Tappering For Two Years. Help!
Posted 01 March 2022 - 07:54 PM
I have been reducing my cymbalta dosage for something more than two years now (second try, the first, three years ago was too fast and I started to take it again in a month of try although my anxiety and depression symptoms did not go. I was feeling prety well before this).
Two years ago, before starting the second try,I started to take vortioxetina (Brintelix) before starting to reduce my dosage of cymbalta.
My reducction progress has not been regular. I was taking 30 mg and 60 mg every other day. Two months to start taking 30mg every day, and then started bead counting, in January 2020.
There are 250 beads in each capsule of 30 mg. Some months a reduced the dosage in 25 beads, some ten, some nothing, depending on how I was feeling. The last months, since last july, I think that the reducction has been too fast (new doctor recomendation). I was taking 105 beads in july, and now 10 beads since last december.
I am feeling really bad. I am like in a constant anxiety crisis all day and night, with panic feelings, nervous...desperated.
My doctor has told me to increase my intake of alprazolam and pregabalina to go with this. But I can't stand any more, I am so scared... I am thinking to increase a bit the cymbalta intake to 30, 40, 50 beads...
and to continue more slowly when I feel better. Do you think that increasing something the dosage of cymbalta now could help me to feel better?
Thanks very much all of you.
Posted 01 March 2022 - 08:26 PM
Hi Iratxe and welcome to the forum...
You never have to apologise for your English - we see so many people from all over the world and we manage to understand! You should congratulate yourself on writing to us here on the forum. You have taken a very important step to help your recovery.
OK... so the first thing that worries me is that you have a lot of medications that you are taking. Am I right in thinking you are taking Brintelix, Xanax (alprazolam), Pregabalin AND Cymbalta? This is not a good mix. First of all we need to know the dose of each of these drugs. And whether you are stable on these other drugs or if you are trying to reduces these as well.
Can you also say why you are looking to reduce the Cymbalta? I assume the Brintelix is to help with depression? And the Pregabalin for anxiety? You should know that pregabalin was not originally made for anxiety and you must be VERY careful with this as it can worsen depression - particularly during withdrawal. You need to take this VERY slowly when you do this.
If all you have changed is the Cymbalta dose and you are now having these issues, then it might be better to increase the dose slowly, but it depends on the dose of Brintelix you are taking as increasing too much can cause serotonin syndrome. Your doctor should know this and have advised you.
If you can answer my questions, we will do all we can to help you. Unfortunately, doctors do not know all that they should be doing and taking all these medications can make things very difficult for you when you are looking to withdraw.
My fellow friends and admin, Fishing Hat will come along tomorrow and add some more information no doubt, but will agree that we need a bit more information before we can advise you on the best way forward for you. But please know we will help you as much as we can...
Posted 01 March 2022 - 09:45 PM
My problem is general anxiety disorder (since 2014-2015), not depression. The first depression symptoms started the first time I tried to weaning of cymbalta (october 2018). My treatment for anxiety were three drugs: cymbalta, pergabalina (lyrica 300mg) and alprazolam (1mg). As I was feeling ok, I finised with alprazolam first, reduced lyrica after and started to reduced cymbalta
in october 2018. All the cymbalta in one month. And the result was terrorific, brain zaps, nausea, anxiety and some depression symptoms I had never had before. I started taking inmediatly once more cymbalta (30-60 mg), and with the time also alprazolam (2mg) and lyrica (300 mg) but I didn't improve enough. So the decision was to change cymbalta by brintelix (december 2019). That is way I am weaning of cymbalta.
I continue now with the same dosage of lyrica (300 mg) although my doctors proposal is to increase it now to 425mg and also to increase alprazolam to 4mg/day with the hope that this can help with this hard time.
But I wonder if it wouldn't be better to increase a bit the number of beads of cymbalta I take.
It is incredible the work you do in this place.
I am very grateful.
Posted 02 March 2022 - 09:49 AM
Thank you for the details.
I think the first thing you need is a new dr.!!
300 mg of pregabalin is a very high dose. My wife has had 4 back surgeries and as a result has constant back pain and she only takes 100 mg/day. Also, pregabalin, a pain killer, can have a nasty withdrawal as well. As IUN said it is not approved for anxiety or commonly used for that purpose. To go to 425mg is unacceptable. Maximum recommended dose is 330 mg. Drug addicts often use 400 mg to get high.
