Anyone have advice dealing with withdrawal symptoms while switching from Cymbalta to Lexapro? This does not feel good. I'm dizzy, like my head is under pressure and kind of throbs when I turn my head or move my eyes too fast. I'm feeling very moody, going from happy, to crying, to pissed off pretty quickly. I can barely speak a coherent sentence and feel like it is a real effor to talk to anyone. Feel on the brink of tears pretty constantly. I was taking 60 mg for fibromyalgia but started having worsening depression, so my doctor lowered the Cymbalta to 30 mg for four days and then two days with nothing, then started on 10 mg of Lexapro. When I told him about the trouble I'm having he said I could stop the Lexapro, wait a day or two and go back to the 30 mg Cymbalta for a bit, then try again. But I don't know if I want to have to stop, go back to the Cymbalta, then possibly go through this again in another week. Any suggestions? Maybe I'm through the worst of it and just stick it out?
Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms Suck?
Added 4 Jun 2012:
Update: I broke down and took a 30 mg of Cymbalta tonight. I just can't go on feeling this way, even for another couple of days. I don't want to talk to anyone, and I don't eve want to be around my 17 month old daughter. What a horrible drug! Guess I'll stay on tow lower dosage for another week, then try the Lexapro again. My concern now is that if 30 mg will be enough to keep my depression at bay, which is why we decided to make a switch to begin with. If 60 mg wasnt cutting it, I'm afraid to think of how I'll be at only 30 mg, but we shall see. I appreciate the feedback so far. Thank you!
Added 17 Jul 2012:
Update as of July 17: I've been off of the Cymbalta completely for almost 2 weeks and taking Lexapro now. I still feel a tad dizzy on occasion but it seemed easier this time. I ended up going on disability leave from work for a while, so the lack of the additional work stress may of helped with the transition. What yucky stuff. And I don't feel any different with my fibromyalgia pain, which is why I started it in the first place! Sometimes I wonder if any of these drugs are even worth taking with all the other problems they cause. Oh well, I'm not as depressed as I was, so I guess something is helping!
3 Jun 2012
One of my worst experiences with medications was with Cymbalta. My doctor was able to help me transition with Valium therapy. Maybe you should ask your doc if he/she can assist you (I would not recommend you suggest Valium though, let the doc come up with their own solution). Hope this helps.
4 Jun 2012
What you are describing is called withdrawal, & for that reason my doctor won't prescribe cymbalta at all. Please read the following paragraph taken from the prescribing information on Drugs A to Z at the top of the page, & have another talk with your doctor about loweing your dose more slowly if he will. I wish you the best & hope you get to feeling better soon...
Withdrawal of Therapy
Possibly severe withdrawal reactions (e.g., dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, sensory disturbances, anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, seizures); avoid abrupt discontinuance of therapy.1 Taper dosage gradually and monitor patients for possible withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing therapy.1
14 Jun 2012
I missed a dose this past Monday because I was so busy with my son's dinner dance and I am still feeling horrible. I cannot believe that a medicine that is supposed to help you can make you feel so sick and out of your mind. I am seeing my psychiatrist on Monday so I can start weening off of this medication. I haven't felt like myself for some time and it's gotten really bad recently & after reading all the different posts about Cymbalta I am sure it's the medicine. I have turned into a green eyed monster! Thanks for your posts and I'll check back in again to update how my weening process is going.
17 Jul 2012
I have taken many antidepressants, pain meds, Lyrica over the years, but Cymbalta was the worst for withdrawal. I found a website that suggested opening the capsule and removing a few beads at a time over the course of many weeks. When I was down to less than 30 mg per day, I started with half my Lexapro and gradually increased one while decreasing the other. It was a long process, but easier than "cold turkey".
2 Aug 2012
My doctor just recently cut me off completely off Cymbalta... And did not put me on another antidepressant but upped my Seroquel... I guess the antidepresants are worsening the Bipolar... Anyways I have been off of Cymbalta 3 days, and lets just say electric shocks, Stomach cramps, and nausea are not fun! I agree with the Cymbalta withdrawals being a hellish affair... I saw somehwere online it can take 1-2 weeks or more before the side effects go away... I was taking 60 Mg of Cymbalta and now I am just on my mood stablizers but they sure don't help minimizing these side effects i am having. Its nice knowing I am not the only one experiencing this!
