Jump to content


Hi I'm New & Looking For Some Words Of Wisdom!

  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 sparkles2020



  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 01 November 2020 - 12:38 AM

Hi Everyone,


I was taking 60mg Cymbalta for the last 10 years, I weaned off slowly, at first I got vertigo and dizzy spills, irritability and feelings of anger. 


Its been three months since I've stopped taking Cymbalta, I'm now very physically anxious all throughout my body, it's driving me crazy, some days I do feel like I'm going crazy and don't even feel like I'm here.  


I just want to feel better, I thought after 3 months I'd be okay but it appears it takes a lot longer. 


Does anyone have any recommendations to help with this withdrawal please?  It's affecting me deeply. 


Thank you


#2 fishinghat


    Site Partners

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,940 posts
  • LocationMissouri

Posted 01 November 2020 - 07:35 AM

Welcome Sparkles


The worst part of Cymbalta withdrawal typically lasts 6 to 8 months and then a slow improvement over the next 4 to 6 months. Having said that some have little in the way of symptoms and others have symptoms last up to 2 years.


I am going to post an article on most commonly used supplements. In addition, I would recommend reviewing our ebook which discusses everything that members have tried and their comments on success or failure as well as medical research on meds, diet and other activities that may help. The ebook is free.


ebook - https://www.cymbalta...-ebook/?p=93991

#3 fishinghat


    Site Partners

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,940 posts
  • LocationMissouri

