Hi everybody - my doctor started me on a course of Cymbalta last week and I can't believe how tired I am after taking this med! He started me off on 60 mg. a day and I've been taking it in the morning with my other meds. I feel like a complete zombie on this drug and I'm wondering how others who have taken this drug felt when they first started. Maybe I should be taking this at night? I've noticed on the internet that the target dose for Cymbalta is usually 60 mgs., but that folks are usually started on a lower dose and titrated up slowly. Anybody have experience with this higher dose right off the bat? I'm hoping I can stay on it because I've heard good things about it, but I can't function if I'm going to feel this way for much longer. Advice? Ideas? Thanks - KathyMac
I recently began having breathing problems, along with exhaustion and muscle soreness. The only thing I can tie it to that's changed is starting on Cymbalta at 60mg/day. My Methadone dose has been stable at 80mg/day for a long time so I'm not tempted to blame it. I also take Ultram 400mg/day, and have been doing so for a couple of years. This really has me scared as the breathing is getting more and more diffucult. I'm also afraid that the dr will want to blame the Methadone outright and I'll lose something that's been so very helpful to me with my chronic pain.
This is not meant to scare anyone on Cymbalta. What's going on with me may well have nothing to do with this med.
Hi JUSTC and thanks so much for your reply!! I spoke to one of the doctors at my pain management clinic today who said that I shouldn't have been started at the 60mg dose. Apparently one of the residents handled the call to order the Cymbalta last week and meant to start me at 30 mg. a day for two weeks.....then I was supposed to titrate up to the 60 mg. per day dose! I also take Methadone (120 mgs per day) and wondered if the combination of the Cymbalta with the meth was making the side effects more pronounced. I've been a zombie for a few days, just staring off into space. It's felt very much like my initial introduction to Methadone....nodding off, etc. So, starting tomorrow I'll be taking the 30 mg dose. I've also been told to take it at night so I don't notice the drowsiness as much. I'll let you know if I'm feeling better after I've been on the lower dose for a few days. Why don't you call your doc too! Ask about starting on a lower dose. Let's keep in touch, ok? Thanks again. KathyMac
Your posts have been really encouraging. I remembered last night that my doctor did start me at 30mg for a week and then we went to 60mg. This was back in the Sep-Oct timeframe, which coincides with the beginning of my struggle with breathlessness and weakness. I did see my dr yesterday and we looked together for side effects and there's nothing listed for breathlessness with Cymbalta. Kinda discouraging. Funny too - he's specifically got me taking it in the AM. Let's do keep this up because, depending on your experience, I may ask to try taking this med at nighttime like you do. I may even want to drop back to 30mg just to see what happens. My pain is arthritic and not really nerve based, so I've been wondering just how effective Cymbalta would be for me. Like you, I've also been wondering if the Cymbalta enhances the Methadone potency, because I also feel kinda like I did when starting the methadone. I sometimes get the feeling now that my methadone dose is too high - and if that were true it could certainly affect my breathing. Lots of questions and not enough answers, eh?
Thanks for the kind words and all the helpful info about your experience. I'll post whenever I have anything new or in response to your posts.
A few more things - my dr started me on an inhaler yesterday for the breathing, it's called ADVAIR. He also measured how well my blood is getting oxygenated and it showed 94%, so I believe that's a good number. He's getting me a referral to an Allergy/Asthma specialist to see what's going on and has ordered a chest xray. Just FYI. I know your struggle is more weakness oriented (which we both share), I just felt it might be helpful to also share the breathing issues. If you don't want to hear about the breathing just let me know and I'll keep it to the weakness.
Last edited by forginon; 02-28-2007 at 07:26 AM.
Reason: Rememered something...
Hey there girlie! Don't feel bad, the PM "guy" that I saw prior to my current, and wonderful by the way, PM dcotor started me at 60 and, as I explained in my post on your other thread about Cymbalta, I had MAJOR problems. He wouldn't even consider lowering the dose even though I was having seriously dangerours problems with it. I am so, SO glad I went to my PM doctor that day, otherwise I might not be here to post!!
Anyway, I know it's probably too soon to tell, but did lowering the dose and taking it at night make any kind of a difference? I hope so. Fingers & toes are crossed down here in NC that you are able to use the Cymbalta and get the wonderful results that many people get from it.
