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Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
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Was on Paxil for 4 years- multiple life stress events such

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Was on Paxil for 4 years- multiple life stress events such as fertility treatment, parents health declining then both died, alcoholic disabled brother, birth of triplets in 2004, built new house,2 major hurricaines, plus more. Had such severe fatigue that I saw a psychiatrist and I requested a different drug than Paxil. Was placed on Cymbalta and now up to 90 mg qd. Was having fatigue that required much extra sleep. Hard to exercise due to lack of energy..still 20 lbs overweight from birth of triplets in 2004. The psychiatrist added Nuvigil to help offset the drowsiness from Cymbalta. I decided to see a neurologist.....had sleep tests done and found to have sleep apnea & form of narcolepsy called EDS. I can trace EDS beginnings back to 18 years old & I am now 47. I've always slept lots but fatigue from college study nites, then shift work & triplets have disguised the disorder. Stress had led to depression in the past. Do you think it is feasible to come off the Cymbalta since I am more rested with CPAP and being treated for the EDS? The cymbalta is adding to the drowsiness & it was being used for what I would see as situational depession. With better rest I should be able to exercise more to aleviate depression as well as better energy with Nuvigil. Psychiatrist wants me on Cymbalta for rest of my life???? I am basically a blessed happy person who has had lots of stressors and undiagnosed EDS and sleep apnea. I have just been tired all my life it seems.

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I'm glad you finally got someone to give you the correct diagnosis. I'm amazed a psychiatrist would tell you to be on Cymbalta for life....and if you need psychiatric help in the future, I would look for a new one. If he's not aware of the affects of sleep apnea and narcolepsy he has no business treating you. The link between sleep apnea and depression is well documented in the professional literature.


At least one doctor believes that Prozac can help with the withdrawal symptoms.


The withdrawal from Cymbalta can take about a month or two, as you slowly lower the dose to well under 30mg a day ,(preferably around 10mg/day) then when you have it as low as you can, go to taking it every other day, then every third day before stopping completely. This should minimize the side effects.


I've worked with many people who have withdrawn from antidepressants, and the most worrisome side effect seems to be a tendency to weep at the drop of a hat. This scares some people into going back on them...but the weepiness does subside with time. Be very gentle and good to yourself during this process.


Ask your neurologist what he would think about you taking amino acids that boost serotonin, such as L-tryptophan, while you are withdrawing from Cymbalta. Please don't take it without his approval, as you have a complicated situation.


If for some reason you decide to stay on the Cymbalta for now, try taking it at night. That way the drowsiness will work for you, not against you.


There are some online support groups for people with narcolepsy which you may find helpful.


I admire your attitude and determination in the face of all the stressors you've been through in the past few years!


If this has been helpful, please click on ACCEPT. If you need more info, just ask...

Best Regards,








Edited by Suzanne on 8/1/2010 at 9:17 PM EST
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