In addition, alprazolam (1mg) is OK but to go to 4mg/day is excessive. It may be beneficial but this type of drug has a nasty withdrawal. Most drs here do not use this. They first try either clonidine or hydroxyzine which do not have a withdrawal.
Just my opinion, and I am not a doctor but if it was me but if you have not increase the pregabalin or alprazolam yet. Instead I would increase my number of beads from 10 to say 30 BUT this is not a sure-fire solution but it might help. For most members only about half benefit from increasing the dose. The decision is yours and we will support you with whatever you decide.
Also, when you do a big drop like you did down to 10 beads it can take you 6 to 8 months to finally settle down from the withdrawal symptoms.
Posted 02 March 2022 - 11:28 AM
Here, in Spain, any doctor uses dosages of pergabaline until 600 mgs, that is what is approved, also for anxiety. I have not increased pergabaline yet, but I have increased the alprazolam until 4 mgs. I know its withdrawal is hard also... but I needed to do something. I have never heard about clonidin or hydroxyzine, I would say they are not used here (just alprazolam, lorazepam, diazepam).
I have changed my doctor many times but all of them prescribe me the same. I am seeing that things are very different from country to country.
50% of posibilities to improve is not bad, so I will consider to increas the intake of beads of cymbalta to 30 beads. And maybe after thar reduce it very very slowly, going from 3 to 1 bead per month reduction.
First I will see if I feel better with the increase of alprazolam. But 6 or 8 months is too long to stay this way. I am going crazy.
I will tell here how I am progressing.
Have a nice day.
Posted 02 March 2022 - 05:18 PM
One thing you might consider is reviewing our free ebook. It has a lot of information and the supplements people have used, safety precautions and much more. It is located at ...
There are many supplements that have been very beneficial to a lot of members.
Posted 02 March 2022 - 06:28 PM
Posted 02 March 2022 - 06:31 PM
Something to cheer you up!! A lovely man who helped me through my Pregabalin withdrawal... the language is a bit strong in places, but it is such a great way to help you when you are in the middle of withdrawal. I must have watched this video about 300 times in 2 weeks when I was reducing my dose!!
Posted 02 March 2022 - 07:29 PM
I have already read part of the ebook, and also taken some suplements (Omega 3, ashwagandha...) But I never know how to measure their effectiveness.
My doctor is thinking I have increased my dosage of pregabaline... I will have to say him I prefer not to increase it yet. I have wrote him an e-mail talking about clonidine and hydroxyzine, and the answer has been quite positive, he sais that depending on my evolution hydroxyzine might be a posibility (I am thinking of changing alprazolam by hydroxyzine). At least today, with 4mgs of alprazolam my anxiety is only very high, but I am not in a permanent anxiety crisis. I will wait a week before deciding whether to add some more cymbalta beads (going from 10 to 20 or 30) or not.
It is amazing all the information can be found in this forum. If doctors had a look in this kind of places a lot of us would be feeling much better!!!
Posted 02 March 2022 - 08:53 PM
I am glad that you Doctor is open to considering hydroxyzine - one of the benefit is that you will know very quickly if it works for you or not. You will not bee to wait like anti-depressants.
Omega 3 is often used to reduce brain fog and zaps. There isn't much known about why this works, but many members have reported a lot of success using it. Ashwagandha also does not need time to build up to work. I have always suggested KSM-66 as it is the better part of the root to use. If it works, you will feel very relaxed, some have reported feeling a little tired but overall a feeling of not being worried nearly as much. Remember that it also needs a tolerance break. Maybe a couple of days every two weeks to maintain the potency. You will find your own dose and it can also help you to sleep in higher doses. You cannot really overdose on it, but start low around 500mg and gradually increase until you find what works for you. I found that 1gm of KSM-66 worked well for me, but regular Ashwagandha this would be nearer 3gm.
I am glad you are finding the information here useful, and thank you for your kind words..
Wishing you a peaceful sleep
Posted 03 March 2022 - 06:32 AM
I will try KSM-66 Ashwagandha.
I will buy it right now.
Two questions related to the following information fishinghat:
"when you do a big drop like you did down to 10 beads it can take you 6 to 8 months to finally settle down from the withdrawal symptoms"
- ¿What does mean settle down exactly? I mean, I think I will improve slowly durin 6-8 months, not being the same as I am now during such a long period, to start improving after 6-8 months.
