Jump to content



Photo

I'm A Mess...getting Off Cymbalta And Wellbutrin


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 SonSetFree

SonSetFree

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 10 November 2021 - 04:36 PM

Hi All,

 

(I am typing this for my wife who has trouble with screens and typing.  She has been in WD since July 17 after discontinuing Wellbutrin and Cymbalta.)

 

I have a long history of AD use, but for the last 10+ years I have been on Wellbutrin, Cymbalta and Trazadone.  I started tapering Cymbalta by removing beads 3 years ago, in April I jumped from about 6 to 4 Beads.  I started having muscle twitching and spasms and a couple of melt downs but I did not attribute it to the Cymbalta drop because I didn't have my usual brain zaps that tell me I tapered too fast.  At that time I was also taking 75mg Wellbutrin and started to think my Wellbutrin was the bad guy, so on July 5th I stopped taking the Wellbutrin 75mg cold turkey (after about a week of alternating days) AND at the same time stopped my last 4 beads of Cymbalta.  For almost 2 weeks it was bliss, muscle cramping went away, no issues.

 

Needless to say I got hit hard about 13 days later.  Since then I have had countless physical and mental symptoms that have been debilitating (you all know).  Stomach, Insomnia, Flu Like Symptoms, No Appetite (lost 20 lbs) Depression, Anxiety, Crying Spells, depersonalization and more.

 

My GP referred me to a Psych who initially dismissed withdrawal and put me on 15mg Remeron.  So I broke it in half and took it to see if it would help with my anxiety, sleep and appetite.  It worked on the sleep and appetite for about a week, and then it all came back. So then I tried reinstating WB at about 22 mg a day.  It didn't do much, so I gave it more time, about a month of playing with my dosing slightly and still no change. 

 

I finally decided it must be the Cymbalta, even though I was down to 4 beads when I jumped off.  So I reinstated 2 beads, and it immediately helped with sleep.  I slept 8 hrs the first night I reinstated which was the first full night of sleep at the time in many weeks.  My appetite and anxiety improved, then after 2 weeks, it all came back, but with a vengeance, full on panic attacks off and on for about a week and a half.  Then I updosed 1 Bead and again, sleep and anxiety improved for a little less than 2 weeks, then the panic attacks and no sleep came back.  And that catches you up to where I am today.  So in summary 2 months in to my Cymbalta reinstatement I am currently in total despair; Severe Anxiety, with Panic Attacks every other day, crippling depression in multiple crying spells a day and not leaving the bed/couch/house much;

 

My current daily regiment:

7.5 mg Remeron and 50mg Trazadone at Night

22 mg Wellbutrin broken into 3 doses a day (10mg, 6mg & 6mg)

3 beads Cymbalta, 1 in the morning and 2 early evening (Tiny Beads from Torrent Manufacturer - 210 beads per 20 mg Capsule)

 

Big Questions:  Do you think this is Cymbalta or Wellbutrin WD?  Any idea why it improved then everything came back?  

 

Given I improved on the reinstatement and updose of Cymbalta, do you think I should updose Cymbalta another bead to see if it knocks it out again, or would I possibly be making things worse?

 

Thanks so much you guys are amazing for what you do. 

 

-Son

 


#2 fishinghat

fishinghat

    Site Partners

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,238 posts
  • LocationMissouri

Posted 10 November 2021 - 06:04 PM

We hear this type of story so often. When one begins having serious withdrawal symptoms we get desperate for some relief. That included me when I went through my withdrawal. We start to tweak other meds, updose, down dose and try other meds. This reaction almost never works but usually make things even worse. I can assure you that your experience is not uncommon. Remember that a change in meds (updose, downdose or additional meds) usually takes 4 to 8 weeks for the4 blood chemistry to stabilize. Of course the smaller a change the less effects (positive or negative). 

 

To answer your questions...

 

I would think this is both Cymbalta or Wellbutrin WD. Remember that Cymbalta helps regulate serotonin and norepinephrine and Wellbutrin effects dopamine. So now instead of 2 neurotransmitters out of balance you have 3. The reason this is particularly bad is is that our body converts Dopa to dopamine to norepinephrine and then epinephrine. So now your dopamine is unstable and your body is searching for stability, it overproduces and then under produces as it desperately tries to regain control. This instability causes an instability in norepinephrine and then epinephrine which are already unstable from the Cymbalta withdrawal. 

 

By adding Remeron, which blocks serotonin and adrenaline receptors, this should have helped some BUT is your adrenaline high (probably) and your serotonin high and thus needs blocking? Research into serotonin levels during use of an AD or withdrawal from an AD shows that levels vary widely from one patient to the next. Drs, like yours, just typically throw a med at these symptoms and hope it works. One of the negatives is that Remeron has its own withdrawal that you will have to deal with in time. 

