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#61 gjwsea

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 03:03 AM

Hi,
I just discovered this forum and website. This thread in particular has been very helpful to read. I've been off of Cymbalta after more than 2 years for about 5 days now. I thought after these few days the symptoms would be lifting, but in fact they seem to be getting worse.

Physically, the "brain zaps" (I've been thinking of them as brain winces myself, but 'zaps' works) are just so incredibly annoying. I almost can't believe they're not a sign of some much worse problem. Also the itching some have mentioned here - I have to admit it did occur to me that the Cymbalta withdrawal would be playing a part in that, I thought the itching on my face and limbs was coincidental and occuring from some other unknown problem. But I've read it enough in this forum to rethink that.

But my main withdrawal issue has been the emotional. I was walking through a city park on Sunday (Discovery Park in Magnolia for Seattle-ites) on a hike I do quite often. Every ten minutes I would start crying, spontaneously, over thoughts as ordinary as the Olympics or a comment a friend made to me the other day about my hair. Okay, I'm getting a little grayer than I like, but Lord, I never would have burst into tears before! Here I am, in public, completely losing it, and how am I to explain the reason to anyone and not sound like a complete lunatic??? And when I'm not crying, I'm just fuming with anger over a breakup I had two years ago, or at my mother for her behaivor at my college graduation eleven years ago. I mean not just preturbed, but anger to a point where I'm ready to yell at anyone who looks at me funny (somehow I've managed to refrain.)

This is just not me, none of this. Not before the Cymbalta, and to the drug's credit, not when I was on in it either. In fact I've rarely felt better in my life than when I was on the drug, but the sexual side effects became too impactful on my current relationship and so I've switched to Wellbutrin. But, as I've stated previously, I did not expect any of these symptoms, I'm really taken by surprise, and the entire withdrawal experience is rapidly becoming somewhat traumatic.

I haven't been through this long enough yet to offer advice to anyone else, and I'm sorry to have to say that. But at the very least I offer my two cents to those reading to know that it's not just them, that this seems to be a very real manifestation of the drug and not of anyone's inner self. I know that realization from reading the other posts here gave me some comfort.

Greg

#62 iliao93

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 11:49 AM

I just have one to add to the list. olifactory hallucinations. I can smell some sort of chemical type smell that nobody else can smell.


Mokincaid your not alone in that! I also have "hyper smell" experiences. I call it that and it took me a while to figure it out.
I first experienced it when on Paxil. I told my Dr about it. When he came into the exam room I could smell the chemicals in the papers he was carrying, from across the room & it was very unpleasant ! It drove me wild, he said he had never herd of that before and switched me to Celexa. I did fairly well on that but unfortunately it quit working for me, hence this abominable Cymbalta.
I am now able to once again smell things others can not, altho it is not as acute as with the Paxil.
Thinking about it, my doc has always been willing to switch my anti when ever it was giving me a problem. Now with Cymbalta he is totally unwilling to even think about it. Hummmm...wonder what is at the bottom of that?
Bobbie

#63 Angela of Green

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 12:22 AM

I've been off Cymbalta for a month now and am just experiencing these things...

Hyper smell? I've got it
Brain zaps? not yet, but my ears ring all the TIME!!!
Dizzyness? Got it
Fatigue? Got it
joint pain? Got it, but this could also be from a recent car accident
nausea? Got it

UCK!! Just wish it would end already!

#64 Angela of Green

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 12:27 AM

Oh, I almost forgot one...

Any ex potheads have the urge to smoke again? I've been fighting ever since stopping... I just want to RELAX!!

#65 Angela of Green

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 12:45 AM

Heh...I already lost to the nicotine monster! I had quit for 3 years when my son was small, then picked it back up 2 years ago when my husband got deployed... I'll quit again one day...

Hang in there! Smoking is no good!

#66 Holly

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 01:17 PM

One more to add:

Hives.

