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How Long Does This Go On?


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#1 TryinginFL

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 05:00 PM

I started on Cymbalta and Lyrica approx. 4 1/2 yrs ago after I lost my daughter.  I was severely depressed and found this combination helped both my depression and Fibromyalgia pain.  Right  after Christmas I ran out of both meds and decided to stop taking them.  At that point I was on the generic for  both and had been for about 4 or 5 months.  Having absolutely no knowledge of what these meds could do to me, I quit both cold turkey.  Obviously a big mistake!  I have just gotten over the headache from hell which I first thought was a sinus headache but it persisted for almost 2 weeks.  My restless legs problem has increased and I am now taking double the prescription.  I do not feel "normal" whatever that is I no longer know, and don't really want to drive or go anywhere.  I will if I HAVE to...At the beginning of all of this I was terribly depressed and after Christmas started crying every day - this kept on as long as the headache.  I am taking Alprazolam - once or twice a day, as well as a Hydrocodone for break through Fibromyalgia pain.  I get a therapeutic massage once a week which helps immensely.  Will I ever feel "normal" again?

I feel so stupid having done this, but don't want to go back on the meds...really scared right now!

Liz


#2 fishinghat

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 06:57 PM

Welcome to the site, Liz. There are a lot of stories like yours here. Are you still off the cymbalta and Lyrica? The alprazolam and hydrocodone should help take the edge off your withdrawal but be aware they are addictive so try not to lean on them too much. The best way to minimize the withdrawal is to go back on them and then wean yourself off slowly but I understand your decision to stay cold turkey. There should be about, and it varies, 8 to 12 weeks of withdrawal. Around the 3rd week you should start to see small improvements. I sincerely hope you have a loved one for support. I would suggest you and your family suggest reading some of hte old post and get an idea on what is coming. I think it will help you prepare. We are always here to help even if you just want to vent. We have all been there. God bless and good luck.


#3 TryinginFL

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 08:07 PM

Thank you for your reply, fishinghat.  Yes, I am still off the Cymbalta and Lyrica and don't want to start them again since it has been almost 7 weeks that I have been cold turkey.  There is definitely some improvement at this point.  Unfortunately, my sons both live on the west coast and I am here in FL.  I have not even told them about this so as not to worry them.  I do have 2 very good friends here who are giving me a good deal of support and one has worked for Dr.s and was a Medic in the Air Force.  I have a routine Dr. appt. next month and hope this is almost over by then.  He will probably think me a total idiot, but it's too late for all of that now.  I just want to finish this out and will NEVER take these meds again!  Thanks again for your good wishes.

God bless you.

Liz


#4 fishinghat

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 08:19 PM

At seven weeks you should be over the hump. Good job.


#5 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 08 February 2014 - 08:57 PM

Hi tryinginfl: I am also on hydrocodone for LBP. Am weaning off of Cymbalta one bead at a time.

Just want to let you know there are many ppl here who care about one another. Sending you my

support and prayers! TheEquusWoman :hug:


#6 TryinginFL

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 09:19 PM

Thank you, EquusWoman....I am so happy that I found this forum - I, too, would like to try to help others with what is a horrible and painful experience, not to mention scary - I truly felt that I was going to die at one point. I feel that I am getting close to finding the end to this nightmare and I know that you will too.  Now I will find other ways to deal with the osteoarthritis and fibro-I really recommend the massage therapy for the pain - my insurance will pay for this as long as I have a Dr. prescription every 90 days. I wish you the  best of luck and I send you my support as well :)


#7 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 08 February 2014 - 10:53 PM

:hug:

 

Hi Liz. I too am so grateful that I found this forum. I had tried to get off the Cymbalta and had failed the last 2 times.

It was here on this forum that I learned about the 'bead counting' method to wean off this nasty drug. I just didn't want to

deal with the SE of this drug any longer. Needless to say the w/d has been hell but I am determined to make it. To one day in my future FREE of this Cymbalta crap!


#8 flik76

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:19 PM

Oh My Goodness, 7 weeks??!! Please tell me I won't feel this bad for 7 weeks?! I am having a really bad day with symptoms and constant weeping, I am at day 9, I can't do 7 weeks :(


#9 fishinghat

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:34 PM

Sorry Flik76, but for cold turkey it is about 6 to 10 weeks BUT around the 3rd week things start slowly getting better. Slowly.


#10 TryinginFL

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 10:49 AM

Hi flik76 - please see my latest post, as I was wrong as to the length of time I have been off this crap.  Apparently my mind is so screwed up I can't even think straight...


