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#1 silverseed72

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 02:31 PM

I was on here about 3 years ago. I had a psychiatrist take me off of Cymbalta due to me thinking it was not working. He put me on another drug while weening me off of the Cymbalta. I began having brain fog, zaps, and just overall yuckiness! I started visiting a different psychiatrist a couple of months later closer to home and he put me back on it due to my concerns. Ok, all was back to normal, until now.....

 

I had blood work done with my medical doctor and my liver enzymes came back almost double normal so he wants me to quit cold turkey. Apparently he doesn't know how bad that can be (I've heard the horror stories), but I need a plan to ween myself off of it. The last psychiatrist had me take one every other day for a week and then one every 3 days for about 2 weeks, and obviously that didn't curb the terrible side effects.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 


#2 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 03:39 PM

Hi silverseed

 

You have come to the right place but before we recommend anything the dose you have been on would be helpful as I know with the high liver enzymes that you need to get off this as quickly as possible,

When following a plan to get off this crap without extreme side effects it is more about reducing percentages then extending the time between doses due to the short half life. The whole business of taking every second day then every third day is garbage and the one sure way to make you suffer.

There are also some posts on how to reduce and beneficial supplements that I will try to find to direct you to.

I'm sure the others will pop on here soon to share their wisdom too.

 

Take care of you

 

Nancy


#3 silverseed72

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 05:19 PM

I am on 60 mg a day and xanax when needed, which is usually no more that a 0.5 mg a week.


#4 fishinghat

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 05:39 PM

Hi Silverseed, welcome back

 

The standard method is bead counting. Open one of your capsules and count the beads (usually somewhere in the 3oo range). Each day open a capsule and take out 1% more (3 beads).. So take out 6 beads on the second day and then 9 beads, etc. If things start getting bad just stay at the current dosage and wait until stable and then start decreasing at a slower rate. If the 3 beads a day seems to be no problem then try 4 beads a day. Let your body tell you how fast is fast enough. So the 3 beads a day is just a starting place. Most people who have success take 3 to 4 months to wean.

 

For goodness sake don't do the every other day thing. Cymbalta has a half life of 12 hours so on the second day your system is basically without Cymbalta, you are in cold turkey withdrawal and BAM, you take another Cymbalta and your levels in the blood go back up only to repeat the cold turkey the next day. Terrible idea.


#5 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 07:45 PM

Hi silverseed

 

Since your liver enzymes are so high I know you need to get off as quickly as possible but you do NOT want to crash from the withdrawal symptoms so I would use the beat counting method but step it up considerably.

Once you know approx. how many beads are in your capsules I would make a bigger cut than fishinghat is suggesting. You need to make cuts based on percentages rather than bead numbers. Slow is not going to cut it for your liver however you have to decide how much side effects you can live with.

Once you know how many beads you have then make a cut of 10% or so and see how you feel for a few days and if okay do it again.

If you have the usual 300 then that would be 30 beads the first time leaving you with 270 beads then an extra 27 the second time leaving you with 243 beads and the next time you would take out 24 beads and on and on

If this is too much then slow down but expect some symptoms and drink lots of water.

The key here is to get you off this drug as fast as possible without going into full withdrawal.

Also the lower the dose gets the harder the drops are for side effects but you can do it.

 

Are you still seeing that other Psychiatrist? Maybe he/she will be able to make some suggestions on what to do to deal with side effects. BUT then maybe they don't know what the withdrawal is like but it never hurts to ask.

 

Good luck with this and I hope you can let us know how it goes.

 

Take care of you

 

Nancy


#6 fishinghat

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 08:02 PM

Good point Lady Nancy.

 

Another option is to cross taper quickly over to something like Zoloft or Prozac. Even though they can effect LFT (liver function test) they may not. Just an option to discuss with your dr.


#7 silverseed72

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 09:14 PM

So with the bead method, do you open it up take a certain amount out and then close the capsule back and swallow it?

 


#8 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 12:20 AM

Yes that is how it works exactly


#9 silverseed72

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 09:28 AM

I don't understand why my medical doctor tells me to quit cold turkey and my last psychiatrist does the every other day thing and them not know how bad that is for you.

 

How long before it gets better?


#10 fishinghat

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:00 AM

There is lawsuits flying over this issue SS. Most drs were trained by the original manufacturer that the withdrawal (if it even occurs) closely resembles a common cold and that any psych effects are simply old symptoms returning. We now know this simply isn't true. Many have been taking Cymbalta for pain, no history of mental illness and yet they suffer this tremendous withdrawal.

 

Normally you start seeing slight periods of improvements in the 8 to 12 week period after coming completely off the stuff.  I would recommend 500 mg vit C per day, 3000 mg omega 3 per day and stay well hydrated. This won't stop the withdrawal but should help some.


