"Patients who very gradually reduced their daily dose of antidepressants over time, after years of use, were less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms."
I wanted to write a genuine review of my experience going off Cymbalta, for someone who may be considering going off and needing some encouragement. There are a lot of negative stories online about going off. I had a very positive experience going off Cymbalta. Before going off I too read these negative reviews and felt anxious for nothing.
I started taking Cymbalta when I was 19 for anxiety. Started with 30 mg, then 60 mg. I went off shortly after turning 21. About a year later I went back on, due to anxiety and a stressful time of life. I felt I needed to go back on. It worked for me just as well as the first time around. Two years later I went off Cymbalta for good.
I weaned off using the same method both times. How I weaned off was fairly slow. I would open the pills in one tug and dump the microbeads into a deep bowl. I would count them (Mine had 220 microbeads) . I started with 210 … 205 ... 200…195… and so on. I would put the pill back together nice and tight and take it. Some days I felt I could go a little faster and minus 10 beads instead of 5. This worked so well for me. The only symptom I had during this time was feeling a few “zaps” in the first few weeks when I was falling asleep. (I took this medication in the evening). That is very common when going on and off. I felt because I went off so slowly, I didn’t experience the “withdrawal” symptoms that everyone is afraid of (and understandably so!).
Now I do realize the “proper” way to go off Cymbalta is to take the lowest dose on and off every other day, etc. In Canada, the lowest dose of Cymbalta available is 30 mg. I know in other countries you can get 20 mg. If I could have gotten 20 mg maybe I would have done the “proper” method, but I simply didn’t want to just stop taking the drug like that at 30 mg. So I chose to count the beads. I read many many forums before doing this and I found it the best method for me. There is a website called “Cymbalta Hurts Worse” that has more advice on how to wean off/the counting method.
Since going off Cymbalta, I feel more clarity, less brain fog, way more energy!!, less tired, no longer constipated all the time, no more ringing in my ear, less headaches. Sometimes I felt Cymbalta made me a little “zombie” ish, where I wouldn't feel as excited or happy as I should have in certain moments, I felt more “neutral”.
Feeling this difference has made me question whether or not the side effects of Cymbalta are worth it after all. I definitely feel more “peaks and valleys” … but for me, it’s worth feeling happier. This medication definitely helped my anxiety when I needed it but it also took away a lot of feelings of happiness/feeling carefree, and made me so “neutral”.
I am saying goodbye to Cymbalta. If I ever need an anxiety medication in the future, I will try something else. I hope my positive experience weaning off can help you feel better about coming off Cymbalta!