After using a very slow tapering method along with vitamins that helped support acetylcholine production, I was able to come off of a 30mg. daily dose of Cymbalta in six weeks. I had virtually NO withdrawal symptoms using this method, and would love to know if others are having success with it. I had a day or two of minor lightheadedness and then nothing else. My only problems now are associated with the anxiety I have that brought me into the pill pushers office in the first place. I am CYMBALTA FREE WITH NO PROBLEMS. Please look at my posts.
I had been taking a 30mg dose. At first I tried to take the pill every other day and that made me feel even worse. So, i just stopped cold turkey.
I think the dose was low enough that I didn't really feel much in the way of withdrawal symptoms. The only thing, other than just being pretty run down (which is probably unrelated to the Cymbalta) is mild tingling in my limbs. It seems since Cymbalta is also used to treat diabetic nerve pain that this might just be caused by my nerves not being deadend by the medication.
After only two days of not taking it, my sex drive came back which had previously been completely switched off, and I'm starting to feel more human again.
I started your tapering method today. It took me several days to get all of the supplements. I am currently taking 60 mg of Cymbalta. I do have a question for you, though. Did you take out 7 beads day one, then 14 on day 2, etc? I cannot remember exactly how you did that and do not want take too many out too fast.
Here is a little history for anyone who might be interested. I am a 42 year old mother of 2. Married for nearly 14 years. My kids are 8 & 9. I am working part time at the hospital and a full time nursing student. (Just a little stress) I was diagnosed at the age of 24 with clinical depression. I am third generation clinically depressed. I have been on just about everything. I have been taking the Cymbalta for about 5 months now. It has started giving me horrible reflux. I have never had this before in my life. I have naturally curly hair. It has gone stick straight in the last 4 months. I have no appetite but am gaining weight like crazy. I don't even want to mention the sweating. Geesh, it is really embarassing. So, here I am trying to get off of this drug. I am also taking 150 mg of Welbutrin and will stay on that at least until I finish school. I eventually want to get off of all of it.
If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.
Mike, thank you for your posts. They have given me hope.
I am 39 years old, never have taken an antidepressant medication in my life. Was prescribed Cymbalta for a mysterious painful nerve problem in foot problem that never resolved. Here is my story:
30 mg - 6 months, prescribed by a pain clinic
20 mg - 6 months, prescribed by regular doctor
Last pill - three days ago.
I was at work today feeling very dizzy and experiencing the brain zaps. I have had weight gain of about twenty pounds but only in the last 6 months. Have been horribly sleepy, vivid dreams, and lethargic. I feel terrible for doing this to my body. It was not in such bad shape to start with, but now I've got such a problem to deal with.
Thank you all who posted about your experience. I would love to hear any positive stories post-30 days completely off the med. People seem to stop posting after that. I am assuming it is because they are fine?
I hope to keep providing updates weekly so other can see how it goes. I started the vitamins & fish oil coincidentally from a nutritionist to battle the weight gain. Doctors denied it would do that so I thought it was just my metabolism. I feel pretty gullible for not researching this better, but what are you gonna do? Now I will take out the beads by 7s of my remaining 4 pills as someone suggested.
Current state (Day 3 off) - - Brain zaps are happening pretty consistently and I feel the numbness fading. I wonder if you can think of this pill as having flooded your brain with happy serotonin chemicals, producing a soft fuzzy feeling. Now it is washing out and the body is saying "wait, no way - I want that back!" I think of these side effects it as very positive. That's the feeling of the junk leaving my system. Just hope the weight goes away. Any thoughts on that? Darn, gotta get up at 6 a.m. for a workout so I better wrap this up.
Day 4: No brain zaps, just slight dizziness in the morning. Not sleepy today. What a great thing not to be so tired already. Used to be I'd get an almost uncontrollable urge to sleep at exactly 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 or 6. I know I'm not keeping with the regular titrating plan, but I will probably skip the next 2-3 days and then empty out 30 of the beads and take on Saturday, which will be Day 7. Updates soon.
You should put the right amount of beads into the capsule and swallow the capsule if possible. If not, you could simply "eat" the beads by sticking them to your tongue and washing down with water. I used to lick the tip of my finger and tip the pill onto the tip so that several beads would stick to it. Using this method I was able to remove the right number of pills from the capsule. (30 mg = 280 beads; 20 mg = 186 beads approx.) Your titration pattern would be 1. 179 2. 172 3. 165 4. 158 etc...
Don't even worry about your weight yet. Just concentrate on one thing at a time. Get off this drug, then see a Neurologist about your nerve problem. After that a Nutritionist could help get you on a normal, low fat, high fiber, well-balanced diet. Exercise regularly and you'll feel great in no time! Good luck.
P.S. I've been off Cymbalta for many months and I feel no negative effects from the drug. Read my posts by searching my username for my story.
I Googled "anticholergenic rebound effect" and found some good stuff. The suffering range appears to be anywhere from 1 to 7 weeks.
Note to Mike: I appreciate that you've taken the time to post about your experience. It is really helpful. Do you have a background in healthcare? I do have a couple of questions you might be able to help with.
1) In the med literature it indicates you should not split open the capsules or mess with the original pills. Do we know why they've established this warning?
