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Dropping From 90 To 60 To 30, Then Tapering Slowly


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#1 bronxbomber

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 01:40 AM

Hello. I have been on 60mg Cymbalta for about 4 years, then upped to 90 mg about 6 months ago. A couple of recent incidents​ have made me realize that this drug has changed my personality, but not for the better. Also, I have gained 40 lb.

After some research, which totally blew me away in terms of the withdrawal process, I dropped down from 90 mg to 60 this past Saturday. So far I haven't had any issues, and in fact I think I feel better, though it's probably wishful thinking at this early stage.

If this goes well, I plan to drop down to 30 mg after 2 weeks, around June 10. I will stay at 30 until after the 4th of July weekend, then begin a slow taper down to zero.

Today I made plans to go snow skiing with a couple of other women on July 22-24. I do not intend to drive, but I am hoping to be able to ski. I'll be about 17 days into my taper, and of course I have no idea how I will feel. But my positive thinking tells me to make the plans, and change them if I need to.

Realistically, I wonder whether I will be able to travel, and to ski, 2+ weeks into my taper. Please give me your thoughts.

#2 gail

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 04:20 AM

Hello BB,

Sounds like a good plan. In 2 weeks to drop to 30 then bead count. All could go well but we can't predict the outcome.

You'll see as you go along, should it get messy at 30mg, go back to 60 and stabilize. Bead count from 60mg. Slowly.

Remember that 30%have no withdrawal. You might be in that range. along the way, if you need us for whatever reason, we are here to help you. As for skiing, time will tell. Where do you intend to go just out of curiosity?

If anxiety sets in,let us know, we have plenty of suggestions.

#3 bronxbomber

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 09:23 AM

Hi Gail. Thanks for your response.

I live in southern California. Mammoth Mountain, about 300 miles north of us, plans to remain open into August. We will be skiing for my birthday in early June, and after that I will go down to 30. Hopefully we will ski a couple of more times before they close, but the taper takes precedence of course. So I'll have to see how it goes.

#4 bronxbomber

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 04:09 PM

I've had no withdrawal symptoms up to yesterday, and was looking forward to dropping to 30 mg this Saturday. I have been skiing for the past several days.

Yesterday and today I've been getting a "pins and needles" sensation in my right leg. It's not anything major, but it is something I do not normally experience. I've read that it can be Cymbalta related. Unless it gets worse, I see no reason to change my plans to drop to 30 on Saturday. Any thoughts?

Also, while I am asking questions:. Has anyone dropped straight from 30 to 20 successfully? I'm thinking that if I do 3 weeks on 30 with only minimal side effects, perhaps I could drop straight to 20 and see how it goes. Stabilize at 20 and then start counting pellets. Am particularly interested in anecdotal evidence how much chance this has of working.

Thanks.

#5 fishinghat

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 06:34 PM

Actually BB that is possible. While many can go down to 30 with no problem the number that can drop to 20 from 30 is a lot smaller but the thing is that if you drop to 20 and it gets bad you just go back up to 30 and start bead counting. It only takes a day or 2 for the 30 to stabilize you. In my case I dropped all the way to around 1 mg (bead counting) before the withdrawal hit and it lasted 273 days before I felt comfortable. It really varies sooo much. Give it a shot.


#6 gail

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 06:55 PM

Hi BB,

I'm with Fishinghat here. Give it a shot!

#7 bronxbomber

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 08:38 PM

Fishinghat, getting all the way down to one mg and getting stuck there for 273 days sounds awful.

Thanks to both of you for responding.

I'm hoping and praying that I am one of the fortunate ones who can drop from 60 to 30 and from 30 to 20. I know I have an addictive personality; I wonder if that will influence my outcome.

Is there a generic 20 mg capsule?

Thanks again for your help.

#8 fishinghat

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 08:38 AM

I actually bite the bullet and went ahead and dropped the last 1 mg and just tried to handle the withdrawal the best I could with other meds until it past.

 

Many generic companies produce a 20 mg capsule. Your pharmacist should have a list of what is available.


#9 bronxbomber

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 11:00 PM

Well, I can't find anything about whether an "addictive personality" influences one's ability to taper.

 

Today is my first day at 30 mg.  I did not expect a problem on the first day, but the remainder of the week will tell.  Here's hoping!

 

Skiing went well.  I skied as well as I normally do, and I think my balance was actually better.  That would be nice because one of the bad effects of C was having several falls both walking and skiing in the last couple of months.

