breaking out in clammy sweats? Why am I crying for no reason? Why is noise just UNbearable?

Day 15 of of cymbalta.

Hi auti, I too am experiencing these withdrawal symptoms. I hope yours are improving. Some days are better then others, not sure why. Two days ago, my first brain zap was at 4:30 PM. Yesterday, they started at 11:00 AM and today they started when I first got out of bed. I am doing nothing different. Over all, I am improving. Issues that continue to concern me are the mental sluggishness and the verbal out-bursts with underlying anger.

Praying for peace for all here!

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Has anyone switched to Lexapro or similar from Cymbalta before and have any advice on what to expect and how to cope?

Hi Jazz45, I was on Lexapro before starting Cymbalta. Lexapro was not helping, that is why my doctor changed to Cymbalta. The side affects on Cymbalta were causing mayor health concerns. I am very happy to be off of Cymbalta and do not plan to use an SSRI or SNRI again!

Best Wishes...

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Thanks Between,

Well its day one of Lexapro, fingers crossed the side effects aren't too bad, along with the withdrawl symptoms.

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Day 25 off of Cymbalta!

Each day I see improvement. No more brain zaps. Emotional roller-coaster starting to even out. Verbal outburst decreasing in frequency and intensity. I continue to struggle with sweats and chills but not as severe as earlier in the process. The workouts and yoga really do help. Thinking and praying that you are all well in this process.

Peace.

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Hi,

I've been on Cymbalta 60mg for about 18months and need to go off them when my Boyfriend researched the side effects, i have nearly all of them, and they crept up on me and i never questioned it. Very bad move.

Started on 30mg on Monday and since then, its been ok, my lips tingle and i haven't had many of the brain zaps (thank goodness) but excruciating pains in my stomach, my heart palpitates and it feels like I'm having a heart attack, I can't get comfortable in any position. I went to the dr's today with the pain in my stomach and he laughed at me when I suggested it could be a withdrawal symptom of cymbalta. That made me feel amazing, not... and like the biggest hypercondriact on the planet.

My muscles all over my body feel like they've shrunk and i'm just tight all over. Its the most awful feeling. Sweating profusely and hot/cold sensations. I have a cyst on my liver which i believe is related to cymbalta. Alcohol and this drug is a really, really big no no if you love your liver. Even some pain killers are a no no.... and to think i never questioned it... i'm so mad at myself over this...

My brain is in slow motion, it takes a long time to react to things and I get 'gold fish syndrome' (short term memory loss, lol) and its hard to work in a high pressured position with this.

When I started it, my girlfriend suggested i went on it, and silly me, trusted her judgement, I should have researched a lot more and my doctor prescribed it to me upon me asking to go on it, not explaining the nasties of being on it, or in fact COMING OFF them. I'm really, really worried about long term effects now.

This forum has 'normalised' it a lot for me, and I'm glad its not just me its happening to.

I will also, as I found on a really old forum thread on here from 2007, be taking the capsule apart and lessening the dose, maybe for a week at a time, even if I have to count the little beads inside, I don't care.

Its so hard to function in life with work, kids, etc when your coming off them.

Thanks everyone :)

Renee

:huh:

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I was placed on cymbalta to treat PMDD about 6mos ago by my gynecologist (yes my gyn) so naturally this raised sand with my PCP and pain managements Docs. Anywho, I had been taking the 30mg dose for 6mos which was fine for a while but then it reared its ugly head. Insomnia and restless legs set in bad. As with other things, I thought I could stop "cold turkey" NOT!

The withdrawals which are exactly the same for me as i've read all of you going thru. It IS very possible to alieve some of the symptoms so here goes (I AM NOT A DOC) but i've done tons of research.

To help with the brain zaps which seem to be the worst part, LOAD UP ON OMEGA 3s (flax oil is the best source)! Eat fishes high in good fats. Dark chocolate is also your best friend!

Taking a good multi vitamin that contains potassium and calcium is also very helpful! Rhodiola is an excellent supplement as well. Cuddling/hugging/kissing produces natural seratonin so try this as well. Eat a high protein diet, stay away from stimulants! Tramadol (ultram) is a prescription for pain that is non-narcotic/non-habit forming, and kills the brain zaps almost immediately!

My withdrawals which I thought would **** me actually started to subside in less than a couple weeks. I wish you all the best and I hope I have been able to help because I know how hard it is. Especially when the docs answers are to always dope you up on more meds. THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THIS LONG TUNNEL! Lets get thru this everyone!

