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Starting To Wean Off Cymbalta For The Second Time, Please Help..:)


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#1 Viviana224

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 07:45 PM

Hi there!:) Long story, I'll try to make it as short as possible. About 2 1/2 years ago I was having a terrible time sleeping, I was in perimenopause but was on Bio identical HRT. I was given 1mg of klonopin for sleep, I took this every night for 10 months. I started having a major eye twitch in my left eye and with some research I found that benzo's can sometimes cause this. Needless to say, I didn't know anything about benzos or much about antidepressants for that matter. I went to my family practice GP and he told me to take half of the benzo and then every other day, 3rd day and so on. Oh my goodness, I have NEVER felt so bad in my life!!!!!! I was shaking uncontrollably, my brain actually hurt, I had major anxiety, I laid in bed just shaking, sweating and trying not to go crazy! Anyway, I ended up in detox. I felt so out of place, I was in there with people who were withdawing from heroin, opioids, meth etc. The people there thought I was lying, they didnt believe that such a small amount of klonopin could give me such a reaction. Anyway, I ended up being put on gabapentin to help with the withdrawl. I could barely eat for about 3 weeks which is about how long it take for this to get out of your system. I still felt anxiety and depression, my anxiety did not allow me to leave the house. I got into see a psychiatrist, he recommended I try prozac which gave me even more anxiety, he never told me that it could cause more anxiety at first, in fact he didn't tell me anything about the drug at all... I ended up going from dr to dr that just kept putting me on different things that weren't working. I was just losing hope, I was getting worse and worse, I began to have acid reflux and ended up developing an extremely painful ulcer that made my body burn from top to bottom. this all happened within a 4 month period, i ended up losing 20lbs and looked like a skeleton. I finally decided to go to a treatment center for help. They tried a few different meds and finally pristiq seemed to work ok. They were the ones that found a great med for my gastro issues which my GP here never did. I left with pristiq and an array of night meds to help me sleep. I got home, and by the end of the week I was having major anxiety! My mom and a lady from church kept telling me it was my hormones but I thought I was fine being that I was on bio HRT. I finally decided to take there advice and went to my gyno, he put me on a strong synthetic hormone and my world changed from the first pill. Literally my anxiety and depression started fading away. Makes me so mad that no drs for 4 months could not figure this out!!! Menopause was the culprit of this whole situation. I forgot to mention, one of the meds that was given to me, Lamictal, ended up sending me to the ER with tingling in my face, hands and feet, feeling of bugs biting and crawling on me. They didn't even no what it was at the hospital, they sent me home with benadryl, REALLY!! Come to find out it was neuropathy. I have lost so much confidence in in drs., it's sad.. Anyway, I found a psychiatrist who seems knowledgeable and somewhat more willing to listen. I ended up going on Cymbata to get off gabapentin for nerve pain. I've been on it for 8 months, it was so activating that I could not get off my gaba due to excess activation. I didn't want to keep switching so i decided to stay on the med. I tried to get off about 3 months ago with the gaba, dumb idea, I should know better. i got down to 15 mg and decided to go back up to 20 which has been awful. So, I decided to try again. I went from 20mg to 17.5 and now I'm on 15mg., my dr wrote a script to a compound pharmacy for the lower doses. I tried to tell her I wanted to try again but this time she just wants me to just quit from the 20mg. go figure!! I was thinking possibly about going back to pristiq but I just really want to get off meds, I was fine until menopause hit. I have 2 weeks of 15mg left and 30 days of 10mg. My question is, is 2 weeks on 15mg enough? Also, how long would I be on 10mg and how do you count beads from 10mg capsules... I'm so scared of having a benzo typre withdrawl although I'm convinced my complete lack of hormones played in that somehow, either way, I never want to experience that again.... Sorry for the novel, I tried to make as short as possible.. Thanks you for this site. This has been an answer to prayer...

God Bless...


#2 invalidusername

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 08:00 AM

Hi Viviana and welcome,
 
I will never understand how doctors get this idea that you can withdrawal by missing out days between doses?! This is wrong on every level. Granted that Klonopin has a relatively long half-life, but you would still really feel the effects of leaving a progressively longer time between doses.
 
You could have saved yourself a lot of the issues with a correct withdrawal, but inevitably as it was a result of the HRT, it would have caught you up. Ironically, this is one of the first things that FishingHat, my wonderous fellow here on the site, would have mentioned. But glad you found the right doctor. As many have found on this site, you need to become an expert in your own condition to find the way out. It is sad, but true.
 
