A bottle of generic delayed-release Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg

We have received so many complaints about duloxetine side effects that we have lost count. Far more disturbing are the number of people who tell us how hard it is to discontinue this drug.

Decades ago doctors might have told patients taking a drug like Cymbalta that if they experienced anxiety, irritability or strange sensations after stopping the drug, it was probably their underlying psychological problem returning. Now we know it is withdrawal from the medicine.

The History of Cymbalta:

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.

Stopping Cymbalta:

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

– D.G. shares a tragic story:

“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.”

This from РP.J.:

“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.”

– R.P. says:

“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?”

– Nancy relates how hard it was to get off Cymbalta:

“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.”

— J.K. shares a parent perspective:

“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.”

– P.C. Tells what it is like to switch around from one drug to another:

“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.”

– K.T. tells what it is like to try to stop Cymbalta:

“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.”

– Karen’s story:

“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.”

– R.H. and Erectile Dysfunction:

“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.”

– M.O. on stopping Cymbalta:

“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.”

Please add your own experience below in the comment section.

Revised 1/28/16

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  1. gm

    I am a 45 year old mother taking cymbalta. I was prescribed it to treat severe constant multiple sclerosis nerve pain that had developed over the course of a year. I have been taking cymbalta for a little over a year now. The drug almost immediately stopped the nerve pain completely, but the side effects have been somewhat difficult to deal with. When I started, on 30 mgs daily building to 60 mg daily, I turned into a “zombie”, sleeping 16 hours a day, completely disconnected from my family and the world in general. I pulled back gradually to 30 mg every other day, and side effects aren’t nearly as bad, but still quite bothersome. I wonder if the pain might be easier than the medication side effects. My advice is to research any and all medication, even if it just means thoroughly questioning your health care provider about side effects.

  2. Spencer
    Idaho Falls

    I was prescribed duloxetine for arthritis/lower back pain. I was on the drug for 2 months. Things seemed fine as far as my mind goes. I did realize that since I had been taking duloxetine, that when I would eat spicy food, go out in the heat/work out, that I would get incredibly uncomfortable tingles/stabbing sensations under my skin on my hands and under arms. It is one of the worst feelings. It would also cause me to brake out with a rash on my underarms, which would disappear almost as fast as they appeared. I ran out of the medication and was unable to make it to the pharmacy for about 5 days due to my work schedule. I figured I’d stop taking the medication anyways because of the skin rash/pain that I was having. After a few days I started noticing the brain zaps, feeling like I was on the verge of passing out every time I got up and moved around. My head feels like a fish bowl. It’s been 10 days since I last took the medication and it is at it’s worst as far as withdrawals go. I am also still experiencing the side effects of the skin pain/rash and it is also at it’s worst. I am getting worried that the side effects will be permanent. If so, then my life is ruined. I can no longer go out on a nice summer day, I can’t eat spicy foods whatsoever (even tomato sauce will induce the skin issues). I can no longer work out or do any type of vigorous activities which is extremely worrisome since my job requires me to carry guns and heavy equipment, and I have to be able to pass physical assessments in order to keep my job. I am meeting with my rheumatologist in a week and I hope he has some answers and good news for me.

  3. Jen

    I took Cymbalta 30 mg/day for 2 years. Before taking the medicine, I had bad anxiety from my dizziness. The dizziness had stayed for 6 months. I wasn’t able to walk or anything. Had no social life. My anxiety got worse and worse everyday. My legs felt jelly and I couldn’t stand up by myself.

    One of my doctors told me to see a psychiatrist. Back then I didn’t think it was from mental illness. After talked with my psychiatrist, I started taking Cymbalta. The result was amazing my legs gradually felt better. I could finally walk normally and my dizziness went away. 1 year after that, my Dr told me to stop taking it, so I tried but failed every time I tried. Like 4 or 5 times attempts all failed.

    All kinds of weird feelings, brain zaps, dizziness, and nausea bothered me.. it was horrible. I opened a capsule and took off half of little particles inside of it for 6 months. From 1 months ago I took off 3/4 of the capsule.. really realky bad withdrawal symptoms came to me after. All suicidal thoughts and not sure what it is and hard to describe but something keeps making me to hurt myself so badly. It’s been 3 weeks after completely cut off the medicine but still my anxiety and suicidal thoughts bother me so much.

