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Cymbalta Withdrawal

writtenByWritten by: Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is a contributing health writer who has been researching and writing health content with PlushCare for 3 years. She is passionate about bringing accessible healthcare and mental health services to people everywhere.

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reviewBy Reviewed by: Dr. Maria Glukhovsky
Reviewer

Dr. Maria Glukhovsky

Dr. Maria Glukhovsky, Pharm.D. has been a pharmacist for the past 12 years, clinical educator across many disease states and a clinical instructor at Jefferson School of Pharmacy. She loves to educate her patients and everyone around her on the proper use of medications and top disease management techniques to improve health and wellbeing.

March 29, 2021 Read Time - 5 minutes

Warning: The use of certain antidepressants to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adolescents may increase the risk of suicidal ideations and behaviors. While taking antidepressants mental health can change in unexpected ways. You should call a doctor right away if you experience any suicidal thoughts. Always talk to a doctor about the risks and benefits of taking antidepressant medication before beginning treatment.

Cymbalta Withdrawal: Symptoms and Treatment

Have you recently stopped taking Cymbalta, and now you feel unwell? Or maybe you are thinking about stopping your Cymbalta, though you are worried about going through withdrawals. 

Unfortunately, Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms are quite common if you stop taking it suddenly without decreasing the dose first. 44.3% of people experience at least one symptom after stopping Cymbalta without tapering off the dosage first, and some people still experience symptoms even after slowly decreasing the dose.

What is Cymbalta withdrawal? How long does it last? What helps with Cymbalta withdrawal? Read on for those answers and more.

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What Is Cymbalta?

Cymbalta is the brand name for duloxetine, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It is an antidepressant that is used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), fibromyalgia, diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DPNP), and chronic musculoskeletal pain.

What Are Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms?

Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms are physical or emotional effects resulting from your body adjusting to the lack of the medication. They can occur when you stop taking any dosage of Cymbalta, but are more common at higher dosage levels, especially 120 mg per day. 

Tapering your medication off slowly lessens the likelihood and severity of Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms compared to stopping cold turkey.

Cymbalta Withdrawal Side Effects

Everybody can experience different symptoms, but the most common Cymbalta withdrawal side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Paresthesia (burning, tingling, or numbness) 
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Nightmares

What Should You Not Take With Cymbalta?

Cymbalta can interact with other medications in potentially dangerous ways. Always tell your doctor about every medicine you take, including vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter medications, and especially:

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Migraine medications called “triptans” (e.g., Imitrex)
  • Pain medications
  • Linezolid (Zyvox)
  • Amphetamines
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Blood thinners, like warfarin (Coumadin)

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Withdrawal from Cymbalta Last?

Cymbalta withdrawal can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. In rare cases, some people may experience symptoms for a few months.

What Does Cymbalta Withdrawal Feel Like?

Everybody will experience withdrawal differently. However, the most common symptoms are dizziness, nausea, headache, vomiting, and irritability.

How Do You Come Off of Cymbalta?

The best way to come off of Cymbalta is to gradually decrease the dosage over at least two to several weeks on a schedule recommended by a doctor. 

How Long Does It Take to Wean Off Cymbalta?

It usually takes at least two weeks to gradually and safely decrease the dosage of Cymbalta until it is safe to stop taking it. Depending on your dose and your sensitivity, your doctor may recommend a longer or shorter period of weaning off of Cymbalta.

What Helps With Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms?

If you experience Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms, there are actions that you can take that may help. Here are some tips:

  • Seek support from friends and family – Since irritability is a common symptom, talking to your loved ones may help you feel better – or at least prevent conflict if they understand why you are more irritable than usual.
  • Practice self-care – While it is always a good idea to eat right and exercise, it is even more important when you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
  • Try herbal remedies – If your symptoms are preventing you from sleeping, melatonin or valerian root taken at bedtime may help you sleep. Be sure to talk with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications in addition to Cymbalta.
  • Treat nausea and pain – You can take over-the-counter anti-nausea medications and pain relievers to help manage your symptoms. Be sure to let your doctor know before taking these medications.
  • Talk to a therapist – Not only can talking to a therapist help ease your current symptoms, but it can help prevent relapse of your depression, anxiety, or other issues you were taking Cymbalta to help you with.
  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

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Get Mental Health Care Online

Whether you are experiencing Cymbalta withdrawals or are interested in online therapy, PlushCare can help. At PlushCare, you can have a video or phone appointment with a licensed doctor and talk about how to taper off your Cymbalta dosage. Then, they can electronically send a prescription to a local pharmacy of your choice.

To make an appointment to talk to one of our trusted doctors about weaning off of Cymbalta, click here. To book an online appointment with a licensed therapist at PlushCare, click here.


Read More About Cymbalta Withdrawal


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

National Alliance on Mental Illness. Duloxetine (Cymbalta). Accessed on February 9, 2021 at https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Duloxetine-(Cymbalta)

MedlinePlus. Duloxetine. Accessed on February 9, 2021 at https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a604030.html

Mayo Clinic. Duloxetine (Oral Route). Accessed on February 9, 2021 at https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/duloxetine-oral-route/precautions/drg-20067247?p=1

PubMed. Symptoms following abrupt discontinuation of duloxetine treatment in patients with major depressive disorder. Accessed on February 9, 2021 at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16266753/

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