I'm sorry I haven't taken the time to read all the posts on here but I am curious as to how many people here
have been on Cymbalta for 8 years or more.
I wondered that when I began tapering back in Feburary because I had a feeling it was going to be different
for those of us who have been on it for more than 5 - 7 years.
After experiencing the withdrawal experience this week, I'm thinking that once you are able to drop down
10 mg with the bead counting method, we need to stay level at that point for at least a month or so.
The body can only handle so much change at a time - at least my body. And sometimes you may not
recognize the initial symptoms and then end up in full withdrawal which takes about a week to straighten out,
if not more. I'm fortunate that this withdrawal was not as bad as the ones I've experienced in the past. This
is the fifth time I've experienced withdrawal from one drug or another.
i am an only an occasional visitor these days - but here i am and saw your inquiry!
i was on cymbalta for 10 years, from 2004-2014, its entire lifetime prior to becoming generic. i never took generic. however, i did not bead count when i stopped. i did a quasi taper, and as others have said, it was basically cold turkey which is not recommended. in my case, i had no choice. my insurance wouldn't even cover the generic which was still in the $250/mo range and i couldn't afford it. i wanted off anyway. i was at 30 mg stable when i quit. i had been at 90 for most of that time but dropped to 60 - no issues and i did it all at once several years ago now. a year or so later i went from 60 to 30 all at once, again no issues. a year or so later i went from 30 to 15 by dumping out half. i eyeballed it, i did not count. did that for about a week or two then went to 15 mg every other day for about a week, then jumped off. of course it was hell. physical and mental/anxiety for close to 6 months. then just anxiety ever since, but no real "depression". i've been "clean" for 15 months now. the anxiety gets better for a month or more at a time and then i back slide. however, i think a lot of that is learned behavior - i don't believe it is withdrawal at this point. i work on it with self hypnosis, i see a therapist off and on and take .1 mg clonidine at night. i am doing fairly well. even at my worst i did not totally withdraw from society and went on my day to day routines for the most part. just felt awful. my relapses are typically due to extreme stress but my coping skills help a LOT.
i would suggest that you take the last 10mg very slowly. and continue to reduce at a % amount, not based on total mgs. fishing hat and others are the experts there not me. but at this point its more about % of beads. i hear it helps immensely. you know you can always stay and stabilize at each step of the way down.
i would like to add that prior to cymbalta i had been on zoloft for 6 months starting in 1996 when i was 36 years old, switched to wellbutrin for around another year. went off cold turkey from that (no withdrawal whatsoever) and had a depression relapse 3 months later and went on effexor (SSNRI like cymbalta). at this point it was 1998. 3 months later i had an effexor triggered manic episode. my doc claimed i was bipolar and added depakote. i stayed on that regimen until 2004 when i switched from effexor to cymbalta and from depakote to lamictal. i had no withdrawal symptoms at all during the cross taper, even though effexor has a half life of only 6 hours. not everyone is that fortunate. in 2014 i went off cymbalta and have stayed on lamictal (lamotrigine) for now. i intend to wean off that in another year. i have determined that the lamictal may actually be contributing to my anxiety since i am no longer on the anti-d. i take it as a mood stabilizer, but only remain on it because it also has a withdrawal, but from what i understand not nearly as bad as the C.
given my history and the fact that i was on one anti-d or another from 1996-2014, and that i jumped off that cliff at the age of 54, i think the prognosis for recovery is very good for everyone. that does not mean they everyone can remain drug-free. it still might necessary to be on some type of psychoactive drug - everyone is different and as you hear on this board quite a bit - its all about quality of life.