I’ve always said….
it’s not what they tell you….
it’s what they don’t tell you.
I’m as guilty as the next person. When a doctor prescribes a medicine I usually take it. Now, there are a few of them that I haven’t. Cymbalta and Savella were two of them. I know myself and I know that if the side effects are icky…..well, I’ll quit. The problem is that we’ve become anesthetized to prescription medication. Again, I’m as guilty as the next person. We need to remember some of these medications are POWERFUL.
So I started looking.
I’ve included the sources at the bottom of this post. I was pretty amazed at what I’d found. What amazed me the most is that the FDA seemed to chide Eli Lilly (the maker of Cymbalta) about the fact that they had not designed a safe protocol for the discontinuation of the medication. They also don’t tell the doctors how severe the symptoms of that discontinuation can be.
Now, the class action lawsuits are coming out.
What? You mean you didn’t read the fine print?
Ok…we’ll settle. My bad.
You can’t quit either drug cold turkey, hence my reason for not taking them. The problem as far as Cymbalta goes is that it only comes in three dosages; 20mg, 30mg and 60 mg. Plus, it is a capsule so you can’t cut it in half. You are advised against opening the capsule so how are you supposed to wean off slowly?
I am not coming against anyone who chooses to take Cymbalta or Savella. These medications are approved for Fibromyalgia and for anyone who has a depressive disorder. All I am saying is that people should be aware of side effects and what happens if you stop taking it. Stopping doesn’t necessarily mean after weeks or months either. It can be after one dose but the longer you take it the worse the symptoms could be. Your doctor thought their use would be in your best interest. I just think all the information should be on the table. Some people may have no trouble with discontinuing these medications - others may be blindsided.
What are the symptoms of withdrawal?
Actually it’s called Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome.
Brain zaps that feel like an electric shock, suicidal thoughts, nausea and vomiting, headache, nightmares, diarrhea, excessive sweating, involuntary laughing or crying, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), extreme mood swings, paranoia, confusion, limb pain, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, agitation, hypomania and seizures.
Discontinuation can be severe and extend for weeks and even months.
With Savella, there were adverse reactions during the clinical trials.
In the sources below, I also added all the information on Lyrica. Commercials make everyone think that you can take a pill and everything will work out and you’ll be happy. Just for the record: I hate that commercial. I’m not one of those people that are suspicious of doctors and conventional medicine. Medications are necessary but just have all the information so you can make an informed choice.
If Eli Lilly won’t tell you…….
The FDA will…….
In some archived obscure document……
Somewhere……..but I found it.
The sad part is the only ones who will win will be the attorneys.
Rosemary Lee is a fibromyalgia sufferer who writes on the disease. She is a frequent contributor to the National Pain Report. Her blog can be seen here.