Cymbalta was originally approved by the FDA in 2004 for the treatment of major depression. It is officially an SNRI-type antidepressant. In doctorspeak that means it is a serotonin-norepinehprine reuptake inhibitor and is somewhat similar to other antidepressants such as Effexor (venlafaxine) and Pristiq (desvenlafaxine).

The FDA also approved Cymbalta to treat nerve pain associated with diabetes in 2004. In 2007 the drug got a green light for anxiety and in 2008 the FDA agreed that it could ease the discomfort associated with fibromyalgia. It was also approved to treat musculoskeletal pain associated with arthritis and lower back pain in 2010. In other words, here was a drug that could relieve your blues and your aches and pains. And the drug company that makes Cymbalta (Lilly) has been aggressively marketing it as a good way to deal with chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis. Perhaps you have seen the commercials on TV promoting the pain relieving power of the drug with the slogan “Cymbalta can help.” It sounds almost too good to be true.

Ah…and there is the rub. Although there is a long list of serious side effects mentioned during the commercial, the video images seem quite reassuring and trump the scary message the FDA requires for this medication. So, let’s set the record straight. Here, without visual interference, are a list of potential complications associated with this medication.

Cymbalta (Duloxetine) Side Effects

  • Nausea, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia, anxiety, tremor
  • Dizziness, fatigue, sleepiness
  • Sweating, hot flashes
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Sexual dysfunction, lowered libido, erection difficulties, lack of orgasm
  • Liver damage
  • Serious skin reactions, rash, hives (requires immediate MD assistance!)
  • Glaucoma
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Bleeding problems
  • Blood pressure problems
  • Interaction with other drugs (leading to serotonin syndrome among other reactions)
  • Pneumonia
  • Seizures
  • Depressed mood, suicidal thoughts and behavior, suicide

Such a long list of side effects makes your eyes glaze over after the top 3 or 4. That is why we have included stories from real people so you can better understand what these complications feel like.

Even though such side effects are scary, there is another problem with Cymbalta. When people try to stop taking this drug they frequently report unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. An organization (QuarterWatch) that monitors the FDA’s database of serious adverse drug events has noted that:

“We observed a signal for serious drug withdrawal symptoms associated with duloxetine (CYMBALTA), a widely used antidepressant that is also approved to treat arthritis and back pain, anxiety, and fibromyalgia. In the first quarter of 2012 the FDA received 48 case reports of drug withdrawal identifying duloxetine as the suspect drug. They described a wide spectrum of withdrawal effects that began when the patients stopped the drug, including blackouts, suicidal thoughts, tremor, and nausea. Several cases involved hospitalization.

Probing deeper into the scientific record for duloxetine we found that withdrawal symptoms were reported in 44-50% of patients abruptly discontinuing duloxetine at the end of clinical studies for depression, and more than half of this total did not resolve within a week or two. In addition, we identified a serious breakdown at both the FDA and the manufacturer, Eli Lilly and Company, in providing adequate warnings and instructions about how to manage this common adverse effect.”

Doctors have taken to calling this “discontinuation syndrome.” These clinical words do not do justice to what it is like to stop antidepressants like Cymbalta, Effexor (venlafaxine), Paxil (paroxetine), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) or Zoloft (sertraline) suddenly.

Sudden Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Brain “Zaps” (electric shock-like senstations in the brain)
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, vertigo, feeling faint
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety, irritability, hostility
  • Nausea, diarrhea, digestive upset
  • Tremor, hands shaking, nerve tingles, strange sensations
  • Fatigue, tiredness, lack of energy
  • Visual disturbances

Again, a list of symptoms does not do this problem justice. Below you will read some stories from people who have posted their comments to this website. We would love to hear your story, positive or negative. Share your experience with Cymbalta or any other antidepressant below.

Should you wish to learn more about dealing with depression through some other strategies, we offer our Guide to Dealing with Depression. You will also find a whole chapter on prescribing mistakes doctors make when treating depression and fibromyalgia in our book, Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them.

Cymbalta Withdrawal Stories from Readers

“My lovely, young daughter-in law, who was about to celebrate her 29th birthday, was prescribed Cymbalta, Klonopin, and Ambien and has committed suicide.

“She told her physician and her therapist that she’d had thoughts of suicide but no one took her seriously. She suffered from depression, as well as an eating disorder, and had very low body weight. She also used alcohol.

“Please remind your readers of the potentially disastrous effects these chemicals can cause when taken carelessly or in combination with alcohol.”
– D.G.

