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Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms Being Kept Secret? (Personal Story Inside)

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posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 09:13 PM
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reply to post by Tentickles
 


Well stated and thought-out post Tentickles.

Thank you for making that accessible to those of us with little understanding of depression and it's many forms.





posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 09:48 PM
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I haven't read this whole thread. only the OP and first page but I wanted to respond because I take cymbalta and have also gone off cymbalta so want to pass on what I learned.

First of all, I have suffered from depression all my life but managed without medication for decades, until I entered menopause. At that time the hormonal fluctuations made it impossible to deal with so I started taking hormones and antidepressant. Now, about 15 years later, I have left hormones behind and have changed antidepressants a couple of times, ending up with cymbalta about 3 years ago, which worked extremely well.

all drugs have side effects, including cymbalta, but the side effects seemed less horrible than being depressed.

about a year and a half ago, I decided to go off. I had changed many things in my life to the better and thought maybe i didn't need it. i felt good.

I went to half dose for two months, then nothing. Weaning off involved the brain zaps which are strange and scary and extremely poor judgment but nothing too terrible until i went off completely. when I say extremely poor judgment, i mean about fairly small things. taking a route to get somewhere that much worse than the one i normally did. spending money strangely, stuff like that. nothing disastrous. I knew that would pass.

when I went off completely I had total insomnia and extreme anxiety about everything and nothing. This went on for four months. I kept believing things were improving by concentrating on one thing at a time but in fact my depression had returned and although I was not suicidal, I knew my life was over and waited to die. the days and nights were endless.

eventually my son, a physician, recognized what was going on and asked me to fill out some symptom inventories. i'm sure you can find them online. I did one for anxiety and depression and discovered that i had gone back to experiencing many of the things i'd suffered for years without quite realizing it because I wanted to be okay and not need a drug.

Getting back on medication was a chore because it takes me a full 6 weeks to get the antidepressant effect, but my life has improved dramatically. not perfect but much better.

I realize that you have fibromyalgia rather than depression but those are just terms that don't describe accurately. If cymbalta was helping you, you have an inbalance it corrects. I realize that you went off involuntarily, but instead of seeing this drug as the culprit I urge you to go back on. I realize you can't afford it. maybe you can take effexor, which is supposed to be similar and is generic. you can probably afford that one. I would also urge you to check with the drug company to see if they would help you out with a supply. the commercials claim they do that! don't know if it's true.

be careful of all the people who will tell you about the evil drug. they might not have a condition that is helped by it, and they cannot possibly know how miserable life can be without it, and how much your quality of life can improve with it.

my son said this: you might be able to eventually get to the point where you can get along without it, but you will spend a great deal of energy just trying to cope with every day life. why spend all that energy if this drug can allow you to spend that energy on other things.

what people who don't have the internal problem don't know is that we aren't seeking a panacea, a cure for being blue. this is much worse. fibromyalgia consumes your life. if cymbalta, or any other drug, can help you, TAKE IT! pay no attention to those naysayers. it's your life and you deserve to live it as well as you can.



posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 10:14 PM
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quit taking that crap years ago,,, though my doctor still prescribes them each month,,,, so now i empty the capsules out and use them for filling with baking soda to keep my ph up and taking other herbs that are nasty to swallow or take in



your right,,, the withdraw is horrible,,,,,, and while on it i was a zombie and terribly fatigued



posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 11:11 PM
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reply to post by Tentickles
 


I don't know Tentickles you found your way here, your not inside the neat society box already for whatever reasons, I think to say there is inherently something wrong with your brain and that needs to be treated with chemicals (which may not even be aimed at fixing the particular problem in question, which in reality your doctors may never know), is a dangerous track to go down.

Psychological health and well being is an ever evolving set of theories, and big pharma do not have your best interest at heart, and ever year more and more of our doctors become nothing more than sales rep for big pharma rather than doing what they should be doing in looking at ways to really help their patients.

You cant blame the doctors but the system is messed up, be very sure of what your doing, you'd be amazed what control you can exert yourself, through conditioning.



posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 12:18 AM
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Originally posted by Tentickles
reply to post by dodadoom
 


Thank you dodadoom.

Believe me after this I will be looking very long and hard into never having to take a big pharma drug again.

I am will be calling my lawyer in the morning.


I feel for you Tentickles! You are not alone in this swindle, more closer to the norm? My only advice is to research herbal remedies to, not only your withdrawal symptoms, but your original needs too.

