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Duloxetine Withdrawl/tapering/cessation/mistake?


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#1 ToddInChicago

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    Been coming off of duloxetine, and I'm now finding out, way too fast, and my head is really screwed up from it. I need help.

Posted 28 October 2017 - 08:00 AM

A little background to start. I was seeing a psych up until almost 3 yrs ago, and as luck would have it, lost my job, and with the new insurance, had trouble finding a new one. So for 3 years, I've been getting refills on my 90mgs of duloxetine from my regular doctor. I was fine with that.  During this time, no psych visits and certainly no therapy.  

 

While taking the meds, I'm getting the ~zaps~, just like if I wasn't taking it. I'm like, WTF. I tell my Dr., and he prescribes topiramate.  It helped.   Well, it stopped helping, but we agreed to keep taking it, in case the symptoms get worse.  Over this past Summer, my Dr. and myself agreed that changes in my life were looking up, and perhaps, weening off of the duloxetine would be a good thing for me.  Starting off with finishing off the 90mg....then 60mg for my 3 mos supply....then 30mg for my 3 mos supply....then going every other day...then every other 2 days...then every other 3 until I was out.   Well that day was a week ago Tuesday. During this entire time, the zaps have been as intense as ever, they especially pop up after I've done some kind of exertion . I sometimes lose my balance a little, but not terrible. My memory isn't what it used to be. I'm only 51, so it can't be getting that bad can it??  I would have some "down" days occasionally, but was told that's to be expected when coming off duloxetine. The other day, I felt almost manic in my mind....(I would never ever want to do this) My cat was by my side cuddling, but I had this temptation taking over my mind telling me I wanted to poke my cat's eyes out and really harm her. I was terrified I would do this in my sleep.  It tears out my mind that this happened.  This little girl is my baby.   So I contacted my Dr. who has given me a temp script for klonopin for when I'm freaking out in my mind. BUT he wants to put me back on duloxetine!!!!!!!!    I let him know via online portal (our communication method) that I am explicitly against this.

 

A> I'm not sold that this medicine is going to work, B> I want something that will rid of the ~zaps~, C> I completely trust my Dr and love the care that I get, but if he insists on this, I'm tempted to just go to Cook Country Hospital here in Chicago, and plead my poverty case and see what can come of it.

 

After the past few days, I'm not feeling my stable self.  I guess other than venting here, I'm asking what to do? (I've read of this bead thing. No.  I'm way past that point now.)


#2 fishinghat

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 08:31 AM

Welcome Todd

Unluckily we have heard this kind of story before way too often. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. I remember how it was for me.

I agree, do not get back on the Cymbalta. And yes you are right it is too late for bead counting. Also, I would speak to your dr about switching the Klonopin to hydroxyzine. Klonopin is considered the most addictieve benzo with the worse withdrawal (usually taking around 2 years to wean if you don't want to go through hell). Hydroxyzine is the typical choice used by drs in my area because it is not addictive and there is no withdrawal. Another good substitute that works well for many is clonidine. Again no withdrawal or addictiveness.

 

You might read.....

https://www.cymbalta...ur-question-is/

 

It is a summary of what members have tried over the years to help with symptoms. I think you will find some good info there. Probably the best bet is an occasional Benadryl. It helps with the emotional symptoms. Not a cure but some relief.

 

I don't know if you have any extra Cymbalta laying around but another option (this would be my last choice) is to take just a few beads when things just flat get intolerable. Many drs do this. It gives your body a break. With time you will find you need to do this less and less.

 

Hang in there and please keep us posted on how you are doing and feel free to ask questions.


#3 ToddInChicago

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 09:06 AM

I was speaking with a behavioral specialist in the office yesterday who was messaging internally with the Dr.  I told the specialist (who had told me he was going to write another script for duloxetine) that I absolutely do not want that, and I will be immediately messaging him through the portal (that's how we communicate online with the dr's). Immediately.  This was around 3-4pm yesterday, and I've gotten no response.  I have another script to pick up today, and the klonopin to pick up.  I've not had a problem with it in the past....I've always had a low dose and I know not to take more than I'm supposed to. I'm very careful.  I will suggest the Hydroxyzine and the clonidine.  Are either of those allowable to be taken more than once a day?  I'm seeing freak out episodes in my future, especially if he insists on duloxetine.  He just has to give me something different. 


#4 fishinghat

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 09:28 AM

Agreed. Both the hydroxyzine and clonidine can be taken more than once a day. Usually the max dose on clonidine is .1 mg twice a day but usually it is for 1/2 half of that. It is excellent for the panic, fear, anxiety and moderate for depression. The hydroxyzine  dosage is a max of 100 mg 4 times a day but typically it is 50 mg twice a day would be a typical dose. Effective for both anxiety and depression. I take 25 mg 3 times a day and take an extra one whenever things get bad. Adjusting dose up and down is easy with it. My dr always prescribes a few extra each month so I can adjust as the situation demands.