#67 teddybear

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 10:23 PM

Hey, everybody! It amazes me that these "Doctors" won't tell patients side effects of any meds! :x I started out with 60mg, stayed on that for almost a year, then tapered back to 30mg, and now I'm on 15mg. I got 15mg by taking apart the 30mg capsule and dividing it in half. I emptied out some of the 60mg capsules(some have already expired) and filled them with the 15mg. So far, so good. I've had just the slightest brain zaps when turning my head fast from one side to the other. Other than that, I feel pretty normal. I'm not as dry mouthed as I was on the 60. I'm taking the med at night and it seems to help the brain zaps. Being on the 60mg does make you feel like a waterhead. It's horrible!! I hope to be completely off this med in a month or so. Good luck to everybody!!! :D

#68 teddybear

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:59 PM

I've been on the 15mg for almost 2 weeks now. Very little brain buzzes, only on very sudden movements. I'm thinking of cutting the 15mg in half. My neurologist even put me through a Brain MRI w/wo IV contrast back when the buzzes were so severe. Didn't show anything.....thank goodness.
Anyway, so far,so good. :D

#69 Attorney_Victim

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 02:22 PM

Teddybear,
That is great news to hear that your MRI didn't show anything abnormal! I think all of us who have gone through this are wondering how it has affected our brain, and whether or not there is permanent damage. Did your neurologist understand/acknowledge that your "brain zaps" were from "Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome" (the medical term for our withdrawals)?? I ask this because...if he/she knew that the withdrawal was causing the sensation, that leads me to believe he/she was concerned about possible damage to the brain. That would be a very interesting development in the medical community regarding "Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome." Maybe some of the doctors (who aren't on the drug companies payroll) are finally starting to question the risks of these drugs.

Good luck in your tapering...you will survive this!!

#70 teddybear

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 09:56 PM

That is great news to hear that your MRI didn't show anything abnormal! Did your neurologist understand/acknowledge that your "brain zaps" were from "Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome" (the medical term for our withdrawals)?? I ask this because...if he/she knew that the withdrawal was causing the sensation, that leads me to believe he/she was concerned about possible damage to the brain.
Good luck in your tapering...you will survive this!!

I'm glad it didn't show anything either. I really was worried. I wasn't going through the "withdrawal" at the time of the major "brain zaps". I was taking 30mg at that time and my neurologist increased the dose to 60mg. NEVER ONCE DID HE SAY IT WAS THE MEDICINE DOING THIS!!!! He just said maybe increasing it would stop it. NOT!!!! I decided on my own to taper off. I'm still taking the 15mg. So far, so good. Been on it about 3 weeks now. I'll try next week to try and get about 7.5mg out of the halving of capsule "innards" like I did to get 15mg. So far, I'm a surviver!! ;)

#71 cloistered1

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 03:31 AM

On Zoloft for years for depression/anxiety, Klonopin to help me sleep from the "high" from Zoloft. (I'm a small person and am extremely sensitive to any drug.) Experienced "burn-out" - prescribed 60 mg. of Cymbalta 2 years ago.

Initially on 60 mg. of Cymbalta - decreased to 30 for the following reasons:

Suicidal (nearly always)
Increasingly withdrawn - got to the under-the-covers stage
Still hyper anxious in any situation - just going to the market caused a panic attack
Constipation
Upset stomach
Dry mouth
Drowsy
Increased depression - still needed Klonopin for anxiety and sleep
Memory challenges


Took my final Cymbalta 5 days ago:

Suicidal thoughts - I have several plans and they all seem quite rational! Scary, I guess.
Cannot sleep - sat in a chair all night and watched the sun come up at 6 AM. I finally slept for 3 hours.
Cannot read or concentrate
Basically I feel like I am on amphetamines and Klonopin is as affective as a sugar pill.
Constant ringing in ears
"Electrical brain shorts" (I believe people are referring to these as brain zaps - appropriate description)
Crying, crying, crying. Can't talk without crying - and I can't remember the last time I cried about anything.
Nausea
Loss of appetite
Weight loss
Extreme confusion - I'm in the middle of selling a business. I can't decide ll if I should listen to the whisper in my right or left ear. In addition, I'm convinced I should leave my husband, family, friends - get them away from all this yuck that is going on inside my head and relieve them of dealing with my bizarre behavior.

