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    Old 02-18-2007, 12:20 PM   #1
    BrittleBones
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    Another Cymbalta Question

    Hi everyone! I'm hoping to get some opinions/feedback from some of you CP'rs who are taking or who have taken Cymbalta for both its pain-relief and anti-depressive properties. I saw my pain management doc in mid January and told him that the Topomax he had me on (200mg per day) wasn't really doing anything for me as far as nerve pain. I think that the first 6 months that I was on the med that it did help quite a bit. But for the past 4 months the side effects seem to have increased significantly to the point where I'm having a hard time remembering simple things. I know that confusion and forgetfulness are typical.....but when I start forgetting friendís names while I'm staring right at them....well, that's just too much for me.

    My doc thought switching to Cymbalta was a good idea but didn't want to RX it at the time because I was on 3 other antidepressants. I've been on Prozac (40mg) for almost 15 years, Trazadone (200 mg.) for 15 years and Wellbutrin (100 mg) for 2 years. He suggested a schedule to taper off the Trazadone and the Wellbutrin as well as the Topomax. I'm off of everything now except the Prozac. The funny thing is....I've never felt this good in years and years from a "depressive" standpoint!! My mood is so much better off these drugs that it kind of scares me. OK, all this history and long, gabby email just to ask: How has Cymbalta worked for you? If you've been on other antidepressants, is it possible for you to compare the Cymbalta to what you were on previously? And how about the pain control....similar, worse, better than the Topomax or Neurontin? Also, what are the side effects (if any) that you've experienced on the Cymbalta? You folks are always great at answering my questions!! Any takers on this one? Thanks in advance - All the best - KathyMac

     
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    Old 02-18-2007, 01:37 PM   #2
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    Re: Another Cymbalta Question

    (((((KathyMac)))))


    Hey girl. Good to see ya! My story with Cymbalta isn't a good one, but that doesn't mean it won't be good for you. My previous PM doctor started me on it and it made me have seriously horrid side effects that made me feel so agitated that I almost couldn't even stand to be in my own skin. I wanted to just rip myself to shreds. It also gave me a raging headache the entire time I was on it, and when I asked my doctor if we could stop using it or at least lower the dose he told me "No, I want you to continue with it." This is after I told him what had been going on with it, and at that point I'd been on it for long enough that any side effects should have been gone.

    After I left his office, I drove back home and went straight to my primary and told her what was going on. They took my blood pressure and it was so high that I could have stroked right out. My primary almost hit the floor she was so shocked at how high it was. She immediately took me off of it, and referred me to my current PM doctor.

    There are so many people who do benefit from Cymbalta both for pain and depression, so please don't make a choice based on my situation with it. I've had reactions to several other meds as well. (Mostly because of my IBS) But the Cymbalta just was too harsh on my system and my blood pressure.

    Keep checking back. Hope you are able to get good results from it because I hear it really is great for pain.

     
    Old 02-18-2007, 01:53 PM   #3
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    Re: Another Cymbalta Question

    I know I cant take it but I do keep trying, which I know is stupid but it really worked great for depression in my mom. I tried it at whatever is the lowest capsule and it made me sick to my stomache, then took it on a full stomache still no go, then I opened the capsule and was trying 1/2 at a time and attempted to build up from there. Need less to say I just have to accept it isnt for me but no can say I didnt try.HaHa. No really it is a wonderful drug for many, I just suggest you start slow and do really give it a try, ya never know it could be great for you.Take care.
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    Old 02-18-2007, 02:26 PM   #4
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    Re: Another Cymbalta Question

    It definately helps with pain. I'm not in need of an anti depressant - and found the 120 dose (60 x a day) is actually causing agitation.

     
    Old 02-18-2007, 03:28 PM   #5
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    Re: Another Cymbalta Question

    I am on 120mg for both pain and depression. I love it in both regards. I had some nausea for the first few weeks (but I get that with most meds). One thing I have to do is make sure I take it in the morning, or I will never get to sleep that night...it does have an "excitable" effect. On the anti-depressant side, it is the best one I have ever been on (I think I have tried at least 75% of the SSRIs). Pain management wise, it really helps with my RSD.

