Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Depression Hurts, Cymbalta Hurts More

This is, with the exception of Haldol, the worst drug i have ever been on.

An explanation of what Cymbalta is

This is how I feel and most of the side effects I am feeling. Please note, the doctor does not discuss these, nor does Eli Lilly, the manufacturer.

Thanks to Gianna Kali from Beyond Meds for helping me post these videos. You rock Gianna.

ETA: I just got an email from D. Bunker, the webmastere of Psychiatry, It's a Killing, and he just blogged about Cymbalta today too. It's worth looking at.


Mark p.s./Mark p.s.2 said...

Drug Co can't stop the freedom of individuals expressing themselves on the internet. Great video. 10,000 people watched it.

Gianna said...

well the first video was utter shite...fixing a chemical imbalance by ass...

the second video was indeed brilliant and I will have to put it on my blog at some point as well...

those are possible problems with all SSRI's and SNRI's but Paxil, Effexor, Cymbalta and Zoloft are the worst...

Paxil, Effexor and Cymbalta I think are tied for awfulness...but bottom line when it comes to individuals even Prozac can be a nightmare and it's supposed to be the easiest because of the long half-life...

anyway...great juxtaposition there.

susan said...

@Mark, thank you. i really liked the video too, and really liked the group, never heard them before.

@Gianna, I liked it too. it's sort of Enya-ish and I love t things that are Celtic and the dress was gorgeous too.

Eve said...

Wow, that video was awesome. I just tried seroquel but went off because I didn't like the side effects (I lost the first 5 hours of my day because I was awake and could not function and then I lost all strength i my forearms and hands for that period as well) and was scared by all the stuff I was reading about long term damage and the lack of integrity of big pharma. Both my psychologist and psychiatrist said to me "all drugs had side effects." Right... And I'm the one that's screwed up?

Jamie said...

Loved the second video (to be honest, I didn't watch the first one). I'm on paxil and I remember how terrible it was when I started (and how terrible it is when I need to change my dose). I get headaches, weight gain, feel sick, exhausted and the list goes on and on. It usually takes me several weeks before the symptoms subside. I keep on dreaming of a day when I can be free from antidepressants, but I'm too scared to.

susan said...

@Eve, you aren't 'screwed up". Your doctors are. Can you fire them and get a compassionate one?

@Jamie, I didn't have problems with Paxil, but there are so many people I have met on the blogosphere who did. Check out the blogs on my blogroll about Seroxat- what Paxil is called in the UK. You aren't alone.

Wendy said...

And for those of us that Cymbalta has saved our lives? What do we say?? Paxil didn't do it, Effexor, zoloft were worse - Cymbalta - I came back to life, blessed to be past trying to use every piece of my landscape as a means of my demise.... What are you doing for those of us that some of these meds are NOT a death sentence? Must we really scare the holy SHIT out of every depressed, bi-polar or suicidal person out there with how awful these drugs are and how big pharma is out to kill us??? If it weren't for Cymbalta, I would be laying in a coffin, 6 feet under with my oldest son! Have some mercy - please.

Ana said...

I'm happy that Cymbalta was good for you.
But please, have some mercy!
For some people it's a life sentence.
Take a look at my avatar.
This is Traci Johnson a 19 years old healthy volunteer that hanged herself during Cymbalta clinical trials.
Yes! She was testing Cymbalta not as an antidepressant.
She hanged herself in February, 2004 at Eli-Lilly's facilities.
What do you think about it?

Hope you're fine sweetie.
Can't see the videos.

susan said...

@Wendy, I visited your site and my heart breaks for you. I cannot imagine anything as tragic as loosing a child. i am glad Cymbalta works for you. That is great. But some of the drugs you mentioned that didn't work for you- worked for me until they popped out. Paxil and Zoloft were the drugs. Yet you say they didn't work for you.

Everyone has different body chemistry, everyone reacts differently to some meds than others. Everyone I know agrees some people can take penicillin, some cannot. My aunt and uncle are both on the same drug and it works beautifully for my uncle and kiled my aunt.

I am really glad Cymbalta works for you. it's not working for me. I am trying to cut down and it's hell. But I appreciate you visiting, and just want to say, can we agree to disagree on this one?