 

Now you understand I am no dr but just my opinion based on my experience with many on this site I would just suggest hold steady at your current med schedule you posted. Give things a couple months for things to stabilize before you make any more changes. Neurotransmitter stability can take up to 2 years for your body to regain control. That is why withdrawal is done so slowly. 

 

By the way that was an excellent post with the details that we need to see in order to understand the situation. Well done.


#3 invalidusername

invalidusername

    Site Admin

  • Site Supporter
  • 5,774 posts
  • LocationKent, UK

Posted 13 November 2021 - 07:32 PM

Welcome to the forum, and my apologies in the delay responding to you...

 

..however, Hat has got you offer to a fantastic start here. I agree that one of the problems is that another med has been thrown at the problem prior to letting the neurochemistry balancing itself out. Doctors feel obliged to offer an immediate solution which may turn out to be more harmful in the long run.

 

Very strange to be taking the Wellbutrin at different levels as with a very lengthy half life, it should make no difference. If it is not showing improvement, then I would suggest taking this out of the equation. The less we have to deal with, the easier the problem is to pinpoint. 

 

We have had a number of members who have had issues with the last few beads and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the issue is the Cymbalta. It concerns me that you say "about" 6 beads to 4. At this stage, 1 bead here or there can make a huge difference. When you dropped a bead from 20 to 19, we are talking 5% reduction. Your body can cope with that, but 6 down to 4 is a reduction of 33%. Nearly 7 times worse!! 

 

When it gets to this point, the drops need to be changed in order to get around these final drops, thusly;

 

6 beads

6 beads one day, 5 beads the next

5 beads

5 beads one day, 4 beads the next

...continue

 

Remain at each of these dosage patterns for as long as needed by simply listening to your body.

 

I would also suggest levelling our the dose to eliminate the issues of the short half life, so 6 beads are taken 3 + 3 beads (12 hours apart), 5 beads are taken 3 + 2 beads 12 hours apart etc.

 

Hope this make sense. This is my opinion, but I feel it is the way forward.

 

IUN


#4 SonSetFree

SonSetFree

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 14 November 2021 - 09:31 PM

Thanks FH & IUN!

 

"Very strange to be taking the Wellbutrin at different levels as with a very lengthy half life, it should make no difference. If it is not showing improvement, then I would suggest taking this out of the equation. The less we have to deal with, the easier the problem is to pinpoint."

 

IUN, are you saying I should just condense my Wellbutrin dose into 1 or 2 doses per day, or are you saying I should get Wellbutrin out of the picture all together?

 

FH, you think I should hold longer?  It has been two months since reinstatement of 2 Cymbalta beads a day and 2.5 weeks since I updosed to 3 beads.  That is the only med change I have made.  

 

BTW, i came down with a cold...and thinking of taking something like Mucinex to help loosen stuff up.  Are you guys generally seeing people able to tolerate these?

 

-Son


#5 fishinghat

fishinghat

    Site Partners

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,238 posts
  • LocationMissouri

Posted 15 November 2021 - 07:48 AM

Well SSF, you did the change in Wellbutrin in July as well. I know that seems like a long time ago but nerves take a long time to heal and the body to adapt. I have seen members often take 6 to 8 months to stabilize after just one change let alone two. 

 

 

Have you felt any better in the last 2 or 3 weeks, basically the same or worse?

 

The manufacturer makes several varieties, each with different ingredients. Those containing Guaifenesin are fine but the varieties containing  Pseudoephedrine  or Dextromethorphan  can cause problems. The Pseudoephedrine  causes a raise in blood pressure and high heart rates in about 10% of the people who take it. The flip side of the coin is that in a similar % of members it greatly helped their withdrawal symptoms. If you decide to try a product with Pseudoephedrine  in it start at a very low dose and gradually work up. That way you can see what effects it has on you. If the heart/blood pressure issues develop stop taking the meds and the symptoms usually clear in 12 hours or so.

 

The Dextromethorphan  is a more dangerous situation. Taking both Dextromethorphan  with an antidepressant can cause serotonin syndrome which can be very serious and even deadly. They should never be taken together.


#6 SonSetFree

SonSetFree

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 15 November 2021 - 04:47 PM

Thanks for the info!

 

"Have you felt any better in the last 2 or 3 weeks, basically the same or worse?"