#11 silverseed72

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 02:01 PM

There is lawsuits flying over this issue SS. Most drs were trained by the original manufacturer that the withdrawal (if it even occurs) closely resembles a common cold and that any psych effects are simply old symptoms returning. We now know this simply isn't true. Many have been taking Cymbalta for pain, no history of mental illness and yet they suffer this tremendous withdrawal.

 

Normally you start seeing slight periods of improvements in the 8 to 12 week period after coming completely off the stuff.  I would recommend 500 mg vit C per day, 3000 mg omega 3 per day and stay well hydrated. This won't stop the withdrawal but should help some.

 

Thank you all for the advice. If anyone else has any more input I would love to hear it.


#12 Michgirl

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 05:58 PM

My input - Listen to the wisdom that fishinghat and Nancy have imparted.  I did not know what they know when I went off cold turkey.  I have since been reading and researching and these two know what they are saying.  Make a plan, withdrawal slowly and do not go off cold turkey or every other day.  Listen to your body and the symptoms and you will do fine.  Check in with these guys often.

 

Michgirl


#13 brzghoff

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 06:19 PM

Hi SS

 

it seems in general doctors are much less aware of the nature of the drugs they prescribe. they only know what the drug companies tell them.  while the problem is especially bad among general practitioners, its also getting worse with specialists.  i can only imagine it has a lot to do with all the new drugs coming out every day for conditions we've never heard of until they invented a drug to treat it. combine that with aggressive sales techniques and overbooked doctors who hustle as many patients through their doors on a daily basis as is humanely possible and you end up with a 'scrip happy doc who is happy to solve whatever ails ya in 5 minutes. also keep in mind that if they admit there is a problem with withdrawal, they set themselves up for litigation (what did they know and when did they know it?). i think most docs have their head in the sand. i don't think its malicious, but when there is a bandwagon rolling across the planet, its easy to justify "that's the way its always been done" 

 

in the case of psychiatrists, drugs are ALL they do! they are not therapists. they don't do counseling. they aren't certified for that (nor are they interested). they only prescribe drugs. if you go to a psychiatrist you will walk out with a 'scrip. if they have nothing to prescribe, they don't have you as a patient, unlike a GP or cardiologist who may recommend diet and exercise before putting you on a statin. that is why so many psychiatrists have the "on it for life" philosophy about psychoactive drugs. they don't worry about withdrawal because they don't have any intention of taking you off a med - just cross tapering to a brand new med when your current one turns generic. <sigh>

 

doctors also like to give the excuse that their patients expect them to give them a drug so they have to write a 'scrip for something. that's their go-to explanation when it comes to the over prescription of antibiotics. 

 

i think the development and hard core sales of psychoactive drugs have really exposed the dark side of big pharma. there is no doubt the industry has developed drugs that are saving lives - but many of those don't make them any money. of course, antidepressants have saved lives - but if they were only prescribed to those who were suicidal, or suffering from chronic disabling severe depression, big pharma would not make money either. as a result, they are pushing doctors to recommend them to their patients for whom therapy would be more appropriate - or at least a best first line treatment. unfortunately, in this day and age of "positive outcomes" reimbursements to doctors by insurance companies and government healthcare systems, drugs are easier. its also true that patients don't want to take responsibility for their own health outcomes and do the hard work - which is why we have so many drugs to treat self-inflicted health conditions. its easier to pop a pill then change health habits or spend an hour a week or hour a month in a therapist's office who forces us to confront our irrational thoughts and challenge our negative thinking. 

 

medical science has learned that SNRI's like cymbalta can also treat pain. with the prescription opioid addiction crisis and additional regulatory pressure on doctors, cymbalta/duloxetine seems to be the go-to alternative. until more people kill themselves, the SSRI/SNRI withdrawal crises will not be addressed. since cymbalta dependency does not produce the "drug seeking" behavior that opioids do - its not considered an addiction. 

 

and that is why "medical doctor tells me to quit cold turkey and my last psychiatrist does the every other day thing and them not know how bad that is for you."

 

its been 18 months since i went cold turkey. i did a very quick every other day thing before jumping off. the physical stuff is over but i still work on my anxiety, every - single - day. 


#14 silverseed72

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 02:58 PM

Thank you all again. I am on day 3 of counting beads.


#15 Michgirl

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 03:42 PM

Yay!


#16 silverseed72

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 10:40 PM

Yay!

Feeling like crap now :(


#17 brzghoff

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 05:33 PM

Sorry to hear that you are not feeling well SS. that is the typical cyclical nature of withdrawal symptoms, especially when you have just started counting down the beads. how many are you taking out each day... what type of taper schedule are you on? 

