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#1 chrisnbryan

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 05:52 PM

I have been on 60 mg of Cymbalta for a year. I am coming off of it. My doc said weaning isn't necessary but he likes to wean off of it. So I take 60mg every other day for a week and now I am taking 30mg every other day for a week. I'm on Day 4. I can't drive...my pupils are the size of pen dot. I feel like I'm in a dream watching everything happen. I have fireworks going off in my head. I have called my doc 4 times today with no response. I have been ready posts and think maybe weaning too fast. Any suggestions where to go from here?


#2 fishinghat

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 07:24 PM

The dr set you up on a standard weaning program, which by the way sucks!!! As you have already figured out. Cymbalta has a 12 hour half life so just as it is decreasing in your blood you take another pill, the blood concentration goes up and you repeat the same withdrawal all over again. The best method is bead counting. This is a simple and straight forward procedure. Open your capsule and remove 5 beads from the capsule. Slide the capsule back together and take it. The next day take 10 beads out, the next remove 15 beads, etc.... This provides for a steady slow decrease in your cymbalta concentration. There is a couple things to watch for;

 

How many beads are in your capsules? Well they run from 200 to nearly 600. If your capsule has 600 you would probably start with around 7 or 8 beads a day. With 200 beads you would neen to start with 4 or 5 beads a day.

 

The second thing is to watch how much withdrawal symptoms you get. If you don't get any then you may be able to take out more beads each day. On the other hand if the withdrawal is pretty bad you need to stablize for a few days before you start decreasing your dose. Example. Let us say you are removing 6 beads more each day but the withdrawal is getting bad. Stop and stay at that dose (or even go back up a little) until you are stable. When you feel better and get ready to start decreasing again decrease by 5 beads instead of 6 beads per day. Just listen to your body, If you get feeling too bad slow down, if you are smooth sailing then try a little higher rate of bead removal.


#3 equuswoman

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    In the future want 2B off Cymbalta! The physicians are no help. Looking for understanding, support & encouragement as I know this is a difficult process. Want 2 be of help 2 others who will find this site looking for same things as I.

Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:59 PM

The dr set you up on a standard weaning program, which by the way sucks!!! As you have already figured out. Cymbalta has a 12 hour half life so just as it is decreasing in your blood you take another pill, the blood concentration goes up and you repeat the same withdrawal all over again. The best method is bead counting. This is a simple and straight forward procedure. Open your capsule and remove 5 beads from the capsule. Slide the capsule back together and take it. The next day take 10 beads out, the next remove 15 beads, etc.... This provides for a steady slow decrease in your cymbalta concentration. There is a couple things to watch for;

 

How many beads are in your capsules? Well they run from 200 to nearly 600. If your capsule has 600 you would probably start with around 7 or 8 beads a day. With 200 beads you would neen to start with 4 or 5 beads a day.

 

The second thing is to watch how much withdrawal symptoms you get. If you don't get any then you may be able to take out more beads each day. On the other hand if the withdrawal is pretty bad you need to stablize for a few days before you start decreasing your dose. Example. Let us say you are removing 6 beads more each day but the withdrawal is getting bad. Stop and stay at that dose (or even go back up a little) until you are stable. When you feel better and get ready to start decreasing again decrease by 5 beads instead of 6 beads per day. Just listen to your body, If you get feeling too bad slow down, if you are smooth sailing then try a little higher rate of bead removal.

 

fishinghat, Thank you again for this info about the bead counting method. This is what I'm doing and tonite I removed 15 beads. Gonna see how that goes the next 24 hrs and if need be will increase my beads a bit and stabilize. So far so good! May God bless and keep you and all  here that are on the forum going down this scary road! EquusWoman :)  :hug:


#4 equuswoman

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    In the future want 2B off Cymbalta! The physicians are no help. Looking for understanding, support & encouragement as I know this is a difficult process. Want 2 be of help 2 others who will find this site looking for same things as I.

Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:01 PM

I have been on 60 mg of Cymbalta for a year. I am coming off of it. My doc said weaning isn't necessary but he likes to wean off of it. So I take 60mg every other day for a week and now I am taking 30mg every other day for a week. I'm on Day 4. I can't drive...my pupils are the size of pen dot. I feel like I'm in a dream watching everything happen. I have fireworks going off in my head. I have called my doc 4 times today with no response. I have been ready posts and think maybe weaning too fast. Any suggestions where to go from here?

 

Hi Chrisnbryan: Nice 2 meet you here on the Cymbalta w/drawal forum. I am so glad that I happened upon this wonderf site w/others who like myself can relate 2 what I am going thru. They really do support one another and that is so great to have that support! I was told do decrease just the same way as you were and well like fishinghat said, "It sucked" for me as well. So now I am doing the bead counting method and it seems to be going quite well for me. Hang in there we are with you! Support & prayers! :hug:


#5 thismoment

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:14 PM

Fishinghat, you detail the process perfectly.  

