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Anyone On Cymbalta?


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25 replies to this topic

#1 Mtndog

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 07:25 AM

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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Beverly

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In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer.
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#2 Mskedi

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 07:43 AM

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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#3 EJR

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 07:52 AM

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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#4 Mtndog

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 08:09 AM

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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Beverly

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In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer.
Albert Careb


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#5 strawberrynin

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 05:39 PM

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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#6 tarnalberry

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 05:44 PM

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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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#7 Mtndog

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 06:45 AM

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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In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer.
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#8 tarnalberry

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 09:26 AM

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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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#9 blueeyedmanda

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 10:31 AM

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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#10 Mtndog

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 11:06 AM

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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Beverly

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In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer.
Albert Careb


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#11 nasalady

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 01:13 PM

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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Multiple autoimmune diseases, including celiac, Hashimoto's, psoriasis, autoimmune hepatitis, RA, SLE. Also have fibromyalgia.

Tested Fall 2008: bloodwork, biopsy negative; HLA DQ8. Doctor believes results negative due to prednisone and Imuran taken for autoimmune hepatitis.

Dx with celiac disease because of dietary response, genetics, and family history of celiac disease.


Dx with Lyme Disease Jan 2010; Lyme likely triggered some of the AI diseases.

Gluten free since 25 Nov 2008

#12 Mtndog

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 02:29 PM

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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In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer.
Albert Careb


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#13 tarnalberry

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 04:23 PM

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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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#14 Judyin Philly

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 07:05 AM

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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#15 KathiSharpe

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 07:12 AM

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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