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#1 Cheryl123

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 04:07 PM

Hi. I had been on cymbalta 30mg for the last 10-12 years.



I have been diagnosed with GAD for the past 20 years and have been on an antidepressant since then.



In October, I started feeling some anxiety creeping in and had a few anxiety attacks at work. I panicked and decided the Cymbalta was pooping out on me. Went to the doc she decided to raise my dose to 60mg. This gave me tremors and increased heart rate. Tried backing it down to 40, still tremors.



This time she decided to switch me to Zoloft. I weaned back down to 10 mg in about 2 weeks then switched to 25mg of Zoloft. After 2 weeks went up to 50mg. Each week, I kept feeling more and more ramped up. After about 5 weeks on Zoloft I became extremely agitated and started having panic attacks.



I ended up in the ER. Ended up with akathisia. Doc told me to stop the Zoloft and put me immediately on Remeron 7.5mg. Did this for 2 weeks and felt depressed and like a zombie.



Doc then said to take a drug holiday for 4 weeks. I stopped the Remeron that day. The next four weeks were hell. My moods were either depressed or anxiety through the roof. Looking back could this have been withdrawal from all the meds?



Doc decided it was because I needed to be on something.



She then started me on Buspar. Each day I took it, it felt like more and more like my arms were on fire. The agitation started to come back. I stopped it after a week.



Next day she started me on Lexapro 5 mg. This about did me in. My anxiety shot through the room. The agitation was unreal and unrelenting. I was ready to try and go inpatient because the agitation was so bad.



Doc said I needed to ride out the side effects for two weeks. It was unbearable. She then told me I needed to do an intensive outpatient program to learn how to deal with my anxiety. She didn't believe my agitation could be so bad from the Lexapro.



I started the program and the doc there told me to stop the Lexapro. She believed me. So I did.



It's been a week and a half and I'm still so agitated. Could this all be from the effects of all these meds and never really withdrawaling correctly over the past 6 months? I feel like I'm going crazy. I now have insomnia. I believe is caused from the Lexapro. This new doc thinks I may have too much serotonin still floating around and that is why I'm still so agitated. Other doc thinks it's just my anxiety disorder. This is crazy.


Now I'm seeing a new doctor. She thinks I need to reinstate 10 mg of cymbalta and taper off super slow. I'm afraid to. Anyone have experience with this or am I never going to get off this stuff?

#2 fishinghat

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 05:14 PM

Congratulations, your dr has royally screwed up your system. You are currently going through Cymbalta, Zoloft, Remeron and maybe a little Lexapro withdrawal. Terrible. This isn't your anxiety coming back it is withdrawal. Rather than just jumping you from one AD to another they need to start you with some basic anxiety medicines like hydroxyzine and/or clonidine. Not addictive, no withdrawal and will help. It may not take care of all your withdrawal symptoms but ut should at least take the edge off. Withdrawal for each of these takes typically 4 to 8 months.

"It's been a week and a half and I'm still so agitated. Could this all be from the effects of all these meds and never really withdrawaling correctly over the past 6 months?"

Absolutely.

"Now I'm seeing a new doctor. She thinks I need to reinstate 10 mg of Cymbalta and taper off super slow. I'm afraid to. Anyone have experience with this or am I never going to get off this stuff? "

Now that sounds like a real dr. Your Cymbalta withdrawal is probably your major issue and going back on 10 mg is a good starting point. Stabilize there until you are comfortable. Also talk to her about the two medicines I mentioned above to try and help het you through this mess. We have had several members who have been treated like this and it is the hard way to go at things. I can't promise you it will be easy and I can't promise you it will b e quick but I can promise you that it can be done.

 

Once you get stable let us know and we will try and help you with whatever symptoms still remain. We are here for you anytime. You are not alone and we have all been through the C withdrawal torture.

 

God Bless
 


#3 fishinghat

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 05:17 PM

By the way, just my thought but if she offers you a benzo instead, like Ativan, lorazepam, etc) please stay away from those if possible even though very effective they are very addictive with their own severe withdrawal. In the long run it is just another problem to deal with.


#4 Cheryl123

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 07:28 PM

Thank you. I think I am going to do the Cymbalta 10mg. It just feels like I'm taking a step back by going on, but you think by stabilizing I'll be able to taper off eventually?

#5 Cheryl123

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 07:34 PM

Is this withdrawal so bad because I was on Cymbalta for so long? Or is cymbalta especially bad?

