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Cymbalta Affecting Blood Pressure And Blood Glucose


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#1 Gladiola

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 03:06 PM

I am new here. Started on 60 mg cymbalta for depression about 3 or 4 months ago. Yes makes one feel as complacent as a lizard laying on a warm rock in sun, no emotions, life just goes on. But then my blood pressure started going up and up and up and being a diabetic my blood glucose levels started going up and up and up, nausea, which is good for weight loss. So my regular doc says cymbalta is causing this you need to stop. And my shrink says no, no I have never heard of this side effects you need to stay on. You must be an anxious person. Yikes. What to do? Well I have cut back from 60 to 30 7 days ago, without talking to shrink, although I see her in 5 days. The only problem so far is very, very, active dreaming and images stay flitting thru my brain even when I am awake. And trembling, like when I suffered severe trauma. Headaches.
So has anyone had these side effects?
Is there one antidepressant that is better than another to jump to? I had been taking zoloft but it had petered out.
I also take a low dose if lithium. So my problems are with high bp, thyroid, diabetes type 2, depression, complex ptsd and constant exhaustion, constant. Which no one can put their finger on.
I would also like to learn about the vitamins etc that people are taking to help boost their system and maybe use in alternative to meds.

This seems like a terrific site with so many knowledgable and supportive people. I thank you in advance for any help,you can give me. I think this site should be required reading for med students and for psych residents. I have been seeing shrinks for over 30 years and I have yet to come across one who had any common sense.

#2 fishinghat

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 04:05 PM

Welcome Gladiola.

 

Those withdrawal symptoms are quite common. And the bp and glucose effects are known side effects of Cymbalta. There are not any 'good' antidepressants to jump to in my book. The easiest ones to deal with are Zoloft, Lexapro and Prozac. While they certainly have side effects, due to their long half life they are easier to get off of than Cymbalta.


#3 brzghoff

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 05:27 PM

best anti-depressant? we're all different, but for me its cognitive therapy that taught me to challenge what was telling myself. its hard work and its not easy finding a good therapist, but they are out there. took me 8 years. he was my 4th try. the other 3 were nice people but were too timid to get "tough" with me in the way i needed. they were more interested in holding my hand - metaphorically speaking. if i'd found him first i seriously doubt i would have been on anti-depressants for 18 years. i don't mean to sound like he is heartless and cruel - he's a great guy. but as i've said here to others, he calls me out when i start throwing a pity party for myself. however, thats what's worked for me. 

 

i guess your psychiatrist doesn't read the literature that eli lilly provides along with cymbalta. HBP is well known as a side effect. it constricts vessels in general, which is why it is prescribed as a treatment for stress urinary incontinance in europe. it was not approved for that use in the US - not since the tracy johnson incident - "ThisMoment" posted a different article elsewhere on this forum about traci just today. the significance of this story is that in this case it was not being tested as an anti-depressant - traci had no history of depression. what happend to her was absolutely hideous, especially when you read the withdrawal nightmares spelled out in detail on this site. what the following story (follow the link) doesn't tell you that i learned elsewhere is that eli lilly dropped her dosage from 120 mg to 0 with no weaning 

 

http://www.slate.com...ug_secrets.html

 

the two main reasons i quit cybalta were: 1) radically high BP, hard to control even on BP meds. 2) hard to empty my bladder resulting in constant UTIs. well, that and i knew i didn't need anti-d's anymore.

 

now my BP is borderline high - my doc and are are still working out a dose, i may not need a med at all. 


#4 Gladiola

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 06:04 PM

So are you saying even when you get off cymbalta it can be hard to lower your bp? And yes I have that hard to empty the bladder problem as well. Terrible.

#5 brzghoff

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 06:07 PM

no - it goes down. i may be able to quit my bp meds all together. i've only been off the C since may 15. i am already on a low dose of a much weaker bp drug than when i was on the C.

 

i can also pee normally now


#6 TryinginFL

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 11:12 PM

Welcome Gladiola! 

 

So happy you found us all...     This is a great place with wonderful, caring and supportive people.  You will find your answers here and are welcome to vent, rant, cry and share in any way you wish - all is OK here and it is safe.  No one will judge you!

 

All of us are in different stages of withdrawal so there is always  someone available to you - and to help!  I am 8 months off the crap and did it cold turkey, which I DO NOT recommend!  Please check out the bead counting method - it is a much gentler way to wean yourself off of this poison.  Many here have used that method - I was 2 weeks into the cold turkey before I found this site, so I just forged ahead and it was HELL.  

 

Again, welcome and please keep us updated as to your progress.  We wish you the best on this trip...buckle up!