    Is anybody who had the same experience with me??

    • Jen

      Want to make the point: I have never hurt myself so far. But the thoughts are here with me even though I don’t want to think that way. I can’t help it.

  4. Greg

    I took one 30mg tablet in the morning for 2 days for nerve pain. It’s awful. I feel exhausted, but can not sleep. My anxiety is off the charts. Feels like my organs were vibrating inside my body, dry mouth, cold sweats, vision problems, hands shaking… It’s hard for me to believe that this happened in only 2 days, especially since the Dr. said it was a low dose. There is no way that I can continue to take this medicine. I hope I get this stuff out of my system quickly.

  5. Dee

    I have been on antidepressants for 14 years. About 8years ago I was changed from Lexapro to Cymbta due to neuropathy pain. In the last 3 years I would have bouts of sweating, depression and headaches. In the last 6-9 minths I have suffered from excessive head sweating, depression, low back pain and rashes. Went to the doctor last week, he took me off Cymbalta and it will be a week tomorrow. I am sick with nausea, headaches, indigestion and irritability. This is difficult.

    • Dee
      Little Rock

      I have been on cymbalta for a year. I am now going through withdrawals because of the side effects. Terrible muscle spasms. But the withdrawal symptoms are horrible. Brain zaps and the vomiting every time I eat.
      It has only been about 5 days. I hope it passes soon. I’m not feeling depressed but my feelings are everywhere. I laugh and cry. But it is kind of nice to feel anything theses days. It’s been so long since I had.
      I’m hoping these withdrawals aren’t fatal.

  6. amy

    Hi I have been on Cymbalta for 6 years for anxiety/depression. I developed severe body sweating, so my doctor said I could go off of it. I have been weaning myself off of it since July 1st. I am finally off of it, but I am constantly dizzy, irritable, I cry at the drop of a hat, and am super nauseous. It is a scary thing to be in this alone, but after reading all of these comments, I do feel better. Shame on the drug company for not providing a better drug; one patients can get off of with better results.

  7. Shirley

    I have been on 60 mg of cymbalta for 2 years. Prior to this, I was on Effexor for 6 years. I started to lose my hair soon after taking these medicines. I live in wigs, so I decided to go off Cymbalta to see if my hair grows back. I felt really good taking Cymbalta for depression and anxiety, but I wanted my hair back.

    Well, I did not think I would survive the withdrawal effects. Brain zaps were driving me crazy!!! Vertigo, dizziness, crying, arguing. I thought I was ready to lose my mind and husband. It has been 6 weeks since last dose. I am better, but still not there yet. I went down to 30 mg for a week then every other day for a week. I felt good with Cymbalta, but I will never go back on it!

  8. Teresa

    I have been on Cymbalta for about 8 months for fibromyalgia. I wanted to come off of it because of gaining 40 lbs. I had been off 8 days and couldn’t take it. My brain felt like a bug zapper. Every time I blinked it was like electricity running thru my brain. When I turned my head I felt as tho my brain wasn’t moving with my head. My whole body started shaking. I had severe anxiety, anger and frustration. I felt as tho I was going crazy. I gave in and took it. I am going to try to ween off. I pray I can. I never want to feel this way again. I would not recommend this drug to anyone!

  9. Mila

    Took Cymbalta for 3 years and it was great. I though I was cured so I decide to stop with my doctors help. Took one pill every other day for one week then skipped 2 days for another week and so on. Took me 4 months to really feel myself again. I had a lot Brain Zap and 8 months ago my symptoms came back and after trying other meds I went back to Cymbalta. This time it is not working at all. I’m getting itching, nausea like I’m pregnant and sometimes my head feels big and my body tingles sometimes. My dr is taking me off again. It is hard but you can make it.
    I took more than 15 types of meds in 27 years (some work ok but never perfect).

    I’m suffering from Panick Attacks for 27 years. Just keep trying and Im being positive for the results. Always a catch 22. Do not give up.