I have been noticing this trend for awhile now. Pharma groomed docs look more and more to be turning into glamorized drug pushers. Everyone I know is either, on some horribly addictive maintenance drug, or has been harassed by their doctor to try one. My aunt is a zombie since she agreed to one and my mother was solicited at her last visit.

I also learned this the hard way after a shoulder injury. While being treated for some torn tendons in my shoulder, my doc created for me a pain killer addiction? I actually used the pills less frequently than prescribed, yet still ended up with an addiction that basically is exactly that of a heroine one? This infuriated me and has been impossible to shake. As a small business owner, maintaining this without insurance quickly becomes a $400-$600 per month habit. The worst part is the amount needed just to feel normal is far beyond what your liver can handle and will destroy you eventually!

My doctors solution was a maintenance drug. He told me it would be cheaper, way easier to get off of, and wouldn't tax my liver? Turns out it is only fractionally cheaper, but way harder to stop taking. I have been on it for over a year now and have difficult side effects. It seems to be enlarging my prostrate, creating intestinal problems, and makes it near impossible to awaken in the morning.

Everyone should know that this is an epidemic! Drug makers are lobbying doctors to push these forever drugs on everyone. Anyone that doubts this only needs to ask family and friends. You may be shocked at the results.



posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 06:44 AM
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reply to post by Yummy Freelunch
 


I started to have the hormonal change panic attacks two years ago that put me in the ER several times in a year, with high blood pressure to 180, I got rid of the frequency and even been able to stop them as soon I feel one is coming.

I practice heavy meditation at least one hour a day and before going to bed as the panic attacks were always during the night.

I also practice EFT is emotional freedom technique it takes times to master but it works for any emotional issues and more.

If you are interested this the link to information on how to get started.

www.emofree.com...

Their site is www.emofree.com...

Trust me is works when nothing else does.



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by Xeven
pritiq alone only improved my mood, but once I started taking Vyvance along with it, I gained energy and motivation.

Will it work for everyone? Maybe not but it might if you have tried everything else.


Yeah, it would work for just about everyone that wanted "more energy". Vyvance is speed, and can also be hard to get a script for.



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 04:17 PM
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Any SSRI, when abruptly stopped, can have a withdrawal syndrome associated with it. When this occurs, most doctors prescribe Prozac to deal with these symptoms. Not every body experiences withdrawal, but when you do, it's very scary. Paxil and Cymbalta are the worse, although depending on the individual, any of them (the SSRI's) can cause them.

Anybody who says depression can be turned off "like the flip of a switch" is talking about "the blues", or some type situational depression. (THis reminds me of what Tom Cruise said about post-natal depression). Remember, he eventually apologized for those remarks.

Just no understanding whatsoever.

Clinical major depressive episodes, and even milder forms of depression called dysthymia, generally require medications and these can be life-savers for people who suffer with these disorders.

Please talk to your physician about another medication which will end the "zaps". I don't want to scare anybody, and it probably won't happen, but there is small incidence of seizure that has been associated with these "zaps", as it is electricity gone amuck in your brain. Most doctors, as I said above, prescribe Prozac to get you through the withdrawal as it has a longer half-life.

It's scary. Call your doctor, okay?



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by Sonya610
 


I just made the same recommendations you did. Sorry, didn't see your post until after. But yes, I think it is the way to go also. And it wouldn't have to be for a long time....just to get through the withdrawal. Hopefully there won't be any side effects from the Prozac. It's got it's little problems also, but at least not as severe as what is going on now.



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 05:35 PM
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Great post! I was on Cymbalta for for neuropathy and anxiety. All of these type of medications have terrible side effects and potential w/d symptoms. Luckily I was able to come off of the Cymbalta pretty easily but I have suffered intense, nearly deadly w/d from benzo's and that was with a supposedly safe chemical detox


Truth of the matter is, while we may find relief in a pill, there is always a price to pay, whether it be side effects or w/d symptoms...it's all awful. Sadly, for too many of us, there is no easy answer. You suffer with or you suffer without. The manufacturers will never be truthful. The government isn't trust worthy enough to regulate them. There are no means to protect us from the dangers of all these things.

I still suffer from intense anxiety but I am so paranoid about taking meds now (after my experiences) that I just have a few drinks instead (I know, I know, not the best solution...but w/e)

My heart goes out to everyone caught in this cycle. There is no good answer, no really great alternative. The one reassurance is that we can all come here to ATS and try to give eachother a little support.