 

I ordered gelatin capsules, and when they arrive I will start making 3 20 mg capsules from each 60 mg capsule.  I will average 3 60 mg. capsules, then create 9 20 mg capsules.  Husband has promised to help me fill the capsules.  I just have to make sure he understands the importance of being exact with the counts.

 

I really logged on here to review some posts about eating healthier and taking vitamins and supplements.  So I'm off to do that.  It's time for me to get serious about the effect my diet will have on my withdrawal.


#10 fishinghat

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 07:57 AM

"Well, I can't find anything about whether an "addictive personality" influences one's ability to taper."

 

Give me a few hours and I will see what I can find.


#11 fishinghat

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 10:57 AM

As these articles indicate below that an addictive personality traits have been linked to genetic morphism (mutations). These mutant genes typicallyt effect dopamine levels which generate a susceptability to addictive behavior. This also makes the individual more susceptible to depression (mostly) as well as anxiety and other psych disorders. Because your body is exerting an unusual force on dopamine it makes it more difficult for an antidepressant to function correctly. I found no indication that it effects withdrawal.

http://www.nature.co...ll/522S48a.html
http://www.sciencedi...306460313000701
https://www.originsr...-and-addiction/
Many more articles/research

#12 bronxbomber

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 02:06 PM

Thanks fishinghat, for looking at this subject from another viewpoint. I appreciate your efforts.

#13 bronxbomber

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 03:07 AM

Third day at 30.  Could not get to sleep last night, then when I finally got to sleep I had a nightmare that felt very real.

 

Bowled today and went to an Angel/Yankee game - Yankees won!  I'm a bit scared to try to go to sleep so I shall wait until I'm a little more tired.  May try to find some meditative music to listen to when I go to bed.

 

Purchased fish oil, omega-3, and my gelatin capsules arrived.  I will phase in the supplements and start breaking open some of my 60 mg capsules to see what they really have inside.

 

I have to force myself to start working on "to do" tasks.  Once I start working I'm on a roll for a while.  If I stop to rest I again have a hard time getting started.  This was a fairly common problem when on 90 mg of C, and from reading I expected it to continue or worsen while I am tapering.  So this does not concern me too much.  If I have 2 or 3 productive sessions during a day, I can pretty much stay on target for things I MUST get done, like bill paying.


#14 bronxbomber

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 10:31 AM

Taking 6 mg melatonin. Sleeping much better, nightmares have been replaced by more pleasant, though still intense dreams. Feeling blessed at this point.

#15 bronxbomber

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 02:54 AM

Incredibly, there were approximately 996 pellets in 3 90 mg capsules. The 3 capsules I opened were very close to having the same # of pellets. Now there are about 110 pellets in each 20 mg capsule. These teeny tiny pellets were not easy to deal with, but I intend to keep counting rather than use a scale. If all goes well, my next drop will be around July 4. By then I will at least have a funnel.

Again, planning may be useless, but I intend to taper by 10% each week until I get to 5 mg. From 5 mg to zero I will hold each level for at least 2 weeks, possibly longer near the end. This should have me to zero by around the end of the year.

That would be a 7 month taper from 90 to zero. This is all theoretical best case scenario. I hope I don't reread this at some point and laugh or cry at my optimism.

#16 bronxbomber

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:41 PM

Using this as a journal.

First day at approximately 20 mg. I don't know if the "approximately" is going to turn around and bite me. My husband "helped" me create 9 20 mg capsules last night. Today he admitted that he did not count each ball bearing (bb?) but made 9 approximate piles and loaded each tablet with one of them. Since I've done so well so far, I am sticking with his capsules until I have a problem. We've discussed his options to help me by increasing my dosage if I have a short-term problem.

Long term I realize that his method will not work below 10 mg, because at that point there will be such a small decrease each time. I think he gets it, but I can't be sure. He still doesn't quite comprehend the magnitude of the problem in weaning down to zero.

No problems today.

#17 bronxbomber

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 09:58 PM

Third day at 20, no new problems. Got a little emotional over hubby's bugging me, did not break down.

If all goes well skiing next week, I might consider dropping to 15 after July 4, then to 10 before a planned ski trip 3 weeks later. I intend to drop down by 10% to 5 mg, holding each dosage for a week. From 5 mg to 0, I will drop down by 5% and hold for a week, maybe for 2 weeks as 0 approaches.

I'm guessing here, but I'd love to be done by Christmas. Will I be? Stay tuned.

Please tell me if this is way too fast, even if things continue to go well.

#18 bronxbomber

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 05:03 PM

To keep up with my journal: I made it down from 20 to 10 and held for a week. Now on my 3rd day at 8. Plan to drop to 6 after a week, then to 4 for a week, then to 2 mg, then to 1. At that point I will begin tapering by BB's and holding for a week.

