Anyone NOT have trouble getting off of an SSNRI?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by matthewson, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    I posed this question on another post, but thought I would start a separate post about this.

    I am considering going on Cymbalta and I was wondering if anyone had NOT had any problems coming off of an SSNRI like cymbalta and I think Effexor is too? I did not have a problem coming off of Zoloft and I was on 150 mg at one point. I don't tend to have a problem with side-effects of medications.

    Just wanting to have some input before I go on this.

    Thanks. Take care, Sally
  2. Dixie_Amazon

    Dixie_Amazon Member

    It was a pain to go and and a pain to get off of. There were side effects every time my dosage was increased. I am not planning on ever going on it again.
  3. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    I took Effexor (it is an ssnri as you thought) for about a year, was at a very high dose for a while. I gradually decreased the dose over the period of a few weeks and had no problems quitting. I think it is an individual thing - some people have a nightmare experience with withdrawal.
  4. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    We may have seen each other in the other post about SSRIs - or not.... but my recommendation is to do what you need to do to have a decent quality of life. That said, if it's necessary to take one at all, I'd only take an SSRI as a short-term measure. A month or so, not years. I think they should be and eventually will be used only in crisis situations unless they're compounded differently and then they'd be a different drug.

    You don't say how long you were on Cymbalta but this might also have a bearing. I was on an SSRI for two years - too long, in my opinion. Benzos are different somehow. Once you don't need them anymore, they are usually easier to quit. Would Xanax, Prozac or Klonopin be helpful to you instead? What's your goal (other than to feel human - lol)?

    Good luck with your decision.

    On the other hand, there's shootingstar with no problems with quitting. Guess it's one of those things you have to do to know.

    [This Message was Edited on 10/20/2006]
  5. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    I am currently not on any anti-d., but have been on zoloft in the past for up to 2 years. I had no trouble weaning off of it when I did. I went off of it when I started taking tramadol as I started to feel "wired" from both meds and thought it would help to get off of the zoloft. I was doing okay, but now I am having some marital issues and I need to go on an anti-d again and thought I would try cymbalta as I thought I might be able to go off of the tramadol if the cymbalta helped with pain.

    I know I see a lot of posts here about bad experiences with going off of anti-d's but I just kind of wanted to hear if there were people who did not have horror stories about going off of SSNRI's. When I was put on zoloft for depression, it was like I had been missing something for my whole life. It made me feel normal for the first time since I was 12! So, it must have corrected a definate chemical imbalance in my brain.

    I am sorry it didn't work out for you Dixie. I know that anti-d's are not for everyone and each person reacts differently to them. Thank you for posting your experience.

    Thank you shootingstar for your observations too. I don't tend to have bad reactions to meds, so maybe I won't with this drug either.

    I would like to hear from some more people about this issue as I need to make up my mind by Nov. when I have my appointment. I will try to bump this periodically for awhile.

    Thanks again to all of you. Sally

    Sorry, Marta, I didn't answer all of your questions. My husband and I are in marriage couciling right now and my whole family has said that they think I am slipping into depression again, even though I think it is more of a situational depression. My daughter is getting married in Dec. and I want to be able to cope with that and also with the whole marriage counciling thing. Rather than go on the zoloft again (which works well for me), I thought I might try the cymbalta with hopes of it helping with pain.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/20/2006]
  6. llama

    llama New Member

    Hi matthewson and all,

    I've been on and off Effexor about 3 times over the last about 7 years. Its really been the only thing that ever helped me even a little bit, but after a year or two it would stop helping. So I would be switched to something else, only to end up back on Effexor.

    Thankfully, I have very few side effects discontinuing the drug. Have about 7 to 10 days of nausea when restarting it.

    Just a side note, after 20+ years of being on all sorts of AD's about 3 months ago I went to a new therapist. She dx'd me with Bipolar-hypomania and started me on Lamictal, this is the best I've ever felt mentally! Keeping fingers crossed that it continues.

    Good luck to you...........Jill...........
    [This Message was Edited on 10/20/2006]
  7. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    The best anti-depressant I've been on is called Moclobomide. (In some countries it has a name that starts with an A, but I can't remember what it is.) It's made by Roche and is available in every country in the world except the U.S. (because it costs too much money to get it through the FDA here). The side effect profile is no different than a placebo. Great drug for me, worked well, no side effects at all. I got an original prescription in Holland and then persuaded my doctor (after it worked) to let me continue ordering it through a mail-order pharmacy in Canada. That's perfectly legal, although you have to pay the costs out-of-pocket. Let me know if you're interested and I can get you info on the pharmacy.

    The second-best anti-depressant I've been on is Wellbutrin. Most people that I know seem to agree with me on that. A few people do have side effects.