“I have been on Prozac over the last 20 years off and on and it finally stopped working. The last time I took it about 2 years ago I was taking the generic from Barr – the blue and white capsule. I was feeling as if I were in the deepest dark hole there ever was.

“My doctor put me on Cymbalta from which I had a lot of side effects such as palpitations, feeling constant dread, panic attacks, sweats, lightheadedness and general feeling of not being well.

“She added Abilify which put me over the edge. I was in the worst depression I have ever been in. Finally after living like this for several months, I asked to be put back on Prozac. I was taking the generic from Sandoz. When the prescription ran out I ended up on the big blue and white capsules from Barr.

“Over the last couple of weeks it has been constant crying spells, arguing with everyone and feeling pretty low. I talked to my doctor and she wrote the prescription for Sandoz only generic. The blue and white capsules are like taking a placebo. My doctor said she had had other patients who complained of the same thing and she had to write prescriptions for a certain generic or name brand.”

– P.J.

“I took Cymbalta for 3 days and thought I’d go nuts. I’m off it now and refuse to try any other drug like this. My main complaint was extreme hot flashes that estrogen wouldn’t help. I thought I’d be given Prozac, but was given Cymbalta instead. It was a rough 3 days and I stopped it last night. I am extremely tired yet cannot sleep at night. I think I was sweating even worse and my legs started feeling like I had Lyme disease again. And to be honest, within those 3 days of taking it, I didn’t contemplate suicide, but I had this crappy attitude of “who would care?”

– R.P.

“It took me 18 months to get off Cymbalta, with no doctor’s help. I can hardly believe that doctors have no exit strategy for this dangerous drug. I had to find this out on my own from reading and as soon as I weaned off that – about a month, the tinnitus that had occurred decreased almost completely. No doctor told me this.”
– Nancy

“My daughter experienced severe side effects when trying to come off Cymbalta – she had nausea, vomiting, lost peripheral vision for 24-48 hours, had shaking, etc. This was while she was doing a clinical in a hospital for college. Had she known she would have stayed on it until after clinical. I called the manufacturer and they acted like there were no such side effects from withdrawal.

“She too took apart the capsules and it took awhile, but finally she is free from that drug. I think it is a crime that the manufacturers don’t publish more detailed information concerning withdrawal. They could even make money selling a one month or two month step down prescription so individuals aren’t taking the capsules apart themselves.”
– J.K.

“I just turned 52 today. I went on a very low dose of Zoloft about 8 years ago to treat generalized anxiety disorder. It really did help for a long time. I recently have been pretty depressed (however I can cover it up really well) and my psychiatrist switched me to Effexor which was terrible for me. Now I’m trying Cymbalta which has not done anything either except make me feel more anxious and headachy and weird.”

“I am a registered nurse and I do not understand what the long term effects of these meds are and I am concerned. I really want to get off and see what I can do naturally for myself.”
– P.C.

“Getting off Cymbalta is challenging but not impossible. I, too, experienced the light-headedness, dizziness, and “brain zaps.” I described it as being able to “hear my eyes move.” It sounded like the light sabers on Star Wars. Very strange and disconcerting.

“The key is to do it very very slowly. Take the capsules apart and begin by removing 5 or 10 of the tiny balls inside. Do this for a week or so, then slowly increase the amount you remove each week or two as you can tolerate it.

“Your doctor will probably be no help at all. Mine wasn’t. He instructed me to wean off over a two to three week period and I almost lost my mind. I did it myself over about a YEAR or more. Be patient. I am completely off now and feeling GOOD.”
– K.T.

“I took Cymbalta for fibromyalgia and have just stopped taking it because of acute liver and GI pain- yes, pain! My liver poured bile into my gut and protested loudly! Cymbalta worked great on the fibromyalgia, but I had to stop.

“I agree that doctors don’t always realize how prescription drugs can alter your life so we must continue to advocate for ourselves.”
– V.C.

“I was prescribed Cymbalta ‘off-label’ to manage fibromyalgia pain When I stopped taking it because it wasn’t delivering on the promised effect of reducing my pain, I became so horribly depressed that I required hospitalization as I had become SUICIDAL!

“I will NEVER take another anti-depressant for an off-label purpose….such as Elavil/amitriptyline as a “sleep aid” which is very commonly prescribed.

“I believe it should be criminal to prescribe ANY drug for a purpose other than the one it was approved to treat.”
– Karen

“I’m a 76 year old man, my libido was very low. Taking Cymbalta for peripheral neuropathy added ED as a side affect of the drug. I had a testosterone blood test; it was 1/3 what the minimum should be. So I’m taking Androgel to raise testosterone levels and it is magic. I have great libido now and am working on minimizing the Cymbalta pills. In the meantime I have been prescribed Cialis for the ED. Each pill solves the sex problem for a couple of days.”
– R.H.

