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Stopping Cymbalta Or How I Went Mad


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#1 jre

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 05:53 PM

Disclaimer: English is not my first language. Apologise for any confusing wordings.

 

I'm in a bit of a state of shock right now, honestly. The past few days have been terrible. Guess I'll start from the beginning.

 

I've been on Cymbalta for about three years now, I guess. 60 mg. I tried a few other SSRIs before that, none of which really did much for me. I don't think Cymbalta have done much either, to be honest. But I didn't think too much about it, and I kept taking them, because I didn't really have any side effects. So late last year, I see a new doctor for an unrelated issue. Trouble sleeping. He also goes over my meds, and recommend I stop Cymbalta, because they aren't doing anything for what I'm diagnosed with (which wasn't clearly communicated to me anyway). I'm not sure how I translate that to english, but I think it would be "depressive personality disorder", which is different from regular depression, in that I'll just have to learn to live with it, and deal with it (that's what I was told).

 

He bumped me down to 30 mg, and said I could stay at that for about a month and then quit entirely. Sounded easy. No problem. So about four days ago I quit. Two days later, I feel like total dog shit. I'm dizzy. I can't walk straight. I feel like my brain is getting electrical shocks. I get unreasonably angry at people. I flipped out because someone left empty toilet rolls in the bathroom. I got angry because evening dinner was not made at the usual time. I was even angry at the dog.

 

But I didn't take more Cymbalta, because I wanted off of it, and now it's been another two days and I feel like I'm losing my mind. So I go on the Internet to try to find out what's going on, and I end up here. I've been reading a few hours, and I'm just shocked. People taking years to get off this thing. Bead counting. Supplements. I never asked for this. Nobody ever told me about the risks and dangers. I quit smoking tobacco two years ago, and it was like a walk in the park in comparison. I don't know how to deal with this.

 

I need some time to figure out how to handle this, and digest all the information. There's so much going on in my head right now, and it's even hard to think clearly, because I feel so dizzy. I split a capsule, and swallowed half of the beads with water. I put the other half back in the capsule, and I'm going to take that tomorrow. Are the capsules essential? If I am supposed to break down the 30 mg capsules to lower my dosage, I will not have enough capsules.

 

Sorry if I'm rambling.

 

I want to cry. I just want this to stop.

 


#2 fishinghat

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 06:17 PM

Welcome jre

 

First of all your English is fine, probably better than mine.  lol

 

You are at least trying to learn how to deal with this. Good job. If you have a limited number of pills left I would suggest a small number of beads to deal with this issue. Start with taking 5 or 6 beads each day for 3 or 4 days. If this doesn't help go to 8 or 10 beads a day. It may take more than that to ease your situation but with a limited number of capsules left you can't go too high or you will run out of Cymbalta too fast.

 

Yes, the capsules are important. If the Cymbalta dissolves in the stomach the acid will convert it to naphthol which is very hard on the stomach. Empty acid resistant capsules are available through Amazon.


#3 jre

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 06:38 PM

Hello fishinghat

 

I have plenty of pills left, and it shouldn't be a problem to renew my prescription. After all, doctors have been renewing it for years without asking questions. :rolleyes: It just seems wasteful to throw half or more of the contents away. I'll have to look into how to get empty capsules maybe. Amazon isn't really a thing in Denmark.

 

It's been a few hours now since I took the "raw" beads, and I don't feel any better, so it probably didn't do anything. After all, they probably pack them in those for a reason. It makes sense, but it's not easy to think clearly when your brain feels like liquid.


#4 invalidusername

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 07:03 PM

Hi JRE and welcome - I am glad that you have found us - we will help you as best we can.

 

By now you will have realised that your doctor is wrong and is an idiot. And I understand that you stayed at 30mg for a month? And then you stopped completely 4 days ago?

 

As Hat was not aware that you have access to more Cymbalta, and if you are sure you will be able to continue this supply, then after 4 days, I would suggest you go back, perhaps not as far as the 30mg, but perhaps 20mg, which will mean taking 33% of the beads out of the capsules. You could go back to 30mg but your body has already started the withdrawal from this, so you will have nothing to lose by returning to a slightly lower dose.

 

It will take at least three days to have the levels return to something normal, so no, taking a few beads just now will not see immediate effects. I would return to taking 20mg at the time you usually take the dose... and accept that the next few days will be a bit difficult as you wait for your levels to return. But this WILL only take a few days. Don't worry.

 

From there we can discuss a tapering plan. But 3 years is a long time to be on this medication and it will take time to correctly withdrawal. 

 

There may be a chance that after a few days at 20mg that you are not still feeling good. At this point we may have to add a few extra beads until you become stable, but going back to 30mg will put you ABOVE what your body will be expecting at the moment which could make you worse.

