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. Nat

    Very scared , but as im reading the comments people take benadryl for the upset tummy and sleep??

  2. Katie
    Wexford, Ireland

    I’ve been taking Cymbalta for at least 4 years now, and recently came off (began by lowering the dose and then only taking them every second day, as per doctor’s instructions). I thought I was going crazy with the brain zaps, they’re the most uncomfortable and disconcerting sensation, and it’s so difficult to describe to people that have never had it. It really is like hearing your eyes move.. ugh. Also having some dizziness and nausea, just overall feeling awful (though my mood hasn’t changed at all except for a short low period when I dropped the dose). I’m relieved to find out others experienced the same, so I know 100% that it’s just withdrawal from that damn drug, but I’m also annoyed that the drug manufacturers and even my own doctor didn’t warn me about these problems, and concerned because people are saying this could last for weeks. I don’t want to keep taking a drug I don’t need and is probably doing me harm, but this withdrawal is so horrible.

  3. Mary

    anciety attacts can’t sleep been off Cymbalta about a week. 60 mg since 2010 for fibromyalga. nausea,diarea, leg pain, head aches , will never take another one. I will try the byendryl from reading other people had relief from it for the withdrawel. maybe 9 hours sleep in 3 going on 4 days.

  4. B

    I have bee on this med for a few yrs now. First it was prescribed by my family dr for fibro and then my insurance wouldn’t cover it. Once I got new insurance and a new mental dr ( i have had depression since three, anxiety since about 19 and diagnosed with border line since about 3 yrs ago, I am now 40 yrs of age) gladly he gave it back to me. Well i have now been out of it for about 2 weeks and I am going insane!!!! The electrical shocks are now not only in my head as was the first couple of days without it but now they are spanning down my arms!! Also in the past four days I get these headaches (I normally have chronic migraines so I understand headaches and the like…) but while I am having these headaches I have vertigo, major nausea and feelings I might pass out. Hunger has been very poor and crying has increase by the hundreds!! I want my meds back. Scared of being off it too long and what else may come.

    • JC

      Hi B, been off Cymbalta for 10 weeks now, 2 and 3 were the worst. Hang in there and keep busy, after that you will see a gradual improvement. I still have CRYING episodes and light head once in awhile, but I’m starting to be myself again. Worst was the mood swings, one second super angry and the next one crying like a baby. Looking back was a tough ride man, but glad that I have real feelings again. It will end, believe me and is beautiful. Don’t go back, and think that it won’t last much longer. Keep firm, busy, exercise. Here to help. Any questions let me know.

  5. N. S.

    I have been taking Cymbalta for Fybro and chronic pain for about 15 months. When first prescribed by my doctor, he made it sound very safe and a great drug with great results. I was eager to try it with all the comfort given by my doctor of it being safe. Now, due to insurance changes, I have not been able to fill my prescription. I’m on day 3 without it and oh my, this is a horrible feeling! My head feels as if it’s ready to explode. A lot of pressure, hearing goes in and out. I feel as if I’m going to faint. I feel so agitated ( never felt this feeling before). I don’t know if I want to eat, drink gallons of water, sleep, scream or go to the ER. This feeling is the worst!! Having a doctor prescribe any RX and not tell the full truth should be a crime! I’m so done with giving faith and my health in any doctors hands ever again! Also, I want to thank each and every person on here with their story. It is helping me , knowing I’m not alone. Again, I thank all of you!

  6. Rachel

    I took this drug for 6 years and never had a problem. When I decided to stop taking it, it was fine.
    A month ago I started to take it again because of depression returning. I had terrible side effects that I never had with it the just time. I couldn’t pee without struggle and I became very painfully constipated. My doctor can’t figure out why this is happening because I was doing so well before. He decided to put me on Zoloft, which I do seem to like, and take me off Cymbalta. He left it up to me to decide whether to try cold turkey or be weened off. Because of the serotonin in Zoloft and the terrible side effects, I went with cold turkey. After 5 days the side effects from Cymbalta are gone, but I am now having bad headaches and can’t sleep. I hope this goes away soon.
    Cymbalta can be a great drug. It really was wonderful when I first used it, but you always have to know the risks. Get a good doctor you can trust. I am lucky to have one that uses his experience, but still asks me what I would like to do. He made sure I knew the risks and is going to carefully watch me to make sure I will be okay.
    The best advice I have is ask questions and know that it does not effect everyone the same. If you have a good doctor, it makes it much easier.

  7. Cathy

    On Cymbalta 20mgs for 6 days horrible horrible side effects! 6 th day I felt like a zombie, numb and my brain was pulsating. My doc told me to stop taking the Cymbalta immediately. I’m now on day 19 with withdrawl symptoms. My doc says it can’t be but I know it is. It’s been awful as you all know. Anybody else have a similar experience? I’m hoping things improve soon. I can see small improvements but still not back to normal. Tonight my legs feel like they are really weird. Very weak! If I do too much my brain starts to hurt!