Gabapentina and Pregabalin can have nasty withdrawals too, regardless of the length of dose; I speak from experience. 
 
Now your Cymbalta, you need to bead count. You don't need a compound pharmacy. You can download our eBook, and we can help you with this, but it is so important that you withdrawal this way, especially given your history. I would advise again replacing with another AD at this point unless you find it becomes necessary when you get closer to the zero of the Cym. 8 months can still be a long time on this drug. I was only 10 weeks on it before I came off, but having been on this site ever since, I soon learnt that this was quite a long time! Gail, another member, was on it for half that time and had more of a nightmare than myself...
 
Can you initially give us a run down of when and how long and what dose you have done so far with the Cym?
 
God Bless
 
IUN

#3 fishinghat

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 09:00 AM

WOW!! What a comedy of errors. Way too many changes in medication which greatly aggravated your condition. The normal time to come off of 10 mg is around 4 to 6 months and even then it can be very rough. I would strongly suggest that you try to get some refills on the Cymbalta so you can wean properly. If you don't mind I would also like to see a list of what meds/supplements you are now on including the dose.

 

If you could count the number of little beads inside one of your capsules we would be glad to set up a weaning schedule for you.

 

FYI - Gaba and gabapentin are totally different. Gaba is a neurotransmitter and gabapentin is an unrelated prescription medication.


#4 Viviana224

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 09:17 AM

Thank you so much for your quick response!:) I forgot to mention that I am still on 700mg of gabapentin for nerve pain and 100mg of trazodone for sleep. I started taking 30mg cymbalta in August of last year. After 2 weeks I was bumped up to 60mg which made me feel irritable almost angry so I went back down to 30 and ended up at 20mg. I've been on 20mg since October. I decided I wanted to either switch AD's or just get off of them completely, I'm tired of the side effects. 2 weeks ago my dr had me take lexapro while still on cymbalta to make the switch. I was afraid of this since I already felt accelerated by the cymbalta. She said it shouldn't be a problem. The first 2 days were fine but the 3rd was awful! I was super irritable almost angry. I stopped the lexapro immediately. I should also mention that I am very sensitive to medication. So, I I've been on 15mg of Cymbalta for a week and doing fine. I noticed that when I take my 100mg of trazodone at night it wakes me up instead of making me drowsy. I told my dr. this and she told me to go to 50mg. I just don't want to be cutting down 2 things at once. I've also read that coming off trazodone, even at this low dose can cause withdrawals, UGH! Thanks again for your help, cheers!!

#5 Viviana224

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 09:26 AM

I put gaba as an abbreviation for gabapentin..:) Yes, lots of craziness with meds., it's been quite the nightmare!:/ Right now I'm taking a probiotic, multimineral 2 times a day, lecethin 3 times a day. I also developed another ulcer trying to come off cymbalta so I'm currently taking 1g of sucralfate 4 times a day. I was on a high does of omega 3 and was also taking cod liver but stopped cause I was feeling dizzy when I taking it. Turns out my level of omega 3 and 6 were really high when my bloodwork came back, this was back in November. I've always been a big fan of supplements, been taking them for 25 years..:)

#6 Viviana224

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 09:30 AM

Should I not be using the compound pharmacy cymbalta that I have? You can't count beads from it, it's a powder..

#7 fishinghat

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 01:22 PM

You can use the compound pharmacy Cymbalta. Just by a good set of scales and weight out the powder as you wean. Nice and slow.

 

You really need to be careful with supplements. They have caused many a member problems during their withdrawal.


#8 Viviana224

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 01:42 PM

Oh yikes thank you! Which supplements should I not be taking while withdrawing? Also, these capsules are tiny, I don't even know if they powder would way out to anything readable, lol! They are able to make them in any mg I wish. How long should I be on 15mg before moving down to 10mg? I miss spoke earlier. Today will actually be my 5th day on 15mg.. Thanks again for your help...:)

#9 invalidusername

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 03:04 PM

Bloody hell - you have been pushed and pulled between far too many medications. This is very similar to what happened to me. You need to stop chopping and changing and let your body return to some sort of homeostasis. This unfortunately could take a while because of all the drugs that have been pushed through your system. Adding Lexapro whilst withdrawing from Cym isn't the best idea as you are mixing classes and you risk serotonin syndrome. 