    All of the rest of them have been horrible.


    If I couldn't get Moclobomide and Wellbutrin had side effects, I'd try one or more of the following. (Check with your doctor and/or do research yourself first, of course.)

    St. John's Wort. (Be careful of sun sensitivity.)

    DLPA (aka dl-Phenylalynine; an amino acid that improves mood and helps pain; works on dopamine)

    L-Theanine (an amino acid that decreases the same way that meditation and green tea decrease anxiety, except in concentrated form)

    5-HTP (an amino acid that promotes a calm stable feeling with less sensitivity to Prozac, works on serotonin but without the SSRI's side effects)


    I suspect between these options (granted most of them not covered by insurance) you'll come up with something that works for you. And if you're thinking that this is just going to be needed short-term, the expense isn't going to be that great anyway. (Plus the good thing about the supplements is that they work within a few days at most rather than taking two or three weeks to kick in.)
  8. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Congratulations about the Lamictal. I know lots of people on it and they all seem to think it's a great drug. I've been on it for about eight years now, and it still is working perfectly fine. I don't even think of myself as having mood problems any more. (One disease down, one to go. This sounds facetious, but actually it was a real accomplishment for me.)

    Bipolar is woefully underdiagnosed, even now that doctors should be starting to know better. It seems like you're on the right track.

    BTW, are you taking the Lamictal on its own or with an anti-depressant? Lamictal gives a lift by itself, and so I've been able to get away with just it along with some supplements (DLPA, St. John's Wort and l-Theanine). After you settle in with the Lamictal, it might be worth considering anyway.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/20/2006]
  9. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    I would never, ever let anyone I love go on Cymbalta or Effexor unless there was no chance ever that they would have to go off it. It is awful.

    I am in the middle of going off Cymbalta, and on Tuesday, I got an emergency appointment with my PCP since my psychiatrist wasn't in, and got a prescription for a small dose of Prozac to help me while stopping Cymbalta...I've already gone off Effexor and it was horrible even replacing it with Cymbalta.

    Today, I feel a bit better. I am so relieved. Yesterday, I thought I was going to die...and I have felt like that for several weeks. My body hurt all over, etc. and sick to my stomach, electric-zappy feelings in my head, etc.

    I will get off. Haven't had any Cymbalta for a little over a week, and have been taking 10 mgs. of Prozac since Tuesday. I will stabalize on this for a bit and then cut it out and see what happens.

    I would never again take these meds. I have been on other AD's for about 9 years and I have never had any problem switching or stopping.

    They say these are not addictive...they aren't literally, but at one point, I wanted to go to a hospital to get help.

    Anyway, just my two cents. I would say that if you have any choice, I would take that.

    My best wishes to you.

  10. llama

    llama New Member

    Hi lisapetrison and all,

    Wow, eight years on Lamictal, that sounds encouraging, I hope it's still effective for me that long.

    I just weaned myself off Effexor over the last month and would like to not get back on the AD train! I guess I'll just have to see how I manage without an AD.

    What I fear is that because I've been depressed my whole life (earliest memories suggest depression ) my personality has been so heavily influenced by the disorder that I don't know if I'll ever truly be able to process anything in my brain without that taint/jaded etc. edge to it that depression always provided. My family and friends won't know me...hehe.

    Thanks for your reply and concern...wishing you continued success with the supplements etc. that you've chosen.
  11. llama

    llama New Member

    Hi Hayleycole and all,

    Glad to hear that you are also having success with Lamictal. Thanks for offering the info. regarding Dr. Goldstein's GABA theory, but I have read some of it and just general info on neurotransmitters that have gone awry!

    I need to read more though, but as you know, thanks to fibro fog you think you captured all the info, but then later realize you didn't retain as much as you thought!

    Good Luck to you and thanks again........Jill...........
  12. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    I took 60 mg of cymbalta for 4 months for FM pain. It didn't help and my copay was high so I decided, on my own, to quit taking it cold turkey. The only side effect I had was a nightmare one night. That's it... period.

  13. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    I was on an SSRI for a year or so. I dumped it in the garbage one day and never had any withdrawl or anything like that.

    That was just my experience, but I am sure others have had differenet reactions.

  14. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I was once on Prozac for a while and had no problem getting off either. It's the Effexor-type drugs that I've heard horror stories about.
  15. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    Thank you all for your opinions on these anti-d's. I am still a little torn whether to try it or not.

    I do really well on zoloft, but I hate the loss of libido that comes with it. I have heard that cymbalta is not supposed to affect your libido as much. And if it helps with pain, that is a plus!

    Anyway, I definately won't switch from the zoloft until after my daughter's wedding in December! Don't want to be dealing with any side effects and the wedding stress too!

    Thanks again. Sally

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