Posted 01 November 2020 - 07:37 AM

Items Proven to Help Many with Cymbalta Withdrawal.
Diphenhydramine, (over the counter) also known as Benadryl, is an antihistamine and as such is not only used for allergies/colds but also as a sleep aide. It does have a mild anxiolytic effect. May lower blood pressure and cause irregular heartbeats. Your body does build up tolerance to it after a few weeks. This medicine has many drug interactions.
Begins working in 15 to 30 minutes
Peak levels - 2 to 2.5 hrs
Half Life – 4 to 6 hrs
Use by members for anxiety releif and to help sleep is too numerous to mention. 
Diphenhydramine should NOT be taken with hydroxyzine. Drugs.com
serendipity - I found Benadryl to produce hangover effects, and cause palpitations when taken long term. Even if you wake up in the middle of the night, and can't get back to sleep, even a teeny amount (say, 15mg) can induce sleep again. 
Schmb - Benadryl worked on a limited basis for me, because sometimes it makes me jittery, and that only made the zaps much worse, so just use some caution in case you are sensitive to it.
FH - One caution on benadryl. It is famous for bad reactions with other medicine so check your compatability closely. The maximum dosage of benadryl is 25 to 50 mg every 4 to 6 hours and do not surpass 300 mg in a day.
Benadryl Total
Medicinal ingredients:
•Acetaminophen, 500 mg
•Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride, 25 mg
•Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride, 30 mg
It contains diphenhydramine which is the active ingredient in regular Benadryl and also pseudoephedrine which is common in most cold medicines. The Diphenhydramine helps with sleep and anxiety and the pseudoephedrine helps block the action of adrenaline which produces a calming effect. 
Omega 3
Dose - Omega 3 is recommended at 2000 mg/day EPA and DHA for anxiety, give or take a couple hundred depending on what research you read. It has been shown that only the EPA and DHA components effect anxiety. Any other omega 3 fatty acids don't do anything for anxiety. Life Extensions, Mega EPA/DHA, is distilled (molecularly purified) so you don't get any impurities with your product plus it contains no mercury. Some even provide a certificate of analysis if requested. They also have ones that are enteric coated now that will not irritate the digestive track and has no fish burbs to them. 
This thread contains a detailed discussion on use of Omega 3.
Also this thread....
Fishinghat - Omega 3 fish oils can be very high in mercury depending on the type of fish used. Some have tested at over 300 ppm mercury. There are brands out there that are mercury free or low mercury guaranteed. Something to think about. If you have thyroid issues they usually contain high iodine concentrations also. One member had an episode of high iodine toxicity I couldn't find a iodine free product. If your thyroid is fine then this should not be an issue.
Omega 3
3 Grams of omega 3 per day can worsen cardiac arrythmias.
FH - a research article where it was shown that taking 0.7 mg of liquid melatonin under the tongue (sublingual) helps with anxiety. Place it under the tongue until dissolved and gone. In case you are not familiar with melatonin it is the chemical your body produces in the evening to make you sleepy and ready for bed. 
Many members found Gatorade to be considerable help in fighting most withdrawal symptoms, especially the green gatorade.
Kindorf - Also I have been avoiding caffeine so I cut out my coffee and sweet tea.
I replaced then with fruit juice, ( mainly apple juice ) water and Gatorade. Today no stomach cramps I think they are done. No diarrhea, Lord I hope that is gone. 
Judy -  I knew that Gatorade helped with the light-headed, "floating brain" feelings. 
watchdog -  Drinks LOTS of GREEN gatorade..... don't know what the deal is, but it helps.
wiraz - Drink at least one G2 Gatorade a day – stay away from the full sugar version, leads to a higher chance of diarrhea. I drink one 32 oz bottle every day plus tons of water!!
caroline - Vit E also for head and joints and then Gatorade's G2. I didn't want the sugars so I went with the G2
Rafael -  I have mild brain zaps but I believe the omega 3 Fish Oil and Gatorade are helping.
Sandlion - I took fish oil/other Omega 3 and also found that Gatorade helped -- maybe it's the salt replacement after all the nightsweats.
guppie -  I'm a month off the drug so only minor zaps now and then. Whoever gave the gatorade advice is a genius. That treats them instantly (make sure you get the low calorie gatorade since regular is high calorie). Brain zaps are minor. I grab a gatorade and that gets rid of those for a bit (electrolytes). 
Alisha - gatorade-had one of the big bottles yesterday and it did seem to help,
Vinvin - The Fierce Green Apple Gatorade, Dramamine and Boylan's Ginger Ale seem to help out as well 
Summary - Many members mentioned drinking Gatorade for the electrolytes after diarrhea, night sweats and when having brain zaps. G2 was often mentioned because it has no sugar (not true, see below). Also, it was suggested that one should not just rely on Gatorade alone for hydrated but should also drink plenti of water. Green Gatorade is highly recommended by some members.  Vitylite and Powerade were also mentioned a couple times for electrolytes. I would also recommend Isopure as it comes with and without sugars and proteins with a similar amount and type of electrolytes as Gatorade.