 

 

Liz  


#7 thismoment

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 07:47 AM

Gladiola

 

HI and welcome.

 

I've been through this (are we ever completely out?), so my perspective is coloured by that (this) experience. I'm with brzghoff-- the best antidepressant is quality therapy. I won't take any more experimental drugs whipped up by the cooks at Eli Lilly or the cooks in the garage down the alley; I don't see the difference as both are motivated solely by profit.

 

Having said that, it's clear that some people are so agitated (perhaps psychotic) that they need to medicated temporarily (but not with SS/SNRIs) so they don't hurt themselves or others; that's different.

 

Here's what I would do, and I'm only speaking for myself:

 

1. Get a real therapist (not a psychiatrist).

2. Wean off Cymbalta and control your BP.

 

Best wishes!


#8 FiveNotions

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 12:32 PM

Gladiola, hello and welcome to the forum! If not for the wonderful people here, with all the information and encouragement, I wouldn't have been able to get off this poison. I'm just about to begin my 10th month off, and I can assure you that life after crapalta is well worth every bit of the struggle to get off it!
 
As for how to get off the Cymbalta, please consider using the bead counting method ... TFL and I both quit cold turkey, and that, for sure, isn't the way to do it!

Cutting from 60 mg to 30 abruptly has essentially put you into cold turkey withdrawal ... it's far too rapid a reduction in serotonin for your brain to adjust to easily ... and, you're getting the physical effects of reduced serotonin... not fun ...

You weren't on Cymbalta for very long, so you may be able to adjust to the reduced 30 mg dose without too much trouble ... but please at least stay at the 30 mg dose level until you stabilize, and then use bead counting to down-dose from there.

Check out the "nutritional support" and "what's helping me" forums for info and suggestions on supplements, food, and "home remedies" for the side effects. The "basic group" of supplements that I, and quite a few of us here, use are: multi-vitamin, B-complex, chelated magnesium, and Omega 3. There are lots of other supps that some of us use/have used for various symptoms, etc. But those are the basic ones.

Also, drink lots of water, avoid alcohol. I also drank herb teas by the gallon -- Yogi detox tea (liver cleanser) and ginger tea (helped with the nausea I had) were my favorites.

Like you, I also developed high bp, as well as tachycardia, while on Cymbalta. Neither my GP nor my shrink believed me when I told them I thought it was related to the Cymbalta. So, I ended up on two more meds ... to treat the Cymbalta side-effects!

Within a couple of weeks of quitting the stuff, my bp normalized and the tachycardia stopped almost completely ... and I stopped taking the meds for those conditions.

Then, maybe about May or June of this year, my bp started edging up again ... "borderline" level ... and the tachycardia increased a bit ... but I'm working on controlling it with diet and exercise ... doc wants me back on the meds, and I'm pushing back and saying no, not yet.

Please keep posting, and let us know how you're doing!

#9 Gladiola

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 10:45 PM

So how long would you stay on the 30 mg before starting the bead counting weaning? I am surprised that I am feeling as well as I am. The headaches have stopped. No irritability, yet. And dream world has calmed down. It will be 2 weeks this wed so I was thinking of starting the next level of weaning then. My bp has not changed at all. Was hoping it would begin to go down.
Thanks to,everyone for their support and advice. This drug really needs to be taken off the market.

#10 thismoment

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 12:22 AM

Gladiola

If you're symptom-free at 30 mg now, you can start weaning off any time. You say, "I am surprised that I am feeling as well as I am." Does that mean your emotions have returned and you're feeling fine, or they have not returned but you're feeling fine?

Would you be happy to stay where you are (feeling fine), and just stay on the 30 mg of Cymbalta if your BP could be managed by other medication? Gladiola, it's all about quality-of-life and being drug-free has NO meaning whatsoever.

Weaning off Cymbalta may not bring down your BP for some time, maybe months; also there may be other reasons not readily apparent for the spike in your BP-- this should be assessed.

But if you intend to wean off, Wednesday is as good a day as any. You should know that the slower you wean, symptoms will be fewer and less acute. There are many ways to taper off, here's two: you can reduce by a couple of beads per day (take out 2 today, 4 tomorrow, 6 the next day) or you can reduce it by 10% and wait for the symptoms to stabilize, then drop another 10%. You've been exposed for only a few months, so your withdrawal and discontinuation will be easier than if you'd been on for, say, 3 years.

You can do this!

#11 FiveNotions

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 09:05 AM

Gladiola, I'm with TM on this... he and FishingHat know the bead counting approach  ... I can't speak to it cuz I went cold turkey, after 7-8 years on the stuff ...