 

It's hard to say with the recent cold or whatever it is.  I feel like I have the flu...my body is extra weak and lethargic.  But also have congestion, dry cough, but no fever.  Hopefully it is the cold that has knocked me down.  Before that, I was doing better.  Immediately after updose, my sleep got better and the panic attacks stopped for about a week and a half.  Then anxiety started back up again, just not quite as bad as before.  It is hard to say if I'm doing better without waiting to see when this cold lifts.


#7 fishinghat

fishinghat

    Site Partners

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,238 posts
  • LocationMissouri

Posted 16 November 2021 - 10:00 AM

I think you are right. Just get and get a lot of rest nd see what happens after you get over the cold.


#8 SonSetFree

SonSetFree

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 17 November 2021 - 01:08 PM

Hey Hat, thanks I will stay put for a while.

 

I wonder, hypothetically, if I maintained my current med regiment indefinitely, would I in theory not only stabilize, but eventually in time get back to normal?  Or would staying on a microdose of Cymb prolong the healing?  

 

SSF


#9 fishinghat

fishinghat

    Site Partners

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,238 posts
  • LocationMissouri

Posted 17 November 2021 - 03:14 PM

it has been my experience with members on this site that most stabilize in 6 to 9 months and then when they make the final mini drop they take another 4 to 8 months to stabilize. This is compared to those who go all the way through bead counting nd take 8 to 16 months to stabilize. 


#10 invalidusername

invalidusername

    Site Admin

  • Site Supporter
  • 5,774 posts
  • LocationKent, UK

Posted 17 November 2021 - 07:17 PM

Hey SSF

 

To answer the question regarding the Welbutrin, yes - there will be no difference in reducing the level of dosing even if you are one of those who (due to fast metabolism, low bmi or similar) have the shorter half life. 

 

As Hat said, with the extra addition of the drug, it makes things more complex when trying to pinpoint specific issues. Yet, even after what seems like sufficient time for the symptoms to pass, they may still be having adverse effects. We have seen a number of people on the forum, particularly those as yourself, of whom have had to take these things slowly - and then reduce things almost to a standstill to get a bearable withdrawal plan.

 

Either way - we are here to help you. 

 

Hat has got a far better grasp than I on the OTC stuff than myself, so can't add anything more to that. You can certainly trust his well-founded knowledge.


#11 SonSetFree

SonSetFree

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 30 November 2021 - 01:15 PM

Hey Hat and IUN,

 

Been holding steady since our last conversation as Hat recommended.  So it will be over two months since reinstatement of Cymb and over one month since updosing 1 bead.  So you don't have to scroll up;

 

My current daily regiment:

7.5 mg Remeron and 50mg Trazadone at Night

22 mg Wellbutrin broken into 3 doses a day (10mg, 6mg & 6mg)

3 beads Cymbalta, 1 in the morning and 2 early evening (Tiny Beads from Torrent Manufacturer - 210 beads per 20 mg Capsule)

 

In these past two weeks,

 

The Good: 

I am seeing improvement in sleep.  I hit record for consecutive days of decent sleep (over 5 hrs).   I have seen some minor improvement in mood and anxiety...had a couple of days going without crying spells.  I also spent most of a 2 day period with Family during Thanksgiving and I don't think I could have a month ago. So I'm thankful.

 

The Bad:

Overall depression and anxiety and that underwater alternate universe feeling that i'm stuck in is still a major issue.  

Still have neurological things, dizziness and feeling car sick after doing certain activities like watching TV. 

Have muscle burning pain on the left side. 

Fatigue is big, although I had chronic fatigue before withdrawal (not saying my chronic fatigue isn't related to antidepressants and antidepressant changes...cold switching over the years as I believe it's related).   

I have had a couple of anger/rage flare ups...just said mean things that's out of character and overreacted to minor annoyances.

 

What do ya'll think?

Is this all to be expected this far out...almost 5 months?  Or since I'm not on therapeutic doses of an AD, could this be my normal unmedicated state?   Or, if you look at my symptom list, does anything jump out at you as being medication interaction related?  

 

At what point in your withdrawal did the crippling anxiety and depression lift?

 

I just want to feel well enough so that I can start a more active daily routine that I can stick to.  Maybe get a part time job or volunteer.  Something that will help with the depression and take my mind off my illness.

 

-Son

 

 

 

My current daily regiment:

7.5 mg Remeron and 50mg Trazadone at Night

22 mg Wellbutrin broken into 3 doses a day (10mg, 6mg & 6mg)

3 beads Cymbalta, 1 in the morning and 2 early evening (Tiny Beads from Torrent Manufacturer - 210 beads per 20 mg Capsule)


#12 fishinghat

fishinghat

    Site Partners

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,238 posts
  • LocationMissouri

Posted 30 November 2021 - 05:09 PM

Excellent post SSF.

