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

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. Jennifer
    Meriden, CT
    Reply

    I am currently taking 40mg of generic cymbalta daily. It’s helping for what i needed it for. I have manic bipolar, stress, depression, and neck and back pain. I’ve been on it for almost 2 years. Never missed a dose. All of a sudden my insurance refused to refill it… It took 10 days to resolve it (pharmacy put through brand name instead of generic) by then i had run out of pills…. It was a full two days i had nothing. Couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket. I just took my first dose tonight since being cut off. My withdrawal symptoms were bad. First i started getting stressed out and angry then came the suicidal thoughts, dizziness, vision problems and everytime I turn my head I would feel stinging numbness in fingers jaw face and tongue. My advice to anyone planning to come off of it is to take it easy. Come off slowly. Unfortunately i had no choice because i couldn’t pay out of pocket. Pharmacy messed up my meds and wouldn’t even give me a couple days dose to prevent withdrawal. Be careful on this stuff.

  2. Amber
    santa cruz, ca
    Reply

    Cymbalta is the only anti-depressant my body has been able to handle. No side effects other than a sensation that I had two layers of skin in my mouth…I take this with Lithium so maybe that makes a difference…one problem? If you miss a couple of doses, you go immediately into withdrawal…dizziness, confusion, nausea, shaking…not fun…but it helps my depressions and fibromyalgia nerve buzzing.

  3. Philip
    United States
    Reply

    I have taken Cymbalta for eight or nine years and have recently stopped thanks to a great program for dealing with chronic pain(thank you Essentia Health). I am experiencing vertigo, GI issues, brain zaps, fatigue, and nausea. I hope this ends soon. Luckily depression has never been a major issue for me. I want to wish the best of luck to anyone thinking of quitting. I prefer the cold turkey method but maybe tapering off would be the wiser choice. If the withdrawal effects don’t get any better soon, I may need to reconsider.

  4. Brandi
    43130
    Reply

    I also have been on Cymbalta for probably 10 years. I start getting withdrawal if I miss one day of pill. It is awful I feel shaky and out if it. Right now I am uninsured and cannot take generic costs almost 300 month. I feel like a druggy. Cannot stop. Scared to try.

  5. Nici
    Texas
    Reply

    I’ve been taking 60mg of generic Cymbalta for well over 6 months now for anxiety and osteoarthritis. It hasn’t helped my arthritis any but it has helped my anxiety and depression. I accidentally ran out of refills over the weekend and had taken my last pill Friday. It’s now Tuesday morning at 3am and I’ve had 1 hr sleep and just woke from a terribly vivid nightmare. I have vivid dreams and insomnia often from cymbalta but this is the first nightmare. I woke with a huge gasp and my heart is pounding. I’ve felt nauseous and had diarrhea yesterday morning w terrible stomach cramps. My mood yesterday was cheerful but w random bouts of nausea and headaches throughout the day. I get headaches daily from the Cymbalta so I’ve been used to that and the insomnia. The nightmare was very unsettling and the diarrhea and nausea has been plain ridiculous. I was really shaky yesterday as well and of course I’m extremely shaky now. I feel so exhausted but can’t do anything about it. I really wish my doctor would respond to the refill request I submitted Friday and the pharmacy re-submitted yesterday for me. Last time I forgot, it was 5 days w/o and o had confusion and bouts of crying and dizzy on top of these other symptoms. I hate this but too scared to try and stop the rx, even w my dr’s help. Man I’m so tired but afraid of the nightmares and who knows if I’d even be able to go back to sleep. Dammit.