#11 Carleeta

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:36 PM

Hi flik76 - please see my latest post, as I was wrong as to the length of time I have been off this crap.  Apparently my mind is so screwed up I can't even think straight...

...TryinginFL..I just want to give you lots of credit for taking this journey (quitting cymbalta) alone with no family nearby. Please remember you are not alone here on this forum. Vent, cry, laugh, ask till your heart is content on this forum. .There are many of us here willing to help. Each post you post is also helping someone else. Your posts, believe it or not, are being read by others who may just be visiting the forums and deciding whether or not to quit cymbalta. Thank you tryinginFL for also being a gift here for others..:)

#12 Blackbird

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 11:48 PM

I went off 60 mg Cymbalta kind of cold turkey.  Took every other day.  Then emptied out some of the beads.   Then started getting terrible stomach cramps.

 While on it, could not get enough sleep (I guess it keeps a person from REM or repair phase).  Could not get up in the morning.  Took lots of naps and no motivation.  When I went off, I got really sick...like the flu.  Then and now, my speech is slow and slurred.  It's been 3 weeks.  I'm embarrassed to talk. I sound like someone who is mentally handicapped.  Also, now I start to cry and can't stop. And sometimes laugh uncontrollably.   I never was bi-polar, but seems like it now.  Had 3 doctors check me for stroke symptoms.  I do have trouble swallowing.  But, aside from the speech issue, there's no other side effects now.  I'm wondering if this is permanent? It's scary.  Just ordered 5htp, and Co-q10.  Taking extra Vitamin  C, which helps the depression And taking dandelion tea before bed, which helps with sleep..  I've never been able to take ANY anti-depressant.  This one is probably the nastiest, with the after-effects. 


#13 thismoment

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 12:45 AM

Hi Blackbird

 

Welcome. I see you've been off cold turkey for 3 weeks. How long were you on Cymbalta?

 

A few side effects from withdrawal are permanent, but at 3 weeks it's far too early to tell. You probably have to have the symptom for more than a year to start worrying that it's forever. Be patient.

 

Also, it's not uncommon to go to the doctor 5 or 6 times during withdrawal- a variety of seemingly life-threatening symptoms will emerge, and you'll be sent off to specialists and you may be prescribed several other medications including more antidepressants. It's part of the withdrawal charade, so don't worry.

 

You will get through this, and before you know it you'll be singing in the dead of night!


#14 Blackbird

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 11:30 AM

I was on Cymbalta almost a year and a half.  Noticed the speech problem the next day if I forgot to take it.  My family thinks I had a stroke, and should see a Neurologist, to get a CT scan.  Not sure what that would accomplish, as don't know any med that can get my normal speech back.  I talked to someone at Life Extention.org.  They recommended acytyl-choline, plus a formulation to help repair brain tissue.  Also, fish oil.  Some people think I sound better, but I have good and bad days.  Since off Cymbalta, I also have trouble sleeping through the whole night.  It's probably better sleep, still....being tired is no fun.  That said, trying to stay positive and count my blessings.  Thanks for replying!


#15 thismoment

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 12:01 PM

Hi Blackbird

 

It's not uncommon to have physical skills degraded while on Cymbalta (or other antidepressants). I had the following physical skills and senses affected: gait (walking was unsteady), poor balance, sloppy cursive writing, musical timing, musical tonal centre degraded, sense of smell diminished, and a sense of insulation from the external world (wind, air, sunlight, trees, birds etc).

 

The sleeping pattern issue is a common problem, and that could hang around for a long time. But with most of the effects of this experience, there is little data; medically this stuff is all too new.

 

It wouldn't hurt to see a neurologist. You could also re-instate on Cymbalta and see if the speech problem goes away. Then plan a gentle withdrawal regimen and see how it holds.

 

I'm hoping for you.


#16 equuswoman

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 01:20 PM

Hi blackbird. Welcome. Prayers for you. I'd also make an appt with neurologist for evaluation♥TheEquusWoman

#17 fishinghat

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 03:26 PM

Stoke is still a concern of mine. Most people who have had a stroke usually resist going to the dr.  If a stroke is beleived the person should immediately get to the hospital. A simple test can determine if you have had a stroke. If the stroke medicine is given within the first hour there is a high rate of success in preventing any significant damage.

 

There are some simple tests you can do at home. Look in a mirror and smile great big. The smile should be the same size on both sides.  Another, grab two fingers of someone using your hand. Example, face a freind. Grab two of his fingers on his right hand with your whole left hand. Then use your right hand to grab 2 fingers on his left hand. Squeeze hard. The hand strength should be the same on both sides. And the last test is to hold your arms out straight to the side at shoulder height. Both arms should be able to stay at that level for the same amount of time. If one arm drops a lot faster than the other a stroke is indicated.