  10. Marlon

    I am a nurse. Been nursing for a while now. I started Cymbalta about two to three years ago. I haven’t stopped the med but once until this week. My chief complaint has been extreme dizziness and I have to occasional breath deep and when I do I feel like I have to open my eyes big with a touch of anxiety with it. Dizziness was so bad one time I had to hold onto something or fall over. My concentration seems more poor, poor memory, and very sleepy. My first thought was I only stopped that one med temporarily and I decided to look up what possible side effects could be from stopping it. WOW!

    There has to be a better way!

  11. Sydney

    I’ve been on Cymbalta for two years for severe depression, insomnia, and anxiety. The first three days were awful. I was throwing up and felt really dizzy and lightheaded. It took about two weeks for it to start helping me with my mood and six months for the insomnia but combined with therapy I was able to get back on my feet. I did occasionally have tingly feelings throughout my body but nothing that I couldn’t handle.

    About a year in, around April, I was switched to the generic, duloxetine, for two weeks and I had my first severe episodes in six months both going on and coming off the generic. I have always been able to function by keeping a schedule and during the first days around the switches I could barely leave the house or interact with people. My doctor, who has never been one to listen to the symptoms I give him, ensured me they were the exact same thing, but my mother is a nurse and could tell that I wasn’t making up the adverse effects.

    After another year of being on the Cymbalta I felt much healthier and had not had a bad episode since the switch. Eventually I went back on the duloxetine without many adverse effects from the switch due to the price difference (I’m a broke college kid). I functioned a lot better this time around and this last month my doctor and I agreed that I was ready to come off the antidepressants. This was all over the phone and mostly through a nurse since my family doctor is rarely in the office and didn’t think it was necessary to make a follow up appointment to talk things over. I was not told about any adverse effects but I knew that there must be some because of how it effects your hormone levels. I thought maybe the brain zaps and some mood issues but nothing I couldn’t handle. I began by cutting my dosage in half (to 30mgs).

    Last month was awful. I had to rely heavily on coping mechanisms I learned in therapy to get through work hours and time with challenging members of my family. I had anxiety attacks and strong irritability (which doesn’t help when you have menopausal coworkers). Because of this my doctor told me to wait to take the next step of the weaning process. I still was not notified of any withdrawal effects and I was told to schedule an appointment if I felt it was “necessary”. I felt that that would be a waste of money so I decided to wait it out. It took about two week for the initial adverse effects to go away and my doctor agreed that it was a good idea to start taking the half doses every other day for two weeks.

    I’m almost through the first week and I’ve experienced 6 of 8 symptoms (no headaches or eye symptoms other than slight irritation). Tonight I was taking my cocker spaniels out before bed and I got hit with a wave of dizzyness so bad that the only thing keeping me standing was the pull on the leashes. This also happened a few days ago at work and I sat at the shared staff desk eating donut holes thinking that I could fix it by getting my blood sugar up. (It helped but then I felt sick from eating so many). After tonight’s episode I decided to do more research and ended up here. Hopefully It won’t take a full six months to ditch the pills, but at this point I’m thinking it may take more than just one more week. I agree that more testing should be done and I’m a little upset with my doctor for not preparing me for everything I’ve gone through this month.

  12. Lynn

    I started cymbalta 4 months ago and I’m really happy with the results. I take it for anxiety and bad knee pain. It helps tremendously. I can exercise now which I couldn’t do before and my attitude is much better. I do have some side affects. I take it at night..a few hours before bed…and sleep like a baby. It’s hard to get up in the morning so I give myself an extra half to get ready for work. Also.. I do notice my vision changing a little…but thats not so bad to deal with…I do take a nap some days and stillcan go to bed at my regular time. My knees don’t kill me like they use too..and I really do feel better emotionally and physically. Hopefully this won’t change.

  13. joy

    I have been taking this medicine for around a year for depression. I started out taking 30mg, and now I am up to 90mg. This medicine has quit working for me and has started making me feel really weird. I sweat, have tremors, and I never can seem to think clearly. It also makes me itch until I have open sores on me. I have started trying to come off this medicine, and I am not having much luck. I am so irritable, and I feel like I am never going to be normal again. I have only been trying to come off of it for a week now, and the symptoms just seem to get worse. I can’t sleep. When I do, I have horrible night mares, and I can’t stand to associate with people. It is the most horrible feeling I have ever had in my life. I am to the point where I don’t know what to do.

