Posted 03 September 2011 - 06:58 AM
I started several months ago, in April, tapering down my dose. My dr initially wanted me to reduce 30mg/week. this, after abt 4 days produced severe withdrawal symptoms as you may imagine.
so i started a modified version of the bead taper method i found here, beginning with -1 mg. after 4-5 days, if i had not begun feeling withdrawal, i would double my reduction amount. example, 1st 5 days, reduced from 120, to 119. no withdrawal, so went to -2mg, then next 4 days, ok, went to -4mg, next 4 days, went to -8 mg. when i encountered any withdrawal effect i would stay at that dosage for a week, or until i stabilized. i got to a place where i was tapering down by -10mg every 2 weeks. that seemed to be the most i could reduce and 2 weeks was a good time period for me. or so i thought.
this turned out to be too quickly. at the end of being at 20mg/day for 2 weeks, i went ahead and dropped to 10mg, and i freaked out and had a severe agitated mood episode.
that's when i flushed the rest of my cymbalta and had to spend the month of August in cold turkey hell.
because of this site, and other things i found on the web, I started taking Udo's Choice 3-6-9 omega 3 oil, 1 cap 3x a day, 50 mg 5-HTP 1 cap each morning, 500 mg DL-phenlyalanine, 1 cap each morning, 500 mg L-Glutamine (these last 3 are amino acids, and I am still taking them daily), and one benadryl cap 3x/day
i was already on an herbal protocol and clean detox diet for lyme disease, which I believe helped me be in a healthier place and better equipped to physically deal with the withdrawal. my herbal protocol includes chinese herbs, HeShouWu (cousin of japanese knotweed), Anodrographis, and cat's claw. Among the things they do is immune system strengthening, and brain support (lyme spirochetes attack the soft tissue of the brain).
my diet consists of water, veggies, fruit, nuts and legumes. NO: sugar, caffeine, processed foods, wheat, meat ...
the auriculotherapy (like acupuncture, only done on the ear alone) was based on a 5 point protocol designed to treat heroin addicts in withdrawal, and got rid of all the physical symptoms (temporarily) and enabled me to function while my body adjusted.
i am a reiki student, and received an attunement august 19, which sent me into a massive detox (like the worst flu ever) after which all my withdrawal symptoms completely evaporated over the next week or so, while I continued giving myself reiki healing every day.
i would strongly suggest to anyone who has the leisure and access to pharmaceuticals to do so, to just taper as slowly as possible. i know now i went more quickly than i should have, and this is why i suffered withdrawal symptoms. but i was pressured to complete the taper by the time my prescription ran out since my insurance stopped covering cymbalta by removing it from its formulary and only had a limited supply of pills to work with. i didn't have a choice, and there are a lot of people out there who don't have a choice, and their numbers will increase as insurance companies tighten their belts and drop more and more coverage.
so in closing:
#1. taper as slowly as possible
#2. if you for any reason (no judgement) stop cold turkey you will experience negative withdrawal effects. BUT, there is an end to it, and there are things that can help.
i strongly suggest alternative practices for withdrawal support. the last thing you need to do IMHO is treat the problem with the same kind of thing that caused it. if your body is struggling to rid itself of toxic wastes caused by the sudden withdrawal of a chemical substance that rearranged the way your brain and body work, more chemicals are only going to prolong or exacerbate the problem.
but then, i am no doctor, and this is just my opinion.
in my experience alternative healing models worked wonderfully to detox my body and bring relief to my symptoms without re-poisoning my body with more psycho pharmaceuticals.
i will NEVER let that crap back into my body. [/rant]
the thing i needed to hear most when i was detoxing is this: this does not have to last forever. it did not for me.
take good care, and good luck. and THANK YOU ALL for being here when i was in the pits of hell. you helped me keep my sanity, and kept me from giving up in despair. <3