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#1 Gracie00

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:48 PM

Today is my first day posting on your site. I am trying to wean myself off of this nasty drug. I currently take 90 mg (which I believe is way too strong). I take 30 in the morning and 60 at night. I decided to start the bead counting method last week by taking 5 beads out of BOTH capsules per day. This morning I took out 35 and I noticed I'm very jittery and have heart palpitations. Luckily I had a stress test last week so I know I'm not having a heart attack. Just a little background- I'm 39 and was originally prescribed cymbalta about 2 years ago for anxiety and depression. I was bumped up to 90mg in December of 2011 when my Dad passed away on Christmas Eve. Am I tapering correctly? Should I only be tapering the 30? Or the 60? Or both? Help! I feel awful.

#2 fishinghat

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:49 PM

Welcome to the site Gracie. If time is not an issue I would really suggest just 5 beads a day removal from one of the capsules. After it is done with I would start on the other. BUT, You are doing pretty well on your current method. One thing to consider, if you start having some nervousness or heart palpitations or any other nasty symptoms just go back up 5 beads for a day or two until you settle down and then start tapering again. If you start having withdrawal symptoms and DON'T go back up 5 beads then usually those symptoms wil just keep increasing with time. Be patient.

 

Hang in there and take care of yourself.


#3 Gracie00

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:22 PM

Thanks so much Fishinghat! I just came back from the Fruitful Yield looking for natural remedies to assist me. I bought Aloe Vera juice, some sweet basil tea, and some Bach "rescue pastilles". Night time is ok for me (I take .5 of klonopin- that's the only drug I take- it's only been a week) the initial dose in the morning is what gives me the panic. Should I pull out 35 tonight and only pull out 30 in the morning or pull out 25 in the morning? You have no idea how much I appreciate your help!

#4 fishinghat

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:45 PM

That is a decision only you can make Gracie. If you increase the number of beads you pull out the withdrawal will get worse But you will get through the process quicker. If the current level of panic is all you can handle then you can stay at your current dose for a couple days until the symptoms lessen and then going back to tapering. It all depends on how much you feel you can handle. Just listen to your body.


#5 Gracie00

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 07:15 PM

Thanks, Fishinghat. I had another monster panic attack today and called my doctor. He told me to take 30mg tonight (instead of 60) and 30 in the morning, etc. I'm not having withdrawal symptoms other than extreme, extreme anxiety and a dull head ache here and there. Problem is- he wants to switch me to lexapro on SUNDAY and I'm scared out of my wits. I'm ready to commit myself the anxiety is so bad. What to do?

#6 fishinghat

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 07:52 AM

Lexapro is an ssri as well, but a much weaker one. I myself couldn't handle the Cymbalta withdrawal so was switched to Lexapro. There seems to be a lot of concern about anyone over 60 taking lexapro. The FDA has issued a warning for celexa, another ssri, that is only a few atoms different from Lexapro. Anyone over 60 should not take more than 20 mg of Celexa. Most drs are applying the same limits to Lexapro due to its similarity.

 

Don't be scared about the switch, it usually goes very well. You usually get some relief fairly quickly from the Lexapro BUT do not increase your Cymbalta to get some relief. The reason is if the first ssri (Cymbalta) is at too high a level in your blood when you start up the second ssri (Lexapro) it can cause serotonin syndrome. If you stick to your drs schedule you should be OK. It really will be alright. You just have to hang in there a few more days. What dosage of Lexapro are you going to be on?


#7 Gracie00

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 08:05 AM

Morning Fishinghat! I've been up early waiting for the shoe to drop because I only took 30mg last night. I forgot to tell you that my doctor added .5 mg of klonopin three times a day. I do believe I am over medicated with cymbalta- is there a bad drop from 60 to 30? The doc wants to start me on a 10mg dose. Will the klonopin ease the anxiety and/or over medication and withdrawals? I'm scared stiff to transition. Ultimately I don't want to be on any mess but I'll do anything to get off cymbalta.

#8 Gracie00

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 08:09 AM

Oh my thoughts are so scattered- let me clarify. Is there a bad drop from 90 to 60? I take 30 in the am and 60 at night and he dropped the 60mg to 30 and added klonopin three times a day. As far as lexapro, he wants to start me at 10mg. If I already think I'm over medicated, won't that send me into overload?

#9 fishinghat

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 08:38 AM

The klonopin is a benzo and should help nearly immediately for your anxiety. It takes about an hour to kick in. Remember, all benzos are addictive if you are on them a while and do have withdrawal. You may not need them once the Lexapro kicks in. Honestly the drop from 60 to 30 sucks but I am sure that is why the dr gave you the klonopin.

