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#1 MaureenV

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    Am trying to get off Cymbalta 30mg and wondering about brain zaps.

Posted 28 September 2009 - 12:41 AM

Just goes to show, there's no dose too low to withdraw from that's going to be trouble free.

After splitting a 10mg (which I'd been taking for five days - with zero symptoms by the fifth day) I got myself prepared with Omega 3, am taking the maximum suggested dose of 3 x 1000mg, three times a day, split the last 10mg into two fives for the next two days then stopped.


This is now the third day and the brain zaps are actually worse than when I was trying to stop by taking it alternate days. They started on the second day of 5mg, so I wasn't too surprised, but got worse on the second day, now they're worse again on the third day. Now it's sometimes three zaps in a few seconds. I can go for a little while without any, like a few minutes, then get dozens in a minute, along with more severe tinnitus than I usually get.

Strangely enough, Ifeel fairly stable emotionally, and none of the other withdrawal symptoms have reappeared, so if I could take some time off work I could put up with them I think, but I'm self employed (it's 3.30p.m. Monday here) and it's severely affecting my concentration.

Oct, Nov and dec are my busiest working months, and I just can't let my customers down by being so ineffective, so I've taken 5mg to see how it goes; planning on repeating that tomorrow am and so on.

Unbelievable, that 10mg can make such a difference.

Perhaps I could plug myself into the power and feed some electricity back into the system and get a credit on my next bill. I FEEL as though I could!

Yours in astonishment,

Maureen.

#2 cardgirl1

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 06:10 AM

Well, I've finally started the brain zaps, these are awful. I have horrible body tremors that are preventing sleep. It is my 7th day and I was hoping I would be doing better by now. I took two days off work and had the weekend but I still feel completely out of wack. I'm going into work and hope that I can control my crying spells (I'm so nervous) and hope the body shaking stops. I hate so much that this is mental and isn't physical that could be easily fixed. Sigh. I'm so tired and so scared of not feeling better. All I want at this point is to make it through ONE day without having a completely hysterical crying eposide and I would like some sleep and peace of mind.

Praying for peace-
Cardgirl1

#3 Junior

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 07:14 AM

Oh Cardgirl, when you talk about the shaking (it's internal for me) and the nervousness, I can SO relate to what you are going through. That together with insomnia is exactly what i'm going through right now.

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((huge hugs)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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#4 cardgirl1

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 11:35 AM

I know I'm so nervous and anxious right now. I feel semi-better at this moment and I work myself up over what if I start feeling bad again? What if I can't sleep? What if this doesn't go away?? Hopefully, it will soon for both of us.

Hugs to you also!!

#5 MaureenV

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    Am trying to get off Cymbalta 30mg and wondering about brain zaps.

Posted 28 September 2009 - 06:05 PM

Cardgirl, do you like reading?


I'm self employed, so can stop when things get bad and disappear into a book for half an hour to feel better.

Doesn't earn me any money, but keeps me sane. Relatively, anyway. ;)



maureen.

#6 cardgirl1

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 06:54 PM

I love reading Maureen :) I haven't been able to read much lately with all my emotions....but for anyone who is looking for something to read my counselor suggests the Dalai Lama, "Art of Happiness" and says it is especially helpful to listen to in the car so you do not become anxious and build on your thoughts. I haven't been able to get it yet-but if it helps someone else I'm glad.

#7 nursedeborah

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    I am reallly trying to get off Cymbalta, and not having, well I am having nightmares even with the decreased does, and clanging in my head.

    I just found this site, and I really need help, I can't do this, I fear I willl never get off this brutal medication.

    Deboreah Wesson

Posted 28 September 2009 - 09:45 PM

Hi you guys, I am so sorry that your all ahving such a struggle right now.

dali Lama(sp) was just here in Calif this past week end, and I didn't knw until
it was over! All my friends that went were still on a high just from seeing him.

He talk about staying in the moment, something I learned in therapy, and in AA
but have forgotten how to do it, heck on this med, and coming off it has made it really hard to
remember things, or focus.

I just want you all to know I do know what your going through, and here in the US eating a baked potatoe
is supposed to help with sleep, worth trying!!! All my friends swear by it, but again I just forget to do it!

