My mom has been taking 30 mg of Cymbalta daily for chronic pain since Jan. 2009. She said it doesn't help and wants to stop taking it, her doctor wants her to continue using it. I'm afraid she will stop it suddenly and have withdrawal symptoms and suffer more. She had problems with other depression and anxiety meds that she abruptly stopped in the past and went thru major withdrawal. Is there a right or wrong way to wean off the drug?
12 Sep 2009
actually i am going through a tough time today. I am very sorry about your mom. You sound very close. I wish I had that . I would not stop anything on a whim. Check with you dr. If he or she thinks she can deal with it without going through wd. or gives her something to replace it ... I don't know... I am not a dr. Go with your heart. Do what you feel is right... I am sorry..Kim
13 Sep 2009
Pyewacket, the best way to discontinue any of these drugs is to wean. Some people can handle large drops in the dose, others have to taper very very slowly. It is different for everyone. However, if your mom has had trouble with other meds in the past, I'd recommend a slow taper.
This is a good forum and may help http://www.cymbaltawithdrawal.com/index.php
13 Sep 2009
This is nothing you just stop. You need your doctor in your corner and at the same time you need to find out why she wants to stop it. Sounds like it is working especially since she has been on it since January. If she says it is because it is not working anymore, tell her this is not a drug you can feel. You just know it is working. Withdrawls is no fun. She could wind up in the hospital if not done right.
Taking prescriptive drugs is no fun infact it is boring. Everyone knows this and they get to a point no more. But I know she can work through this with her doctor. Maybe more talking with her therapist just might be the answer.
Wishing you the best
4 Oct 2009
Discuss the situation with your doctor. There are often extremely severe side effects to rapid discontinuation of a drug. I cannot stress how important it is to talk with your doctor- he may be able to try a different medication if he knows that your mom is determined that the Cymbalta is not helping and that she is going to stop taking it.
8 Oct 2009
hello pyewacket. to respond to your question about cymbalta. 30mg is not a lot. ask your mom to talk with her doctor about increasing the dose. i'm not sure what chronic pain she is taking cymbalta for but i started 9 months ago for depression that goes a long with chronic pain. it took 2 months and uping my doseage to 90mg's to see a difference. and it is truely a good thing for me. it have chronic lower back pain and have been on all of the popular depression medications. and nothing worked until cymbalta. without it i get mean and sad and mad at myself and everyone because i can't do what i want to accomplish in life. and time is ticking. i'm 50 now. but been dealing with this for 15 plus years. i have been on most all narcotics also. clear up to oxycontin, which i hated. now i take 90 mg's of cymbalta a day and a non narcotic pain realiever tramadol/ultram.
it has improved some but not to the point i thought it would. so a friend suggested i have my thyroid checked. low and behold my thyroid is off. not severely. but enough to cause a host of problems. now i'm on synthroid 25mg for 3 weeks and can see improvement already. so this my also be an option for your mom. so talk to her doctor about increasing the cymbalta. maybe adding a non narcotic pain realiever and checking her thyroid. it's a simple blood test. as far as going off the cymbalta. start with 30mg's every other day for a week. then 1 every 2 days for a week. she's at such a low dose that she shouldn't have any withdrawel side effects. BUT. I AM NOT A HEALTH OFFICIAL OF ANY KIND. NOR DO I CLAIM TO BE.
I HAVE SIMPLY GONE THRU SOMETHING SIMILAR. I SUGGEST YOU CHECK WITH HER DOCTOR BEFORE DOING ANYTHING.
good luck to you. gaygaysa.
17 Oct 2009
First of all, her Doctor cannot force her to take this medication if she does not want it. Cymbalta was a miracle drug for me at first, but eventually if just stopped working, so I can relate to her situation. She CANNOT come off this medication abruptly due to side effects. Also, it could throw her into a higher level of depression that could have some not so could results. You talk to her DR and explain that she is going to stop with or without his help and you need advice on how to wean her from it. If he will not help her, and she is adament about not taking it any longer, you guys come up with a plan to slowly wean her. Do it slowly since you are doing it without a physician assistance. But do not let her just stop taking it. Watch her closely and head for the DR, or ER if she starts feeling or acting differently. I really think if you the DR. know that she is going to stop, he will wean her... he has his license to consider. Good Luck...
