Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome
For decades, doctors have warned of the difficulty patients face when trying to stop using antidepressant drugs. However, neither they nor the millions of users anticipated the brutal effects that could accompany Cymbalta withdrawal.
The complications from stopping Cymbalta use are severe enough that the condition has been given a diagnosis of its own - Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome.
After an accumulation of evidence suggesting withdrawals from Cymbalta were worse than normal, the FDA issued a research advisory in 2009 that examined the scope, severity, duration and management of these complications.
Among the agency’s observations were that physical and psychological injury and distress from Cymbalta could be extreme enough to negatively affect the job functions and social relationships of users and their families, and that these effects could last for weeks or months.
They also found that physicians and patients were not informed of all the potential side effects of withdrawal, or their severity. The FDA observed that Eli Lilly avoided the issue of Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome with physicians and the difficulty of a tapered method of stopping usage with patients. Instead, the company emphasized the withdrawal effects of other drugs to doctors.
With patients left uninformed and unsupported by the manufacturer, the FDA panel stated it was inevitable that a wave of Cymbalta fibromyalgia users would experience discontinuation syndrome.
Some of the complications associated with Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome include:
- Anger or irritability
- Electrical “brain zaps”
- Sickness or vomiting
Although the manufacturer advises a gradual reduction of dosage when discontinuing Cymbalta, patients have found this to be nearly impossible. First, the medication is only offered in 20 mg., 30 mg. and 60 mg. doses, with no liquid form.
What’s more, Eli Lilly expressly warns patients not to open Cymbalta capsules to mix the drug with food or liquids, or to partially chew or crush them. Therefore, they offer almost no way for patients to actually taper their dosage in order to avoid withdrawals.