View Full Version : Wary of trying Cymbalta - any advice?


ShamanDrum
09-21-11, 07:17 AM
I have been diagnosed with ADD a few years ago and have been prescribed several medications since to combat it.

I've tried Dexedrine, Ritalin and Strattera.

Dexedrine made me wired, paranoid and apathetic. Ritalin had the least side effects related to mood, but while helping me sit still, it made me feel foggy and caused me to daydream.

Strattera was the most effective in terms symptom control. It really felt like the ADD was suddenly switched off in my brain, but alas, it made me emotionally flat and irritable 24/7. Pity, as it worked miracles in so many other ways.

Now my pdoc wants to put me on Cymbalta for the ADD and the anxiety that comes part and parcel with it, but I'm very wary of going on any medication with a serotonin reuptake mechanism of action, whether SSRIs or SNRIs. All the horror stories I've heard from other people - mainly on internet forums and such - has left me mistrustful of these meds; horror stories of nightmarish withdrawals, lasting weeks, months or in some cases even years; the notorious brain zaps and feelings of hopelessness, not to mention headaches/migraines.

When I raised my concerns with my pdoc, he got a bit irritated that I've been reading "such cr@p" on the internet, as he put it. He implied, not in so many words, that he's the doctor with 6 years of medical school and even more years of experience in the field and that I should trust him. He said most of his patients found weaning off Cymbalta easy. But that goes against EVERYTHING I've been reading.

Now I can fully appreciate his point that information on the internet is anecdotal and sketchy at best and hysterical at worst, but when there is a tsunami of posts from people who describe the rollercoaster ride through the bowels of hell that Cymbalta withdrawal can be, it leaves me feeling a little concerned.

He has also pointed out that almost all discussion of anti-depressant medication on the internet has been hijacked by Scientologists. Perhaps this is partly true, especially with respect to some of the anti-pharmaceutical industry vids on youtube, but I'm sure that all those 1000s of posts I've skimmed through over the last few weeks from people who wished they never even heard of Cymbalta can't all have been part of a religious conspiracy.

I'm willing to try any new med if there is any chance I can get my ADD and anxiety under control, but I want to make sure any path I go down is not a one-way journey.

Am I being overly cautious? Anyone out there with Cymbalta experience? Anyone out there experienced Cymbalta withdrawals, especially after being on it for a long time? Were they really that bad? Any long lasting effects? Did you make it back unscathed?

And did Cymbalta help anyone with ADD/Anxiety? If so are you still on it?

Cheers.

hollywood
09-22-11, 09:15 PM
Yes. Give it a shot , it may just help. I do hink cymbalta works. Just the lethargy, lack of motivation. Sleepiness, and sluggishness that is bad about it. Other than that and the constant sleep attacks its outstanding.

pianoraindream
09-22-11, 09:56 PM
Definitely give it a try, it DOES help...

Here's what i will say... It tends to have an adjustment period (physically...) for some it's worse than others... For me, it felt like I had a case of the flu/cold.. and I had almost no energy... However, this WILL fade. Also, in the first 2-3 days you will feel dizzy/confused... Rest assured, this fades pretty quickly.

Also, you need to start on at LEAST 20 mg... (this is usually just to see how your body will handle the med)... After you adjust to that they will probably move you up to 60 MG as this is the dosage Cymbalta says is therapeutic for depression.

Let me know if you have any questions... :)

ShamanDrum
09-26-11, 11:16 PM
Thanks @hollywood, @pianoraindream.

I've been very eager to try Cymbalta due to the so many positive things so many say about it. And I had some success with Strattera, an NRI, so perhaps an SNRI might do the trick.

My only real concern is, if I choose to stop it will I get some of the nightmarish withdrawals, which for some seem to last a long time, if I'm to believe what I read by anonymous strangers on various forums.

But I guess I'll stop fretting and just jump in and try it. Strattera made me fatigued and constantly tired and sleepy, but those side effects almost completely disappeared after a few weeks so there's no reason to believe the same won't happen with Cymbalta.

The only concern my pdoc had was that since Strattera made me emotionally flat, Cymbalta might do the same, although it's not written in stone he said.

Also, I'm VERY sensitive to almost all drugs and medications, so I'm tempted to actually start with a lower dose than 20mg by splitting the pill and counting the grains as I've heard some do. Will talk to my pdoc about that as well.

Wish me luck.

hollywood
09-27-11, 09:07 AM
thats what I'm doing, you say straterra made you tired ? Yet, only for a few weeks right? Well, it's my first day on cymbalta 10mg and I feel fine. I was having sleep issues , so I had a sleep study done and now am on cpap. Nobody caught it because I'm fit ... Oh well, I also have asthma which was making me really tired, I guess I was struggling to breath at night and asthma inflamed my lungs and nose and lead to alot of sinus issues. Well, so far so good. I can actually say we all have other things going on and you never know what is causing what sometimes. You just have to understand when you don't feel well, it's not because you enjoy complaining, in my experience its always something undetected.

