Cymbalta (Duloxetine) Withdrawal Symptoms & Why You Should Detox

Drug Addiction
Addiction Recovery
Addiction Treatment

In 2018, it was said that an estimated 7.2% of American adults have had a depressive episode. This percentage continues to grow in the following years with more and more people resorting to Cymbalta use. Join Transcend Recovery Community as we discuss Cymbalta and its potential for withdrawal symptoms.

Cymbalta (Duloxetine) Withdrawal Explained

Cymbalta is a specific type of antidepressant drug also known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor or SNRI. SNRIs work on both serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters.

Part of the brain chemistry alters the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. SNRIs then help in symptoms of chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and other medical conditions.

Under Cymbalta withdrawal, you may experience improvement from symptoms for as early as 1 to 2 weeks with its full strength lasting 6 to 8 weeks. Symptoms of depression can be treated for at least 4 to 12 months. Meanwhile, you may expect long-term treatment for chronic pain and other mental health conditions.

It is advised to stop taking Cymbalta if you are feeling side effects as a result. But it should be noted that it may trigger certain withdrawal side effects as a result. Withdrawal symptoms may vary in length depending on the length of the treatment or how slowly the medication was tapered.

Side Effects of Cymbalta Withdrawal

Withdrawal side effects usually vary per person and may be unique from what you experience. However, based on common studies, the withdrawal symptoms or side effects of Cymbalta are the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Muscle cramps
  • Lucid nightmares or dreams
  • Increased anxiety
  • Vertigo
  • Tinnitus
  • Insomnia
  • Palpitations
  • Irritability
  • Shock-like sensations

What is Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome?

a man about to take a pill of cymbalta (duloxetine) while he is at work in front of a computer

Unlike drug combinations such as Naproxen & alcohol, antidepressant drugs like Cymbalta must not be stopped abruptly, otherwise, it may cause worse and more uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Cymbalta discontinuation syndrome occurs in as much as 20% of patients after quick discontinuation of medication that was taken for at least six weeks.

Here are the typical symptoms of the syndrome:

  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Imbalance
  • Hyper-arousal
  • Sensory disturbances

The withdrawal side effects usually last for at least one to two weeks and are generally mild. The syndrome may occur in longer-duration treatment and a shorter half-life of the treatment drug.

Timeline and Symptom Durations for Cymbalta Withdrawal

Most people feel better and see their symptoms resolve within 7 days. In 65% of the patients, most of them only had mild to moderate symptoms that were manageable at most.

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms of Cymbalta

Apart from receiving help through an outpatient drug rehab program, there are many ways to manage Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms. Let's take a look at some of the methods you can use for withdrawal symptom management:

  • Detox medications - While it's not required to take medication to clear Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms, a patient may be eventually weaned out from their Cymbalta withdrawal by going to the previous dosage albeit on a slower taper.
  • Support group - Sometimes, you can't undergo withdrawal symptoms all by yourself. It helps if you have a strong support system to help you process your substance abuse, especially when severe withdrawal symptoms manifest themselves. These people are with you even in the most difficult times, giving you advice and strength to face and experience withdrawal symptoms.
  • Taper schedule - One of the best ways of stopping Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms is through a slow tapering of dosage as prescribed by a medical professional. It may last two weeks and could be cut in half on the first week, then halved again in the following week before you stop Cymbalta use.
  • Professional medical services and care - While taking care of mild to severe withdrawal symptoms are hard, it's best to receive professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment exclusively under a doctor's supervision. That way, you are ensured of the patient's rehabilitation longer-term. They may also advise a suitable treatment program that may help specific medical conditions linked to a person's medical history and mental health state.

What are the best ways to taper off Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?

Combating drug addiction problems is not easy and may take a lot of time, especially when considering one's personal medical history. But through tried and tested ways, you can eventually wean yourself from Cymbalta use. Here are s some of the ways:

  • Strictly adhere to your prescribed tapering plan - Always stick to the plan prepared by your attending medical professional. It reduces the likelihood of severe withdrawal symptoms and can be adjusted if the symptoms appear to be too uncomfortable.
  • Address the side effects - Symptoms that may include headache, nausea, and body aches can be treated with over-the-counter medications. However, you must first consult with your doctor to ensure that there are no interactions with your medication.
  • Have a strong support system - It's important to have your close friends, family, and professionals support you during the tapering process. You must be able to communicate your feelings with them, especially when you are anxious or experiencing depression.
  • Try holistic remedies - alternative medicine, particularly those which have undergone peer-reviewed studies or have been medically reviewed may help in managing the severity of side effects once withdrawal takes place. It can also help with a person's mental health as well. But as with any medication, especially during alcohol rehab, you must first consult with your doctor before taking any of these.
  • Always observe self-care - Give yourself some extra love and care during your recovery. This will help your mental condition too, to avoid things like suicidal thoughts or generalized anxiety disorder, and chronic pain during the tapering process.

People who are recovering may also benefit from sober living residences. These places are conducive for patients who are undergoing drug or alcohol rehab, as part of their medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Can Transcend Recovery Assist You?

While Transcend Recovery doesn't offer medical treatment for drug abuse and addiction, we have supplementary services in the form of recovery homes to help individuals focus on their rehabilitation better through the help of trained staff and fellow residents who can support them along the way on their sobriety journey.

We also believe in a holistic approach when it comes to providing aid to patients who are in recovery. Getting better is not a probability but a possibility thanks to the many services that you may avail yourself of.

Interested to find out more? Contact us today and let our recovery specialist help you.

Transcend Recovery Community

Transcend Recovery Community family of sober living homes provides a safe place for those undergoing mental health and addiction treatment to live with like-minded peers. Our community-based approach to sober living (similarly to a halfway house) facilitates an open and welcoming environment, where members, staff and team can provide support and encouragement on the path to a sober and healthy life. Transcend's Los Angeles sober living homes are located in some of the most iconic areas of the city, filled with luxurious and upscale amenities, providing plenty to do for those in our transitional housing community.

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