peekfrean

Cymbalta Withdrawal And How To Cope

182 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hello,

I'm on day three of discontinuing my Cymbalta therapy.

Today is the first day that I have started to recognize some side effects: mostly a "slow brain" type of feeling that some call brain zaps, and i'm particularly sensitive to the light and the noise.

Anyhoo, I'm trying to find out the best ways on how to cope with the side effects: i've heard that taking benedryl can help and omega 3's do too, as well as drinking those green health juices because they clean your liver.

Most people on here have posted what they have felt, but does anyone do anything specific to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms?

As well, i can't seem to find any current information on discontinuing cymbalta either.

Can't seem to find too much info doing a google search sad.gif

Edited by peekfrean

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Posted (edited)

i don't know how i came to the information that lead me to this site, but i feel a little relieved now thumbs-up.gif

gonna keep this post open regardless so that i can track my own progress.

Edited by lindahurt
Link: Per TOS Guidelines
Seppi Lepi likes this

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Posted

I'm only starting to come of cymbalta going onto valdaxon I have been on cymbalta for number of years and have tried to come of them for number of years found side affects unreal almost unbearable..

Is switching from cymbalta to valdaxon going to cause these bad side affects does anyone know

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Posted

I'm only starting to come of cymbalta going onto valdaxon I have been on cymbalta for number of years and have tried to come of them for number of years found side affects unreal almost unbearable..

Is switching from cymbalta to valdaxon going to cause these bad side affects does anyone know

Wow, I just came off the cymbalta....... it was pretty tough, but I just looked up the drug you've been prescribed and it sounds GREAT! Normally, you shouldn't have too much trouble switching, but I understand your concern! Whatever the case, I would be VERY interested how you do on the Valdaxon!

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Posted

Hi LL 18,

I switched from Cymbalta to Valdoxan last year. I had come off Cymbalta once before this and experienced rotten withdrawal effects so I wasn't too surprised when this happened again when I switched from Cymbalta to Valdoxan. After I had completely weaned off the Cymbalta, the withdrawal effects got pretty bad, so in the end, my psychiatrist temporarily prescribed a very low dose of Prozac/Fluoxetine with it's long half life to help me get off the Cymbalta (whilst I was concurrently taking the Valdoxan). This seemed to do the trick for me!

Good luck,

Sare :-)

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Posted

Well 2 weeks on valdaxon and 2 weeks of cymbalta wat a rollcoster.. Felt valdaxon wrking grand was like day on good another day s***.. Feeling crap last nyte and low yesterday evening but hopefully within the next week I be a lot better..

Pls god anyway have to say one of the worse illness

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Posted

it's day 3 or 4 from quitting Cymbalta.....I am super anxious, feel like I have ADD or something. Extremely irritable, fuzzy brain, night sweats.

Almost went off on my GF for the most innocuos thing, becoming paranoid... need some xanax!

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Posted

it's day 3 or 4 from quitting Cymbalta.....I am super anxious, feel like I have ADD or something. Extremely irritable, fuzzy brain, night sweats.

Almost went off on my GF for the most innocuos thing, becoming paranoid... need some xanax!

This all sounds quite normal when u stop Cymbalta! Been there myself felt like I wanted to shout at everyone! Benzos don't normaly help with SNRI withdrawal I found it can make it worse! My advice take it 1 day at a time and it does get better! Best of Luck

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Posted (edited)

Are you guys tapering off cymbalta? The side effects you are describing sound like cold turkey which is not recommended.

I have come off cymbalta before and found it fairly easy by a taper over 1 month. I went back on it cos a horrible nerve pain came back. But now I am thinking that all the weird things I am experiencing (muscle aches fatigue brain fog twitches) are caused by cymbalta so I am tapering of

it again. I was on 60 mg. I am now down to 30 mg daily and next week I alternate 30 and 0 (there are no other smaller options available in Australia).

I am having a few gentle swooshes but expect next week I will get the brain zaps especially when I turn my head. Crossing the road is a hazard! I am hoping that my symptoms won't get any worse than that.