#72 Jenofhearts

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 11:44 AM

Hi cloistered1,
Welcome to the forum, this is a great place to seek out advice and help while you are going through this terrible time. Many of us are going through the same things you are, know you ARE NOT alone!! I have found that just reading the posts helps me to realize what I am personally going through is Cymbalta related and not me, but I also know it is hard to differentiate between am I losing my mind or is it the med...
You mentioned some things I can really relate to while I was on 60mgs of this med, increasingly withdrawn from life, and even going to the market was a joke, as soon as I walked in the door I was ready to flee.
I am down to 20mgs now and it is a bit better, but not by much, I also feel like I am on a high amount of caffeine at certain times of the day, and I take a Valium and like you it is like taking a sugar pill sometimes.
Please remember someone is always here for you to talk to, I myself check in hourly, don't hurt yourself, remember like greybeard said, you have a family that does love you and need you, I know they can never fully understand your pain right now, but none the less they want you here.
You and all of us still working on this will get through it, I truly believe that, I haven't lived for 47 years to give it up to this evil med...keep fighting!
Best,
Jen

#73 Attorney_Victim

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 12:18 PM

Cloistered 1,
It does get better!! Everything you describe is typical of Cymbalta symptoms (either while taking it or stopping it). The suicidal feelings are by far the worst...but, please don't give up!! If it gets that bad, seek out help immediately...don't let this drug company hurt your loved ones by taking you away forever!

My psychiatrist prescribed me 20mgs of Prozac to help with the terrible symptoms, and it helped A LOT! So, if you have a dr who is educated about "Antidepressant Discontinutation Syndrome" he/she might be willing to prescribe something like Prozac to help you through the worst of your symptoms. Drugs like Prozac have a much longer "half life" than Cymbalta, so they don't cause withdrawals when you are ready to stop them. Many people call this a "bait and switch" method for getting off Cymbalta...but, I don't know if I would have made it without the Prozac!

The confusion during withdrawal is really bad. I am an attorney who is faced with multi-tasking most of the day...that became impossible for me. I'm lucky I didn't lose my job! If you can put off making any decisions about your business, then do it...your head should clear some in 1-2 weeks.

Please come here for support and info when you need it! But if things get too bad, seek emergency help!!

#74 cloistered1

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 01:40 PM

Thank you all. Guess what - I'm crying my eyes out. Shocker! I can't stand this buzzed feeling I have all the time (the amphetamine buzz high). How long should this last? I finally fell to sleep after 5:30 am and after some bizarre dreams, woke up at 9:00. I feel like my eyes are huge and I could run a marathon, but I can't because I'm bumping into walls - still pretty unsteady on my feet at this point. (Still crying.....when does this bonus end?) The intellectual whisper tells me suicide is a no-no, not a good answer, but then it seems so logical. I mean - really, really logical, like, "what's the big deal?" And when one is so depressed and, ahem, cloistered, what does one tell one's friends and family. I am so, soooooo private. And I can't put off closing my business. It's already scheduled and has been put off for two months and my main employee (it's a small business) is on maternity leave and I'm running it without her and need to just get the darn thing out of the way. Any advice? Thanks!

#75 cloistered1

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 08:52 PM

Thanks for adding that. Is is mighty scary when eliminating one's life seems so rational. I actually spoke with my psychiatrist last Thursday about private hospitals where I could crash for a month until this Cymtalta nightmare is over and I might have some idea of what is the real me and the drug me. My husband doesn't call it my medication anymore. After my impressive crying jag this morning over nothing, he began calling it "the poison." However, I did find some relief in a small dose of Valium my husband offered. He takes it when his vertigo decides it's time for a reunion. It is the only thing that keep that at bay. Because the Klonopin has been so useless, I didn't even think of trying Valium. It gave me 5 hours of calm, but did nothing for the crying. I can't believe this crying! I remember the term "nervous breakdown" my mother used for women my age and that is what this feels like. I have an appointment on Tuesday and will bring this up with my Dr. He may say "no" to Valium, but perhaps "yes" to something else.