 

Feel free to ask any questions and we all know how bad you feel - you are not alone!!

 

IUN


#5 frog

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 07:16 PM

Hi jre, 

Welcome to the forum. Fishinghat and IUN have both gone through this and have helped countless others go through it as well so they're a trustworthy resource. I've found them to be extremely helpful, but never pushy. They just offer information and it's up to you how you want to proceed with it. As it should be.

 

As for me I'm also currently going through withdrawal. Same as you I cold turkey'd from way too high of an amount (about 18mg for me) after being on this crap for 5 or 6 years. At first, for a few weeks I was extremely irritable at everything just like you but it was mostly bearable, and then unfortunately in November out of nowhere my adrenaline response went completely insane and I had nonstop panic and anxiety. This was 13 weeks ago. I'm just barely climbing out of that dark hole now and starting to see that this is slowly getting better. It'll probably take another few months to get back to "normal".

 

This isn't meant to scare you, as there are plenty of people who suffer for much shorter of a time than me, and you could very well be one of them! And I hope you are. But going cold turkey seems to GREATLY increase the odds of having a longer, harder withdrawal so I really think you should consider what the other guys said and go back on Cymbalta and taper correctly. Your brain will be in way better shape if you remove the Cymbalta gradually and let the brain adjust each time. Trust me I know how anxious you feel to get off this stuff, that's exactly what I thought when I quit, but if I could go back in time I would take as long as I needed if it meant I could avoid all this suffering.

 

Just my two cents! 


#6 fishinghat

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 10:12 AM

LOL, that is interesting frog, I was just thinking that I had been pushy lately and I don't like that. Must learn to be more politically correct.  :)

 

Jre, sounds like IUN has given you some good advice. Especially that the extra beads take 3 days or so to really kick in.


#7 jre

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 06:18 PM

An update: Spoke with my doctor today, and it went about as well as I thought it would. I don't think he has any idea how terrible or severe the withdrawals are. He told me to take 30 mg every other day. I told him about splitting the capsules, and he said that wasn't a good idea. I mentioned transitioning to another SSRI product, and he said we might look into that later - bit of a non-answer. I feel like I'm on my own. Every doctor who prescribe this medicine should be forced to go through it themselves!

 

I took the other half of the capsule I split yesterday today, so that would be around 15 mg, and I feel mostly fine. Still a bit of ringing in my ears, but no brain zaps and the dizzyness is gone, so I had no problem driving the car to the doctor. I think I'll keep splitting them into 15 mg doses for a while, and keep reading and learning and planning how to tackle this mess.

 

I'm glad I found this place. I'd never imagined there were so many in the same situation as me. I appreciate the help and support. As with so many things, you can't really have a productive conversation with anyone who haven't experienced it for themselves. I'll probably be sticking around here for a while. :)


#8 invalidusername

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 06:24 PM

Great news for the 15mg - then stick to this and see how you are in a couple of days.

 

For goodness sake do not listen to this damn doctor. Going back to 30mg is wrong. Taking a dose every second day is wrong.

 

I know we aren't (medical) doctors, but Hat and myself are readers which goes a long way into finding the correct information. I am not saying we are never wrong - lets get that disclaimer out there quick!! - but some doctors just do not know a damn thing. 

 

However as Hat will say, there are hundreds of papers coming out in medical journals every month and it is simply not possible for doctors to keep up. The problem is that they do not admit when they do not know. The fact is that your doctor is thinking he knows what is best for you, and telling you, all the while knowing he could be wrong. This in our eyes is as good as medical malpractice.

 

If you don't know the answer, look it up first or shut the &^*$ up :)


#9 Mxpro32

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 06:24 PM

How these drs. Can say crap like that and have no idea what these withdrawals are about is beyond me. How is this possible? Sometimes I feel like we're in a nut House trying to convince them we're not crazy. How would one go about doing that? Any withdrawal symptoms we have are attributed to a relapse. Nevermind that I've never experienced anything remotely similar to this shit show in my life. I don't know how they are allowed to be so ignorant.

#10 invalidusername

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 06:28 PM

"Nevermind that I've never experienced anything remotely similar to this shit show in my life."

 

You are great to have on the forum MX - you always have a way of making me laugh right when I need it :D


#11 frog

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 07:25 PM

I've fully accepted that most people's Cymbalta withdrawal suffering is much shorter than mine so a lot of doctors haven't seen someone deal with this for this long, with that said I'm clearly not a super fringe case either. I wish doctors would stop assuming that just because they've never seen something before that it can't possibly be true. If that were the case we'd still think the earth was flat. 