Best of luck everyone!

Edited by Kim1969

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Posted

Are you guys tapering off cymbalta? The side effects you are describing sound like cold turkey which is not recommended.

I have come off cymbalta before and found it fairly easy by a taper over 1 month. I went back on it cos a horrible nerve pain came back. But now I am thinking that all the weird things I am experiencing (muscle aches fatigue brain fog twitches) are caused by cymbalta so I am tapering of

it again. I was on 60 mg. I am now down to 30 mg daily and next week I alternate 30 and 0 (there are no other smaller options available in Australia).

I am having a few gentle swooshes but expect next week I will get the brain zaps especially when I turn my head. Crossing the road is a hazard! I am hoping that my symptoms won't get any worse than that.

Best of luck everyone!

I tapered off Cymbalta very slowly, just recently, and I actually went to 15 (approx.) by pulling apart the capsule and emptying it by half. The 30 mg capsules are easy to take apart, and the contents easy to split in half by filling the top half almost all the way, then dumping them. The capsule then snaps back together securely, so the extended release isn't compromised. I recommend this if possible, since alternating days has been described in various threads as painful and sometimes ineffective. Good luck!

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Posted (edited)

Greetings, all. Just joined. I would have posted in the thread that moved me to join (http://www.depressio...its-not-pretty/), but it appears to have been locked for reasons unknown.

I'd wanted to express my gratitude and relief for having found that thread. I was about to go to the ER, and did a last-minute search. Sure enough, I found my answer, and the relief calmed me enough that I don't think I need to take a trip.

Some background. I was prescribed Cymbalta for pain, not depression. I'd had knee surgery, which in all likelihood was botched--it appears there may have been some nerve damage. Instead of the post-surgical pain subsiding, it was increasing. And no one could find the cause.

Meanwhile, the process of finding the cause was doing nothing about the debilitating pain, so I went to a pain management specialist. He prescribed a combination of Oxycodone and Cymbalta. The combination worked wonders; within a week, I was able to walk without a cane, and the pain, which used to peak at an 8, never exceeded about a 3. I was thrilled; I felt as though I wasn't destined to be a cripple the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, the impact of 30mg a day of Cymbalta on things other than my knee (as in, my brain--duh!) never occurred to me until I accidentally ran out just before a long holiday weekend. The timing meant I could not get a refill authorized for five days. The thought of withdrawal didn't enter my head until the morning of Day 5, when I awoke after a long, exhausting night of nightmares with the worst migraine I'd ever experienced.

But that was just the beginning. Then came the zaps. Bad. Strings of 8-10 of them, several times a minute, for the better part of a whole day. It was making it difficult to function, and it started to scare me. Plus it didn't stop there; I then started getting irregular heartbeats--my heart would stop dead, pause, then restart with an intense thump that I could literally feel with my fingers. Dizziness, acute nausea, weakness, hot and cold spells--I have it all. It's like having a migraine and a stomach virus on top of a really bad flu. Yeesh!

I was actually on my way upstairs to ask someone to take me to the ER, when I decided to do a quick Google on Cymbalta withdrawal. And... here I am. The relief in knowing what's going on helped calm me down enough that I didn't feel the need to exercise my health insurance benefits, and disturb the family's schedule hauling me to the hospital and watching over me, only to discover it's just withdrawal.

Having some spare clonazepam on hand helped, too, and taking one brought me to the point that I could function well enough to register here and tell my sorry tale.

Now of course I'm at a decision point: go back on the drug and begin the recommended taper-off procedure, or simply tough out the remainder of the withdrawal process. Of course, once I'm off of it, I won't be able to enjoy its very real and significant pain relief benefits, but I'm not especially fond of the idea of being on the drug to begin with, since it wasn't prescribed for an emotional condition--which begs the question: what does it do to a person who doesn't need it? If nothing else, the frightening horror stories of withdrawal has me concerned that I'm not doing myself any favors being on this drug, even though it does what it's meant to do, with respect to pain, and amazingly well at that.