G2 Gatorade - It has the same amount of sugar as regular Gatorade and nearly all the same ingredients and electrolytes.
Gatorade Fierce Green Apple Sports Drink - This may be the "green  gatorade" that members spoke of. It contains malic acid, the active ingredient in apple cider vinager which has proved so helpful to other members. Other ingredients are the same.
Isopure Zero Carbs - No sugar, with some calcium. Contains Malic acid
Isopure Mass - With sugar and proteins, with calcium, Contains Malic acid
Isopure zero carb with proteins - no sugar, contains proteins. With calcium  Contains Malic acid
Sparkybird - I’ve found that Pur Aqua Sparkling Frost in any flavor has malic acid. I discovered it by accident. It is only 50 cents at Aldi’s. It is only 10 calories a bottle.
L-theanine is an amino acid precursor to glutamate (involved in the synthesis of GABA) and glutamine. It can cross the blood brain barrier. It is only produced by plants and fungi and a component in some teas. It inhibits glutamine transporters and glutamate transporters, and thus blocks the reuptake of glutamine and glutamate. Theanine increases serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels in various areas of the brain. Caution – Most plants that contain L-theanine also contain caffeine and it can be a significant contaminant in L-theanine supplements. It is synthesized from glutamate using the enzyme glutamate decarboxylase and pyridoxal phosphate (which is the active form of vitamin B6) as a cofactor. This process converts glutamate, the principal excitatory neurotransmitter, into the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter (GABA).
Member's comments
(puritan's pride) 200 mg capsules 2- 3/ day. I have been taking this prior to cymbalta detox. It helped me reduce my dosage of clonazepam. Within 20-30 mins I feel more calm. I do believe it is helping keep the anxiety in check.
Tinabee - For now I have started taking fish oil and a supplement called Theanine Serene that is supposed to help with anxiety. I know it sounds silly since I've only taken the anxiety supplement for a couple days but I really feel like it has helped.
200mg L-Theanine in the morning with a full glass of water on an empty stomach, you can take again in late afternoon 100 to 200 mg if needed (make sure it is suntheanine - it helps with headaches and pain as any painkiller I had just did not cut it)
Member's comments were generally favorable.
Page 1 and 2, detailed information on L theanine and its usage.
The research shows that all green tea leaves contain both L-theanine and D- theanine BUT only the special processing used by the manufacturer produces pure L-Theanine and is the choice of many of the research biologists.
Five of the six products contained significant amounts of D-theanine. Only one product, SunTheanine, appeared to contain only the L-theanine enantiomer. D-theanine is not used by the humnn body.  Suntheanine is the pure ingredient and that is what you want. 
Key Points
Theanine increases serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels in various areas of the brain. 
Scientific Information
A National Standard monograph that reviews current research on theanine reports that it is likely safe in doses of 200–250 mg up to a maximum daily dose of 1,200 mg. Theanine is used to help with anxiety, blood pressure control, mood, and cognition. 
Nutritional Blood Tests for Causes for Anxiety and/or Depression.
Items proceeded by an asterisk are analysis that are routinely performed by many Psychiatrists. Those proceeded by two astericks are ones that members have found to cause anxiety and/or depression.
Omega 3 and 6
Amino Acids
to include...
to include...
**  *D
*B vitamins (**B-6)
Lipid Profile
Psychiatrists also often perform the following tests
*Thyroid Function
*Liver Function - (FH - The AD manufacturers usually recommend an annual Liver Function Test (LFT) to keep an eye on that issue. 
Parathyroid Function
Pituitary Function
An increasing number of psychiatrists are also opting to do a genetic screening for genetic mutations.
Prescription Meds
Clonidine  (Catapres, Kapvay, Nexiclon, Clophelin) is a classic blood pressure medicine BUT it is very effective on anxiety. It is an alpha adrenergic antagonist which means it stimulates the alpha adrenaline synapses located in the frontal lobes of the brain. When these synapses are stimulated by the clonidine the brain thinks that it is due to adrenaline and it tells the adrenal gland to produce less adrenaline. It is a little slow to kick in, about an hour and a half. It has a 12 hour half life. Most drs prescribe 0.1 mg twice a day. One to be taken about an hour before bedtime and the other in the morning. Because it decreases adrenaline it has a strong calming effect which helps a person get to sleep and stay a sleep. It is not unusual for people to have a little drowsiness from clonidine until they get use to it (1 or 2 weeks). It does NOT work faster sublingual (under the tongue) like benzos.  These have no withdrawal but your blood pressure may spike for a couple weeks if you cold turkey. Due to the lowering of blood pressure and sleepiness it is common for the patient to start with ½ tablet at bedtime. Once the patient adjusts to the medicine they begin a ½ tablet in the morning. As sleepiness and blood pressure stabilize they are slowly worked up to the 2 tablets (0.1 mg each) a day. 
Begins working 60 to 90 minutes
Peak levels – 3 to 5  hrs
Half Life – 12 - 16 hrs
