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Author Topic: Cymbalta and alcohol cravings?  (Read 413 times)

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Offline Snoopy10

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Cymbalta and alcohol cravings?
« on: April 28, 2014, 07:02:40 PM »
I did just post a general topic on Cymbalta but I also want to ask about Cymbalta and alcohol cravings.   I am actually sitting here giggling thinking about myself when I was on Cymbalta, happily gulping down wine and then watching the TV with a hand over one eye (double vision!) because my motor skills would be affected so quickly.   I would look at my husband and complain that I didnít like watching TV with one hand over my eye so I should probably go off Cymbalta. 
Iím on Lexapro now and watching TV normally again (again, how silly do I sound???!).  Did anyone else experience alcohol cravings or motor skills issues with alcohol when on Cymbalta?
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Offline insights

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Re: Cymbalta and alcohol cravings?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 07:38:21 PM »
Did anyone else experience alcohol cravings or motor skills issues with alcohol when on Cymbalta?

I don't know if Cymbalta induces alcohol cravings. However, it can greatly increase the effects of alcohol, particularly on motor skills and thus the use of alcohol is discouraged. Comorbid use of alcohol may also worsen anxiety and depression symptoms. The combination may also cause liver damage in the long term.

Alcohol itself is problematic with anxiety disorders. It can make anxiety worse and anxiety may increase alcohol consumption. See: The alcohol/anxiety tag team

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Cymbalta and alcohol cravings?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 08:45:16 PM »
Insights you are correct and maybe I shouldn't be making light of a topic that I and probably many people here are familiar with, self medicating with alcohol to reduce the symptoms of anxiety.  I have had off and on issues with that with absolute certainty. The Cymbalta situation was different, however and I am just curious to know if anyone else had my experience.

But I hope I didn't bring up an inappropriate topic for discussion or make too much light of it. 
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Offline insights

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Re: Cymbalta and alcohol cravings?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 09:50:24 PM »
The Cymbalta situation was different,

The potential liver damage and, to a lesser extent the impact on motor skills are pretty much specific to the Cymbalta-alcohol combination. Drinking can be problematic for some taking other antidepressants as for them the two can be unpredictable. Some days a small drink will turn their legs to rubber, on others they can drink a herd of alcoholic elephants under the table without raising a sweat. But for most a few drinks won't do any harm beyond the hangover. This isn't the case with Cymbalta.

Quote
But I hope I didn't bring up an inappropriate topic for discussion or make too much light of it.

It's cool. IMHO, everything that affects those with anxiety and depression can/should be discussed.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Cymbalta and alcohol cravings?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2014, 10:00:42 AM »
Insights, thank you for the additional post. I think in my first post I wasn't totally clear. I felt that the Cymbalta increased my alcohol cravings. My husband even noticed it.  I just didn't care how much I ate or drank and I had pretty intense food and alcohol cravings. I gained 10 lbs! I knew it was risky for my liver and I could barely fit into my clothes but Cymbalta really did chill me way out so I wasn't worrying about it. I did switch back to Lexapro eventually and I no longer have these cravings.

My psychiatrist and my therapist didn't believe me when I told them about this side effect.  The only person who believes me is my husband because he saw it himself. 

Of course because I have anxiety this thread is making me insecure!  Maybe I should have started with something benign like the positive effects of exercise  :happy0151:
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Cymbalta and alcohol cravings?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2014, 01:20:38 PM »
Insights you are correct and maybe I shouldn't be making light of a topic that I and probably many people here are familiar with, self medicating with alcohol to reduce the symptoms of anxiety.  I have had off and on issues with that with absolute certainty. The Cymbalta situation was different, however and I am just curious to know if anyone else had my experience.

But I hope I didn't bring up an inappropriate topic for discussion or make too much light of it.

Sometimes you need to make light of things. One of the ways my husband and I have gotten through dealing with the challenges of my anxiety and depression this year has been making a few jokes here or there. It gives a bit of levity to a difficult situation.
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Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Cymbalta and alcohol cravings?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2014, 01:55:50 PM »
Hi Ancient Melody - Thank you for validating my feelings.  My husband and I get through so much using humor or else I think we would be depressed all the time.  He has been through a lot and so have I.  We like to point and laugh at me while I was on Cymbalta because the reality was that it wasn't really funny.  He watched me start drinking and unhealthy amount of alcohol, gain ten pounds and lack the energy to get out of bed in the morning to go running, which has always helped me so much.  And then the transition from Cymbalta to Lexapro included a lot of crying, staying in bed and me beating myself up.  So now we joke about it because things are better and we want to put that behind us.

My Dad died of internal bleeding about 3 1/2 years ago.  I left my parents house at around 6:00pm the day before, told me Dad I loved him and the next day I returned to take him to a doctors appointment and he was laying in bed with his eyes open, cold and dead.  My poor Mom, who was battling ovarian cancer at the time (she also died, 2 years after my Dad), was sitting a few rooms away watching TV in a daze.  She didn't even realize that he had died.  I walked in the room and thought he might be dead. He certainly looked dead.  I started to run to my Mom's room but I thought, "I should check to be sure" so I went back in and touched him with my finger.  As cold as ice.  I ran to my Mom's room and said "Dad is dead" and then looked at her and said "Well, what do we do???!" She said to call 911 and we did and the whole day was a blur.  It was awful.  But now my husband and I joke about it because when people hear that story they are horrified.  But then I talk about going back and poking my dad with a finger just to make sure he was really dead and we laugh.  My Dad died in his sleep peacefully, that is the positive outcome.

At any rate, I don't have all the answers today but thank you for validating my feelings.  :happy0151:
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Offline TarheelBabe1980

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Re: Cymbalta and alcohol cravings?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2014, 09:32:20 AM »
I can outdrink an elephant while on antidepressants, any of them. Not sure the craving is worse, but my tolerance skyrockets to an unbelievable level, even when I dont gain weight. I asked my psych if this was typical; he said "no." That said, I have bipolar II so perhaps that has something to do with it for me, who knows?
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Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Cymbalta and alcohol cravings?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2014, 02:17:24 PM »
TarheelBabe1980 thanks for the insight -- I think the reality is that antidepressants effect everyone differently and when we start mixing in alcohol, other drugs, herbs etc. its like a science experiment. 
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