 

Also folks, don't put a time limit on your withdrawal because recovery times differ. Other drugs you are taking may modify withdrawal symptoms, or muddy the water and make it confusing to tell what's doing what.

 

I contacted Eli-Lilly and requested their protocol for safely withdrawing from Cymbalta. We know they don't have one, but hopefully they are working on something that will prove helpful.  Certainly a Cymbalta Antidote would be a big money-maker.


#6 fishinghat

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:22 AM

You know thismoment, its funny but there was a suit brought against Eli Lilly many years ago. The suit complained that the Eli Lilly Company did not have a section on their cymbalta information sheet concerning the hazards of withdrawing from Cymbalta. Most meds have a statement not to stop their medicine suddenly but consult with your physician about how to stop using the product. After several years in court the court ruled that because Cymbalta does not affect dopamine levels it does not have a true "withdrawal" problem. The court ruled that it should be called "discontinuation syndrome". If you go to their website and look at their info sheet for Cymbalta you will see that generic warning about discontinuation syndrome.

 

That warning is worthless because 95% (in my opinion) of the doctors have no clue how to come off this drug! Anyway, just running my mouth.


#7 chrisnbryan

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:15 AM

Fishinghat,equuswoman and thismoment,

   Thank you so much for your comments. It's so nice to know I'm not going crazy and that others are going through this same thing. I will definitely do the bead counting. I'm gonna try taking 30mg everyday for a week first to get me back to some sort of normal. Then if all is well start the bead counting.Thank you so much for the support.It's awesome to find this site. Thanks. Chrisnbryan


#8 equuswoman

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:23 AM

Chrisnbryan: fishinghat outlined the bead counting method 2 me. That is what I am doing now. I am on day #6. The way given me by my pain physician was the method that "sucked"...I was put on Cymbalta for pain of my lower back caused by osteoarthritis. I want OFF this horrid drug due to the side effects. Please let us know how UR doing. The members here on this support forum are wonderful! I am BLESSED that I found it! Prayers 4U. EquusWoman :hug:


#9 equuswoman

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:35 AM

Fishinghat, you detail the process perfectly.  

 

Also folks, don't put a time limit on your withdrawal because recovery times differ. Other drugs you are taking may modify withdrawal symptoms, or muddy the water and make it confusing to tell what's doing what.

 

I contacted Eli-Lilly and requested their protocol for safely withdrawing from Cymbalta. We know they don't have one, but hopefully they are working on something that will prove helpful.  Certainly a Cymbalta Antidote would be a big money-maker.

 

thismoment: that is good advice about NOT putting a time limit on our withdrawal, because recovery times will differ. U  have been most helpful 2 me on this journey I have embarked upon and I thank U for it!  :hug:


#10 thismoment

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:20 PM

Equuswoman- Day 7 tomorrow! Be well.


#11 chrisnbryan

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:02 PM

I am now taking 30 mg everyday but I have firewortks shooting off in my head. I took Excedrin Migraine today....no relief. Is there anything that helps you all?


#12 thismoment

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:20 PM

The brain zaps hit me on day 19 of my bead-counting withdrawal from 30 mg. They lasted 6 days, and no headache medication I tried helped. 

 

When the zaps started, I almost gave up the withdrawal. But then I read that it isn't just me, the brain zaps do go away!  So I hung on.

 

Chrisnbryan just hang on. These brain shocks will stop.  They are tolerable (barely), but it gets better.  

 

I'm cheering for you buddy!


#13 chrisnbryan

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:51 PM

Thismoment,

 Thank you!

                 Christy (chrisnbryan)


#14 thismoment

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 08:30 PM

Christy, are you withdrawing from Cymbalta, or reducing your dosage?


#15 chrisnbryan

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 01:46 PM

I'm withdrawing from Cymbalta. I had been taking 60mg for a year. He had me to take 60 every other day for a week then 30 every other day for a week. By the second day of 30 i was in awful pain. Thankfully, I got on here and am taking 30 everyday now then maybe in a week or two start bead counting. Does that sound like the right way to get off of it?


#16 thismoment

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 02:28 PM

Taking a pill every-second-day isn't ideal for drugs like Cymbalta that have a short half-life.  The bead counting is the best way to 'taper' off. Reduce by 5 beads a day (first day take out 5; second day take out 10; third day take out 15 etc). 

 

As Fishinghat says, listen to your body. If you have strong symptoms, stay at that level and don't remove any more beads until you have stabilized. There will always be some withdrawal symptoms, but if they become too much- level off for some days, then take up your count from where you left off.

 

Best wishes Christy!


#17 equuswoman

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:28 PM

The bead counting is how I am weaning off Cymbalta. The drop from 60„Äč30 was ok til day 10 then s/s from hell. Then I found this forum. They are wonderful ppl here 2 help us!

#18 chrisnbryan

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 07:51 PM

Yes I agree...wonderful ppl to help us.(thismoment and equuswoman and others). I had a great day today. I only had a few brain zaps and didn;t feel like i was in a dream. I even drove today,it was awesome.

