Snarky Brides

Cymbalta - thoughts/experiences?

Decloaking for a little bit to ask about Cymbalta.  Went to doctor today to try to find out WTF is wrong with me.  Lots of weird physical symptoms, but the most bothersome is the depression, lack of interest/enthusiam/energy and wedding is 2-1/2 weeks away.

I know I should not Google - God knows we discourage our patients from doing it, but I could not help myself.  It seems the people Cymbalta has helped - it has REALLY helped.  But the naysayers tell stories of horrific side fx.  I know each person is different, but now I am a little hesitant to try it.  But I AM desperate.  Between the pain/depression/lack of interest & energy I am spiraling further downward.

If I try it, I will take first dosage at the weekend in case of unmanageable side fx.
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Re: Cymbalta - thoughts/experiences?

  • I have been on paxil for about 8 yrs.  I started taking it for anxiety.  I really don't have too many side effects, however it takes atleast 2 weeks if not more to start kicking in.  I believe cymbalta is the same.  I tried to go off once but the side effects from that are brutal.  If I had to do it again I probably wouldn't have gone on anything.  Just my opinion.
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  • IDK if it works or no,t but let me know if it does. I need something.
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  • Have you tried therapy at all?  I would be nervous to start taking a pill for depression without first trying to talk it out with a professional. 
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  • Thanks Jamie - not too keen about going on anything either, but something's gotta give.  Right now I am looking at alot of diagnostic testing, however doctor is of the opinion that this depression is exacerbating all the physical symptoms.  I tend to agree with her at this point.
  • Yep, have done therapy in the past.  Also grief counseling in the last 6 months - my dad's death hit me pretty hard.  Lots of life changes in the last year or so.  The doctors course of care involves therapy as well but we'd like to get the physical symptoms under control so that the therapy and meds will work in concert.
  • To be honest I am not sure if you feel the side effects right away because these pills do take a while to get in your system.  I would ask the doctor about this because you wouldn't want the effects to start right at the time of your wedding. 
    I also wanted to add I only take 10mg which is the lowest ammount.  If you go on you should try starting with a low dossage.
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  • Well I hope you start to feel better soon.

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding!  Thats something to get excited about!
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  • I am starting on a low dose Jamie - and what I have been reading in my Googling is people feeling side fx within hours of taking first dose.  I am just wondering if these are wildly exaggerated - the good AND the bad.

    BlueEyed - yes :) I am excited about marrying, but it's been very hard to work up any enthusiasm; lots of personal stuff going on that brings me down and I have a hard time balancing the emotions.  BTW - is that your wedding gown in your pic?  It's very pretty.
  • SarahPLizSarahPLiz member
    10000 Comments
    edited June 2010
    I think my Godmother is on it, or she was for a while. She has lupus, or something like it, which makes her depressed.
    In any case, I think it has helped her, but she is on a cocktail of drugs that have to get adjusted all the time, so it may be the CYmbalta or it could be the other drugs she is on.

    ETA: I know that didn't help much. Sorry. I hope you find an answer to your issues soon.
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  • I hope everything works out for you!Laughing
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  • Sarah - lupus is one of the things I am being tested for along with RA and Lyme's.  Cymbalta is generally prescribed in these cases since it helps with the aches and pains.  How is she dealing with the lupus? 

    Jamie thanks. Laughing  Here's to brighter days eh?

    Now I'm off to do what I do best these days and that's sleep!
  • She has good days and bad days, but when her meds are right, she's awesome. She made it through hosting Christmas this year and had a much quicker recovery from the hoopla than she did last year. Its a learning experience for her, trying to figure out what works. She tries to stay active with horse riding when she can, and she and my Godfather travel a lot since they are both retired. She had a really hard time for a few years until the figured out what was going on

    . Its a slow progress to get diagnosed and treated, but don't give up. Good days are ahead!
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  • Okay one more response and then I'm calling it a night.