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 07:47 AM   #6
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    Re: Another Cymbalta Question

    Cymbalta can work very well for neuropathic pain AND very well for depression. However, your vatious doctors may not be aware of all your meds and potential interactions with changes. There is a very serious medical condition called Serotonin Syndrome that can be induced by many of the SSRI's SNRI's, Tramadol etc when the interactions cause the circulating serotonin leves to become too elevated. Very Serious.

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 10:01 AM   #7
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    Re: Another Cymbalta Question

    My husband is on 90 mg of Cymbalta, as well as Wellbutrin and has had good effects for both pain and depression. He didn't feel much of anything at 60 mg, which, I guess, is the usual dose. Of course, he is also on Lyrica and Methadone, and Norco for RSD pain, so it is hard to tell what exactly it is doing for pain. When he was on Topamax, he slept all day and was very depressed. That stopped when he went back to Lyrica.
    Glad you are doing so well on the Prozac.
    Sunny

    Last edited by Sunnycal; 02-19-2007 at 10:01 AM.

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 10:31 AM   #8
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    Re: Another Cymbalta Question

    One thing I forgot to mention about Cymbalta is that it functions differently at different doses. As you pass 60mg and go into the 90-120mg range, you get more of the norepinephrine effect. I tried to decrease my dose to 60mgs a few months ago and really noticed a difference both pain wise and depression wise. I feel that the norepinephrine effect is what really affects the pain. However, as the above poster mentioned, you do need to be careful about Serotonin Syndrome. I tried Trazadone for sleep a couple of years ago while on 120mgs of Cymbalta...and had a horrible Serotonin reaction. It is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. Just make sure that all doctors involved in your care know exactly what you are on (including dosages) and always fill everything at the same pharmacy.

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 03:19 PM   #9
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    Re: Another Cymbalta Question

    Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions and comments! Yikes...TXMOM, can you describe the reaction you had when you combined the Cymbalta with the Trazadone. I've been on the Trazadone for 15 years at 200 mgs. at bedtime. But, as I think I mentioned in my last post, I've come way down and now I haven't taken it at all for a few nights. The only reason I was on the Trazadone to begin with was to help with sleep. The doc at the time said it had the added effect of helping with depression. Now I take an Ambien 10mg. tablet if I can't sleep. Maybe now that I'm off most of this stuff I should just try getting by without any extra meds for nerve pain. I can't really say that stopping the Topomax has increased my pain. But it's hard to determine if that's because it wasn't giving me any relief to begin with, or my pain has gotten better on its own. I swear that my body really does get used to certain pains and my perception of them decreases with time. Can that happen?? Anyway, thanks again for all of the great input. And I really would like to hear about your reaction to the Cymbalta/Trazadone combo. All the best - KathyMac (PS - Hi Ozzybug!! I've been lurking and watching your progress. I certainly do remember the nightmare you lived through with your first PMdoc and the Cymbalta!!!) Bye for now.

     
    Old 02-20-2007, 06:49 AM   #10
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    Re: Another Cymbalta Question

    While Serontonin Syndrome is always a possiblity, I don't want to scare you. Once the Trazadone metabolized out of my system, these symptoms went away. Looking back on it, I should have gone to the ER, but I thought I was just having a severe panic attack. I did not even consider Serontonin Syndrome. Keep in mind, that at this time in my life I was practically living in the ER due to a lung abscess, rheumatic fever, asthma, anxiety attacks, etc...and at this point I was embarrassed to show up at the local ER yet again with some odd complaints. Anyway, I digress...here is what happened to me.

    When I took the Trazadone I had the following symptoms:
    1) Severe agitation
    2) Severe anxiety (I thought I was dying)...this was worse than any panic attack I have ever had
    3) High Blood Pressure
    4) High Heart Rate
    5) ALOT of Sweating
    6) Uncontrollable muscle jerking
    7) Fever (low grade)
    **The last two symptoms should have be my warning to go to the ER. In retrospect I am REALLY lucky. I have not had any problems since then and can still take SSRI's in massive doses. I guess my body just didn't like the Trazadone. Let me know if you have any other questions.

     
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