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Six Weeks Off Tomorrow


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#1 Cjmansf

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 10:28 PM

It's been a few weeks since I posted and I wanted to check in. The ups and downs the past couple of weeks have been pretty brutal at times. I was traveling for work which makes this entire endeavor even more of a nightmare. I honestly don't know how I did it other than there really being no other option. I've been experiencing smell, light and sound sensitivity. It doesn't seem to make me irritable all the time, just very uncomfortable. Sometimes I notice silhouettes in my vision from things I've been looking at. There are also times where high contrast things are irritating. I don't seem to be losing my thoughts as often and I don't seem to catch myself grasping for words as much. When it happens though, it's an instant anxiety trigger. "This is not normal, there has to be something seriously wrong". Brain tumor, cancer, etc etc. Always second guessing myself because let's face it, we are all very impatient when we feel terrible. I'm very hard on myself as well so having the correct mindset to be patient with the process is difficult. I had attempted to start Buspar last week to ease the rising anxiety. That did not end well. Difficulty breathing, sweating, red skin, digestive issues and all of the WD symptoms were exacerbated. I lasted 4 days and had to stop. That's three meds now that all caused similar problems. Lexapro, cymbalta and Buspar. Maybe serotonin syndrome related? I never really did get a solid answer about that from the doc. It just seemed to be the only plausible explaination. I told myself I would try to hold out on introducing new meds but I was desperate to qwell feeling terrible, depressed, anxious etc. Very high work stress mixed with being gone all week every week and it's difficult to tell what's stress/adrenal response and what's WD. I just made the choice to look for different work so that I can focus more on myself and stay home. Time will tell and I'm hoping for the best. I'm home this week and after a day the physical side of things seem to be improving slightly. Not feeling chest tightness, flu like symptoms etc. I've been reading a lot here to develop a better idea as to what range of things I should/could be experiencing at this point. Just trying to gain perspective.

#2 fishinghat

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 08:27 AM

"That's three meds now that all caused similar problems. Lexapro, cymbalta and Buspar. Maybe serotonin syndrome related?"

Did you have a fever with these symptoms? Serotonin syndrome usually ahs a fever of 102 or higher. Just a thought but it could be genetic related in the way you transport serotonin between neurons. Hard to prove though but given its consistency between meds it seems possible. When this is over you might give Wellbutrin a try as it relies on controlling dopamine and norepinephrine.

All I can say is that you are in a typical spot for being off this long.

Hang in there and be patient. It will get better.

#3 Cjmansf

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 09:10 AM

Good morning fishinghat, I appreciate the reply. Woke up this morning feeling pretty rough. I didn't have a fever that I could tell while taking those meds. I didn't have a thermometer to check most of the time. I will say that I did feel basically like I had the flu. I honestly feel like that today as well. Im noticing things don't taste the same anymore and I chalk that up to the sinus issues cymbalta has caused. Tried taking some Advil cold and sinus with Sudafed this morning. Hoping that it relieves some of this general illness feeling and cloudiness. In the past I had been prescribed Wellbutrin as an add on to Lexapro. The doc thought it would help with the Lexapro side effects. It just ended up making me irritable and such. I think that down the road maybe Wellbutrin by itself is certainly something to look at. At this point I wish it was just the anxiety and panic I had before instead of a myriad of other things in addition to. So many times I convince myself I need to go to the doctor and run all kinds of tests. This causes the anxiety and depression. A sick cycle with no relief. Just small windows of time where I'm distracted just enough to overlook it seems. As always I appreciate the info and kind words.

#4 fishinghat

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 09:26 AM

I wish I could do more. I remember going through the same things for months. You  might try some phenylephrine (a common ingredient in some cold medicines) as it helps control adrenaline. Just be sure to get a product with just phenylephrine as the sole active ingredient as some of the products contain other active ingredients that can cause a problem.


#5 Cjmansf

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 11:40 AM

I appreciate the reassurance. I may try something with phenylephrine. The Sudafed seems to be at least helping the sinus stuff. I'm hopeful it doesn't take months but at this point it is what it is.