 

There are certainly good signs there. The improvements you noted are just what I would expect. 

 

Definitely NOT your "normal unmedicated state".  The absence of Cymbalta from your body is what causes the withdrawal and it normally takes your synapses (part of the nervous system) around 2 years to fully recover. Given your current rate of improvement I would guess that it might take you another 4 or 5 months to get comfortable. The longer you wait the easier the rest of the withdrawal will be. 

 

I see nothing that worries me about drug interactions.

 

The crippling anxiety and/or depression starts to lift after around 8 months to 1 year and can take as long as 2 years but that is rare.

 

I wish I could be more optimistic but given your sensitivity to Cymbalta withdrawal this would be my best guess. It will get better though. Try not to put added pressure (stress) on yourself as this only makes the withdrawal last longer. Right now isn't the time to worry about a job, exercise, diet, or other life changing action. Your body needs stability and a stress free life style in order to recover as fast as possible.

 

Have you talked to your dr about medication to help control your symptoms while you heal? Have you looked at our list of supplements to help the withdrawal? There is a lot of info on this in our free ebook.


#13 SonSetFree

SonSetFree

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 08 December 2021 - 02:26 PM

Thanks Hat,

 

It was a hard blow to hear the 4 or 5 month outlook.  I feel desperate so it sounds like an eternity.  But thanks for your honesty.

 

In terms of meds I don't want to go the benzo route...  The physical symptoms I can manage, but am interested in anything else to get some type of relief from the fear, panic and doom episodes and the overall complete inability to experience joy.  

 

I have read about Clonidine, Hydroxyzine and then the supplements Suntheanine and Ashwagandha.  I'm worried about these things prolonging my healing or making things worse but willing to give them a try.

 

I just purchased Suntheanine and Ashwagandha GSM 66 after reading the suggestion on your site.  I took a very small dose, 60-80 mg of the Suntheanine as a test to make sure I don't react.  No negative reaction or positive effect observed.  Haven't tried the Ashwagandha yet but will after upping my Suntheanine dose and see how it goes before deciding to try Ashwagandha.

 

Anything else come to mind?  What about EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy and the like for withdrawal symptoms?

 

Thanks Hat and IUN!


#14 fishinghat

fishinghat

    Site Partners

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,238 posts
  • LocationMissouri

Posted 08 December 2021 - 02:49 PM

You are on the right track. One thing at a time and start with a low dose. Normally we see people get some relief with Suntheanine at 200 to 400 mg/day. It is usually taken in 100 mg doses 2 to 4 times a day and may take a few days to have a significant effect. The GSM 66 Ashwagandha is a good thing to try and has you well know IUN is the expert on that. There is no indication that these items prolong the healing. I have not seen any adverse reactions on this site to either one but can't say it is impossible. There are other things to try but lets take this one step at a time.

 

We have had 5 or six members try EMDR with varied success. It is mostly for ptsd and trauma. I really don't have an opinion on it.

 

 Cognitive behavioral therapy is an excellent way to develop coping skills but the problem is it can take months to learn and master the techniques. Definitely not a quick fix. 


#15 SonSetFree

SonSetFree

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 30 December 2021 - 11:03 AM

Hey Hat and IUN,

 

Been about 3 weeks since I checked in...hope all is well with you.  A lot going on here.  I had a check up and got some meds refilled.  I got some Hydroxyzine to have on standby, but haven't taken it yet.  They ran some bloodwork and everything was fine except the low iron. 

 

Around Christmas Eve, I started having fever and chills and congestion.  Tested positive for Covid.  Around the time the Covid symptoms came on, strangely, I was doing well mentally from a withdrawal standpoint. This went on until around the time the fever lifted, the 28th, and a massive wave hit. I am still in it and it is as bad as I have seen since the beginning of withdrawal.  I haven't stopped crying since then (my husband is typing this for me).

 

Incidentally, I also accidentally missed one of my 3 daily Wellbutrin doses on the 26th, but took a larger dose on my last dose of the day to compensate.  So I ended up taking 20 mg that day vs my usual 22 mg.  Then the next day, went back to the regular 22 mg regimen. That is the first time I've done that, and not sure it is entering into the equation or not.

 

Looking for reassurance that this set back is due to the Covid, and should resolve soon. I haven't lost 4 months of healing?  What have you and the community experienced with Covid on withdrawal?  