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 07:38 PM
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Late joining into the discussion here, but I too so sympathise with anyone having to go through Cymbalta withdrawals. I've had every horrid symptom on this board. I am now three weeks off the drug and FINALLY beginning to feel somewhat like myself. Fortunately I don't need it for depression (Chronic pain is my foe) and it did nothing to actually alieve my chronic pain. Sleep is hard to come by and that is the reason I was first put on an SSRI and then an SSNRI by my doc.

I'll suffer through the sleep problems because I am now a self-employed, empty-nester who can tailor my days around my varying sleep issues. Coming off the stuff is nasty and needs to be done carefully. Although I must say that even with controlled weaning and eventual stoppage, I still experienced withdrawal so I don't think there is any easy way to escape it. Willpower is a strong thing and self-preservation is a strong incentive.

After reading all of the posts I guess it comes down to whether or not your situation merits treatment with SSRI's or SSNRI's. Everyone is different. I'll be the LAST to judge anyone's medical or pharmaceutical needs.

Lesson learned for me is that I am finally becoming more responsible about the medications I take and those that doc suggests I take. I'm learning a lot and taking a lot of things into my own hands versus the "objective" hands of a doc who is pressured by pharm. reps on a daily basis.

In the case of medications, LESS IS ALWAYS MORE. If you don't absolutely NEED it, don't take it. If you are already on multiple medications, weigh the severity of each presenting symptom and consider eliminating the drug or drugs you are taking for the least severe symptom/problem. Once you start eliminating various drugs you will find whether or not you can live without that drug. For me it was fairly simple. Cymbalta was prescribed to allow me to sleep through severe chronic pain. It was not treating symptoms for chronic pain. I decided that varying sleeplessness was an inconvenience but not as big as a problem as my severe pain issue. I dumped the Cymbalta.

I guess a realization came to me last winter when I was in the Costa Rican jungle and was told that major U.S. pharmacies spend millions of dollars in the CR economy studying rainforest plants and more recently buying up huge tracts of land to grow these species for U.S. drug companies. If the mega drug companies are finally turning back to plant based remedies, couldn't we all?? I realize that they compound them differently and often intensify or alter their composition, but something in the original plant carries properties drug makers are finding to be helpful.

So, I've been spending time learning more about herbs and tonics made from herbs and will see if that is an alternative route for me.

Since I would like to help to anyone else reading this forum I will tell you that I was first on 30 mg. of Cymbalta at bedtime. Never jumped to 60 mg. pharm co. pushes docs to recommend. Decided to quit and emptied out half of beads and took those capsules for 4 weeks, i.e. 15 mgs. You cannot get less than 20mg. of this pill from pharmacy so you either have to calculate the beads inside yourself or take them to a compounding pharmacist who can or will do it for you. Finally told my doc I was quitting and he suggested the typical route of taking one capsule every other day then every third day, etc. That did not work so i just stopped.

I have found the only way to stop is to STOP. Only the process of days gone by will return your body to normal. Saw on a forum that Benedryl helps with the headaches and nausea, and that did work for me. I also ramped up the vitamins, B12 complex and Omega 3 oils as suggested on the same forum. I slept A LOT the first two weeks and went in and out of bed most of the days. I am now doing OK and have not taken the Benedryl for three days. Hopefully I am at the end of this horrid period in my life. PATIENT BEWARE!



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 07:41 PM
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I've taken cymbalta before -- and withdrawing from it is a lot like having the flu for a solid month (or longer).

You definitely DON'T want to go off this stuff cold turkey. Sometimes it's inevitable, though.

BTW, I'm RX free now, and couldn't be happier.



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 07:58 PM
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You know what's always perplexed me about anti-depressants is how can a drug change what you are thinking about.

I've suffered from depression and I've tried anti-depressants but I gave up on them after about 3 months because they were having no effect on me at all. It was then, that got me thinking why would I take drugs to give me a false feeling of being happy when the unhappy thoughts still remain, it's not going to solve anything as when you stop the drugs you're still unhappy.

So for me to fight my depression, I got off my arse and went & did things to actively combat it, be it going out and having fun with friends and also getting myself back into education.

4 years ago I thought it was the end for me with no future prospects at all but doom & gloom, alot of bad stuff happened, and I'd just lost my girlfriend and I was as low as I could possibly be, I was a complete screw up and it was all my own fault mostly. But I bounced back and I'm now starting University in September at 26 (I thought I was too late at the time for going to uni), just completed an Access course in computer studies were I finished top in the college with an average above 90% and will hopefully finish degree in 4 years time with a first and go on to do a masters.