#6 fishinghat

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 04:36 PM

Which Sudafed you taking?


#7 Cjmansf

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 10:03 AM

Yesterday I took Advil cold and sinus. Today i actually just took a straight 30 mg Sudafed pill. That's all I have right now until I go to the store. I want to check out your recommendation FH. Yesterday was rough until around 5-6pm when I finally started to settle down. Tried to stay occupied and I was actually somewhat calm before bed. When I lay down I have trouble with anxiety not letting me relax. Woke up a couple times at 4 and 5am with a lot of nausea, stomach bloating and general uneasiness. That's when I know I need to get up and move around.

#8 fishinghat

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 11:44 AM

Cj, this is what I worried about.

Advil Cold & Sinus
Ibuprofen 200 mg
Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride 30 mg
Chlorpheniramine Maleate 2 mg

Chlorpheniramine (over the counter) is an antihistamine {H(1)R antagonist} used to treat allergy symptoms. It does cause sleepiness like other antihistamines and has significant anxiolytic effects. Caution - It has also been shown to function as an ssri and snri. As such it should never be taken in combination with those medications as it can cause seratonin syndrome. Due to its anticholenergic effects it frequently causes constipation. As with diphenhydramine do not take with other medicines that can cause sleepiness. Recommended dose is 4 mg every 4 to 6 hrs not to exceed 32 mg/day. Widely sold as an allergy treatment.
Begins working in 30 minutes to an hour
Peak levels - 2 to 4 hrs
Half Life – 12 to 43 hrs

Also...

⦁ Sudafed PE Day/Night Cold® (containing Acetaminophen, Dextromethorphan, Diphenhydramine, Guaifenesin, Phenylephrine)
⦁ Sudafed PE Day/Night Congestion® (containing Diphenhydramine, Phenylephrine)
⦁ Sudafed PE Severe Cold® (containing Acetaminophen, Diphenhydramine, Phenylephrine)

 

Some of these other ingredients are incompatible with ssri/snri and can cause a problem as well.


#9 Cjmansf

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 08:12 PM

Stopped by the store and picked up some phenylephrine 10mg. Took it around 2pm. Didn't really notice much difference in how I felt but gradually things got worse. I ended up a mess on the couch. Felt like I just didn't have the energy to move. Flu like symptoms minus the joint aches and fever. This is my biggest problem right now aside from getting to sleep. If I could just get past the cloudy/general flu feeling. About an hour later I tried to get out and get some exercise, that didn't go well either. Here's to a better tomorrow.

#10 fishinghat

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 09:55 AM

Well, sorry, If the 10 mg didn't help you then the phenylephrine probably is out.


#11 gail

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    5 months on cymbalta, scary side effects, never felt good.
    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.
    In hope that one day, I can return the favors in some kind of way.

Posted 21 March 2018 - 07:38 AM

Hi CJ,

I'm lost here, do you mind telling me where are you at with withdrawal? I mean, are you still on Cymbalta? Dosage? Or is it over now? Thank you!

Have you tried Benadryl for the anxiety? Or for sleep?

Fever, you say? Fishinghat,what goes?

#12 Cjmansf

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 08:07 AM

Hi Gail, I stopped cymbalta six weeks ago after tapering down from 20mg by bead counting. My doctor at the time was concerned about serotonin syndrome because I felt so terrible. Muscle rigidity, trouble breathing, flu like symptoms etc. I did not have a fever to the best of my knowledge however. Regardless, the doctor told me to stop taking it and I tried to taper as best I could tolerate. I believe that lasted two months tops, which is way too fast. The positive is I stopping having a lot of the issues I was while I was taking it. The negative is now I have all this other different stuff. Vision, smell and taste issues, clumsiness, diarrhea the last two days, weakness, sinus issues. I have tried Benadryl to sleep when I was on the road and it made my chest pretty uncomfortable. I was coughing a lot and may have had some type of respiratory infection at the time. So that might have been what caused the problems there. I think the most challenging part is some of these things come and go so frequently it's hard to tell if you're making any progress. That's also what makes me second-guess it's something else that may be wrong. My apologies, sometimes it's hard for me to articulate exactly how I'm feeling. Most times I feel dumb for trying to explain this to people because it just doesn't make sense. That's why I come here, so thank you for that.