    Sarah - riding is great!  The movements of the horse are natural to the rider, that's why therapeutic riding is so popular.  Come to think of it when I rode on a regular basis I never had these problems, but then I was younger too.  I was reading in a medical journal that lupus and other autoimmunes can take years before the right dx is reached.

    Anyway ladies, good night and thanks for the smiles.
  • cymbalta is an SNSRI, which is a very new class of drugs. generally speaking they are fairly well tolerated, however a major concern is tardive dyskinesia with them. this is a movement disorder that is typically seen as a side effect of typical antipsychotics. it's generally not reversible when it does occur. also of major concern in the movement disorder arena is dystonia, parkinsonism, and akathesia. 

    this is not a drug to be taken lightly, nor are any psychotropic drug. be sure that if you experience ANY adverse side effects you contact your doctor. 

    not trying to scare you, but this is a serious drug. when people respond to it though, they typically see a pretty big change. but this also could be psychosomatic, as it seems most reactions to medication for mild/moderate depression seems to be. 
  • Cymbalta isn't my favorite med but I'm on it now since my insurance stopped covering Lexapro.  Anyway it takes a while to find the right medicine and adjust  and being so close to your wedding I would just see how it goes for a few days and then adjust if neccesary after the wedding.  FWIW I'm on a lower dose than what is clinically reccomended because the higher dose made me more anxious.  Good luck and tell your doctor everything you feel so they can help you find the right solution.
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  • I know I'm late and you left, but if you see this tomorrow- I started taking Pristiq about 6 months ago and it's been wonderful for me.  I had some miserable side effects (nausea, unable to sleep) for the first couple of days, but nothing since then. 

    It's worth getting some help for.  I tried therapy and it didn't help.  If you truly have depression, it's a chemical imbalance which needs to be medicated just like any other disorder.  Think of it like an ear infection- you'd take anti-biotics for that, not just let it sit and fester. 

    Good luck with whatever you end up doing!  PM me if you have any questions :)
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_cymbalta-thoughtsexperiences?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:d25a7b3c-fad5-4187-9a49-81c4e43b8620Post:d6af2b65-4545-4b6b-a607-40cde86f59b5">Re: Cymbalta - thoughts/experiences?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I know I'm late and you left, but if you see this tomorrow- I started taking Pristiq about 6 months ago and it's been wonderful for me.  I had some miserable side effects (nausea, unable to sleep) for the first couple of days, but nothing since then.  It's worth getting some help for.  I tried therapy and it didn't help.  If you truly have depression, <strong>it's a chemical imbalance</strong> which needs to be medicated just like any other disorder.  Think of it like an ear infection- you'd take anti-biotics for that, not just let it sit and fester.  Good luck with whatever you end up doing!  PM me if you have any questions :)
    Posted by kikibaby[/QUOTE]

    Agreed!
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  • PiruPiru member
    100 Comments
    My FH was on it. It didn't seem to help but that seems to be the issue for him with meds in general :- /

    If the wedding is a large part of your motivation to get on something, I actually wouldn't do it just yet. SSRIs can take 6-8 weeks to start taking affect and the first couple weeks can be weird. I used to take generica prozac and the first couple weeks were a rough adjustment.

    I would sign up for therapy and discuss meds but I probably wouldn't start taking them right before a big event. Antidepressants aren't an exact science and you could react by feeling even worse or having something else weird go on. Personally, while it worked itself out after the 6 or so weeks, at first I felt emotionless, I had no appetite, I had crazy dreams, and oh yea I wasn't very interested in sex. Not how I'd want to feel at my wedding let alone honeymoon.

    I think if you're also having physical symptoms (depends on what of course) it sounds like you could very well have some sort of hormonal imbalance that is causing both physical and mental symptoms.
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  • PiruPiru member
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    ETA: Sorry I forgot it's not an SSRI. Still believe my post still stands otherwise though.