#18 Jillybean

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 08:31 PM

Oh My Goodness, 7 weeks??!! Please tell me I won't feel this bad for 7 weeks?! I am having a really bad day with symptoms and constant weeping, I am at day 9, I can't do 7 weeks :(

Hang in there please!!! I am on day 12 of NO cymbalta. I don't feel much better but I have had short periods of relief. You can make it through this!


#19 gz86

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 08:39 PM

Oh My Goodness, 7 weeks??!! Please tell me I won't feel this bad for 7 weeks?! I am having a really bad day with symptoms and constant weeping, I am at day 9, I can't do 7 weeks :(

Wondering how it went for you in the next few months? Did you make it?


#20 FiveNotions

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:05 AM

gz86,

 

I think Flik is another one of our success stories .... here's a link to a wonderful post h/she made a while back ... I'm trying to insert the link, but having no success....to read it, click on Flik's icon above, then on his/her member page, click on "Posts" and it's right at the top....


#21 Blackbird

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 06:45 PM

Love all the support!  It's been over 3 months, and still having speech & swallowing issues.  This Friday is an apnt w/Neurologist. I wonder if (s)he is aware of Cymbalta.  Will have my ipad with...book-marked Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms.  

 

My old psch doc has me on 1/2 mg of Klonopin.  Last night was so tired, all I did was rub magnesium oil on me before sleep.  Was able to sleep all night w/no meds.  This a.m. seemed like my speech was better, but not much.  

 

Did someone say this may go on for a year?  I'm still scared this is permanent.  Speech issues are so isolating, and a person is not too fun to be around, as personality is expressed in speech.

 

Been googling things to help, but doesn't seem to be much.  I told a friend the other day, I'd rather lose a leg than be like this.  


#22 FiveNotions

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 07:27 PM

Blackbird... I'm researching this for you now...

What dosage of 5-htp do you take a day? And for how long have you been taking it? When did the speech issues first appear?

I've got a couple of articles, but the answers to your questions will decide whether they're relevant for you or not.....

#23 thismoment

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 07:28 PM

Hi Blackbird

 

Glad to hear you got a night's sleep and you noticed some improvement in your speech- could be related- maybe mention it to the neurologist. 

 

"Did someone say this could go on for a year?" It varies a great deal as you've probably learned from reading the posts on this forum. Most symptoms fade away within 6 months or so, but others may hang on for longer- months, even years. There are some symptoms that are permanent; it's a crap shoot coming off the drugs just as much as it is going on them.

 

Discontinuation has no definite, clear-cut ending- it just fades and fades and fades. Good luck with your appointment Friday!


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Posted 27 July 2014 - 04:41 PM

 Quote' A few side effects from withdrawal are permanent, but at 3 weeks it's far too early to tell. You probably have to have the symptom for more than a year to start worrying that it's forever. Be patient.'

Oh my.......what side effects are showing up as permanent????

#25 FiveNotions

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:35 PM

Well, at almost 8 months off, the issues I'm having that continue to improve/fade are: occasional optic neuritis (really really mild, just when I get over-tired or forget to wear sunglasses), anxiety (very manageable, using clonidine), long and short-term memory and cognitive functions, and trouble sleeping (every couple of days or so)....

 

What I think is going to be a permanent issue is: distrust/dislike of docs, shrinks and the pharma industry ;)


#26 TryinginFL

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:59 PM

FN,

 

Your last sentence is HUGE !!!!!  I so wholeheartedly agree! :)


#27 Guest_Pheobster_*

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 01:19 PM

Wow the brain zaps are bad this morning. Ugh! Mornings seems to be the worst for all the symptoms, especially the zaps, headaches, and dizziness. Anyone else find that to be true???

#28 FiveNotions

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:36 PM

Yep, during the first several months of this process, my mornings sucked. I'd feel steadily better as the day went on.... but then, I've never been a morning person... some folks here report the reverse... good mornings, lousy later in the day ...

#29 Guest_Pheobster_*

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:43 PM

FiveNotions,

Rough one today. Tears, weird things 'touching' my skin, headache, shivers, and of course the zaps. I am thinking that my body is just working hard to detox. I am doing my best to roll with it but I really want to scream!!!

BTW....If I cry and my German Shepherd hears me, she puts her paw on my head to hold me so she can lick my face to make me better!

Yesterday was encouraging.....I will not give up!

#30 fishinghat

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:47 PM

Pheobster. Those good days will start coming more and more often. Just hold on.



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