Here is My Question:
I would like to stop with my Cymbalta as after 1 week 30 mg and 3 weeks 60 mg, and it is not helping at all for my neuropathic pain. I would like to see my neurologist but unfortunately he is not very good as he does not specialize in MS. My doctor cannot see me for 2 weeks and I cannot wait this long. I don't think taking them longer will help my pain and my question is how do I stop with Cymbalta as it is an antidepressant and know I cannot stop suddenly. Thank you in advance.
This must be discussed with your prescribing physician.
I realize that access to your doctor is hard right now, but please understand that chronic pain can be difficult to treat and may require different approaches. Cymbalta (ie, duloxetine) takes time to work. A few weeks is not enough time to consider it a failure for neuropathic pain. The 60mg you are taking is a good dose, but appropriate time on that dose is essential to label it as "effective" or a "failure". I'm concerned when a patient makes up their mind about a therapy prematurely and ends up "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" which sets the time table backwards in getting you to a better place with your pain. This is most likely to happen when physicians don't take the time to set realistic expectations about a therapeutic.
If you are not having major side effects to Cymbalta, then I would recommend continuing it through the next couple weeks and make sure you schedule to see your doctor to discuss next steps. There very well may be other approaches to help you, but that needs to be worked out with a physician that knows your situation and has examined you.
A. Scott Nielsen MD MMSc
Virginia Mason Multiple Sclerosis Center
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