    Also, yes IMO horses are great, obviously :D I think that's been the only thing that's been keeping me sane the last year, without needing drugs or therapy.
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  • I know that DH was on it at one time and experienced some pretty negative side effects.  I don't think that googling is such a bad thing, but I would stick to legitimate medical sites (I like webmd) for your information.  It's good to know what the side effects could be, so that you or your loved ones can be on the lookout for them.

    As with any meds, it's about finding the right combination of meds and dosage.  If this one doesn't work, you can try a different one. 
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  • Also, if lupus, RA and Lymes are ruled out, as your doctor to look into fibromyalgia.  That's what DH has.  It sucks.
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  • I have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and I've been on Cymbalta for a year now.  It's the only psychotropic medication I've taken that has actually worked with minimal side effects.  The first week, I was extremely hyper, nauseous in the evenings, and had insomnia, but these wore off after the first week.  My anxiety attacks have gone from around 2 or 3 a day, to maybe one a month on average.

    But I agree with Blueeyed; if you haven't considered seeing a counselor or psychologist, I would definitely recommend doing so.  Most psychiatrists prescribe medication and counseling combined to help combat anxiety or depression.  It's definitely something work looking into.  If you have any other questions or you want to talk please feel free to PM me.  Good luck, hon.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_cymbalta-thoughtsexperiences?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:d25a7b3c-fad5-4187-9a49-81c4e43b8620Post:a7606d13-e1ac-4c4b-b7ea-937bb3151481">Re: Cymbalta - thoughts/experiences?</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>cymbalta is an SNSRI, which is a very new class of drugs. generally speaking they are fairly well tolerated, however a major concern is tardive dyskinesia with them. this is a movement disorder that is typically seen as a side effect of typical antipsychotics. it's generally not reversible when it does occur. also of major concern in the movement disorder arena is dystonia, parkinsonism, and akathesia.  this is not a drug to be taken lightly, nor are any psychotropic drug. be sure that if you experience ANY adverse side effects you contact your doctor. </strong> not trying to scare you, but this is a serious drug. when people respond to it though, they typically see a pretty big change. but this also could be psychosomatic, as it seems most reactions to medication for mild/moderate depression seems to be. 
    Posted by psichick[/QUOTE]

    Psichick, do you actually know how to talk to someone like a real person? Once again, you've taken someone's legit question about a real-life issue and turned it into an opportunity for you to AW what you know about textbook psychology, thus effectively burying the poor OP in jargony terminology that probably means nothing to her. WE GET IT, you're in a PhD program. You'd think by now you'd learn how to read a room and see if you're connecting with anyone whatsoever.

    I'm sure the OP knows what the potential side effects are from her doctor and the drug packaging. She came here to ask for real-life opinions from people who are familiar with the drug in an experiential capacity. So try to be more helpful next time, why don't ya?

    OP, I'd be happy to share my experiences with Cymbalta in a PM. I'll write you later today, because I have to go now. In the meantime, take care of yourself and I hope you are able to make a decision that feels right for you.



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  • I don't have much to contribute here, but I just wanted to say thanks for this thread.  FI has been really concerned lately about his depression.  He was diagnosed a few years ago, but hates medicine.  I'm glad to hear there are quite a few people out there who are dealing with different things, and it's really nice to know it can be talked about "in the open." (even if we're just online strangers.)

    I think I need to encourage him to talk to someone again.
  • Good morning and thank you for the additional thoughts and experiences.  At the mo, I am leaning towards not starting it.  Just thinking about the side effects gave me side effects.  I was on Prozac for 15+ years and I did well but I think my dosage was too low toward the end so I weaned off.  That was about a year ago.

    Since we switched to HMO I have a new doctor and she seems to be very keen on Cymbalta.  I think had I gone back to my former doc, she would have put me back on Prozac.

    This whole thing is just confusing and scary.  Especially before the wedding - as much as I am afraid of an adverse reaction, I am also afraid of these deepening dark moods and crying jags.  Not sure where to turn but I think I will call the doctor and let her know my concerns.

