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Why Is Cymbalta Such A Bad Drug?


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#1 Melia

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 08:02 PM

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Hi guys.  I came here several times in the past few days and finally got the nerve to post.  I am beginning the weening process.  Today is day 1!  I have been taking Cymbalta  60mg in the generic form for 12 months to see if it helps my Fibro symptoms.  I am terrible about taking medications consistently.  After feeling like I had the flu last week I realized I missed 3 days of taking it.  I thought perhaps I had Covid-19.  First off, I was very dizzy almost seasick.  I felt like I couldn't focus on anything.  My first though was working virtually was the culprit and staining my eyes and making me dizzy.  I nearly fell in my pool when walking around it.  I was extremely hot and clammy but no fever.  Felt like I might throw up and my stomach was cramping.  I had a few loose stools too.  I felt fatigued and lethargic.  I also could not sleep, just tossed and turned for hours. This has happened before when I have forgotten the drug I remembered a few days later.  One night of restlessness and no sleep, got out of bed at 4 am and took the missed dose and almost immediately started to feel better.  Is that in my head or can that really make such a difference so quickly?  I then fell asleep for 8 hours straight.  

 

The next day I called the dr and requested to go off the meds and asked her assistance.  Her recommendation is 40mg for 2 weeks, then 20 mg for 2 weeks the stop.  After reading posts here, this seems a bit quick and abrupt.  I am very nervous bc I don't want to feel bad or act like a manic crazy person which I forgot to add happened months ago when I forgot to take the drug.  

 

 

There is so much info about how bad the drug is when you taper but I do not see much about the drug in general as being bad when you take it.  Why are so many people calling this drug poison, satan etc?  Has this drug been doing something to my body that I can't reverse now?  I am nervous about this.  I will say this, I have gained 12 lbs in a year and now have high blood pressure.  I am 49 yo and 160lbs now which is not obese but I would like to get back to 150ish so I can fit in my pants.  I just can't lose the weight.  When I started the drug, I lost 5 lbs, but after about 3 months, I started gaining weight.  Im a very active person and I eat very healthy.  High blood pressure came as a big surprise to me.  

 

II would appreciate any inside scoop about the drug itself and why it is bad to take it not so much about going off the drug, but I would like to know opinions on my doctors tapering plan for me.  

 

Thank you!!!

Melia


#2 dtfdtf01

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 04:16 AM

Welcome to this site Melia,i hope you find it as informative as i have done.I am neither qualified nor experienced enough to comment on your questions , but there will soon be people on here who will respond and hopefully put your mind at ease.I do suggest though to download the E - Book it is a daunting but informative read and will have many answers . Stay strong and know that you have the strength to follow any path you choose . For me Cymbalta has been a double edged sword , it gave me a form of respite when I needed it , I didn't question the Dr's , I blindly took what I was given and yes whilst I did feel better from the symptoms I was going through I genuinely did not see the other edge to this sword. I feel 10 years of my life has been spent in a "functional coma" , I have lost he desire to socialise , to feel joy and excitement ,to perform sexually , to care correctly for the loved ones in my family. I am now off the drug for 4 months and suffering from withdrawal symptoms that were NEVER explained to me. I sincerely hope you feel better soon and please do not hesitate to come to this site for help or to vent, sorry I cannot be of more assistance to you, there are more experienced members who will surely follow , I just want you to know someone is listening and will be there for you .


#3 Melia

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 07:26 AM

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Thank you dtfdtf01!  You took the words right out of my mouth, I blindly took the drug the dr prescribed without asking any questions.  I am so upset none of this was explained to me.  The negative things you speak of,(loss of desire to socialize, feel joy, sex, taking care of you family) were these while on the drug or when tapering?  And where is the e-book you mentioned?  I would love to read that.


#4 fishinghat

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 07:50 AM

Welcome dtfdtf01

This drug has a variety of side effects that can significantly effect patients. I will post a link below to some of the information. dtfdtf01 is right, the ebook contains much information about this drug and associated studies. Be sure and come back and ask any or all question that you might have. We have been there and know what it is like.