Bottom line, this is an immensely helpful forum, and I'm thankful to have found it. In particular, I'm grateful to all those sufferers who have shared their stories with the world.

David K.

Edited by david kingsley

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Posted

Hi all well on valdaxon for 2 months done nothing for me think coz I was stil withdrawing from cymbalta not sure as the doctors are hopeless they have no idea bout withdrawals and side affects in the end I went back to cymbalta 8 weeks ago on my original dose 60mg with to my surprise didn't help my body is been through hell since I was abruptly stop on cymbalta for valdaxon which messed me up completely I have lost so much weight cant function so I got my meds put up to 90mg pls god these work.. I was looking up a supplement called sam_e it's meant to be brilliant for depression and help to come of antidepressants my doc said its safe to take them with my meds as on the box said as doctor or do not take with AD if anyone could research also this and find some more info be great mybe or hopefully it could help...

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Posted

I've been on several SSRIs before, but none of them kicked me as much as Cymbata. I know there's a thread for various Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms, but I feel like my experience warrants more than a "me too".

I had been on 60mg, then 30 for a long time, then I decided that the side effects were too much and I quit. If there is a 15mg capsule I haven't seen it; I figured that since I was on 30 for awhile, and since my pdoc did not object, I could handle dropping to zero. I have done much the same with Wellbutrin, Celexa, Lexapro, and Fluoxetine. After a day or two of minor discomfort, I was OK from ending those other drugs.

This one is a lot tougher. The whole 'brain zaps' thing -- I was never sure I knew what people were talking about, but now I suddenly have them. Every time I glance in one direction or the other, or swivel my head too fast, it's like a pressure drop and momentary, barely audible effect -- yes, like an electrical zap in my ears. It's accompanied by a slight dislocated feeling, like what you get in your stomach when you're falling -- but in your head.

I'm irritable and angry. One of the reasons I'm dropping Cymbalta is because it kills my energy; now I'm more energetic, all right, but want to fight someone.

I'm alternately hot and cold; I find myself changing clothes a lot.

I alternate quite rapidly between feeling like doing something productive, and feeling like it's not really worth it. This last bit is actually not that worrisome; it seems like a normal result of dropping an antidepressant. It doesn't bother me like the zaps.

Anyway... it's day 5 and I find myself nervous. I have read horror stories about people stopping this drug and having withdrawal effects go on long after they're off. (The fear is, they will never go away.) I will stop short of making any predictions about my long-term condition, as 5 days isn't much time, but it's longer and more severe than any withdrawal I've experienced. I admit it has me worried that the drug has done something to damage me permanently. The 'brain zaps' are the most clear-cut example of something I have never, ever experienced before going off Cymbalta, and I am frightened by them. At the same time I am reluctant to go back on any amount of the drug, as I want this to be done with this as soon as possible. I will talk to my pdoc on Monday and hopefully decide on a course of action.

For anyone else wanting to get off Cymbalta -- my advice is to taper like mad. Find out if splitting capsules is safe, and do it if it is. Take it slowly. I have the luxury of an on-again, off-again job that's currently off, so I had the luxury of going into a shell and not having my life fall apart because I couldn't deal with work. (Hopefully I can get myself together again before I'm once again busy.) If your situation is different, ramping down slowly is doubly important.

For those who are not on Cymbalta but are considering starting the drug -- well, again, I don't want to be the guy who runs in and says the sky is falling, but I've used a lot of antidepressants in my life and this is the only one with a withdrawal that has me scared. I just hope that in a month or two I will feel more like myself again, and that the decision to use this drug isn't one that haunts me in later years.

If anyone else has had a particularly rough time getting off Cymbalta, I'd love to hear from you. (It would help if your story has a happy ending, of course -- but I'll take any sort of information I can get!)

Thanks

People report less side effects if they go slowly off of it. It's never recommended that you go off any anti-depressant cold turkey and that you consult your doctor for a withdrawal schedule. I would suggest you talk to your doctor and work out a tapering off schedule so that your side effects are minimized.

