The People's Perspective on Medicine

How To Stop Duloxetine (Cymbalta) Without Withdrawal Symptoms

If patients are prescribed one drug for anxiety, arthritis, depression, nerve pain or fibromyalgia they may not be told how to stop duloxetine (Cymbalta).

From what we hear from readers of our syndicated newspaper column and visitors to this website, most patients are not warned about how to stop duloxetine (Cymbalta). Perhaps the prescriber assumes that they will need to take this antidepressant for the rest of their lives. Or perhaps there is a reluctance to mention anything negative about a new prescription. Whatever the motivation, a lot of people are not adequately warned that they must never stop duloxetine suddenly.

The Many “Indications” for Duloxetine:

The FDA originally gave Cymbalta the green light for treating major depression in 2004. The drug has also received FDA approval for nerve pain (neuropathy) triggered by diabetes. In addition, the FDA has granted duloxetine approval to treat anxiety, the discomfort of fibromyalgia and the musculoskeletal pain brought on by arthritis or lower back injury. It works by affecting the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.

On the surface, duloxetine seems like an ideal drug. It will ease your pain and relieve any related depression. Not surprisingly, Cymbalta became very successful. Today, the generic duloxetine formulation is prescribed quite frequently.

Duloxetine Side Effects:

There is a long list of significant side effects associated with Cymbalta. You can find them at this link.

Powerful Stories from Readers:

Kent in Oregon has the worst of both worlds: Side Effects and Withdrawal Symptoms:

“I am a 50 year old college honors grad, U.S. Marine and a retired homicide detective. I began taking Cymbalta to combat the effects of stress and depression associated with my constant exposure to the worst society has to offer.

“I have been taking it for about 15 years and now have symptoms I would trade for those that put me on Cymbalta in the first place. Each time the Veteran’s Healthcare Administration has failed to send my refills in the mail, it takes just 48 hours for the most terrible withdrawal symptoms to reappear.

“I experience horrible shakiness, uncontrollable, inappropriate and sudden bursts of tears, irritability and snappy moodiness, appetite problems and more. The worst of all my withdrawal symptoms, however, are the electrical shorts or zapping sensations in my brain. It literally feels like it shoots across my head and makes my brain bounce and eyeballs wobble. I find that it progressively worsens day after day while I wait for VHA to do their job and send the next bottle of capsules.

“There are symptoms that I get from taking the capsules as well, including erectile dysfunction, appetite changes, severe dry mouth, and MAJOR tinnitus [ringing in the ears]. The worst two are massive anxiety and sweating anytime I am in public or have even the slightest thought of things that are stressful for me.

“As a cop, I always thought anxiety was something people made up and used to escape work, or some other unpleasant task. Now I know it’s very real and has completely destroyed my public life. Standing in ANY store checkout line is a guaranteed shirt-soaking, sweat-filled-eyeballs experience for me.

“At one time, I was an over-achiever and a rising star in my profession with national awards and recognition, but now I live alone, have lost my family, friends, my personal belongings and even my home. I’m now stuck on a drug my brain cannot live without in a system with no reasonable means for discontinuation whatsoever.”

Sweating is a recognized side effect of duloxetine, along with hot flashes.

Martha in Texas shared a similar experience:

“I’ve been on Cymbalta since 2010 for fibromyalgia. Stupid me! I’m the one who asked my doctor to put me on it, since I saw it advertised on TV. The commercial said that it helps with pain!

“I was tired of the hot flashes and my ears ringing! And feeling like I was a robot! I had a lot of ‘brain farts’ where my mind would stop with a blank and couldn’t get my words out. I decided it was time to get off of Cymbalta.

“Getting off Cymbalta is horrific! Like so many others, I too am experiencing light-headedness, dizziness, and brain zaps. I describe it…when my eyes move my hearing zings while my brain zaps. I’m so tired and can sleep 12 hours at a time. I just don’t feel like myself.

All of this is affecting my job performance. I really need help, and I don’t care what it takes. Somehow or other, I’m getting off this awful drug!”

How to Stop Duloxetine (Cymbalta):

First, and we cannot emphasize this enough, NEVER stop duloxetine on your own. This requires very careful medical supervision. The prescriber must be informed of any plans to stop this drug. That said, the official prescribing information does not provide health professionals or patients much detailed guidance on how to stop duloxetine (Cymbalta).

Official Prescribing Information:

The FDA requires the following wording in the package insert. This is the officially sanctioned information hammered out between the drug manufacturer and the Food and Drug Administration. See what you think:

“Discontinuation symptoms have been systematically evaluated in patients taking CYMBALTA. Following abrupt or tapered discontinuation in adult placebo-controlled clinical trials, the following symptoms occurred at 1% or greater and at a significantly higher rate in CYMBALTA-treated patients compared to those discontinuing from placebo: dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, paresthesia, irritability, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, hyperhidrosis [excess sweating], and fatigue.

“During marketing of other SSRIs and SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), there have been spontaneous reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of these drugs, particularly when abrupt, including the following: dysphoric [bad] mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesias such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and seizures. Although these events are generally self-limiting, some have been reported to be severe.

“Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment with CYMBALTA. A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate [see Dosage and Administration (2.7)].

2.7 Discontinuing CYMBALTA:

“Adverse reactions after discontinuation of CYMBALTA, after abrupt or tapered discontinuation, include: dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, paresthesia, irritability, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, hyperhidrosis, and fatigue. A gradual reduction in dosage rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].”

FDA’s Guidance on How to Stop Duloxetine (Cymbalta)?

So, what do you make of the official prescribing information? Do you feel as if you might be caught on the cusp of a Catch 22 situation? The FDA and the company acknowledge that “intolerable symptoms” may occur upon “discontinuation of treatment” or even a “decrease in dose.” The solution: resume the previously prescribed dose. Then “continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate.”

We did not find any actual guidance on how to stop duloxetine (Cymbalta) gradually. For one physician that might mean over a week. For another health professional, “gradual” might be interpreted as a month. But the company and the FDA seem to be very careful not to provide clear and concise recommendations. That means that physicians are pretty much on their own and that leaves patients vulnerable to all sorts of complications.

a bottle of Cymbalta 20 mg

Withdrawal Stories from Patients:

Cindy in Dickson, Tennessee went through hell:

“I have been on Cymbalta for about 2 years. I recently ran out and didn’t have the money to refill my prescription. It’s been 6 days. My body hurts, I feel like I’m sweating from inside, upset stomach, whooshing in my head and brain zaps.

“Yesterday, which would have been day 5, I could barely move. I was very sick to my stomach and throwing up. I was going to refill it today cause I had 1 refill left but it expired on 5/19 so I couldn’t refill it.”

Angela in Palo Alto, California, had a similar experience:

“I’ve been on Cymbalta for the past 6 years for depression. My new insurance would not pay for my meds without a prior auth. I’ve been waiting for a month for my Dr. to handle the paperwork.

I’ve been so sick. Headaches, sweating, thoughts of killing myself, hostility, crying, not sleeping, feeling of everyone around me is gonna die, can’t think clearly, the runs, chest hurting, wheezing, and so much more! I finally got my thoughts right for me to look up Rx discount today. I’ll be getting my meds tomorrow. Thank God!

JoAnne in New Market, Ontario, adds:

“I came off Cymbalta two weeks ago. Oh My God! I don’t mind pain, but this is sick.
I have nausea, runs, stomach pain and headache.

“Well at least I don’t have thoughts of suicide. One minute I am cold and the next hot and feverish. Some times light hurts my eyes. I have gas, burping and farting.

“Then I have moments of wanting to just break down and cry for no reason at all. Chills. I am having a bad moment now. I just want to go to bed and stay there until it all passes and God I hope this passes soon. Shortness of breath. Please tell me it will end soon.”

There is no way to predict how long withdrawal symptoms will persist for any given individual. Some people tell us that after several weeks of unbearable symptoms, things gradually begin to smooth out. Others tell us it takes months. That is why it is essential never to do this on your own or suddenly.

Nancy in Florida was taking a different antidepressant: citalopram (Celexa). Here is what she reports:

“I was on citalopram for many years. More than one doctor tried to tell me that there were no side effects if you quit. More than one time I tried to go off but would have major crying spells and irritability.

“I finally got off of it by taking 2/3 of a pill for one month, then 1/2 of a pill for 1 month, then 1/3 of a pill for 1 month, then 1/4 of a pill for 1 month. Then I went to 1/4 of a pill every other day for a month, then every third day, etc. It was an incredibly slow process but did not cause any problems.”

Kassandra in Arizona had physician support:

“I am currently on duloxetine for my extreme nerve pain related to sciatica. When I asked my doctor about the reported difficulty of stopping duloxetine, she said that she would put me on a different drug while I reduced the duloxetine, and that it would reduce the side effects. She also said that it can take months to get off it completely, and should not be rushed.”

How to stop duloxetine (Cymbalta) from “Hopeful” in Indiana:

“Getting off of Cymbalta was the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done in my life. Many doctors don’t realize how difficult it is or that you have to taper – mine did not.

“I found A LOT of help online — my withdrawals were so difficult, I’m not sure I would have survived if I had not found all the online resources and other people’s stories of how difficult getting off of it was and the techniques they used.

“What I did, safely and carefully, was actually open the capsules and count the beads in order to taper down. (Cold turkey is horrible and was simply not do-able for me!) This counting of the ‘beads’ was detailed in many places online.

“I went down VERY slowly and this greatly minimized the horrors of cold turkey. I think I took 3 solid months to go off of it completely. I took a LONG time to phase off this drug. Even then, I had bad side effects and my brain didn’t ‘heal’ completely for 9 months. I had bad memory problems, extreme difficulty with logical thinking, exhaustion, physical aches, and more. BUT I DID get better finally; it was just a very long, painful journey.

“Now I continue to experiment and research and have had successes with natural alternatives to a prescription antidepressant. I understand deeply how much antidepressants are needed for some people, but after my terrible experience with going off of Cymbalta, I hope to not use one again. (And the fact that the manufacturer doesn’t make a tapering dose/pack is unbelievable given the bad results of cold turkey.) I have much sympathy for you and urge you to search online regarding how to best go off Cymbalta. I wish you well. Hang in there – it can be done!”

We are grateful for “Hopeful” in Indiana for her guidance. Many visitors to our website have successfully tapered off duloxetine by removing a few pellets from the capsule each day. Some have gone so far as to remove only one a day for awhile until the body adjusts. Because duloxetine comes in a capsule with tiny pellets or beads containing the active drug, it is actually possible to lower the dose very gradually over a period of many months. If symptoms show up, a slight increase in the dose may suppress the discomfort.

An Alternate Approach from a Physician:

We were contacted by a board-certified family physician who specializes in pain and addiction. He reports that:

“The best way to stop this drug is to put the patient on fluoxetine (Prozac) for one to two weeks. You then stop the Prozac. Prozac is so long lasting that it gradually decreases blood levels slowly enough so that the discontinuation syndrome doesn’t happen.

“This is simple and inexpensive. It is important, as you say in your article, that people do not stop this medication [duloxetine] on their own. However, it is not necessary to go through the ‘Chinese water torture’ by such a prolonged and unnecessary tapering regimen.

“Since most physicians do not know this simple trick, it is up to the patient to ask their physician to use the simple method.”

Once again, we recommend this be supervised by a physician who is knowledgeable and sympathetic. Some people may be successful with the prolonged tapering regimen described by “Hopeful.” Others may find the fluoxetine substitution for duloxetine a helpful strategy under close medical supervision. Because each person responds differently, we hope that the health professional who assists in this process is patient and understanding.

Here are some links to other articles to consider:

Stopping Duloxetine (Cymbalta) Suddenly Flipped her Out

Stopping Cymbalta Suddenly Triggered Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

Stopping Cymbalta Suddenly Led to Disaster

Reader Enraged by Advice about Stopping Cymbalta

Share your own duloxetine (Cymbalta) story in the comment section below:

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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DO NOT start this medication! Find an alternative if you can. I have been on Cymbata for about 4 years and while it was effective for my fibromyalgia pain, after having one hellish experience of withdrawal symptoms (brain zapping was the WORST) when I didn’t have access to my medication for a week, I have decided to go off of it with the help of my physician. I have had to taper off other meds and have had withdrawal symptoms, but none have been this bad for so long. It is wrong that they tell you about side effects of taking a medication, but not about the effects when you stop it – even under physician care.

I’m 19 and I have clinical Depression. My psychiatrist refused to take me off of my meds, even though I was on so much medication with no relief from my depression. So, stupidly, and in a moment of impulsivity, I decided to stop seeing her and quit my meds cold turkey. What a terrible idea that was. After 2 days without Cymbalta I was dizzy, nauseous, felt faint, and all my limbs were tingly. So I decided to taper down on my own instead. The problem is, I only have capsules for my full dose and my half dose and nothing less. So I took the half dose for a week. Then I tried to stop again. Same terrible side effects. They got so bad I took the Cymbalta again to hopefully get rid of them. I’m at a loss I don’t know what to do. Never try to do this without a doctor’s help. Listen to the internet, don’t be like me.

I have had great success with Cymbalta in treating my depression. It has helped me function. The one bad side effect are hot flashes. I feel like a oven and it is pretty miserable. I used to be cold a lot. Now it is the opposite.

