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Switching From Cymbalta To Ssri


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#1 kimmybc

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 02:14 AM

I've been on Cymbalta for almost 10 years and I was tapering last year. However, I then restarted about 8 months ago - so far I feel like 'myself' but I have twitching still have some dizziness. The twitching and dizziness have been ongoing for the past 8 months now - I noticed that going back on my normal dose of 60 mg a couple of months ago has helped my dizziness. My twitching? Still twitching. 

 

I thought the twitching might have been from the trazodone but I have already stopped that - it's been 3 months since I last stopped and I was on Trazodone (50 mg) only for 4 months. 

 

Now I really want to try switching from Cymbalta to an SSRI but really scared to because the withdrawals was hell and restarting Cymbalta was even heller - I'm afraid the side effects from the SSRI AND SNRI withdrawals would even make it worse. 

 

I'd like to hear your ideas on how you guys successfully switched from Cymbalta to an SSRI (not Prozac, I've tried prozac - it was TOO stimulating. which ssri you were on?) and then, got off completely?

 

I know that you MUST be ready to get off of Cymbalta - sometimes the mental strength is just as crucial. However, I am not on that stage yet - I would like to get onto an SSRI, since it is "safer" than Cymbalta since it's only affecting one type of neurotransmitter compared to cymbalta which is two neurotransmitters.

 

Thank you.


#2 fishinghat

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:46 AM

Good to hear from you kimmy. I think the idea to switch to a ssri is a good one. Of course as you know it is a flip of the coin if it will work or not. Be aware that while phasing off the Cymbalta and phasing on to the ssri there will be some withdrawal symptoms but not as bad as before. The majority of our members used Zoloft, Lexapro or Prozac with probably the Zoloft being the most successful but that varies from person to person.

 

There is two usual techniques to switch over. Cold turkey the Cymbalta while ramping up the ssri over a 4 or 5 week period. This increases the withdrawal symptoms but nearly eliminates any chance at getting serotonin syndrome. The other method is to drop the Cymbalta about 25% each week and start the Zoloft after the first week of Cymbalta drop. Zoloft is usually ramped up at about 25 mg per week starting with an initial dose of 50 mg. So 50, 75, 100, 125, etc).

 

I hope this helps in some way and please keep us posted on how you are doing.


#3 Cheryl123

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 12:43 PM

I switched to celexa. It seems to be helping

#4 kimmybc

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 12:37 AM

Good to hear from you kimmy. I think the idea to switch to a ssri is a good one. Of course as you know it is a flip of the coin if it will work or not. Be aware that while phasing off the Cymbalta and phasing on to the ssri there will be some withdrawal symptoms but not as bad as before. The majority of our members used Zoloft, Lexapro or Prozac with probably the Zoloft being the most successful but that varies from person to person.

 

There is two usual techniques to switch over. Cold turkey the Cymbalta while ramping up the ssri over a 4 or 5 week period. This increases the withdrawal symptoms but nearly eliminates any chance at getting serotonin syndrome. The other method is to drop the Cymbalta about 25% each week and start the Zoloft after the first week of Cymbalta drop. Zoloft is usually ramped up at about 25 mg per week starting with an initial dose of 50 mg. So 50, 75, 100, 125, etc).

 

I hope this helps in some way and please keep us posted on how you are doing.

 

Thank you - I recall reading that you switched from Cymbalta to Zoloft - how was your cross tapering? May I ask how many years were you on Cymbalta and what dosage were you on? Additionally how "confident" were you when you decided to switch over?

I was thinking of having the doctor dropping the Cymbalta to maybe to 40 mg or so before starting Zoloft - but dropping Cymbalta very slowly.


#5 kimmybc

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 12:39 AM

I switched to celexa. It seems to be helping

That is so great to hear! 


#6 gail

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    5 months on cymbalta, scary side effects, to get help and to return the favor if I can.

Posted 22 May 2018 - 06:43 AM

Good to hear from you kimmy. I think the idea to switch to a ssri is a good one. Of course as you know it is a flip of the coin if it will work or not. Be aware that while phasing off the Cymbalta and phasing on to the ssri there will be some withdrawal symptoms but not as bad as before. The majority of our members used Zoloft, Lexapro or Prozac with probably the Zoloft being the most successful but that varies from person to person.
 
There is two usual techniques to switch over. Cold turkey the Cymbalta while ramping up the ssri over a 4 or 5 week period. This increases the withdrawal symptoms but nearly eliminates any chance at getting serotonin syndrome. The other method is to drop the Cymbalta about 25% each week and start the Zoloft after the first week of Cymbalta drop. Zoloft is usually ramped up at about 25 mg per week starting with an initial dose of 50 mg. So 50, 75, 100, 125, etc).
 