There are too many research articles on clonidine's anxiolytic properties to list here.
FH - I started clonidine but it was a relief to me NOT to be able to feel my heart pound through my chest. As long as your bp is OK you shouldn't have a problem. 
That is why the slow start up. This gives your heart a chance to adapt to the new med. I did the same slow start up and my bp stayed within normal range. Just keep monitoring your bp and you should be OK.
FN - clonidine worked wonders for me 
Hydroxyzine, (Vistaril, Atarax) - is an H(1)R antagonist, is very effective against anxiety in most people but some get no help from it at all. It is not addictive nor does it have withdrawal but it also can lower blood pressure some but that usually goes away with time. This medicine should be started slowly to give your body a chance to adjust to the blood pressure effect. Normal dose is 25 mg four times a day but can go as high as 400mg/day.
Begins working in 30 minutes or less
Peak levels - 2  hrs
Half Life – 15 to 20 hrs
Do not take with cimetidine as it increases hydroxyzine levels in the blood.
(Mayo Clinic)
For oral dosage forms (capsules or suspension): 
To help control anxiety and tension: 
Adults—50 to 100 milligrams (mg) 4 times a day. 
Atenolol is a beta 1 adrenergic receptor antagonist, also known as a beta blocker. It does not pass  through the blood brain barrier which limits its side effects compared to other beta blockers. It has been linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. It may cause drowsiness and lower blood pressure. Typical dosage around 25 mg four times/day. Dosage should be slowly increased.
Begins working in 30 minutes to an hour
Peak levels – 2 – 4 hrs
Half Life – 6 - 8 hrs
SF - So now I am on one. It is called Atilonol (Atenolol?) and calms down your heart rate too.
Buspirone (Buspar) is a seratonin 5-HT1A  receptor partial agonist and a dopamine antagonist at the receptors. It functions as a weak anti-anxiety medication similar to diazepam in strength (a weak benzo). No withdrawal or tolerance issues. Dosage should be kept low if taking a ssri and/or snri or St. John's Wort as it may cause seratonin syndrome. DO NOT take with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. May lower blood pressure. Typical dosage is 10 to 20 mg three times per day.
Begins working 3 to 7 days after begin dosing
Peak levels - 1  hrs
Half Life – 2 - 4 hrs
Buspar (15mg) and Melatonin (3 mg) yielded the best anti-depressant effect of any combination concentration tested. (See Melatonin below)
Buspar and melatonin in combination is anxiolytic.
Dos and Don'ts
DON'T ...
take Omeprazole (Prilosec)
Significant drug interactions.
omeprazole ↔ citalopram
Applies to omeprazole and Celexa (citalopram) 
Talk to your doctor before using citalopram together with omeprazole. Combining these medications may increase the blood levels of citalopram and increase the risk of certain side effects, including an irregular heart rhythm that may be serious or life-threatening. 
Caution - Omeprazole causes the increased absorbtion of nearly 500 medications. It should NOT be taken with.....
Benzos, Atenolol, Celexa, Lexapro and many other ssri and snri, st. john's wort, etc.
take St. John's Wort, 5HTP, tryptophan, SAMe, Dextromethorphan (a cough syrup/cold medicine) with an antidepressant - Serotonin Syndrome.
Don't take Stimulants (Make anxiety worse)
Over-the-counter cold preparations contain phenylpropylamine and pseudoephedrine*
Sleep deprivation
B Vitamins*
Coconut Oil 
* - Only some people have this reaction.
Things containing caffeine..
Coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino, some Teas,  Low calorie, non-cola soda containing aspartame,  Low calorie colas containing aspartame or saccharine, Energy drinks, Some types of alcoholic drinks.
Chocolate ....Baking, Dark, Sweet and semisweet, Pudding, Cereals, Fudge , Milk chocolate, Syrup, Mousse, Soymilk, Fat free cookies, Cookies, Cake, Frozen Yogurt, Ice cream, Frosting, and Shakes .
Java Pops, Chai Mints, Green Tea, Warp Mints, Penguin mints, and cinnamons. Caffeinated Energy Strips, Caffeinated Fruity Lollipops, HyDrive Energy Chews, Caffeinated Nixie Tubes, Foosh Energy Mints, Atomic Energy Bites, Buzz Bites, KickBricks, Energy Chews, Reload Energy Strips, Movit Gummies, Caffeinated jellybeans, Morning Spark, Oatmeal, Sumseeds (caffeinated sunflower seeds), Lightning Rods (beef sticks), Engobi "Energy Go Bites" (crispy snacks), Jolt Gum, Blitz Energy Gum, Think Gum Stay Alert, Vibe Black, Black Go Fast!, Dozens and dozens of herbal supplements.
List of energy drinks with caffiene. (over 100)
take Depressants (Make depression worse)
Oxalic acid is found in members of the spinach family and cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, chives and lamb's quarters are high in oxalates, as are sorrel and parsley. Rhubarb leaves contain about 0.5% oxalic acid.
Can cause depression, lack of minerals, kidney stones, and more. Cooking does not affect oxalic acid. People with kidney disease, a history of kidney stones or suffer from depression should avoid these foods. 
other depressants:
High Fat Dairy
Trans fats
Pesticide residue on foods
exposure to organic solvents (paint, varnish, stains, cleaning solvents, paint thinner, etc).
take 500 mg of vitamin C per day or 300 mg of NAC - (N-acety cysteine) an antioxidant
learn Cognative Behavioral Therapy or Mindfulness
sleep as much as possible
Keeping a Journal  - Don't trust your memory durinmg withdrawal.
Stay hydrated

