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DownTheRabbitHole: Introduction :)


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Some quick info about me and why I'm here.

I haven't taken any meds for about 20 years (did take Prozac in the past) for my M.E and Fibromyalgia.

Have been in a lot of pain lately and had to take something so my doc suggested 30mg of Duloxetine (which I now know is Cymbala... )

Day 2 approx 95% of my pain reduced and has levelled off there, this is the first time in 20 years I've had very little pain and I have to say it's amazing.

But, and here's the but... I don't like taking meds and this is only a short term solution while I get some of my other health problems sorted so that my pain will be reduced when I come off these.

After 3 weeks of taking them i returned to my doctor and we discussed the length of time I would stay on them (6 months was our agreed time).

I do have a few side effects such as fatigue, sleepiness, sweating, loss of taste, I had a little shaking the first week which seems to have gone.

To be sure I'm off them at the 6 month mark how should I proceed?

I do know that with the Prozac I just stopped taking them and was fine. No withdrawals or anything.
Due to the nature of my illnesses I am prone to forgetting to take meds at the best of times ( I do try to remember) lol I have already skipped 3 days of the duloxetine- last week by accident but had no withdrawals, I'm hoping this is a good sign.

Many thanks in advance:)

Edited by scallywag
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  • Moderator Emeritus

DownTheRabbitHole (DTRH, for short) -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

It's great that you're asking questions now to plan for discontinuing.

We suggest that people decrease by no more than 10% of their current-at-the-time dosage (not the starting dosage, i.e. 30 mg) no more often than once per month.
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.
also, Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know.

Going this slowly will allow you to respond by slowing or stopping the taper if the ME and fibro pain emerges.

Because you're taking Cymbalta, you'll need to count the "beads" in the capsule to get doses such as 27 mg or 24.2 mg. Links to relevant topics:
Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)
Counting beads in a capsule versus weighing.

If you're interested in weighing the beads for marginally improved accuracy and precision:
Using a digital scale to measure doses.

Very few doctors believe that withdrawal symptoms exist so you may have a challenge with your physician when you discuss tapering. S/He may dismiss doses below 20 mg as "non-therapeutic." Many of us have to educate our doctors about these medications; they believe the education provided by the manufacturers who profess that the drugs are easy to discontinue and last only 4-6 weeks despite never having conducted long term studies. I strongly recommend that you read these topics before discussing a slow taper with your doc:
What is withdrawal syndrome.
How do you talk to your doctor about tapering and withdrawal.
What to expect from your doctor about withdrawal symptoms.

In the linked topic immediately below there are download links for studies done on a few medications, assessing the relationship between dose and serotonin receptor/transmitter cell occupancy. There is a Cymbalta study linked at the bottom of the first post. Having this study may assist you in your conversation with your doctor: first, it's scientific and was published in a peer-reviewed journal; second, it shows dramatic drops in receptor occupancy at dose changes below 20 mg.
Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves.

Please read the links above. There's clearly no rush in your situation and it's important that you're fully informed.


If you have questions please post them in this topic, your intro+update thread, so that all your information stays in one place.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • 11 months later...

Downtherabbithole are you able to come up and  give us an update.

Are off the duloxetine ?

Love to hear from you its been a year.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.


Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017



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