 

You MUST remember Grace, the Cymbalta withdrawal is causing most of your fear. It is just the drug. Keep reminding yourself. You WILL be alright. I know your brain is telling you different but over the years I have switched ssris 5 times (long story, lol) and they go very well. The 10 mg of Lexapro is a very good dosage to start with. Hang in there, don't be too scared and remember help is on the way (Lexapro).

 

As far as the overload is concerned...No overload. ssris take a few weeks to build in the system and a few weeks to drop off so the chance for an overload is very slim plus this is a common and proven method to switch from one ssri to another. I really don't believe you will have a problem. The klonopin is a light dosage as well. It not only treats anxiety but is a little sedative (may make you sleepy). The klonopin is just to get you over the hump until the Lexapro kicks in. If it was me, and I am not a dr, I would take the klonipin as prescribed as long as I continued to have strong anxiety. Once you get feeling better you may want to take the klonipin only when needed.

 

Well, I am going to do my morning run but I will check in when I get back incase you have any more questions. Try to relax and be patient, everything will be alright.


#10 Gracie00

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 10:37 AM

Oh Fishinghat- will you marry me? Your answers are so helpful and they give me hope. I only took a half of a .5 this morning as I have to be alert to work on a wedding. My first drop was last night and I'll be taking my (full) 30 shortly. I know the benzodiazepines are very addictive but the panic attacks are debilitating. My doc gave me cymbalta for that in the first place but it only made it worse. Like I said, I'm only 125 pounds and I think he gave me enough cymbalta to stop a charging elephant. I did read that cymbalta is stored in tour fat cells and losing 10 pounds in a week didn't help my cause. When will I notice the withdrawal from the 30mg I tapered last night? I'm freaking out already. God bless you for all the people you are helping!

#11 fishinghat

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 01:12 PM

You are very welcome Grace. (PS - already married but thanks for the offer, lol) Helping you is just my way of paying back all the people that helped me when I went through it. I hope that once you are over your withdrawal you will stay in touch with the site in order to help those who follow.

 

90mg of cymbalta is higher than most but I have seen doses up to 180 mg for pain. Pure hell coming of that kind of dose. Usually the symptoms are fairly fast once you do a taper. The half life is only 12 hours so the withdrawal from that drop last night should be in full swing within 24 hours.

 

If you don't mind me asking, what is the weight drop from? Usually people on cybalta gain weight.


#12 Gracie00

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 03:07 PM

Great. I'm panicky already. I think the weight loss is from stress. When I get panic attacks I freeze- cant eat, drink, nothing. I initially gained a few pounds when I was put on the cymbalta, but lately I have zero appetite. I try and force myself to eat and drink to flush that crap out of my system. I think the weight loss is from adrenaline constantly running through my body. I feel reved up constantly. I smoke too so that isn't helping things. So what can I expect at 10:00 tonight (the 24 hour mark)? Should I take the 60 or the 30? I'm petrified!

#13 fishinghat

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 03:47 PM

Stick with the 30. I would normally say go back to the 60 and stabilize but you can't do that with starting the lexapro Sunday (which is tommorrow).  If you were going to be effected by yesterdays drop it would have showed its ugly head by now. Even if things get nasty tonight you have the klonopin to lean on. I wish I had a little of your weight loss, I could sure use it. lol   All jokes aside, if you are sooo nervous that you can't eat then the dr might need to increase your klonopin so your anxiety fades. I do think that with the plan he has you on that you will be feeling better within a few days. This is a good time for comfort food. Get some of your favorite foods...ice cream, donuts, etc. If that doesn't work you might try some of the protein liquids like ensure. It is usually easier to swallow a liquid than a solid when you get that way. A little gatorade would help to replace your electrolytes as well.

 

Keep remembering....It is the cymbalta withdrawal that is making you so anxious. That is not you, it is the cymbalta withdrawal. You ARE OK. Really! Hang in there girl, you can get through this.


#14 Gracie00

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 06:19 PM

I can't thank you enough for helping me through this. I was a bit nervous today but I only took .25 of klonopin to get through my floral work. I squeezed in a tiny nap and I feel "ok". Part of my anxious nature is "waiting for the shoe to drop". Funny I don't remember side effects when I went up on this crap. I'm just petrified if it "hits" me tomorrow when I'm delivering and setting up the wedding. Still on the fence on whether to take the 30 or the 60 tonight- I can always start the Lexapro Monday. What to do...what to do...

#15 fishinghat

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 06:30 PM

Well if you only had to take a 0.25 Klonopin to get your work done that is a good sign your on your way. Doing well girl!!!