 

However, as TM noted, you've been on it a relatively short time ... and, you did the drop from 60 mg to 30 with few problems ... sucked and was unpleasant, but it was a far smoother transition than a lot of us here have had ... this is a very good indication that you'll do just as well as you come down the rest of the way ...

 

So, make Wednesday "the day," and keep us posted every day! Bravo for deciding to get off the poison!

 

if your bp and blood sugar levels are related just to the Cymbalta, they'll come down... it just may take some time ... if you get them tested and it turns out you still need some meds to regulate them, fine ... again, as TM says, this is about quality of life!


#12 Gladiola

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 09:10 PM

So, saw my shrink today who met me with a huge article from eli Lilly showing there was no evidence of high bp or glucose as side effect of cymbalta. I shrieked BS. What BS. She said why would they lie? Omg. What can you say. Except bs again. She said you have mood swings and that is what is causing these problems. She wanted me to stay on cymbalta and I said too late I am already down to 30 mg. ok she says you can stop tonight and start Prozac. Wow shouldn't I taper a bit more and overlap some? Nope. Omg again. She says no one knows how to change antidepressants, everyone is flying by the seat of their pants and I gave found this works. You may have a rough couple of weeks but you will be ok. I said everyone one of you shrinks should be locked up in a room and forced to takes these meds and then go off of them and see how it really feels. I think that would change your attitude. No response.

So. What to do. I have been thru 4 other shrinks in past 4 years and she has been the best aside from this. It is so hard to find one.
Talk about frustrated. I was to start doing neurofeedback with her in November but she says I have to be stable first.
Choice one . Do the quick change and see what happens since I have not had a hard time so far.
If it does not work after several says go back to 30 mg

Choice 2. start taking beads out for 2 weeks and then do switch

Or?. Advice, thoughts? Thanks

#13 TryinginFL

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 09:45 PM

Gladiola...

 

I understand how frustrated you are.  I am not an expert on switching from the crap to Prozac - seems it would take some time for the Prozac to ramp up in your system - which would mean weaning from the C. at the same time.  This is a good one for fishinghat.  Hopefully he will come on soon and give his good advice. 

 

You're right  -  the shrink is another ass - unbelievable how little they know about the crap they prescribe.  This makes me so angry.  We are nothing but guinea pigs to them...  :angry:

 

Good luck and hang on - fishinghat should be here soon ...

 

Liz


#14 thismoment

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 10:58 PM

Gladiola

 

Your shrink is quaint and naive: "Why would they lie?" indeed. Clearly she's new.

 

You are still at a full dosage at 30 mg and your exposure history is short. 

 

Do you want to start Prozac? That is a real question with NO embodied judgement.

 

It takes 6-8 weeks for Prozac to be fully effective. If you quit Cymbalta cold turkey today, your withdrawal starts tomorrow, and there will be no help from the Prozac for more than a month. Why not stay on the Cymbalta and start taking the Prozac now? After two weeks start weaning off the Cymbalta in a gentle, consistent slope so as to be done in 6 weeks. The total span will be two months and you will be off the Cymbalta and the Prozac will be fully on stream. 

 

This "piggybacking" on Prozac to get off Cymbalta is pretty common-- but no cold turkey is involved.

 

Or if you don't want the Prozac, start weaning off the Cymbalta now, but slower-- say 3 months (considering your minimal exposure of 4 months).

 

This is only my opinion; I'm not a doctor, and I'm not a psychiatrist getting a commission from a pharmaceutical company for moving their product.

 

Take care.


#15 Gladiola

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 12:20 AM

Thank you for your advice. I think overlapping is tha sane way to go plus taking out beads.
I know you collect articles and research. Do,you have anything on blood pressure and blood glucose increase as side effect of cymbalta.
I am so, so tired of docs not believing patients. That the drug company is always right..

#16 thismoment

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 12:29 AM

Gladiola

 

I don't have anything at hand, but will look into it.

 

As you know, the BP and glucose issues may be related to the Cymbalta experience, but not directly caused by it. In other words Cymbalta may induce mind states and behaviours that foster higher blood pressure, and it may promote the altering of habits in diet and lifestyle that further exacerbate these conditions.

 

While it may not be directly related, there certainly could be a correlation. I'll see what I can find. Hopefully fishinghat and FN will know something.

 

Take care.


#17 fishinghat

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:25 AM

Gladiola

 

TM got it 100% right. I couldn't agree more.

 

I will also look into the glucose BP issue. I know I have seen research articles on it. I just hope I can find them.  lol


#18 fishinghat

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 09:18 AM

http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/archives/fdaDrugInfo.cfm?archiveid=1526

This is a document from Eli Lilly that in it it links high BP to Cymbalta.

