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#1 DrJ

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Posted 03 January 2021 - 09:05 PM

I'm five weeks out from the last dose after tapering from 60mg to 15mg over about a month.  I am 50 and have been struggling with bad anxiety and depression for 2.5 years.  I was on 60mg cymbalta for about half of that.  I guess I was doing relatively OK now that I compare it to where I am.  I started getting erratic mood changes so decided to stop it without knowing the possible severity of symptoms.  Was stably depressed for a few weeks.  Then over the past 2 weeks started having crazy rapid mood swings from happiness to extreme despair and anxiety.  During one, it's as if the other didnt just happen.  I desperately want to think this is from cymbalta withdrawal rather than rapid cycling bipolar as my doctor says.  He had previously put me on the bipolar spectrum due to my trouble getting on ADs so I take lamictal which he now wants to increase.   

 

I've never posted anything about my struggles so I guess I'm looking for some support.  I've nearly given in twice and popped a cymbalta, but something stops me and I wait it out.  When can expect the crazy mood swings to settle down a little so I'll know when to accept that I may have bipolar.  I do have skin tingling/burning across chest and back that give me hope this is withdrawal.  

 

Thanks


#2 invalidusername

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 09:54 AM

Hi there DrJ.

 

If you have been on Cymbalta for over a year and then dropped 75% of your dose in a month, I would give it a 95% chance that what you are going through is withdrawal from what you describe. Doctors don't always understand quite what is involved in tapering, and give a generic 1 month for every year on the dose nonsense. Aside from everybody being different in that respect, Cymbalta has a renown very nasty withdrawal that needs to be respected if one is to avoid withdrawal symptoms. 

 

Can you confirm when you did this month of reduction and tell us where you are now with the dose? This will give us the information we need for the best way forward.

 

Not knowing where you are in this crazy world, but I anticipate, much like the rest of us, you are going through the covid situation and withdrawing at such times are going to be very difficult. I am part way through a benzo withdrawal, but I am staying put for the time being knowing that the present climate is already putting us all at risk.

 

Well done for reaching out, we all know how difficult it can be, but we will do our very best to help and support you. Have a look around the site as there is plenty of information, but get back to me when you can with the above and we can go from there.

 

All the very best.

 

IUN


#3 fishinghat

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 10:06 AM

Welcome to the forum DrJ.  Definitely withdrawal. Classic symptoms. I would suggest you go back to 20 mg and try and get some relief. Once stable you can try weaning at a much slower pace. Most members take 3 to 8 months to wean off and still have a lot of severe symptoms. This is definitely a marathon and not a sprint. 

 

Don't feel bad about your dr not understanding. There is no requirements (at least here in the USA) for the drs to be trained on the withdrawal from this drug. 

 

Let us know if there is anything we can help with. Hang in there.


#4 DrJ

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 06:44 PM

I meant to say that I tapered from 60mg to zero in a month.  Last dose was about 5 weeks ago.  I very much don't want to go back on it, but would if it was a sure thing to ease the struggle.  I'd rather take the pain now than later if there is relief in the near future.   Resolution may be a long way off, but when can I expect a good spell so I can catch my breath?  


#5 invalidusername

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 06:54 PM

Hmmmm. That is no question a withdrawal thing if you went right off in a month.

 

Five weeks in is a fair battle to have gotten through, but not wanting to sugar-coat the possibles, you could be looking at quite a ride yet. If you were to go back on a dose, the absolute maximum I would advise is 20mg, if that. Otherwise it would be too much of a shock to the system. Threshold is usually 3-4 weeks if you are going to reinstate so it is a weighing up the pros and cons.

 

If what you are dealing with now is bearable, I would not reinstate and instead seek aid through animos, vitamins and so forth, but I would go easy with the pharma meds when withdrawal is definately the culprit here.


#6 fishinghat

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 09:00 AM

1. This withdrawal can last a year or more but having said that there is a small percentage that recover in 4 or 5 weeks but that is unusual.  

 

2, There is the option of opening the capsule and taking a couple of beads to get a little break. How many beads to take would depend on how many beads are inside your capsules. There are also some supplements that can help as well as dietary changes. Those are all spelled out in our free ebook. It is at the top of the page in the Medical Support section. 

 

3. There are also things to avoid that can make your symptoms worse as well. Things such as sugar, caffeine, solvent vapors and much more. That list is also in the ebook.

 

If you need any help in finding any pertinent information just let us know and we would be glad to help.


#7 DrJ

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 08:05 PM

Any experience with inderal for severe withdrawal anxiety?


#8 fishinghat

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 08:40 AM

This is the info I have on Inderal. I do know that other beta-blockers do NOT cross the blood brain barrier and only relieve body symptoms of anxiety/adrenaline. However Inderal DOES cross this barrier and helps to partly relieve anxiety symptoms in both the body and emotional areas of the brain. 
 
Propranolol (generic Inderal)
 
Propanolol is a beta blocker similar to atenolol.
 
Frog - I did want to tell you that the Propranolol beta blocker has been working REALLY well for me. I had little to no anxiety at all yesterday. All day. I still don't feel like totally myself and totally comfortable but I can see that more clearly now than when I was filled with uncontrollable physical fear and dread all day long.
 
