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Anyone On Cymbalta?
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26 posts in this topic

I'm curious how many people are on cymbalta since fibromyalgia, chronic pain and neuropathy can occur with autoimmune disorders.

What have your experiences been?

Have you had to go off it? I was told before I went on it by 1 out of the 5 doctors (who all thought it would be a good medication for me for a variety of reasons), that withdrawal was bad with a capital B but here's what's happened to me so far:

I am 5 days off cymbalta (after only taking it for 6 weeks) too. I heard the withdrawal was VERY bad but I thought I'd be on it longer than this-it made me obsessive, anxious, amped and I couldn't stand the way I felt on it. One day I felt like I had been doing crack cocaine!

I've been on ADs for twenty years- imipramine then celexa (which both pooped out after ten years each) and NO lie- this withdrawal feels exactly like the traumatic, life-altering depression that started me down this path. I CANNOT believe how bad withdrawal from this medication is. I am:

nauseous

crying at the drop of a hat

severely anxious

brain zaps

eyes feel like they're falling out of my head

scared to drive

can't move my head without a zap

afraid to be alone

and much more. If I wasn't on sleep meds I know I wouldn't sleep. I can't even watch TV- I cried at Jurassic Park when they fed the cow to the raptors!!!!!!!!!!????????

It's Day 4 and I hope to god this ends soon.

Has anyone else been here? I'm staying sane because I know it's withdrawal. I've had my share of bad drug reactions, but I kid you not, this takes the cake!

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I have no answers for you, but I wanted to send you encouragement!

Have you discussed this with your doctors? It almost sounds like you should be doing this in a rehab center... sheesh. I hope it gets better for you very, very soon.

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Hi Beverly,

I have never taken an anti-depressant but took a benzodiazepine (lorazepam) for sleep following gall bladder surgery. Big mistake! I took this drug because I am allergic to most painkillers (morphine, codeine, NSAID's, etc). After 3 weeks of using low doses I had terrible withdrawal when I tried to stop taking it. I understand what you are going through. I had to do a very slow taper to get off of the drug. I followed the advice given in the Ashton Manual (Dr. Sylvia Ashton) a leading expert in benzo withdrawal. You can find a copy of this manual at www.benzosupport.org. The Yahoo benzo support group is excellent for individual, detailed advice. The manual deals mainly with benzo withdrawal but indicates that the same procedures should be used for withdrawal from anti-depressants. The owners of the Yahoo support group, Debra & Anthea, are very knowledgeable about withdrawal from benzos and anti-depressants.

Take care and I wish you the best in withdrawing from this drug.

Joyce

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Thanks- yes I am in touch with all my doctors and have done a lot of reading. I think that I just wanted people to be aware that it's about as tough as benzo withdrawal (and I saw my sis go through that so I know how bad it is!).

If you google cymbalta withdrawal and do some reading, you will be horrified. And I really do have an open mind, but there are so many reports out there.

There's a whole "Depression Hurts, Cymbalta's worse" community out there.

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I took Cymbalta a few years ago. I can say the withdrawals from that drug have made it so that I refuse to touch another psychological pharmaceutical ever again.

The side effects do go away. After a LONG time. I had the brain zaps for two months! The nausea calmed down after about a week. The anxiety after a few weeks.

I hope you have better luck and less duration of symptoms that I did. However, I wasn't on it much longer than you. 10 weeks.

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Did you stop cold-turkey? I weaned off of it about two months ago, and had absolutely *NO* trouble with it. But I stepped down slowly - I was on the lowest dose, then switched to every other day for two weeks, every three days for two weeks, once week for two weeks.

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Did you stop cold-turkey? I weaned off of it about two months ago, and had absolutely *NO* trouble with it. But I stepped down slowly - I was on the lowest dose, then switched to every other day for two weeks, every three days for two weeks, once week for two weeks.