 

hang tight, it feels like it won't ever get better, but it does, and on the good days you know you are on the right track and that you can do this. then when a bad day cycles through (or a string of them) its hard to believe it will get any better again. but it does. no matter what, you WILL be okay! unfortunately it takes time, a lot of time. usually 6-8 weeks before you see much "light" it can take 6 months before you really start to feel better on a semi-regular basis - at that time its usually only anxiety that remains. the physical withdrawal symptoms are typically all gone by then. for me i was in a lot of pain for about 6 months. the gastro stuff usually only lasts about a month. at 18 months off i still struggle with anxiety but its manageable. over all, way way better than 3-4 months off. however, everyone is different. . 

 

recommended supplements include a healthy dose of omega 3's in a fish oil supplement, magnesium, a good b complex vitamin and lots of water. avoid caffeine and alcohol - you know if it tastes good or is "fun" avoid it ;-) actually there are a lot of good tasting healthy options. exercise is great. whatever you can handle. a little bit everyday is good, even if its just a short walk around the block. if you're game for more, go for it!


#18 silverseed72

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 03:51 PM

I dropped about 10% the first 2 days. The next 2 days, I dropped 20%. Today I dropped about 30%. As long as there are no brain zaps or fog I will keep it up. I can deal with the flu feeling.


#19 TryinginFL

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 05:06 PM

Welcome SS!!

 

Sorry that I am so late to welcome you..   I am another one of the survivors who has stuck around to help others who join.  I jumped off of 60mg cold turkey in Jan. of 2014 and had one hell of a year.

 

You are doing a great job so far!  I hope that it continues to go well for you.  Some can just breeze through this - much depends on the dosage and length of time on the poison and age.  Those of us over 50 seem to have the worst go.

 

Hang in there and please continue to post - We are here for you!

 

Liz


#20 fishinghat

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 05:27 PM

That is an incredible rate of drop SS. If you can keep it up more power to you.

 

Good luck and God Bless.


#21 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 06:39 PM

Awesome silverseed

I know you need to get off as quickly as possible and if the flu-like symptoms are all you are dealing with then that is great.

If you find that you start getting some of those brain zaps be sure to add some omega 3 to your diet. I recommend 3000mg a day. I used to take one gelcap with each meal and it really helped.

 

At least getting the dose down and drinking lots of water will help your liver.

 

Take care of you

 

Nancy


#22 silverseed72

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 11:05 AM

Awesome silverseed

I know you need to get off as quickly as possible and if the flu-like symptoms are all you are dealing with then that is great.

If you find that you start getting some of those brain zaps be sure to add some omega 3 to your diet. I recommend 3000mg a day. I used to take one gelcap with each meal and it really helped.

 

At least getting the dose down and drinking lots of water will help your liver.

 

Take care of you

 

Nancy

When you say Omega 3, is that what is considered fish oil?


#23 brzghoff

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 11:37 AM

When you say Omega 3, is that what is considered fish oil?

 

my soft gels of 1360 mg fish oil have 950 mg of active omega 3 - thats per each. i take 3 a day, 2 in the morning and 1 at night. that means a total of 4080 mg fish oil delivering 2850 active omega 3 a day. recommended daily amount of active omega 3 is 1000-3000 in order to help with anxiety. i use puritan pride triple strength


#24 fishinghat

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 02:57 PM

Brz got it absolutely right. That is a good product Brz. By the way, Omega 3 fish oils can be very high in mercury depending on the type of fish used. So have tested at over 300 ppm mercury. There are brands out there that are mercury free or low mercury guaranteed. Something to think about. If you have thyroid issues they usually contain high iodine concentrations also. when I had high iodine toxicity I couldn't find a iodine free product. If your thyroid is fine then this will not be an issue.


#25 silverseed72

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 11:40 AM

What is sort of funny is that I have actually come down with something this week. I have had the achy feelings but yesterday I came down with an actual cold (maybe even a respiratory infection). Started coughing, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing. Ugh! But I would take this every day of the week instead of brain zaps. Wish me luck and I would ask for your prayers!


#26 TryinginFL

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 11:50 AM

SS,

 

So sorry to hear that.  Yuck!

 

Thoughts and prayers for you,

 

Liz :hug:


#27 fishinghat

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 01:36 PM

SS

 

So sad.

 

My prayers go out to you. Be sure and take it easy and get plenty of rest.


#28 gail

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 03:07 PM

SS,

Prayers for you Silverseed.

#29 lady2882Nancy

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 07:16 PM

Oh what rotten timing for you silverseed

 

I offer my cold remedy

In a mug mix

The juice of half a lemon

a spoon of honey

1 clove garlic crushed

one piece of ginger root the size of the garlic clove crushed

add hot water to fill cup and drink

 

It is good for head and chest congestion and was given to me by an older woman one time when I just could not get rid of a chest cold. I have been using this for the past 12 years and it works every time to shorten the duration of the cold,


#30 silverseed72

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 09:37 AM

I had to take a sick day yesterday. I am not sure what it is. At first with the coughing up stuff I thought maybe something in the lungs. But then my throat was so soar, I thought maybe strep throat. Then I woke up with my eyes matted shut and started wondering if it was pink eye.





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