#16 Ape

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 12:35 PM

Fishinghat I try to run yesterday I couldn't do it! How did you start I am getting weight on cymbalta I had lost 30 pound when I got sick and I reached 129 and I am only 5 2. Which was a good weight for me now I am 136 I need to stop the weight but I don t really eat a lot it must be cymbalta slowing down my metabolism plus the age been 39

#17 fishinghat

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 02:22 PM

You have to listen to your body. If you are feeling bad just walk. When you feel better then jog some. What works for me is go to the track at the city park and just start with a slow walk. Usually after I have gone about a 1/4 mile I start feeling better and will go to a fast walk. After that it is just up to how I feel. Some times I wind up running about half the distance and sometimes if I feel bad I will walk the whole darn thing. Just go with how your body feels. Funny, I was just remembering when I was going through cymbalta withdrawal and couldn't keep from crying. I would go the park and start walking and suddenly just start crying my eyes out. I would continue to walk and cry at the same time. I sure got a lot of funny looks. lol


#18 Gracie00

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 08:34 AM

Morning Fishinghat! I just wanted to give you an update. I made it through the wedding and all the work involved. I was very anxious but I only took two .25 klonopin to get me through the day. I got very brave and I took the 30 last night (instead of the 60). My doc was supposed to call in the lexapro but hasn't yet so I guess I won't be starting today. So tonight- 30 or 60? I don't want to jinx myself but I think mostly what I'm feeling is anxiety- not withdrawals. No zaps or anything but I do feel like I've been hit by a truck- my whole body hurts but I think it's from being so tense. If you don't mind me asking, of the 5 meds you've tried- what worked best for you? I'm searching for anxiety relief. I know I'm depressed because I have anxiety but the root is anxiety!

#19 fishinghat

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 03:18 PM

Sorry Gracie, but I have been out all day. Church and all. If you can handle it stick with the 30. Remember you do have the klonopin if you need it.

 

Xanax and valium are benzos. The dr tried them with absolutely no effect BUT I can assure you that they are very effective for many many people. Lorazepam did very well for me. Hydroxyzine had a slight effect. Olanzapine and trazadone did nothing. Then lexapro which did very well. So lorazepam and lexapro did the best. I think any ssri would have worked but I wanted to stick with a weak one with a long half life so it wouldn't be too hard to get off of.

 

Hang in there. Every day gets you one step closer.


#20 Gracie00

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 06:57 PM

30 or 60 tonight? I took 30 last night and 60 the night before.

#21 fishinghat

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:13 AM

I hope you stuck with the 30 Gracie. If things get too bad you can always go back up. Hopefully you can get the Lexapro today.


#22 Gracie00

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:35 PM

Hi Fishinghat. Rough day today. My lovely doctor never called me back so I took matters into my own hands. I did take 60 yesterday night (minus 30 beads)..I'm going tomorrow for an evaluation by a real psychiatrist who is experienced with these meds and weening. I'm convinced cymbalta is poison. I'm willing to start the lexapro but I'm scared. I'm also going to be starting an intensive outpatient program which focuses on anxiety (which I was given the medicine for in the first place) and depression. I never had depression until I started the meds. Ironic isn't it? I googled a show that Dr. Oz did on doctors over prescribing anti-depressants. You might want to check it out.

#23 fishinghat

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 08:33 AM

Just don't be surprised if the new pdoc doesn't believe in Cymbalta withdrawal. Many don't. Good luck.


#24 Gracie00

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 11:20 AM

I'm actually going to a real psychiatrist! I'm fuming that my pdoc put me on this. I know he got kick backs for prescribing it too. What's the first medical oath? Do no harm?

#25 ab1978

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 02:01 AM

So you actually break the capsule and take out a certain number of beads at a time?!? I have no idea what I am doing and that sounds like a great idea. I want to get off of this medicine because it is making me feel awful!!!


#26 fishinghat

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 08:35 AM

That is exactly what you do. Get started ab1978. Time to get the crapalta out of your system!!


#27 ab1978

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:38 AM

Thank you fishinghat!! I will start tomorrow.


#28 Ape

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:54 PM

I fishinghat. I am feeling better I can work and cook but I have still problem getting up on the weekend. I think you were right and I needed to stabilize more before start taking cymbolta off. I am beads count 5 beds out each month I am now 30 bids out of a 60mg. By the time my pdoctor brings to 40 mg I should be ok and than I will ristart counting until he brings to 20 and so on I will only take the Ativan until I need it. Thank you all of you who listen to me. I don t tremble as much of anxiety I hope the anxity won t come back

#29 fishinghat

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 09:19 AM

Great to hear you are doing OK Ape. Hang in there!!


#30 Ape

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 07:35 PM

I may experienced brain zaps, but i am not sure i had a feeling if having a emptness Of mind And For a moment i freeze And i don t know what to do. Is this what is called brain zaps. I feel like my Head like a empty glassa And When i come back to normal my Head is like a full glass. Is Anyone experienced anything like this? Plus does Anyone know how to overcome this sense od shame i feel ? I feel like a stupid and once on a while i feel like i want to die but i don t have any suicidal thoughts thank be to gos



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