Why is everyone trying to get off Effexor and Cymbalta?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by LouiseK, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    I just got a prescription for Effexor from my MD who wouldn't waste an extra breath on saying more than two words per appointment. He said nothing about when to take it or what to expect . . .so I came here, looked around and got scared to death!

    Maybe people are only posting their problems with these drugs, which I understand, but I am really curious as to why so many people are desperately wanting to get off them and if anyone finds them helpful for pain.

    Advice needed!

  2. CockatooMom

    CockatooMom New Member

    I read many of the posts about Effexor and Cymbalta also. Scared me to death also.

    This is what I KNOW:

    Effexor works for ME. I've been taking it for years and never had any problems. I use Effexor for my depression, not pain relief.

    (I didn't even know that anti-depressants were being used for pain control until I found this website.)

    The other thing I know is that you need a NEW DOCTOR!!!
    If it is at all possible, get rid of the jerk, and find a doc who will communicate with you.

    His behavior is totally unacceptable! He's JUST a MD, he's not God! (Not that YOU think he is, HE MAY!)

    He's working for YOU! YOU pay his salary and I'd make sure he knows it!

    Sorry I can't help much, but it makes me mad the way some doctors get away with "dismissing" us.

  3. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    I have been on Effexor for 8 weeks now. It has helped me a LOT. If you look at my profile you'll see my previous posts.

    I was also afraid to take it when it read some of the posts, I have had them since January and finally was feeling so bad with pain, depression and anxiety it was my last hope.

    Honestly, I almost feel like my old self again, it has helped with my pain and my agoraphobia especially.

    The first two weeks were rough, I was real nauseous and the doctor just kept telling me to hang in. Boy I am glad I did. It helped that I also took ativan for those weeks for sleeping.

    It may not be for everyone, but so far has been the best thing for me. Started at 37.5 for 2 weeks, then up to 75 per day taken in the morning.

    Take Care and Good Luck in your decision.

    Sue in Ontario
  4. UnicornK

    UnicornK New Member

    My shrink wanted me off of Cymbalta because I was taking it at night (for pain) and it was making my anxiety much worse (I have PTSD and an anxiety disorder). After I was finally off of it, my bi-polar started going haywire. I went into the deepest depression she had ever seen me in (since October of 2001). It didn't help that I had run out of my Seroquel at the same time and was off of ALL antidepressants for four days.

    I was suicidal. I am now back on Cymbalta, at a lower dose and in the morning, and the Seroquel at night. My moods are stabilizing now, although I still have some of the depression. Yikes, I hope that never happens again!

    I tell you this because I want you to know that these medications work for me!

    God Bless.

    PS: If you can't change docs, please build a relationship with your pharmacist. They are a goldmine of information about the medications you are taking!
  5. dridlen

    dridlen New Member

    I started taking it 6 months ago and it works great for me.

    I also freaked when I read how difficult it was to come off of. But I guess I will deal with that when it is time.

    I almost stopped taking it because of the side effects, but didn't and boy am I glad I didn't, it has made a big difference for me.

  6. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    Would you mind me asking what medical conditions you have?

    I have CFS and Fibro (both really bad).

    I don't want to disturb my sleep though and DO NOT need more anxiety . . .

    I would be interested to know if you were taking it for those conditions. Also what time of day? And was the Ativan because it was causing so much anxiety?

    I am wondering with these brain drugs if they work better if you need the chemicals -- they used to say that about Prozac . . .

    Thank you for your time!
  7. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    ...about how my husband reluctantly tried Effexor for diabetic neuropathy pain----after years of foot pain, and absolutely nothing else working to relieve it.

    He said he can't believe it works so well! Only wishes he'd tried it sooner and saved years of waking every day in pain.

    Like any prescription you need to know the risks & cautions. But I think it can be a lifesaver for many people.

  8. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    I have FMS with underlying CFS. I was just diagnosed in January of this year, so I think catching it early probably helped me.

    I am very med-phobic, but I tried so many supplements and what not, my anxiety was very bad, I could hardly talk to anyone and I was not even leaving my house. I felt so dizzy and in pain most of the time, I can't believe I got any work done - and I work at home.

    I also have the terrible insomnia that goes along with this DD, and that was another reason I didn't want to take the Effexor. I had been taking Ativan for about 6 months to help with sleep and anxiety, so the doc gave me the ok to up the dose while getting used to the effexor.

    And, yes, the first 2 weeks were very rough, more anxiety and restless sleep and nausea. I pretty much stayed in bed with a jug of water and a few snacks at my bedside. Fortunately I could call my doc and she kept encouraging me, without her (and the encouragement from the wonderful people on this board),I know I would have given up.

    I've done my homework, I know about the withdrawal, etc, but for now I can finally cope again and, though it doesn't seem to help everyone with their pain, mine has improved to the point where I sometimes forget I have it.

    It is a very personal decision, Louise. And it would be sooo much better if you had a doctor you could trust to discuss your concerns. For me I had nothing to lose, i was at the end of my rope.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you the best and keep us posted.

    Sue in Ontario
  9. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    Almost forgot to tell you, in case your doc didn't, you must take it with food.

    I take it with a big bowl of oatmeal every morning and it never upsets my stomach.

    And for PamD, I was wondering how your hubby was doing, so glad to hear it is helping him.