“I have the exact symptoms as everyone else and it’s been a week. I only took Cymbalta for 2 months, but the side effects from stopping it are horrible. My doctor didn’t, nor did anyone else tell me, about any side effects and I did read the insert. Most of the time the listed side effects of meds don’t bother me, so I figured no problem.

“From reading other posts on this website and on other sites, the drug seems to affect every person the same way. I would never have taken it for my neck pain if I had known about the likelihood of side effects. The worst part for me is the dizziness, the brain zings and the sudden burst of tears for no reason. I would never take this drug again. I think the FDA needs to do longer studies on all drugs and be honest with their findings and that doctors should be honest and tell their patients what really happens when you take Cymbalta.”
– M.O.

Please add your own experience below in the comment section.

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  1. Barb
    NH
    Reply

    So, I was prescribed Cymbalta for chronic pain associated with a major depressive incident and an anxiety disorder. I took one dose, and within 24 I was at the ER because I could not stop vomiting, horrendous headache and weakness. Cymbalta affects sodium levels in your blood. It is mentioned briefly in the side effects, but wasn’t something I thought about, certainly not with one dose. Just to make folks aware. Had I not gone to the ER I might not be writing this post.

  2. Donna
    Reply

    I’ve been on Cymbalta for depression ever since I was weaned off Paxil 5 years ago. I’m one of the lucky ones, who had no discernible side effects from the drug, which also helped with neuropathies due to spinal cord injury after spinal fusion surgery 10 years ago.

    I am now 65, and have Part D medicare coverage for my meds. Unfortunately, I just reached my “donut hole”, and cannot afford the $155/month for my Cymbalta (that’s the generic I take). With only 4 caps left when I discovered I couldn’t afford the meds, I’m taking one Cymbalta every other day (I was prescribed 2 60mgs caps per day). I am already feeling out of sorts, with dizziness, nausea, and just a general “off” feeling. I imagine it will get worse before it gets better. It’s mid-October, and I have to wait until January until I can afford the $45 copay for a generic drug. Hoping my suicidal ideology will not return.

  3. Stacey
    Il
    Reply

    I was prescribed Cymbalta for agitation irritability. I have been on it for 2 years. I have been off it for a week and I am suffering from withdrawals such as blurred vision, crying spells, bad headaches, dizziness, sleepless nights, irritability, I almost feel bipolar. I’m going crazy with myself, I don’t think this is ever going to end. I think I’ll have to be on this medication forever:(

  4. Wendy
    Australia
    Reply

    Hi all,
    Well I’ve been on this drug for about 9 months. I am 5’2 and up until I went on this I was about 10 stone. I am on 130mg dose per day and as a lot have already described, I have found it to be mind fogging weight gaining mood changing low drive. So anyway I thought I’ve had enough, just want to feel like ME again…

    Dropped down to 60mg obviously this is too quick. Now have not had any for several days and oh dear now paying the price. I get agitated very quickly, lightheaded, tingling lips and part of my face, thought I was having a stroke. Tired, cannot concentrate, head zaps or rushing noise in head almost every time I move my head. This is but to name a few symptoms And no, I was not told of the withdrawal symptoms, but to be fair to my doctor he doesn’t know I have been trying to get off them.

  5. Kim
    NC
    Reply

    I have been experiencing the same withdrawal symptoms as everyone is stating… Due to having no insurance, I had to stop taking my Cymbalta, but my question is: What do I do with the withdrawal symptoms and how long does it take before the withdrawal symptoms go away? Are there any “natural” remedies to use to help go through the withdrawals?

  6. Barbara
    Toronto
    Reply

    I have been taking Cymbalta for two months, and because I had been drinking wine at dinner parties over a period of days, I missed talking my Cymbalta.
    I started to feel very unwell, and felt nauseous, dizzy, etc., just as others had described in the forum.

    I wondered if I was getting the flu. Thank God that I found your website, I thought that was going mad. I barely manage to cope most days, I am so tired.
    I had thought of going back onto Cymbalta, but not now.
    This morning, I even tried a Gravel suppository, which helped.
    At least I know that I am not pregnant, (in my late 60’s) I was getting worried for a moment. Seriously, all sorts of things came into my mind, like leukemia for instance.
    THANK YOU! All fellow sufferers out there, at least I have some peace of mind now. I will endeavor with my withdrawal.

