How to stop Cymbalta and start Effexor? 

How to stop Cymbalta and start Effexor? 

The best way to switch from Cymbalta (Duloxetine) to Effexor (Venlafaxine) is to talk to your healthcare provider. Every individual is different and different switching strategies can be applied to them. 

Cymbalta and Effexor both belong to the same class of antidepressants – serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (1) – so it shouldn’t be that difficult to switch from one to another (2,3). 

In general clinical practice, the best way to switch from one SNRI to another is by decreasing the dose of your current antidepressant, while starting the new one with the lowest effective dose. The dose of the older antidepressant keeps decreasing, while the new one settles in. 

Some doctors may directly switch from Cymbalta to Effexor, but it’s not always a good option and depends on different factors, like your overall duration of treatment with Cymbalta, your current dose, and your symptoms of depression (4). 

People who have been using Cymbalta for a long period of time can’t just stop using it altogether. Even though they are replacing it with Effexor, abrupt discontinuation of Cymbalta can trigger withdrawal symptoms. 

This is why it’s best to taper one antidepressant off while introducing the new one to your body. Make sure you don’t try any such thing on your own and reach out to your healthcare provider if you wish to switch your antidepressant. 

What reasons lead to Cymbalta withdrawal?

There are some reasons that can lead to the discontinuation of treatment with Cymbalta. These include:

Treatment completion

Once a patient has successfully completed their prescribed treatment duration or achieved the desired therapeutic goals, their healthcare provider may decide to discontinue Cymbalta.

Side effects

Some individuals may experience significant side effects while taking Cymbalta, such as nausea, dizziness, insomnia, or sexual dysfunction. If these side effects are intolerable or interfere with daily life, the medication may be discontinued.

Lack of effectiveness

In some cases, Cymbalta may not provide the desired relief from symptoms or improve the underlying condition. If the medication doesn’t work the way it should, your doctor may increase the dose if you can tolerate it. If that doesn’t work for some reason, alternative treatment options are considered.

Treatment plan adjustment

As a person’s medical condition or mental health status changes, their healthcare provider may need to adjust their treatment plan. This adjustment may involve discontinuing Cymbalta and trying a different medication or therapy approach.

What to expect when switching from Cymbalta to Effexor?

When switching from Cymbalta to Effexor, it’s important to be aware of potential changes and effects. The transition may vary from person to person, but some common experiences can be expected.

First, there may be an adjustment period as your body adapts to the new medication. You may notice changes in your mood, energy levels, and overall well-being. It’s possible to experience side effects such as nausea, dizziness, sleepiness, or headaches during this adjustment phase.

However, these symptoms are usually temporary and should subside over time. It’s crucial to communicate any concerns or unusual symptoms to your healthcare provider, who can provide guidance and support throughout the transition process.

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Sansone RA, Sansone LA. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors: a pharmacological comparison. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2014 Mar;11(3-4):37-42. PMID: 24800132; PMCID: PMC4008300.


Dhaliwal JS, Spurling BC, Molla M. Duloxetine. 2023 May 29. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31747213.


Singh D, Saadabadi A. Venlafaxine. 2022 Oct 10. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 30570984.


National Prescribing Service Limited. Guidelines for switching antidepressants. [Internet]. NPS MedicineWise; 2010. Available from:

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