KronarTheBlack
09-27-11, 09:20 AM
I currently take 60 mg of Cymbalta in the morning, 120mg of Strattera in the morning, and if I add 32mg of Concentra most of my ADHD symptoms are gone except for working memory problems. The Problem is I am living in South Africa atm (because I am sponsoring my wife and son to come live in Canada) and cannot get Vynase or Adderall XR which work much better for me. But I have to take what I can get. I am going to try and lower the dose of Cymbalta because it was mainly there for anxiety but I only had the anxiety because of the ADHD.

sarahsweets
09-27-11, 09:39 AM
Cymbalta changed my life for my BPII and anxiety. Any medication like ssri or snri will have withdrawl effects however if it works for you would you want to stop?

ShamanDrum
09-27-11, 08:27 PM
@hollywood, yeah, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what's causing what sometimes. Certainly I have ADHD, but I also have occasional anxiety when brought on by stress due to my ADHD which exacerbates the symptoms along with causing problems of its own. I also suspect I may have a mild form of dyslexia, although am not sure if that isn't just a symptom of ADHD. I also found that alcohol, cigarettes and other intoxicants can obscure the therapeutic effects of medications. Which is why I've decreased my intake of all those things along with giving up cigarettes completely several months ago. I find that the same medications I have taken after doing this work more evenly with less side-effects.

@KronarTheBlack, I'm surprised you've been prescribed an NRI along with an SNRI, and a stimulant on top of that. If I took that cocktail I'd probably be found howling at the moon under a bridge somewhere looking like a washed up rock star. But then again, 10mg of Strattera made me feel like I was on speed 24/7. Funny how these meds effect everyone so differently.

@sarahsweets, I live by the creed of hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Assuming I discover Cymbalta just isn't for me after a couple of months of use, will getting off it become a whole new nightmare on top of already living with ADD/Anxiety? My pdoc doesn't seem to think so, and reports on the net appear to be mixed. Some say they got brain zaps/depression for months following cessation, others find it was really easy to quit, although the kooks at the Church of Scientology might have had a lot to do with the negative posts, which just confuses things more. I suspect the truth is somewhere in between, but I just wanted some peace of mind.

KronarTheBlack
09-27-11, 08:50 PM
@KronarTheBlack, I'm surprised you've been prescribed an NRI along with an SNRI, and a stimulant on top of that. If I took that cocktail I'd probably be found howling at the moon under a bridge somewhere looking like a washed up rock star. But then again, 10mg of Strattera made me feel like I was on speed 24/7. Funny how these meds effect everyone so differently

I used to be on 120mg cymbalta (mad me feel like a zombie in a way) but since I had tried my ADHD meds I am trying to see if I really even need the 60mg a day. I am in the process of going to 40 mg then 20mg then 0 mg a day. It was originally prescribed for anxiety and it really didn't have much effect on that for me. I was also originally on 2 mg Xanax XR as well for anxiety. My ADHD meds totally get rid of my anxiety so I already dropped the Xanax and now I am seeing if I can drop the cymbalta.

I had side effects from the cymbalta when I started for a few days but they were tolerable and then went away.

hollywood
09-27-11, 09:49 PM
Hoping it helps my anxiety

Multineeds
10-02-11, 12:11 AM
I've bee taken off my stimulant meds because of abuse. Now doc has me on 10mg Cymbalta. I have depression and add and back/knee pain. Wow! Cymbalta is a pain reliever at 10 mg. Mild ssri at 10 mg, little to none on the add part. Persistently asking doc to up dosage of Cymbalta. I miss my stimulants. To bad but I am unable to contain my abusive ways so I will take what I can get.

hollywood
10-02-11, 11:05 AM
Why what do you do take all of them at once? Is cymbalta sedating ? Do you feel tired near time your supposed to dose? Meaning maybe I feel odd when I am close to it wearing off?

hollywood
10-04-11, 04:39 PM
I cannot seem to take ssri's properly . I feel confused and don't know whats' going on? Sometimes I feel like I may have been unhappy to warrant taking an ssri, but then I feel side effects on virtually nothing. Am I making a mistake taking terribley low doses which basically prevent me from having the full anti anxiety benefit ? I don't know how to titrate and have something good or benefit? Is a low dose and bad side effects a sign that it doesn't work or that it's just way too low of a dose?

ShamanDrum
10-04-11, 09:11 PM
How many different SSRI's/SNRI's have you tried @hollywood? And for how long have you tried each? Maybe the ones you've tried aren't for you if you're already feeling side effects that don't go away at such low doses.

Maybe SSRI's in general don't agree with you (but you'd need to try the whole range before you come to that conclusion). I've heard of people trying several different ones and finally finding the right one after the 4th or 5th try.

If you're talking specifically about Cymbalta... perhaps you may need to take a larger dose before the norepenephrine re-uptake takes full therapeutic effect, taking away the fatigue and giving you more energy, if that's the side effect you're mainly talking about.