 

My advice would be to yes, take one withdrawal at a time. You are right on the money here. Stick with one or the other. I would personally see the trad off first by using other supplements to aid sleep, such as melotonin, CBD or similar. Natural will be far better so we keep the toxins out of your body. It wants to get rid of these and your brain won't have a clue what is going on. Blocking receptors here, unblocking there. It will be a spaghetti junction in there at the moment, just as it was with me when I foolishly went near the doctors.

 

The traz will take less time that the Cym, that is why I am suggesting this first. Then a nice slow Cym wean to minimise withdrawal perhaps with use of again more natural supplements. Depending on the symptoms it could be KSM ashwagandha, Suntheanine, apple cider vinegar... there are a fair few, but as Hat said, other not-so natural supplements can cause more harm than good and as you are sensitive, we need to be vigilant.


#10 Viviana224

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 03:44 PM

Thanks so much!:) My concern is now to get my psychiatrist on board. She's the one that dishes out the scripts. My other concern is my peripheral neuropathy which is why I switched to cymbalta in the first place. I'm not sure the gabapentin will sufficiently work for the pain. Trazodone is also used for nerve pain off label. I notice that when I go down 50mg my skin becomes more sensitive to touch and I have a tingling sensation. It also could be the fact that I cut down. There is a biopsy that can be done to be sure it's peripheral neuropathy. Maybe it's just all the junk that has been put into my body for the last 2 years! Have you ever heard of someone getting neuropathy after taking medication?

#11 fishinghat

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 03:45 PM

Something that I would like to mention here that may help with the nerve pain. My wife has had numerous back/neck spinal surgeries and this resulted in neuropathy. Multiple cat scans, nerve conduction tests etc and everything was good. The drs said it was what it was and get use to it. I spent a month in the medical journals looking for any source of peripheral neuropathy that the drs and I had not considered. I came across references to the Vitamin 6 toxicity and how common it was. After my wife had her surgeries they recommended Stress Tabs. The RDA for B6 is 1.5 mg/d for women over 50 and her stress tabs were 5 mg/d! Her serum Vitamin B6 was determined to be almost 200 times normal values. She stopped taking the Stress Tabs and with a half-life of 15 to 24 days it took her 6 months to get back in normal range and 9 months to be symptom free. She no longer suffers from peripheral neuropathy. Just a thought.

As far as what supplements to try, IUN got you off to a good start. What supplements you are on that need to be changed? Well, like I said just send me a list of them and their dose and I will work it over for you.

#12 fishinghat

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 03:47 PM

Yes, peripheral neuropathy is a common side effect of meds that effect the nervous system. One step at a time and we will do everything we can to get you and your wife squared away. Hang in there!!

#13 invalidusername

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 03:59 PM

The 100mg of the Traz is quite low and although is has a short half-life, you have been taking it at night which means your peak blood levels would have been during the night - it will not have affected your waking serotonin levels as much. I would still suggest a well-timed taper with an alternative on standby. This isn't something you can just stop, but if it is likely to cause rebound insomnia, then we need to be prepared with something else. Do you have any issues sleeping anymore?


#14 Viviana224

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 04:09 PM

Just to be clear. I take my 600mg of gabapentin at night with the 100mg of trazodone. I also take 10mg of melatonin and if that all doesn't work I add 25 or 50mg of hydroxyzine. To be honest I have no idea, when I've tried to come of the trazodone I would have insomnia..:/ I was pretty freaked out that the trazodone made me feel more awake then sleepy the last 2 nights. It's on very rare occasions that I have to take hydroxyzine, but I did the last 2 nights.

#15 Viviana224

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 04:28 PM

I believe I got it from the lamectil that was given to me 2 years ago. I pray the damage isn't permanent.

#16 fishinghat

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 04:40 PM

The 10 mg of melatonin is a real issue. Studies have shown that any dose over 3 mg interferes with sleep and the higher you go the worse it gets. The optimum dose has been determined to be 0.3 mg and is more effective if taken in the liquid form under the tongue. Any excess melatonin is converted by the body to serotonin which is a stimulating neurotransmitter.


#17 fishinghat

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 04:51 PM

Of the 68,938 people who have reported suspected side effects for Lamictal only 8 have mentioned peripheral neuropathy as a possible side effect. No scientific studies have documented this as a side effect.

#18 invalidusername

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 06:02 PM

10mg of melatonin!? Holy cow - are you sure?

 

You might have 10mg per 1ml dose - in which case you would need to take 1ml to get the 10mg dose of melatonin, but my goodness, you don't want to be taking that much. As Hat said it has the reverse affect and it is known to induce depression in people prone to low moods the following day after such a high dose. 