I am a 61 year old female. I have REACTIVE anxiety from a history of, and current situation of, abuse. I also have PTSD symptoms of hypervigilence, hyperarousal, and an inability to relax. I also have some connective tissue problems in my thumbs–which one doctor tried to brush off as “arthritis.” I also have Tourette’s Syndrome (since about age 3). All this said, I was “TOLD” I have generalized anxiety disorder and depression. I have neither! I’m so sorry I allowed people–(doctors, friends, a husband) to speak these untruths about my life.

I was initially put on Cymbalta for the anxiety and pain in my thumbs. This drug did nothing for me, by the way. No reduction in anxiety or pain. I should never have been put on this drug (or Klonopin for the ticks), another taper-off story.

I have experienced brain zaps, dizziness, confusion, inability to focus, and the worst is a brain fog which makes me nearly incapacitated. My doctor took me down from 60 to 40 mg per day. He said that I “should always be on something.” But I’m now taking my health into my own hands. I’m trying to get off of this horrid drug. And all pharmaceuticals by the way!! I’m using my education as a PhD level Functional Nutritionist and researcher to plot my own way forward.

Was on Cymbalta for 30 days. I almost lost my mind. I was told to just stop taking it. In two days I’m already having withdrawals: dreams are crazy; hot flashes; feel sick; dizzy, dizzy. This is horrible, and I don’t like it.

I have been trying to get off of cymbalta for the past few months. I was taking 60mg in the am and 30mg in the evening for about the last year. I have been on many many antidepressants since 1995. I am one of those whose depression is extremely resistant to meds. A few months ago my doc suggested a local trial which requires coming off the cymbalta. It’s difficult. I experience the zapping in the brain that feels like an electrical short like the computer suddenly went down for a minute. I also cry a lot anywhere, anytime, and today had to come home and lie down. This last 30mg is proving difficult.

The doc said go back on it and wean off slower but, like everyone says, it’s ridiculously hard, especially for people who have depression or pain in the first place. I’d go as far to say that this is dangerous and should be taken off the he market. People shouldn’t have to be doing this on their own. It’s really really bad !!!!!!!

I have been on Cymbalta for 3 years now. I am thinking about weaning off of it.

I tried doing so a few months ago, but had horrific unbearable headache. I think I would have to do it a little more slowly than I did last time.

I am thinking on making a whatsapp group where we all can share our experiences and help each other. What are your thoughts?

I have only been on Cymbalta for about 3 months. I had a terrible experience as I started taking it about 1-2 weeks in, and now I am having a hard time getting off of it. I was told by my psychiatrist to wean myself off of my Celexa as I started taking Cymbalta. He insisted that it was not good to combine Cymbata with any other anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication. About 1-2 weeks in, I felt my heart rate increase and my breathing become faster and more shallow (I am pretty conscious of my own body and its reactions). Then, I stopped being able to go to sleep at night. I was anxious and could not turn my thoughts off. They were just taking over my brain, coming and going at their own will. I would finally almost be asleep, and it would all start again, and I would be wide awake. This side effect tapered off as I got more adjusted to Cymbalta, and I chose to stay on it because typically I over-sleep due to my depressive symptoms.

With Cymbalta, my body didn’t fall into that pattern so I thought it might be helpful. But after awhile, I got annoyed with my shallow breathing and difficulty feeling in control and grounded in my own body. I couldn’t even do deep breathing to calm myself down and that was frustrating. So, I am trying to taper off but it’s hard. I asked my psychiatrist for a taper-off plan and inquired whether adding the Celexa back would help with the withdrawal symptoms. He only answered the second question, said that he would not suggest using Celexa on a temporary basis and sent in a perscription for it to my pharmacy in case I decided to go that route.

So, I decided to take the route I had learned about online and reduce the days that I took the Cymbalta 60mg pills gradually. I am trying to go to every 3rd day right now but it’s hard. My mind and body are very different each day with maybe one day of relaxation in the middle (when I don’t feel muscle aches, anxiety, and edginess and have difficulty with sleep). I hadn’t known about the pellet theory until I came to this site. I just checked, and my pills do have pellets inside so maybe I can try decreasing the dosage daily that way. I am also planning on re-starting taking CBD oil regularly for some relief of my anxiety and depression rather than taking any pharmaceuticals.

My depression has been a part of my life for over 20 years with ups and downs. So many things frustrate me about the way we treat mental health. In this case, I don’t understand why there are no physical/medical checks as people get on anti-depressants. Why wasn’t someone checking my heart-rate and blood pressure as I got adjusted to this medication? Why is it all simply based on client report? Why isn’t there some sort of baseline?

Thanks for having these discussions! I love The People’s Pharmacy! Keep it up!

I was only on cymbalta for 3 months before telling the doctor I wanted off. I followed the tapering advice. I went from 60 to 30 for a few weeks. Started to feel awful and couldn’t figure out why. Went to 20 and got worse. Got online for advice and started splitting the capsules for a few weeks then quit altogether. I felt like, “Hey, I feel terrible anyways so why not get off and be done. It was horrible. It has now been about 2 months. I started Prozac 4 weeks ago. Maybe 20mg is not enough I take 2to 4 ondansetron pills a day for nausea and a lot of ibuprofen for the headaches. 1 lorazepam to sleep. I have to take all this to deal with the withdrawal

This forum is very helpful, so I’ll make a contribution in the event that it assists someone else.

I am a 56 year old male, put onto 30mg Yelate (duloxetine) 6 months ago. At the start, I said I would give myself 6 months to “get out of a dark hole”. It worked and at my insistence, and under advice from my GP, I started a taper three weeks ago.

My GP suggested that I take one capsule every second day for two weeks, and then one capsule every third day for a week. He said I might get “brain zaps”. It was all a bit “make it up as I go along” stuff. Furthermore, when putting me on the meds six months ago, there was no discussion of symptoms and side-effects when going through the future weaning phase. Or perhaps he thought I would be on them forever.

Without noticeable side effects while on the meds, I was confused when starting the taper. I experienced dizziness, light-headedness, (light-headed but a “pressing heaviness” in the head at the same time, if that makes sense), headaches, mild diarrhea, brain fog, inability to focus and no desire to exercise. The combination of these makes it quite difficult to function normally.

Reading advice on this forum provides alternatives which I thought my doctor would have highlighted. Half a dose daily for example is a much more “even” taper than one full dose every other day. Counting “beads / granules”, although laborious, is more sensible. And the fact that the drug manufacturer does not provide a “weaning pack” is questionable. I am now opening the capsule and measuring out roughly half, and seeing what effect that has. And I’ll dilute that even further in a week or two.

As I was on the yelate for a relatively short period (6 months) it is likely that my symptoms are far milder than most I have read here. I am hoping that these taper symptoms disappear in time, and that I get back to my energetic, focused self. I will definitely look for alternatives (including meditation and exercise) to strong pharmaceuticals to deal with depression.

I’ve been on Cymbalta for 2 yrs 120mg a day. I have PTSD, and I’m now weaning off Cymbalta. I went down from 120 to 90mg for a week; then next week went to 60mg for a week then 30mg for a week, then finished. I took me 3 weeks to get off 120mg.

I switched over to Prozac and I’m only feeling minimal side effects. My head feels heavy and light at the same time which feels weird but it’s not too bad. I started on 50mg Prozac for a week then 100mg. I think I’ll need another 50mg a day. Doesn’t feel great but I have to say I’m feeling so much better on the Prozac then the cymbalta. I was also on Trazadone 150mg at bedtime, and I had to stop that cold turkey. Hoping to feel a bit more normal…slowly but surely.

I was on Cymbalta for 2 months at 20mg. I got caught up in the Holidays & didn’t get my script. For 14 days I had horrible withdrawals. The worst was almost passing out as soon as I stood up. My memory went to sideways. Horrible drug! Finally starting Prozac today & hopefully this will get me off this stuff!!!

I have been on 60 mg Of Cymbalta for about 2 years for diabetic neuropathy. I am so sleepy and listless and brain-fogged all the time, and I wonder how much the Cymbalta really helps the neuropathy pain. I would like to drop down to 30 mg but the thought of the withdrawal symptoms scare the hell out of me. I’ll ask my doctor.

I’ve been taking Duloxetine for nearly 6 years. I started because I was suffering depression due to emotional stress and pain. I suffer with a lot of unexplained pain and thought it was a bonus that Duloxetine is used to treat fibromyalgia as well.

Last year I had minor surgery on my eyes and noticed that the drops I was using in my eyes effected my brain, and I was a bit gaga. During this time I forgot to take my Duloxetine for 2 days, and on the 3rd day I didn’t know if I’d taken it or not so I was too scared to take it in case I overdosed. I couldn’t think clearly. My brain felt ‘spaced out’ and silly. I reversed into a wall in a parking area and felt very insecure about driving. At this stage I didn’t realize what was happening to me so I asked my daughter to take me to Emergency thinking I was having a stroke or going mad!

I started having brain zaps as I sat in the waiting room so I decided to look up Cymbalta on my phone while I was waiting. I read a bit about how hard it was to stop taking Cymbalta. Then realised that I really needed to take my meds and couldn’t wait to get home and take them. I got the all-clear from the doctors at the hospital. I wasn’t having a stroke or rapidly declining into dementia. Phew!

I took my meds since then, and I’m generally ok. However, I have put on at least 30kg over the last few years, and I wake up with a headache most mornings (probably because the withdrawal symptoms are setting in already). And I sweat like crazy!!! 3 days ago I told my doctor that I wanted to come off Duloxetine. SLOWLY. He suggested taking the capsules to a compounding chemist and getting them to reduce them by 10mg each week. I wanted to take longer so the doctor suggested 10mg every two weeks.

I am taking my capsules to a compounding chemist where they are reducing the dose by 10 mg for a whole month’s worth because it’s slightly easier for them. I wish I had checked out Google first because then I might have done it myself by taking out a few beads each week, or whatever. Instead it’s costing me $45 per month’s worth, or $80 for 2 month’s worth.
I’m only up to day 2 at the moment. So far am crying a lot and crazy tired (not much different than usual) but otherwise fine. Hoping that taking 6 months to do this will work for me.

I just want to thank everyone who shared their withdrawal symptoms. I am a veteran who has been without my med for about a week. I was having so much trouble with depression that I never knew if it was me or my meds. I have liver disease too so any symptoms make me anxious about my liver function but all the symptoms you have listed are what I am experiencing. So now I feel much better and, yes, I started to cry. Just the withdrawal. Thank you.

I am taking duloxetine for the pain of facial palsy. I’ve been taking it for over a year. I’ve been on the highest dose 60mg, and at one time he had me try 60mg + 30mg, which did not work so put me back down to 60mg. I do not feel that it is doing me any good. I’m still in pain and actually I think it’s getting worse. My face feels like pins and needles especially around and on the ear and neck. Just recently I’ve been getting really bad headaches couple feeling like a migraine. Literally put me in bed out of work. I’m not taking Duloxetine for depression. Never been depressed in my life. Just started last week to try and wean myself off of it. I’ve researched online the best method and I feel taking the beads out is the best. Definitely cannot do “cold turkey”. All the different things I’ve read I have not read anyone taking it for pain. Please respond if you’re in the same boat as I am.

I am on Cymbalta for extreme nerve pain around my upper chest especially the rib cage just under my breasts. The cause of this horrible pain was a thoracotomy operation with complications of an empyema and an abscess. First I was on a Fentanyl Patch and Nucynta in addition to gabapentin capsules at 900 mg. 3xday. The Cymbalta was added because I was in so much pain I would have taken Anything to ease it. I am still taking it. It will be two years in February of 2018.

I am totally off the Fentanyl (opioid) and am in the process of weaning off Nucynta (opioid). My pain management doctor will not let me wean off anything else until the opioids are totally out of my system. When that happens I am going off Cymbalta because of the horrible stories I have heard about withdrawal from this drug. Since in the past I had been on Prozac for years and had no problems quitting cold turkey I think I am going to go on that while weaning off the Cymbalta. I will run this by my Pain Management Doctor who is very smart and very compassionate and see what he thinks. I can only say that it really helped with the terrible cut nerve pain I was experiencing and that made it worth it to me at any cost.

As this incredible pain odyssey nears an end I am terrified of going off the last non-opioid pain killers that I am on (gabapentin and Cymbalta). I will keep you posted on the Cymbalta withdrawal as I am going through it. At any rate I think as I wean down as far as I am able maybe my mind will work as quickly as it used to. As it was, I was willing to suffer the brain confusion and feeling numb and dumb as long as the terrible pain was somewhat manageable. Chronic pain is a demanding Master.

Has anyone used the supplements from the road back program. They also suggest tapering Cymbalta by reducing the beads in the capsule but have very specific supplements which they have produced to assist with the withdrawal and any side effects you are also suffering

My main issue is coughing. It starts with a throat tickle and proceeds to a coughing fit–with tears, runny nose, etc. I find myself apologizing for coughing, as I drink water and try to overcome the tickling in my throat. It happens when I am talking to friends or customers on the phone. The coughing also happens nightly, during the night, so that interferes with getting a good night’s sleep. That is the main reason that I am considering weaning myself off Duloxetine 30mg.