I've rambled off the track abit here, I personally think anti-depressants are a waste of time, they do nothing to solve the psychological problems at all and are only a band-aid solution to deep routed issues which only yourself can sort out.Finding the problem is the difficult thing, once you've found it, it becomes easy to find a solution.

In regards to addictiveness, I've never had an addictive personality and I've experimented alot with certain chemicals but never once been addicted to any of them, so I guess it depends on the person and how addictive they can be to certain things, but for me I'm yet to find anything I'm addicted to and hope I never get addicted to anything although I believe being stubborn and having plenty of willpower helps



posted on Jul, 17 2009 @ 01:45 PM
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I was just hoping the OP would check back in here and give us an update on how he is feeling.



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by Tentickles
 

First I would like to say that I'm very glad that I stumbled across this website.

I currently administer a group on Facebook and more recently a Facebook page for Chronic Pain Sufferers. I started the group and page because in July of 2009, I slipped in some water that had leaked from a water fountain. At the time I weighed 345lbs and was 5' 5". I didn't even know what was happening becase it happened so fast and., before I knew it my right leg had gone out into a split and all of my weight landed on my left knee. At first I felt this excruciating electric like pain shooting from my knee down my shin and into my toes. There was also a similar sensation from my knee up my thigh and into my groing. Once the initial shock subsided, embarrassment set in and the pain in my knee had gone away and I actually didn't feel anything at all. Until, of course, 2 gentlemen started to help me off the floor and onto a chair. Again, with the electric type pain shooting in both directions followed by numbness and, by this time, tingling in my toes. I really wanted to be fine to walk because being that big and on the ground then into a chair in the middle of the lobby of a city auditorium filled with over 150 newly graduated army men and women as well as their families just was not were I wanted to be.

I tried to stand up with assistance to get to a chase like bench out of the center of the lobby and attention. As soon as I put my weight on my left leg, I knew that something was terribly wrong. My mom was frantic and asking me did I want to go to the ER. I hesitated but knew that it was quite possible my knee cap was shattered so decided to go just in case. So I go to the ER and they xray my knee and leg and the results came back that there were not any fractures . So I was basically told I had a severe contusion (bruise or blood in the subcutaneous tissue). I was given vicoden es and sent home and told it would probably hurt for a week or so but would eventually heal.

I get back home after an agonizing trip and 10 days later I'm still in tremendous pain which is not only NOT getting better it is getting worse. I call my PCP and then comes six months of trying to get a diagnosis and treatment. I was in physical therapy and could hardly participate unless I took a huge dose of Loritab 10/500 30 minutes before. Finally after going to my doctor and requesting to start over with referals to completely different doctors, I get a diagnosis of RSD/CRPS type II. I immediately start researching and reaized that I am basically screwed as this disease is incurrable and the prognosis of remission is slim to none unless you are treated within 3 to 6 months of the onset of symptoms and I was in the 9th month. I tried to stay optomistic though. I was put on Lyrica 75 mg 2xs a day. After the second dose I called my PCP's office crying out of joy for the first time in over 6 months. The Lyrica worked wonders. Then the doctors decided that they wanted to reduce the amount of Loritab 10/500 I was taking for breakthrough pain by taking me off of the Pristiq I was on for mild depression which I suffered as a co-morbid symptom of my ADHD as well as Anxiety. I thought great let's do it. I was prescribed Cymbalta 60mg daily to help with the nerve pain. Apparently the same part of your brain that manages depression manages pain and visa versa. Because your body eventually starts to build up some immunities to these medications, it wasn't long before the pain was rearing it's ugly head again. The Pain Management doctor decided to approach me about taking a low dose of Seroquel to "boost" the effectiveness of the Lyrica and Cymbalta. I had a friend that had basically freaked out shortly after being prescribed seroquel so I opted out of that. I'm really glad I did now.

My point now, these meds have helped me tremendously but I am on disability so my income is very tight. I couldn't afford even $30 for my Cymbalta rx this month and I am having withdrawl. How could I possibly consider ceasing this drug all together when it helps me so much with my pain? I plan to post a link to this page on my Facebook group and pages to make others aware of the possible side effects PRIOR to taking these meds. I also plan to closely follow the developments on this topic and continue researching it myself.

I will be sure to post whatever informaiton I find here and on my other sites. As the old after school song says, "Knowledge is Power!" We have to keep ourselves informed because it is clear that the pharmaceutical companies will not. I don't blame the doctors so much because they are simply trying to help their patients in most cases but you would think that they would research this prior to prescribing the meds. They have access to just as much (and probably more) information online as we do!!!



