I have been on various SSRI/ SSNRIs for about 15 years. I took Effexor (it's generic equivalent) for a few years. Then my doctor switched me to Cymbalta (it's generic - Duloxetine), which I have taken for a few years. I started all of this due to general anxiety. Many things have changed in my life over the last 15 years and I am ready to try life without meds. At first I tried skipping doses, which is not good. Duloxetine has a very short half life and skipping doses is like stopping and starting the drug over and over again. Within a day I was having brain zaps and was very irritable. I heard about people opening the capsule. Mine is a 60mg capsule. Easy to open. Every one has exactly 12 little beads in it. Easy to handle. I thought they would be smaller! With my doctor's consent, I have started taking out one bead a week to taper off (I am saving them though). 12 beads means it should take 3 months. I am only on week 2, but no withdrawal symptoms so far.
If this does not work, I may have to taper even more slowly. I also have a benzodiazepine (tranquilizer) to help me sleep. My doctor said I can take half a pill during the day if I need to for anxiety. I have been remarried for almost 4 years. My husband has never known me without meds. But he accepted me for better or worse! He is ready to ride this out with me and help me monitor my progress. I will give it my best shot. But if I turn into a bitch wife, I will go back on the meds!
I m in the middle of weaning off of Cymbalta after having been on almost two years 40 mg. I am doing the bead counting method and am down to 6 mg. I was able to go from 40 to 30 with not too many side effects but 30 to 6 mg has taken 4 months and I feel like death with the drop of every bead. It worked great for anxiety but I would never have gone on it knowing the side effects to get off. I have previously weaned off paxil, zoloft and many others . Cymbalta withdrawal is totally different. I have added 50 mg zoloft and trileptal to stabilize me thru the withdrawal and it is still hell. I am anticipating another 2 months to get to zero and will then have another 2 months of withdrawal probably after that!!
Look at the "How long will I be going through Cymbalta withdrawals?" posts. There is a lot of advice and warnings about how to ease the Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms. It is also helpful to know what to expect in the withdrawal process for both yourself and your husband. It is very beneficial to have someone to help you through it.
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