Drop us a line and let us know how you are feeling!
Steve & Ozzy - thanks for responding....we will see what happens tonight. I'm going to take my Cymbalta at the same time I take my night time meds. I haven't taken any of the drug since yesterday morning when I took the last 60 mg dose and I sure felt more awake during the day today. Steve - I too feel like the cymbalta and methadone combo has a synergistic effect. Ozzy, my friend, I remember all the hell you went through with it also. You stopped taking it completely, didn't you? I'll let you know tomorrow how things feel when I wake up and throughout the morning. I have to keep reminding myself that my body is now without 3 of the anti-depressants that it had been used to getting for almost 12 years, as well as dealing with the absence of the Topomax that I took for awhile. My synopsis (plural??) must be totally confused at this point. Take care - KathyMac
Good Morning Sunshine! Wakey wakey, Eggs & Bakey!!
KathyMac- I hope you slept well and woke up feeling refreshed and ready for a wonderful day. Yes, my primary doctor took me off Cymbalta immediately upon seeing my blood pressure reading and then told me not to go back to that PM doctor and refered me to my current doctor.
Please let us know how you are feeling today. I do agree with you about your body feeling the effects of missing the other meds and that could have something to do with the way you are feeling. Maybe after your body has adjusted to that, the Cymbalta will not affect you so much in the exhaustion department? I'm holding out hope for you.
My one piece of advice is that if you start to get a bad headache to stop into a pharmacy and check your blood pressure. If it's high, let your doctor know.
Hi Ozzy - did you say something about a headache???? Yikes! The reason that I'm posting at 1:51 pm east coast time is because I woke this morning with such a severe headache that I couldn't even begin to read anything on the boards! I think that I'll take your advice and take a drive to my local Safeway store and use the blood pressure testing device that they have on premises. My normal bp is 100/60 and has never been high. My brain was still very foggy when I woke up today. I'm going to give this med a try through the weekend and if I'm still having symptoms I'll call my doc on Monday and see if he thinks I should just stop it all together.
I'm also noticing that my pain has increased since stopping the Topomax. When I was on it I really didn't think that it was doing much for my pain, but now that it's out of my system I'm beginning to think that it was keeping my pain at bay afterall. The toughest part of being a chronic pain patient for me is all the trial and error that we live through to find the right combination of meds! With so many different drugs in my system at one time, it's a real puzzle trying to figure out what really works.
I've taken some Excedrin and my headache is getting better now. I'll check in tomorrow and let you know how I'm feeling. Thanks Ozzy for being so concerned! I can always count on you to step out of your own pain to think about the rest of us! Take care - KathyMac
You are more than welcome, and I am just returning the kindness I have received!
I don't like hearing that you have a really bad headache at all! I know that headache is listed as one of the possible side effects that should go away after some time, but if your blood pressure is elevated and you take another dose tonight and wake up and have that headache again- check your blood pressure again, and if it's still elevated, please stop taking the Cymbalta until you are able to speak with your doctor.
I'm like you in that my blood pressure usually hovers around 100/70-110/75. I am not kidding or stretching the story when I tell you that my blood pressure from the Cymbalta skyrocketed to the point of having a major stoke. It was so dangerously high!
Take care of yourself, and lets hope your BP is normal, and that this headache goes away and doesn't return! Let us know.
The more I think about it, the more It seems there may be something real to the Cymbalta having a synergistic relationship with the methadone, or other opioids. I've taken my methadone today on schedule but felt leary about taking my Ultram. My pain was being handled as usual and it just seemed that if I took the Ultram at the time for the day's second dose I'd begin down that exhaustion road again. Here I sit 6 hours after not taking the Ultram and feeling more clear-headed than the last few days. Of course, the other way to go might be to back down the Cymbalta to 30mg. Whatever I do it needs to be in consultation with my dr. I may go ahead and experiment with taking my Cymbalta at night.
I really despise this exhausted feeling, and of course the breathing issues too. Everything had been going so well and my pain was staying at about a 5. Then came Cymbalta. I've been getting so discouraged that I've been considering cutting way back on my methdaone and being in pain rather than so exhausted with full loads of methadone and Cymbalta. I know this is the exhaustion talking because I'm usually very calm and deliberate.