Iowa

Hi everyone,

I have been on Cymbalta for about 2 years and I put on weight, my doctor advised I would lose it but that didnt happen. I have been feeling a lot better in my life and things are back on track so i wanted to stop taking it. I am aware that you can not go cold turkey so I slowly went down from 60 twice a day to 30 twice a day.

OMG the side affect were staggering, I was getting hot and cold, was tested for menopause before i went down cause that is one of its side affects. Thankfully no menopause as i am to young for that but it was all part of it. Then i started getting massive headaches, aching all over, felt like a had a bad flu, light headed and didnt want to move my head as it hurt. This went on for two weeks and after that time I could not continue with this. i went right back to the level i was on, as I had to work and it was getting harder and harder to go back to work every day.

So now I am back on them and Im going to try again to see how I go and fingers crossed it works, now I know that this was all normal no matter how hard it is I will get off them. i will be reading every day to see how people go and tomorrow will be the first day for the rest of my life.

I asked the doctor questions when he changed me over from one medication to this but even the information doesnt tell you what this nasty drug is like.

Thank you everyone for your input, it has helped me alot.

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Posted

I've been on several SSRIs before, but none of them kicked me as much as Cymbata. I know there's a thread for various Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms, but I feel like my experience warrants more than a "me too".

I had been on 60mg, then 30 for a long time, then I decided that the side effects were too much and I quit. If there is a 15mg capsule I haven't seen it; I figured that since I was on 30 for awhile, and since my pdoc did not object, I could handle dropping to zero. I have done much the same with Wellbutrin, Celexa, Lexapro, and Fluoxetine. After a day or two of minor discomfort, I was OK from ending those other drugs.

This one is a lot tougher. The whole 'brain zaps' thing -- I was never sure I knew what people were talking about, but now I suddenly have them. Every time I glance in one direction or the other, or swivel my head too fast, it's like a pressure drop and momentary, barely audible effect -- yes, like an electrical zap in my ears. It's accompanied by a slight dislocated feeling, like what you get in your stomach when you're falling -- but in your head.

I'm irritable and angry. One of the reasons I'm dropping Cymbalta is because it kills my energy; now I'm more energetic, all right, but want to fight someone.

I'm alternately hot and cold; I find myself changing clothes a lot.

I alternate quite rapidly between feeling like doing something productive, and feeling like it's not really worth it. This last bit is actually not that worrisome; it seems like a normal result of dropping an antidepressant. It doesn't bother me like the zaps.

Anyway... it's day 5 and I find myself nervous. I have read horror stories about people stopping this drug and having withdrawal effects go on long after they're off. (The fear is, they will never go away.) I will stop short of making any predictions about my long-term condition, as 5 days isn't much time, but it's longer and more severe than any withdrawal I've experienced. I admit it has me worried that the drug has done something to damage me permanently. The 'brain zaps' are the most clear-cut example of something I have never, ever experienced before going off Cymbalta, and I am frightened by them. At the same time I am reluctant to go back on any amount of the drug, as I want this to be done with this as soon as possible. I will talk to my pdoc on Monday and hopefully decide on a course of action.

For anyone else wanting to get off Cymbalta -- my advice is to taper like mad. Find out if splitting capsules is safe, and do it if it is. Take it slowly. I have the luxury of an on-again, off-again job that's currently off, so I had the luxury of going into a shell and not having my life fall apart because I couldn't deal with work. (Hopefully I can get myself together again before I'm once again busy.) If your situation is different, ramping down slowly is doubly important.

For those who are not on Cymbalta but are considering starting the drug -- well, again, I don't want to be the guy who runs in and says the sky is falling, but I've used a lot of antidepressants in my life and this is the only one with a withdrawal that has me scared. I just hope that in a month or two I will feel more like myself again, and that the decision to use this drug isn't one that haunts me in later years.