Take care and you will be in my thoughts.


Susan S.

Anonymous said...


I had my own hell of a time on Cymbalta. At first it worked but I have many side effects including suicide ideation (never had this before) before I gave it up.

By the way your ex had a comment on his blog how he loves February now that he is in Southern California (record warm temps this year) He said that he hated Feb for the cold, less light and the snow. Sounds like me. I am struggling thorough this month also. Not to diminish the med problem, but is the weather also contributing to your moods?


Wendy said...

What do I think about the woman that hung herself taking cymbalta? About as much as I think about my son who shot himself between the eyes with a 12 gauge shot gun while taking Paxil... Heartbreaking, totally without question - heartbreaking. There's nothing like finding your 20 year old son with his head blown off... You don't own the corner on horror stories...
But does everything have to be a horror story?
I have a daughter who is taking Paxil, and she is surviving - I don't hate the Paxil because of what happened to my son, I hate what happened to my son because the Paxil couldn't help him...

We can all agree to disagree - but please remember that what you are putting it out there are "your" personally stories, and "my" personally story is different - not better, not more or less truthful, just as heartbreaking - different.
I don't want anyone to die because of these drugs, but I don't want anyone to die because they refused the drugs that may have helped them, because they heard one too many horror stories.
I know I felt like shit on some of these medications, but due to a very knowledgeable shrink, and a therapist that was there for me daily and who did everything humanily possible to find the exactly right combination - I'm now doing more than surviving, I'm thriving.
We should be expressing ourselves freely on the internet, but with freedom of expression, comes the other side of the coin.
So Ana - yea - have a little mercy.
Here is the connection to my avatar :

Susan - Your blog is astonishingly open and heartfelt - which is why I read it religiously. I know that your intent is to provide your story - you tell it well - which I do appreciate. I absolutely agree that what may work for me, may not work for you -and I'm also glad you are open to hearing the other side. One day, hopefully, it won't take the death of a child to realize what a thin line we walk.


Pyrs said...

Wow. Powerful stuff.

I take Paxil, Wellbutrin and Ritalin, for severe depression and ADHD. I appreciate the balancing act all these comments represent. I've been on meds so long, I no longer know what is causing or helping what. All I know is when I've gone off, I feel the most tangible sense of aloneness that its torcher. Its not lonliness, but as if I am floating in space out of reach of anyone anywhere, even God. As if I am a kite whose string broke and which just keeps floating oncontrollably into the stratosphere and into space. It was so excruciating, and I live alone, that I couldn't do it.
Blessings to you all for being civil with one another and being willing to honestly share your experiences and views. They are helpful to us.
- Pete

Immi said...

I had my worst hallucinations ever while I happened to be taking it -- for the whole time I was taking it. Related? I tend to think so. Oddly enough, I had zero withdrawal symptoms even though I dropped off it over a whopping 3 days after having taken it for over 18 months. Weird lack of withdrawals, but I wasn't going to complain about that. I'm just glad I got away from it alive.

Andy A said...

Wendy, I'm sure you don't work for a pharmaceutical company, but with your argument, you'd make a good sales rep. With your argument, anyone who's had a negative experience should keep their mouths closed about it for fear of "scaring off" people who would otherwise take the meds and be helped. By that standard, consumers should get only the "positive" information that's put out for the public? Do you think free speech should be abolished in other situations as well? Do you have any idea how much misinformation has been doled out to consumers and doctors by pharmaceutical companies and doctors? Those people you mentioned: "depressed, bi-polar or suicidal person," do you think that none of them are capable of deciding for themselves, -- or have the right to decide -- if the benefits outweigh the risks, and that the only information they should have is cherry-picked data or falsified statistics from clinical trials?

I don't know how many people believe that "big pharma is out to kill us," and I don't believe that, and I don't think Susan believes that, but there is a monetary profit motive involved, and your argument to suppress negative information is right in line with Pharma's business model.

You don't know -- and I don't know -- how many people have been hurt by these meds instead of helped. No one is bothering to keep track. Some people file an official complaint, others think it's not worth the effort because no one cares, others have committed suicide, and in many situations there's no proof that would link a drug to an act or behavior. What do you think the success/failure rate is with psychiatric medications? Do you disagree that drugs in many cases are over-prescribed by doctors without much thought as to whether or not the benefits outweigh the risks?