  7. Richard K.
    New Jersey
    Reply

    I am a 64 year old male who had been taking Cymbalta for severe peripheral neuropathy. I started the drug over 5 years ago and was on 20 mg once a day. While it did help the peripheral neuropathy pain, the side effects started to be greater than the benefit. I had a strange semi cough and I experienced numerous cardiac problems such as an erratic blood pressure and a racing heart beat upon any exertion.

    My heart and cardiac health were examined and there was nothing organically wrong found. Additionally, I have been very quick to anger and quite difficult to get along with during my Cymbalta treatment. As stated, the detriment exceeded the benefit. Over four months ago, I started to wean off of Cymbalta starting by eliminating a pill once a week and then after a few weeks eliminated two a week and so on until I was down to one pill a week. Two weeks after stopping, I started to experience numerous withdrawal effects including but not limited to nausea, diarrhea, bloating, gastric pain, difficulty with my vision including inability to focus, reduced peripheral vision and spots in front of my eyes. Brain zaps or a feeling of electric shocks were severe enough to see my neurologist who was somewhat aware of Cymbalta withdrawal but not sufficiently educated in its treatment. She prescribed Prozac 10 mg to be taken every three days or as needed. The Prozac has a similar pharmacological path as Cymbalta, but it’s half life is much less. It did afford some relief of symptoms temporarily, but the Prozac side effects again were greater than the benefit. I experienced seats so severe that my head appeared as if a bucket of water was poured on it and my blood pressure became even more erratic. Needless to say, I stopped the Prozac!

    I wish I could say that this was all that was needed, but it was not. I still experience brain zaps, nausea, dressed vision both peripheral and focus. It feels as if there is a gauze over my brain and my brain feels foggy. Most severe is the headaches that appear to get more severe over time and actually woke me this morning from the pain. I never experienced headaches like these before in my life. I had a rare headache, but it never was of a long duration.

    It makes functioning from a day to day basis extremely difficult . It makes working effectively impossible. I commenced taking 15 pellets a day of Cymbalta last week and so far the symptoms are still the same. It has been several months and I do not see a light at the end of the tunnel, but know that I have no choice but to continue day to day until these side effects pass. I have read of people that have experienced the side effects of withdrawal for over a year.

    I called Eli Lilly to advise them of the withdrawal and to seek advice because their pocket insert does not adequately warn or provide information about withdrawal. They were no assistance and actually advised me that they were not aware of serious withdrawal problems. No surprise considering that they gross between $2 Billion to $3 Billion dollars a year in Cymbalta sales. A sad commentary on our pharmaceutical industry. Nevertheless I am just concerned with the symptoms stopping and being able to function normally as I did before I ever took Cymbalta. There appears to be no magic bullet other than time.

    Cymbalta is a Seritonin Reuptake Inhibitor that works pharmacologically by attaching to brain neurons that effect nerve transmission of pain signals to your site of pain. When you stop taking Cymbalta, the neurons continue to look for the attachment, which does not occur and consequently you interrupt the expectation of Cymbalta attachment that your neurons have come to expect for however long you were on Cymbalta. There are two choices, return to Cymbalta and put up with the side effects or put up with withdrawal and wait for your brain function to return to normal.

  8. katie
    austin tx
    Reply

    I am so glad I decided to look this up…been taking Cymbalta for chronic migraines for 5 years. Ran out of meds and have been doing well on headaches due to seeing a nuero dentist and nucca. SO my second attempt in 5 years to get off is going terrible. I am wanting to cry every second, feel frustrated and body is in weird ache all over. I went from the 60mg to the 30mg for almost 2 weeks. Thought that was it, brain zaps, what a great way to describe what I’m feeling. Reading to come down by reducing “balls” in capsule by 5…never knew that, WILL BE DOING. Just want this over, yep crying again. This is horrible. At least I know I’m not alone now and not crazy; that I have a plan of action.

  9. Rita
    northern michigan
    Reply

    I am sitting here blubbering like a fool! Thank you for letting me know that I am not gone over the deep end. I ran out of generic Cymbalta and decided to see if it was what was preventing me from losing weight and all of the other symptoms too numerous to mention. Wow; Praise God that I decided to look up withdrawal symptom! Earaches, hot flashes, feel ‘stoned’ , forgot so much of my work details and cannot clean the house or anything! Pain is a constant in my life and I thought I was on a wonder drug until I realized that I didn’t care about anything and it was easier to cope that way and so what?! So now I am in my first week of withdrawal and perhaps I can make it through without it. We’ll see, thanks so very much for all the honesty.

