I know it's dumb, but I went "cold turkey" off all meds last week

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Kat_in_Texas, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Kat_in_Texas

    Kat_in_Texas New Member

    I don't really know why I did this, but about five days ago I decided to stop taking the Cymbalta, Elavil, Ultram, Lunesta and Trazodone, plus all supplements - all at once. I haven't taken anything other than a few Tylenol since last Wednesday. I guess I just got fed up with pills in general, with my stupid doctor that doesn't listen, with feeling like a wimp, you name it. Mainly I was sick of gaining, gaining, gaining weight, and eating like a maniac. I was out of control, appetite-wise and weight-wise. I hate the way I look and the way I feel at this weight. I've gained 30 pounds since November 2004. It HAD to stop!

    So I just said to heck with it, and stopped taking the meds. I knew I'd hurt like crazy, but you know what's really weird???? I've felt better, pain-wise, since I stopped taking meds! Seriously! Yes I hurt, but not very much at all, just a little bit. It's not even close to my usual pain level. I even have a little more energy. Very weird!

    The problem has been with my emotions though. Probably because I stopped abruptly rather than weaning off the stuff. I know you're not supposed to do that. I have cried all day long, over nothing! I hate what I feel like, emotionally. I'm sad, I'm lonely, I'm getting depressed. Ugh. I hate those feelings! I know what clinical depression feels like, and I don't want that!!!!! Is that where I'm heading? I also am not thinking straight. Less like "fibro fog" and more like pure confusion. I know that sounds strange but that's the only way I can describe it.

    Anyone else do this, stop your meds cold turkey? How long does the emotional stuff last? I'm worried that I needed the Cymbalta and the Elavil for the anti-depressant qualities more than the pain relief (okay, there was never much of that anyway!). Do I need an AD????

    Don't know why I posted this jibberish, I just needed someone to talk to. Goodness, I hope this feeling passes soon .....

  2. MamaR

    MamaR New Member

    I hope that you feel better soon. You sound down on yourself about your weight!

    Well, girl it sounds to me like you can be determined!! You can lose some weight if you make up your mind....with a determination like you have!

    But, if you don't the first time....don't get down...just try again later!

    I know that my sis battled weight for years and finally had the stomache surgery. Of course, she was older. It is harder to lose when you are older. She is doing real good.

    About the meds...you are the only one that can know what works best for you...but I'm behind you!!

  3. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    Good for you! Going cold turkey may not be the best way to go off meds, but since you did--I'm proud of you!

    It sounds like the meds were not doing you much good. Your body is probably in shock, though. That's a lot to ask of your body, so you need to give it time to adjust. Try to do what you can to help the process along. Drink lots of water, eat healthy food, and take nice long hot baths. Be good to yourself!

    Stormy's shake is supposed to help with withdrawal symptoms. Have you ever tried that? The flax seed in it may help with rebalancing your brain chemistry.

    Are you sleeping okay? I think the shake would help with that, too.

    When I decided to cut down on meds, I did so slowly and I still took a long time to adjust. As I got rid of the things that were not helping, I did start to feel better. I think all the different meds were interacting in ways they were not meant to. I'm not off everything by all means, but I'm sure not taking as many as I was a year ago. I do think meds have a place. Many people would be a mess without them. But it can be hard to know how many are too many.

    Have you talked to your doc about this? He/She may have some suggestions. Maybe you do need some kind of transition med.

    Hang in there! Hopefully, this is the you'll feel worse before you feel better part.

  4. jhmitch

    jhmitch New Member

    Hi Kat!

    Your reactions to stopping the Cymbalta & Elavil (without tapering down off them) are fairly normal, IMHO.

    Just from my doctor raising and then lowering my dosage of Paxil, I had the same reaction you did and the horrible emotional roller coaster lasted several weeks until it finally stabilized.

    Not sure about the other meds you were taking but doing a cold turkey off anti-depressants is something I'd never try, based just on what happened to me with Paxil.