FDA drug insert
https://dailymed.nlm...dience=consumer

ebook
https://pdfhost.io/v...of_Contents.pdf

#5 invalidusername

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 05:00 PM

Welcome dtfdtf01
 

 

You did it again Hat!! I believe that is 2-1 to me :)

 

So... Melia...

 

You need to ignore what your doctor is telling you to do, Coming off your dose in 2 week intervals that quickly is madness and if you have been affected the way you have so quickly, then this is certainly not the way to go. Everything that you have mentioned is within the possibilities of an early taper, make no mistake, and you need to have a proper strategy to follow, which is what we are here for.

 

eBook for sure is a good place to start, and it will give you guidance on supplements as well that will help you along the way. 

 

Please let us know what you are considering and we will do all we can to help,

 

IUN


#6 fishinghat

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 05:18 PM

Rats!!  Oh well at my age I am lucky to be able to even type.  lol


#7 frog

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 07:21 PM

Hi Melia,

Best of luck with your taper. 

 

To answer your question sort of, I took Cymbalta for many years for a chronic nerve pain that was actually better managed when I finally found a good physical therapist rather than just the masking of symptoms as the Cymbalta had done. Once I found physical therapy I didn't feel the need to be on this thing anymore. I did wonder if it was contributing to some issues like having a really hard time losing any weight and sweating a lot. I guess I wanted to get off it and see what types of physical effects might improve. Unfortunately for me getting off Cymbalta proved WAY more challenging than I expected and instead of solving any issues it gave me a ton of awful problems for the last 6 months instead. They are slowly going away but it's been a long road. 

 

You should definitely look through the Ebook but my up front advice is to definitely do a much slower taper than your doctor advised. 12 months is a long enough time for your brain and body to have adjusted to having the drug control your serotonin and norepinephrine production (the N in SNRI) and you already know first hand that when you forget to take the drug you have issues.

 

From personal experience, I weaned from 60mg down to maybe 18mg or so over the course of a couple months (in my own made up way, I hadn't found this forum yet) and I had very few issues until then. At 18mg I started feeling very irritable, the brain zaps started, etc. Unwisely I thought that meant that my body was now rejecting the drug so I dropped to 0 from there. Well all hell broke loose 3 weeks later so I definitely don't recommend dropping from 20mg to 0 like your doctor advised. Slow and steady is the best way to do this, and checking in with yourself the whole way, slowing down or staying at the same dose if you start to not feel well. Think of it as a marathon, not a race. Since it doesn't sound like you're having any major side effects from taking the Cymbalta, I think you should go the slow and steady route. 


#8 Melia

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 08:03 PM

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Thank you Frog!  What are brain zaps I keep hearing about here?  Im not exactly sure what the drug did for me when I was taking it.  I guess it helped migraine bc I have not taking sumatriptan since November but other than that, Im not sure how it really helped me.  I'm very nervous after reading so much here.  I am afraid my family won't understand if I get irritable etc.  My husband told me I should not read this stuff here.  


#9 Melia

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 07:27 AM

My upper body joints hurt this morning and my hands hurt.  Ive noticed in the past two days when I take a shower my hands are very sensitive to the hot water.  If it is too hot, I get a prickly feeling in them,.  Is this a side effect perhaps?  


#10 fishinghat

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 08:44 AM

Those re common symptoms of withdrawal. Brain zaps are a feeling of electric shock going through the brain. While normally not painful they are very


#11 frog

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 03:38 PM

FH got cut off... oops. 

 

Brain zaps are like this electric feeling in your brain, literally like a zap, like a bolt of lightning. For me they would happen if I moved my head. Mine weren't that bad and they went away fairly quickly, but I know others get these very intensely, not just on Cymbalta but on other SNRIs and even SSRIs. They are very common. 

 

Since Cymbalta is often prescribed to stop nerve pain, it makes sense that it could cause nerve related side effects as you taper like the sensitivities you're describing. What is your current taper schedule?  Some people find it helpful to keep a journal during this process so you can record your dosage, how you feel, if you have any side effects, whatever else you find helpful. That way you can track your progress. 

 

Also I somewhat agree with your husband, I think if you read too much of the detailed accounts of what others have been through you might find yourself looking for things that aren't there. I've read lots of stories here that terrified me, but ultimately did not mirror my experience thankfully. With that said I do think it's good that you're now armed with some basics because a lot of people end up here because their doctor advised them to taper way too fast and never explained that some people are sensitive to these medications and just need to go slowly and more gradually. 