2 Aug 2012
Gosh, I must be one of the few people who found Cymbalta to be a dream psych med. I just didn't get the benefit of pain relief which other people had reported as a "side" benefit. I was on cymbalta for many years without so much as a hiccup. The max dose I was on was 120mg... but the weight issues were awful. Then we tried to go down to 90 to see if I would still have the same benefit but not the cravings. From their we tried 60mg and that is where I stayed and didn't have any more cravings either. Only two drugs ever worked for me. Parnate was the first (MAOInhibitor) and I was on this one for many years and no trouble with the dietary restrictions and then Cymbalta. When I came off of Cymbalta... I didn't have any withdrawal symptoms.
Going back and forth between these two psych meds can mess with your "head" too. If that is how your doctor prescribes meds (like a crap shoot), if it were me... I would find another doctor whose specialty is psychopharmacology. My doctor is and glad for it too.
Peace and be well...
7 Sep 2012
Withdrawal from cymbalta: I have been on 30 mg. for only about 6 months now. I used to take 60 mg. but that was years ago. I was started right out on 30 mg and never eased up to more like before and that concerned me. Reason being, the doctor only had 30 mg samples. I went to get my script refilled and it was 95 dollars, or 45 for a week supply. I didn't have it so I just stopped cold turkey. I had been getting it through a mail order script place from my husbands work and it wasn't that much the first time.
I never knew what "brain buzzes" were until this time coming off of it. It has been 8 days since I have had a pill and it is just getting worse every day. I just didn't make the connection until yesterday when the world started spinning out of control.
How long do you think this will last? I Know everyone is different and if it matters much, I am very small and weigh only 105 lbs. Probably a little less by the time this is over with too. I am not hungry and force myself to eat.
My symptoms so far seem to be, the brain buzzes, fainting feeling, nausea, spinning (vertigo feelings), confusion, very emotional,
I would gladly take a cybalta right now to help with this feeling. I am glad I don't have any. I have never been suicidal or anything like that so I don't want to be on this anymore. I will take depression any day over this crap!
Thanks for reading this! It it thursday evening and I have one more day of work to get through this week and hopefully by monday I will feel better.
9 Sep 2012
Anyone who has complained about getting off an SNRI medication such as Cymbalta or Effexor always goes off of it way too quickly. Going from 60 mg to 30 mg, then 4 days on the 30 mg, then off altogether? How are the doctors so ignorant about the time it takes to taper off very gradually? That's how people get the wrong idea of how terrible the withdrawal is. Three of my friends and I have all tapered off Effexor very gradually, and none of us had any problems.
(Except in my case, the depression came back. After a month of bad depression, I went back on it. And that was my evidence that my psychiatrist was right that I needed to be on it for the rest of my life.)
21 Oct 2012
I'm withdrawing from Cymbalta, the only thing that has helped my has been my ambien. I take a half during the day when I really shouldnt but it helps a little. Doctor wants me to take Effexor instead of Cymbalta daily. No way. One poision for another, thats insane.All these side effects I have to deal with now, sure dont need another batch. These drug companies must be faking their studies.
31 Dec 2012
I started Cymbalta 9 months ago 60mg/day for fibro pain and fatigue. Almost immediate results. In this 9 month time my 21 year old son attempted suicide by jumping from a bridge, he spent 3 months in the hospital and I couldn't have done what I did in that time without Cymbalta. It kept me at an even mood.
After things have gotten better I started noticing in the last couple of months extreme joint pain. My physician increased my dose to 90mg/day. I'm 46, not overweight, except for the 20 lbs I put on since going on Cymbalta! So I didn't feel I had any reason for the sudden onset of pain in my joints. I have read some posts of possible muscle damage after being on Cymbalta. Which started to concern me, plus the increase from 60 to 90 put me in bed at night by 8:30 pm. And falling asleep at my desk at work at 2:00 pm.
I discontinued use of Cymbalta "cold turkey". I did it and it is what it is.
My last dose was 12/24/12.
I read all the posts about all the reasons not to quit cold turkey, but also read how even tappering was going to cause me the side effects I was already experiencing being on the med.
Day 1 - Brain Zaps, dizziness, nausea, all over muscle pain. Still able to have Christmas day with family.
Day 2 - Brain Zaps, dizziness, nausea, muscle pain in neck/shoulders. Still able to work a full day.
Day 3 - Brain Zaps, dizziness, nausea, joint pain in wrist and knees increasing. Still able to work a full day.
Day 4 - Brain Zaps not as bad, no dizziness, but still bouts of nausea. Still able to work full day.