#6 Cheryl123

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 07:41 PM

Also it's been 5 months since I stopped cymbalta. Still think reinstate is best?

#7 Cheryl123

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 07:46 PM

This was what new doc said which does make sense..
Hi Cheryl,
I hear your fear and concern and worry about restarting the antidepressant because it seems like the symptoms you are having are related to having been on Cymbalta for so long.

I believe that the reason you are having these symptoms is because you were not tapered off slowly enough for your brain to adjust after having been on the medication for many years. Having said that, I also believe that if you want to try supplements to manage your symptoms, I would first restart the Cymbalta to stabilize the withdraw symptoms you are having and very gradually taper off the medication. I know you are scared about feeling worse than you do. Please, please trust me in taking this step. You cannot really trust your thinking right now because the low serotonin state causes so much doubt and worry that it is paralyzing and keeps you stuck. Start with half of the 20mg of Cymbalta for at least a few days and let me know how you feel. As we discussed, the Cymbalta kept you stable for many years. The panic attack in October was related to situational stressors which required therapy not a change in medication. Right now, your brain is not coping without the medication it was used to for so long. Please ignore the doubt and take 10mg.

#8 Cheryl123

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 08:09 PM

My symptoms left are woozy head and increased anxiety... And obsessing about whether to reinstate or let it ride longer!!

#9 Cheryl123

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 06:10 AM

I reinstated 5mg (31 beads) this morning. I hope it's enough to stabilize me. How long until I know?

#10 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 22 March 2018 - 07:52 AM

Hi Cheryl,

I read your first post. Then I read what your doctor told you about reinstating. I sure understand your fears and anxiety about all this. Cymbalta withdrawal is what you are going through.

People usually take more than five months to get off this.

When people reinstate after a week or two, they usually feel relief within a day or two. After five months, I don't have an answer for this. It's trial and error, 5 or 10 mg, I can't tell. You will need strength and just try it, can things get worse that they all ready are?

I have a different opinion about benzos, and in real emergency, I would use them. GAD is so hard to live with, believe me, I know. Getting off benzos is for myself so much easier than Cymbalta. As long as you go slowwwww.

We're here for you Cheryl, write anytime you wish and know that we understand your turmoil.
With love, Gail xxxx

#11 fishinghat

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 08:49 AM

Gail,is right and I think you made the right decision about 5 mg. It may not take away all the symptoms but it should make things tolerable. Like Gail said it should only take a few days to respond. Also like Gail said, the benzos are Ok for emergencies but I think you are far enough along to avoid their use and with the withdrawal factor involved with benzos I don't think the risk is necessary.

 

As far as what the dr said?  Absolutely true. I mean she is dead right. Whatever you do keep this dr. She knows what she is doing.

 

Keep us posted and good luck.


#12 Cheryl123

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 10:21 AM

Thank you. I think the did thinks I may need to get back to even 20mg before I stabilize...:(

#13 Cheryl123

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 05:44 PM

Thank you. I can feel it a little I think. My anxiety was pretty high this morning. My body felt warm...I just hope this gets me stable. I'm tired of feeling so horrible

#14 fishinghat

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 05:54 PM

Well if things aren't good enough in a couple days you can always go up to 10 mg. I just hate to see you go up any further than necessary because that just makes it farther to come down.


#15 Cheryl123

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 07:16 PM

Thank you fishinghat. That was my thought as well. I thought about maybe giving it four days and see how I feel??

#16 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 23 March 2018 - 06:29 AM

Yes Cheryl, try this 5mg. After a few days, 10mg. Should you need to go to 20, that's also fine.
When stabilized, if you wish to withdraw, we'll help you.

Suffering from GAD, most people need meds to have a better quality of life, we're not against antidepressants at all. You need what you need. As your doc said, it was a situational situation!!!!!that brought chaos in your life. I like your doctor, by the way. His letter was formidable.

Keep us posted Cheryl, always here for you!

#17 fishinghat

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 08:49 AM

Hi Gail!! Having a good day/  By the way Cheryl's new dr is a girl.

 

:lol:


#18 Cheryl123

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 08:29 PM

Took 5mg today and yesterday. Feel a little jittery?? Could this be if it's only 5mg? Is it cause my body is so whacked out? Doc really wants me to go up to 10mg but I'm so scared!! I'm worried I'm never going to feel stable!

#19 Cheryl123

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 08:31 PM

Thank you Gail and Fishinghat. This is all so hard. I hope it was situational. I do think I'm in a better place depression wise than I was on October and that's even after all the crap I've been through with these drugs! I just want to feel less anxious! Now I don't know if it's withdrawal, starting the med again, or me!!