Gianna said...

beautiful Andy...

and I don't think there is anyone here who has not dealt with suicidal depressions and I for one will never take a drug again and I thank god that I could read both pro and anti pharma information...

INFORMED consent is what counts. And it is virtually non-existent in a doctors office because they are not even aware of the myriad of alternatives to drugs...

I have no doubt some people have positive experiences with drugs...but what if you could have a positive experience with a non-toxic option??

most people don't have the opportunity to make that choice.

Andy A said...

lmmi, it's not so odd that you didn't have withdrawal or discontinuation symptoms. I knew someone that tapered off Effexor with no problems. Some people find discontinuation intolerable even when they taper off. She also did not get any "high" from Vicodin (Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone), and never became physically dependent on it even though she was on it for over a year.

Basically, physical dependency is not a 100% probability. No one testing or prescribing these drugs think it's worth their time to keep track of silly things like that.

susan said...


Regarding the comments- first of =all- i admire Wendy. I cannot imagine what she went through. I just cannot. My parents are getting up in age and I am realizing they are not going to be here for ever, but this is the law of nature- parents go before children.
What ever works for Wendy and her daughter is fine. I or anyone here in cyberspace cannot judge because we don't know them. All I can say is this drug and Haldol are going to kill me- last week I was so sucidal I almost attempted and stopped in mid attempt. I know th is is from the Cymbalta. I will write about it later when I am safer.

If it was a perfect world- no one would need drugs. but its not a perfect world.

And as for survivor suicide, Dave( Anon) and I both know someone who suicided quite horribly in September and I can tell you I still have nightmares about it.

Ok... now individual comments....

@Dave- John spent most of his adult life living in Australia and New Zealand. He never liked cold weather. I am the total opposite. I despise warm weather and function better in cold. I don't think the weather is affecting my mood, I have reverse SAD. It's summer that gets me down.
Glad you are reading John's new blog. it is pretty good.

Wendy , thank you for the compliment. Can you see me blush?

@Pete, the description of the kite was apt. You have the makings of a very fine blog, and I did add it to my blog roll.

@ Immi, my fellow cat lady, I am glad you are alive to.

Tracy Reinhardt said...

There have been a few meds Ive taken very short term because they were so awful for me... Some work well right away and some are an immediate cluster F.... Ah I think I'll pass on that comment.

The problem is no one ever knows how someone will react. I take welbutin and have for a very long time -- no side effects, nothing. Yet for many people its the worst drug they've ever taken. I've taken zoloft in the past too with very little trouble -- if I didnt have restless legs Id still be on it. Other than that it was great for me.

The whole med cocktail thing is such a crap shoot and its sad that you have to try something that may go against your body so badly -- but sometimes lifes just so awful I've had to try.

Wendy said...

I just want to say "thanks" to all the commenters. I have learned a lot.
Andy - it's funny, I think we are on the same side - but saying it differently. You made some awesome points - yes, I think everyone has the right and most certainly the ability to make up their own minds about meds - but you don't see much on the positive side out there do you? I wish I did - I wouldn't have had to go through so much to find what works for me.
Susan - thanks for the link to Psyhiatry, It's a killing...
Did anyone see the latest on "Furious Season"? More suicides in Jan for the Army than combat deaths...
Andy, by the way - I work for the Department of Defense - Army - In the Pentagon. I'll keep the sales rep shout out information for incase I get laid off!!
Love to you all,

Andy A said...

Wendy, I agree that positive personal experiences are sometimes harder to find. I tend to think if someone has good luck with a meds that dramatically improves their quality of life he or she might write a blog post or two, maybe some comments once in a while, but not much more than that.

On the other hand, if someone's had negative experience over the course of several years, there's enough material there to start a blog dedicated solely to that subject.

As for you career path, I'd guess that your job at the DOD will be secure for a while.

I'm sorry that I came on a bit strong or sarcastic in my comments directed at you. I generally try to avoid getting worked up and just try to make my point. I appreciate that you took the time to read them and respond.

Anonymous said...