2) So decreasing the # of beads happens in multiples each day (7, 14, 21). Has anybody tried any decrease by more than multiples of 7? I'm an impatient kind of zappygirl, which may become obvious here shortly. I don't want to have to refill this stupid prescription, but I guess I could if I have to. Only have 3 or 4 capsules left.
DAY 5 UPDATE for those following along at home: Felt pretty darn normal today. The scale says I have lost 7 pounds, which I find far too positive. I will have to check again in a couple of days. Could be a fluke. Also, this is embarrassing to report, but I seem to have developed an icky diarrhea issue as if I have the flu. This is one of the AR Effects.
Good luck to everyone reading this thing.
The reason I chose 7 less per day is this: psychiatrists recommend a 10 mg. drop about every two to four weeks or so for safe withdrawal. The problem is that Cymbalta comes in only 20, 30 and 60 mg. capsules. There is no way to taper without removing the contents. So people drop from 60 to 50, 50 to 40, 40 to 30, 30 to 20 and then 20 to 0. These drops are WAY top drastic for your brain chemistry to tolerate. I therefore figured out that a 5 mg. drop per week = -7 beads per day. I'm not reccommending anything different from the doctor expect that we do it in a "tapered" decrease rather than a drastic "step" decrease. Actually -7 per day is equivalent to the maximum reccommended decrease already. You can experiment, but you already have some side effects from withdrawal so why risk increasing them. Your patience will really pay off.
As for the warning against tampering with pills, most pill manufacturers recommend not to do that because you are not taking the doctor's prescribed amount if you remove medication, which is a technical no-no, and some medications should not be digested all at once, like a controlled release capsule, for example. I never noticed a big difference between eating a capsule of Cymbalta or washing down a bunch of granules raw, but I reccommended putting the beads back in the capsule if you want to play it safe.
Keep us updated!
Day 7: just the stomach issues and dizziness (no pills)
Day 8: Took a 20 mg capsule without breaking it open because I was in a hurry and also wanted to be on the safe side because I was going on a fun overnight trip and didn't want any issues.
Day 9: No issues
Day 10: Just the stomach issues. I do feel more myself. My ability to engage in sarcastic banter with friends has come back. I cant' believe I spent a whole year without that. I am a little harder on myself, though, which is kind of sad. But the good part is I do not seem to be so sleepy. Five or six hours of sleep per night is fine. (It's the way things used to be.) When I first started the C., I thought my body would adjust and perhaps I was just making up for lost sleep for 39 years, but I never could make it through a day without wanting to nap no matter how much I slept the day before. I can now work straight through the workday without drowsiness. Getting a lot done. Side effects be damned, this is so much better.
Just a note to say it was really only that first week or two that was hard and now I am feeling pretty ok. I feel a tiny bit dizzy once in a while but it is so subtle it is hard to tell if it's the big C. or just me. I am definitely off the stuff (thank God!) and it was only initially that the rebound effects were bad. The zaps were sort of like being drunk or something, which I tried to convince myself were fun. Being drunk for free? Cool. I think I was doing a little cognitive self-therapy, but it worked. It was a little freaky when driving though. I am taking the vitamin supplements, by the way, so this may have helped.
So now I have my energy back and feel normal again and haven't had a big zappy spell in a while. I think I am done. Just wanted to say thanks for the great website. I bet not all meds are this disruptive,so good luck finding one that works for you if you need it. And I think all rebound symptoms are different for everybody, the same way that the efficacy of meds are going to impact people differently. So good luck on the crazy ride and know it will get out of your system soon.
Week 1: Reduced doiasge from 60 mg per day to 30 mg per day
Week 2: 30 mg every other day
Weeks 3 and 4: 30 mg every fourth day
Week 5: Done!
BTW, I'm going to report the drinking aspects of Cymbalta to the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting Syste (AERS) database. There's a section for professional but most don't bother to use it (their time isn't reimbursed!) The URL is: http://www.fda.gov/cder/aers/default.htm.
I've been taking 60mg Cymbalta junk for nearly 2 years now for mild depression. I finally feel like I can beat this and get off of it. Well doing it Cold turnkey is not the way! After being off of it for 5 days I had to take one today as I was going nuts and I'm going to start removing about 3-4 beads a day to slowly get it out of my system to see if that helps. I've also went to beachbody.com and picked up a fitness program which people swear about called P90 In-Home boot camp which I'm going to start this week to see if it helps some flushing it out quicker, along with daily vitamin supplements. I hope to god this will help the process. Since starting this devil drug I've also gained about 55lbs total and it's time to get that off. I'm wanting off this junk as I'm tired of feeling medicated constantly and go back to be my outgoing self again.
I also have some Clonazepam for anxiety remaining which I took one today and seems to have simmered the zapping quiet a bit. But only going to take it when I REALLY need to.
Ohh I've also being listening to an eBook called "The Power of Positive Thinking" By Norman Peale which can't hurt.
I'll post again in about a month with further results with everything I'm trying to get past this once and for all! This is going to be a long road ahead for all you trying to get off of this but just remember to keep your head up and stay focus and you will get through it eventually! Playing puzzle video games also keeps my mind off some of the zapping also :-)