- When finally I am feeling better after this withdrawal and I start to reduce my last 10 beads one a month for example. When I take the last bead, will I be feeling the same us now once more?
Posted 03 March 2022 - 01:02 PM
"- ¿What does mean settle down exactly? I mean, I think I will improve slowly durin 6-8 months, not being the same as I am now during such a long period, to start improving after 6-8 months."
A very slow improvement over the first two to four months and then a faster improvement over the next 2 to 4 months (That is an average).
"- When finally I am feeling better after this withdrawal and I start to reduce my last 10 beads one a month for example. When I take the last bead, will I be feeling the same us now once more?"
It really depends on your sensitivity as well as how slow you reduce. The 1 o 3 bead drop a month is reasonable.
Posted 03 March 2022 - 07:23 PM
I will look forward to seeing how you get on with the KSM-66. It helped me in the interim.
I am compelled to mention Kratom as it can be frowned upon but given that it is considered safe by the WHO, I do not mind mentioning it. But before I mentioned anything, if you are prone to addiction, then you are best giving it a miss. But Kratom has got me to a place that I never through I would be. It was nothing short of a miracle for me. You are permitted to purchase and consume Kratom in Spain and I will happily give you any guidance. It has saved my and my wife from some very severe circumstances.
But let's start with the Ashwagandha, and the plan that Hat has suggested. I strongly believe you are on far too much of a cocktail of medication to be throwing too much more into the mix.
One thing at a time - but please... let us know how you get on. There are many things that you can consider to help you in your situation which we can help you with.
Try to stay as calm as you can - we will do all we can to help you through your circumstances. We have seen a lot of members going through similar things that you are are - and they have come out the other side and had a good life. You will too - it just takes time.
Posted 04 March 2022 - 06:54 PM
I will start with Ashwagandha and see. I take a lot of medication, something I hate, and need to be careful with new meds, natural or not. Kratom looks powerful and I am very sensible. I gave a try to CBD oil too and it made me nauseous.
My first anxiety/panic crisis occurred when I first took an AD (escitalopram) for stress problems in 2014. I have never been the same since then.
So, slowly, being very careful and patient, maybe the sun will shine again for me someday.
Posted 04 March 2022 - 08:41 PM
So, slowly, being very careful and patient, maybe the sun will shine again for me someday.
I have my own saying - it can't rain all the time. There is no maybe. You will get there.
More people have reactions to CBD than Kratom due to the process used to extract the part of the plant. Kratom is simply leaves - nothing else. But yes - lets see how you get on with the KSM-66.
It can be a real pain when you are allergic to so many things. I have been allergic to pain killers most of my life, so any headache, or migraine... I can't do anything except wait for it to go. I also suffer with urticaria but am allergic to antihistamines, so when that happens I just itch like crazy and again, cannot do anything!! It really sucks!!
Posted 14 March 2022 - 10:50 AM
I come back to tell you that now I feel better. At least I sleep well, and the anxiety crises are less intense and less frequent. I feel a little down in the morning, but not too bad.
I started taking KSM-66. I'm not sure if it helps me, but I'll continue with it. I also switched from alprazolam to the retard one.
I'm thinking of trying Suntheanine when I'm done with the bottle of KSM-66. It gives me good vibrations.
I didn't need to increase the cymbalta beads so I'm sticking with ten beds (of 240 in a 30 mgr capsule).
I'll wait a month or so, I need a little rest and I'll continue with the beads reduction. Maybe 3-4 beads per month drop. I know the nausea and dizziness will come first and then the anxiety attacks and depression again, but it will be the LAST time!
I will tell how my story continues. I will surely need your support and advice again.
Posted 23 March 2022 - 05:56 AM
I was hoping more time would pass before I needed your help again.
But my improvement did not last long. I'm having a worse time than ever.
Is that normal, start to get better and then get even worse?
It has been 4 months since I last reduced my cymbalta dosage (9 of december).
I am constantly nervous, day and night, with almost constant feeling of panic. I have not received the Suntheanine yet. I hope it helps me.
Have a nice day.
Posted 23 March 2022 - 08:33 AM
Unluckily it is common. With time the good periods will get longer and the bad periods shorter. With a significant drop in dose it can take 6 to 8 months for these swings to stabilize. Some only take a few weeks. Just try to stay away from stress and be kind to yourself.
