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StellaM

Cymbalta/Teens - Experiences ?

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I don’t know about teens, but my Mom used it for pain management. After 10 or so years, she decided to stop taking it and the next 12 months were horrible.  She described brain zaps, memory loss, constipation, suicidal thoughts, and headache.  During the process, she said strange and hurtful things that we didn’t understand until we started investigating and learned about Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms.  Getting off the drug was pure misery for my mom and the family.  

Edited by Heathermomster
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Not a teen here, but I used it for peripheral neuropathy for 15 years.  It helped my pain tremendously.  I wasn’t depressed, but figured any happy side effects couldn’t hurt.  I gained weight.  Libido tanked. 

But getting off?  Oh my.  I tried off and on for five years.  I was at a very high dose, and had to titrate down extraordinarily slowly.  At one point I was breaking open capsules and counting beads.  Sometimes I would take a break and stay at the same dose for months, to ease the withdrawal.  I wasn’t sure it was worth it, and contemplated staying on it forever just because the withdrawal was so bad.  The withdrawal is BRUTAL. (I believe that’s the first time I’ve ever used all caps on this board.). I finally got off completely 2 years ago.  The final push getting it out of my system - oh my gosh.  It took a good six months to be me again. 

The withdrawal symptoms were as Heathermomster described above, and they don’t sound horrible - but, holy cow, multiply what you think those words mean by 100.  There was also pain - muscular, dizziness, fatigue, and extreme irritability and irrational anger.  And the depression.  I don’t tend to depression, so that was a shock.  Suicidal thoughts are a big part of it, for everyone, from what I hear.

Doing the extremely slow titration lessened all of the above withdrawal symptoms, FWIW, and made it mostly bearable, with the exception of the last push through at the end.  That, I look back on and feel grateful to have survived.

To be honest, I would discourage anyone from getting on that drug unless you’ve tried every other option.

 

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Ok, that's good (if concerning) to know, as the plan was for ds to be on this drug from only 6-12 months. 

The problem is, his type of depression isn't so responsive to SSRI's, but more responsive to SNRI's - I wonder if the withdrawal problems are a feature of the class or just of this one drug. 

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I took cymbalta for nerve pain. It also got me through drivers ed with my daughter😳 I was on it for about a year and went off cold turkey. Yes, I did have withdrawal symptoms for about 2 weeks. I also gained about 20 lbs, which was really hard to take off. 

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Yeah....SNRI's are notorious for being difficult to get off of.  I finally got off of effexor, and that was hellish.  I don't know what a good solution is.  I'm a big believer in drugs if needed, but I've also sort of accepted that I will need to be on some drugs forever, and my 13 year old (after going off and back on a couple times) probably will also always need to be on an SSRI/ medication for anxiety.  

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48 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Yeah....SNRI's are notorious for being difficult to get off of.  I finally got off of effexor, and that was hellish.  I don't know what a good solution is.  I'm a big believer in drugs if needed, but I've also sort of accepted that I will need to be on some drugs forever, and my 13 year old (after going off and back on a couple times) probably will also always need to be on an SSRI/ medication for anxiety.  

 

Didn't know that; must share that with dd1 (who was also unresponsive to SSRI's but seems to be doing well on SNRI's). 

The withdrawal would be enough to make me say no if the poor kid didn't have such a strong family history of pretty severe depression, and if he didn't have a melancholic sub type. Those two factors raise the risk of doing nothing, and the second increases the risk of things like fluoxetine being a waste of time. Ugh. So hard to know. 

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Yeah....I understand.  I'm currently on a tricyclic, which is more comparable to SNRIs than SSRIs for withdrawal, but you have to weigh the risks and benefits, for sure.  

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