Has anyone else here experienced the coughing fits?? It is interfering with my life, even though the medication certainly leveled out my mood.

Who is the board certified doctor who recommended Prozac for 1-2 weeks? Very interesting to attempt for patients.

Hi I started Duloxetine 3 years ago originally for my postpartum depression. I am on 60mg daily I really want to start weaning off it. I am scared I want to talk to someone that it’s going through the same thing or has had success story. I want to make sure it’s possible I have 2 children ages 7 and 3 I would hate to go through this when I have to take care of my little ones. Please need advice

My new refill for 60 mg Duloxetine is made by Lupin Pharmaceutical. The capsule contains 12 easily countable pellets, so I am now taking 6 each morning and hoping the rest of the weaning will not go too badly. I’m so sick of sweating all the time and my normally low blood pressure has jumped to 151/88 on Duloxetine! I would rather suffer the fatigue of Fibromyalgia than suffer this medicine.

Mine occur when I move my eyes or head laterally left to right. I do not experience pain, but it is terribly annoying. Imagine watching an old fashioned slide show in which the picture jiggles a bit before stopping. Along with the visual, there is a noise (for lack of a better term) in my head that can best be described as a “zing” and “thump-thump” as if something is falling downstairs. Sounds wierd, I know.

So thankful to those who took time to share their experiences. Otherwise, I would think my symptoms were “just me”. Like so many, a problem with prescription and insurance left me several days without duloxetine 60 mg. At first, I felt ok and decided I didn’t need this med. Then, the symptoms came with a vengeance: brain zaps, vision problems, headaches, hyperhidrosis, crying jags, feelings of not being myself…everything listed in so many articles. During this time, I also had a sinus infection to which I originally attributed all my ailments.

After reading so much on the internet (thank goodness we have access to that) I am convinced that what I am experiencing is withdrawal, or, as Eli Lilly so placidly states, “discontinuation syndrome”. Withdrawal is, as one writer said, “horriffic”. This is my second week spent ensconced at home since the summer heat only exacerbates symptoms. I am determined to tough this out. No way am I going to reintroduce this med to my body even for the slim promise of “possible symptom relief.” I only hope and pray there will be no permanent brain damage although common sense would suggest otherwise.

To all my fellow sufferers, you are in my prayers.

I would Like To Reach out to Kent in Oregon, PLEASE. Your very 1st story here. Thank-you.

P.S. Also, I am very nauseous. Threw up this morning, and I have been profusely sweating 24/7 since on this drug. I thought I was going through the change of life!? The buzzing, though, I can’t stand it! I Just want to say to everyone “Thank-You!” This is the first thing I have found about withdrawals. Just reading a lot of your stories, WOWSA, unbelievable! I now know I am not alone!

I have been on Cymbalta now for at least 6- Years for Fibromyalgia originally! I ran out! And this is now day 6 or 7. I am a 57- yr old Female. I am also on a very powerful pain med, Dilaudid generic (Hydromorphone) 8-Mg. for past two yrs round the clock for pain!!

I am going through the worst symptoms of withdrawal from the Cymbalta!! Buzzing in my brain is constant. Just when I think it’s going to STOP it starts back up again every time I move my eyeballs left to right. I am on the strongest strength, as there are only two strengths. I started on the lowest but moved to the highest, and I was told that this capsule is time-released!

If all that isn’t bad enough I am living in a stressful home with two thoughtless adult kids. So, needless to say, none of them would go and get my prescriptions. I became disabled two years ago due to all my health issues.

The other symptoms are a huge roller-coaster of tears. It comes and goes. Boy, though when it comes on it comes on strong. And the worst suicidal thoughts! And because I am living in constant stress with them I just want to flip out!!! The Word “Ballistic” comes to Mind. I was always a strong person but this is kicking my butt!!! Also, I never realized that the constant ear buzzing was from this!

I think this is a very DANGEROUS DRUG! At this point I do not know what to do, since this is time release. Finally, after day 7 one of my kids decided to go get my Meds for me!? I should have gone to the E.R. I want this drug out of my system! Without sounding crazy, it’s the Devil’s drug!

I am currently trying to wean off of Cymbalta. I was initially taking 60mg. I am down to about 45mg.. I want to try every other day. The sweating has gotten so bad that I could not go out in this southern heat without my head being sopping wet. Had to go to church with a wet head. But I am trusting the Lord to see me through this, as I am currently experiencing body cramps and shortness of breath. I am due for a lung scan, as my doctor wants to check for blood clots. I truly believe that it’s just the meds. My question is: does anyone else experience shortness of breath as a side effect??

Yes Betty, you are not alone!!!! I was on Cymbalta-40mg for a little over a year. I tapered down for 5 days, and then decided that I just wanted to get it over with. My WD symptoms have included slight nausea, definitely a shortness of breath, trouble focusing/thinking straight, rushes of intense anxiety and my least favorite of sleeping way too much. I have been Cymbalta-free for one week now. Good luck to you!

I had difficulty titrating duloxetine from 20mg every other day, upwards to daily, then alternsting with 30mg, finally managing 30mg daily after15 weeks. I got almost every side effect listed but was willing to try to continue to reach a theraputic dose for chronic depression and anxiety. Unfortunately I started to get involuntary arm and leg movements and rocking, with emotional distress and euphoria. Finally I started to get sessions of lightheadedness causing me to fall followed by rapid muscle spasms in back, neck, arms and legs which resembled seizures.

My GP and Psychiatrist decided I needed to come off Duloxetine and so I am beginning tapering, but the ‘seizures’ stayed even when the erratic arm and leg movements eased. I’m taking the last 30mg tablet tonight after 10 days of alternating with 20mg tablets, and then I will be on the 20mg for a while before reducing that toalternate days.

I am so appreciative for the post about using sticky tape to measure a removed % from each capsule – brilliant idea. I shall use this method to help me get off this drug as I can tell already that it is going to be difficult for me.

It was the last antidepressant medication trial for me as I am too sensitive to these meds. It was worth a try for my mood disorder as all others have failed to work, but what I have experienced over the last month with my arms and legs having such odd sudden movements and euphoria turning to suicidal ideas in a matter of hours…. it shows what powerful things these drugs can be, and how they need to be used with caution.

Can you give an update on how it’s been so far?

You’re the first one I’ve read who reported involuntary arm or leg movements. I, too, get that and awful muscle spasms. The profuse sweating is just awful. I thought it was me going through the change of Life!? Wow! This is an awful drug, and they need to get rid of it!

I am on Day 7 of the worst withdrawals you can imagine: crying fits every hour or two; aggressive anger; suicidal thoughts; big-time throwing up. You name it, I got it. After reading this, I just emptied 1/2 of the tiny Beads out of the Capsule and took one for the 1st time in 7 days. We shall see. By the way, I’ve been on the highest dose for the past at least 6 years. Good luck to all who are fighting this Devil Drug!

For the past few months I have feeling a huge pressure in the back lower part of my skull. It’s a weird sensation, I will tell you!!! Like I’m thinking? “Jeepers! Do I have a Blood Clot?” My 80 yr-old mom passed away in May of 2018, and I cannot believe my lack of emotion, like no crying. Now I know it’s the Cymbalta.

Anyone out here that can advise me on withdrawing from Duloxitine 60 mg dr? My doctor gave me 20 mg, and I’m taking 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening. It’s not helping. Should I take 2 20 mg at the same time? I’m hurting bad. Dizzy, headache etc.

I’m concerned about the doctor that said to wean off Cymbalta by taking Prozac. I took Prozac for a couple years, a low dose, and quit cold turkey when I read about the problems with people taking it long term and at higher doses: Diahrrea, stomach pain, crying jag, headaches – sound familiar? It’s the same as quitting Cymbalta. Never quit cold turkey, but also beware of substituting one drug for another while you wean. Though, to be fair, at least Prozac doesn’t cause brain zaps!

I’m sorry to hear that but I have to tell you getting off it is the worst nightmare ever I tried to wean fast and I went into major detox so please slowly wean off of it slowly
I was at 90 for year then recently tried to go from 90 to 60 to 30 tonight when I got to now and I waited to major detox shakes brains zapps throwing up the works so when they tell you to wean off of it do it slowly I have been down to 30 now and for the next two weeks I will do 30mgs daythen skip a day when they skip day I am still experiencing brains zapps
The sad part is well I was on it I had no side effects of that then sweats now that I’m off it is awful
Good luck everyone

I have been taking Cymbalta 30 mg for 1 year now. I was prescribed this medicine for pain and anxiety due to an accident in 2012. One month after taking this medicine I started to feel slight side effects. I felt a bit of nausea and hot flashes and sweating which I never experienced before. Then as the months passed I started to feel dizziness and sometimes had difficulty with my vision. Then weight gain came along. I also had to get my ears checked because I was experiencing Tinnitus which is quite annoying. My doctor prescribed betahistamine for my dizziness. It did help for a bit. But I started to feel worse by the end of March. My wonderful physio therapist was getting concerned. She was doing her best to help me. She and I never once thought that it was this medicine. Even my phyciatrist didn’t realize it.

So by the last 2 weeks in June I felt worse and worse. I decided to set an appointment with my doctor. On July 1st I went out to eat at a restaurant. I got up to go to the washroom, and as I was returning to my table, I blacked out for seconds and fell and banged my head on the corner of the restaurant bar and fell to the floor. Was taken to the hospital. Had a large bump on my forehead. The blood pressure was very high, especially the lower numbers. Did blood work and urine sample. Did a CT-Scan. Because my blood pressure was so high they tested my heart. The doctor said that all the tests came back good. So they discharged me the same day. I did tell the doctor in the hospital I was on Cymbalta. He said if I felt anything unusual to come back to the hospital immediately.

So in the meanwhile I was at my wits end. Why was this happening? So on Tuesday July 3rd I don’t Know what made me decide to GOOGLE the Side Effects of CYMBALTA. OMG, there it was. Everything I was feeling and what was happening to me and my FALL was because of this medicine. I have no DOUBT. So I have decided to let my doctor know I am not taking this anymore. I don’t care what he says. But I do know from reading everyone’s experiences on how to stop taking it that I have to be very careful and be ready for whatever comes along.

I will never suggest this medicine to anyone. I am looking at MEDICAL MARIJUANA. Wishing everyone the best and Fast Healings.

I’m 55. I have multiple sclerosis. I have a lot of pain because of the work that I have done on my life, hard labor work for a female and, oh my gosh, I hate this medication. I was never told what Cymbalta would do, the side effects.

I opened the capsule. I’m on 30 mg and tried to cut back to 20mg, and then I went psycho. I’m so sick to my stomach. I only took one tablet out of my 30, and I’m so sick from that someone should sue their pants off. Nobody told me that this was a drug like this, plus the weight gain. I’ve been on tons of other antidepressants and never, never went through anything like this. Please help! Who has been successful?

Omg- I was put on this because the dr said it would help with my nerve pain in my hands- I too have MS.i just now decided yo get off Cymbalta because of the terrible dizziness I suffer when I forget just one dose. It’s hideous. I have a call into the dr. Right now. The SWEATING is unbearable! I just thought I had the longest menopause in history! The slightest bit of nerves and I drench myself. I hate this evil drug and the ignorance or blind devotion the medical field gives to pharmaceutical companies!! PS, I have been on 60mg for 7 yrs.

My doctor decided to wean me off of Cymbalta because I failed 2 sleep studies horribly. She felt maybe the Cymbalta is part of the reason. I was weaned over a 3 week period then stopped completely 7 days ago. I haven’t had one day that I haven’t vomited everything I ate. I’ve lost close to 10 pounds and every time I think it might be getting better I have to grab for the bucket. I will never except a new drug without first reading about its side effects and possible withdrawal symptoms!

Hi . I have been on 60mg Cymbalta for 12 years and need to stop taking it because I no longer have Medical Insurance. My ex husband has stopped paying and I cannot afford it anymore.

My pharmacist said that the best way was to alternate days and not to taper to 60mg one day and 30mg the next. Yesterday I did not take one and today I will, although I have this zinging in my brain at the back of my head. Any thoughts?

Will this work do you think>

I’m fine taking Vitamin E, 2000mg a day: 1000 in AM and 1000 at bedtime. It helps sooo much with the brain zaps.

I take 60 mg in am and 60 mg at pm . I am going to try to take just 60 mg at night . I want to come off this drug.

I tried coming off cold turkey, which I do not recommend. It was “like” my brain was attacking me. I had brain zaps/electrocution every minute. I was dizzy, could not stand up without feeling lightheaded, I was lethargic, I was scared of closing my eyes because the room will spin; my insomnia got worse. I was awake for hours. I was scared of chewing/eating food, because the brain zaps interferred with moving my mouth.
I could go on and on about the horrifying withdrawal symptoms. I was prescribed Cymbalta 4 yrs ago for nerve pain for facial pain aka trigeminal neuralgia (the worse pain in life). My prescribed cymbalta has served it’s purpose. I told my neuro I want off. He tapered it to 30mg/am & 60mg/pm for the first month, & 60mg/pm the second month, and so on. Well, 48 hours into the second month the brain zaps became frequent, the inside of my head was burning. I was extremely dizzy, had to lean on walls or pause when walking; I had difficulty concentrating, I had
short crying spells (not to mention the love of my life, my pet went to heaven a couple months ago), I had severe headaches which mimicked migraines. I hid the symptoms from coworkers and others. Driving home was scary. The brain zaps affected my sight/my eyeballs. My eyes hurt. I had to turn my neck to look around instead of just using my eyes. I wish I knew then what I know now. The weaning process continues.