  6. Beverly
    Reply

    I am a patient with a past back injury and surgery. My chief complaints are constant back pain, muscles spasms that are in different areas on my back, have osteoporosis of the spine, arthritis, degenerative disease all of the spinal area. Pain from low back that radiates my schiatica and continues down my right leg. I was on Lexapro for 6 or so years and my pain mgmt. doctor switched me to Cymbalta. I was told some devastating news about my future sister-in-law and I was shocked at myself for not being able to cry. This was when I was on Lexapro. By switching to Cymbalta I have realized that I am able to have emotions again and I have been able to cry at the appropriate times. To me this is fantastic. My personality has opened up and people around me have noticed that I am more open and making my co-workers laughing by my cut up comments. I feel more alert to my surroundings, before I was oblivious with a whatever attitude. I was told I have beginning stages of fibermyalgia and arthritis is more obvious in my body. I have only been on Cymbalta for about 2 months now. I have been off of it for about 4 days straight due to finances and I came on this sight to see the withdrawal effects. The only ones I have noticed is slight headache and trouble sleeping, which I get up and take a half of flexeril and am able to go back to sleep. After reading all these terrible effects on people I was wondering if I should just wean myself off of this. But, in my situation, I think I’m going to try it for a month again on payday and see how it goes. Cymbalta had taken me out of my stupor state and I am doing more normal things like starting school classes and wanting to better myself. With my appearance also. So, this has helped me for awhile anyway. I felt you all should know by my experience. b.h.

  7. D
    Alberta
    Reply

    I’m frightened , I’ve been on Cymbalta for years, I take the max dose 120 mg , I want off, but I have no idea how, I keep thinking cold turkey, but after the whole Clonazapam thing , I’m worried.
    Anyone else been here, on this dose, and has gotten off
    D

    • Jennifer
      Reply

      Don’t stop cold turkey! Especially at a high dose. You might end up in the hospital from several withdrawal symptoms. I’m at a low dose and was warned by my doctor that it could take a month to get me off my 40mg dose. Consult your prescriber they will be able to help pick a good way to get off.

  8. Margaret
    Michigan
    Reply

    Hello, I’m new to writing anything but I’m scared being on cymbalta. I have anxiety like never before, have had that issue but it’s so intensified. I’ve been on cymbalta for a few months now for fibromyalgia and chronic anxiety and everyday migraines. Honestly I have a mood improvement and some better days. I’ve also been losing weight and can’t sleep. I missed a dose when I had a seizure with migraine and went to ER. Has anyone else had extreme night terrors or unable to tell if they are awake, I actually had to pinch myself. I have no history of seizure or night terrors. Just would like to know if I’m going crazy or can these be side effects?
    Thank you for your time,
    Margaret

  9. Faith
    Florida
    Reply

    I have been on antidepressants since I was 40 years old beginning with Prozac. About 5 years ago, my doctor suggested Cymbalta because it helps with depression and joint pain. Both of my hips had been replaced due to acetabular dysplasia while in my late 40’s and arthritis had always been a problem, so began taking the Cymbalta. It seemed to help both of the ailments, but I could not cry even when I needed to cry and I felt like a zombie sometimes, so I tried several times to come off it by decreasing the dosage, but each time up until a week ago, I had always chickened out when the nausea and the dizziness hit me. Last week, I went to refill my prescription and they no longer were just charging me my $10 copay, but now my copay was $80 a month. That was the straw that broke my back and I said to my husband, “I need to get off this medication once and for all – but I will need your help to watch me and make sure I don’t slip off into the deep end with the side effects.” He agreed. This time was “cold turkey.” Dear Jesus, it has been a rough week. I have experienced the mind zaps, horrendous nausea, dizziness, loose bowels, stomach pain, headaches and the list goes on. I have not had much sleep due to the marathon dreams and visions. I will never go back on this drug. It is an absolute nightmare. At this point, I do not plan on going on any antidepressant again, although that may mean becoming a recluse. Hopefully, the side effects will begin subsiding at some point, but until then I am holding on by faith in Jesus to bring me through this horrible ordeal.

  10. Rachel
    Maryland
    Reply

    This site is the only thing helping to calm down my crazy anxiety outbursts from stopping cymbalta. I was prescribed 60mg for myofascial pain syndrome and IBS. All it did was constipated the hell out of me – though it did help with anxiety a little. It never helped me sleep though nor did it help with the chronic pain. Since stopping 6 days ago, I’ve had diarrhea, major dizziness, hot flashes, random crying outbursts, and my anxiety is out of this world. I feel constantly hungry and thirsty and exhausted but I don’t sleep well. Really not fun. Good luck to everyone else going through this, and remember that you’re not alone!