#20 Cheryl123

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 08:36 PM

Is Cymbalta the hardest of the antidepressants to get off of??? Or is this because of the hell I've been through with the switching? Or is it because I've been on it so long??

#21 Cheryl123

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 07:42 AM

Do you think this is kindling? Am I making it worse by reinstating? I'm so scared

#22 fishinghat

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 07:44 AM

You mentioned that you are a little jittery now that you re on the 5 mg Cymbalta. How are the other symptoms? Did they improve.

"Could this be if it's only 5mg? Is it cause my body is so whacked out? Doc really wants me to go up to 10mg but I'm so scared!! I'm worried I'm never going to feel stable!"

That is really a hard question to answer. It could just be a temporary reaction to the 5 mg or your nerves are just real sensitive right now. You should know in a couple days. Going to 10? Well I am just not sure how your body will react considering its reaction to 5 mg. This reaction to a small dose increase in Cymbalta has happened to a few members before (not many) and sometimes they settle down and sometimes they don't. Wish I could be more specific.

Cymbalta is one of the hardest to get off of. In general the snri are harder to get off of then the ssri. Also those with a longer half life are usually easier to quit as well. I would think, not sure, that this is from the Cymbalta reduction (half life 12 hours). It hits very quickly while the Prozac takes 6 to 8 weeks to fully kick in. It should improve. I know it is frustrating. I am sorry I wish I could help more. Have you tried any Benadryl?


#23 Cheryl123

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 08:42 AM

My doc said to reduce to 15 beads today. That would be like 2.5mg. going to see how that goes
She said I may need something without norepinephrine

#24 fishinghat

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 09:22 AM

I can't disagree with her decision. It is worth a try.

"She said I may need something without norepinephrine "

I don't understand this. These meds do not contain serotonin or norepinephrine. They only limit its use in the body. Cymbalta regulates both and Prozac only regulates serotonin.

#25 Cheryl123

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 02:36 PM

I think she's giving up on the Cymbalta. Now my therapist thinks I have some OCD. I don't know what's going to happen now. Wonder if I should just give up on the Cymbalta reinstate. I don't think it's working :(. Now afraid she's going to want to try Prozac or celexa? Wonder if my brain just can't handle all this!?

#26 fishinghat

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 03:45 PM

Prozac and Zoloft have the longest half life and are the easiest to get off of. Next is Lexapro. Research show that it takes the brain up to 2 years to fully recover from psychotropic drugs. Changing ADs too many times in that period can really screw up the control of your neurotransmitters.

 

Of course you have OCD. You are going through withdrawal. That always brings on obsessive thinking. It is one of the key symptoms. Sometimes a member will ask me the same question every day for 2 weeks or complain about a particular problem 2 or 3 times a day. In fact, I was the same way when I had withdrawal.

 

As far as reinstating. Whether to go up more on Cymbalta, go back to where you are or try a different AD, well that is a choice you have to make. I have seen all these work and I have seen them fail. It depends on the individual and the only way to be sure is to try. Sorry there is no clear cut answer.


#27 Cheryl123

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 01:24 PM

I couldn't stand the re instatement of cymbalta and stopped. It was making me crazier! Doc said the next thing she would try would be Celexa...a quarter of a starting dose. She said I need to wait a few days before I would though.... I don't think I want to be on this med Merry go round anymore! I can hardly work!

#28 fishinghat

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 01:41 PM

Celexa, not too bad a choice. It has a 36 hour half life and that is better than the 12 hour half life of Cymbalta.


#29 Cheryl123

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 08:53 PM

Thanks for your reply, fishinghat. I had a really good afternoon today.. Maybe that is a window of recovery! Hopefully more windows and no more waves!!

#30 Cheryl123

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:35 PM

Had an emergency appt with my psychiatrist three days ago because my anxiety is unrelenting. She thinks the cold turkey from the Cymbalta is still the cause and my brain chemicals are out of whack. She thinks I need to start on 2.5mg of celexa which is a tiny dose and increase from there. I have horrible anxiety when I tried to start Lexapro and I couldn't take it. She thinks because my system is so whacked out I can't tolerate the start up effects and she thinks the other doc started the Lexapro too high. The other thing is she wants me to start Klonopin .25 twice a day to calm myself enough to be able to tolerate the start up. The Klonopin would just be temporary but that scares me to death too! Should I be worried about Klonopin for a few weeks?



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