Hey everyone, I’ve been on cybolta 30mg for about a year, for headaches I’ve been experiencing for a few years now, 2 weeks ago I decided to stop cold turkey, I have been so dizzy and natius and have had really bad headaches, this feeling has not gone away since I came off, it was so bad that I ended up in the hospital this past Monday, I couldn’t take it.

My wife made a stupid comment while we were in the waiting room, I wonder if it’s because u came off that pill, omg I didn’t even think about that, now I’m reading about everyone with all of the same things I’m going thru. You might think I’m crazy but 15 mins after reading all of this i took a pill.

I just can’t feel this way anymore, I’m going to continue taking it for a few weeks at the full 30 mg dose and start to wean off of it slowly, if anyone has any feed back for me please reply, thanks much.

I get it. I’m trying to stop 60 mg of duloxetine. My brain hurts. I’m dizzy as hell. My blood pressure is unexplainably high. I now have diabetes as of yesterday. Plus many more side effects. I’m now 8 days in and using 20 mg duloxetine 2 times a day.

Did you have any luck? Any advice? I used it for back pain. Been on it for 1 year. My doctor said it was not addicting, and it was OK to just stop using it. I now have a new doctor.

I am going off Cymbalta for the 3rd time and it’s hell. I can no longer tolerate the weight gain, the brain fog and leg cramps and jerking. I suffer from severe depression and pain in every part of my body. I’m allergic to all NSAIDS. I have fibromyalgia and lower back pain so of course Cymbalta seems like the Miri always drug for me. No it is not.

It works for my pain but the inability to think is interoperable. I am an emotional zombie. So for the third time I have decided that I cannot live this way and am weaning off of the cymbalta. It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I open the capsule and take a few beads out and put it back together and wait for that feeling of wellness to happen. I feel like a street drug addict waiting for that days fix.

I do not ever want to take cymbalta again I would rather shuffle around from the pain of fibromyalgia and arthritis. It depresses me that this wonder drug is so harmful to the people that need it. And discontinuing it is even more harmful. As I’m sitting here writing this I want to pop a full strength capsule into my mouth and wait for that feeling then I remember the brain fog, the wishing in my ears and the sweating and I am determined to stay strong and be completely free of this drug.

I have found that opening a capsule and counting the beads and decreasing them by 3 to 5 a day, keep the ones you set aside this is a long and terrible process. You will need everyone of those beads. You can put them in a spoon with honey so they go down. It’s the only way I have successfully Ben able to do this. Good luck everyone who is trying to wean themselves off Cymbalta. Talk to your doctor and let your family members know what you are going through.

I’m a 74 yo male. I had bouts of claustrophobia starting around age 30 and occasional severe panic attacks. At age 43 I had a breakdown and agoraphobia. After years of therapy and various meds I finally had to stop working in 1998 at age 54 as the stress caused extreme muscular pain. I finally settled on cymbalta in 2002 and my life changed. I no longer had pain, depression or anxiety!

After the Great Recession in 2008 I suffered great financial losses in real estate ($millions) and faced bankruptcy for years. Then in 2013 I was diagnosed with high risk prostate cancer and had three major orthopedic surgeries in 2012, 13, and 14. At the same time I had multiple treatments for my cancer including surgery, radiation and hormone therapy.

My financial problems are over and I still have incurable cancer but cymbalta has enabled me to endure and stay positive. I could not have survived without it!
However , for years I’ve had vivid dreams causing me to talk, shout and sometimes kick and punch and fall out of bed ! I’ve had every kind of dream imaginable: some nice sexual, some disgustingly sexual and/or hideous, some terrifying, some involving my deceased parents, many involving my former employer, some involving aliens from other planets, etc.!

It’s driving my wife bonkers and she fears sleeping with me and fears traveling and sleeping in hotels or others’ homes for fear of my antics at night.

So, I guess I need to wean off of duloxetine after 16 years on it since I can’t think of what else is causing this REM sleep disorder. I also have sleep apnea for which I’ve been using CPAP for the last two or so years.

I’ve been prescribed Cymbalta for my chronic neck and back pain. Surgery can not fix my back. I live in northern Michigan, and they absolutely do not prescribe opiate or scheduled meds, I can’t even get my (extreme) anxiety pills I had when I moved back from Florida. So I took the Cymbalta because it’s all I could get.

I have been on 30 mg 1x a day. Will 6 weeks on this medication gonna be as hard for me to get off as someone who’s taken it longer? I don’t like how it makes me feel, and it does ZERO for pain relief. I could go crazy from the pain !!! Florida is a compassionate state. They have excellent pain management. I was pain free when I moved here to MI, felt great, had to go cold turkey off my pain meds and anxiety meds. I was on opiates, yes, for 10 years, same dose. I never abused them, usually had leftovers, but my Dr was great. I didn’t have to worry about addiction because this is a lifelong chronic condition.

Now I feel so depressed. I stay in bed most of the time. I don’t shower for days. I’m too tired , exhausted and in so much pain I’ve become a recluse and want to just go away forever. Not giving pain medication to someone who’s seen a surgeon who made me cry when he said it was congenital is shameful.I have MRI scans, CT scans, and xrays as proof. It makes me want to go find drugs some other way. Anything is better than this life. Am I also depressed? You bet! Who wouldn’t be ??

I have been on cymbalta for about 8 months. First 20 mg then 30 then 40. I have fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis and other major back issues. I also have many stomach issues. I have a doctor who is very understanding and gives me Vicodin 40mg at a time. She knows that I don’t abuse them and only usually take 1/2 to 1 a day. The Cymbalta was supposed to help but I started sweating so much I couldn’t stand it. I mean my hair and head were soaked even if I was inside with AC on.

I asked to come off of it and have gone 2 weeks at 30 mg and then I am now on the 2 weeks at 20 mg. I am dizzy all the time but I am determined to get off of this. My next step is 20 mg every other day. I hate this medication. I can’t take Advil, as it does a number on my stomach That is why the internist recommended Vicodin. Does not bother stomach. Good luck to all who try to get off. I will not give up.

I took 60 mg of Cymbalta for many, many years. I decided it was time to decrease the dose to hopefully help with my insomnia and also to decrease sweating. I did this over SEVERAL weeks. I took a 60 mg for 2 days and every third day took a 30 mg for 2 weeks. I then went to a 60 mg one day, 30 mg the next for 2 weeks – then to 30 mg for 2 days, 60 mg for one day for 2 weeks, and finally to 30 mg each day. The process took 6 weeks. I know this sounds like an incredibly slow process, but I did not have any of the horrible withdrawals others have had. My doctor thought it was a little extreme, but prescribed as I requested and am very happy with the results and no withdrawal symptoms.

Hi Leenora,

Could you write out what dosages you took for how many days again? The way its written is confusing me but I would like to try your method to get off this horrible stuff. I’ve been taking 120mg for the last 5 years, but it’s stopped working for me so I’m switching to Wellbutrin. Even though I tried tapering off while taking the Wellbutrin I’m still having the horrible brain zapping.
Thanks so much!

I live in Scotland and was put on duloxetine for neuropathic pain but was not myself. Tired to the point of exhaustion. I warned myself off from 60 to 30 to 20 but the withdrawal has been agonising. Brain zaps but worst my stomach and gut in constant pain and severe diahorrea and acid reflux. I will never go back on this awful medication. Gp should have warned of side effects and repercussions with withdrawal but no one did and yet it is agonising.

Hi Jacqueline, I live just north of Lockerbie. Have been on 120mg of Duloxetine for many years (60mg am 60mg pm). I’m currently working with my GP, on my terms, to reduce this massive dose until I finally come off this drug altogether. I’ve had years of what others, including yourself, have been experiencing.

Extreme exhaustion being only one of the many symptoms. I wish you luck in getting off this drug altogether. I’m sure your going in the right direction by taking it as slowly as possible to suit you, just take your time. We will get off this awful drug. Good luck.

Hi, Can anyone tell me if you experienced tinnitus and if it went away with time? Best wishes I really need an answer

I have horrid tinnitus with this drug. It has to be Cymbalta because I never had it before and I haven’t suffered a brain trauma while I’ve been on it. It’s worse when I lay down at night – it’s enough to drive me insane. I hope and pray it goes away once I wean off this vile medication.

I have tinnitus. It has nothing to do with drugs, or your ears. It is from brain trauma. It never goes away! I’m sorry, it’s awful! Never any peace and quiet.

A year of treatment of of arcupuncture by a person who has learned the proper treatment, should put you together. There are also procedures. I suffer tinnititus for years. I have started treatment, I do not have the funds for a whole year. Believe me I know what you are suffering. at tumes I get a nervous break down.

This is my 4th day off Duloxetine. I took 60mg for approximately one year to combat chronic, widespread pain. I was never one to like or ask to take pills. But, this time things were getting intolerable, so I agreed to give it a try. I felt better pain-wise. I never felt as mentally sharp will on Dulox, but I guess you can’t have everything.

After a year and some positive life changes (divorce, living situation) I decided that I wanted to also remove this drug from my life. Reading the horror stories about the withdrawal syndrome just became more determined to get rid of this stuff.

I haven’t noticed any remarkable withdrawal symptoms yet. There may be an extremely slight and non-debilitating sensation of a minor “zap,” reminding me of a small and harmless electrical shock lasting well less than a second and only happening now and then, but it’s so minor that I probably wouldn’t report it. This certainly can’t be the dreaded “brain zaps” that are mentioned here.

Here’s how I stepped down; I was not about to drive myself crazy (or crazier) by attempting to count these microbeads, so I devised a consistent albeit not precise way to step down gradually…using scotch tape!
First, I opened one of my green and yellow capsules by pulling the green side off the top. Then, by placing a strip of tape over the opening of yellow part of the capsule and flipping it upside down and back once, I had a nice, full circle of these beads that stuck to the tape. (The tape looked like the top of those great tasting Nonpareils candy!) I found that one, 60mg capsule would make almost 20 circles on the tape. So, I decided to drop one circle (5%) every 7 days.

Starting the first week of February, I removed one circle of beads from 7 capsules by opening the capsule green side up, putting the tape over the opening of the yellow side of the capsule, flipping it upside down and back, and then closing it back up. The next week, I made two circles per capsule, etc. Once I removed maybe 5-6 circles from the yellow side of the capsule, I found that the remaining beads all fit in the shorter, green side of the capsule. So, instead of having to remove 8, 9, on and on from the yellow side, I could start the count over again from a full green side of the capsule. Having several strips of tape available by sticking one side to the edge of my desk and slightly folding over the opposite end to give me a nonsticky way to grab the tape helped.
My last pill was Saturday, and that ended a week of approximately 5% of my original intake, or 3mg. It took almost 4 months to step down this way, but it worked well for me. (I did cheat a few times and only go 5 days before dropping down again because things went well.)

I don’t have any of the original pains, I feel sharper and happier, and I’m very grateful that I am off and will stay off this crap.

Lesson learned? If I have to ever be prescribed another med for something, I need to do a better job of researching…all of it. I paid attention to all the paperwork that talked about the possible side effects, but of course none of the info about withdrawal problems was included in that paperwork.

I also strongly believe that reducing/eliminating some of the stressors in my life did as much, if not more, for my health as any medicine could. Life was always good, but now it’ even better. Good luck to those working through this problem. You can do it!

Thanks for the detailed description! I was on Effexor for a few years and discontinued it (under Dr. supervision) – awful. Still fought with depression, and eventually shifted to duoloxitine. Worked well for my MS neuropathic pain but not for depression, so I got whapped with Wellbutrin as well. Success!

The Wellbutrin works well on depression (a situation unlikely to change as I have lesions in mood sectors of the brain) so I am now weaning off the Cymbalta (duo…). Side effects not quite as bad with another antidepressant on board. Doctors recommend a short course of Prozac to balance the serotonin – say 5 days. It is long-lasting so it hides the side effects and tapers more gradually. So they say…;-)

Michael from TN, great idea using tape. I started titrating from 30-mg, mid-May using your tape method. One more week of 2 circles, then it’ll be 3.

I was in the military and a stressful civilian job. My ptsd was so bad, the docs put me out of work. My anxiety attacks were 2.5 hours long. If one hit right after the other, then I was looking at 5 hours of pure ANXIETY HELL. First doc gave me Xanax & Ambien. Xanax worked at first. Then it was 2 Xanax, then 3, then 4. Yes…Hooked. My doc moved, so I titrated off of Xanax (6-months worth), and my new doc gave me duloxetine. For me, it took about 3 days to fully work. After which, my anxiety attacks were few and far between. So much so, I had forgotten what an attack was,and when I did have one, I hauled butt to the ER thinking I was dying. Got billed some bucks for a stupid anxiety attack that I should have recognized.