  11. skip
    Reply

    I have been trying to get off of cymbalta for a few months now. I was put on cymbalta because of “fibromyalgia” or so they say for my horrible joint pain. Did not help with pain at all. I was on cymbalta for about a year and now on day 3 of no pills at all. I have been having brain zaps (it feels like someone pushing the pause button on your brain and eyes every 30 seconds. I’ve been irritable, crying over everything, and have been gaining weight rapidly. The pain I have in my joints is debilitating. I hope all of this is over soon. I hate feeling this way!

  12. Samantha
    Washington
    Reply

    I’ve been on duloxitine for over a year when my doctor and I decided to try something new for my depression; He gave me a prescription for half the dosage to wean me off of them, I went from 60mg to 30mg and then was expected to start the new anti-depressant.
    In have every single withdrawal symptom, and it’s absolutely horrifying! I can’t walk or move without feeling violently ill or feeling like I want to bash someone’s face in, my poor husband doesn’t know how to help me and I don’t know what to do as my doctors nurse hasn’t returned my calls. I’ve been thinking about how to harm myself or kill myself while hysterically crying, I don’t wish this upon my worst enemy.

  13. Eileen
    Chicago
    Reply

    I began taking Cymbalta a year ago for peripheral neuropathy in my feet caused by chemotherapy. I wanted to get off of it because of my “flat” affect. I went from 60mg to 30 and immediately began having nightmares and visual disturbances. They subsided after a few days, so after 3 weeks I went down to a 30 mg every other day. I experienced frequent waves of nausea, and a return of the visual disturbances. I also found myself losing my balance and bouncing off walls on occasion! But again, after a few weeks, those withdrawal symptoms subsided, so 4 days ago I stopped altogether. So now the nausea and “swimmy” visual disturbances are back, and, for the first time, an episode of anxiety complete with gasping sobs and shortness of breath. Thankfully, it lasted only a short time. I’m hoping all withdrawal symptoms subside in a matter of days because I do not ever want to go back on a psychotropic of any kind. It’s a shame that I survived cancer and the chemo, surgery, and radiation only to go through this.

  14. Bernice
    Indiana
    Reply

    I have been on several anti-depressants for many years for anxiety and depression. I was taking Cymbalta for a short time, but was having difficulty sleeping. I am now taking Seroquel and Xanax at night, and when reading the “why” section I found that it is for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder. I do not have either. I am beginning to be concerned. I have been going to the same doctor for 10 – 15 years. What should I do?

    • Dottie
      michigan
      Reply

      I too was on prozac and then went off to go on first 30mg of symbols then doctor increased to 60. Went on it to help with anxiety and pain from radiation in neck and face area but once I went on the 60mg I started with severe diareah so my doctor had me when myself off by first going down to a pill every other day and then every 3rd day. Now I am completely done and it has been 5 days but I am nauseated, can’t sleep, diarrhea and a white substance in BM. How long will this last and is there any thing to help? Dottie

  15. Arlene
    New Jersey
    Reply

    I was put on 60 mg Cymbalta quite a few years ago when it was first approved for fibromyalgia pain. I had Lyme and was left with pain in my hand and knee. I received no specific directions from the doctor about how important it was to take this medication the same time every day, don’t discontinue without due to its serious side effects.

    I took the medication for years without no real improvement in the pain symptoms. It wasn’t until I took a real look at my health and well being that the situation became interesting. I started exercising more and eating differently and eventually lost 50 lbs. Magically the pain in my knee was gone. The pain in my hand remained exactly the same, so I stopped taking the Cymbalta cold turkey. No changes until approximately 4 months later when my hair started to fall out in handfuls.
    I went to my regular doctor and got no help. I went to a dermatologist and got no help. I started experiencing anxiety attacks. My doctor tells me to start taking the Cymbalta again. Don’t ever do this!!!! The anxiety, panic attacks got worse!

    I decided no matter what I needed to get off of this stuff! So we came up with a plan to get off of this medication. I reduced to 30mg and took it exactly the same time every morning. Without fail, within the 6-10 hr window where the medication reaches it peak the anxiety attacks started and lasted until I went to bed! I did this for two weeks, then went to 20mg for two week. Exact same reaction. As I write this its been 1 week since I’ve been completely off the medication. The “tingling” that runs all over my head started upon rising this morning.