I am here for all of you when ever you need support!

Love,
Debbie

Wow I love all this support stuff that's happening!

#8 Firefighter1042

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 06:44 AM

I need to start off by saying it is so good not to be alone!

I had no idea what was wrong with me. I was on Paxil approximately a decade ago, and when I went off that, I had some minor withdrawl issues. Not sure if it was idiosynchrasy, but my tongue would go numb, and my fingers would often have a tingling sensation in them. That was tolerable. This however is a whole new beast.

I was on Cymbalta for about 2 months, 30mg bid. Then after the current situation I was in started to improve and felt that I was emotionally stable enough to stop taking the Cymbalta, I quit cold turkey. I was not told otherwise via my doc. It took about 5 days and the symptoms are very similar to yours.

I have the hot and cold stages, never able to really find a "comfortable" temperature. This I can deal with, I just usually have to "layer" now, so I can adjust accordingly. The only time I really struggle with it is when it sends me into an all out sweat. I dont normally perspire, even with a decent amount of physical activity. But to just be sitting there and all of a sudden be constantly wiping my face and head off because of the perspiration is just unreal. My girlfriend is very concerned because it was always a running joke with us, she would break a sweat if she sneezed whereas I would not break a sweat after running a mile. I always told her if you see me just sweating, something is really wrong or I really told one big lie! LOL Well, not she is scared because she will see me sitting in a 68 degree room watching tv and beads of sweat rolling down my face.

The most important topic I have read has also lead to a huge relief. I didnt know what "brain zaps" were. I just knew I was scared of what was happening to my body. It was as if a shockwave is traveling from my brain straight into my chest. They are so intense that I actually thought my heart was skipping a beat and would monitor my pulse to see. If my eyes are closed I get a flash of light and feel as if I am recieving an electrical shock. Its bittersweet I guess, I am relieved to know what they are and that I am not alone, but still is tough having to deal with them.


This is my first ever post on here, I have been cold turkey for almost a 10 days now, and not sure if I should "wean" from here on out, or try and stay off completely. I just had to switch PCP in the last 6 months. I love my old doc and he was great to deal with but moved away. This new doc lacks bedside manner and frankly I think lacks intelligence in certain areas. I dont believe he stays current on the constantly ongoing changes in the pharmacuetical world.

Anyhow, it is good to know I am not alone and there is support out there. I look forward to chatting with you all more and hoping getting relief soon and updating as I go.

Best wishes to all,
Trent

#9 nursedeborah

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    I am reallly trying to get off Cymbalta, and not having, well I am having nightmares even with the decreased does, and clanging in my head.

    I just found this site, and I really need help, I can't do this, I fear I willl never get off this brutal medication.

    Deboreah Wesson

Posted 29 September 2009 - 10:53 AM

Firefighter,
Welcome! I know how grateful I was to find this place! I could not do what your doing!

I loved the fact that I learned here just how do do a slow taper, one that would make the
withdrawls not so bad.

It goes to show you it does not matter how long you have been on this drug, you will still
get the withdrawl symptoms, and just as intense as someone that was on it like myself
for 3 1/2 @ 60 mg.

Doctors don't know about this drug at all, how it affects some people to just be on it,
let alone 99.9% coming off of it. I had to take the list of withdrawls to my doc, even
if he really didn't know about it that much, he still allowed me to go off it at my own
pace. He told me that the rep had told him I was just "sensitive" to the drug, and I told
him I am bringing you copies of some posts, just to show you ass. Oh we have been
friends for years, and I am a nurse, and worked with him for many years too!

See how you are in a day or two, and if not doing better, just get the drug, and do a
slow taper. You will find many examples here on just how to do so.

We open the caps, and dump a portion out, oh there are just so many methods, but
don't feel like you have to be tuff just because youa guy!!! This crap is brutal

Check out the site for withdrawl symptoms http://prozactruth.com/cymbalta.htm


Good luck, and your not alone, we are all here to support you.

Debbie

#10 nursedeborah

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    I am reallly trying to get off Cymbalta, and not having, well I am having nightmares even with the decreased does, and clanging in my head.

    I just found this site, and I really need help, I can't do this, I fear I willl never get off this brutal medication.