Couple of months ago, my psychologist finally discovered the origin of my issues. Seems the sleepless nights, anxiety attacks, night sweats, suicidal thoughts, thoughts of dying, have changed or (hopefully) are gone. So, the titration off of duloxetine. Between discovering the origin and the decision to titrate, my heart started racing now and then, leg twitches, dry mouth, etc. I did my internet MD research and saw that these issues are symptoms of using duloxetine.

So, do I have any regrets using duloxetine for about 5-years? Compared to having 2.5 to 5 hours of an anxiety attack? Absolutely NOT! I keep my fingers crossed and prayers to God that I won’t have another anxiety attack. Then I’m done with this portion of my life, and I can live once again.

I have been off of duloxitine completely for 2 weeks now; after a very gradual tapering that included counting the tiny beads and re-capsuling them in vegetable gel caps. It hasn’t been easy. I have been very emotional and irritable. I don’t know if the emotional part is just normal emotions or from the discontinuation (syndrome). I have been on an antidepressant for fibromayalgia for nearly 20 years. first it was fluoxitine (Prozac) and then there was the upgrade to the miracle fibromyalgia drug duloxitine (Cymbalta). My physician did that for me 18 months ago on the recommendation of a rhuemetologist. Later I was sorry that we did so, as I became very forgetful and have lost my reputation for being reliable at work. I also had to worry about actually loosing my job. So I asked my physician to help me in the tapering. She has been great. Even though we had to talk- off the record at times. The denial of the problem with duloxitine has to be reckoned with by the medical system and the FDA!
My point in writing this was to let Kassandra in Arizona know that I was taking both fluoxitine and duloxitine together in small doses each while I transitioned onto duloxitine. Long story short, It may not work out as rosy as your physician says. I could barely function at work! I felt like I was floating and could not think straight which was terrible because my job is to work with other peoples finances.
Back to the present- I am so glad to be free of all antidepressant medicine! It continues to be rough going through the discontinuation period- how ever long that may be. My main problems seem to stem from my brain and body re-adjusting to normality. I am so excited to find out what “Normal” feels like. Don’t get me wrong- I have experienced brief suicidal thoughts which I found shocking and concerning. I have dealt with inappropriate anger rising in me which I attached to what ever was going on, not visa-verce. Luckily, I had found an article about this happening during withdrawal from Cymbalta. Just knowing this helped. I have been easily nauseated and had diarrhea too. So it has been rough going. But I hope to come out on the other side of this just fine. I am taking a more natural approach for my pain now. That is a story for another time and place though.

I’m on 30mg for PTSD/ANXIETY attacks. Works very well for me. No argument here. After years of psychological help, I’m going to get with my doc and go down to 20mg for a while. Then lower and finally off.

Yes. I do get a twitch or ringing in my ears once in a while, racing heart, brain zap once in a blue moon, but compared to raging and all day anxiety attacks, yeah….I’m leary of stopping this med. Going to try the tape method as stated by another person.

I’ve been taking 30mg Cymbalta for approximately 1year. I can no longer take the brain zaps,difficulties with speech, and no energy!! I quit it cold turkey, haven’t taken any for 5 days. No real problems as of yet. Just insomnia and increase episodes of anxiety. Brain zaps still here…they drive me crazy!

I will say though the Cymbalta did get me through very difficult time…just in the last 10 years fibromyalgia dx after chemo and radiation tx, then recently fell ill with Lyme disease which threw me into another episode of major depression and anxiety. I Lost the ability to continue working as RN and learning to live with much less. But I made it !!! Time to move on and leave Cymbalta behind me. Wish me luck….thanks

HelloI have been on 60mgms of Duloxetin since Feb 2018,so not long for Fibromyalgia.Reading these articles I need to stop it.
How can I do this safely.

Thank you Debbie for your post. I went off the same mgs 4 days ago. I feel like crap, but once I made the decision I didnt want to wait. I am hoping I wake up and feel a bit better than I do now.

My head feels like I am in a fog, and an overall feeling of dizzy. After reading other side effects I guess I have been lucky so far. I went on it for sleep, which I dont believe it helped as much as several different supplements.

Trying a new one this week, so I hope I can solve this insomnia without a prescribed drug ever again.

Hello all,

I am currently weaning myself off Cymbalta. I have been on it for 10 years for fibromyalgia, but am going to try to have a baby soon. Anyway I have a couple of tips!

1. You need to open the capsules and make lower doses for yourself to not have AS MANY issues. I did half a 30 (I eyeballed it… I didn’t take the time to count the beads- seems fine) for two weeks. I definitely had some lightheadedness/head rushes, headaches, tired feeling. I am now on a little less than half because at the end of the two weeks I was feeling decent. Same symptoms repeating- also noticing some depression. This brings me to my next tip:

2. Get yourself some 5-htp! For those who don’t know 5-htp is a supplement (you can get at a GNC or online) that helps your body produce serotonin. Cymbalta affects serotonin levels, so going off of it leaves you with a lack of serotonin. 5-htp is definitely making a difference! I take 2-3 a day, and this morning I felt a noticeable change in my mood within an hour of taking it.

Hope that helps!

PS: If you happen to be a teacher like me, start your withdrawels in the last month of school so you can quit during the summer. :)

My doctor put me on Cymbalta 30 mg. last fall to help curb nerve pain associated with fibromyalgia. While it did seem to lessen pain, it slowly turned me into an inactive, anxiety ridden version of my former self. I literally stopped exercising the week I began taking it, and as if that weren’t bad enough, I started craving sugar big time. I managed to gain twenty pounds over about six months. Over a matter of a few months, I noticed a brand new social anxiety I have not had before (I was a political organizer!) which finally culminated into outright panic a few weeks ago.

My blood pressure, which normally runs 110/70, was suddenly up at 142/92, and I was having major heart palpitations. I had read quite a bit about the horrors of discontinuing an SNRI, so my first thought was to taper down to 20 mg. Well, I threw that plan out the window after a couple of days at a lower dosage. The nausea and dizziness were incredible, and I couldn’t focus on anything at all. The worst part was that I was still having heart palpitations and all of the other original symptoms, because I was still on the damned drug! I went back to my doc, and asked for a handful of .5 mg Ativan, as well as some anti-nausea medication to help me get through the first week, and ditched the Cymbalta entirely.

That was eight days ago, and amazingly enough, it has worked. I slept a lot at first. I definitely have had balance issues and moments when I have been more aggressive than I would normally be, but overall, I am feeling better. I have also started exercising to combat the serotonin discrepancy–which made an IMMEDIATE difference in how well I am coping. I would also add that I think Omega 3’s are super important, because I started adding more of them into my diet around day five and noticed an improvement. The anti-nausea and Ativan saved me the first few days. I feel lucky to have a doctor who trusts and listens to me. I will never consent to taking any kind of antidepressant for any reason again. Best wishes and hugs to anyone struggling to get off this drug.

I have chronic back, leg, foot and headache pain for 10 years. I have been on Duloxetine (Cymbalta) for two years. I was taking 60 mg capsules once a day. I had plenty of 30 mg capsules from the start-up period. I asked my doctor to give me some 20 mg capsules. I first went to two 20 mg capsules a day. This was no problem at all for me. If you start to get some withdrawal symptoms you can start with alternating the 60mg and 40mg every other day. Whichever mg you want to take, do it for 10 days.

I then went straight to 40mg every day for a week, then 30mg per week. Then I went against my own rules and went straight to 30mg ever other day. This gave me some side effects such as; Nausea, pounding headache, hot flashes, very loud ear ringing and hot flashes. I then started taking 20mg every day for 10 days. Then I tried to take 20mg every other day, it gave me the side effects again. This next procedure can be used at anytime in the withdraw cycle since it’s exactly want your body needs. I took a 20mg capsule at 5:00am Monday, I then waited until I started getting some side effects before I took the next one; Tuesday at 6:00 pm. I then waited until side effects and took my next one Wednesday at Midnight then Friday at 7:00pm then I was waiting for some side effects, and I never took another one. This is how my body needed to withdraw from Cymbalta. Everybody is different. I did the same procedure to get off Xanax, and I have zero withdraw side effects.

This was a very encouraging post for me as I am on the same dose and am anxious to be off this drug as well. I will follow our schedule…wish me luck!

This is my 4th attempt on Duloxetine for chronic pain, fibro and associated anxiety & low mood. Each time in the past I have bailed out because of unbearable side effects and no improvement in condition.

This time I decided to hang on a bit longer and go up to the 60mg quicker. I’m at the five week stage now (3 weeks at 60mg) and just as previous attempts I feel awful: flu like sickness nausea dizzy confused far more anxious hot sweats and my pain is worse.

I’ve been telling myself to hang in there maybe it’ll take 6 weeks maybe 8 maybe 12 but I think I’m fooling myself I should have felt something by now.
So once again I’m bailing out.

However I can vouch for the Prozac Bridge method it’s worked every time for me in the past and the only withdrawal issues I’ve had and maybe one or two days max of the odd brain zap.

Simply reduce Dulox to 30mg and stay tyere for a week then stop and replace next day with 20mg Prozac. Stay on the Prozac for at least 2 weeks or for longer if it helps. Then quit the prizac either immediately or taking one every other day then every other three days etc.

Last time I switch to Prozac and decided to stay on it and have been on Prozac for 12 months prior to my recent switch back to cymbalta.

Prozac does nothing for pain little for anxiety but it keeps mood in check its nice to have as a bolt hole back to sanity when you need to quit Duloxetine or Effexor or other ADs. I always keep plenty of spare Prozac in the cupboard.

Started Cymbalta last Thursday seemed to help with chronic pain, made me dizzy if i moved to fast, a migraine head ache just on the edge when the memory’s would start. After a few days the tapes stopped playing and being on the edge of a migraine was reduced. No way I could drive on this stuff. My wife said i was zoning out and non responsive.

So I have a appointment to get shots in my back this coming Thursday. So i do not take it Tuesday night, thinking it should clear my system. WRONG, it’s like all the bad it seemed to help with, is paying me back ten fold, still at 2 AM Thursday morning. Want to take a shower to let warm water run on my back, to dizzy to stand that long, Constipation followed by the runs and migraine that puts me in a dark room coming on strong.

Five days of some relief followed withdraw hell. Another fail, can hardly move after sleeping for 12 hours Wednesday. Normal for me is 2 -6 hours wife is concerned. Look’s like i will have to cancel my appointment and push everyone away from a dark room again. When will the hell stop? Eye flashes, what now?

WOW! I am so relieved to have found this site! I am overwhelmed with joy to see that I am not the only one having major side effects while trying to wean off of Cymbalta. I thought that there must be something seriously wrong with me because I don’t feel like myself at all. I am dizzy, nauseous, having uncontrollable crying spells, and I am filled with anxiety!!

I have been on Cymbalta 60mg for at least 9 years. My husband retired December 2016 and I decided to quit my job and stay home around the same time. Recently, I have decided that possibly I might not need anxiety meds since I don’t have the stress of work or small children at home. I spoke to my doctor about weaning off and she assured me that it was possible but it must be done slowly. Her suggestion I stop Cymbalta 60mg and start with 30mg.

Week1 Cymbalta 30mg 1X a day. Week2 & Week3 30mg every other day. Week4 30mg 1X every third day. The side effects started to worsen and I lessened the dose. Today has been the worse day so far! I have had out burst of crying most
of the day. I have a heavy pressure on my chest and my anxiety level is through the roof. I called my doctor to let her know what is going on and to see what she would recommend.

She suggest starting back with 60mg every other day and 30mg every other day. I feel like that is almost starting over and I do not want to do that. My goal is to get off of this medication!!!!! Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I have neuropathy from Agent Orange when I was in Viet Nam 1969. I am not diabetic but my feet hurt, and now the V.A. wants me to take Duloxetine. The V.A. had me on Gabapentin, then Pregabalin, and now Duloxetine. What works for me is Vicodin-Xodol but the V.A. will not give it to me. They say it’s a drug. What is wrong with the V.A. ?

Hang in there, you have come this far, don’t give in. I did a 2 week taperdown from 120 mg a day, after using for 7 yrs; because this drug was not helping me at all, except to make me more depressed and lethargic.

I can take a lot, but this is absolutely the worst and hardest thing I have ever done. I have had every withdrawal symptom except a seizure since I stopped. Everyday all day this is a living nightmare. It makes no logical since to go back after I have come 3 weeks without it. Duloxetine is a wretched drug.

Anything that can affect someone this profoundly and they haven’t had any in 3 weeks, is too dangerous to be on the market. I wish I could say what I really feel….but I can’t. I plan to stay off this drug and my life is not worth living right now.

This is all an eye-opener for me. Started taking cymbalta last summer. It helped my back pain. After reading all the comments, I was associating symptoms with pre-menopause but now I realize there is a good chance that the cymbalta has caused a lot of them. I haven’t had it for a few days due to miscommication between my doctor and pharmacist but now I realize I should not restart. Had horrible dizziness and headache today, insomnia and nightmares last few nights. Thanks to everyone for the advice on what to do. I took dramamine today before I read these posts. I Will keep it up and hopefully reduce the symptoms.

I went through a lot of significant, life altering, non-positive events when I was in college, a time where my anxiety was through the roof. This was 7 years ago. I am just now tapering off 60 mg of Cymbalta. I got tired of taking pills to combat everything. I decided I wanted to try and deal with my anxiety “naturally”. I also felt like I was in a different place in my life, where I could actually handle the anxiety on my own.