    Sue in Ontario
  10. kat2002

    kat2002 New Member

    It's true that Effexor and Cymbalta have often been discussed more negatively than positively. However, I have been taking Effexor XR for over two years now, and it really works for me. What is important though is for you to find out what works for you!

    Good luck,
  11. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I don't know anything about Effexor because I have never taken it.

    I currently take Cymbalta and I am NOT trying to get off of it! In fact, I LOVE IT!! It has really helped my fibro a lot!

    Most people take 60 mg of Cymbalta; however, I take a total of 60 mg daily, but I take a 30 mg capsule in the morning and a 30 mg capsule at bedtime. This is because when I took the one 60 mg capsule in the AM, it would make me too sleepy during the day and I don't like having that drowsy feeling all day. Now that I split the dose up, I do just great on it!!

    It has help with my pain. I also take Neurotin which has helped me a lot.

  12. Beadlady

    Beadlady Member

    Effexor for at least 8 years--maybe longer. I've been on various strengths due to stuff in my life. The last year has been at 225 mg--went from 150 up to 225 when I was diagnosed with Fibro. It does help.

    Last month I messed up getting my prescp refilled and ended up missing 3 days of med--big mistake.
  13. jenni4736

    jenni4736 New Member

    Cymbalta has helped my pain level tremendously despite the fact that I now have increasing symptoms. That is not because of the Cymbalta..it is because of FM, CFS,SLE, Raynaulds, and anxiety issues.

    I will say my anxiety is becoming a problem. I had it before the Cymbalta. This is the first time I have heard others have gotten worse anxiety on the Cymbalta. I wonder if there is a connection? HUM?

    I am also having heart palpatations now. I doubt this is from the Cymbalta. I have had three round of steroids in five months. I had too many doctors that were not keeping up with the other. I was too ill informed to know better.

    Take care,


    It is good you are asking questions and taking charge of your care...smart decision.
  14. kellyann

    kellyann New Member

    I have been on efexxor for depression for over three years. I take 150mg in the morning, and the another 150mg in the evening for a total of 300mg per day. It has been a life saver for me. I have no plans of going off of it. I have FM,CFS,Lyme Disease, hormone imbalances, several viruses, you name it just about.
    It does sound like you have an awful doctor, might be a good thing to find a new one if possible.

    Take Care!
  15. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    the only reason I am getting off is because it isn't working for me this time around. The first time I was on it it worked great. I went off of it because of the sexual side effects. For some reason this time it isn't working. In fact it is making my insomnia worse. I had no problems getting off it the first time, so I am hoping and praying that it will be the same this time. I am down to 150mgs from 225mgs.

    My husband suffers from hard to treat depression. He is on 600 mgs of Effexor. I know, that is alot! But his body doesn't seem to absorb meds very good. It works for a while and then he can feel it slipping away. VERY hard for him. He is doing very well on Effexor. I pray it stays that way and they don't have to increase again. His Physciatrist added Wellbutrin a while back, and that was an awful experience or him (and the rest of us!) It made him very hard to live with and he was sort of anxious and very edgy. He was on it for a few weeks. With in days of getting off of it he was much better.

    So, give it a try, it just might be the best thing thats ever happened to you!
  16. Diagoras

    Diagoras New Member

    because it's so common for doctors to be in a rush and not answer patients questions...(or even for patients to forget what questions they should ask), I would suggest next time talking to your pharmacist. They are usually more than happy to tell you all about the medications you were prescribed and to answer any questions you have. It's important you get the actual pharmacist, of course, and not people who just fill the pill bottles.
  17. HuggyBear1

    HuggyBear1 New Member

    I tried Effexor a few years ago after signing myself into the hospital for depression. It did nothing for me. I have been on Cymbalta ever since, BUT even though it has helped with the fibro, it is not helping the depression. I am constantly having spurts of depression that really scare me. I am currently weaning myself off of it and going to try to use natural estrogen, St. John's Wort, and SAMe. I just heard from someone today about SAMe. This person had been having pain in his hip for quite awhile and now that he has been taking SAMe, the pain is completely gone. He believes it has a regenerative substance in it that helps cartilage, etc. He also had another friend who had lost 75% of the usage in his hand. After being on SAMe, the guy now has full usage of his hand. So I'm hoping these natural supplements will do more for me than the meds.
  18. tammy21

    tammy21 New Member

    and will keep taking it as I am on the right dose now, and it has helped so much with the pain that you have with FM.I know what might help one person might not help another but I am pleased with the results.

    Take care
  19. optimistic1

    optimistic1 New Member

    Don't you dread going to see this "Doctor"? I feel its so important to have a good relationship with your Doc and have one that is easy to talk to. I agree with another opinion here----he must be extremely arrogant and must feel he is to good to be replaced. Well, I would show him! Makes me furious.

    I have been on Effexor XR for 3 years. I am so happy with it. Its wonderful for my depression and keeps me on a very even keel. If and when the time comes to stop taking it I will ask my Doctor to help me and hopefully it won't be so bad. But for now it has been great. Please don't let what you have heard frighten you.

    I don't blame you for asking questions. Most of these comments are pretty positive. But you must make this decision for yourself.

    Good Luck,


    [This Message was Edited on 07/03/2006]
  20. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    Still pretty scared . . .if it didn't sound so awful to start it I might be able to overlook the weaning off problems.

    Anyone having success with the older drugs like Prozac? It seems so much more benign than this stuff.

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