No, not totally cold turkey but a very quick taper because being on the medication was bad enough. I went from 60 to 30 straight but then tapered by taking some out of each capsule daily for a few days. I had withdrawal in the beginning just from trying to switch from taking it in the a.m. to taking it later in the day. About 4 hours after a missed dose, I had withdrawal.

I'm not an alarmist either- I realize everyone reacts diffferently to meds and supplements but this shook me up pretty badly.

The stuff made me feel like I had done some bad cocaine so I wanted to get off it fast (I'm going on nortriptyline) which I normally do NOT do but it was caught between a rock and a hard place. It's a bit better yesterday and today.

Tiffany- that's great you had no problems. Did you go on anything else? How are you feeling?

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No, not totally cold turkey but a very quick taper because being on the medication was bad enough. I went from 60 to 30 straight but then tapered by taking some out of each capsule daily for a few days. I had withdrawal in the beginning just from trying to switch from taking it in the a.m. to taking it later in the day. About 4 hours after a missed dose, I had withdrawal.

I'm not an alarmist either- I realize everyone reacts diffferently to meds and supplements but this shook me up pretty badly.

The stuff made me feel like I had done some bad cocaine so I wanted to get off it fast (I'm going on nortriptyline) which I normally do NOT do but it was caught between a rock and a hard place. It's a bit better yesterday and today.

Tiffany- that's great you had no problems. Did you go on anything else? How are you feeling?

I'm going to guess that the quick taper made it worse (not that it would have been smooth sailing without it, of course - coming off 60mg/day is almost certainly going to be rougher than coming off 20mg/day).

Nope, not on anything else, and also tapered off the Mirapex (restless leg) and Topomax (chronic migraines). We're looking at the possibility of trying for kids later this year, so I have to be off all my meds, if it's possible.

Ironically, right after I decided to start tapering off (the three drugs in a row, not at the same time), I was given a layoff notice at work, decided "yup, let's get out of this stressful job, and see if I can make teaching yoga full time work". So, my stress levels have gone down significantly (and activity level up a bit - yoga one to four times a day an all ;) ).

Everything combined, I'm doing fairly well. I've been a little less tired, but taking supplemental iron is helping with the RLS. And I've been a little less achy, but I've just started hike-a-thon (get sponsored to hike as much as you can in the month of August to raise funds for the Washington Trails Association), which is a lot too! :)

Are your symptoms from coming off of it lessening?

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My coworkers daughter stopped taking it several months ago and she had many of your same symptoms Bev. One of the worst she had was suicial thoughts- she was thinking of ending her life and made some attempts.

My coworker was so worried which I can't blame her. She came in and made all of promise to never take that med.

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Tiffany- Your whole post (especially the baby part part :D) made me sya YIPPEE!!!!!!! Little ypga instructor Tiffanys running around the world. That's great- all of it! And I'm glad you're feeling better.

My coworkers daughter stopped taking it several months ago and she had many of your same symptoms Bev. One of the worst she had was suicial thoughts- she was thinking of ending her life and made some attempts.

My coworker was so worried which I can't blame her. She came in and made all of promise to never take that med.

I pretty much just told ALL my friends the same thing. Yes- it is very very scary.

I'm doing a little better today but this weekend I felt like a psycho!

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No, not totally cold turkey but a very quick taper because being on the medication was bad enough. I went from 60 to 30 straight but then tapered by taking some out of each capsule daily for a few days. I had withdrawal in the beginning just from trying to switch from taking it in the a.m. to taking it later in the day. About 4 hours after a missed dose, I had withdrawal.

I'm not an alarmist either- I realize everyone reacts diffferently to meds and supplements but this shook me up pretty badly.

The stuff made me feel like I had done some bad cocaine so I wanted to get off it fast (I'm going on nortriptyline) which I normally do NOT do but it was caught between a rock and a hard place. It's a bit better yesterday and today.

Tiffany- that's great you had no problems. Did you go on anything else? How are you feeling?

Beverly, I'm so sorry you're going through this.