I’m finally at the part of the tapering where I am on zero mg of Cymbalta, nothing. My withdrawal symptoms are at their worst: Nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, bursts of tears, irritability, GI issues, vertigo/dizziness (which in turn makes me more nauseous). It’s nearly impossible to do anything productive for work. Luckily, I work from home, which has made this part easier. To be honest, I’m not happy with my dr for even putting me on this in the first place. I was 19 years ol, and really didn’t know any better. I don’t regret much in life, but I regret taking this medication/not doing more research before agreeing to take it.

I am 100% aware I chose to take the meds, but knowing what I know now/what I’m going through, I wouldn’t recommend this drug to anyone, solely because of what you have to endure when coming off of it. Makes me feel like an addict going through withdrawal.

I am in your exact situation right now. I’m 23, been on cymbalta since high school, probably 6/7 years total and I’ve been on 0mg for 2 days and today was my braking point. I started 30mg again because I could not handle the symptoms. I have everything you have from vertigo to throwing up, diarrhea, loss of appetite.. I’m going to continue my 30mg for awhile until I can afford these supplements I found on another website that helps with the withdrawl symptoms. Look up ‘the road back’ on google. It’s super informative. No one understands how awful the withdrawl is. I can’t take it anymore.

I was originally on Topamax for my migraines but when that was not working the doctor wanted me to try Cymbalta. I read about all the side effects and stuff and was afraid to try it for probably 2 months but then around the beginning of the new year I decided to try it in hopes it would stop the headaches. I have a low dose 20mg a day. I am a very athletic person but I have gained 15 pound since starting it along with lots of sweating.

Today I saw my doctor and we are moving on to a blood pressure med, propranolol. Having read a lot about Cymbalta I asked him are we going to taper down the drug but he told me I was on such a low dose I will be fine. I sure hope he is right but I don’t think it will be that easy. I stop taking it tonight so we will see.

I am in your exact situation right now. I’m 23, been on cymbalta since high school, probably 6/7 years total and I’ve been on 0mg for 2 days and today was my braking point. I started 30mg again because I could not handle the symptoms. I have everything you have from vertigo to throwing up, diarrhea, loss of appetite.. I’m going to continue my 30mg for awhile until I can afford these supplements I found on another website that helps with the withdrawl symptoms. Look up ‘the road back’ on google. It’s super informative. I’m in Texas too. Fb me and we can talk through this together. No one understands how awful the withdrawl is.. I can’t take it anymore.

Only been on it for two months. Had spine surgery in January. Had been given the drug a couple of years ago but only started taking it recently for post-op depression (my idea but did tell doctors). Decided a couple of days ago to stop. Did not like what I thought might be some side effects. starting yesterday vomiting and dizzy. Just found this site. Trying cold turkey in the hope it will be easier for a short termer. Getting dramamine tomorrow. Thanks

I have taken this drug for a month from my doctor as a trial for pain and nerve blocking
now after reading all these comments
I’m not asking for a prescription today is day 2 of not taking a pill, my heart feels like its skipping beats, the sweats i was having long before stopping as a side effect
I’m going off this cold turkey so i hope my family understands it might be hell for a bit but no going to have long life issues like some of you …please wish me luck

I am a 57 year old female, and I have been taking duloxetine for depression for years now. I recently decided to stop taking the drug because frankly, I am just sick and tired of being dependent upon drugs for my mental help, and to be honest, don’t know if it truly helps anyhow? I’ve been on the drug for so long, that I don’t really even know if I’m still suffering from depression or not, if that makes any sense to anyone? I just want to know if I can function mentally without the help of any drug, so I decided to come off of it. I started weaning off of it, and have not been taking it at all for about a month now, and OMG, the side effects of withdrawal from this drug is absolutely HORRIBLE! I have sweats like you wouldn’t believe, brain zaps, crying jags, anxiety, claustrophobia, and feelings of sadness and hopelessness. I wouldn’t recommend this drug to anyone, now knowing what I know and experiencing first hand the horrors of withdrawal from it. Doctors will not tell you any of this, just continue to give you drugs to deal with whatever. It shouldn’t be like this! God didn’t create us to be dependent upon drugs to function, and to be honest, they create more problems in your health and lives than they help!

Thank you so much, Susan, for sharing your story. I am 58 years old and totally relate to your story. I’m in the process of weaning off, and the withdrawal is awful.

I’m a 54 year old woman. I’ve been on Cymbalta 60 mg for a year for anxiety that started after a car accident. It makes me very tired and I wondered if I still needed it so I asked my Dr. to reduce my dose. We went to 30mg. Only 3 days later I started feeling pressure in my chest, a strange pit in my stomach, a crazy tingling or vibration in my body and weird dreams.

This has been going on for 2 days and I am extremely tired, worse than when I was on the 60 mg dose. I don’t know whether to stick it out or go back up on the dose. For a while I quietly thought I was having a heart attack I am feeling so strange. Now I realize it’s this medicine change but I’m not sure what to do about it.

Hi, everyone. My name is Andreia. I started duloxetine 4 months ago. Initialy I took 30 mg and the incresead the dose for 60 mg. The problema is I experienced tinnitus in my left ear. I quit cymbalta for about 15 days and the tinnitus is still here. I did see tinnitus listed as a side effect of cymbalta, but, my question is: is it something permanent? Has anyone experienced tinnitus while taking cymbalta and this tinnitus stopped once you stopped the medication? How long for this symptom to go away? I need some evidence that people ONLY have tinnitus while taking this drug and it went away with time. Best wishes for you all

I am so glad I found this website. I have been having all the symptoms that everybody has described, and I didn’t know what was wrong. And my blood pressure was very high. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it. I went to the emergency room. I then went to my doctor and then to my heart doctor, and there was no mention of duloxetine.

This morning I was taking my daily meds and realized that it was not among my pills. I have a four-week pill case, and I had run out after the first week and forgot when I got the prescription filled to add the next three weeks. So I didn’t have my duloxetine for a whole week. Reading this article, now I understand what’s been wrong with me all week. The ER doc said that I had vertigo. So I started back on the duloxetine this morning. I’m waiting to see now if things will change. I sure hope so.

When i miss one day of my 60 mg dose, I don’t have a problem. If i miss the next day, I have bizarre dreams and a kaleidoscope like awareness of what my brain is doing if I wake up. This is the only way I know how to explain it. Then when I wake up on the next day I have a general weird feeling in my head. I would say I have a headache and dizziness, but it is unlike any other I have had not related to cymbalta withdrawal. It continues to get worse, but Ive never stayed off it very long, so don’t know how long it would last. I’m going to ask about going down to 30 mg.

I had exactly the same thing happen: i.e. weird dreams if I miss a day or 2. I recently asked my doctor to help wean me off cymbalta. He decreased my meds to 30mg and put me on 20mg of Lovan (Prozac). I have had severe nausea and dizziness, and I have been on the decreased meds for one week. I don’t know whether to continue like this or go back to 60mgs. I figure I have done a week so continue. My doctor had no idea that I would have problems decreasing the dosage of cymbalta 😩

I get that sound in my ears/head when I move my head also. It is very difficult to explain, but I recognize what Donna Iowa is describing.

About 6 months ago, my rheumatologist started me on 30 mg of Cymbalta, in an attempt to help with the chronic pain and associated depression I was experiencing from Fibromyalgia. In addition, he increased my Lyrica dose from 75 mg TID to 100 mg TID. My Cymbalta dosage has been dialed up to 90 mg daily, over this 6 month period. At first, I was thrilled with the pain relief I was getting from the Cymbalta. I was willing to live through the side effects to have the pain relief. I have been taking the 90 mg Cymbalta for two months now, and I am at the point where I simply cannot afford to continue with this medication. The side effects are totally disrupting my life. I constantly have random “zaps” throughout my body; I have tremors which are sometimes so bad, that I cannot perform simple tasks; I break out in sweats so significant, that my hair will be ringing wet, along with my clothes; I have severe dry mouth which leads to great difficulty talking and even swallowing any foods; I have increased insomnia, which will lead to episodes where I sleep for 10-12 hours or more; I gained 10 pounds the first two weeks I began taking Cymbalta, even with a decrease iny appetite; and other difficult symptoms which have caused me to miss excessive amounts of time from work.
One of my physicians advised me to get off of the Cymbalta eight away, and fortunately, I didn’t attempt the “cold turkey” method. This is my third day cutting down from 90 mg daily to 60 mg daily. So far, my withdrawal symptoms have been noticeable. I am having a significant problem with shortness of breath; I am noticing am increase in the sporadic “zaps” throughout my body; the excessive sweating seems to be occurring more frequently and I feel like I need to keep a towel with me to dry off; I have severe insomnia and I am snapping at my family. Misery. I will continue this process of weaning off, very slowly.
I appreciate everyone who has shared their experiences and given advice for a DIY weaning. Good luck to all of those who are traveling down this same pathway.

I was put on duloxetine shortly after a hospital stay in which I had a subdural hematoma and craniotomy followed by seizures and induced coma, etc. I was put on duloxetine as a sort of ‘wonder drug’ that would help the scalp pain (my hair hurt) and the incision pain, anxiety, depression, despair, you name it. The neurologist said it would help a whole lot of things. It did, and now I have been on it for 4 years. I have a couple of times tried to decrease the dose and once went for a few days accidentally. I pretty much unraveled, as did the other people here. One thing I discovered about my withdrawal symptoms that I did not know how to explain for a long time is that I get a constant sound like someone shaking maracas in my head, no rhythm, just continuous but random swishes, and then a feeling of impending insanity. I appreciate the ideas here of counting beads and doing a very long, drawn-out withdrawal. I see the neurologist Monday and am going to ask about it.

I started on Cymbalta in 2010, and then I was switched to Duloxetine. At first, I responded well to it, but I gained weight within the first 3 months or so of taking it.

Every so often, if I forgot to take my dosage, I noticed that I felt dizzy and had these “brains zaps” that I could not quite describe to people. On the nights I forgot to take my pill, I experienced vivid, real, horrific dreams/ nightmares. After some research online, I began to learn that it was due to missed dosages. This concerns me greatly, since I started to wonder what it was doing to my brain, my body, mental state, etc.

In discussions with my doctor, there was never an end date as to when I could stop taking the drug. I began to take matters into my own hands, and decided to do what I was learning from others in discussion boards online.

I am still tapering off this drug, and I do it by opening the capsules and counting beads. I found a Facebook group called Cymbalta Hurts Worse, and it has helped me tremendously. Just to read the posts and know that I am not alone in this, that in itself has helped. If you have not found that group yet, I suggest you check it out immediately on Facebook. It is a closed group of about 14,000 people experiencing the very things that are posted here.

I wish everyone the best. Good luck to all, and just know that there is hope on the other side.

I’m into week 2 of withdrawal from duloxetine. It is very hard. Symptoms are insomnia, emotional hypersensitivity, pain in old injury areas, mentally jumping around, tinnitus and shortness of breath.

I really hope it doesn’t take 9 months to completely recover, as it did for one person on this page.

I’ve tried to use my physicians help, but the slow process of cutting the dose didn’t work.

Thank you so much for this information! I was beginning to think I was either about to have a stroke or a heart attack! I feel horrible, and nauseated all of the time! I have been trying to take a dose every other day!! I have taken anti-depressants for years….different ones off and on. Some have just about killed me, others have been fabulous to help me with clinical depression!!

I must get off of this medication!! Not sure what method to use…..maybe the capsule opening and counting of beads is the way. Just praying for ALL of us on this medication!!!!

I thought I was losing my mind! Today was only my third day of not taking Cymbalta and I was attempting to get myself cleaned up from work the day before to go to the emergency room…which is somewhere I don’t want to be. I took myself off of it because I was having minor side effects compared to what I’m having now such as red red gums and my lips are inflamed and now my privates are the same.

I just started taking this drug back in September for chronic pain/arthritis and I’ve never had any issues with it and I actually felt really good. My symptoms started yesterday at work and I was starting to really freak myself out. Nervousness, tingling in my hands, arms and head, brain twinges as I would call them I was scared I was having a stroke.

As I was laying in the tub about an hour ago I decided I was goin to read about this drug and when I started reading all the other stories I knew I was not goin crazy I am so relieved I’m crying 😭 right now writing this. So, I immediately took a pill to get it back in my system and I’m hoping my symptoms stop soon! Thank you everyone who took the time to explain your story.

I will stay on it and I will deal with my gums/lips issues with a allergy doc possibly I’m eating something that is causing it! So relieved!!

I have been on Cymbalta for probably 8 years. I originally was put on it for neck and back pain. I have finally made the decision to come off because of the numerous aggravating side effects……intense dry mouth, night sweats and difficulty sleeping. I have been taking 60mg and am slowing titrating off by estimating beads. I am currently on 55 mg for the past week. Prozac has been suggested to take when coming off Cymbalta but no-one has mentioned being on such a high dose. Does anyone know if that would make a difference initially or should I wait until I reach a lower dose?