  14. David J
    Williamsburg VA

    I have been on the full range of popular antidepressants, as well as mood stabilizers, continuously over the last 35 years. Last year I spent my first 6 months off all prescription meds, but went back on them when intense anxiety and suicidal thoughts returned. But I’m here to share my harrowing story of withdrawal, as this is the topic of the article.

    I was on Effexor for 6 years. During the latter couple of years, I suffered from constantly daytime sleepiness, which a sleep specialist labelled “nonspecific hypersomnolence,”after I took a full series of sleep tests to determine the cause of the problem. It was so bad I decided, together with my psychiatrist, to take dexedrine and adderall to stay awake. I stopped the amphetamines several months later.

    Eventually the Effexor ceased to be effective, so I had to go off of it. I had no idea when I first tried to stop the Effexor that it would end up taking me a full 6 months to wean myself off of it. I had every one of the 8 withdrawal syndromes listed in the article. Chief among them were vertigo, nausea, irritability and depression.

    Once I was weaned off the Effexor, my daytime sleepiness subsided completely.

    I have nothing against effective psychiatric medications, but I will certainly never take Effexor again. However, I am concerned about the immediate future because I started taking Cymbalta for the first time one week ago. I knew that Cymbalta was related to Effexor and I expressed my concern about the withdrawal to the psychiatrist. Believe it or not, he tried to reassure me that it wouldn’t be a problem by saying “It’s not habit forming.”

    The Cymbalta gave me an immediate and significant improvement in mood, as well as a reduction of anxiety. Then I decided to do some research on the down sides and, sure enough, learned that withdrawal from Cymbalta can be just as bad as withdrawal from Effexor, or worse. I have debated about stopping. If I stop, I want to stop it soon, before it digs its claws into me any further.

    I’ve assessed the pros and cons of continuing Cymbalta from a number of perspectives. Last night I thought to myself, “I think it’s worth it to stay on the drug because I’ve been feeling a lot better in terms of my mood. If I go off it, I’ll become depressed again.” And I mean seriously depressed. But I think I will stop it.

    Here’s a fundamental question I asked myself that helped me to make the big decision to stop Cymbalta after just one week:

    If I were to stay on Cymbalta and one day need to go off of it (which I’ve eventually had to do with every other psychiatric medication I’ve ever tried), I will almost certainly experience the withdrawal symptoms I experienced when going off its “sister” drug, Effexor. These symptoms stretch out over several months and include depression.

    So I ask myself, What good is a medication, even if it works well initially, if in the end I will spend several months in discomfort and depression, all over again? Not to mention the fact that my underlying “illness” will most likely return in full force, as it has in the past, if I don’t start taking some other new medicine?

    Either I struggle with moderate depression for now, or I take Cymbalta, feel a little better (with various side effects like muscle contractions and teeth grinding), and postpone my depression until later?

    It’s probably better to try to cope now and end the Cymbalta. Maybe I’ll increase my Wellbutrin LOL! (Actually, Wellbutrin has been the best antidepressant for me for many years and has less withdrawal potential.)

    • Terry Graedon

      David, be sure to discuss your decision with your psychiatrist.