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 12:56 PM
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reply to post by hadriana
 


edit on 5-9-2011 by delgadoinpain because: Posted in the wrong area. Wanted to post to a specific comment.


I have to second that. I was in so much pain that I actually did try to commit suicide in December of 2009. I was tired of feeling like a burden to my family. I wanted to play with my little girls again, go to the park with them and my husband. In February of 2011 me and my husband separated and I believe it is largely contributed to the fact that I just could no longer be the wife, mother and lover that he fell in love with. I don't agree with his choice to give up because to me marriage vows are what they are and they say, "For better for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do you part!" But, I certainly understand how and why this happened. I fell into suck a depression and with my sole source of income (other than my disability) gone, I couldn't afford my meds for over a month. I wound up falling out unconscious at my five year olds birthday party after not having my meds for about a week (none of them, no cymbalta, no lyrica, no adderall, no diazepam, no loritab, no nothing) and I had also just moved to an upstairs apartment. It was horrible and at one point a nurse that was in the pizza/birthday place told my mom that she lost my pulse. This all while my five and three year old stood watch. I also have a 22 year old that was trying to keep it together for her little sisters.

My point is that not one person can judge any other person for the choices they make until they have walked in that person's shoes. There are sometimes things that we may think we understand or can empathize with but really we can't be cause we have no clue what it "really" feels like for that person. I lost my husband because he couldn't understand the pain that he couldn't see anymore and neither of us understood the magnitude that the medications were affecting me and my moods and many other aspects of my behaviors. So in hindsight, I wish that I would have done this research prior to taking the Cymbalta. However, I didn't and now I feel that not taking it at all would be far more dibilitating than taking it with regards to my pain.

I hope everyone finds what they need here or wherever your research takes you!!

edit on 5-9-2011 by delgadoinpain because: Reposting to comments



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by Tentickles
 


I feel your pain. I wish I could offer you a solution to your withdrawal symptoms but there isn't an easy solution out there. I was put on Cymbalta for IBS and even though I was on the lowest dose, I had the extreme withdrawal symptoms and brain shivers as well. I decided to take myself off of this crazy drug (without knowing any of the withdrawal symptoms). I ended up in the emergency room thinking I was dying! I left work and drove about a mile before I ended up pulling into a parking lot and calling an ambulance. They told me what I had was a panic attack. I honestly thought I was dying... What made me realize I was having problems to begin with and initially made me want to quit taking it, was my heart. To this day, I believe that the Cymbalta is what changed my heart beat. I had never had issues before with my heart. I had been hooked up to heart monitors 3 times during child births. I never had an irregular heart beat. My first EKG was totally whacked and they continued to be bad over the next few years. The EKG's looked like a child scribbling with crayons. Proud to say that on my last visit with my heart doctor, all of my results were much better than before. I think my ticker is slowly but surely returning to normal.


Did I mention that I HATE this drug and it's makers. I also detest the fact that doctors are prescribing it like candy without warning the patients BEFORE HAND of it's serious withdrawal effects. If I could suggest anything, I would say that the $300 cost is worth it when you are talking about your life. Coming off Cymbalta is not a "mind over matter" thing like if you were to quit smoking. It can have severe health effects. I personally think it is worth the cost of an ER visit to get it if you just have no other way to get the drug.

How I finally won the war with cymbalta

Against my pharmacist and my doctor's advice, I took the capsules apart and started counting out the little beads until I finally weened myself to zero beads. I read of others doing this on the internet and it finally worked. I have been cymbalta free for almost two years. I don't have the IBS problems anymore (I think it was all stress related).

I am not a physician and I'm not telling you what to do, but I wanted to share with you what finally helped me. I wish you were next door. I think I have some left around here somewhere.

Best of luck to you!!!



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 01:46 PM
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OP I had to stop taking Effexor for the same reason, no insurance. I heard or read somewhere about St John's Wort and gave it a try. It seemed to completely do away with the withdrawal symptoms I suffered after taking Effexor for about 2 years. I took it for no more than a month and felt fine. That was the last time I was on any script and do everything in my power to avoid a visit to the white coats. I don't trust them. I don't care how well intentioned they may be.



posted on May, 1 2012 @ 01:55 PM
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was taking excederine stress tabs, and excederine xtra strength for yrs. , no side effects, when the recall happened i contacted the commpany@1-800-452-0051, because i am having severe abdominal pain, acid ,with vomiting, sores in my mouth, and constant pain in the back of my neck. if anyone knows a lawyer who can help, please respond, because when i spoke with novartis, they said they would contact my dr. and they never did.



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