    I must see this as a positive change. I know that at some point I will be free of this medication and its side effect.
    What I have learned, is to NEVER ever again take a medication from a doctor without discussing all of my options-do the side effects outweigh the diagnosis??

    If nothing else, patients need to be their own advocate and not just let the doctor decide what medication you should take because that it the pharmaceutical company that pushed their meds the most!!!!

  16. Lynn
    Detroit
    Reply

    Thank you for making me not feel like I’m going crazy. The minute I try to wean off after a day or two, I become so dizzy and suicidal that it literally terrifies me. I begged my husband to get me admitted to the hospital because I literally couldn’t stop crying for hours. I truly didnt understand what was happening until he asked me if I had missed taking some meds or something. My doctor NEVER told me this could happen. He was so non-chalant anoutjust quitting but gave me klonopin to sleep at night. I hate being on drugs and desperately want to get off this nightmare cymbalta so I going to try what someone suggested by taking the pills apart which is ridiculous thats how you ween yourself. Being on cymbalta for a year or so has made me hungry, chronically sweaty and now Im thinking this is the cause of a rash I’ve had on my legs for a year also like razor bumps all over my love legs. This is scaring me. I feel like the drug company should pay for us to be able to go into a beautiful rehab to deal with this nightmare.

  17. Sharon
    Massachusetts
    Reply

    I was put on 60mg cymbalta for arthritis, discogenic disease, bursitis and fibromyalgia about 7 years ago for pain relief. My rheumatologist increased it to 90mg for increased back pain. 3 weeks after that I had tachycardia (heart beating fast) and dizzy. Notified doctor and tapered it in 8 days to zero!!! My heart is racing again, very dizzy, constantly nauseous and having projectile vomiting. My skin itches all over for no reason. It also feels like bugs are crawling on it.

    Today is saturday, I see my doctor on monday. Might have to go to the er. I am so dehydrated and I can barely keep down sips of water. I’ve been like this for the last four days. It started 2 days after my last dose of cymbalta. Btw-2 weeks after the increase, I was so dizzy, fell and broke my left wrist!

    • Carol
      Ky
      Reply

      My symtoms are exactly as Lynn,s,EXTREME sweating,I am 55 years old and am going through Menopause,but symptoms are ecxacperated i believe by being on Cymbalta,i decided to check into long term effects and sadly i am experiencing all the same symtoms as everyone else! Have been diagnosed with a fatty liver,severe stomach pain at times,no control over bladder,SEVERE short term memory! When questioning my gastroenterologist about the liver being a side effect of the medication,she has no comment! After reading all of these stories i am defiantly going OFF with or without my Drs help,i will seek my Family care physicans help in the matter,if i get no results i will try taking the pills apart! I too have had heart palpatations,shortness of breath,brain zaps,nausea,but is the memory part that scares me the most!

  18. J
    NC
    Reply

    After about 6 years on Effexor and 4 on Cymbalta, I went cold turkey off of Cymbalta around New Year’s when I had lost my prescription and was going to have to pay about $400 for a month’s supply. The withdrawals were horrible and scary for about 4 days, then more manageable. I constantly experienced every withdrawal symptom listed and maybe others those first days but the worst were the brain zaps and visual disturbances. I “saw” things in my peripheral vision that were not there and was constantly anxious and depressed. I cried without cause multiple times a day. Every muscle in my body was taught and achy and it was incredibly difficult to sleep. I had Klonopin to help, luckily, or I probably would have been locked up! I had also read posts from others who went off of it and kept remembering it would get better.

    I had “the zooms” every time I moved my head for at least a month, maybe two, and then occasionally for a few months after that. That was the symptom that was the hardest for me to deal with. I had anxiety for the first month that was challenging, but after that I felt GOOD! Really GOOD (and not manic, you nay sayers)! Zero depression and no anxiety for months now. I’m finally back to “normal” and will never, ever take a psych drug again. I truly believe they caused my depression, which was debilitating at one point.

    Best wishes to all of you going through it. You will feel better! Try to give it at least 3 months without other psych drugs.

    • Meg
      Alabama
      Reply

      I just started taking cymbalta yesterday, within 6 hrs I was nauseated, everything was wabbly and then started throwing up. This lasted for a couple of hours. Today I feel better but have had diarrhea all day. Did anyone have these symptoms in the beginning. I’m afraid to take another pill.