If anyone else has had a particularly rough time getting off Cymbalta, I'd love to hear from you. (It would help if your story has a happy ending, of course -- but I'll take any sort of information I can get!)

Thanks

People report less side effects if they go slowly off of it. It's never recommended that you go off any anti-depressant cold turkey and that you consult your doctor for a withdrawal schedule. I would suggest you talk to your doctor and work out a tapering off schedule so that your side effects are minimized.

Iowa

Hi everyone,

I have been on Cymbalta for about 2 years and I put on weight, my doctor advised I would lose it but that didnt happen. I have been feeling a lot better in my life and things are back on track so i wanted to stop taking it. I am aware that you can not go cold turkey so I slowly went down from 60 twice a day to 30 twice a day.

OMG the side affect were staggering, I was getting hot and cold, was tested for menopause before i went down cause that is one of its side affects. Thankfully no menopause as i am to young for that but it was all part of it. Then i started getting massive headaches, aching all over, felt like a had a bad flu, light headed and didnt want to move my head as it hurt. This went on for two weeks and after that time I could not continue with this. i went right back to the level i was on, as I had to work and it was getting harder and harder to go back to work every day.

So now I am back on them and Im going to try again to see how I go and fingers crossed it works, now I know that this was all normal no matter how hard it is I will get off them. i will be reading every day to see how people go and tomorrow will be the first day for the rest of my life.

I asked the doctor questions when he changed me over from one medication to this but even the information doesnt tell you what this nasty drug is like.

Thank you everyone for your input, it has helped me alot.

Carol Ann,

Welcome to the DF and :happyny15:

I admire you for understanding that you should slowly go off the Cymbalta and not just try to go off it cold-turkey. I do think you need to keep your Dr. informed of how you are tapering off the medication, as he may have good suggestions or may give you something to make this transition easier.

Although Cymbalta hasn't worked for you, maybe there is another "weight neutral" AD you might try. I'm sure the side-effects can be terrible for some, although I've heard others have not had difficulty, so if this is truly what you want and need to do, I'd just make sure your Dr. is on board.

Hope all goes well.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

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Posted

I've been on cymbalata, for 8 weeks. Along with wellbutrin and abilify. It was added for depression. It did nothing but make me twitch, muscle jerks, etc.....

I stopped cold turkey 2 days ago. I am seeing my pdoc tomorrow (monday) I couldn't take the twiches, and also I felt that I was taking something useless. It did nothing but give me nightmares and vivid dreams.

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Posted

Had been on Cymbalta for 3 years. It felt like someone took pliers to my intestines and twisted them. I asked repeatedly for another medication for depression but was told to stay with what I was on. Finally I just stopped taking it. Since I've been off it, I haven't had any intestinal problems since.

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Posted

Hi, I am new here, and not even sure this is where I should be posting but here goes. I lost my health insurance when I lost my job a few months ago and have no more of my Cymbalta. I don't know how to handle the feelings I am experiencing...the tingling, brain zaps, moodiness,etc. My therapist seems like she doesn't care....I don't know what to do. I just want to feel better....physically, even as I write this I am tingling and feeling sick to my stomach. Suggestions? Thank you!!

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Posted

Welcome to the DF Leploo,

I'm really sorry to hear about your job loss and subsequent loss of insurance. Have you looked at Cymbalta's website? I believe they have a link on the bottom right called Patient Assistance that might be of help for you. We also have an entire forum that has several articles that might be of help:

http://www.depressionforums.org/forums/forum/59-mental-health-disability-benefits-usuk-mental-health-insurance-parity-etc/

I hope some of these resources help. They symptoms you feel are pretty normal when discontinuing this medication and I hope you can get help soon.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

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Posted

I am currently coming off of cymbalta cold turkey.I now know that was a mistake! Anyway I have been feeling like I want to jump out of my skin it feels just awful.My pdoc would not prescribe me anymore because he is going to change my meds.I am at the end of my rope and don`t know what to do.I am holding on until tuesday when my next appointment is.Has anyone else ever felt that way?