The husband of one of my best friends was on Cymbalta and tried to get off....he experienced all of the symptoms that you did but he didn't handle it nearly as well. Mike ended up at the hospital (ER) because his symptoms were so severe, but he was so disoriented he actually walked out of the ER while no one was watching. He was missing for several hours; his family was frantic!

He ended up walking home; it was only about 15 miles between his house and the hospital!!!

They decided that he had to come off of it extremely slowly....it took months to taper him down to zero.

I'm glad that you're feeling a little bit better!

Take care,

JoAnn

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Thanks JoAnn- I've heard some real horror stories. The way I was this weekend, if I hadn't known it was withdrawal, I probably would have done the same thing.

Today the nausea feels like seasickness. Crazy sh%$#t!

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I hope it gets better soon.

If not, can you talk to the doc about going back on it, and then - after a few weeks back on - tapering off more slowly. My doc *specifically said* that there are no clear instructions on how to get off it, other than "taper off". That's not very specific, and so she kinda had to make it up. (And I actually took longer than she initially suggested - she suggested over three weeks, as I recall, and that was from the lowest dose.)

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HI

Bev I got your email and Patti told me of your thread.

I didn't know there was one up.

Of course i'm saddend by your horrific experience.

these drugs are so scary.

Ones that work or don't work for me are so person specific.

You know I'm on cymbalta now.

think i started 2 months ago not even sure but he started me on 1/2 a 30 capsule.

for a month

then another am drug........didn't work

added another am ........didn't work

added another am ...........didn't work reactions to all 3

then weened off the cympalta b/c it flaired the fibro it was to HELP.

Weened back and off i think and then started back up and now still playing with less than the 30 in the tablet a day with dinner

you started with 30 and went up to 60 and only took once a day right.

Tiffany, glad your doing ok.

I'll be watching this thread as it has really opened my eyes big time.

it's the only thing that has helped me stop spinning since i stopped smoking in Dec and preparing for this move.

last nite put the cat on a addoption site like where you got angus Bev.

Very hard times bring out tough women i guess but don't feel very tough today or when i look into kittys eyes.

they are letting us house him and the addoption will take place in our home

Velcro will be on a local rescue site that i will have to look up before i lose this whole post.

hugs and love Bev

Judy

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I had an absolutely horrific experience on Cymbalta - the docs thought I had MS! I was falling down, slurring my words, couldn't think, couldn't use the bathroom (went six weeks without a bowel movement!) ... and they never considered the drug.

It was after I was released from the hospital with a grand "we just don't know..." that I found an obscure reference in the info provided for doctors (it wasn't echoed in the patient materials!) that these symptoms were possible.

I immediately stopped taking the drug. Withdrawl was horrific - especially the "zaps" which weren't just in my head, they were all over.

I echo a previous poster - I will never again take a drug that afflicts the brain chemicals in ANY way. Period.

Quite frankly I'm at a point where I distrust the pharma companies anyway... so I'm trying to avoid taking prescription drugs.

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Judy :( :( :( Hang in there- if it works for you and helps, then stay on it. Just be aware of how slowly you have to taper. It really did help my pain, it just made me feel too amped up.

The kittty? NO! I'd take her but that's a long drive :(

I agree- they don't know what taper means. Especially since it's a capsule- you can't cut it. But you CAN open the capsule and take a bit out every day.

Tiff- I would NOT go back on the stuff. Would rather go through withdrawal then feel like I did cocaine only to go through withdrawal again. I'm doing better. The zaps are calming down. I did vomit yesterday but it seems like it is slowly calming down.

I think the most important thing is to listen to your body going on or off any med.

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Day 9

Horrid headache, exhausted, major mood swings and nausea. The fun never ends! I cannot wait until this is O-V-E-R OVER!

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Day 9

Horrid headache, exhausted, major mood swings and nausea. The fun never ends! I cannot wait until this is O-V-E-R OVER!

