It has been awhile since I have commented or checked in about my duloxetine reduction experience. I reached 20mg and stopped taking the capsules a week ago. I really cannot say whether or not any of the symptoms I am experiencing I am having are related to the duloxetine or not, because I did still have increased symptoms even while staying on the 30mg for about 2 months. I had been experience a lot of bizarre and sporadic symptoms, completely systemic, since about March 2018, which was ironically around when I began reducing my duloxetine, but I am completely off it now with no intention of returning and considering which medication to reduce or eliminate next from my psychiatric stash of pharmaceuticals.
I did however learn a few I had some other health issues, and that there are other conditions with symptoms that are pretty vague and generic and the actual diagnosis can be overlooked sometimes, even if the disease is common. So here is a brief-not-so-brief-but-as-brief-as-it-gets re-cap of my experience, which by no means will be the same for everyone or should be considered as medical advice, because in my case some of the circumstances are actually rare adverse drug reactions that triggered other immune response, but I just want to say that as a patient, we know our bodies, and we know when something is wrong, so advocate for yourself and get as many opinions as you need until you have someone that will explain to you what is going on in a way you can understand so that you feel confident your question has been answered.
I went from having a psychology referral for hypochondria in July to a hematology/oncology referral in September based on abnormal lab results from a blood test in July, after 2 visits to the same physician, whom I have elected not to see anymore for how he treated me as a patient, and will be contacting the ethics department about my claims as well as there are results for exams he did not perform and evidence of over-billing services rendered.
As of September 7, 2018 I have been diagnosed with celiac disease; an autoimmune condition where ingestion of gluten, a protein, causes an immune response that leads to intestinal damage that results in digestive malabsorption and nutrient deficiency and malnutrition. Left untreated the cellular changes in the intestine typically develop into cancerous cells. This would explain a lot of my symptoms actually.
The rheumatologist was quick to diagnose fibromyalgia, but some of my symptoms may improve following a gluten free diet since depletion of nutrients can cause muscle pain, bone pain, palpitations, a whole host of symptoms, over 200 known symptoms are documented for celiac. So I would say reducing duloxetine might not have been the cause of some of my neuropathy and pain, not that it helped, but probably not the only cause.
Drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome is still on the table as a differential diagnosis, and may explain my abnormal hematology results. I see the hematologist this week, so I should know more at that time, but I have a long history of unusual reactions to drugs as well as a family history since my mom has had the same experience and was on life support for 36 hours after an adverse drug reaction that occurred a year after she was on the medication, and it left her allergic to most other medications as well and severely immuno-compromised, and while DIHS is considered a rare adverse reaction to a common drug, I began taking a known drug associated with DIHS around the time my health began spiraling out of control. So with my symptoms, related abnormal results and whatnot plus personal and family history, I will check with the hematologist to see if further testing is necessary to confirm a diagnosis, but so far it appears I have met the diagnostic criteria for DIHS when I took diclofenac for arthritic pain. Which means if it is confirmed to be DIHS, I am unable to take NSAIDs anymore because this is an autoimmune response to a medication that can lead to multiorgan failure and I would really rather avoid that. But this is not common, so I don't want to scare everyone into never taking another prescription medication ever because they can be life-saving. But just be aware of yourself, and if it doesn't feel right, pursue it and get an answer because these unusual events can and do happen.
I just seem to be that 0.02% of the population that gets struck by lightning on a sunny day, or drowns in the desert. Murphy has nothing compared to me.