 

jre as everyone already said you doctor is ignorant. Please do not take ever take Cymbalta every other day. As you probably already read, it has one of the shortest half lifes of an SNRI/SSRI. You've metabolised half of it in only 12 hours so if you skip a full day or taking it you'll be thrown right into withdrawal, over and over. The every other day approach must be the generic approach that works for most medication and that's why doctors who don't know for sure just suggest that one, since it seems like there are so many horror stories of people's doctors suggesting that same approach. 

 

Have you been able to find empty capsules to fill? I hope you're not just swallowing the beads by themselves. Like FH mentioned, the capsule might be necessary to make sure you're getting the full dose.


#12 jre

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 08:05 PM

Have you been able to find empty capsules to fill?

A quick search has yielded one non-dodgy place where I can buy empty capsules. It says they're made of cellulose. I don't know if that matters. What material should I look for? I found some on Amazon that are made of gelatin. No idea if that's different. I'm an electrician, not a chemist. :) I'd like to avoid ordering from outside the country (Denmark) if I can, because shipping, customs, tax and whatnot are absolute murder. But I'll do what I have to, to get out of this, up to and including living in a soggy cardboard box if I have to, but let's hope it doesn't come to that. :)

 

I've downloaded the ebook you've made here, and I'm going to be going over that bit by bit, as well as gathering more information where I can find it.

 

Oh, and something I forgot to mention... while I had my withdrawals, my suicidal thoughts came back with a vengeance, even persisting after the physical symptoms had lessened. It was very scary. I really hope that's not going to be a regular thing while I'm tapering.


#13 frog

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 08:29 PM

The recommended empty capsules around here are enteric-coated. So gelatin is fine but check if it says if they are enteric coated. Supposedly the little Cymbalta beads themselves are enteric-coated but just to be on the safe side, FH and IUN recommend the capsule be enteric coated as well. That way the whole kit and caboodle doesn't just break down in your stomach before getting to where it needs to go!


#14 Lovey

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 08:53 PM

Hi jre, I am a fellow Cymbalta forum member. Welcome here. Glad you found us. It's an indispensable support system. I am facing some suicidal ideation as well. It is very scary. I've been weaning for 19 months. I was originally at 120mg for 2.5-3 years so its gonna take me a longer time to recalibrate. The suicidal thoughts are not constant or even daily. But they do arise in extra stressful times. I am down to 18 beads twice a day. Roughly 8mg. My therapist and I parted ways today and I also parted ways with a long time friend (18years) this week who flipped on me this week. I have stood by her a long time but she went too far. Soooo its been a tough week for me too. Quite lonesome. But I have God, always. And my friends online and off.

#15 Mxpro32

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 09:29 PM

I never even understood suicide or suicidal ideation before these withdrawals. It's scary stuff.

#16 fishinghat

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 09:54 AM

Suicide or suicidal ideation is not uncommon in Cymbalta withdrawal and even the FDA warns about its occurrence. The manufacturer says that it can be a sign of withdrawing too fast.

#17 invalidusername

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 05:26 PM

My only experience with suicidal thoughts have been as a result of chemical imbalance through trial of meds or withdrawal thereof. Unfortunately, I have been there a few times and it is too scary for words. 

 

I remember the mornings waking up and clinging to my wife for hours, being too scared to move, or for her to leave me even for the bathroom. 

 

NOTHING is worth going through that which is one of the many reasons why Hat and myself are here. By the grace of God we all want to prevent people from having to suffer such circumstances.


#18 Lovey

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 09:39 PM

I am still alive, in case anyone was wondering lol..... funny? Not funny? Oh ya just gotta laugh to make it through! Xo gnight all!

#19 invalidusername

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 06:01 PM

Well I am still here. God wants me here. So here is where I am staying.

 

Can't say that I am not looking forward to my return to the Summerlands, but that is not for me to decide.


#20 Lovey

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 11:09 AM

The Summerlands-is this a way to say heaven? !

#21 invalidusername

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 07:33 PM

The Summerlands-is this a way to say heaven? !

 

The Summerlands is another name for Heaven.


#22 Lovey

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 09:29 PM

Iun, this is amazing. i can't believe I have never heard of it before. Where is this from?❤❤❤❤

#23 invalidusername

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 09:47 PM

I have read and heard of Heaven referred to in a number of different ways. Having such a keen interest in the afterlife, reincarnation, near-death experiences and so forth, you get to know a lot of stuff like that! 

 

It is often referred to by Wiccans I believe, just like the Greek would use the term Elysian Fields. Heaven is the term for a majority of western religions. Eastern religions have some similar, and Nirvana is often confused as being the Buddhist heaven, whereas it is actually a state of mind and not a place...

 

LDN and I frequently talk about such things. Feel free to ask any questions :)


#24 dtfdtf01

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 04:13 AM

When i read the term "summerlands" i thought you were referring to retirement home !!!


#25 invalidusername

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 05:51 PM

It is sort of a retirement home :)





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