I hope this helps in some way and please keep us posted on how you are doing.



I tend to disagree with those methods. The purpose for cross tapering is to make the cymbalta withdrawal more tolerable.

I personally don't see the use of waiting till the last dosage of Cymbalta to start on another antidepressant. The four or six week wait till it kicks in will be hell. This is what we're trying to avoid.

I would rather prefer the half and half to prevent serotonin syndrome and to give the time to the other antidepressant to kick in. Like when on 30 mg Cymbalta, you start the other antidepressant. Lowering Cymbalta and upping the other one at the same time.

All this to make it more tolerable! Hello Sir!

#7 fishinghat

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 08:38 AM

I agree Gail but yet drs, probably due to liability reasons, keep doing the cold turkey method for cross tapering.

#8 fishinghat

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 08:46 AM

Kimmy

My cross taper went well. It takes Zoloft 4 to 6 weeks to kick in so we did a 50 mg dose increase every 4 weeks to try and minimize the Zoloft dosage. When you do a dosage increase in Zoloft you suffer some digestive discomfort (nausea, cramping, diarrhea) for 3 or 4 days but then it settles down. It took some time that way but at least I didn't wind up on 250 mg Zoloft or some other unreasonable dose.

I was on Cymbalta for 5 or 6 years at 90 mg/day.

Confident? I am never confident when switching meds but you have to do what you have to do to have quality of life.

I have a suggestion on the first drop of Cymbalta. Many of our members do an initial drop to 30 mg with little to no problems. That may be a good starting point. Give yourself a week and if no serious issues develop then you can start the cross taper. If the withdrawal is too bad at that point you can always go back up to 40 or 50 and start from there.

#9 gail

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 04:20 PM

I agree Gail but yet drs, probably due to liability reasons, keep doing the cold turkey method for cross tapering.


They are really wrong, no logic in this FH. No doctor here, but how can we let the members suffer for liability reasons? For the short while that I'm here, I will not let the members suffer for liability reasons. And I make this a promise till I can't be there! There will be no cold turkey to cross taper, if so, why are we here?

Cross means intertwine, sorry FH, I'm mad. So mad to see those unlogic methods. I can't let this go! I have not much time to live, And I want so much for members to be in the tolerable mode. While they really cross taper, not switch, bit cross taper.

Guys, I have only one thing in mind, that you suffer the least.

My love to you Sir!

#10 kimmybc

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 03:13 AM

FH & Gail,

 

May I know your stories? Why you were prescribed in the first place - how long, what dosage, etc? How you guys weaned off, etc? How you are doing now, what medicines are you all taking currently?


#11 gail

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 05:21 AM

Hi Kim,

That is a long long story. Started antidepressants in 2013, Lexapro for five or six months. Followed by Cymbalta for five months. Almost lost my mind on this, real scared during and in withdrawal. At the time, cross tapering was not talked of.

The motto was then, to tough withdrawal till the 7 or 8 month point. I reached that point where I was so much in suffering, from then, I tried them all. At least six, but they didn't work on me. But none of them made me suffer like Cymbalta. That was hell on Earth.

Fast forward till March of last year, I tried Paxil with no Ill effects. Came along June, big surgery. I didn't find that Paxil did a great job but I'm still on it, 20 mg.

With surgery came Gabapentin, and hydromorphone. I swear that Gabapentin took away most anxiety. Still on them both plus Paxil. I have moments of depression, but I'm way better than I was. With anxiety disorder plus dystimia plus borderline personality, probably something else(lol),I guess that we're never free entirely!

As for Paxil and weight gain, I had lost 15 pounds before surgery and gained them back, no more though. That about resumes it and when I look back, the thought of Cymbalta just makes me sick. No other made me so miserable. See you later!

#12 gail

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 05:24 AM

Oh, I was on 30 Cymbalta, got to 15, then stopped. I could no longer stand it, fear was everyone. Made my case so much worse!

#13 fishinghat

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 08:43 AM

Well Kimmy, I was on 90 mg for 5 or 6 years. I was taking it for severe anxiety. It did a pretty good job but it shutdown my testosterone production *a fairly common side effect) and I had to come off it. I did bead counting over a 3 month period (too fast). I had unimaginable fear. The fear lasted 9 months with me in the fetal position in the dark. During that time the drs tried 6 different meds to help. Of those only the hydroxyzine helped any. I wound up going on Zoloft. It has taken me 5 years to wean off the 4 of the 6 meds the drs had put me on. I am currently 70% off the Lorazepam and when that is finished I will start slowly tapering the Zoloft.

 

Current meds - Hydroxyzine, clonidine, buspar, Zoloft, and lorazepam. All are low doses except the Zoloft. I am doing very well and stable at this point.





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