Probably some good questions to ask the pdoc.

Something similar happened to me on Strattera; it had sooo many good therapeutic effects and all but annihilated my ADHD, but the lack of motivation and emotional flatness were too much, so I stopped taking it. If you're feeling demotivated and flat on a med, it's very likely that it's simply not the right one for you.

hollywood
10-04-11, 09:38 PM
I am not sure. I think cymbalta decreased my tuning into negative thoughts and gave way to things I am interested in. Yet, I do think it was on higher doses.

IhasAnExcuse
10-10-11, 01:21 AM
I was switched to Cymbalta back in March/April. I was put on 60mg a day and was having trouble staying awake so the doc dropped it to 30mg a day about 3 months ago & waking up isn't as hard but I would still prefer to sleep than get up.

I also get the brain zaps if I miss a dose. It takes about 4hrs for that to start so sometimes even if it is several hours after missing my dose I take it anyway then take my pill on time the next day...assuming I remember. I'd rather do that then deal with the flu like symptoms & brain zaps.

I am feeling "flat" again so I think we need to try another med for the anxiety/depression. I was on Celexa, then Effexor, & now Cymbalta. Each one has helped the depression/anxiety but I always end up feeling flat.

For ADHD I started out with a non-stim drug that I only took for 4 days b/c I vomited for those 4 days straight. My doc switched me to Vyvance 20mg & that is what I have been taking since Jan of 2009.

Vyvance amazes me! Even at such a low dose. I remember so much more than I could ever before. The ability to focus & actively listen to others is wonderful.

Before Vyvance if I got into an argument I couldn't remember what I said from one second to the next or what my BF was arguing with me about. We fought a lot. He was an a-hole too & thankfully he isn't around anymore. Now I can clearly & concisely argue my point & not forget what I am talking about or why. LOL I have to laugh at myself when I think back to the confusion before the medication.

FocusPocus10
12-10-14, 04:55 PM
I have been diagnosed with ADD a few years ago and have been prescribed several medications since to combat it.

I've tried Dexedrine, Ritalin and Strattera.

Dexedrine made me wired, paranoid and apathetic. Ritalin had the least side effects related to mood, but while helping me sit still, it made me feel foggy and caused me to daydream.

Strattera was the most effective in terms symptom control. It really felt like the ADD was suddenly switched off in my brain, but alas, it made me emotionally flat and irritable 24/7. Pity, as it worked miracles in so many other ways.

Now my pdoc wants to put me on Cymbalta for the ADD and the anxiety that comes part and parcel with it, but I'm very wary of going on any medication with a serotonin reuptake mechanism of action, whether SSRIs or SNRIs. All the horror stories I've heard from other people - mainly on internet forums and such - has left me mistrustful of these meds; horror stories of nightmarish withdrawals, lasting weeks, months or in some cases even years; the notorious brain zaps and feelings of hopelessness, not to mention headaches/migraines.

When I raised my concerns with my pdoc, he got a bit irritated that I've been reading "such cr@p" on the internet, as he put it. He implied, not in so many words, that he's the doctor with 6 years of medical school and even more years of experience in the field and that I should trust him. He said most of his patients found weaning off Cymbalta easy. But that goes against EVERYTHING I've been reading.

Now I can fully appreciate his point that information on the internet is anecdotal and sketchy at best and hysterical at worst, but when there is a tsunami of posts from people who describe the rollercoaster ride through the bowels of hell that Cymbalta withdrawal can be, it leaves me feeling a little concerned.

He has also pointed out that almost all discussion of anti-depressant medication on the internet has been hijacked by Scientologists. Perhaps this is partly true, especially with respect to some of the anti-pharmaceutical industry vids on youtube, but I'm sure that all those 1000s of posts I've skimmed through over the last few weeks from people who wished they never even heard of Cymbalta can't all have been part of a religious conspiracy.

I'm willing to try any new med if there is any chance I can get my ADD and anxiety under control, but I want to make sure any path I go down is not a one-way journey.

Am I being overly cautious? Anyone out there with Cymbalta experience? Anyone out there experienced Cymbalta withdrawals, especially after being on it for a long time? Were they really that bad? Any long lasting effects? Did you make it back unscathed?

And did Cymbalta help anyone with ADD/Anxiety? If so are you still on it?

Cheers.

Hijacked by scientologists, lol what :lol:

JPM's Mom
12-31-14, 10:47 AM
I took it for 4 days and lost a whole month. It poisoned my system. But everyone is different and I am very sensitive to meds.

MrsNewton
01-05-15, 10:22 PM
I have had a great experience with it. I'm on 60mgs and it works great for my anxiety.

Robin.B.P
03-04-15, 02:25 AM
I was on Cymbalta for 18 months, and 60mg gave me anxiety. While Vyvanse alone takes it away, its for shure a weird thing.