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Cymbalta And Alcohol Abuse


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#1 jamie70

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    having severe withdraw symptoms

Posted 06 November 2010 - 10:04 AM

Wow, this hit home! I started cymbalta Feb or March of this year and like to drink. About 2 months ago, I made myself quit drinking!! I thought I was losing control!! I would say "I'm not drinking tonight" and then decide to have one then maybe one more...then I wouldn't stop til I was drunk..drunk!! I even blacked out twice and I haven't done that since I was right out of high school!! I thought I was just enjoying summertime, but after 3 weekends in a roll of getting totally shitfaced on red bull and vodka, I thought I had a problem. But when I quit it didn't bother me, I didn't crave anything or even want to drink. You can do it!!! Hopefully you won't want to like I did..then you won't have a problem at all!! I'll follow your progress and help all I can. This place has helped me so much already, just been on here since last Tues!!

#2 RickWC

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 01:05 AM

Thanks for replying......it is good to know that I am not the only one!!! I too would think "I am just going to have one glass of wine" and then I would lose control, drink the whole bottle and then keep drinking the next day. I NEVER did this before. My husband and friends think I have a major problem and need to go to rehab. I truly believe that alcohol is not my problem; it was the deadly combination of Cymbalta, Ativan and alcohol. Now that I am doing more research, I realize what an addictive and horrible drug Ativan is. I take it for insomnia at night (and have for 3 years). I think it was a major contributor in my depression. Web MD actually says that Ativan can "cause depression". So instead of ceasing the Ativan when I got seriously depressed, I added Cymbalta, kept socially drinking like I always have (I am 38 years old) and bam! It was not too long before I was a complete mess. I would quit drinking for long periods of time in between episodes, and then a life stressor would send me over the edge, I would reach for one or two drinks and end up hysterically crying and blackout drunk.

Anyway, I do not think I need to go to rehab; I just need to get all prescription drugs out of my system. I am on day 6 of no Cymbalta (I tapered very slowly for about a month). I am emotionally okay; a little weepy but nothing like the wreck I was when I tried to taper relatively quickly 3 months ago. I haven't had anything to drink in 3 weeks and don't plan on it until I am also off the Ativan. I realize that these drugs all say "do not drink alcohol while taking this medication" but my doctor actually said it was okay to have a few now and then.......these drugs do NOT say "drinking alcohol while taking this medication can cause you to act completely crazy and wreck your entire life".

My hope is to NEVER have any prescription bottles in my life again.

Thanks again. :)


Holly, I hope things are going better for you. I have been on cymbalta for about 5 years and have found that my drinking has steadily increased. Are you or I alcoholics? I've been to AA meetings to see what it is all about and I don't seem to fit the profile of the others. My ex was an alcoholic but I don't fit her profile either. She was like you, it would seem. She would start drinking and couldn't quit, often going on a multi-day binge. But other days she didn't drink at all.

I have gotten to the point where I drink every single day. But I never binge like that. I drink until I am tired and then go to sleep. But we all deal with things differently. Drinking does change your thinking just like prescription drugs. So when you add them together, it gets even more difficult to understand what you are feeling.

Doctors don't make things any better. I told my doctor on Monday, Nov 8th that I wanted off Cymbalta and he came up with a plan. I went 4 days cold turkey a few years back and the withdrawal was horrible but so I trusted his plan. He told me to alternate between 60 mg and 30 mg for one week, then take 30 mg each day for the 2nd week. After that, stop taking it. He also subscribed Prozac for the withdrawal symtoms.

I've learned from this forum that 2 weeks is not long enough and that alterating between a dose and 1/2 dose is a bad idea. Then I looked up some facts on Prozac. Some of the side affects from taking Prozac are the same as the withdrawal symptoms of Cymbalta. So my oww doctor doesn't even understand the drugs he is prescribing.

You get my point. Good luck to both of us.

#3 Cymbalta4IED

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 01:16 PM

I am on my 2nd week of weaning from 60 mg a day of Shitbalta. I am now taking 30 mg of Shitbalta 20 mg of Prozac. My doctor knows that I am a borderline alcoholic (I drink from 6 to 12 beers a day. Beer here is between 4 and 6.9 % alcohol depending on brand).

Why would a doctor prescribe Shitbalta to a drinker when they have the option of prescribing Prozac or another AD that is not as harmful? It's not so much the side effects that I have a problem with, but the fact that the combination has proven to reek havoc on the liver.

My Shitbalta bottle says "Do Not Drink Alcohol With This Medication" My Prozac says "Alcohol May Intensify The Effects" There is a difference in the warnings and to my knowledge there is nothing to indicate that Prozac and Alcohol is harmful to the liver.

Is it because the doctors get kickbacks for prescribing certain medications? I hope not. I really like my doctor, and don't want to think he would put me in danger knowingly. He does listen to me and will usually honor my wishes when it comes to my medications. He was reluctant at first but later agreed with my need to wean from Shitbalta, and I also suggested to supplement w/Prozac and he did.

cheers, (I think ;) )

#4 ckmed

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 01:47 PM

Wow- I stumbled across this thread while looking around the site and I am blown away! I have always liked red wine and have been a social drinker. I always kept it under control, within the limits. In the past year, I slowly started increasing my drinking until it became nightly. It was no longer social because I was just home with the family and usually my husband didn't join me for a drink. By the end, I was drinking between 1/2 bottle to a bottle of red wine a night. On the weekends I would drink until I was drunk and passed out, usually with many holes in my memory the next morning with a giant hangover.

I was in denial about having a problem, but I knew what I was doing wasn't ok. I never realized that it was connected to the Cymbalta but now as I look back I see that the drinking started increasing when I began taking the pills...I recently quit drinking because I found out I was pregnant and I'm majorly cutting back on my Cymbalta doses in the hopes of getting off completely soon. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! Good luck to you all!!



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