  19. Natalie
    My living room
    Reply

    I took cymbalta 30 mg for 6 months. I stopped cold turkey ( due to being on vacation and forgetting to bring my medication) I have been off of it for two weeks and have absolutely no side effects. None. Very Bizarre. so I guess thats a good thing. I am not depressed and am not resuming my doseage

  20. Robin
    Georgetown, Ca.
    Reply

    I have been taking Cymbalta for about a year and frankly it made something in me feel better. I had been on Paxil for years. So the improvement although subtle was great. I haven’t had one bad side effect from it. My problems began a few days ago. I somehow lost my Cymbalta bottle in my tiny home and so have had since last night dizziness, nausea, crying. I’m hoping to find it, but after reading so many of these posts I want to do a SLOW withdrawal. I already deal with too many disabilities. So that would work better for me. Please advise me what is in nature that can help me once off it. I took it for severe anxiety attacks. Thanks to all for your input.

  21. Mary
    St. Louis, MO
    Reply

    I accidentally forgot to refill my Cymbalta (duloxetine) that I was taking for neuropathy pain in my feet. After about 5 days, I discovered my lapse and called my Doctor. I had not died or become suicidal from cold-turkey withdrawal. I did not notice any severe withdrawal symptoms. I did have an episode during that week where I was nauseous, had no appetite and lost about 4-5 pounds. I also noticed a lot of hot flashes (more than usual.) Thought I had a flu bug. My doctor said that after 5 days, it was likely out of my system and not to be concerned about having any further symptoms. I guess I was one of the lucky ones.

  22. T. R.
    Reply

    Last year, my neurologist prescribed cymbalta to me for my nerve pain. I was told that newly diagnosed MS patients were almost always given this medicine. Very little research was done on my end regarding this drug because I trusted this University physician so well. It did help tremendously with nerve pain and was grateful for the relief. Recently, I had the flu and did not pick up refill of cymbalta on time. Pharmacy kicked it back.

    Within 24 hours I experienced vertigo, but thought it was MS. I had issues before. A few days later I had a panic attack and almost went to er. I woke my family up and begged them not to leave me alone. I was scared of myself. I haven’t been able to sleep more than 4 hours at a time. My dreams are like insane movies where I’m put in a stressful, never would happen in real life, situation. I’m scared to go to sleep. I can hear my eyeballs move and I am unable to drive because of the vertigo and head fuzziness.

    It’s been about a week and I’m fighting myself from getting prescription refilled. I know this will end and I will feel emotions again soon, but until then I am grateful for this, and other sites that have informed me of what to expect. My doctor never did and I explain to her that this is a very serious drug to give people and it’s a disservice to patients not to explain the withdrawal possibilities, whether they are voluntary or on accident. My family is happy I’m going off meds. While nerve pain is coming back, they feel I’ve been like a zombie since being on meds. Recent death of family member and other sad events have happened in past year, and I barely shed a tear.

  23. Dani
    Virginia
    Reply

    I find that Cymbalta has positively made a difference in my life. It has helped manage my pain, moods and fatigue.
    However, it can be a little pricey. Given bad paydays/living paycheck to paycheck, there have been times where I haven’t gotten my refill on time. If I miss a day or two, the withdrawal symptoms immediately start. I get awful mood swings, horrible brain zaps (which at first, I didn’t know what they were and thought I was crazy or dying), fatigue, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, anxiety, trouble concentrating etc.
    Do not take this medication if you cannot continue to or have a low tolerance to drugs. You become “addicted” to it quickly. However, again, I do feel that it has helped with my moods/fibromyalgia pain significantly when taken properly.

  24. ML
    MI
    Reply

    doc took me from 30 mg to
    120 mg. I knew within a week I was on a serotonin something. I weaned down to 60 1 week, 30 1 other day and went cold turkey. It’s been 2 weeks.
    So far worst mistake of my life but each day gets better. Side affects : brain zapping, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, severe ringing in ears and severe Mingraines. Again, these are the really bad ones.
    I am using massage therapy, oils, diffuser and last told my family to stay far away for a while. This has not been my first withdrawal but it has been my WORST withdrawal!

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