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DrRussMD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 64049
Experience:  Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, health, prevention, complementary medicine, etc.
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My husband was diagnosed last week with PTSD, which he's

Customer Question

My husband was diagnosed last week with PTSD, which he's been suffering with for around 10 years. He's been very depressed and has bad anxiety. The psychiatrist prescribed 20 mg Cymbalta once a day and .5 mg Xanax to be taken morning and night. It's been 8 days now and he is very zombie like. He said he basically doesn't give a crap about anything. The dr. had said that he wanted to change his mood with these meds and try to get rid of the anger that my husband has daily, over any little thing, which the dr. said is from the PTSD. He is scheduled to go back for follow up on Wed (so at that point would be 2 weeks being on the meds). I asked if he wanted me to call the dr because he seems so out of it, but he said no that he wants the medicine to work and we know it takes time. I've read online that symptoms can seem worse before the meds kick in and help you feel better, so I'm just looking for reassurance that is the case. About 5 years ago, he was prescribed Cymbalta by another psychiatrist and she started at 30 mg and jumped to 60 mg in a week and he got so sick, with stomach issues, she backed the dose down, he stayed on about 2 months, but the stomach issues were too much so he stopped. He has not been on anything since. He does have chronic pain due to herniated discs, etc. This new psychiatrist said he want to do low dose Cymbalta 20 mg and stay on that for 2-3 months and that it may be all he needs. The xanax he added in to help short term with the anger and anxiety. So my question is my husband is sticking with this for now, we go back to dr next week, and i'm wondering if you can feel worse before you feel better basically with this meds. and if the zombie like state with subside as his body gets used to the meds?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 9 months ago.


Thanks for the question.

I am a double board certified US doctor and will help you with this.

It is quite true that there can be an adjustment period up to 4 to 6 weeks with medications such as cymbalta.

However, there are many medication choices, and I don't have my patients walking around like a zombie after 2 weeks of putting up with that. I change the medication.

So, you are correct essentially.

There are other issues.

These meds do not treat PTSD.

They treat anxiety and depression.

PTSD therapy is required, usually from a Phd clinical psychologist who knows what they are doing.

Meds only is not addressing the fundamental problem.

OK, so you might have more questions or want to give me more information: Please use reply to expert if you have further questions. Also, please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent [5]—that’s how we are paid, per rating]. If you forgot something, just use reply and come back. I am here

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** the quick response. The dr did explain the meds do not treat PTSD and he did mention talk therapy, but did not want to push it until he felt he had stablized my husband's mood (anger, anxiety, depression with the help of meds).
So basically all I'm wondering at this point that it has been a week taking the cymbalta and xanax together, can the combo make him very tired, not feeling like doing much of anything and is that a side effect that could subside in a week or so as his body adjusts to the med? We go back to the dr in a week.
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 9 months ago.

Yes it can make him tired.

These are all side effects.

If his doctor says OK, give it another week.

I would not give it beyond that without ajdusting medications.

No need.

please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent [5]—that’s how we are paid, per rating]. If you forgot something, just use reply and come back. I am here

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
great thank you - i'm wondering if the xanax 2x a day could be the main culprit?
I mentioned not taking it in the morning or taking 1/2 in the morning and my husband did not want to adjust what the dr told him, which I understand. He wants it to work obviously.
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 9 months ago.

It can be either, or both.

In fact, the side effects are additive due to the interaction between these two drugs.

Please click a positive [I hope a 5], as we are paid per rating. I am glad to follow up.

Also, make sure you see my premium services offer.

I am intimately familiar with PTSD and we can go over the direction this should take in premium services.

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 9 months ago.


Expert:  DrRussMD replied 9 months ago.

Please ignore that post: came from another post: site glitch.