    Tide Travel - doctor did check the pressure points for fibro and I reacted to several of them.  She said if it is fibro then it's probably a pretty mild case. 

    BTW - I do/did have a chemical imbalance.  I went through some pretty extensive medical testing a number of years ago when depression first started.

    Piru:  :) horses!  I had one a few years back - competed a little.  Trained in Level I dressage but prefered jumping so stuck with that.  Just hanging at the barn was a great stress reliever.
  • Beatles - yes, I'd like to hear about your experiences.  Thank you and thanks to all who have responded.  Just sittin' on the fence here about this.  The doc I work for is no help as he does not believe in chemical assists.
  • I've been on Cymbalta for like 9 months now and its been great! I've had depression since I was in high school and more recently I've had really bad anxiety. I've had very few side effects mostly dry mouth but some sexual side effects. Loss of interest etc. The sexual side effects have been taken care of finally by going to a little lower dose. Sometimes you have to try a couple of meds to find one that works for you but Cymbalta has really helped me.

    I hope this helps at all if you want to talk about it more let me know I've definitely had experience in this area. Good luck to you!
  • Marrin, Zoloft is what I've found works for me in the past and currently. I also take an antianxiety medication for, well, anxiety (GAD), which was also keeping me from sleeping. I have a nice 3 med combo that treats the 3 problems I had, and it's working well. A plus to it (Zoloft) is it comes in generic.

    Cymbalta is being pushed in advertising, and it could be your doctor is pushing it for whatever reason - not necessarily that it is good. But, I'm not a doctor, and I'm not going to pretend to be one. I just have read some stuff on that.
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  • My father has been on Paxil for a few years and he has nothing but good things to say about it. He was experiencing anxiety and insomnia, and after a month or so, he was right back to his old self. How old are you, though? Some anti-anxiety/anti-depressants are not recommended for people under 24 because it increases thoughts of suicide. THAT scares me more than anything.

    I experience anxiety as well, and the doctor prescribed Lexapro. I didn't like the idea of taking medication (not knocking anyone who chooses to take the medicine, i just didn't feel it was right FOR ME), and would rather talk to someone. But it does take some time to figure out which drug is right for you.

    I'm very sorry you're going through all of this, but try to concentrate on your upcoming wedding and all the happiness it will bring.
  • Marrin713Marrin713 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited June 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_cymbalta-thoughtsexperiences?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:d25a7b3c-fad5-4187-9a49-81c4e43b8620Post:76ee416e-a2db-4c4f-b61c-6a842b6cb526">Re: Cymbalta - thoughts/experiences?</a>:
    [QUOTE]My father has been on Paxil for a few years and he has nothing but good things to say about it. He was experiencing anxiety and insomnia, and after a month or so, he was right back to his old self. <strong>How old are you, though? Some anti-anxiety/anti-depressants are not recommended for people under 24 because it increases thoughts of suicide. </strong>THAT scares me more than anything. I experience anxiety as well, and the doctor prescribed Lexapro. I didn't like the idea of taking medication (not knocking anyone who chooses to take the medicine, i just didn't feel it was right FOR ME), and would rather talk to someone. But it does take some time to figure out which drug is right for you. I'm very sorry you're going through all of this, but try to concentrate on your upcoming wedding and all the happiness it will bring.
    Posted by GreenPepperBurger[/QUOTE]

    Bless you sweetie!  I am 53 and I've been around the depression block a few times since my early 20's.  But this time it is scaring me esp since I have so much to look forward to and be happy about.  A new phase in my life is beginning and I cannot seem to enjoy it.  However, I will perservere.  If I don't try the Cymbalta this weekend, I will ask to be put back on Prozac.  And who knows what all the diagnostic testing will show.  Maybe it's thyroid gone wonky again?

    ETA:  Missy my mom is on Zoloft.  When my father died in October her doctor upped it and it really helped her through the first few months.  Now she's back down to pre-dad's death levels.
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