Cymbalta Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, and Treatment

Cymbalta (duloxetine)  is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) medication. It is FDA-approved for a number of conditions, including major depressive disorder, anxiety, and fibromyalgia.

Like other antidepressants, it can cause withdrawal if it is stopped suddenly or the dosage is reduced too quickly.

Who is likely to experience symptoms of duloxetine withdrawal?

The risk of experiencing Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms depends on how long you have been taking it, the dosage, and your other medical conditions. 

If you’ve been taking Cymbalta at least four weeks you may experience withdrawal if you stop taking it.

If you’ve been taking duloxetine for more than four weeks, you will need to gradually reduce your dosage of the medication. This should only be done after talking to your healthcare provider. Only take Cymbalta as prescribed by your healthcare provider.  

What are the symptoms of Cymbalta withdrawal?

Symptoms of  Cymbalta withdrawal may include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle spasms or tremors
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Increased sweating
  • Tingling or prickling shock sensations
  • Electric shock-like sensations called brain zaps
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Confusion

What is the timeline for Cymbalta  withdrawal?

Each person’s chances of experiencing Cymbalta withdrawal are slightly different and will vary depending on the person’s age, the dosage of the medication, and how long they have been taking the drug. 

A review of six different studies looking at Cymbalta withdrawal found that 44.3 percent of people stopping it  experienced withdrawal symptoms, while nearly 23 percent of people taking the placebo experienced withdrawal symptoms. 

Symptoms of duloxetine withdrawal typically appear within two to four days of stopping use of the drug. In the study, 65 percent of people reported that their withdrawal symptoms ended within a week of when they began. 

However, some people  may experience symptoms for up to a few weeks. Most symptoms of duloxetine withdrawal were reported to be mild or moderate.

What treatment is available for Cymbalta  withdrawal?

Tapering the dose of duloxetine, a strategy which involves gradually reducing your dosage over time instead of quitting “cold turkey,” may help prevent withdrawal.

However, studies show that tapering alone may not completely stop withdrawal symptoms. Your healthcare provider may try to gradually reduce your dosage over weeks or months to try to prevent withdrawal.

While withdrawal may be uncomfortable, it is rarely serious and it usually goes away on its own, after your body gets adjusted. But stopping it suddenly can cause more severe symptoms. That’s why you should work with your healthcare provider if you want to stop taking Cymbalta.


Cymbalta commonly causes withdrawal. You are more likely to experience withdrawal if you’ve been taking Cymbalta for more than 4 weeks. 

The most common symptoms of duloxetine withdrawal include headache, nausea, and dizziness. For most people, these are not serious and go away on their own within about one to two weeks.

You can save on brand or generic Cymbalta with a free pharmacy discount card from

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the timeline for Cymbalta withdrawal?

Each patient will experience Cymbalta withdrawal differently due to variances in the dose, length of time for treatment, and medical history. 

What treatment is available for Cymbalta withdrawal?

While Cymbalta can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, it is not usually associated with addiction or dependence.

References, Studies and Sources:

Perahia DG, Kajdasz DK, Desaiah D, Haddad PM. Symptoms following abrupt discontinuation of duloxetine treatment in patients with major depressive disorder. J Affect Disord. 2005;89(1-3):207-212. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2005.09.003

Cymbalta – Duloxetine Hydrochloride Capsules. DailyMed. June 23, 2023. Accessed June 30, 2023.

Dhaliwal JS, Spurling BC, Molla M. Duloxetine. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; May 29, 2023. Accessed June 30, 2023.

Fava GA, Benasi G, Lucente M, Offidani E, Cosci F, Guidi J. Withdrawal Symptoms after Serotonin-Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitor Discontinuation: Systematic Review. Psychother Psychosom. 2018;87(4):195-203. doi:10.1159/000491524

Mental Health Medications: Stopping Medications. National Alliance on Mental Illness. January 2020. Accessed June 30, 2023.

Warner CH, Bobo W, Warner C, Reid S, Rachal J. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 2006;74(3):449-456.

Gabriel M, Sharma V. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. CMAJ. 2017;189(21):E747. doi:10.1503/cmaj.160991

Jha MK, Rush AJ, Trivedi MH. When Discontinuing SSRI Antidepressants Is a Challenge: Management Tips. Am J Psychiatry. 2018;175(12):1176-1184. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.18060692

Wilson E, Lader M. A review of the management of antidepressant discontinuation symptoms. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2015;5(6):357-368. doi:10.1177/2045125315612334

author avatar
Angel Rivera
I am a Bilingual (Spanish) Psychiatrist with a mixture of strong clinical skills including Emergency Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison, Forensic Psychiatry, Telepsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry training in treatment of the elderly. I have training in EMR records thus very comfortable in working with computers. I served the difficult to treat patients in challenging environments in outpatient and inpatient settings

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