I read through some of the comments and followed a link to the FDA site and left my comments about this lovely drug, so thank you. My Dr. told me Cymbalta is the "IT" drug and pushed heavily now that Prozac and the others can be made generically, thus reducing profits for Lilly. This is NOT the doctor who first prescribed the drug. Mine is pretty disgusted by its use.

Thanks again!

#76 cloistered1

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 02:12 AM

Dear Attorney_Victim and others,

I've been doing a great deal of research today, signing petitions, reading other posts, etc. Has anyone ever come across this group of articles from The New York Times? (One may need to cut and paste this.) Interesting and disturbing reading......I would love to copy some forum comments and send them to the paper with a copy of their second, third and forth articles - oh, and fifth - that's a winner - from 2003 and 2004. Why hasn't anyone in the Health section of the paper followed up on this drug?

http://topics.nytime... ... index.html (If cutting and pasting doesn't work, google "New York Times Cymbalta."

#77 cloistered1

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 12:52 AM

I took some good advice and told my daughters, sister and a few friends about this challenging health issue. Thank you for that suggestion. I realize it is better to let some trusted people in your life know what is going on. I want to share my oldest daughter's reaction:

"WHOA!!!!! That is totally crazy. I know EXACTLY what Cymbalta is - a few Lilly people came to the GSB to talk about their genius marketing campaign around it. I must admit, it was a good marketing campaign, but now it just makes me angry!"

(The GSB is the Graduate School of Business at Stanford) I asked her to tap in to her network and see if she couldn't find someone who is a journalist for a major paper or magazine to perhaps follow up on the genius of Eli Lilly's Cymbalta. We'll see.

At any rate, telling some safe people is a good thing. But in the end, I feel it is my responsibility from now on to thoroughly research any and all suggested medications. The newest "it" drug is pushed on to Dr.'s by drug reps. We are the guinea pigs. And this particular guinea pig will, with the help of information, forums, friends and family, get through this. (I hope....I sound so certain, but I am still pretty frightened and fragile.)

#78 Holly

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 03:44 PM

Cloistered,
Your withdrawal symptoms sound exactly like mine. I, too, had a strong desire to save my family from what I'm going through--to run from my husband so he wouldn't have to suffer with me. You can be proud that you decided to talk to your family. This took a huge load off of me, even though they didn't really understand completely. I wasn't able to make it without going on something else, (suicide seemed rational to me, a viable option) and have now been on 20 mgs. of Celexa for about the past month. I no longer have the suicidal thoughts. My doctor says I should go up to 40 mgs. I'd like to wean off the Celexa, and actually be free from all medication, eventually, however. Went down to 10 mgs. of Celexa for two days this weekend and got away from home with my husband to a marriage retreat in the mountains. I felt emotionally fragile the whole time. We, too, are trying to decide what to do with a failing business, so my heart goes out to you. It's like your dream is dying. But, we will all make it. One day, we will look back at this time, and we may say, "Oh, yeah, that was back around the time of the nervous breakdown." So what? I think we'll be victorious, but we've got to keep fighting. Cymbalta can not, shall not, should not, and will not win.

#79 agrace

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:11 PM

What a great thread, didn't see this one before, can't wait to read through to see if anyone is dealing with what my husband is!!! But first I'll list his -

Side effects

agitation
sleeplessness
nervousness
memory problems
concentration problems
paranoia
anxiety
anxiety attacks
inability to sit still
irritability
overreactions
intense fear

Withdrawal

nightmares
tremors
brain zaps
headaches
dizziness
irritability
mood swings
numbness of extremities
profuse sweating
exhaustion
slurred speech
crying jags
intense rage
unsteady gait
fine motor skill impairment
memory loss
fatigue
stomach issues
diarrhea
diminished appetite
ringing ears