  10. Christine
    Red Deer
    Reply

    I was put on cymbalta 6 years and went off them due to memory loss, and suicidal thoughts. One of the worst experiences of my life and that was 3 months ago. I am still having some problems adjusting. The headaches were unbelievable and the mood swings. My doctor was no help. I also had wieght gain of 40 pounds that I did not need.
    C.C

    • Ancilee
      usa nebraska
      Reply

      You can get help here…www.theroadback.com

      Read the page and email Jim.

      Tell him what your body is telling you now while withdrawals from hell take over your life. He will help you with suggestions about what supplements can help you through many of the symptoms. I had approximately 28 symptoms of withdrawal and it literally put me through living hell on earth. He will answer your email and show you respect. This man knows what he is talking about . This is his life work ..helping people off of psych drugs..mind chemical drugs!! He wrote a book about it. Yes it’s available too. This man is the real deal.
      I will never ever take another antidepressant as long as I shall live so help me God!!!!! Jim’s email is on that life saving page. His support has changed my outlook on mankind!!! Don’t underestimate him. He does this work because of what he has seen in all his years working with patients coming off psych drugs.
      The page http://www.theroadback.com will substantiate all of your withdrawal symptoms and more!!!
      It saved me from jumping off a roof or a bridge or something like that. It made me realize I’m not alone and that this psych drug is the worst one yet. I was on top dose of 120 mg a day for 4 years and 60 mg for 4 years. It took me four months to get off it by counting the beads. I’d take one bead out of the generic capsule once every two to three weeks and then I got down to the last bead and all hell broke loose with approx 28 symptoms all at once.
      I thought my hormones were bad and they were!!! It tore me up mentally and physically. I wanted to die. I had thoughts of suicide everyday for a month . Then I turned a corner in the road back. It takes a very strong minded person to walk this walk . I only wish I’d contacted Jim much sooner then I had. I’m now 100% back from the long , stretchy nightmarish road I was on. And Im much happier now.
      Thank you Jim and God. My Dr had not a clue why I was losing my mind and my body to such disgusting effects !!!!! Give this page to your Doctors too. They have no idea what’s going on. Enlighten them !!!!

      • Kim
        NC
        Reply

        That website link does not work… it is all advertisements and the website is up for sale?

    • Charlotte
      Reply

      I’ve been on Cymbalta for too many years that I can’t remember for 60MG a day. I will be 72 this month (Oct.) I have been lightheaded off and on for many years. Doctors said it was from Fibromyalgia that was diagnosed in 5/87. Seen several doctors. Being lightheaded sent me to the ER. 4 days, 7 Rehab. Neurologist, now a Heart DR. Where does this all end. Sleepless, hands shaking, fatigue, depression. What to do I don’t know???? Tired of taking MEDS. HELP PLEASE..

  11. kat
    stroud, glos
    Reply

    Did you know that you can be prescribed 20mg dosage of Duloxetine? I went down from 30 to 20 fairly easily. Now for the next step……

  12. Gloria
    United States
    Reply

    I was on Cymbalta for 3 years. At first I thought it was helping both neuropathy and depression. However, about 18 months ago, I began having breathing problems, headache and dizziness and the urge to cough. The MD checked for heart and chest problems by doing all sorts of x-rays, a cat scan, ekg, etc. Everything came back normal. As a retired RN NP, I felt like I was being neurotic. I did not recognize that these may be side effects from trying to stop Cymbalta (which I was in the process of doing on my own at this time). Anyway, I became so depressed, that I went back on Cymbalta. Increasingly, I felt ‘CRAZY’. So, this past Aug, I began weaning myself off Cymbalta again, very slowly, reducing dosage.

    Again, I began having breathing problems, terrible aches and pains in my back and shoulder, ringing in ears, not being able to even speak some words correctly horrible migraine headaches, and other symptoms. Again, my MD wanted to make sure it was not my heart. Again, I had EKG, Chest x-ray, etc. Again, everything came back normal.

    I now KNOW FOR SURE that these horrible continued symptoms are from trying to wean myself off Cymbalta. It has been almost 2 months now since I began reducing the dosage to wean myself off and I’m STILL having withdrawal symptoms. None of my medical co-workers have heard of these Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms. It is not in their printed literature. We need to educate others about this.

  13. LoAnn
    Washington
    Reply

    I myself was on Cymbalta, I took it for 3+ years, and the side effects did not only effect me but also those around me that loved and cared about me. I was put on it for depression and pain. This medication had no warnings for the family members who had to deal with my wild mood swings and constant aggression. While on Cymbalta I became angry, and I felt everyone was entitled to my opinions, always mean and nasty… I didn’t think anything was wrong with me, it was my family who kept telling me, this person is not the women we all know, I had gotten to the point I didn’t care about anyone, or anything.