#13 fishinghat

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 09:19 AM

Unluckily the very early stages of Cymbalta withdrawal sometimes acts like the flu but without fever. It can even appear similar to serotonin symptom but will usually be accompanied by a fever of 102 or higher. Considering that you did not have an obvious fever I would doubt it was serotonin syndrome. If the flu-like symptoms are over I would consider another shot at the Benadryl) It is worth a try.


#14 fishinghat

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 09:22 AM

Cymbalta controls serotonin and norepinephrine which occurs in dozens of places throughout our body. They have a variety of function in each location in our body so the lack of control without the Cymbalta can cause extreme variations in withdrawal symptoms. Eventually your body will "relearn" how to control these neurotransmitters and things will slowly get better.


#15 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.
    In hope that one day, I can return the favors in some kind of way.

Posted 22 March 2018 - 07:30 AM

Thanks CJ for your response. I get lost easily. I thought that you had a fever. Misread probably.

Second guessing, ah, we all do this, withdrawal or not. We want to know for sure what's causing what, but I guess that you really had a respiratory problem. Caused by ?????

We had a member that smelled cigarette smoke and she never smoked! It lasted a while. She so disliked this side effect.

Following you in this process CJ, if I don't get lost again. I wonder how Fishinghat can follow all those posts, he gets lost easily lol! Don't we just love that guy, so knowledgeable! My hat to yours Sir.

#16 fishinghat

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 08:23 AM

Oh do I get lost?!!

 

Too many people with similar stories and experiences and I have a tiny little brain that works too hard.  lol

 

Thanks for the offer of a new hat Gail. I can always use a new fishinghat.  lol


#17 Cjmansf

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 10:12 AM

I've been reading through old posts that I come across almost daily. I'm finding that it helps calm the nerves and the feeling as if this will never end. I just finished reading through this one: https://www.cymbalta...aking-up/page-1

Wow, very very helpful. I must say that I feel nearly identical to you Gail at this point. Small moments of hope surrounded by larger periods of uncertainty. I originally searched out that thread because I find myself waking up feeling a lot of angst in my chest. Also having some back discomfort associated with the tight chest. Still having a lot of sinus and mucus issues so I suppose that's part of it. Last night was a lot of digestive discomfort. I just try to keep soldiering through. I am starting to feel myself wanting to do things but just can't bring myself to do them all the time. Most times it's for fear of how I'll feel during or after. Yesterday evening I had somewhat of a break through and feeling much better out of the blue. This lasted until well into the evening until I ate and then was getting ready for bed a little later. A lot of hyperactivity at that point and discomfort different from anxiety that I've had in the past. Which all of this seems to be different from what I've had in the past. Still adjusting. Either way, it was very eye opening to read everyone's thoughts. At the very least I don't feel like I'm a rogue case.

#18 gail

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 12:37 PM

CJ,

I so remember this. I did so much searching on the subject and I found that many go through this hell. Withdrawal or not!

I had this morning hell for three or four years, but then I have GAD. It has been better since last year, it still happens but to a lesser degree. I tried everything under the sun. Only time and pain killers helped me. Big surgery last summer, that's the reason for pain killers.

I don't wish this to anyone, takes so much energy out of you. I was working then, and by the time I left for work, I was done. It drains all the energy you have.

I just hope that you don't have it as bad! Enjoy your calm moments,out of the blue as you said. Wax and wane! Nothing linear in withdrawal, remember this!

#19 Cjmansf

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 02:20 PM

So very true Gail. I don't ever wish this on anyone. I was working up until about a week ago. I had decided I'd had enough and I had to try to focus solely on this. That may not be the best idea but I knew I couldnt keep going the way I was. So much angst in my chest at times but no heart racing. Just a very urgent and uncomfortable feeling of angst. It's very different from before. Today is one of the many days I question how I will ever get back to "normal" and work again. I keep preaching patience to myself.

#20 fishinghat

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 02:22 PM

"I keep preaching patience to myself."

Amen



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