The Great Medication Purge

I’m banishing as many meds from my life as I can. From a lifetime high of 12 or 13 medications, I was down to taking “only” nine medications every day of my life. I hate taking meds. Every medication has side effects. Every medication can cause long-term harm. Medications are expensive. When it started looking like I was going to have to cancel my health insurance, I sat down and calculated the retail cost of my drugs. I only got through 5 of the 9 meds, because I started hyperventilating when I saw that five of my medications costs $622 a month. Those 5 drugs didn’t include the cost of the one medication that literally keeps me alive.

The current drug I’m eliminating is Cymbalta, an antidepressant used both in mood disorders and for treating pain in fibromyalgia. Stopping psychiatric drugs can be a nightmare. Those innocent antidepressants that doctors hand out to everyone aren’t so easy to discontinue. The withdrawal symptoms vary in type, intensity, and duration. Check out an excellent site if you want to look up potential side effects for psychiatric drugs.

I feel really crappy, and I’m concerned I won’t be able to quit Cymbalta. What if my mood crashes, or my muscles seize up? But I draw strength from the ineptness of my doctors. Before quitting any meds, I begged for help with my constant nausea (and sometime vomiting). The doctors concurred: any one of my medications could be causing the nausea, or it could be any one of my several health problems/conditions/illnesses. They just looked so helpless. So I decided to kick Cymbalta’s ass!

Saturday will be my first antidepressant-free day since sometime in 1998.


20 responses to “The Great Medication Purge

  1. good luck with this my friend.

  2. I hope it goes easy on you, and that it doesn’t cause any flare ups in the other stuff, take care-Stephany

  3. Good for you and I’ll bet it makes you feel better (partly I am just saying that to be contrary to big pharma hype). Seriously, I hope it goes well. Never underestimate massage for those muscles…

  4. Good luck with it, I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  5. hang in there. i’m e-mailing you too. XXX

  6. Thinking of you and wishing it were not so for you.

  7. Thank you everyone, for the well-wishes.

  8. I just want to caution you to not stop cold turkey. That would be dangerous. I’m in the process of VERY slowly withdrawing from all my meds. I’m completely with you on wanting to do it. Just do it right. Check out my blog to see how I’m doing it. I’d be happy to talk to you about any questions you have and maybe direct you to helpful sources for information. Good luck.

  9. I don’t know if you’d be open to smoking pot, but when I was experiencing constant nausea and intermittent vomiting from the pain meds I was taking for post-op pain a few months ago, smoking completely took care of it and allowed me to eat (although it was oral surgery so it still wasn’t too pleasant to eat!). If you’re in California you can get a cannabis card, and although I know you said you’re trying to avoid adding more meds that’s one medication that you’d be able to quit cold turkey without any trouble.

    Good luck quitting Cymbalta!

  10. I’m labeled bipolar and pot makes me delusional! Be careful.

  11. Gianna-I had to fight with my psychiatrist to be able to taper off the Cymbalta. It’s fine he’s willing to risk symptoms for me, but I’m not.

    Shira, Unfortunately, I’m in WA state. At this point, I’m afraid to put anything else into my body. I’m glad that you were helped, though.

  12. Hi, wow, how’s it going? Big respect. Meds are my next hurdle, although I will be giving it a while as I think a separation and house move is enough to be going on with 🙂

  13. Hi Seahorse! Yes, I think you’ve got enough on your plate for now. There’s only so much stress one should have to handle.

    So far, so good. I’m hanging in there.

  14. Good luck SE, I hope quitting makes you feel better. I just got back from 3 days at a hot spring and I feel amazing. Pain, eradicated, for now anyway.

  15. Beansa-That sounds wonderful! I’m glad you’re feeling so much better.

  16. Congratulations, SE! Not an easy decision, full of doubts and fears. Most important thing to do is trust yourself – you know that – just don’t forget it.

  17. Hey, I am doing it also. Purging my system of Cymbalta and Tramadol. Have been on meds for chronic pain management since 1999 and decided now is the time to try holistic methods after purging.
    Is there any guidelines indicating how long does it takes for the meds to get out of my system?

  18. It doesn’t take that long for them to clear your system, but side effects can linger. No matter what, please don’t stop taking them all at once! These meds, especially the Cymbalta, need to be tapered off slowly to reduce the side effects. Definitely something you want to do under a doctor’s care. I hope it goes well for you.

  19. It’s interesting to hear that you are planning to quit your meds. I remember when I first took the bipolar disorder test for free and I got nuts over the positive result. I did not know what to do back then. Right now, I’m trying to take as less meds as possible. I can’t imagine not having anything to control me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s