Is this duloxetine withdrawal?

Posted , 39 users are following.

I could really use some advice.

I had been on 60mg of duloxetine for about 4 years. Back in April I decided I would like to slowly reduce. I spoke to my GP who supported my decision to slowly reduce and we agreed that I would manage it myself. A friend had struggled with duloxetine withdrawal but I assumed it was because his depression had returned - I didn't reckon on the hell that is duloxetine withdrawal.

I gradually reduced to 30mg daily. In July I was struggling with brain zaps, extreme fatigue, brain fog and difficulty processing thoughts and information. Oh, and RAGE!! This was gradually getting worse and I decided to ring the GP who advised increasing my dose back to 60mg. I asked if she'd heard of patients having problems withdrawing from duloxetine - she hadn't.

That was over a month ago - after an initial improvement it is now as bad as ever. I have an appointment with GP in a few days but not sure they will even acknowledge that my symptoms are due to duloxetine withdrawal.

Any advice/similar experiences would be appreciated.

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  • Posted

    I have been on Duloxetine 60mg, for approx 3 years. After a bereavement last year, my dose was doubled to 120mg, which, although it is not a recognised doseage, it is sometimes used, with positive results. For me personally, it had no effect, so my dose was reduced back to 60mg, at this stage, I had no withdrawal symptoms. On a subsequent visit to the psychiatrist, he decided to change my meds completely, recommending that I took, 30mg of duloxetine for 2 weeks, then once these were finished, start the new meds. Whilst on the 30mg of Duloxetine, I was fine, no horrible side effects, but the day after I started the new meds, I had horrific brain zaps, I was dizzy, which made me sick, I was angry, something which isn't usually a character of my personality, uncontrollable crying. Now I'm not stupid, and I realise that these things take time, but after a week of these side effects, I started hallucinating, I went in my bathroom, and my pink wash basket was a clown! Enough was enough, and after numerous phone calls, I was prescribed the Duloxetine, and within a few hours of taking it, all the horrendous side effects had disappeared. I'm sure if the medical profession had to cope with what patients have to suffer when trying to come off medication, they would think twice before prescribing these pills, and if your doctor types in "withdrawal from Duloxetine" on Google, they will be in no doubt your symptoms are due to withdrawal of this drug. I too, would still like to come off the Duloxetine, and a post on here suggesting taking out some of the " beads " in the pills for a few weeks, then doubling it and so forth, might be worth a try, because there is no way, I could come off them the way the doctor suggested. Good Luck, and if you find a solution that works, I'd be extremely grateful if you could share it :-)
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    • Posted

      I experienced exactly the same withdrawal symptoms tapering too fast off Duloxetine..... I suggest you join the group Cymbalta hurts worse, you will get support and more importantly information on how to taper safely by removing beads from the capsule...... I'm tapering by 2% monthly, it will take years to get off this drug, however better safely than have the dreadful side effects x

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  • Posted

    hi , i would just like to say im suffering duloxetine withdrawal the brain zaps are the worst feeling and feeling faint lightheaded and sleepy.i had applied for ESA on the grounds of depression.but my doctor took it upon himself to decide i was no longer depressed and to get down to the jobcentre and sign on as he had been told to get patients off ESA and out to look for work.a political decision i think not based on the health of the patient thats for sure.i have feelings of anger too.just hope it will go away in time and will just have to do " cold turkey " and see what happens.generally the practise im with are trying to get me off all medication, even medication that works well for me.clearly on a cost saving exercise.will need to move practise never had all this trouble with my previous gp medical centre. will let you know how the cold turkey goes.never knew the governments austerity measures were for the NHS as well.
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  • Posted

    Hi Sally271

    i have been on Duloxatine for 9 months 60mg at the beginning of October my physiatrist suggested I reduce down to 30mg with the eventual aim to come off completely . He did advise me that I may become tearful but this could happen up to 6weeks after the drop in dose. I dule reduced the dose at first no change, then I started to get flu like syptoms and not being able to sleep. It felt odd that I seamed worse at night so I googled the symptons and found that on US sites they were recorded as withdrawal effects from Duloxatine . I feel totally wiped out and unable to function at all. I'm confused now as if I get these symptoms from just halving the dose will the carry on all the time I'm only on the low does or would it be better to stop now and get the whole withdrawal thing over in one hit.

    this doesn't really help you but at least you know your not alone in your suffering.ireally feel we should have been made aware of all the things this drug can do to us.

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    • Posted

      Hi flokitty,  How are you I thought I had posted a reply to you in response to you weaning off duloxetine as I am doing the same at the moment but I had posted it to sally by mistake  maybe you could read it its on this duloxetine forum ,I would love to talk to you about our struggle with this medication and the drs complete ignorance on the hell that is duloxetine withdrawal hope you read this and  write back  hugs Donna  x
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    • Posted

      Hello Donna

      thank you, at present I'm still wating for my Dr to call me back so I can discuss the effects of withdrawal . Th tears started today and still suffering from the flu like syptoms in fact I don't feel like a functioning human being at all. I will check the other web site out you recommended . 