    So my children looked up the side effects of Cymbalta, and very lovingly they showed me that all my personality changes started when I was prescribed this medication. So I decided to stop taking it cold turkey. I did not know that I would go through withdrawal… I had nausea, head aches , muscle spasms, dizziness, hot flashes and brain zapping, what causes that to this day I don’t know, I have not taken Cymbalta for few years now, and have not taken any anti-depressants for some time now.

    I cannot say it is Cymbalta that still causes hot flashes, nausea, dizziness, and several other “effects” I still experience. Last time I took Cymbalta was in 2010.. I did get back to “normal” but it took time, if you are trying to get off of Cymbalta.. First consult your Doctor, then give yourself a break, and realize that it will take time to get back to feeling more like yourself.. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to keep walking and working to get there :)

  14. Sam
    United States
    Reply

    I’m a non-trad (49 yo) psychology major at a local college and have a family. I started Cymbalta two years ago to help with mild to moderate depression. It did what it was supposed to do, leveled my moods. Side effects for me included ED and loss of sex drive, occasional dizziness and drop in blood pressure, and a weird twitching of the arms and legs (2.5 mg. of Trazadone helped with that).

    I found the best dose for me to be 15 mg. I had to open the capsules to make that dose myself. Any more than that and the side effects were worse. I think that in general, from what I hear, that the dosing from doctors is usually to high. They only have what they read and what other patients say to go by, so I think for the most part they’re doing they’re best.

    Remember that it is us that go to them and ask for help. They’re only human. It is up to the individual to be responsible for what they put into their body. Do your research first. Start with a small dose and see how it goes. You’ll know when you take to much.

    As for withdrawal, it is unpleasant and should only be done under the supervision of a doctor and a therapist at the same time. Drug therapies are about thirty percent(at best) effective on their own. Drugs with any kind of talk therapy takes the success rate to 70-80 percent. That’s much better. Get with a professional, whether starting, continuing, or stopping medication. You won’t regret it, and best of luck for a reasonably happy and productive life.

    • Vicki
      Canada
      Reply

      Hey – this is a great and reasonable message. Thanks for adding your thoughts. I’ve been weaning off Cymbalta for a series of months through educating myself and seeing what works best. I agree, at the 15mg mark, I felt the best of all!

  15. Michelle H.
    Florida
    Reply

    I started cymbalta almost a year ago for lower back and nerve pain. I was on 30 MG and it seemed to work until it went generic. I noticed increased irritability low sex drive and I just wanted to argue with everyone over stupid things. I could tell I was not my self.

    So I actually ran out of pills and decided just not to take them because I felt as though I was in a constant fog. I have been having horrible withdrawal effects. Brain zap, my vision is off and I can’t focus. I’m even more irritable and crying or lashing out. This medicine is horrible and the withdraws are worse. I am praying for relief as my head feels like it’s a Balloon ready to pop.

  16. Diane
    Oregon
    Reply

    The Cymbalta nightmare I’ve been living in is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I took the drug for about 3 months, and I began to have problems after the first month. By the time I saw my doctor, I couldn’t walk a straight line, my thinking was off, I was crying a lot, and not sleeping are just some of the effects I had. I asked my Doctor if these were side effects from the drug and he said no! They had to walk me to my car after my appointment, because the floor looked 3D to me. How could this happen? It almost ruined my life and I had to get a cane to help me get around. I went off the drug finally when after an MRI found no tumor. What a lot of money I spent on that!

    Going off the drug has given me terrible nightmares and crying headaches. The withdrawals are terrible, and I am fearful of walking because of what I am experiencing. I asked the pharmacist how long for the withdrawal effects to go away and she said about 3 days. So not true. It’s been nice days since my last dose, and I have had terrible nights full of nightmares and sweats. This wonder drug is not so wonderful to me!

  17. Ann
    texas
    Reply

    I was on Cymbalta 60 mg for 6 years. Two weeks ago, under the doctor’s care, my dosage was reduced to 30 mg and I started taking the generic. I wanted to reduce because I felt like was excessively irritable toward my husband. I had been taking it for anxiety. Other than problems with my husband, and some tiredness, I was fine on it. Sometimes I questioned if I was fully enjoying life or if it was making me somewhat numb.
    So, the past 1 1/2 weeks haven’t been too bad. But, I notice if I get excited about something or if I drink too much caffeine, I begin to feel manic, or like I have ADHD. I don’t know if Im liking life better, but I feel sometimes like on a caffeine high. But, I sleep well at night. I believe I had ADHD as a teen. I’m 48 now. Also, I’m a lot more achy. Any experiences with this?