 What do you do with the beads you take out? Do you keep them ?throw them away? I'm not there yet. Just wanted to know before I get to that point. Thanks.


#19 fishinghat

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 08:24 PM

I threw mine away as I had plenty of medicine to work with. However, if you think you may run short before the bead counting is done you might want to save them.


#20 thismoment

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 09:43 PM

I had a bag full of beads, full capsules of Cymbalta, Prozac, and Lexapro- a half a pound or so. I took them all back to the pharmacy, and they said they would dispose of them 'properly'; don't know what that means and I didn't ask. Maybe they incinerate the stuff, maybe they flush it; I don't know.

 

I live in a beautiful town, and a river runs through it, a river with rainbow trout, beavers and pelicans. The sewage treatment plants remove debris and filter the water and then return the clean water to the river. But I don't know if they can filter out all the chemicals we throw down the toilet. 

 

I imagine a trout having a bad night on the Cymbalta it ingests from the river- and in an act of desperation- it hurls itself up onto a railway bridge! Oh dear!

 

Have a great weekend everyone! Be safe and stay strong.


#21 chrisnbryan

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 09:55 AM

I probably will run short before i'm done with bead counting. Can i buy capsules to put the left over beads in? What kind? where do I buy them?


#22 fishinghat

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 11:47 AM

Most pharmacies sell empties here.


#23 Akk

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 06:02 PM

I tried to buy empty capsules for the extra beads I saved, but could only find them at a health food store.  I tried 6 drug stores.  If you save the beads, you will not have to spend more $ for an extra prescription refill to use to taper off.

I am thankful for the excellent recommendations on this site. Listen to fishing hat-listen to your body.  It will let you know if you are not treating it right!


#24 Wagtail

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:04 PM

Hi everyone just joined your group . I've been taking Cymbalta for 10 yrs & have put on 10 ks regardless of a very strict & healthy diet , I have a distended stomach that I'm very embarrassed about & no amount of dieting will shift . I developed pancreatitis & almost died , I spent many weeks in hospital & they removed my gallbladder which was septic & had spread through my stomach & liver . I fear this was all caused by the Cymbalta. I was taking 60 ml and over the past month have weaned down to 30 ml then started removing some of the beads . I did get impatient after I was down to approx 7mls & decided 4 days ago to just stop .... Each day has been worse than the day before & Im now housebound . The worst of the side effects is the full body zaps & nightmares .. Every time I blink I get a zap & today my head has started aching .. I don't want to give in after 4 days & start taking some again , do you guys think I should just hang in & bear it ?..

#25 thismoment

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:31 PM

Wagtail, hang in there if you can manage it, but not to the point of throwing in the towel just yet. Don't rush it.  It's not necessary to suffer when tapering can prevent much of that. You may have to back up some, perhaps to that 7 mg spot to alleviate some of the worst symptoms.

 

60 to 30 mg in a month might be too quick for some folks, but if you were stable at 30 mg that's good. But the final 30 to 0 should take about 40 days if you are removing 5 beads per day. If I were doing it again, I would not do it any faster than 5 beads per day. I might  even consider just 3 beads a day over 2 months.

 

Best wishes!!


#26 fishinghat

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 09:31 AM

Once again I find myself agreeing with you thismoment!!  Slow down and bead count. Cold turkey is just too hard on a person.


#27 equuswoman

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 09:52 AM

Once again I find myself agreeing with you thismoment!!  Slow down and bead count. Cold turkey is just too hard on a person.

 

I agree about this COLD turkey method. I 'accidently' did the cold turkey and after 4 days was, I can NOT even describe what kwim??? It was HORRID! Bead counting is the "only" way to go for me anyway. It is difficult but I am determined :angry:  to be rid of this evil drug no matter how long it may take me to do so. Thank God and the ppl here who are helping me to do this! TheEquusWoman :hug:


#28 equuswoman

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 09:54 AM

Hi everyone just joined your group . I've been taking Cymbalta for 10 yrs & have put on 10 ks regardless of a very strict & healthy diet , I have a distended stomach that I'm very embarrassed about & no amount of dieting will shift . I developed pancreatitis & almost died , I spent many weeks in hospital & they removed my gallbladder which was septic & had spread through my stomach & liver . I fear this was all caused by the Cymbalta. I was taking 60 ml and over the past month have weaned down to 30 ml then started removing some of the beads . I did get impatient after I was down to approx 7mls & decided 4 days ago to just stop .... Each day has been worse than the day before & Im now housebound . The worst of the side effects is the full body zaps & nightmares .. Every time I blink I get a zap & today my head has started aching .. I don't want to give in after 4 days & start taking some again , do you guys think I should just hang in & bear it ?..

 

Wagtail don't give UP. You can do this. Prayers and support for you! Add back a few beads. Please let us know how you're doing when you can!  :hug: TheEquusWoman





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