#4 invalidusername


    Site Partners

  • Site Supporter
  • 5,567 posts
  • LocationKent, UK

Posted 01 November 2020 - 09:03 AM

Hey Sparkles and welcome!


What you are going through it totally normal, so please do not let fear control you.


When you get to the point of your last dose, that is when the long final hurdle starts. Unfortunately people think that withdrawal is a linear process which ends with the final dose, but it continues a while longer after your last dose as your body is still expecting the meds. Furthermore, you will still be carrying a certain amount in fat reserves in your tissues (not calling you fat!! We all have fat in our tissue to a degree!) and your body will deplete these as well.


Anxiety is the most common complaint after the final dose along with adrenal problems and head zaps/fog. They WILL go.


Meanwhile, the eBook will be your friend. Hat has posted the gist of it, but if it is difficult to follow, find the chapter in the eBook. But please continue to talk to us, ask for help and guidance as that is what we are here for. If you are unsure what supplements would be best, let us know and we will see you right!



#5 frog


    Like a Family Member

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 600 posts

Posted 02 November 2020 - 04:13 PM

Hi there,

Always sorry to see new people struggling with Cymbalta withdrawal but happy that you found this forum. 

3 months seems like kind of a long time before developing adrenaline issues but based on my own personal experience I suppose anything is possible!


My trigger was a challenging cardio workout session when I was only 3 weeks off of Cymbalta and clearly still in a very fragile state with my adrenal systems. 

My worst side effect was nonstop panic attacks (which I had never had prior to this), which is what I assume you mean when you say you have physical anxiety issues? 


The thing that helped the most during the worst of it (the first 5-6 months) was Propranolol which is a beta blocker. Beta blockers are a blood pressure medication that blocks certain receptors in your body from reacting to hormones like adrenaline. An adrenaline surge causes symptoms like heart racing, heart pounding, tunnel vision, sweating, etc. Does this sound like your symptoms? Cymbalta helped to control your body's adrenaline production and without it the brain has to relearn how to control it on its own, often leading to an overproduction. The beta blockers don't stop your body from overproducing the adrenaline, but they do stop you from feeling the effects of the adrenaline temporarily. It kicks in really fast, within 30 mins. I was taking some twice a day because I was having constant physical panic but you can also just take it as needed I think. It doesn't have much of a withdrawal but you want to wean off to prevent your blood pressure from spiking. The only issue I had while taking it is that it would from time to time make me very dizzy, I guess because it was preventing my heart from pumping fast enough, especially with any exercise (even mild). Also just be careful about taking this if you're already on any kind of heart/blood pressure meds. 


In Fishinghat's post he also mentions clonidine which is kind of a similar idea in that it helps regulate the adrenaline just in a different way, but I had personally only tried the Propranolol. 


Hope that helps! Feel free to ask any questions

#6 sparkles2020



  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 05 November 2020 - 04:18 AM

Thank you all for your posts, so supporting, yes frog I have almost debilitating anxiety issues at the moment and getting 4-5 hour anxiety attacks, the last one of these I had was in January and since coming off Cymbalta they are way more regular, I've also just been diagnosed with complex PTSD which I am certain is contributing to my anxiety, fear and panic. 


I've never felt this bad I don't think, ever! 


Thank you again everyone for your words of wisdom!!! 


Bridget Jones :-) 

#7 invalidusername


    Site Partners

  • Site Supporter
  • 5,567 posts
  • LocationKent, UK

Posted 05 November 2020 - 12:24 PM

Hey Bridget :)


PTSD was also my diagnosis and I still have to be very careful with stress levels. Never forget that no-one is completely protected from such ailments. They happen. I have had an anxiety attack in weeks, yet I woke to one this morning  after some very disturbing sleep. It's not a good day, but it will pass. Many many people feel like this, but because it only happens a few times a year, they don't follow it up, so they cannot label it.


I really feel for you at the point within the withdrawal - please continue to post - anything you feel you need to... we are all here for each other.



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users