If not for this forum, I would have gone from one directly to zero. But I think that the extra month is well worth it and hopefully will help me avoid some of the issues many have faced.

Perhaps my planned trip in early October will be Cymbalta free. Hoping ...

#19 fishinghat

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 05:21 PM

A wise approach.


#20 bronxbomber

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 03:41 PM

Update - doing well at 4 mg as of yesterday. Ski trip went well. No more skiing until November.

However, having a lot of hip pain. I need to determine if I have a hip problem or if it is caused by the taper. It feels pretty real, and is something that I've had off and on for a couple of years. Now it's pretty much constant and is affecting everything I do.

I have an appointment with an orthopod on Aug. 14. Meanwhile I see no reason to change my taper.

#21 bronxbomber

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 06:02 PM

Started packing up a week of 4 mg capsules. Made 4 days worth, which equals 5 days at 4 mg. Decided to start going down by BB's at this point. Made one capsule of 19, 18, 17, 16, 15. So by next Thursday I will be at 15 BB's = 3 mg.

At this point I think that I will go from 3 mg to 2 mg by dropping one BB per day. I won't make any plans for the final stages until I successfully make it down to 2 mg.

#22 fishinghat

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 08:25 AM

Sounds like a sound plan. (lol)


#23 gail

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:37 AM

Sounds good, beside your hip.
You managed the ski trip, good for you BB. Bravo all the way!

#24 bronxbomber

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 01:57 PM

Thanks gail. How are you doing?

#25 bronxbomber

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 02:17 PM

By now you know that I love to self diagnose via the Internet. My good friend who is a retired PA constantly beats me up because a little knowledge can be very dangerous.

In addition to the orthopod in a couple of weeks, I have plans to see my family doctor today. Unfortunately she's not "my" doctor but the only one in her office I could see on such short notice. I think that I may be suffering from "Piriformis syndrome". I had been attributing certain symptoms to the C taper, but perhaps they are from a piriformis or sciatica issue.

My ITB has been very tight and I've been getting "pins and needles" in my leg. In addition, the upper leg in the back and the butt area are very painful. I thought that it was hip pain, but yesterday it was so painful that I was able to narrow down what was actually bothering me. I have PT on my insurance, and will try to get a therapy prescription and to start as soon as possible.

I'd love to hear from fh and Gail, and also from anyone who has been diagnosed with Piriformis syndrome or sciatica.

I'll post regarding the GP visit. Just for fun, I'm also going to ask her about stopping Cymbalta, and see how she reacts.
If neither she nor my regular GP, whom I can see in a couple of months for a physical, can come up with a good plan for tapering, I will definitely be looking for a new doctor.

#26 fishinghat

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 04:53 PM

That is funny bronxbomber. I just recovered from a bout of piriformis syndrome. I had overdone some work around the house and developed symptoms like yours. I went to my orthopedic dr and he confirmed my suspicion. I was suppose to go to a physical therapist but went on line and found some physical therapists on you tube that demonstrated the proper stretches for this condition. I worked on stretching exercises 4 times a day for 2 to 3 weeks and am back to normal now. I will try to attach the links to the you tube videos I used.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEqRoCJ6UAY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO2ZNz03YEI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x30rjVT-TLo

#27 bronxbomber

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 04:57 PM

That's amazing fh. I just saw my GP and she confirmed my diagnosis. I'm so glad it's not my hip.

She prescribed PT and a dexa scan. Thanks for the videos. I'll take a look at them tonight.

#28 bronxbomber

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 12:12 AM

FH, the video you posted looks pretty similar to what my therapist prescribed. He started out pretty slowly with stretches and will progress as I hopefully become more flexible.

I guess I'm pain averse, though I've generally done pretty well after surgery and other assorted injuries. My right leg hurts. My friend who is a retired PA said that I was making a lot more out of this minor injury than it's worth, but it truly does hurt. She isn't in my body and doesn't know how I feel. Grumble grumble grumble ...

I intend to do my exercises faithfully as I'd like to get rid of this particular pain in the butt as quickly as possible.

How long before you got relief?

#29 fishinghat

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 07:41 AM

I couldn't even walk for 4 days so they waited until I could at least limp around (one week) and then about 3 weeks of therapy before I felt pretty good (little pain left) and then another 2 weeks before I could start doing short slow jogs.


#30 bronxbomber

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 01:52 PM

Thanks, fh. So the pain I'm currently feeling is normal, and should improve soon. No cause for alarm. Good to know.



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