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Two And A Half Weeks Since My Last Pill. Oy.


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#1 needoffthisdrug0326

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 08:32 PM

Hi everyone, 

 

I've lurked on this site for a while but just posting now.  I took my last pill about two and half weeks ago. Before that I tapered down from 60 to 40 then to 20, then 20 every other day. I had been taking Cymbalta since January of this year.  The tapering down to 20 wasn't so bad. I noticed mood swings and some GI issues, but felt like it wasn't so bad.  Then when I stopped taking it altogether, I really started to feel awful. What I'm experiencing now: 

  • Diarrhea and nausea nearly every day. 
  • Bloating and weight gain. I feel pregnant.
  • Swelling ankles and feet.
  • Extreme dizziness (although I think it has gotten a bit better the last few days.
  • HORRIBLE insomnia. Feeling like I have restless leg syndrome. I've been taking trazodone sometimes. It helps but it's difficult to function the next day. 
  • General fatigue, muscle soreness, joint pain.  I feel 95 years old (I'm actually 41). Sometimes at night after a long day I literally barely move.
  • The usual mood swings, crying jags, episodes of anxiety, etc. 
  • Brain zaps? I'm not sure, because there's no pain and it doesn't feel like a zap. More like a whoosh. Lots and lots of whooshing.
  • Face and other weird parts of my body are breaking out. 
  • Difficulty concentrating.

I think there are other things but those are the big, debilitating ones. I work full time and have two young kids. My goal was just to power through the withdrawal because I AM NOT going back on.  But I really feel like the only way I'll survive this is to lock myself in a room by myself for the next two weeks.   Does this stuff sound normal for this time frame? I'm encouraged because I'm not AS dizzy as was...but I don't feel like anything has improved much. Would love to get some insight and advice. 

 

Thanks! 

 


#2 fishinghat

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Posted 01 September 2018 - 06:43 AM

Welcome NOTD

 

This is so typical of so many members stories. If it was me I would go back on at least 10 mg and stabilize. Then bead count slowly, and I mean slowly, from there.

 

Something else you might do is read the thread "Summary of Cymbalta Withdrawal" in the Medical Support" section. It is  a summary of what has worked and what has not worked for members in the past. You might find something in there.

 

The dizziness and the stomach issues are the first to pass but be prepared for worsening of the  emotional symptoms next.

 

Hang in there and keep us posted.


#3 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 01 September 2018 - 08:48 AM

Hello and welcome NOTD,

I know that you said that you didn't want to reinstate. But that would be the best thing to do as Fishinghat said.

Reinstating at 20 And slowly bead count. I must remind you that all the members who went cold turkey regretted this. Come back anytime you wish, we'll be here for you!

#4 needoffthisdrug0326

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Posted 01 September 2018 - 06:26 PM

Hi fishinghat and gail, 

 

Thanks so much! Something I didn't mention in my original post was that one of my reasons for needing to get off Cymbalta was hair loss.  I lost a massive amount of hair in the 8 months I took it. I don't see it growing back yet, but I can say that I'm no longer losing clumps of it in the shower.  I just need to hold on to the hair I have left. I know it's vain, but I am not ready to be bald. 

 

So at this point I just need to keep on keeping on, I guess.  I will check out the page that you recommended. 

 

Thanks again! 


#5 fishinghat

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 07:43 PM

I have heard that Cymbalta can cause hair loss but I think you are the first member I remember that has actually mentioned this.  Have you had your testosterone tested lately?


#6 needoffthisdrug0326

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 02:42 AM

No, I don't think my testosterone was checked.  I'm female so I don't think it's in the normal panel. I recently had extensive thyroid and other tests done, though, and all was normal. I actually had this issue about ten years ago, when I was on topomax. I went to the dermatologist and they tested all of my hormone levels and it was all normal. They did a biopsy of my scalp and found that it had fallen out due to trauma or some sort or medication side effects. Apparently my body is super sensitive to this. Eventually it grew mostly back before but remained kind of thin. If it doesn't start to grow back in the next couple of months I'll see the dermatologist about it, but I'm encouraged because the loss has slowed down considerably. 


#7 fishinghat

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 07:49 AM

Interesting. I wish I could help.