 

By the way I still freak out if I just think about Cymbalta. Don 't feel bad.


#5 TryinginFL

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 11:28 AM

Welcome Todd!

 

So happy you found us - you will find much in the way of support and suggestions to ease the whole mess of this withdrawal....

 

I was on this crap for 4 1/2 yrs and then went off cold turkey - BIG MISTAKE!!!  I had no idea how dangerous this is and am happy that I am still here.  It took me a year of hell to get off it.   It has, however, left me with some unwanted gifts :( ​  How I wish I had never taken  this evil drug.

 

BTW,  I am from Hinsdale - born and raised and lived there for 43 years!  Just a bit of trivia here

 

I wish you the best and please keep us posted as to how you are doing

 

Liz


#6 ToddInChicago

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 12:31 PM

I got a reply from the Dr. yesterday.  Apparently over the years since 2009, I've "tried something from every class of antidepressant, so we'll have to discuss where you'd like to restart."      I mostly want to get rid of these damned zaps.  They're controlling my day much more than the depression itself. 

 

So I'm in a big f'ing hole right now.  I cannot afford the premiums for the Healthcare Marketplace.  They say me and my spouse make too much. So I've quit trying to pay them.  I need to eat.  I got a list of temporary agencies that may be able to see me that have a psychiatrist. Hopefully someone can see me. If none of this works I may just go to Cook County Hospital and tell them to admit me. SOMEONE will have to help me there. 


#7 fishinghat

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 02:46 PM

Hi Todd

These are things that previous members have ewported good success with in controling brain zaps.

Dramamine, Meclizine, Rugby Travel Med (Meclizine plus phenylalanine)

The Rugby travel med is probably your best bet. What the heck it is worth a try.

Also, have you had your blood sugar checked recently. Low blood sugar can lead to this condition.
I checked the medical journals and there is no mention of a treatment for this , only that it is a symptom of many withdrawals.


#8 fishinghat

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 02:57 PM

I did manage to dig this up. Maybe a chance it will work for you.

I did find this one medical journal article that mentioned that "brain shiver" (another name for brain zaps) has been treated with Atomoxetine.

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC3733524/
A Case of Amelioration of Venlafaxine-Discontinuation “Brain Shivers” With Atomoxetine


#9 ToddInChicago

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 11:58 PM

I've been lucky, in that my spouse has ongoing issues with back pain.  Soma, a non-addictive muscle relaxer does do the trick most the time. Also, he has available norco, which I will take in the EXTREME cases when the zaps and headaches make life unbearable.  I refuse to do that often, as I'm -not- going down that addictive path. Hell no!

 

 

Now, what I'm worried about most, in the next day or so as I see someone for getting back on some kind of meds....what should I go towards?  I've taken everything there is apparently. And at the time, they didn't do what they were supposed at the time.   Sometimes right now, I feel good and then I feel like shit and so desperate.  I feel as though I want to go to the hospital and say take me!


#10 gail

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    Needed understanding and support, and a place where I was not alone. To read others stories and realizing that I was not the only one going through all that crap.
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Posted 31 October 2017 - 09:51 AM

Hello Tod,

One member reported that taking Tylenol Cold flu capsules took away the brain zaps immediately. Cheap and worth trying. Let us know.

Benadryl Total helps a lot for anxiety.
Not to be taken every day, it becomes less powerful. The first times, don't drive. It was a savior for me for many years. Just be sure that's it's Benadryl Total, not gel capsules, because one and a half is enough. The regular one doesn't work on me.

If you take the Tylenol Cold flu, don't take the Benadryl at the same time because there is 500mg in each Benadryl. Good luck, keep us posted.

#11 ToddInChicago

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 09:32 PM

Damn, this is going to be a slow process to figure out the meds. I have an appointment with a therapist in 12days from today....THEN I will be able to see a psych who can start figuring out what to do with meds.  12. More. Days. Of. This Sh*t.    


#12 gail

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 11:18 AM

Hi Tod,

I so understand the waiting phase. 12 days may seem like eternity.
In the meantime, you may try suggestions that were made earlier. Nothing addictive.

Vent or scream anytime you need to, we are listening!

#13 ToddInChicago

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 10:34 PM

I haven't disappeared.....   The zaps are still happening, but not as often now.  The 1/2 benadryl seems to work well, and doesn't make me drowsy. Got a script of hydroxyzine to take care of my anxiety....it's working well.  3 more days until the therapist......   :unsure:  





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