  15. Lisa
    North Carolina

    I was prescribed Cymbalta in February this year for depression but also told it would possibly help with the pain I suffer daily due to having Rheumatoid Arthritis. I remember thinking great something that will help me with not only my depression but maybe some of my daily pain also, I couldn’t wait to start taking it. What a HUGE mistake that was. I was started on 30mg once daily, and within a few weeks I could tell a dramatic difference with my depression, I felt so much better. In May my doctor increased the dosage to 60mg once daily and not long after big problems started. At first it was kinda hard to tell if the side effects were a direct result of the Cymbalta or possibly my RA meds. To make a long story short I’ll cut right to it. I was sweating CONSTANTLY, even when it wasn’t really hot I would be drenched, even the top of my head would be soaked. However my biggest shock was the fact that is had gained 20 pounds in 2 months! I’ve never gained weight like that before so fast or at all for that matter. I decided enough was enough and I stopped taking them cold turkey a little over a week ago. I knew nothing about withdrawals what so ever. I still feel horrible. I’ve had no energy just feeling tired all the time. Very moody, emotional and irritable. Unable to think clearly, feelings of dread and overall despair, feeling hopeless and paranoia. That’s just naming a few. Physically I’ve had headaches, tremors to where it feels my entire body is quivering and the overall feeling of not being well. To put it bluntly, feeling like total shit. I don’t know how long this is gonna last. I’ve heard it takes about 2 months for it to get out of your system. I feel for all of those going thru this and I wish you well.

  16. Eric

    I have the brain zings that are nonstop it has become debilitating. I have taken it for 2 years and need to stop it is a horrible drug. Has anyone found anything that relieves this it has been going on for 10 days and seems to be getting worse.

    • Sam

      I’ve found Tramadol works wonders with the brain zaps! I’m just starting to wean myself off Cymbalta but in the past when I have missed a dose I would take a 50 mg Tramadol and the zaps would deminish.

  17. DJH

    I have been on cymbalta for several months – I asked my dr for it so I could take less pills being that it might help my depression and diabetic neuropathy. It didn’t seem to make a difference and in fact, made my depression worse so I asked to return to my former drug regimen. I wish I had read this post before starting or stopping the Cymbalta. My dr mentioned no possibility of withdrawal symptoms. I have started having dizziness, vertigo and worse this weird thing between my eyes and ears that I described to my husband as my ears hear my eyes blink shut and my eyes feeling the sensation. It’s kind of disconcerting. I decided to look Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms up this morning because that’s the only thing I’ve changed when I came across this site. I could hardly believe that moments after I told my husband about my eyes and ears having that sensation, I read K.T.’s description of it above!!!! It’s too late to wean and I have already started my old antidepressant so I hope this doesn’t last long. Also, I am extremely irritable.

  18. Lizet

    I am on Cymbalta for 3 years now. It was prescribed for the neoropathy pain in my feet. I take 2 X 60 mg per day.
    When I started on it, it relieved the pain in my feet so much, the side effects did not bother me.
    Now my body got used to it, my feet are back to its normal unhappiness and I am always tired, can’t sleep, sweat runs down me, when other people are cold and I get itches (normally on one part of my body) that is so bad, I scratch myself until I have an open wound!!!
    I am going to stop taking it.
    I will also use ALA that will hopefully help with the neoropathy pain. Is there anything else I can try for neoropathy and or coming off the Cymbalta?
    Thank you for your site and everybody that took the time to tell others about their problems.
    I will report back. Good luck to all of you and take care.

  19. Terry

    This medication knocks me RIGHT OUT!!! I CANNOT stay awake after taking it. It was prescribed to help with severe migraines, and it does help with migraines. However, I experience headaches after taking it, and it knocks me completely out!

  20. tippy
    LA, CA

    I have been on Cymbalta(40mg) for a week for Fibromyalgia . doctor said it will take 4 -6 weeks to get better from Fibromyalgia . I was refused to take any medicine before but this year FB get worse . So I try it . the pharmacist told me to took at evening because the medicine will cause me sleepy , but for me it cause me insomnia . I could not sleep at all . I have constipation , palpitation , feel like chest pain . I have not stopped the medicine yet . I got scared after I read all the experience of yours.

  21. Christie

    I can’t remember how long I’ve been on Cymbalta for nerve related pain from neck and back injuries. My prescription refill got mixed up, causing missed dosage of four days. (60 mg 1x daily) The symptoms are really lousy; brain zaps, sleeplessness to exhaustion, diarrhea nearly uncontrollable, nausea, extreme headache, beginning the crying. I’ve read the various stories here and have realized other ongoing symptoms such as night sweats! I’m 63 and was done with all that quite a few years ago. Short term memory issues. I am going to figure out how to titrate off this drug. The experiences of you all are very helpful. Have any of you found natural supplements or herbal remedies to help in this process? I’m already on magnesium.

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