Day 5 - Brain Zaps still tappering off, no dizziness, one bout of nausea. By mid-afternoon became fatigued unable to get off couch.
Day 6 - no brain zaps, no dizziness, no nausea. But terrible mood swings, anger, lashing out at family, things coming out of my mouth I would never say to people. Not much fatigue.
Day 7 - a few brain zaps happening for whatever reason. No nausea, still fighting the mood swings, joint pain in wrist and knees.But was able to get up at 4:30 this morning for work with no problems. We'll see what the night brings.
Some things that have helped me through this time:
Small meals throughout the day for nausea. Chicken noodle soup, crackers etc.I had also read and they mentioned as well please discuss with your physician first, but this did help me, 2 ibuprofen and 2 tylenol every six hours, this helped with muscle pain that did start coming on pretty strong during these days as well. I need to mention as well, I had been on Tramadol (small dose), an anti inflam and a muscle relaxer I was also quiting cold turkey. I just wanted to rid my body of everything and start over with my "real" symptoms. Plus be able to see if the 20 lb weight gain could be reversed as well.
I really think the worst for me is almost over and really surprised in just about a week the physical symptoms are almost over it seems. It has been a long week, but worth it. I'm not as tired as I was on Cymbalta, I do have pain, but still worth being able to feel what is going on with my body. I'm not liking the mood swings. I do hope with time they will get better. I think my family enjoyed the quiet lethargic Cymbalta person over this moody one. And on top of it all I haven't told my family I have went off cold turkey. So besides the mood swings I don't think they have noticed any of my other symptoms that have been going on.
6 May 2013
Yes, Cymbalta is a nasty drug to quit. I started taking it after my ruptured disc to relieve the neuropathy symptoms. It did help me get to sleep and dampened the neuropathy symptoms. Of course it did not cure the nerve irritation, but after nearly seven years, and varied types of therapy I felt that I could try to get off the Cymbalta. I weaned myself down to 30 mg a day, but just last weekend I forgot to pick up my samples at the doc and went the entire weekend without the drug. Bad idea! After four days I have many of the same withdrawal symptoms that others have mentioned: Very emotional, head feels congested, dizzy, brain zaps (although very few), sick all over, stomach upset, weird dreams (not nightmares). No one told me at the get-go that there would be these kinds of withdrawal symptoms. On balance, if I knew then what I know now, I would have gone a completely different direction in treatment. So, my question: Has anyone successfully gotton off Cymbalta and how long did it take?
7 May 2013
My wife had the same horrible withdrawal experience coming off Cymbalta. She had no warning that withdrawals would happen and especially no warning about how hard and intense the WDs will be.
She ended up very slowly tapering down the meds. She had to still feel the withdrawals sometimes during the taper but when her WDs got too unbearable she would always go back to her last dose of Cymbalta and re-started the tapering from the last dose she felt OK with. The key was dropping the dose by about 25 % every 3-4 days and sometimes trying to dose every 48 hours instead of 24 hours. She was pushing it as much as possible and always until the WDs became unbearable, she would than go to the last decreased dose she was OK with. Than she woudl only take that dose every 48 hours and if she felt OK she would drop another 25% and go to taking it every 24 h. Once stabilized she would take it every 48 hours and drop 25% again.
At the end she had to take the Cymbalat capsule pills apart and literary count the little white balls inside each pill in order to know how to lower her dose exactly 25%.
She was able to get off of 60 mg of cymblata in about 2-3 weeks. It was not easy and She was quite tough and was really pushing to get off this drug. Her biggest problem was vertigo,brain zaps, and strange vission when moving her eyes from side to side. This would all be more intense right when lowering the dose but it would all entirely go away after she eventually stooped taking the drug.
17 May 2013
The withdrawal symptoms of this drug is not fun. I am an alcoholic living in recovery for near three years. I have been taking Cymbalta for about two years now. Five days ago I stopped taking the drug due to the fact that I may lose my insurance and will not be able to afford it. Brain "zapping" dizzy, uneasy, can't sleep. I did not think i would have to go through this type of detox again in my life. If your doctor has other options, you may want to consider them.
25 May 2013
If I had known about the withdrawals I would have never even tried Cymbalta. I've taken it for over seven years for depression, and the withdrawal is almost unbearable. The almost constant feeling of being on the verge of bursting into tears doesn't mix well with the extreme dizziness, nausea and diarrhea. I'm barely able to work, and that's only because my office is in my home. No way I could function in a rigid, professional office environment going through this.
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