#8 kmrekl217

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 12:54 PM

Hi everyone, 

 

I've lurked on this site for a while but just posting now.  I took my last pill about two and half weeks ago. Before that I tapered down from 60 to 40 then to 20, then 20 every other day. I had been taking Cymbalta since January of this year.  The tapering down to 20 wasn't so bad. I noticed mood swings and some GI issues, but felt like it wasn't so bad.  Then when I stopped taking it altogether, I really started to feel awful. What I'm experiencing now: 

  • Diarrhea and nausea nearly every day. 
  • Bloating and weight gain. I feel pregnant.
  • Swelling ankles and feet.
  • Extreme dizziness (although I think it has gotten a bit better the last few days.
  • HORRIBLE insomnia. Feeling like I have restless leg syndrome. I've been taking trazodone sometimes. It helps but it's difficult to function the next day. 
  • General fatigue, muscle soreness, joint pain.  I feel 95 years old (I'm actually 41). Sometimes at night after a long day I literally barely move.
  • The usual mood swings, crying jags, episodes of anxiety, etc. 
  • Brain zaps? I'm not sure, because there's no pain and it doesn't feel like a zap. More like a whoosh. Lots and lots of whooshing.
  • Face and other weird parts of my body are breaking out. 
  • Difficulty concentrating.

I think there are other things but those are the big, debilitating ones. I work full time and have two young kids. My goal was just to power through the withdrawal because I AM NOT going back on.  But I really feel like the only way I'll survive this is to lock myself in a room by myself for the next two weeks.   Does this stuff sound normal for this time frame? I'm encouraged because I'm not AS dizzy as was...but I don't feel like anything has improved much. Would love to get some insight and advice. 

 

Thanks! 

 

I too had brain whooshes, not brain zaps. Nice to see that I'm not alone! Had extreme mood lability, as well. I, unfortunately, never found anything to help with the whooshing. 


#9 fishinghat

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 01:28 PM

Hi kemrekl. How are you doing these days. Would love an update.

#10 needoffthisdrug0326

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 07:39 PM

Hi everyone, 

It's been about four and a half weeks now and I thought I'd give an update: 

 

  • Diarrhea and nausea nearly every day. No longer EVERY day.  (TMI, but I actually have some normal poops here and there. It's amazing)
  • Bloating and weight gain. I feel pregnant. I feel less pregnant and bloated. I haven't weight myself though. 
  • Swelling ankles and feet. ‚ÄčThis is slightly better. Still swelling some, but I actually have legit ankles most days, so yay. 
  • Extreme dizziness (although I think it has gotten a bit better the last few days. I wouldn't call the dizziness extreme any longer. Still present, particularly when I move too quickly, but better. 
  • HORRIBLE insomnia. Feeling like I have restless leg syndrome. I've been taking trazodone sometimes. It helps but it's difficult to function the next day. This is somewhat better, but still definitely an issue.  I've had a few stretches where I was able to get 3 or more full nights (6 + hours) of sleep in a row. But then I have nights like last night where maybe I had 2.5.
  • General fatigue, muscle soreness, joint pain.  I feel 95 years old (I'm actually 41). Sometimes at night after a long day I literally barely move. This is also better. There have even been a few instances lately where I was tempted to skip down the sidewalk, just because I could. But then there are days like today where I feel like a slug.
  • The usual mood swings, crying jags, episodes of anxiety, etc. OMG, this might be 100% worse. 
  • Brain zaps? I'm not sure, because there's no pain and it doesn't feel like a zap. More like a whoosh. Lots and lots of whooshing. Better. Still present, but definitely better.
  • Face and other weird parts of my body are breaking out. This still happens and it kind of sucks. 
  • Difficulty concentrating. This is better, mostly due to improved sleep I suspect. 

So, it's encouraging that so many things are improved.  There are actually days now where I feel mostly human, instead of this great lumbering beast of pain and discomfort. 


#11 Sierra

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 06:37 PM

Hi needoffthisdrug0326,

 

I just wanted to say that I found your post very encouraging. I have accidentally gone cold-turkey for the last 10 days or so and just started feeling withdrawal symptoms yesterday, though I didn't realize that until this afternoon when the torturous itching began and I desperately scoured Google for help.

 

Your last post on this thread seems to imply that your withdrawal symptoms are almost over. Is that true? Since I went cold turkey I feel like I should just push through and deal with what comes instead of going back on for another 6 months or so and dragging it out. Do you have any advice regarding this? I know cold turkey isn't recommended by others on this forum so I wanted to ask your opinion since you actually tried it.

 

I am taking Cymbalta as an anti-depressant but was thinking of asking my psychiatrist for something weaker and easier to get off of while I quit this one.