Much Looove,

Red

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Hello. I was on Effexor XR 150mg for about eight years. And after repeated requests to come off of it, my doctor told me that I just needed to switch medications.Two years ago, I wound up tapering off of the Effexor while adding Cymbalta and gradually, with the help of adivan, was able to completely wean off of the Effexor. I started on the 30mg dosage of Cymbalta, but my crying spells and head spinning/brain zaps were so bad that I requested to go up to 60mg of Cymbalta. Since starting the Cymbalta I have experienced many side effects, with the worst one being weight gain. I have gained 40 lbs. and no matter what changes I make to my eating habits or exercise, I simply cannot lose the weight. If anything, I am just gaining more weight. I really want to get off of Cymbalta, as I feel that the side effects of the drug are worse on my body than the depression. Last week I tried to wean down to 30mg per day. But, by day two I was crying uncontrollably and my brain felt like it was being tasered. I am a stay at home mom with a daughter with a severe congenital heart defect (another horrible side effect of Effexor). I am just so afraid. When I try to wean off of it, I am not in control of my thoughts or emotions. I am either crying or screaming at my kids or my husband. After only day two of being on the 30 mg, I started back on the 60mg. I feel like such a failure. Why can't I stop taking this drug? How do I wean off of it without hurting my family? I just wish that I could go to a detox facility and be knocked out for about a month, so I can not harm my kids by my outbursts and crying. Please help me!

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Hey, I'm six days into a cold turkey withdrawal from a one year stint on 60mg of Cymbalta, which I have to disclose I didn't take everyday (in fact I only used to take it when I was reminded by the infamous 'brain zaps'- usually once every two days).

I will also admit that I found this medication rather useful, with a number of benefits that I only now appreciate in retrospect. Immediately on commencing this medication (30mg initially then up to 60mg) I found I was more alert and my cognition and oration was faster and more reflective of my pre-depression ability. In the year I was on Cymbalta I got a new and better job with view to even bigger things in a new industry, I completed a number of articles for publication (completion of tasks had always been difficult), commenced and maintained the best relationship of my life, was far more interested in the wider-world and politics than ever before, was more confident that I looked good and generally stayed "on-track". I can't remember a time in the last year where my mood or my concentration have been an issue.

Cymbalta also had a number of unwanted side-effects. My libido decreased over the year to a point where in the end I had no desire for sex at all. On days I didn't take the medication I had the most intense and disturbing dreams. I also started to oversleep a lot. My desire to exercise was reduced markedly, I had always been very fit but over the year I found for the first time I became quite "soft". I was also a little too buffered from pressing problems. Not until this week did I really appreciate that my financial situation warranted far more concern and a few other domestic maintenance issues had been left apathetically unaddressed. With the exception of the libido issue, I could have lived with the other problems because of what I saw as benefits. But my partner was particularly concerned (frustrated?) by my lack of sex-drive.

So the last 60mg capsule I had was Thursday last week, it's now Wednesday. The weekend was pretty shocking. I was having endless "zaps" and a feeling like I was dropping in altitude at significant velocity. I was also waking with headaches. My dreams were intense and exhausting (if that is even possible). My partner and I had our first real fight, and I'm pretty sure it was about nothing other than my irritability. I cried more at little things than anyone should. I did feel like exercising more than I had before, and enjoyed getting out and doing something physical. My libido returned pretty quickly. Yesterday (day five of no drugs) was actually pretty good. I didn't have too many "zapping' symptoms, I was very irritable but able to focus and hold a conversation. I was actually liking listening to my music more than I had in some time. The dreams seemed to be reduced in intensity.

Today has been the worst day by far. I realised at breakfast that I was unable to converse like I usually do. I couldn't think clearly, focus, construct meaningful sentences or hold a thought for long enough to finish one, if by chance I stumbled into something that sounded like sense I completely lost any way. I felt like my mind was almost 'blank'. I was also nauseous, and dizzy. By lunch time I decided I had to have some medication, it really was intolerable. The whole experience reminded me of 2004 when I was at the worse stage on a major depressive episode. I have now even started to worry I might not be capable of conversing properly or thinking clearly again, which had been a major source of anxiety during my worst depressive episodes.but not something I had to struggle with for many years. I tried to halve my 60mg capsule as best I was able to and took that. I think my symptoms were somewhat relieved but not completely. I am considering taking another halve capsule tomorrow morning because I have to work and need to be switched on.

Despite this I am determined to get off the medication completely at least to see if I am capable of thinking at a serviceable level after some time off the meds. I will try the fish oil advice of previous posters and a taper my medication somewhat. And I'll be in touch.

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Hello I am new here and I'm not doing so well I have been taking cymbal ta for quite a number of years infact I can't remember how long it is - I am taking 120mg a day in the morning well I decided to half my dosage and I don't feel we'll indeed - my head hurts so bad and I feel sick and emotional maybe I was wrong to do thesis

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Hi All,

Delighted to come across this site...I am off Cymbalta for the past 5 days. After taking this for about 5 years, started taking 30 mg a day, increased to 60 mg a day. After a while it was increased to 90 mg a day. I decided I needed to come off this medication for financial reason, it cost €120.00 a month, and health insurance does not cover medication here. I decreased doasage over a number of weeks. After a couple of years of falling asleep in work I don't know how I still have a job, The brain zaps and dizziness are so bad. I hope this will lessen in the next couple of days. There is a saying here (crying buckets), well as I write this I am filling the bucket with tears, All the stories above are so helpful that I know I am not alone with these withdrawl symptoms. I can safely say I will never take this medication again. Thank you all for your honest accounts.