I started Cymbalta about 7 years ago due to Fibromyalgia complications from a serious fall which damaged nerves in my lower back. I began to feel better after 3 days. My anxiety level is way down; my pain is rarely above a 3; and no side affects except weight gain of about 15 lbs. Not sure I’ll ever go off the meds.

I am currently gong through withdrawals from Cymbalta and it’s awful, I’m taking Dramamine as well. I can certainly tell when they wear of. Electric zaps, muscle spasms. Ugh

I have been on gabapentin Neurontin four years for nerve damage and I am experiencing all the same things as the Cymbalta patients are by coming off that cold turkey I think there is something similar about the side effects being there book for nerve damage does anyone out there know??

I was prescribed 30 cymbalta for chronic pain. I want to stop taking this drug but I’m afraid the pains will return. Cymbalta has made my pains go away and restored my flexibility

I, too, am gradually reducing my dosage of cymbalta. I was placed on this horrible drug for nerve pain. I began taking cymbalta in 2009, upon my physicians advise. I was never told it was a black box drug or the side effects. I could never go past 60 mg, as I my hands shook so badly that food would fall off my fork when eating. Last month my dose was reduced from 60mg to 30 mg, and I went through hell for a week. The rest of the month I was able tolerate withdrawal better. I’m now going to ask for my dosage to be lowered again. I feel awful for all us suffering from a drug which in my opinion should not have made it to the public. Good luck to all, and remember your lives will get better.

I’m thankful to have found this article, and these comments. Other websites are quite a few years older and I needed to find some current commentary. I’m on day 16 of no Cymbalta, after having slowly tapered down from the max dose to the lowest dose over a couple of years. I think I may have reached my limit for tolerating the withdrawl. There is no need for me to go into what I am experiencing, because everything that is written here is what I am experiencing. I was actually handling the zaps, the screaming in my ears, the dizziness and sweating tolerably well, but these past few days have seen me hit an emotional low. I’m so angry and abrupt that I’m worried I will hurt relationships and my career. I’m starting to worry that this is my true personality and that duloxitine has just been masking the real me – but that simply can’t be true, I’m a really nice person. (I was on Effexor previously, Cymbalta was prescribed to me as a better alternative). At this moment I’m not sure what to do – it would crush me to give in – but I think I may have to try counting beads. Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories because it helps to know that I’m not alone and I’m not crazy.

I relate to your comments, Anne. My depression and mood swings are not good, and my dry mouth has been bad ever since my surgery and I chewed on my tongue. The docs and dentists say nerve damage in my tongue, and ENT suggested talking to neurologist about gabapentin, but I fear adding that would just add to my long-term issues. I also have been able to go from 3 anti-seizure drugs to 1 over the last 4 years, and want to wean off that and duloxetine (not at the same time, of course). I also wonder about who I really am underneath this personality on these drugs. I get frustrated and feel like I will never find that unleashed spark of happiness again, just pretending (and many days not able to pretend) that I’m okay and can find joy in my life, when there really isn’t a reason to mope or be sad. Something is wrong with the chemistry and I wonder if somehow it can be restored again? This seems to be a very dangerous path (being started on Cymbalta) and one that will be tough to change course. I wish the best to all who have posted here.

Oh my lord. I can’t got 48 hours before getting headaches from missing a pill. Can only imagine what you are going through.

A while back my Dr tried to put me on another antidepressant, which is also used to help people quit smoking, and I was still having bad shakes, sickness, shortness of breath, headaches and much more. Not to mention the new medication was causing me to rage out. Not a good mix.

I uses Dramamine to combat the withdrawal symptoms of Cymbalta.
I was given generic Cymbalta for lower back pain. If I had known how hard it would be to stop taking it, I would have lived with the pain until my fusion surgery was approved. I did not take the Cymbalta while in the hospital and did not think I needed to take it anymore. A few days after returning home, I started to have many of the symptoms discribed by so many others. At first I thought my Vertigo had returned and went to my Primary Physician. He prescribed something for the dizziness and nausea. Neither worked. It wasn’t until I remembered an article about Cymbalta that I figured out what is actually was. I contacted my PC and we worked out a schedule to slowly reduce the dosage. The process would have taken at least six weeks and still was not 100% guaranteed. I did not want to wait that long. I realized the headaches, dizziness, nausea and other symptoms were very similar to how I felt when I was sea sick. I stopped taking the Cymbalta and replaced it with two Daytime Dramamine in the morning and two regular at bedtime. I did this for about three weeks and had no withdrawal symptoms. I stopped taking Dramamine two weeks ago and feel fine. I hope this information can help someone else.

This is so encouraging to me! I am on 60mg and my doctor prescribed me 20mg so I could begin the process of 2x20mg a day, then 60, then 40 and eventually 40, then 20 and so on. I will pick up the dramamine and give it a try. Everyone here describes only rough times. I am happy to read your post and hopeful my experience will mirror yours!

I have been on cymbalta for 8 years. My doctor put me on it for fibromyalgia. I was going to go cold turkey to get off it but after reading these articles decided it was not a good idea. Have been seeing a naturopath the last few weeks for a very severe skin rash/irritating itch, to the point of almost going insane with the itch. He has said it’s a possibility that the cymbalta could be causing it. Even though I have been on it for that length of time your body can still have reactions years later.

He has suggested taking a medication he has given me, with magnesium tablets 2 times a day on one day and the next day a cymbal, and gradually cut down. He seems to think by 6 or 7 weeks I should be off the cymbalta. I certainly hope so. As he said, if the doctor had just prescribed magnesium and another medication which at this stage (I can’t remember all those years ago) I would never have had to go on cymbalta.

Have put memory blanks down to my age but after reading these comments I am now thinking differently. Also the ringing in the ears and hot flashes and cold chills. Not crazy after all. Thank you for this site, as some of the other ones I’ve been on are not so current.

Thank u thank u thank u for sharing the advice! The dizziness and nausea is debilitating!! I’ve gone from 60 to 30 to 20 over a couple of months with no problems. Then the 20 ran out and dizziness started after 48 hrs. I’m headed to the store right now for Dramamine!! I just wonder if I’ll be able to handle the increased back pain, rage and sweats with no Cymbalta. I’m gonna try!! Thanks again!

I am a 57 year old female. I started taking Cymbalta 9 years ago for jaw pain (jaw migraine) after trying many other medicines. I believe the jaw pain was caused by an estrogen patch. This was the only patch that didn’t cause a migraine. Even after stopping the estrogen, the jaw pain lived on. I also had undiagnosed Celiac (all of my life) and Chronic Lyme Disease (37 years). So my medical issues are complicated. I have been having muscle spasms/cramps for most of those 9 years. Lately, the muscles issues are unbearable due to new Lyme treatments. Dead Lyme bugs can cause muscle spasm/cramps, so I thought nothing of it. I discovered that the Cymbalta was magnifying the spasm/cramps to a horrific level. So over the last 10 weeks, I have been weaning myself down.

After this last treatment, I have not been able to take my lowest dose of 20mg Cymbalta due to spasms/cramps. I feel like my head is going to explode, and I am going to vomit, in addition to the Herx Reaction from the dead Lyme bugs. The withdrawal is so much better than muscle spasms/cramps side effects of the Cymbalta. Today, I found that Benadryl helps with the head issue. Very small snacks of protein help with the nausea. I might be able to take Cymbalta after this Herx Reaction, but I think I have been sensitized to Cymbalta now and never want to ever take it again. I hope I can handle the jaw migraine in the future. The pain is so bad that luckily I can’t feel pain in my jaw right now.

Wow, I hope the dramamine works. It is great to hear that it worked for someone!

I have been on Cymbalta for idiopathic nerve pain for over ten years (I believe since it’s been on the market). I have tried several times to get myself off of the drug but have been beaten back by all of the negative symptoms mentioned. I am in the midst of stepping down again and I am committed being rid of it.
I’m aware that an attempt to create a class action suit against Eli Lily recently failed in California. It’s shocking that Lily can proclaim that only 1% of patients suffer from these symptoms. I would be interested in finding how this study was done since it would only include people who stopped their drug. It seems as if the many online comments that I seen account for more that 1% .

I started having back pain three years ago. I took Gabapentin for my back pain for two years and had no side effects. About eight months ago my doctor put me on Cymbalta because he thought it might help me with my depression and back pain. He put me on 30mg Cymbalta. When I started it I was very sick with nausea, dizziness, constipation and stomach pain for awhile.

After a few months that I was on it, I realized it’s not helping my pain/depression. But I was having brain zaps that was so difficult to tolerate. It was hard for me to remember my words and my stomach pain and discomfort was too bothersome. So I asked my doctor how should I get off of Cymbalta. He said take it every other day. I tried that and the symptoms were intolerable. Then I read some of people talking about decreasing the amount very gradually. I’ve been doing that and for two months now. I’m at 1/4 of a capsule a day. I will continue taking it like this for two weeks and try to get out of. Hopefully without getting si k to my stomach.

As someone else said it “Cymbalta should be illegal”. If FDA was concern about people, they would get rid of this medicine for good.

My RX ran out a week ago. I’m not doing to bad. Cry easily. But always did. I have MS and was taking it for pain. If you have MS Pease feel free to join my support group. Love n light

I’ve been on and off Cymbalta for 15 years or so. I swore the last time I went off cold turkey a couple of years ago and was completely out of commission, unable to work, leave my home, communicate with anyone, that I would never again go back on it. I became depressed again, however, and was convinced to go back on. I realized that there were only 200 or so capsules in the pharmacy version vs the 530 or so in the one’s I have mailed in from Canada. I am down to 450 beads out of the 500 and am starting to feel like I’m going insane. I actually called what I thought was a mental health facility to obtain a psychiatric evaluation which turned out to be a psych ward with a women attempting to convince me to check in. I can’t concentrate on anything, and I am finding it almost impossible to interact with anyone. I can’t even look people in the eyes anymore because all that emits from mine are panic and rage. I am leaning towards bagging the tapering from the remaining 450 granules, going cold turkey and being completely out of commission for a couple months rather than barely functioning. I read that switching to Prozac for a couple week was helpful and then coming off of it but I don’t know. Does anyone have any helpful tips for successfully discontinuing? Are there stories of anyone even successfully discontinuing? God help us all!!!!!! (and I’m not even religious)

I was on Prozac for years then suddenly started getting the most horrific brain zaps, I felt like I was going to loose my mind. Called my Dr in a panic ! He started me on Cymbalta while weening me off of Prozac at the same time. I’ve been on Cymbalta now for about a year & a half. The brain zaps are starting again, on Cymbalta ! I had made up my mind I was done with this crap, no more ! I went to Google &asked how to ween off Cymbalta & this site came up. After reading all these comments I am now petrified to try. I am not depressed anymore & definitely not suicidal. I want desperately to get off this poison!

Have been weaning myself off Cymbalta (Duloxetine 60 mg) for almost 3 weeks. I decided I had taken the drug for too long. (at least 10 years). My doctor told me to take 1 capsule every other day for 2 weeks, then 1 capsule 3 times a week for 1 week. Then 2 times a week for 1 week. Then 1 time a week for 1 week. Then discontinue.

The first 2 week’s side effects were tolerable, but now I am having terrible withdrawal effects as mentioned by most of the people who have commented. Dizziness, shakiness, forgetfulness, irritability, either great hunger or no appetite at all, dry mouth, crying for no reason at all, overall feeling like someone I don’t know. Also, I have had 3 back surgeries and recently hand surgery and everything aches more than usual. I walk 4 miles at least every day and have tried to sweat out the drug, but obviously that doesn’t work. I am being strong coping with these awful symptoms, but would never advise a weak person to go off this drug. It is like hell.

Cymbalta hurts worse.

I’m just starting to wean off cymbalta and I went from 60mg to 30mg. I can’t sleep. I’m writing this at 1am after taking my 2mg of clonazapam and a over the counter sleep aid. Going to the bathroom at least 5 times a day. I feel like I’m in a fog. I feel for all of you suffering from this horrible withdrawal. cymbalta should be illegal. It never helped my pain and I’m not depressed. I’m frustrated by big pharma, and the influence over FDA and CDC. It’s all about the money folks. Your put on a drug with withdrawal side effects which are intolerable. That is truly addiction, once I’m off this I will never let anyone mess with my brain chemistry again. I do understand when meds are needed for depression, PTSD, anxiety. I feel for all and wish a healthy and happy life. For me, never again and I haven’t even stopped this drug completely. I only hope I’m as strong as you and will get OFF this drug!
Thank you

Sue the Doctor! I cannot believe a doctor who takes an oath to do no harm can be allowed to just stop giving a prescription for a drug that has such terrible withdrawal issues including possible suicide! My doctor wasn’t going to call me in a refill for Cymbalta until I saw him for an appointment but he didn’t have any open appointment s for 2 months. I told him I needed a refill or I was going to report him to the state medical board and he told me as long as I made an appointment he would give me refills until the scheduled appointment. I hadn’t missed any appointments with him and was following what we had done for all the years I had been seeing him so I don’t know why all of a sudden it was an issue. Dont let this doctor refuse to take care of you.