22 Oct 2009
I am currently in the process of coming off Cymbalta. It is good to talk w/ your dr. but the best person to talk to about meds is your pharmacist!!! The dr. had told me one way of tapering down but the pharmacist said no,no no, not to do it that way!!! I was on 2 60mg caps a day. He had me go to one a day for 1 week, then 1 every other day for 2 weeks, then 1 every 3 days for 2 weeks, then stop. I have not had any problems doing it that way. I ran out one time for 3 days and it made me psycho and homicidal. I am now taking Pristiq instead, for depression, and no problems. I was gaining 5# a week when taking 2 Cymbaltas a day and I was also sweating like a pig!!! Good luck to you. I think going cold turkey off the Cymbalta was 1000 times worse than going off narcotics. Once again, best wishes. Don't forget about using your pharmacist. That's what they go to school for.
4 Nov 2009
I'm sorry to hear about your mother. I had been taking Cymbalta for about 3 years now, but only for depression. I do suffer from severe pain due to a bad hip and osteomyelitis, and have heard that Cymbalta has pain-relieving qualities, but I have not experienced this benefit from the medication.
Regardless, getting off Cymbalta involves a closely monitored weaning protocol, much like the process used for other antidepressants similar in nature, like Effexor. I had been taking the 60mg dose, three times a day, which I really felt was too high, and wanted to reduce my dosage to a much lower amount. I'll adapt the weaning protocol I followed to fit your mother's current dose of 30mg per day.
One thing you or your Mom might not know is that it is completely safe to open up a Cymbalta capsule and sprinkle the tiny white beads contained within over applesauce or oatmeal, or something similar. This is the method of administration suggested for those who otherwise might have difficulty swallowing an entire capsule.
My 60mg capsules contain about 1/16 of a teaspoon (or approximately 350) of the tiny white beads, so a 30mg capsule should contain half these amounts. Believe it or not, the beads from a 30mg capsule poured onto a clean, very flat, non-white surface will be very easy to see when clustered together. Using a razor blade, divide the cluster in half. Depending on how steady you are, you could pour each half into each of the empty capsule shells, or use two small, preferably glass, containers (unmarked shot glasses work very well) to store the contents, and cover with aluminum foil. While still taking 30mg per day, your Mom would instead be taking 15mg of Cymbalta over the course of two daily doses.
Follow this reduced regimen for Days 1-7. Then, starting with Day 8, continue splitting the capsule's content in half, only take one of the halves (i.e., 15mg) per day for Days 8-14. If your Mom starts experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal effects, the split can be halved again, with one quarter (7.5mg) being taken in the morning, and the other quarter in the evening. In either instance, continue at the 15mg/day rate from Day 8 through Day 14.
Now, I would most likely be able to stop taking the medication altogether beginning on Day 15, but everyone is different. If your Mom stops on Day 15, but begins to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, she should take a quarter of the beads (7.5mg) for another full week. Beyond that, she should be good to stop all together. Minor side-effects might linger, but should be minimal and very transient, going away altogether after 2 or 3 days of the medication's cessation.
I hope you find this helpful. If by the time you've read this, your Mom is still taking Cymbalta and decides to try this approach, let me know how it goes for her. Please tell her NOT to abruptly stop the medication - it is NOT a pleasant experience - trust me, I've done it before, sometimes by accident and (usually) other times with full (stupid) intent, so I know what it's like.
13 Dec 2009
Hi 30mg of cymbalta is a low dose but you MUST wein off with directions fro your doctor. I say this to you as I in June decided to just stop taking my medication and I know you are talking about weining off but either way do it under a doctors care. I am a mess and have been since June. I have just started on Cymbalta to help straighten out the mess I got myself into by doing it myself. I can not emphasize enough about involving your doctor because in doing so he will be able to help with any of the prblems that may come with stopping the medication. Good Luck and Take Care.
28 Dec 2009
Hello, sorry don't have your answer, But I too am actually in need to know. In July my Dr.(shrink) put me on Cymbalta , for depression and for help with the pain from Fibromyalgia with CFS, and my chronic back pain. because I was about to start in a withdrawal program from Oxycontin, by using Suboxone.
He felt that I should get a handle on the underlying pain before I had to deal with the pain of withdrawal. I agreed.. started at 60mg and was never so nauseous in my whole life. I quit it in 2days. Then in November he wanted me to try it again but at only 30mg. I did and I was fine, great actually. Not to say that I have not had episodes of depression but so far been able to get out. I would like to increase now to the 60mg It does however for me make me very sleepy and I take it now only in the late evening.
SORRY FOR RAMBLING ON HERE...
Why I am interested in the responses here is that I ran out of my prescription Dec 26 and my insurance has capped until Jan 1,2010 and can't afford it. Will I experience problems not taking it for 8 days ? Please advise
And to everyone out there.. For NO reason WHATEVER, don't allow your Dr. to prescribe OXYCONTIN. ! It has ruined my life I am an addict 5yrs now, thus the Suboxone program, wished I knew then what I know now.
- Cymbalta Information for Consumers
- Cymbalta Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Cymbalta (detailed)
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