 

Both myself and Mrs have this effect if we take too much. Well, I no longer take it, but she only takes a small amount and will add 50mg dramamine and then that will usually send her off to La-la land for a few hours.


#19 Viviana224

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 06:02 PM

Oh wow, I wasn't aware of that! I thought I had learned a lot going through this situation. I have a lot more to learn. I have 3mg tablets for now, I will be going to get drops soon. Maybe the whole neuropathy situation was induced through menopause, immense stress from klonopin withdrawal plus all the different meds I was put on to find something that worked. Ugh, so frustrating! Looking back now, everytime I would take my pristiq and now cymbalta, I would and do get a tingling sensation plus itching. This happens every single time I take my med and lasts for a couple of hours. My poor liver is probably toast.. :/

#20 invalidusername

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 06:47 PM

The itching and tingling sensation is a lot more common that you'd think. A quick search on the forum will bring up a fair few results... Top of the page, right hand side... white search box. Just put search criteria in and you will find plenty of posts.


#21 Viviana224

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 06:49 PM

Thank you all so much, you have been so helpful!! :)

#22 Viviana224

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 07:54 PM

Oh my! I just finished reading all the posts on AD induced Paresthesia, what a nightmare! I am now in sure terror of coming off of cymbalta plus the traz..:/ Not only can you experience anxiety, depression, brain zaps, dizziness, insomnia, disorientation, brain fog but also this!! I have to say, the Paresthesia is the worst, I don't have it bad now but experiencing it 2 years ago was enough to drive me insane.. :/

#23 Viviana224

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 08:01 PM

I was reading on here about some people did well with a high dose of Omega 3 for the itching, crawling situation and somewhere on here I read that it made it worse for someone..

#24 fishinghat

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 08:27 AM

As long as the dose does not surpass 3000 mg per day you should be alright. You might need to look at your other supplements (fish oil, etc) as well as diet (eating fish, etc) to see if you are getting Omega 3 from other sources.

 

I hate to say this but I have withdrawn from 5 drugs in the last 7 years and unluckily you need to think of it in terms of years instead of weeks. It is the only way to get through it without severe suffering.

 

Time and patience.


#25 Viviana224

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 08:41 AM

Thank you fishhat!:) I'm in no hurry, I want to do this right. I am curious of what the timeline for coming down from 15mg would be? I know everyone's different, just want to know what it looks like in terms of time. I'm going to be a grandma in December and would hate to be a complete wreck for the birth..

#26 invalidusername

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 09:01 AM

It is a question of dose and length of time on the med - but even if there was a formula to calculate, such as week per mg multiplied by years (just an example!), the biggest variable is the person themselves. In terms of statistics, Hat will be excited about this, we might say 6 months to come off that 15mg, but there would be such a big confidence interval (which is how far apart the results are compared to the result) - that is to say, that whilst 70% averaged those 6 months, those figures will have come from some in the 90%, and some in the 30%, but averaged at 70%. The actual amount of those people that were exactly 6 months would not be that many. There would be some at 3 months, and some at 2 years, and that all comes down to the person, not the meds.

 

I hope that makes sense. If not, just have a laugh at Hat now trying to peel himself off the ceiling with all this stat talk :)


#27 fishinghat

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 09:08 AM

IUN is right but I know you would like to have at lest a general feeling about the issue. I would say 6 to 9 months to drop from 15 mg to ) mg and another 6 to 9 months to recover (+/- 3 months on each). Having said that we have seen people who have done the weaning in 4 weeks and recover in another 4 weeks but that is a very small percentage.


#28 invalidusername

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 09:22 AM

Agreed - best that can be given.


#29 Viviana224

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 09:50 AM

Haha, my head was spinning with that stats, lol!:) Sounds like 6 months or more is my best bet. I took 50mg of traz instead of 100mg, 3mg of melatonin instead of 10. I couldn't sleep so added 50mg of hydroxyzine. I'm kind of leaning towards staying on the 50mg of traz and starting the weaning of cymbalta. I've been on 15mg for about week so I'm wondering when my next move should be and how much? I'm going to do this a bit differently from the bead counting since I have a compound pharmacy that can provide whatever dosage I need. Thank you for help!!

#30 invalidusername

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 02:46 PM

If the pharmacy can supply any given dosage, then I would use that to your advantage. The issue might be when it comes closer to the smaller doses as 1mg can be any number of beads (potentially 5 beads), which means with beads you can drop as low as 0.2mg. 





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