Propranolol is a bronchoconstrictor. It reduces air flow through the lungs, especially during exercise.
Propranolol increases the release of norepinephrine during exercise.
Propranolol can cause a condition called "exercise induced asthma".

#9 DrJ

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 09:05 AM

Thanks.  Got some Inderal and seems like it's really gonna be good though it's only been a day.  I'm about 5 weeks out from last dose and only have faint echo of brain zap once in a while.  Does this signify impending resolution of other symptoms or do zaps stop way before others do?  i.e.  anxiety, skin burning


#10 fishinghat

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 10:02 AM

Brain zaps usually are one of the first symptoms to fade but all the beta-blockers are usually pretty good at controlling them.

 

Please keep us informed on how the Inderal works for you as that is how we collect data and can help others.

 

Hang in there.


#11 frog

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 08:16 PM

Hi DrJ

I was on propranolol for a while because I was having nonstop panic attacks when I stopped taking Cymbalta. In my case they were definitely caused by withdrawal. I had never had them prior. I don't know if it did that much for the mental/emotional stuff, I was definitely still on the rollercoaster while on them, but it helped me get through the panic attack phase: the shaking, sweating, tunnel vision, heart pounding. I took them twice a day and they kicked in really fast too. 

 

The only problem I had with Propranolol was I often felt really faint or suddenly dizzy. Since it slows down your heart rate, depending on your level of physical activity you might need your heart to be pumping faster and it won't so you can get lightheaded. 

 

Just something to keep an eye out for


#12 DrJ

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 10:00 PM

No real luck with inderal that I could tell after 3 days.  Crazy bad depression spells last 6-8 hours then resolve and I feel close to normal.  Tried xanax, but no help.  I can't imagine this months- do the downs get easier, shorter, better each week?


#13 fishinghat

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 08:18 AM

Antianxiety medications do not work for depression, in fact, they can make it worse. 


#14 frog

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 06:30 PM

Oops sorry yes propranolol/inderal only helps with physical symptoms of anxiety. Would not help for depression at all.


#15 DrJ

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 06:15 AM

Yes, I think I found that out.  Usually wake feeling good except skin tingling, then severe depression creeps in for the day.  How long do the skin symptoms usually last?  The zaps are gone, but skin tingling hasn't decreased at all.  Thanks


#16 fishinghat

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 08:11 AM

The skin symptoms usually last 1 to 5 months. Some members have reported success treating it with diaper rash cream.


#17 DrJ

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 05:25 PM

People probably already know, but I'm finding that eating some protein helps when mood swings down.


#18 fishinghat

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 06:34 PM

Interesting. My psychiatrists have always said more protein for anxiety and less for depression. Myself, I could never tell the difference. I do know that white chicken and turkey meat contain a lot of tryptophan which your body converts to serotonin. That helps anxiety some but never seen any benefit from other meats.


#19 DrJ

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 10:08 AM

Will effexor or pristiq alleviate cymbalta withdrawal.  Hate to create another problem, but about to cry uncle.  They can't be any harder to get off.


#20 fishinghat

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 11:08 AM

They both can be helpful BUT...

 

It takes them 4 to 6 weeks to kick in.

 

Both have similar withdrawals to Cymbalta.

 

There is only a 50/50 chance that another antidepressant will work. In my case they tried 4 different antidepressants to treat my withdrawal symptoms before finding one that worked. Of course I still had to go through withdrawal during all those trials. 

 

Most members have the best luck with either Prozac, Lexapro or Zoloft.

 

The more antidepressants you try the greater the risk of one causing side effects.

 

Have you tried any of the supplements in the ebook?

 

Are you suffering more from anxiety or depression?


#21 DrJ

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 04:19 PM

Yes tried every supplement I can.  Too depressed to mount much anxiety if that makes sense.  SSRIs ramped symptoms up too much to tolerate effective dose.  Need to do something so hoping to retry SNRI that would be easier to get off than cymbalta.  Sounds unlikely.


#22 fishinghat

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 05:36 PM

You are right, it is unlikely. Occasionally some of the old tricyclic antidepressants can work but they can have bad side effects, long-term effects and not so good withdrawals also. Sorry, I wish I could help. 


#23 invalidusername

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 08:20 PM

Hat has covered this in best detail. There is just no knowing, but if you have to play anti depressant roulette, you need to give yourself time between, which of course is not exactly easy. But you WILL reduce the probability of another working with each passing trial.

 

Again, what Hat said about the tricyclics... they are usually a last option, but some have succombed to them to find they do the job, but you need to know what you are letting yourself in for.


#24 Mxpro32

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Posted Yesterday, 09:54 AM

So if I try another antidepressant and quit at some point, the next antidepressant is less likely to work in the future? Thats scary. Sometimes I feel like ultimately I'm going to need to be on one as my head seems so screwed up, but I don't want to end up without options.

#25 fishinghat

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Posted Yesterday, 02:44 PM

Unluckily you understand. I wish there was something profound I could say but depression is an ugly persistent beast.





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