 

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a604030.html

Medline plus includes a warning about high BP as well. Medline plus is a service of the Federal government.

 

http://www.ehealthme.com/ds/cymbalta/blood+pressure+-+high

This article is from ehealth. It monitors reported side effects to the FDA and other sites. Over 5% of the users of cymbalta report high bp.

 

Articles on elevated glucose to follow.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16303903

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3661232/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2646646/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004624/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3437646/

Research articles documenting elevation of bp by Cymbalta.

 

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088579.pdf

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2010/022516lbl.pdf

FDA warns of risk of high blood pressure. Second one includes a black box warning from 2010 on elevated BP.

Articles on elevated BP. Including FDA warning. I hope the idiot chokes on it.


#19 fishinghat

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 09:43 AM

Cymbalta and hyperglycemia (high blood glucose)

 

http://www.ehealthme.com/ds/cymbalta/hyperglycemia

FDA and others number of reported cases of hyperglycemia

 

http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=2F7D4D67-10C1-4BF4-A7F2-C185FBAD64BA

From NIH, a branch of the government.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3056054/

Research article on hyperglycemia.

 

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/021427s030lbl.pdf

FDA reports of hyperglycemia.


#20 thismoment

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 10:56 AM

fishinghat

 

You're the man! Good work! 


#21 Gladiola

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 11:17 PM

Thank,you so,very much.

#22 thismoment

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 12:04 AM

Gladiola

Your psychiatrist is an ordinary person like the plumber, the teacher, or the banker. Doctors are neither scientists nor saints; it's not surprising in the least that a p-doc would swoon at the syrupy flattery of the well-rehearsed Barbie or Boy-Toy Pharma-rep-- it's the oldest profession played out in the clinic of cinematic sexual innuendo, a flattering shell-game with the truth as the pea. It's staged in every doctor's office on the planet: upon penetrating the cell of the clinic the rep whispers the mantra, "Don't sell the drugs, sell yourself!"

#23 buntbean2

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 06:21 AM

I'm 4 weeks off and my BP is down!  That and a 6lb weight loss are about all the positive I can muster right now.

From the article:  "The FDA approved Cymbalta to treat depression in August 2004"

That's EXACTLY when they put me on the crap!!  Guess I was one of the first guinea pigs!  I remember my husband was buying it by the pill while I was in the hospital because it was so expensive.  Of course, the doctor told him it was to help the nerve pain as well as to help with the depression caused by the pain.  She had great marketing skills  <_<


#24 buntbean2

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 06:28 AM

In regards to the Prozac

From the Eli Lilly Rap Sheet:

 

"In 1990 Lilly was faced with accusations that its antidepressant drug Prozac caused suicidal or homicidal tendencies, but the company insisted there was no clinical evidence to support the charges. Soon Lilly was hit with a series of multimillion-dollar lawsuits. Criminal lawyers also began to use what became known as the Prozac Defense—the argument that individuals accused of committing murder while they were using the drug should not be held legally responsible for their actions. The Church of Scientology launched a crusade against the drug"

 

Although I'm hating the emotional instability I'd be nervous starting something else.  I had a severe reaction to Paxil which led to the Cymbalta.  They put me in the hospital in a drug induced zombie state in order to counteract my bodies disagreements to the 'poisons' they filled me with.  I barely remember the following year after that!   :angry:  I've spent the past 5 years cutting out all the unnecessary ones.  Cymbalta is the last one to go!


#25 Gladiola

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 11:37 PM

I am so glad to,gear your bp is going down and you are losing weight. I am green with envy. But I can report I am having great success with my weaning. I was so,nervous about it but yea, all is well. I went from 60 to 30 and after about 3 weeks began taking beads out. 10 a day for 3 says, then 20, them today 30. I am feeling ever so much better,clear headed, light, having some energy. This is good.

#26 TryinginFL

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 04:39 AM

Gladiola...

 

Congratulations!  You're really tapering quickly and apparently without any terrible symptoms - wonderful! :)

 

I wish you continued success - many of us wish we could have done this so quickly!


#27 thismoment

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 08:15 AM

Gladiola

 

I congratulate you on your successful weaning! However, I agree with TFL that the rate of reduction is pretty fast, and symptoms may appear in earnest. Should unbearable symptoms appear, simply stop reducing the dosage for a while or even go back up a milligram or two until you stabilize.

 

It's a wonderful feeling when the brain-fog begins to dissipate as you have described! And it gets better and better. Hang in there! 

 

The effects of this drug are sinister and spookily Orwellian.





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