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Posted (edited)

I, too, am "coming down" from a horrid Cymbalta experience and here are my recommendations on how to cope:

1. As others have said, take it one day at a time.

2. Meet regularly with your therapist/psychiatrist and keep them aprised of what you are experiencing.

My story: I was on Cymbalta for almost 2 years and while I continued to eat/exercise with same regularity, I gained 35 pounds. I became terribly constipated (bowel movement frequency went from daily, which for me is normal, to once every 4 or 5 days). ...I didn't want to be depressed again, so I just kept going with the Cymbalta thinking the side-effects were tolerable. They weren't. Finally, I started having strange and intense cravings for alcohol (I had never experienced this prior to Cymbalta) and as a result, and the fact that I was starting to feel a bit disconnected from my body, I decided to stop taking this "medication."

So, it's been two weeks since I last took Cymbalta and here's what I feel/notice:

- extreme hotflashes at night (and I'm a guy).

- continued brain zaps and dizziness especially when I am moving or move my eyes.

- extreme mood swings: I got honked at while walking and in a rage I chased down on foot the offending car, proceded to curse out the driver and tried my best to provoke him to a fight. This is EXTREMELY uncharacteristic behavior for me. I am a major conflict avoider. Then, moments later I can listen to a song and burst out into tears. Again, this is strange behavior. I was never like this before I took Cymbalta, even with the depression and anxiety.

- hip and hip flexor pain. I am active (I exercise 6 hours a week) and eat well. I have not changed anything in my workout routine and I have not been injured, yet my hips and especially hip flexors are wickedly sore. Perhaps it's just a strange coincidence, but given that other variables appear constant, I tend to think the Cymbalta (or lack there of) is playing a role in the pain.

I wish I had been more appripriately informed by both my psychiatrist but especially the drug maker (as Eli-Lilly should have informed my psychiatrist) about these side effects: I would NOT have chosen to use Cymbalta (a $186/month drug).

And to those who are discontinuing: exercise even more caution and stay in touch with a close friend or two or family member in addition to your therapist/psychiatrist. The road to Cymbalta sobriety is a rough one and you will want to have an understanding person by your side!

Edited by lindahurt
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Posted

I am back on cymbalta.The horrible withdrawal symptoms have ceased.I`ll never go off them cold turkey again.I am also back on my anti anxiety med which also helps.

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Posted

Glad to hear you are feeling better Lady Mozzer!

MaddieLouise

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I was diagnosed Bipolar 18 years ago at 16, & never in my life have I had such horrible side effects from a drug. I never want to do anything & gained 40 pounds. I just didn't feel it was helping, so I too in order to properly wean myself off of Cymbalta broke the capsule after taking 30 mg for about 8 months to lower doses. It has been the worst. Extreme anger & severe thoughts of suicide. Never have any other pills done this. I mean I'm breaking dishes & throwing things, & I get an acute overwhelming & uncontrollable welling of anger that builds up until something is destroyed. Is this happening to anyone else? This is not something I have ever done before & I feel insane. What's weird is that I don't get the brain zaps like others do. Or maybe the rush of anger is a zap. I don't want to eat, which while on it I did. I would highly suggest that anyone thinking about taking this drug, find something else. The side effects & withdrawl aren't worth it.

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Posted

Rmap23,

If Cymbalta wasn't helping your condition, I understand weaning off of it can be very bad for some. To say it's not worth it is of of course your opinion, while many others may disagree since has helped me tremendously. I don't really think that Cymbalta would be the best medication for bipolar disorder since it's prescribed for anxiety,and depression. It seems like a mood stabalizer is more in order. With that being said, in my opinion it's hard to know whether weaning off Cymbalta is a side effect of your extreme anger or if it is your bi-polar that is being triggered. Are you being supervised by a Dr. while going through this and are you taking anything else?

Sincerely,

MaddieLouse

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Posted

Glad to hear you are feeling better Lady Mozzer!

MaddieLouise

Thanks MaddieLouise. :smile:

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