  18. Patty B
    NE Pa
    Reply

    Well, I was prescribed Cymbalta 8 yrs ago for major classic joint pain prior to dbl knee surgery. And I was very depressed and cried with the pain. All joints were on fire and I was very limited in function. I was very pleased with the results and managed quite well with knee surgery 5yrs ago now and fibromyalgia with few severe episodes. I still suffer from the fibro and neurological problems in feet. Now 8 yrs on Cymbalta, I cannot get off of it. I have tried to wean off over 3 months period and even lesser is most dramatic. Now 54yrs old I have a crazy woman attitude, shakes, more hot flashes than normal, weakness, dizziness that is incapacitating, sleepy, miserable and down right pounding chest. Is there a replacement or a way to do this ???

  19. vicki
    Ontario
    Reply

    I am weaning off cymbalta after sic months. I think it helped with and certainly helped with nerve pain.
    I followed the doctors weaning schedule at first, but after spending a weekend in suicidal thoughts and tears, I joined a web forum for cymbalta and learned to wean successfully. I open the capsule and each day I take out 5 beads more than the last.

    I’m nearly done after three months and most of the time it was a positive experience. A few times I tried to rush it, and wound up in tearful anxiety fits. But the slow and steady approach was so much better.

    I suggest taking it easy on yourself and looking up bead counting, you’ll thank yourself!
    Doctors need to know this. But they never seem to…

  20. MissyMay
    Canada
    Reply

    I’m seeing a lot of negative comments on this drug, I’ve been on many drugs to manage my anxiety over the years and have been on cymbalta 3 times now, while the withdrawal effects aren’t pleasant, all of the medications I’ve taken have had similar side effects when coming off of them, but they do go away. And as for effectiveness, I’ve never felt better than while I’m on cymbalta. But not all medications or people are made the same and whether we like it or not, when you have anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder… Or anything like that, you become an rx guinea pig until you find something that works.. For YOU… Which is why there are so many of these medications on the market. Cymbalta isn’t all bad… Neither are the other drugs that didn’t work for me (cipralex, Zoloft, effexor, celexa…) some made me worse, some didn’t do anything and ALL of them, were rough to come off of.

  21. JS
    Los Angeles, CA
    Reply

    I was on the generic of Cymbalta for only 2 months. I started with 30 mg but wasn’t doing anything for me but made me extremely TIRED. On my 30 day follow-up my Dr increased my dose to 60 mg. I again battled from severe fatigue. Being that it was sooo awful and I just wasn’t feeling good at all I decided to slowly decrease my intake until my next follow-up. I would take 1-60 mg every other day then added a day then went to 1 30 mg and then a few more days and so on. I felt like I was finally coming back to my self so I called to schedule my f/u and found out my benefits had been canceled so I was forced to go without any more. (too expensive to pay cash…over $200)

    A few days past that I hadn’t taken anything and I started feeling really bad. Headache, ear crackling, bloating, body pains, chest feeling heavy or full, nausea and very tired. The only times I felt good was when I was a sleep. As soon as I wake up and move around I just felt as if I was going to regurgitate and wanted to lay down. It has now been over a week and I have only been able to keep some food down. Strange thing is I feel ok for a while after I regurgitate then I feel hungry and get scared to eat because having it all come up is very uncomfortable especially when your at work. I don’t want people to think I am Anorexic. Worse I work in a clinic so I really don’t want them to start asking me questions if they hear me or see my eyes bloodshot after I come out of the restroom.

    I, like soooo many others, never thought I would have side effect but….I do :-(

  22. Paul
    Austin, TX
    Reply

    Thank you to all who have shared their experiences with the use and discontinuance of Cymbalta/Duloxetine. I am a 58 y/o male and have been on Cymbalta for a little over a year. It was prescribed by my Primary Care Physician when I presented symptoms of depression during a particularly stressful time in my life, related to family problems. I also gave up a daily marijuana smoking habit (of 25 years) at the same time which I think contributed to the depression as my brain began the long process of normalizing its neuro-chemicals. It was the first time I have ever been treated for any kind of psychiatric condition.

    I started on 30mg per day for a couple of weeks and then increased it to 60mg per day. I began to feel better and “more like me” almost immediately and also noticed a decrease in the aches and pains that I normally experienced. In that regard, I felt I made the right decision to seek help and was grateful for the healing benefits from Cymbalta.