    Deboreah Wesson

Posted 29 September 2009 - 10:59 AM

Maurene,
You poor thing, I just re-read your post about stopping the 5 mg after 2 days.
Boy for me after being here, and each decrease, no matter the amount I
have withdrawls.

There was one woman who had to do the 2.5 mg for 2 weeks, but she didn't
ever say what she did after that? I do wonder what we do when we get down
to that amout, that's getting really smalll, but still I seem to be one that has
had such an swful time with the withdrawls.

I sure hope your ok, and still not going through the Zaps, that you did something
to help yourself out.

Love,
Debbie

#11 barney59

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    I have been on Cymbalta for several years and my doctor started weening me off 3 wks ago. I am now having symptoms that I don't understand

Posted 29 September 2009 - 11:17 AM

FF1042

Sorry you are going thru this. Having a doc on your side, I feel is crucial. My doc had no clue what I was going thru until he saw me last Thurs. He is now taking this very serious. What I did was to print a report that the FDA did on Cymbalta Withdrawal and gave it to him. It was a legitimate source to him. He is filing a report of his own with the FDA. These docs are being kept in the dark about the problems with cymbalta withdrawal. Lilly is not forthcoming! I am on day 11 of withdrawal. Brain zaps have seemed to lessen although they come back with a vengence at night. Maybe cause I am tired? don't know. All the other emotional and physical issues continue to cling to me. My doc weaned me off of 120mg over a 3 week period. I had been on Cymbalta about 3 years. This site has helped me so much. You will find it full of very caring and kind people who are going thru exactly what you are. We are all going thru the same thing, and we will all get through it, together. Stay strong B

#12 barney59

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 11:24 AM

FF1042

Meant to give you that link to FDA report. Here it is. take it to your doc. Let him see that what you are going thru is legit.

http://www.fda.gov/d... ... 172866.pdf

If I didn't do the link right let me know. I'm not great at all thing computer!

B

#13 MaureenV

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    Am trying to get off Cymbalta 30mg and wondering about brain zaps.

Posted 29 September 2009 - 04:26 PM

Maurene,
You poor thing, I just re-read your post about stopping the 5 mg after 2 days.
Boy for me after being here, and each decrease, no matter the amount I
have withdrawls.

There was one woman who had to do the 2.5 mg for 2 weeks, but she didn't
ever say what she did after that? I do wonder what we do when we get down
to that amout, that's getting really smalll, but still I seem to be one that has
had such an swful time with the withdrawls.

I sure hope your ok, and still not going through the Zaps, that you did something
to help yourself out.

Love,
Debbie




Thanks for the support. Just goes to show how complex our brains are. Perhaps the actual dose is irrelevant when stopping: whether your brain is used to 5mg or 150mg, it may react the same to the sudden withdrawal ??

I did wonder if I'm going to get to the point where I'm taking one little ball. :))


I know 9 little balls = 1g, so that would be 1/9th of a g.

Sometimes you've just gotta laugh.


Maureen.

#14 Firefighter1042

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 09:39 PM

Thanks Debbie and Barney!

I am supposed to get a phone call from my doc tomorrow as to whether to stay off of it cold turkey or if he recommends to start tapering. I can handle most of the stuff. (temperature irregularities, sweating, etc) But when it feels like a bolt of lightning is passing through my brain down into the depth of my chest, it becomes difficult. For me, it feels as if an electric bolt starts in my head, and as if a "whish" sounds goes past my ears, then down into my chest. And everytime for me, it is a double tap that happens in a period of about .5 seconds. If my eyes are closed I will see a double flash of light. And I am just as sure with all of you, the frequency of "zaps" change. Yesterday was a rough day, with zaps hitting me about 3-5 times a minute, today not nearly as bad.

I actually thought my heart was missing beats when they would hit, mainly because of the "convulsion" like feeling I would get in my chest. I actually hooked myself up to an EKG at work and laid there for about a minute, just to make sure my heart rate never changed, missed a beat or showed any other type of abnormalities. There were no abnormalities, but when I go to bed at night I sometimes expect to have a bruise in the shape of a mule's hoof imprinted on my chest, because the more intense "zaps" feel just like that, a mule kicking me in the chest.