Xanax is known throughout as an effective minor tranquilizer and the use of xanax tranquilizers or xanax-like tranquilizers, such as Ativan, Klonopin, valium et al in according to the instructions provided by the doctor, can be helpful for you to combat anxiety and panic attacks. Altogether, it is worth mentioning here that the short term use of Xanax and similar other tranquilizers can be soothing but opting for xanax and other tranquilizers for a long term basis can prove to be detrimental for health.

Lawyer/Survivor/Stong Woman at the Fair said...

I got up this morning so excited! I am not dizzy today and no part of me felt like I was going to not make it through Cymbalta withdrawal. This is notable because for 25 days, I have woke up feeling like hell. I was going through "environmental stress" (aka a "rough spot in life") and was put on Cymbalta as a band-aid. Well, that band-aid was increased to 120 mg, I gained 20 lbs., the Dr. added in Vyvanase, Xanax, Amphetamine Salt and Ambien and the next thing you know I couldn't think clearly enough to get myself out of the box. I about Elvis'd out with my red and black envelopes. I am a motivated, entreprenuerial individual who employs hundreds of people and suffers the stress of being successful. With the beginning of the pharmaceutical cycle, I became cold, unemotional and unstable. A glass of wine every once in awhile is a MUCH better option. Please, please, please... if you are told to go on psychological drugs to "help you get through something" really, really think through it. It's easier at the time but the changes it makes can alter the rest of your life. Thank goodness, I had a lot of great people around me who told me that I was getting hard to be around with the drugs. I was angry and depressed and quite frankly I felt like I had an excuse because I was "defective" after all. I wasn't defective. I never was. I was stressed. Life is stressful sometimes. $150 in meds a month, 2 counseling visits a month ($300) and a year and a half and 20 lbs later, I can tell you.... stress goes away, the addiction that the pharmaceutical companies create with this stuff doesn't. The doctors aren't aware of what it really does to individuals. They can't measure it, they can't monitor it and not strangely, psychologicially impaired people aren't really great at perception of their own mental health status. If you are taking Cymbalta or any of the related psychotropic drugs, get with someone who cares about you and ask for their HONEST opinion. My withdrawal (cold turkey - not recommended but it worked) was a 25 day journey of slogging through the muck and mire of getting out from under it. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I have ran marathons, I have done endurance sports where I thought I would die but NONE of them were as bad as getting off of this medicine.

susan said...

Lawyer/Survivor/Strong Woman.,

I am glad you got off the drug, and things are going well for you- and that you found the blog. A lot of people feel the way you do.... please know you aren't alone.

Take care and I hope to see more of you on the blogosphere.

Christopher said...

I have been on 120mg of Cymbalta for over a year and my experience has not been good. My Doctor told me that I would never be able to get off this medication! I was shocked and that is when I decided that I must some how get this substance out of my system. After several additional appointments with my Physician he agreed to help me titrate down to 30mg in six weeks.

Please listen this has been the worst weeks of my life! I go from incredible joy to deep sorrow. I am an experienced RN and I now have a different understanding of mental health. My terrible symptoms range from anger to dreams that are more vivid and expressive than life. I became afraid to sleep in fear of what road my dreams would take me down.

I initially saw the commercial for this medication when my dear mother became ill (RIP) and thought I need that. That was a horrible mistake....this medication should be pulled off the market. I am now 6 days without this substance and I am desperately trying to make It another six days. My personal and work life feel as if they are falling apart.

I have had to supplement this titration with 3mg mg of Xanax a day and 25mg of Benadryl at night to help me sleep. Of the many weird symptoms that I have the worst has to be the brain zaps. These are so severe that they completely stop all thought processes and for lack of better terminology shut my brain down for seconds at a time. This is a feeling of complete despair.

The topic of a position to remove this drug from the market must be broached.

Valus said...

I think the point is,

Psych-meds are not the only way to treat these symptoms, or the causes of them -- and, in fact, may not even really be a means of treating them at all; in the cases in which they "work", it may be that they merely suppress the symptoms, and put your life and self-development on hold. Dr. Peter Breggin has done more research on these drugs than any psychiatrist (or former psychiatrist; as he left the profession in protest/disgust), and has written numerous books detailing his findings. For instance: "Medication Madness" and "Brain Disabling Treatments In Psychiatry". Definitely worth checking out.

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