Been taking Cymbalta since August 2017. Started at 30 mg then to 60mg for depression and pain. Asked my Dr to back me off to 30mg a week ago. Decided not to start the 30mg just went cold turkey instead. Mind you at the same time I quit smoking and drinking!! Having terrible withdrawals!! Had no advise from my Dr about the horrible side affects from this drug or advise to the horrible affects to the stopping of this drug!! Until I got on this website today, did I learn so much about this drug from other users. Feeling so bad this morning I decided to take one of the 30 mg of Cymbalta I had in my drawer. Thank God I have a follow up appt with this Dr tomorrow and hope to get answers I need to get myself safely off this Horrible Drug!!! Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

I have been on Cymbalta for at least 6 years for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I do not think this drug is helping me, in fact I think I am getting worse. I want off of all these drugs and I want to try natural methods to try and feel better. I am glad I found this blog as I just started tapering myself & the side effects haven’t started. I am going to heed the advice I am reading here & save myself some grief. Has anyone else taken themselves off of wellbutrin with success?

I started taking Cymbalta about 8 months ago after going off another anti depressant which was working for me .It was suggested that I take Cymbalta as I have severe nerve pain after back surgery I can tell you that my pains increased on Cymbalta . I had fog brain on it and had no motivation for life ,I couldnt and didnt want to do anything everything was an effort .I could go on and on how many side effects I had on this drug .I decided to go off and go back on the one I was taking have done it slowly one every second day for about two weeks and the withdrawals symptoms are making me so sick .I cant drive I cant walk properly the zapping is un believable not to mention the nightmares and lack of sleep .I have no idea how long these symptoms will last I want my life back

I’ve been on and off quite a few of these meds. The best advise is to taper VERY slowly over the coarse of several months, even if you have to open a capsule and measure out the pellets. Drug substitution with a longer acting version like Prozac works well, too. There are similar protocols for coming off benzodiazapines which are equally tough to stop taking

If your MD doesn’t know these tricks, tell him to make a few phone calls and learn them. Coming off most meds can be uncomfortable; it shouldn’t be torture.

Dear people,

After 5 years, in which all I was able to do was to delay cymbalta’s (120mg) intake to every 4 days – it´s terrible, but i wanted to reduce the in-take as much as i could, and that was the limit –, before the withdrawal symptoms would hit so hard that i would think i would die (heart palpitations, headaches, fever, nightmares), I was able to miraculously find a solution.

Drink barrels of water. And take a cranberry supplement (5000mg minimum). Add Aloe Vera juice. Keep doing it.
This solution was found by chance, as i was sick (urinary infection).

It’s been two weeks, withdrawal symptoms never got severe like before (max 40%), and they’re now fading completely.
This is the end of cymbalta’s intake for me, a medication that should have never been recommended and I believed would never be able to quit due to the nightmarish withdrawal.

I hope this can help you too. Do not forget to spread the word, in forums. Only someone who is caught in it, will know the desperation of not being able to quit.

It is suicidal to either start cymbalta or stay on the drug. I started this medication January 2007 for arthritic pain along with depression (because of the pain). Started @ 30 quickly went to 60 & have been there until spring of 2017.

Didn’t realize @ the time that all my maladies were stemming from cymbalta. I have experienced the very worst of this horrific drug. Thank the Lord above for an understanding family if not for them I would not be writing this long note.

Thank you for the suggestions. I have been tapering for two months but at day 6 started feeling nauseous, diarrhea, brain zaps, tired etc. The water and cranberry juice is a great addition.
I also decided to open the capsule up and take two beads (12 in capsule) and feel better . I will take 2 beads for 6 days and 1 for 12. And then maybe done forever.
Thank you all.

I have not taken any Cymbalta for four days straight. I am sweating profusely. I sleep incessantly to lose the symptoms. I will never let another moronic doctor get me back on this drug! I have only been on this crap for seven months.

Does anyone stop Cmybalta with few or no side effects?

I was on generic Cymbalta for 1 and 1/2 years – 30 mg for severe fibro pain and aching. It worked for a while and then stopped working, and I started noticing the side effects. Luckily they opened my capsule and found mine ( from India I think) had six mini pills inside. So I took one out each month until I was done. I had almost no side effects to this withdrawal apart from tiredness and a bit of nausea a few days after each lowering. No zaps at all.

I am pleased to say I am cymbalta free. My high blood pressure is gone, I have been able to easily lose the thirty lbs I put on while on the drug, and the awful, awful sweating stopped. I am also sleeping better. I am hurting still but the extra weight off is helping, and so am trying to walk daily. The only drug I use now is ibuprofen on my bad days. No more of these terrible drugs for me. I would rather be in pain.

I tried to order my duloxetine via an online pharmacy. What was suppose to take 2 days has been 8 days now. I stared symptoms 4 days ago and didn’t realize what was happening to until yesterday! Why was I never told by my physician in the first place that this would happen when you stop taking the drug.

Like most of you, I was on cymbalta for serval years. With guidance from my PCP, I started weaning off cymbalta about 4 months ago. Initially it was lower dosage of prescription, then it was decreasing days per week I took it, to creating larger gaps of time between taking the pill- to a point I was trying to even cut the smallest dose in half and increasing the length between doses. Gets me to where I am now.. 5 weeks with no cymbalta to (what I call) head zaps or ear flashes, naseaus feeling, sick to my stomach constantly. The zaps are not as intense as they were initially, but I’m beginning to think it’s better to take the darn drug than to deal with this. I do have a follow-up with my PCP soon and I expect to have to go back on it or deal with these withdrawal symptoms. UGH!

What happened? I am right with you.

After you’ve read the article supported by us, the patients, who are trying to deal with a taper isn’t there a nagging question about the responsibility of Eli Lilly in this picture??

They were ordered to upgrade the warning of tapering on the box to the highest level, black. That doesn’t help us because only the pharmicist sees the actual box.

They have kept their capsule strengths the same: 20 mg, 30 my, 60 mg and 120 mg. That is a hindrance to anyone trying to taper off. Some comments mention a Compounding Pharmacy making smaller dosage capsules, 1mg , 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg. Even if insurance would typically cover the cost of Cymbalta, they won’t cover it when a Compounding Pharmacy is making special request dosages.

If all this isn’t enough to throw up a red flag, let’s look at the bead-removal approach. That method makes perfect sense! BUT, using the same dosage each time, apples to apples comparison, let’s say 60 mg of the TEVA Generic (yes there are more generic options, each having measurement issues).

Stay with me on this. If you pick 3 identical 60mg TEVA capsules from a bottle. Open each capsule separately, and count the beads in each capsule. (Counting very small beads is harder than most people imagine). Each capsule will have a DIFFERENT NUMBER of beads. When I did this, my 3 results for each capsule were 427, 566, and 601 beads. How can each capsule contents vary so drastically?? Ask the mfg!!

If the 3 numbers are added together and divided by 3, the average is 531. That would be a good number to start with and taper by % from there. So the removal of beads approach from each capsule doesn’t work!! If one day you have 427 beads, or 566 beads, or 601 beads, then counting out 10 beads each day will have such different results. No! Lily and TEVA screwed up that great approach!!

I speak from 8 years’ experience at 120 mg. When the medication stopped working, I wanted off. I followed my Dr’s approach of dropping by 20 mg every 2 weeks. By the second drop, I was confused, nauseated, had a 24/7 headache, insomnia, loss of memory, and had to stop driving…..5 miles away and I couldn’t remember my way home. When the suicidal thoughts started, I knew I was in over my head, and checked myself into the hospital. Took me a year to try again. I’m using the scale method, dropping 5% every 2 weeks. Only with the grace of God will I be able to do this taper.

If you are researching Cymbalta, I would highly recommend checking out Cymbalta Hurts Worse, a group of over 13,000 on Facebook.

I wish us all strength to travel this journey.

I’m here in my bed at 1AM MST not able to sleep because of the horrible withdrawals I’m experiencing.

I couldn’t agree more about holding the manufacturer accountable for not being more clear on Warning patients taking this horrible drug. I also strongly feel that the actual prescribing Doctor should be held accountable!

I was recently displaced from my job of over 10-years at the same Company. I no longer have medical insurance and can’t afford to see the Doctor to get a refill. I even called and requested that he call in a refill for me and he would not, asset least not for the Cymbalta! He did call in a couple other RX’s for me, but then again the other RX’s don’t cause withdrawals. The sad thing is that the only reason I was on this medication was because I had Stage IIIC Cancer and got addicted to opiates and getting off those was a nightmare.

I went to this particular Doctor, the one that prescribed the Cymbalta, to help me get off opiates. I firmly stressed my desire to NEVER be prescribed anything that comes even close to being addictive and then he goes and prescribes Cymbalta/Duloxetine!!! OMG, my huge mistake to trust this healthcare professional (???). Apologies for going on and on but I am so disappointed with this Doctor for prescribing me something that is addictive and I want him to be held responsible for this. Especially when he WILL NOT call in a refill for me!!!

Thanks for listening. Please let me know what you think… Should I move forward with a lawsuit or just let another Doctor get away with not giving a Crap?



I have been on 60mg cymbals for 2 years. It made everything worse: thinking,rationalizing,choices,bad thought, stress, eating,energy gone,loving myself gone,loss of thoughts, very short term memory,brain zaps etc. Then switched to 30mg for 4 years. Nothing changed. Things are worse.

I want off so badly. I ran out, and the second day was in a ball. My stomach hurt, sweats, freaking out diarrhea. Thought I could tough through it a week. Nope. I got it refilled. Ugh. I quit my job and lost my insurance, so doc will not call me any in. I’m seriously thinking of admitting myself to get off the drug but am scared they won’t take me. I’m so angry. How can any doc give this to anyone? All these stories: it’s like heroin withdrawal. From what I’ve read, this horrible drug should be taken off the mark.

I have 2 young children. I am scared for them to see me like this. I’m a walking zombie. I work now with seniors, which I love while I’m there but getting there is the problem. I need off this medicine. I need my life back. I was stressed and depressed before but it’s way worse now.

I’m using it for depression. I tried to get off gradually, and I became suicidal. I had to go back on it. What am I to do? There’s no weaning down for me. It’s not working, and I’m on 60 mgs. So how do I do this?

I was prescribed Cymbalta in October 2017, for fibromyalgia and arthritis pain. Due to my chronic allergies to meds, etc. I was only on 20mgs. Well, the pain went away almost immediately but soon enough I experienced side effects. My doctor and I decided I should stop taking it. Now, I seem to be going through all the classic symptoms of withdrawals so I phoned doctor. His nurse informed me I wasn’t on it long enough to be experiencing such symptoms. Ummm, seriously? I haven’t been able to work since.

I call BS on what your nurse told you. It’s been said that any HABIT,whether good or bad takes 21-days to make or break.

It’s quite obvious that the Nurse who told you that, never had to take Cymbalta/Duloxetine before. My guess is neither have any of the Doctors that prescribe them…


I have been on cymbalta for twenty years due to personal issues of divorce, betrayal, death of parents and wiped out financially by family. I . Wanted to come off cymbalta 80mg due to ineffectiveness and teary episodes. I was the worst experience of my life. UNder psychiatric advisement I tapered 80mg x 1 week with help of klonopin and trasadol. It was a nightmare . vymbaltaweek two decrease to 60 mg while increasing trasadol. Then then 40mg for a week then 20mg. The blogs helped me. I suffered from insomnia. Tinnitus, wishing I was dead,uncontrolled bursts of tears and anger, unable to complete sentences,fatigue ,impaired driving. I have another appt this week. Nothing works and it has been three months. Others experience has helped.

Zaps gone in 2 days

I took cognitex by life extension

Serious 2 days

Was this a suggestion from a doctor? I have to try something.
It seems a compounding pharmacy or counting beads is another possibility. My doctor seems to know nothing about this, and we have limited resources on the Big Island. I appreciate any solutions you may have. I need to stop reading the horror stories and focus on the solution. Thanks, everyone.

I have just read about that in a fibro support group! Glad it’s helped!

I’m not sure what any of those aberrations mean. Can you please explain further?

The best way to stop this drug is never to start it. Sadly, no one ever told me this. It has taken me years to taper down to where I’m at today. And today has been a day of increased anxiety, chest pain, major GI disturbances, and insomnia at the same time as fatigue. My doctor did give me the great idea of going to a compounding pharmacy to get lower doses than the 20mg that they make. So I went down to 10mg for a month, and now I am at 5mg. I had to pay out of pocket for this compounded Rx but it has helped me not have to go down to steeply too quickly. Maybe your physician will do this for you too.

This is a great idea. I may have to do it. It has taken me about a year to get to where I am. Started at 120 mg and just took my last 30 mg five days ago. This is the worst! I’m scheduled to have knee replacement surgery on the 24th of January and am hoping to get through the worst of the withdrawals by then!! I may have to try to get the mg.

I don’t want to be on this drug the rest of my life for depression. I have put on weight and cannot take it off!!! I don’t have insurance so it’s expensive. I have had help with the cost but I’m afraid that may not last. Sadly the reason anyone wants to come off a drug is not the issue. The issue is the lack if education the doctors give patients when prescribing drugs. We should know the options before we agree. We should not have to do all the research ourselves, which can be dangerous if we find incorrect information.

Check out Good RX online. You can get a coupon that will reduce the price to around $25-30. The site explains everything. Have used Goodrx for several years and the pharmacy “keeps” the coupon in the computer so I get that price each time.

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