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    • Posted

      Hi Flokitty how are you so nice to hear from you , how long have you been on duloxetine and what mg how much are you decreasing them by I would love it if we could maybe give each other little bits of advice and encouragement it is such a difficult thing to do slow and steady I think is the way to succeed , I've not been too bad up to now  till I have to go anywhere then I feel like I'm choking its such a horrible feeling very frightening but I'll get there once again thanks for your reply hope to hear from you soon Donna. Xxx
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    • Posted

      Hiya, can I suggest to join up to Cymbalta Hurts Worse, they will advise you how to safely taper off ..... please don't go cold turkey or alternative days as the side effects are horrible..,, good luck x

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  • Posted

    Hi sally  I'm on with reducing my duloxetine at the moment gone from 60mg  to  50mg stayed on this 2weeks then reduced to 40mg will stay on this  for 2 weeks then drop to 30mg  up to now not much side effects, just been a little tearful  and very slightly bad tempered ( so I'm told ). Doctors either know very little about withdrawal  or just won't admit it  l believe the latter is true .  my doctor told me I could drop from 60mg to 30 mg  it was me who told him no way was I chancing that and worked out my own plan which luckily he agreed with  I have done hours of reading about duloxetine and cymbalta withdrawal and it can be horrendous ,the absolute worst thing anyone can do is go cold turkey way too dangerous .  My plan is to stay on the 30mg for quite a while when I get down to that and let my body get proper used to it then drop to 20mg as that is the lowest dose they do which is a disgrace but obviously they want us kept on them as its big bucks , after 20mg its gonna be taking out the beads  I have also read  apple cider vinegar is supposed really help with the withdrawals and benadryl and Dramamine to help sleep I think haven't tried them but will be doing so as I need them there is lots of advice on cymbalta hurts worse  web site . Hope some of this helps all of you who have replied to sally  stay well and I would absolutely love to here from any one on this topic  lots of love and hugs  xx Donn . 
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    • Posted

      I just don't understand why doctors won't acknowledge how hard this drug is to get off for many people. I am presently in bed waiting for my GP to phone and tell me if she has any idea of how long this dreadful, choking sickness will last. I have only taken it at a relatively low dose for 3 months and was worried from reading about side effects and withdrawal. It may have helped the small fiber neuropathy a bit but my GP wanted me to keep pushing up and I have so many werid and unpleasant symptoms - including upper abdominal pain and jaw ache, headaches and nose bleeds - that I didn't really want to continue without any idea of what might be causing these. I did thing that compared to many other powerful drugs I've tried - it was okay. But as I was eating more and putting on weight and had these undiagnosed GI issues and was taking it for idiopathic nerve pain I didn't feel comfortable remaining on it. One of the GPs agreed that I should come off it so I tried cold turkey - from the lowest dose to nothing one day and was terribly sick - vomitting, stomach pain and an awful headache with jaw and nose pain. So I went back on it and then started slowly coming down - emptying a portion of each capsule down the sink every day until I was only left with a small sprinkle. Then I was feeling so bad that I just thought what the heck- let's stop today.

      This was last Thursday and again I feel choked - chest crushing fatigue, can't eat - pain everywhere. The worst thing for me is that I don't know whether this is my autoimmune disease flaring or whether it's because of having come off this drug. I'm more or less bed-ridden now - keep wanting to be sick but have nothing inside me apart from ginger tea! If I eat the tummy pain worsens again. I'm fairly certain that this is because of coming off Duloxetine - but how can this be after only a few months on the drug and at a low dose?

      The lovely GP just phoned and admitted she really doesn't know if the Duloxetine could be responsible or whether I have a particularly unpleasant virus that's doing the rounds. She has arranged for the nurse to check my inflammation levels tomorrow to see if this throws some light on things. In my case it progresses over the day with headache and strangled feeling kicking in around midday. If anyone else has this kind of reaction to coming off this drug - even carefully at a low dose I'd be very grateful to learn more.

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    • Posted

      I was taken off duloxetine which I had been taking for 8 weeks at 60mgs following a severe adverse reaction. It took me a further 10 weeks to recover from the withdrawal. I found the whole experience totally traumatic and involved a 6 day in hospital. I too suffered from headaches, gastric problems with lack of appetite and spent at least 4 weeks in bed. I also had a very fast heart rate, collapsed several times with various muscle groups paralysed including my neck; unable to hold my head up and unable to move my legs.

      Duloxetine like any other drug suits some people but the side effects and withdrawal symptoms are something i wouldn't want to go through again.

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    • Posted

      I'm still feeling very ill a whole week on now - 10days since stopping. My main synptom is Costochondritis exacerbated by a really exhausting tickly cough. Fairky sure the Duloxetine triggered this cough and also the awful jaw pain currently to torturing me. I had thought this must be my illness- as by now the withdrawal would surely have settled? but after reading this thread I pethaps not.
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    • Posted

      Wow, we didnt realise serious adverse effects can be so bad! My husband has been suffering from numbness, blindness, incontinence, stroke symptoms since he has been on it. He's had mri scans, hospital stays until a emergency dr said a year later, it is the medication. Now he has to face coming off it which is necessary considering the side effects but bring more concerns

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    • Posted

      Hey. I'm weaning off cymbalta and the jaw pain for me is insane. I have tmj but it has been under control until this. I just read your post and see you had similar symptoms. How long did it last?

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    • Posted

      I am trying to get off Cymbalta. I have been on it for several years. Tried getting off myself and experienced nausea, diarrhea, fatigue. My doc put me back on 30 mgs for 30 days which helped and I just now started 20mgs for 30 days. But I am now having the nausea and fatigue again along with being very angry. It helps to know it is not just me but would really like some help.
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