Anyhow, moving on, being a support group, I am looking forward to getting to know all of you. To give you a nugget of info on me; I am 34, full time firefighter/paramedic, single, never married (however I have stood in 12 weddings and been the best man 4 times), I live in Michigan. I have 2 cats but would much rather have a dog, but working 24 hour shifts, sometimes much longer if I get overtime, just wouldnt be fair to the dog, where as the cats are pretty content as is. I get bored easily so I have a few hobbies; I fish, hike, have a motorcycle, music, read, skydive, volleyball, draw, etc. So, there is a lil tid bit on me. I look forward to getting to know all of you, and once again, thanks for the help and the link.

Trent

#15 nursedeborah

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    I am reallly trying to get off Cymbalta, and not having, well I am having nightmares even with the decreased does, and clanging in my head.

    I just found this site, and I really need help, I can't do this, I fear I willl never get off this brutal medication.

    Deboreah Wesson

Posted 30 September 2009 - 02:40 PM

Trent,
If you think it's bad now, then don't even allow anyone to make you go cold turkey!
Someone just lost their job becuase he couldn't function. I am a nurse, and this is
something I have never seen in all my years of practicing. I even worked Psych for
15 years, so I do know about the ones that are hard to come off of, also had experience
with Paxil years ago, I had the Brain Zaps on the darn stuff!

All I am saying is that if you read some of the posts from Houdini who did go cold turkey
or go online and look at you tube depresssion hurts cymbalta hurts more, also there are others
there. You will just find that going cold turkey is in the same class as detoxing off of Oxycotin!!

I will be honest with you I have been in recovery for many years, so I know what it is like to have to
detox, and this is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. At least with narcotics, you just have to
go a few days, and then your done, not so with Cymbalta. The withdrawls can last anywhere up to
6 months for some, even a year. One guy said his stopped after 87 days, and that was not even
cold turkey.

Be kind to yourself, and you family, do a slow taper. This is not medical advice, only a strong
suggestion.

What ever you do decide we are here for you always.
Debbie

#16 Firefighter1042

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 04:26 PM

Trent,
If you think it's bad now, then don't even allow anyone to make you go cold turkey!
Someone just lost their job becuase he couldn't function. I am a nurse, and this is
something I have never seen in all my years of practicing. I even worked Psych for
15 years, so I do know about the ones that are hard to come off of, also had experience
with Paxil years ago, I had the Brain Zaps on the darn stuff!

All I am saying is that if you read some of the posts from Houdini who did go cold turkey
or go online and look at you tube depresssion hurts cymbalta hurts more, also there are others
there. You will just find that going cold turkey is in the same class as detoxing off of Oxycotin!!

I will be honest with you I have been in recovery for many years, so I know what it is like to have to
detox, and this is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. At least with narcotics, you just have to
go a few days, and then your done, not so with Cymbalta. The withdrawls can last anywhere up to
6 months for some, even a year. One guy said his stopped after 87 days, and that was not even
cold turkey.

Be kind to yourself, and you family, do a slow taper. This is not medical advice, only a strong
suggestion.

What ever you do decide we are here for you always.
Debbie


Hi Debbie,

I want to clear up any misunderstandings. I just started this group 2 days ago, and I am so thankful I found it. Mainly because the way my body was reacting was scaring the hell out of me, and I didnt know what the hell it was. In fact, up until a couple days ago, I never related my symptoms to stopping the Cymbalta. (you have no idea how relieved I was when I found this page and found that it wasnt just me) I never took anyones advice to quit "cold turkey". I never read anything about quitting cold turkey. I simply just stopped taking it. My doc never said to taper off, or to go to a lower dosage. The cold turkey was me and me alone. My question to my doctor today was "should I stay the course?", or "should I begin to taper?"

I still am waiting on the answer. The hard part is that his office called 3 times today to ask questions and I they had no idea about the symptoms I was talking about. I still never got my answer. I feel like he; 1) has no idea what the hell cymbalta withdrawls are or what they do to you, or 2) thinks i am being a hypochondriac and am overreacting.

So begins my search for my new doc. I did have a great doc the last 5 years, and he unfortunately moved, and I have had this doc for about 5 months, and we have already butted heads a few times. I dont think he stays updated and informed on current medicine. Just a hunch.