    Have you considered re-starting one of the antidepressants, just to see if it might help stabilize your emotions right now? Yep, the weight gain on anti-Ds is absolutely horrible but the alternative (for me) is worse.

    Please let us know how you are doing, Kat.

  5. Kat_in_Texas

    Kat_in_Texas New Member

    Thanks for the sweet replies, and very good suggestions. I do know from past experience with anti-depressants (during my five long years of serious depression in the early 90's I tried practically every AD out there!) I know that you have to taper off. I do think I will take the Elavil tonight and keep it up for a while to see how it helps with the mood swings. I have only been taking it for a couple of weeks so I wasn't on a very high dose yet anyway. As for the Cymbalta, it wasn't helping anyway and now that I've ditched it for a few days I think I'll stay off of it and see how I do.

    I haven't talked to my doctor about any of this, I just made the decision out of the blue one evening. My doctor doesn't know a thing about FM and frankly I don't even think he believes it's real. He's just a pill pusher anyway. Every thing I mention warrants another prescription, and he always has to ask ME what I'm already taking when he writes a script, even when he has my chart in his hand! I don't care for him at all, I don't know why I even keep going to him. I need to change doctors but I guess I just don't want to risk ending up with someone even worse.

    So with the Elavil, I may want to eat everything in sight but I'll try to control that. I have already noticed a decrease in my appetite, which has been nice, but I'd rather be out of control of my eating than out of control of my mind!!!! :) I just hate that I'm back into my "fat clothes" (size 14) when I worked so hard two years ago to lose the excess. Oh well, such is life, huh?

    Thanks again for all the encouragement. I needed some kind words tonight. Geez, now I'm bawling all over again ... what is up with all this crying?!? :)

    Have a peaceful evening, dear friends.

  6. DFL

    DFL New Member

    I went cold turkey off the cymbalta because of the price, and got so depressed, I even was thinking suicide thoughts, I went to my dr. balling and she raised cane told me I could not do that and put me back on them and took me from xanax to tranxene, doing better but still alot of depression, but my pain did get alot worst when I was off them
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    We should never quit our meds without talking with our docs first.

    Good luck to you and please, give your doc a call.

    Love, Mikie
  8. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    kat .. it can be quite dangerous to go cold turkey .. I know you know that .. but I think you have felt rather desperate because your doctor sounds like a complete moron (no parts missing except his BRAIN) ..
    I had an experience when I cut my amitryptlne (I can never spell that right .. I think it is Elavil ?).. in any case .. that was when I BEAT UP MY VACUUM .. my emotions were totally out of control .. so I went back to the regular dose .. it was a very hard time for me because my regular doctor was away for maternity leave .. no consistant care.
    I still want to try cutting back on my meds .. it is going to be a struggle but I can see where you are coming from having been there too.
    Be careful .. and if you feel like you are losing control in a serious way see the doctor !
    Good Luck !
    Fudge : )
    PS .. I still haven't had the angiogram on my heart .. still chicken .. but I remember you were very kind in your reply to me .. thanks again !
  9. ilovecats94

    ilovecats94 New Member

    I've gained weight since I was dx'd with FMS, so I know how you feel. I get on the scales every day and then get so disgusted with myself.

    I went cold turkey off Prozac for 3 weeks, years ago, but was in so much pain, I had to go back on it.

    Certain meds I take, like Xanax, you aren't supposed to go off suddenly, it can be very dangerous.

    I don't know about the meds that you have gone off cold turkey. I've always thought one should have the doctor's help to do that. The crying could be from being off the AD's, Cymbalta and Elavil.

    Elavil is famous for causing weight gain. I don't know about the others.

    I think too many of us are beating ourselves up about this weight gain thing, myself included.

    As far as you being off all of those meds as once, I just don't know what to advise you to do.