    On the other hand, I noticed my libido steadily decreasing and ED was becoming an issue. My Primary Care Physician generously provided me with some samples of Cialis, which worked pretty much as advertised, but the cost is prohibitive and not covered by my insurance. I began to question the benefits of Cymbalta when it became apparent that it was causing problems with what had been, until then, a healthy sex-life.

    So after a lot of consultation with my wife and Primary Care Physician, I made the decision to discontinue the Cymbalta. The circumstances that had led to the stress I had been experiencing a year ago have greatly improved. My brain has had a year to adjust to life without marijuana and I feel the need to know if I have a chronic depressive condition that requires constant drug therapy, or if I had an acute depression that required medication for a period of time. So my Primary Care Physician instructed me to change from 60mg per day to 30mg daily for 1 month. Then to take 30mg every other day for 2 months and then to discontinue completely.

    It has been about 2 weeks since my last dose. I have noticed an increase in the aches and pains, increased tinnitus, and the brain zaps and dizziness are quite disturbing. I went to an ENT last week thinking the zaps and dizziness were related to an inner-ear condition. It never dawned on me it was a withdrawal thing. I also was beginning to feel depressed again and was about to call my doctor today about re-starting Cymbalta, when I started to do some on-line research- and thank goodness I did! Reading the experiences you have shared, and knowing that what I am experiencing are withdrawal symptoms and that I will feel better in time, has given me renewed strength and the determination to continue the course I am on. Equally encouraging is that my libido is already returning and my ED symptoms have lessoned. I feel blessed to have found kindred souls who also suffer, but are willing to reach out to others in need. Thank you and good luck to all of you.

  23. Fred G.
    Southern Alberta, Canada
    Reply

    I was prescribed Cymbalta 30mg as a treatment for anxiety close to 2 years ago. About 4 months ago I developed a non-stop migraine level headache. At about the same time I noticed that I was falling further and further behind on projects at work. I also noticed that there were gaps in my memory. I am a computer programmer and I had forgotten how to code. Oh I knew what needed to be done but I no longer knew how to do it. I am also a Project Leader and the same was true with those duties. I do not know if any of this is related to Cymbalta but…

    I went through MRIs, Cat Scans, EEGs, Sleep Studies, Neurological, and Psychological tests of all kinds. None of which showed anything untoward. Because of the online write-ups about this drug, one of the final things we are trying is taking me off of it and it does seem to be working, in that my headache (non-stop migraine level for 4 months) has pretty much stopped. That being said, in Canada the lowest dosage is the 30mg. So I titrated – 1 pill every 1.5 days for a week – 1 pill every 2 days for another week – 1 pill per 3.5 days. I’m now cutting it out completely. It’s been 5 days at this point and my head is doing fancy things that I used to pay good money for. Positional Dizziness, Electrical head buzzes, minor diarrhea, minor nausea and fuzzy thought processes are among the list of issues currently.

    I used to be a drug addict, an alcoholic and heavy smoker. I quit smoking with Nicorettes, then spent another 2 years getting off them. All of these addictions were easier by far to get off of than this so-called Cymbalta wonder drug. Where is the write-ups from the Pharmaceutical company? Where are the progressively smaller dosages for titrating down? Where is the help for people that need to get off these drugs??????

  24. reremc13
    Fayetteville, Ar
    Reply

    I’ve been taking Cymbalta for several years. I don’t remember exactly how long. I was taking Celexa at first, but my Dr. switched me to Cymbalta because she thought I had fibromyalgia along with anxiety and depression. I’ve mentally and physically not felt too bad on the medicine. But, I ran out about a week ago. And haven’t went to get it refilled. The first 3-4 days weren’t too bad. My husband and kids said they hadn’t even noticed any difference in my moods.

    But, after about the 4th day, I started getting irritable, lightheaded, and I feel like my brains in a fog. Over the last couple of days my moods have gotten worse, I’m even more lightheaded, and my heart keeps skipping beats. Which of course, is making me feel really bad. I was in Walmart today, and well, I thought I was going to explode! As far as my fibromyalgia, I’m not hurting as bad now as I was when I was taking the meds. I don’t know if thats just a coincidence, or if it was the meds.

    I want to stay off of the medicine, but the withdrawals are pretty bad. I think I may try to tough it out. I just pray it’s not for too long and it gets any worse. I feel really bad when I snap at my husband or one of my kids. Some days I’m so moody that I don’t even like myself. So, how can I expect anyone else too. I have a strong faith in God and I think he will help me through this. I feel for anyone who is in this situation, be it from this drug or any other drug.

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