As for your youtube comment, "depression hurts, cymbalta hurts more". I almost immediately laughed and said OMG!! I was just talking to a close friend of mine yesterday, and my exact words were "I know hindsight is 20/20, but given the choice again, I would deal with the depression and never take Cymbalta again" Just found it ironic.

Have a great day!

Trent

#17 barney59

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 06:14 PM

Trent,
Before you search for another doctor, please let him read that FDA report I linked to you. My neurologist really appreciated getting a copy. It opened his eyes to what is going on and that it is not an isoleted experience. Like I said, he is going to send his own report to the FDA. Give the doc you have a chance to do right. If not then find a new doc and take the report with you. It really validates everything

B

#18 stonesinmyshoe

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    IF i DON'T GET HELP i WILL DIE

Posted 30 September 2009 - 10:14 PM

I don't even know where to begin. Started taking Cymbalta about a year ago, prescribed by a psych's office. Wow, I felt great and wanted more of that feeling. Slowly I started feeling awful, then more and more I felt REALLY bad and by May of this year I felt I had accomplished all I could and started giving my things away. I couldn't think, walked in circles, forgot everything I knew, was overwhelmed by everything. After several really busy days, I had forgotten to take several capsules. I was ready to commit the big S, cried because of anything that I felt was wrong in my life. Spoke to my regular doc who said to be certain not to skip any doses and upped the amount. She referred me back to the shrink, who also upped the doseage and restated not to skip any doses, no matter what. I gained 30 lbs in 2 months and was miserable. I decided to wean myself off of this murderous drug and spoke to an RN who encouraged me. I started on a weight loss patch, which helped a great deal and changed doctors and started to wean off again. I felt fairly OK, much more stable, until I saw the new doc who wanted me to take the fully prescribed doseage again and referred me back to the shrink, the same shrink. Don't they keep up with what's really happening? Thanks for stating that Prozac helps and I can obtain it. I don't know where else to turn and what to do next. Any recommendations would be helpful.

#19 stonesinmyshoe

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 10:45 PM

I have just read some of the comments of those withdrawing. I never connected some of the symptoms to what was happening. The Brain Buzz - I thought I was experiencing a "stinger" my whole body ached and I couldn't be touched anywhere - the pain was excruciating, the bouts with diarrhea, I've had ear ringing since an auto accident in the 80's, but this interferes with my ability to hear, the headaches - stress right? the tired feelings, so bad I feel like I can't move, everything tastes salty, the sweats, esp. at night and the smell is really bad if I wear a sterling silver necklace, which is my business, what next and does anyone know a lawyer experienced in Cymbalta cases? HELP

#20 Firefighter1042

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:26 AM

Trent,
Before you search for another doctor, please let him read that FDA report I linked to you. My neurologist really appreciated getting a copy. It opened his eyes to what is going on and that it is not an isoleted experience. Like I said, he is going to send his own report to the FDA. Give the doc you have a chance to do right. If not then find a new doc and take the report with you. It really validates everything

B


Hey Barney

I love that you are on top of your game. And you are right, if my doc just questioned the Cymbalata and nothing else, I would take your advice and take him the FDA info. (which I am planning on doing regardless) However, he is a new doc for me, (less than 6 months) and thus far I may have been spoiled by my old doc. My current doctor does not stay up to date on current changes in pharmacology, treatments, invasive interaction and so on. I think he may very well have graduated med school and called it good. I dont envy docs, with the drug and medical industry always changing, it seems you would have to spend a great deal of time just to stay current with knowledge and still be able to treat your patients. I do take that into consideration, however he has screwed up on several more occasions than just the Cymbalta.

Thanks again B!
Trent

#21 barney59

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 02:28 PM

Trent -
I understand. Hope you fing a good doc that is ready to hear you out. Take this report with you though. If it were me, I'd leave a copy of the report with the worthless doctor that your not going to see anymore, with a FYI message. But I can be hateful like that at times. I was so healthy until 2003 when I got a virus. That is what started the decline in my health. I have seen sooooo many doctors over these years, including some at Mayo. Some were great, some horrible. Good luck to you!

B



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