I'm sure I'm forgetting some. For the poster who asked about hallucinations - while my husband was still taking Cymbalta, he had severe stomach flu for several days when he could keep nothing down, which of course included his meds, and because of dehydration combined with cold turkey, he had waking dreams and hallucinations for three days straight. He never fully went to sleep but would dream at the same time. The worst night, he never stopped talking all night long. He ordered Roy Rogers, talked to people from work, laughed at jokes, signed autographs on my back, had political discussions - all while talking softly to no one. If I said his name, he was instantly fully awake, and could tell me what he had "seen" just seconds before. Then while awake, he would describe things he was seeing in the room. For example, at one point, he saw me standing by our bathroom door wearing a red shirt and brown pants, and I was transparent. Meanwhile, I'm next to him in bed, listening to him vividly describe me standing five feet away, while acknowledging - thankfully - that the apparition shouldn't be there. So he wasn't delusional, just hallucinating. It was the strangest three days of our lives, and he and I both did some psychedelics in college!

That experience, by the way, was our first big clue that all was not well in Cymbalta land.

#80 agrace

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:25 PM

Forgot one of the worst side effects of being ON Cymbalta et al - my husband developed a nasty bourbon habit. Used to drink a beer or so in the evening, never got drunk, never a problem. Then after being put on antidepressants for anxiety (first zoloft, then wellbutrin, then effexor [BRIEFLY! what a horror show that was!], then cymbalta + wellbutrin again - this over the course of 3 years), he started buying and drinking bourbon in secret. Partly I think to calm himself down and partly because the ADs messed up his blood sugar and caused cravings.

And guess what - the ADs are gone, and so is (mostly) the compulsion to hide and drink alcohol in secret, although there are some residual lingering desires for it, thank you Eli Lilly.

#81 MDNotDRKat

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:03 PM

I was on Cymbalta for 6 months and just NOW started to take myself off of it.

While On:
Migraines
Dizziness
Grumpy
Weight Gain fi I didn't exercise like a fiend it would come on
Crying jags out of nowhere
Lack of attention- real great for the job. Made for a WONDERFUL review this year.
Hearing loss
Sex drive - non existent

I went to the dr last week with the facts about my hearing loss, and the migraines. She didn't believe me that it could be the Cymbalta. I told her before that yes I would cry for a little bit over something but at least it was controllabel at home. At my reveiw I started bawling because it didn't go well. Real professional.


Withdrawls
I got put on Effexor XR which works very well for me before. Today was a very emotional day because I was feeling some pressure at work. I am on a tight deadline, getting ready to leave for vacation, have two papers to write for school. AND to top it off had to put my dog down. I started to cry on the phone with hubby. I couldn't take the pressue. I think normal people would have been cracking under the pressure.

I did have a tough couple of days this weekend. I dragged myself out of the house to hit the gym. I ran and felt good enough to function for the day.

Cymbalta is a horrible medication and the hubby was researching it because of the migraines mostly and hearing loss.

#82 AaronB.

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 02:24 PM

Still on Cymbalta:
Positive Effects:
Decreased Anxiety
Decreased Depression
Decreased Obsession and Rumination
Decreased Drug Cravings
Increased Energy
Increased drive and ambition: training for 1st marathon

Negative Effects:
First week could not sleep or eat and I felt like I was on a bad acid trip.
I can't cry
I don't care attitude about everything

#83 mahpiohazi

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 07:24 PM

It's been about 2 - 3 years since being on cymbalta. I was only on it for 6 months. Went through a 9 month withdrawal period.

Going by memory --
While on Cymbalta...
Increased night terrors (though I already suffer from them)
Hyped up feeling
Grinding my teeth during sleep causing migraine-like headaches

WITHDRAWAL --
Increased night terrors
Hallucinations -- Shadow people / Audio hallucinations
Feeling of brain not connected with body
Severe confusion
Rage
Increased anxiety attacks / panic attacks
BRAIN ZAPS

Although it's been 2 - 3 years after being on Cymbalta and going through 9 months of withdrawal -- I am STILL receiving Brain Zaps to this day. They are not as numerous as it was while going through withdrawal, but they are still here, and still very evident when they happen...and still just as scary -- triggers panic.

