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Cymbalta® (duloxetine hydrochloride) and other serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs for short) are known to cause varying degrees of withdrawal symptoms in people who quickly stop taking the medicine. This is also the case with another class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs for short). These withdrawal symptoms are sometimes called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. In clinical studies, withdrawal symptoms happened in up to 44 percent of people who abruptly stopped Cymbalta. Withdrawal symptoms were less common and less severe when the dosage was slowly decreased over time. This is why your health care provider may recommend slowly decreasing your Cymbalta dosage over several weeks to months. Both physical and psychological symptoms can occur when Cymbalta is stopped. Based on clinical studies, symptoms of withdrawal from Cymbalta can include:
When withdrawal symptoms begin and how long they last vary. In general, withdrawal symptoms can begin up to a week after the medicine is stopped and last from a few days up to three weeks. If the medicine was stopped unintentionally, symptoms will improve once the medicine is started again. In most people, withdrawal symptoms are mild to moderate and improve with time, without the need for any treatment. However, symptoms of Cymbalta withdrawal can be severe. In these cases, your health care provider may put you back on the drug and then wean you off slowly to try and decrease withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, withdrawal symptoms are actually symptoms of depression returning. In this case, your health care provider may decide to put you back on an antidepressant medication. Make sure to talk with your health care provider if you develop withdrawal symptoms when stopping Cymbalta. He or she is in the best position to give you advice for treating specific withdrawal symptoms.
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