Posted 23 March 2022 - 09:57 AM
Okay, there's no choice but patience again, but it is not easy when you are suffering so much.
I have already realized how stress affects me. One day of stress makes also the following days worse.
Right now I'm off work. I am an associate professor at the Faculty of Informatics at the University of the Basque Country. I couldn't keep working, I'm unable to concentrate, and I get very anxious when I try.
But being at home all day is not good either. Too much free time to think about myself and my condition.
Posted 29 March 2022 - 06:13 AM
Hi Iratxe - apolgies for the delay getting back to you.
Hat is right - sometimes these things can come back and bite you on the ass. From looking at my notes, it took me around 10 months to be able to step back with any sort of confidence and say.. yes.. I have gotten somewhere now with this.
Stress did it for me every time. Without going into too much detail, the stress chemistry (adrenaline, cortisol..) in your body takes a long time to get used to working on its own initiative again as you drop. So the slightest amount of stress can push you right out of whack. The levels your body is running on at the moment is limited and there is only so much in the tank. As soon as this is bypassed, you will unfortunately get these symptoms.
But in due course, these WILL improve. The most commonly used phrase on this site is that which Hat is always say - "time and patience". It is a bitter pill to swallow and I found with natural remedies and meditation, I got through the time it took for my body to get itself back into line.
Thoughts and prayers are with you.
Posted 29 March 2022 - 08:44 AM
Thank you both for being there, no matter how long it takes you to respond.
I feel better again the last few days, we'll see how long it lasts, I hope I don't continue like a roller coaster.
My psychiatrist says the same, "patience and time" (and courage is not bad either...).
I am not going to change anything in my medication for the next few months until I stabilize and then we will see how I finish with the last 10 beads of cymbalta.
KSM-66 doesn't work for me. After speaking with my psychiatrist and taking into account all the meds I take, I will try taking Suntheanine only if I feel really bad again.
Patience and time, I will repeat it over and over again, like a mantra.
Posted 01 April 2022 - 08:20 AM
My psychiatrist says the same, "patience and time" (and courage is not bad either...).
That will make Hat happy for sure! It is like a mantra, but equally very tough. We have all been there. We understand completely what we are asking, and know that it isn't something easily done.
Shame the KSM didn't work - the Suntheanine is a totally different compound so you might enjoy better success on that. Still other routes to go down.
Posted 10 May 2022 - 08:59 AM
The last drecrase of cymbalta dose I did was in December, and in January, I started to get worse. I only have 10 beads left to finish with cymbalta, In fact, last week I made an attempt to quit cold turkey this 10 beads which was a disaster.
I feel so bad that I think again that it might be a good idea to increase the number of cymbalta beads to 30 or 50. I don't mind having to keep taking those cymbalta beads for a long time if it makes me feel better. I need to reduce my suffering, right now I am frecuently thinking that I want to die.
Do you think that I could feel a bit better by increasing the cymbalta beads intake considering that it has been 5 months since I did the last drop?
Posted 10 May 2022 - 05:10 PM
If you are at 10 beads i would say just go up maybe 2 or3 beads. Have you ever updosed before and if so did it help/ If it did not help then it probably won't this time either. If you haven't tried it before then it is worth a try. When you up dose do not be surprised if you feel a little brain fog with some dizziness. A lot of people do but that usually settles down inb a few days.
Those last ten beads often take 3 to 9 months to come off of them. Sucks I know but rushing it is a recipe for disaster.
What supplements have you tried? Maybe there are some others we can recommend.
Posted 11 May 2022 - 09:07 AM
I have never upped the dose since I started slow tapering (January 2020, 30 mgr of cymbalta).
Before this (october 2018), the first time I tried to quit cymbalta, I did it quickly (as doctors usually recommend). I reduced from 250 beds to 125 in a week, then to 75... after a month, with a dose of 25 beds, I was completely unable to work. With a depression that didn't let me get out of bed (I took cymbalta for GAB, not depression). At that point I went back inmediatly to 30mg cymbalta. The physical symptoms disappeared (nausea, muscle pain, brain zaps...) but the depression and panic did not improve. I needed a whole year to start again to work. So, if this serves as example, I can say that updosing cymbalta didn´t work.
I will continue for a while taking ten beds and I will see.
Supplements I have tried: KSM-66, Suntheanine, CBD, tryptofhan with vitamins, melatonin (this is the only one I take now), krill oil,... and probably more things I don´t remember now.
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