#84 cookie

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 01:16 AM

I see that this is a very old post, but I thought it was very interesting, it mentions all the symptoms I am having.
New symptoms keep on showing. Today I had slurred speech and stuttering (which I had never experienced in my life). I am also having time distortion and my hearing feels weird.


#85 Lady C

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    Why, I feel so gross weaning off Cymbalta

Posted 11 December 2010 - 09:16 AM

I don't think anyone see this, looks like all posts are old......Been off Cymbalta Nov.18 2010..........I feel like jumping off a bridge....crying...so many side affects...especially, SICK to my stomache and weak.......any one have a coment..how long does this last....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :blink:

#86 pamela

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 10:48 AM

I see that this is a very old post, but I thought it was very interesting, it mentions all the symptoms I am having.
New symptoms keep on showing. Today I had slurred speech and stuttering (which I had never experienced in my life). I am also having time distortion and my hearing feels weird.


Cookie.....are you on 4mg still? I am sorry that you are still experiencing side effects. It is a terrible journey. I am still on 20....nervous to drop again.

#87 pamela

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 10:48 AM

I don't think anyone see this, looks like all posts are old......Been off Cymbalta Nov.18 2010..........I feel like jumping off a bridge....crying...so many side affects...especially, SICK to my stomache and weak.......any one have a coment..how long does this last....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :blink:


Lady C.....did you do a slow taper or cold turkey? How long were you on and what dosage?

#88 Lady C

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    Why, I feel so gross weaning off Cymbalta

Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:47 PM

Lady C.....did you do a slow taper or cold turkey? How long were you on and what dosage?



Hi, thanks for responding.....I did a slow taper according to my doctors orders. I was on 60 mg for 3 1/2 yrs.....started weaning Oct 5, 2010, one 30mg every other day, until Nov.18 2010
I was surprised that she told me to go off completely...
Then the :blink: withdrawals........so many..........I have a list... :angry:
I hope it ends soon, cuz I cannot stand myself.
Thank you, for stopping by.....Lady C

#89 pamela

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 09:06 PM

Hi, thanks for responding.....I did a slow taper according to my doctors orders. I was on 60 mg for 3 1/2 yrs.....started weaning Oct 5, 2010, one 30mg every other day, until Nov.18 2010
I was surprised that she told me to go off completely...
Then the :blink: withdrawals........so many..........I have a list... :angry:
I hope it ends soon, cuz I cannot stand myself.
Thank you, for stopping by.....Lady C


Lady C.......
That sounds like a bad taper plan that your doctor had you on. I have done tons and tons of reading on how best to do the withdrawal. Nearly all of the things that I read say doing the every other day routine is not good. It caused your body to go into withdrawal every other day. I know that tons of doctors suggest doing it that way but then again a lot of doctors say that going off of cymbalta shouldn't be a problem. :angry:
I was on 60 and often 90 mg of it for nearly 5 years and have started tapering off since early November. I went from 60 to 50 to 30 to 20 and soon I am going to start breaking apart the pills and taking beads out. I take it everyday though so my body can get used to not having as much but it doesn't go into withdrawals.
Sounds like it's too late to do that since you have been off for nearly a month and are still having terrible side effects. That totally SUCKS. A month of misery is a month too long.
Have you been back to see your doctor?
Are you eating well and taking vitamins? Exercise helps.

#90 cookie

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 12:39 AM

Cookie.....are you on 4mg still? I am sorry that you are still experiencing side effects. It is a terrible journey. I am still on 20....nervous to drop again.



Hi Pamela:
I am still on 4mg. Mood swings are my main symptom. I feel down, dark, hopeless, despair, and then hours later I feel normal. New symptoms keep on showing. I think I won´t do further decreases until the end of the year. I have christmas gatherings, I do not want to feel bad and rather stabilize before dropping further. How are you???



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