Best of luck tonight with getting good restful sleep and no headaches
Please don't think I'm completely without a brain, but can I ask what a "synergistic" relationship is? I know you are probably laughing yourself right off your chair right now, but since I'm nosey, I had to ask.....
ha ha ha....I'm not laughing at you..I'm laughing at me for trying to use my "word for the day"!! Synergistic (sp?) is like this: 1+1=3 In other words, taking one drug with another drug makes both drugs increase in strength/toxicity/side effects. It doesn't happen with all drugs. But there are some that will do that and I was wondering if the methadone and the cymbalta were having an increased amount of side effects when taken together. Does that make any sense? I failed most science classes in school!! Night! KathyMac
Well, another night has passed and I am feeling much, much better this a.m. I awoke around 7 am with no headache and didn't feel nearly as drugged as I felt yesterday morning. I'm going to take another dose of the Cymbalta tonight and see how things feel in the morning before I'm ready to give a final verdict! I never did get out to check my blood pressure yesterday, but I'm going to stop and have it taken on my way to another appointment today. Hope everybody has a good weekend - bye for now - KathyMac
I am on 60mg of Cymbalta. I started at 30mg for three weeks and then moved up to 60mg. It does make me tired. I feel like I finally wake up around 6:00 at night. I sleep in like I did in college. Thank goodness I can do this right now but eventually I will need to get up at 6:00 am again (for work) not sure how I will accomplish getting up early.
As for the pain relief...I no longer have numbness down my right arm which is very good. My lower back pain hasn't been helped too much but overall I seem to be better. I was getting lots of tension headaches but not anymore. So that is also a plus. I have been on this for six weeks. Hope my info helps.
Just thought I'd throw in my two cents (although with the stock market these days...worth about .03)...hahaha..
Anyway, I have been on Cymbalta for about 2 1/2 years...They started me at 30 mg for about 4 weeks and then I have been on 60 mgs, once daily, since then.
It's funny how medicines work so differently for everyone because I had tried to take this medicine at night to avoid any tummy upset (I have sensitive tummy) but was awake ALL night long....
So, I can only take it in the morning, WITH food for me....and if I forget because of traveling or something and take it after 1:00pm...I have to take my Ambien at night to fall and stay asleep...It really feels like I have had 4 cups of espresso when I take it too late...So for me, I really enjoy the energy level that it gives me throughout the day when I take it around 7-8am...
I am also on Oxycontin 20mg, 3 x daily, Percocet 7.5/325, up to 8 in a 24 hr. period, and Robaxin, (muscle relaxer) up to 4 daily, and then Ambien as needed for sleep.
I think that I had mentioned in another post that I am a HUGE proponet of drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day...especially for those of us on pain medications. As most of you know already, they are very constipating so it's so important to drink lots and lots of water.....This truly has helped with my headaches....I can tell by the afternoon when I start to get a headache that I haven't had enough water....
I don't want to trivialize anyone's headaches and say that water is the only answer....I just want to offer that it's one VERY important component that we tend to ignore....So many people use diet sodas as their "liquid" intake but it won't provide the same effect. It also really helps with my energy level as well since after my 3rd fusion surgery in 5 years, as you all know, it's hard to keep your energy level when living with pain...
Also, I truly believe that the Ambien has been an amazing addition to my "mix" since I was never a good sleeper....Used to be a volunteer fire fighter on the 11-7am shift so up a lot all night long.....So after many months of not being able to sleep because of so much pain...tossing/turning.....have bought every pillow known to man....tried teas, natural stuff, etc....but just was more and more exhausted each morning/day and then that would add to the pain level and make it harder to "deal" with.....
So the Ambien helps me get a great 8 hours sleep (if my doggy lets me LOL....And it really helps me handle the pain better the next day as well as all the "things" that life can throw your way.....
Just wanted to share my story with it.....
Ozzy....I had to crack up with the wakey wakey, eggs and bakey.....When I go on my youth mission trips in the summer....we all stay in school rooms camped out on the floor and every morning over the intercom, they blast Veggie Tales to wake us up....."Where's my hairbrush, my hairbrush"....HAHAHA....Sorry to those who don't know Veggie but they are great!!!!!
Happy pain "lite" day to everyone....