 

Best to you two in the new year,

-Son


#16 fishinghat

fishinghat

    Site Partners

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,238 posts
  • LocationMissouri

Posted 30 December 2021 - 05:18 PM

You are the first person I remember that hjave mentioned having had covid during withdrawal. But others who have gotten sick such as colds, flu, etc have had major setbacks. Once the infection is gone they usually settle back down and continue their withdrawal. Take it easy and get plenty of rest. It can take a while to recover fully from covid.

 

Wishing you the very best. Happy New Year!!


#17 invalidusername

invalidusername

    Site Admin

  • Site Supporter
  • 5,774 posts
  • LocationKent, UK

Posted 10 January 2022 - 07:03 PM

Apologies for my delay Son...

 

A belated Happy New Year to you and to say that Hat put you straight with anything that attacks the immunity will undoubtedly cause setbacks. One thing I will add is not to compensate with these meds if you have missed a dose and you end up with another spike in the other direction. Just take your normal dose the next day.

 

I am very sorry to hear that you have been hit with covid. I have my own take on the whole "pandemic" and here in the UK, it is just getting out of hand. They roll out the 3rd jab and then there was even talk of a 4th jab. There are already published papers which have shown the 3rd jab to further suppress the immunity of the individual which is why a majority of the people getting the latest strain are those that have had all 3 jabs. Ironic? Not to me...

 

Not to say these jabs do not have their place, but it is ridiculous when the government advisors know less than they should about immunology. The whole country following the advice of an MD who had friends in the right places at Oxford University.

 

Please let us know how you are getting on - wishing you the very best.

 

IUN


#18 SonSetFree

SonSetFree

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 19 January 2022 - 01:13 PM

Thanks IUN, 

 

I will heed your advice on not to double up on missed doses.  I am still struggling with the impact Covid has had unfortunately.  It showed signs of lifting with some symptoms easing up for a couple of days, then they came back.  At first most to the symptoms were just physical, then the mental came.  Anxiety is a huge issue especially in the first half of the day.  I have been crying non stop and have not been able to even watch TV.

 

One of the moderators on another sight suggested I start to ween off of Wellbutrin which may be aggravating my anxiety and insomnia.  I am currently on only 22 mg a day.  Given I am mostly likely partially withdrawing from both Wellbutrin and Cymbalta, I felt like the last thing I wanted to do was reduce Wellbutrin, but now I wondering if I might find some relief in doing so.  Especially if the majority of my issue is more Cymbalta withdrawal related.

 

Any advice from you IUN or Hat on the Wellbutrin would be appreciated.  Given things with Covid aftermath/impact to immune system may still be running its course, not sure I should try changing anything yet.  Would also like your take on, once I do decide to taper off these meds, which medicine to taper first.  

 

Hope you are both getting along well!

 

-Son


#19 fishinghat

fishinghat

    Site Partners

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,238 posts
  • LocationMissouri

Posted 19 January 2022 - 03:20 PM

Hi Son

 

It is possible that the Wellbutrin is adding to your anxiety but the observation I have seen here is that only a small percent suffer that occurrence. The FDA statistics only says that 7.7% of people experience anxiety as a side effect of Wellbutrin. That sort of matches what I have seen.


#20 msmalcolm

msmalcolm

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 20 January 2022 - 06:18 PM

Hi,

 

I was reading your post because I have tried weaning Wellbutrin and Cymbalta. I am sorry you feel so bad. I wanted to share my experience with you. I was on 25mg Wellbutrin and 2 mg Cymbalta and holding on. Then I got the shot and 2 weeks later ended up in the ER with rapid heartrate, chest pain and bad anxiety. I asked my doctor if I could stop the Wellbutrin and he said sure, it wasn't enought to make a difference. Big mistake. I know the Wellbutrin added to my anxiety but I believe stopping it when I was in such a weakened state was a huge mistake.

 

That was in August. I'm still a bundle of anxiety and had to go up on my klonopin that I had worked so hard to wean down on. I'm not working, I have no energy, my heart rate goes up randomly, I can't sleep through the night and I cry a lot.  I've now had to add Zoloft to try to stablize but I'm only in week 2. I'm not dropping anything else until I'm stable. 

 

I hope you feel better soon! This is the hardest thing I've ever done. And it drags on and on. 


#21 invalidusername

invalidusername

    Site Admin

  • Site Supporter
  • 5,774 posts
  • LocationKent, UK

Posted 22 January 2022 - 07:18 PM

I think Malcolm speaks for a number of people in your situation and I would agree. Medical workers are all too quick to pull the plug on these things, but the best people to diagnose these things are ourselves. 

 

Bit of a catch 22 as the withdrawal would cause an equal, if not greater, level of anxiety, in which case it is far better off remaining on them. But again, I would strongly suggest one thing at a time as initially discussed...





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users