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Oh lord, they were not kidding when they said going off Cymbalta is hell.

I have severe nausea with actual vomiting, brain zaps, oversweating, anxiousness, daily headaches, pain behind my eyes, light/sound sensitivity, am extremely irritable, and have times when I I can't breathe deeply and get enough oxygen -- it feels like there's something lodged in my chest.

On top of this I got all-body itching. It's so embarrassing because I have to constantly scratch like a flea infested dog.

Cymbalta seemed to work for me in the first month, but then seemed to have no effect anymore and when my doctor told me to up the dosage to 60, things just got worse. I lost the desire to do most things, including listening to music or watching movies or really, the simplest things.

I don't know what to do anymore. My nausea was so severe that the doctor had me quit cold turkey. And tonight I'll be starting imipramine. Anyone here gone from Cymbalta to imipramine? Advice? Thoughts? I can't leave my home at all :/

Edited by Roarrr

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I was on 30 mg, thought it was good depression seemed to improve. So I went to 60 depression was pretty good but anxiety kicked me where it hurts. I struggled on with clonemazepan as my best friend, saw the doctor again and he recommended going to 90 mg to improve the anxiety. I went, with his ok back to 30. Anxiety didn't change much but felt more depressed. Back to the doctors 2 weeks later and he convinced me to try 90 mg. so here I am, day 2 and actually feeling less anxious. However since starting cymbalta I have absolutely lost the will to do anything, getting up, going out, eating, whatever, so it would seem convincing to me that cymbalta is partly to blame. Add that to the fact that it is prescribed for chronic pain, it must have a sedative effect. I would say that the effects are similar, I don't listen to music, watch movies, tv, or read a book. What I never suffered from we're the side effects you describe, I had fatigue but nothing more serious than that. I would question stopping cold turkey, that can be painful off any drug. Cymbalta is no better or worse than Effexor or others, in my experience, but do it by tapering. Good luck

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Just recently came off Cymbalta for good, Thank G-d! Believe I may have some good advice for those of you going through the horrible withdrawal symptoms. My pharmacist recommended opening the capsules and counting the beads for each dose to take your body down at a more slow pace. For example, if your tapering down from the 20 mg capsule and it has 150 tiny beads inside, you would count out 75 beads for a 10 mg dose. You can save the others in a small dish for the next days dose. You may have to use a magnifying glass and a little patience, but it is completely worth it! I went all the way down to a 2 mg dose before I was finally able to stop taking it without the dizziness, nausea & vomiting, and all the other extremely unpleasant side effects. Also, the pharmacist said there is no real difference in how the body handles the beads with or without the capsule. In my experience, I have found this to be true. An important thing to remember is to take it slow. I spent 2 weeks on each new dose before going down again. In this way, I was able to avoid much of the withdrawal symptoms. Truly hope this helps.

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That's very helpful advice. I'm currently on 30 mgs and am going to ask my pdoc for 20 mg pills next week. I will drop from 30 to 20 (I had no problem dropping from 60 to 30) and hold it at 20 for a couple of weeks before trying to drop to 10. For the extra beads that you saved in a small dish, how did you take them? Did you just put them on your tongue and swallow them that way, or did you try putting them in applesauce or something like it?

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Ska

I'm pretty sure you can just put them on your tongue. But the applesauce sounds like a simple thing to do to make it easier.

Going slow with lowering the increments is a key element. At least it is with Benzos

Edited by Tim 52

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After taking Cymbalta for several years I have decided its time to stop. I'm in a different stage in my life than I was when I started taking it. My children are older now (1 in high school, 2 in college). I don't want to have to rely on antidepressants forever. I'm tempted to go cold turkey just to get it over with! I have actually forgotten to take it for a few days before and the only thing I felt was that my head was a little fuzzy. I'm hoping to get my endorphins going through daily exercise.

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LisaH

Let us know how your journey off cymbalta goes. How many mgs are you currently on? I'm going to be taking Jac1026s advice and splitting the pills. I tried a couple of weeks ago to go from 30 to 0, and it wasn't pretty. Had bad headaches, nausea, and those horrible zaps in my head, so I went back on 30. I've only been on the med since early June and was on 60 mgs for a while. I was finding it made me anxious, so I dropped from 60 to 30. I still have anxiety and want off this med for good. I should really get out and exercise too. I'm sure it would help.

Good luck!

Ska123

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