  10. smileyfacecookie

    smileyfacecookie New Member

    I had to for I now have fibrosis of the liver because of all the medication...I had to go off cold turkey to try and get my liver repared...I was on so many different kind of drugs..first one and then another...to be truthful none of it worked anyway...the doctors don't know how to treat fibromyalgia so we are nothing but experimental to them anyway...God bless and take care...
  11. onnaroll

    onnaroll New Member

    Is it safe to do that?? Ive heard that not good for you. I think i wound slowly reduce your meds. you would probably feel better . good luck!

    glad your pain levels are better wish i could say the same..ughhh
    [This Message was Edited on 12/14/2005]
  12. tngirl

    tngirl New Member

    You already know that it wasn't a good idea, you just seemed to be at the end of your rope.

    I went off Cymbalta and the doctor said I had to be careful to wean off slowly.

    I think cymbalta and elavil and even trazadone are antidepressants.

    I weaned of Celexa once and had terrible side effects like your describing.

    I think you should talk to your doctor, explain that you want to get off your meds and are experienceing those symptoms.

    I hope you feel better soon.
  13. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    Honey, coming off some of those cold turkey could do you some mean things.

    Cymbalta and Elavil, particularly.

    I just started on the Trazadone, myself for sleep, and if I take half of one I wake up early, the whole one and I sleep for hours.

    However, coming off cold turkey on most anything is not good.

    Be very, very careful about emotional things and watch your blood pressure very carefully.
  14. laura81655

    laura81655 New Member

    Mikie is right, it can be dangerous. It has only been five days, it could take a week or so before you start to feel worse, don't want to scare you, but please call your doctor, and let him/her know.

  15. reiki

    reiki New Member

    Hi sweetie
    I have not taken meds for my fm for the pass year and a half, yes I get pain severe at times but I have always been a great believer that even though the meds dr's give you help with the pain (well all they do is mask the pain, they are not going to cure the condition) they are also damaging other body functions. I did take pain killers, anti-inflamatories and anti-depressants for awhile but decided I did not want to clog my insides up with a load of meds that are not going to cure you. With your anti-depressants you may have been better weaning yourself of these. Only my opinion. I hope you feel better soon sweetie xx
  16. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    I wouldn't recommend going back on Elavil, it's one of the worst for weight gain. Even I gained weight on it (needed it though) and my big problem is that meds usually kill my appetite, in a dangerous way.

    If you weren't on it long, you'll have no withdrawal. It's only used low dose on us anyway. I was on it a few years until the benefit wore off and then just dumped it, no problems either, I just felt way better.

    If the depression keeps up, I'd recommend St. John's Wort though. It's natural and will boost your immune system as well. It also is great for anxiety and PMS, and it puts my pain levels down a bit. For many, it helps them sleep better. No a.d. has ever done that for me. You can use it as a tempory thing to get you over the hump.


  17. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    I'm in Texas also. I got an attitude about two months ago and quit taking my meds also. I really was just fed up with taking what I was taking and still feeling down, still hurting and still being wakeful at night. I was like OK Screw this!
    And I just totally retreated into myself. I quit talking to anybody because I thought that nobody would understand what I was going through including my doctors. My husband got worried about me and one day took me to buy a new mattress and then bought me a new bedroom set trying to perk me up. It worked. I started taking my meds again.
    I am just one of those people with a damaged serotonin level and it is not healing itself. When I stop taking my ADs I immediately become negative and emotional. Not good.
  18. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    I understand your frustration but it is a dangerous thing to do. Call your doctor and get back on some of that. You could even have seizures or a stroke from doing this. I agree with other who said get rid of the elavil, it is one of the worst for weight gain. Have them replace it with something else. Wellbutrin is one that usually doesn`t cause much weight gain. I am on cymbalta and I haven`t gain on it, some people do.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/15/2005]
  19. Dee50

    Dee50 New Member

    Take care If you can see a new doctor maybe.

    I too handled my pain better without the pain meds. But I was not on them for a long time.

    I believe it is dangerous taking meds and dangerous going of meds. I place herbs in the same category.

    Be careful please check in with a doctor.

    Take care know that I'm thinking of you today,
  20. kch64

    kch64 New Member

    Just hang in there a few more days, you'll be o.k. try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Eat some potatoes to help get your serotonin levels up.

    My hat's off to you. That's pretty gutsy (smile).


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