Hang in there girl! Sending prayers and positive thoughts your way....

((hugs))

JoAnn

P.S. I'm on Effexor for my fibro..I've heard it's a nightmare to get off of that one too! My rheumatologist was talking about switching me from Effexor to Cymbalta.....! Scares me. :o

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Ah Shucks..........this sucks Bev :(:angry:

Day 9. How long did they say it would take?

I'm so sorry.

It is helping now with fibro but in the beginning i had headaches and bone, muscle and fibro pain.

go figure.

I'm wondering if after the sale on Sat and the house is staged and on the market if i should try to get off it.

I'm thinking of going to the daily strength site and look up what people say about it it.

Please know your in my prayers.

hugs and love honey, Judy

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I'm on Cymbalta 60 mg for chronic pain from arthritis. (Osteo)

I can only speak for myself since responses to antidepressants are very individual...but it changed my life. I was having so much pain for almost 2 yrs that when I was at the last straw all I could do was cry when I went to the doc. I started at 30 mg then once the typical side effects got better I went up to 60 mg once a day. The side effects I had going on Cymbalta were fuzzy, jittery head and really that's about it.

Coming off of it was a different story. If I don't take it at the same time I get very dizzy and nauseated. I also have a weird echo in my head. So...I make sure i take it.

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Ask the doctor to prescribe another SSI and start ASAP. That will take some of the edge off the zapping and other withdrawl symptoms. I won't go into the details, but 4 years ago, this was a combination that helped ease things a bit. Lexapro was the SSI I was given (I had taken it with limited success in the past). Also, during the time delay between the cold turkey and the lexapro, I self medicated a few times with benadryl and tylenol which made me sleep through the pain. I wasn't diagnosed with celiac disease at the time, so I don't know if benadryl is gluten-free.

I'm back on cymbalta because it the the most effective antidepressant for me and life is great. After that experience though, I keep an old bottle in the back of the medicine cabinet with a 3 week supply of 30 mg so I can wean off slowly if I ever need to again.

Welbutrin is similar in its withdrawl and don't let the doctor switch you cold turkey even if she says it is Okay. (also from experience)

If you are still having fibro symptoms down the road, lyrica is an option still. It works differently than cymbalta. I've never tried it though, because a fibro researcher explained to me that people usually only react to one of the two based on their genetics. Since cymbalta is magic for me, I've not bothered with the lyrica.

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I am on cymbalta 60 mg 1 time per day. I started on 30mg and have even gone to 90mg but it seems 60mg is the right amount for me.

I went into the Dr. begging for something. I have been on ADs off and on for years. I have been on paxil, zoloft, welbutrin and more.

Cymbalta is my magic! I love it! BUT I will say that it does have HORRIBLE withdrawal effects. I ran out of some once and boy the vertigo, upset stomach, aches and sadness were horrible.

Recently I was in the hospital and even though I told them I needed it they would not let me take mine from home and it took them 2 days and an emotional breakdown from me to get it. The nurse found me in my bed rocking and bawling like a lost child. It took her about 2 mins flat to get the med from the pharmacy and give it to me. I suppose my mood scared her.

My thoughts are if it works then great but if you have to go off of it be prepared. I have been on it for over a year now.

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Been on for 2 yrs for pain from Fibro. Getting off now but doing it slowly. Started taking every other day then every couple of days. Now take 2 times a week. Really haven't noticed any bad reactions. Hope you feel better soon.

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Stopped taking Cymbalta 5 days ago no problems feel fine. Was taking for Fibro pain but going gluten-free and eating low carb has helped in so many ways. This was one diagnosis I was happy to hear - Celiac ! After being sick most of all summer and now feeling like a new person. Taking lots of B6 B12 liquid is really helping.

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Free from this stuff and never had the first with drawal symptom. Which leads me to believe I didn't need it in first place. Feel good and am seeing some weight loss and inches too. If you need it take it! But do think doctors like to write Rx's wat too much.

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