#12 needoffthisdrug0326

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 11:36 AM

Hi Sierra,

 

So now it's been over six weeks since I had my last pill.  I did taper some, didn't go completely cold turkey (although I didn't count beads the way most recommend).  A lot of my physical symptoms are better. The worst lingering symptom has got to be the GI issues. I feel like I am constantly going to the bathroom STILL.  I mentioned it to my primary doc and my GI doc and they both think it's my body still adjusting. I really ought to start taking some probiotics.  I also have a lot of body aches, pains, fatigue, etc. Everything is more sensitive to injury now.  I had some lab work last week and everything was normal except my iron was slightly low and my vitamin D was also low (but it always has been). 

 

BUT, with all of that being said, the emotional symptoms are out of control for me. I just was not prepared for how I'd feel. Not really prepared that I WOULD feel, if you know what I mean. ADs in general blunt all of my emotion usually and I didn't realize exactly how much Cymbalta did that. Of course I wasn't anxious because I felt nothing. Of course I wasn't depressed because I felt nothing. Of course it didn't bother me when my husband acted like an ass or my kids talked back. I felt nothing.  Now I feel EVERYTHING. It feel it all and it's really difficult to cope.  I remember having this happen when coming off of other meds, but this withdrawal has been a lot stronger and more intense.  

 

I don't know if my experience would be better if I'd bead counted. I've read a lot of accounts where they have the same thing, just spread out over months and months (sometimes years) rather than getting it all over real quick.  I don't know what kind of harm I might have done to my body (ha! or my marriage), but I'm hoping I'll bounce back.   

 

I don't now if this is helpful. If you have the time and the patience, I would probably recommend listening to the folks who recommend a slower taper.  Good luck! 


#13 Sierra

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 12:16 PM

Thank you for the update and sharing your experience. I'm still weighing the pros and cons of each method. I have an iron stomach but I also suffer from intense and constant vertigo so I'm used to throwing up a lot but not because of food sensitivities or anything like that. That's pretty confusing but I guess I'm trying to say that I'm not worried about GI issues. I've also had constant body pains and fatigue since high school so that is also not a concern to me.

 

I'm most concerned with the emotions. I know I have a tendency to let my emotions get the better of me and I've been working on that. I don't want to turn into a monster. My poor husband has been so supportive and caring, I don't want to repay him with rage and mood swings.

 

"BUT, with all of that being said, the emotional symptoms are out of control for me. I just was not prepared for how I'd feel. Not really prepared that I WOULD feel, if you know what I mean. ADs in general blunt all of my emotion usually and I didn't realize exactly how much Cymbalta did that. Of course I wasn't anxious because I felt nothing. Of course I wasn't depressed because I felt nothing. Of course it didn't bother me when my husband acted like an ass or my kids talked back. I felt nothing.  Now I feel EVERYTHING. It feel it all and it's really difficult to cope.  I remember having this happen when coming off of other meds, but this withdrawal has been a lot stronger and more intense."

 

I wonder if that happens because like you said, ADs dull our emotional responses and we spend so long getting used to not feeling anything. But when that dulling poison leaves our system we start feeling again normally, but compared to not having any emotions it feels like we have TOO many emotions and that makes us even more emotional? I don't know if that made any sense, it's just a thought loop I've been mulling over.

 

"I don't know if my experience would be better if I'd bead counted. I've read a lot of accounts where they have the same thing, just spread out over months and months (sometimes years) rather than getting it all over real quick.  I don't know what kind of harm I might have done to my body (ha! or my marriage), but I'm hoping I'll bounce back."

 

That's what I've been wondering. I know either way I'm going to deal with hell, I just want to minimize the time that I have to deal with the hell. Sort of like ripping off a bandaid I guess. I've already gone cold turkey for over a week and am just now getting a few withdrawal symptoms. Compared to what others have dealt with I feel like my withdrawals so far are relatively minor so I'm kind of leaning towards continuing cold turkey.

 

At my husband's request I tried semi-bead counting today though. I woke up VERY irritable but managed to rein myself in and not bite anyone's head off miraculously. I told him what was going on and he suggested I try bead counting until I see my psychiatrist on Thursday. I counted 179 beads in one capsule (I think I remember reading on here that there's supposed to be ~300?) and took 100. I also took Zyrtec and my small dose of anti-anxiety med and to be honest I feel totally fine so far. It's only 1pm so we'll see how the day unfolds but I think I might be pretty lucky so far. I think I'm just going to play it by ear and adjust my method/dosage depending on how my body reacts.





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