 

Anyway don't stress too much about any of the side effects you've read about here. The brain zaps and irritability are very common, as is an increase in anxiety but I feel like everything else varies from person to person. Everyone's different so it makes no sense to compare yourself to anyone else. Just do your best to prep your family that while you're tapering it's possible that you will not feel so well some days, or get snappy for no reason, and that they should try to not take any of it personally. If you like and trust your doctor, maybe keep her posted that you want to go slower so you can get support from her if any of the side effects become too tough. Otherwise this forum is always here to ask questions, or just to vent!


#12 fishinghat

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 04:23 PM

I was going to say "...aggravating.  then the website crashed,.


#13 invalidusername

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 05:21 PM

Brain zaps are the most difficult thing to describe, but everyone who feels them for the first time and is not aware of them gets one hell of a shock!

 

They are also called "reboots", "brain shivers" and many other things, but it feels like someone has restarted your brain. All function seems to cease for a half-second. My primary doctor hadn't even heard of them and he has been practising for 25 years!! Go figure!


#14 DThiessen

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 03:22 PM

I had the skin thing you described I would avoid hot water at this time as it only aggravates. It is part of a group of abnormal sensations called paraesthesia very commo

#15 Melia

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 06:26 AM

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I am having trouble sleeping.  Is this common when tapering?


#16 invalidusername

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 08:07 AM

 

I am having trouble sleeping.  Is this common when tapering?

 

 

Very much so. It is all down to the imbalance in the production of serotonin - and by extension - melatonin which regulates our sleep pattern. Far from ideal, but rest for now knowing that most people get to this point during a taper and it will pass. The key is to remember that it is a passing phase, not a permanent condition - certainly something that does not require medication. If it becomes bothersome, there are a few remedies that can be used such as valerian or liquid melatonin.

 

Let us know how it goes.


#17 frog

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 12:40 PM

I agree with IUN that as much as you can you should avoid taking any medication for sleep. 

Unfortunately for me my trouble sleeping turned into full blown insomnia, couldn't fall asleep all night, so my psych NP put me on low dose Seroquel (a sedative) well it worked which is great but of course now my body is used to not having to do any work to go to sleep. I tried to cut the dose by a quarter and couldn't sleep for 2 nights. My primary care doctor and pharmacist both said that's very common. So now I have that to look forward to when I decide I'm ready to take on that taper. 

 

Long story short, if you're not struggling with major insomnia, I would caution you to stay away from any medication. It's just another taper for you to look forward to later...


#18 Mxpro32

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 03:32 PM

 

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I am having trouble sleeping.  Is this common when tapering?

 

 

yep.  my insomnia was insufferable, and I had never had trouble falling or staying asleep in my life.  I couldn't fall asleep without xanax, and I'd wake up in panic 4 hours later.  I also recommend going without any sleep drugs if at all possible.  I was taking xanax to fall asleep and another when I woke up.  then I switched to klonopin because it lasts longer and was taking that for 4 months.  now I'm having to taper off of the klonopin which is a walk in the park compared to the cymbalta, but its still not fun.  as far as the insomnia, focus on how you feel, not how much sleep you are getting.  stressing about not getting the full 8 hours just adds stress.   

 

I agree with the idea of not reading too much into others symptoms.  if you have symptoms of withdrawal, they will be severe enough you won't have to question where they are coming from.  I imagine your experience won't be as severe as others because you were only on it for 12 months.  some people have mild withdrawals even after being on it for years.  are you experiencing any emotional issues?  not to scare you, but my worst symptoms started 2 weeks after my last dose.  I tapered too fast though.  for that reason, I would taper as slow as possible.  

 

final advice, acceptance and patience.  you will get better, it just won't be linear, and it may not be as fast as you'd like.  I don't blame your husband for thinking we are kooks, but I do agree that you shouldn't go looking for symptoms.  hopefully he is supportive if you have severe symptoms.  


#19 invalidusername

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 05:59 PM

Way to scare the shit out of the newly withdrawn MX :P





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