  8. Amy

    Do not start taking this medication if you can avoid it! Every time I would miss a dose (yes, ONE dose!), I would get those “brain zaps” and nobody believed me- they thought I was crazy! Now, I cannot afford it because of my insurance, and after 2 weeks the withdrawal symptoms are only getting worse! This is the most horrible feeling ever- added to the hostility and short temper, headaches and pain, I just about cannot stand it- and I was only taking this med for fibromyalgia! One of the worst thing I have ever done!

  9. Rosie
    Vancouver, BC

    I wanted to give an update on my progress. I’ve noticed whether I stopped taking it all at once or if I tapered off slowly, the side-effects seem to be the same.
    I’m on day 6 and it’s been really hard. However, this morning I noticed the “brain zaps” are still there but it’s slowly getting better.
    To all of you I just wanted to say, please hang in there, it does seem to get better.

    • Katie

      Hi, I’ve also just stopped mine (I think I’m on day 3 now) and the brain zaps etc are making me feel so strange and almost not myself. Generally just feeling weird and almost “out of it”. I don’t know how much more I can stick, would you recommend trying to taper again (go back to taking one every 2 days, then maybe every 3, 4, etc) or just stick this out now I’m off them a few days?

  10. Andrea

    I’ve been through the withdrawal, and I really know what everyone is going through. I found some relief with Benadryl. I had read about it on another message board and it really helped. This was the most intensely bad experience I’d ever been through. Please hang in there, ride it out as best you can.

  11. Rosie
    Vancouver, BC

    I have been struggling with depression and anxiety for over 20 years. I’ve been on one ssri/snri or another for all that time and have never, ever had discontinuation syndrome like this. I’ve been taking 30mg of Cymbalta for 4 years. The brain zaps or what I like to call “a glitch in the matrix” is the worst. I weaned myself off soooo slowly thinking it would help. But, I’ve noticed whether stopping it at once or weaning slowly doesn’t really matter, the brain zaps are the same. It always concerned me that even missing just one dose had me feeling awful within hours of missing it. It has even disrupted (sorry guys, this is for the ladies) my menstrual cycle.
    Today is my 4th day without it and by far the worst, I worry about tomorrow. I use the tools I’ve learned in therapy to keep the anxiety at bay but I am mentally exhausted at the amount of energy it is taking me to keep the sad/bad thoughts away. I also read on here about the “feelings of dread”, I had a hard time describing that one. The closest I can liken it to is…you know the feeling you get when you wake up from a particularly disturbing dream and the feeling sort of follows you around the whole day?
    I’m just hanging in there until it gets better and hopefully it won’t be too long. My thoughts are with all of you struggling along with me.

  12. LIZZIE

    I have been on 30mg of CYMBALTA for 6 months.I attended a pain clinic, it was that consultant who told me to take it for my Fibro and low mood. He said it would close the ‘pain gates’ as people with fibro are in a constant state of pain, and the brain knows nothing else.

    So I did as I was told and got on to it easily enough as I had been on Prozac 20 mg..(. its the same group of medication apparently) for a while to lift my mood with the pain I was in. So I thought it worked quite well for a few months , then I began to get a really bad ache in the centre of my stomach. I had shocks up and down my legs which most of the time were restless in bed. I never slept well at all anyway but now the cymbalta was making me an insomniac… I was up and down 6/8 times in the night , eating to help the pain in stomach and hence weight began to increase, while at the beginning I was very happy to say I hadn t been hungry… but now side effects were much worse the constipation and headaches and dizziness were very bad also. I talked to my gp to get me off these. He said go from 30mg to 20mg for 2 weeks then 1 every other day for 2 weeks the off it !

    Well… I went crazy… very soon.. I actually was standing talking to people while walking my dog, and just simply fell right back! no warning, no saving myself… did it in slow motion. most bizzare feeling. brain zaps continued and dizziness and terrible headache and tremors as well. I did fall over a lot.

    The pain at the back of my head and neck was shocking and I could not make it go away.my head felt like it was in a vice.
    The crying outbursts had started and it was so bad I just broke down with my pharmacist. She was lovely and got me an urgent appointment at the dr. I went straight there and he listened then suggested I go up to 30mg again. I am no further on… I feel confused, forget things and live in a weird bubble at the minute! I simply do not know what to do… reading this I am down to 20mg and think I will try the Benlyn today. I have been taking diazipam and co codamol 30/500 to try to calm and help with the pain. I m worried about my mind, as I have some fleeting bad thoughts. I HAVE ALSO LOST MY MEMORY! Hope this is temporary as I am 62 yrs with a lot of living still to do I hope !

    I think there needs to be a lot more help with this drug, and we should not be put on drugs for SERIOUS depression if its really for fibromyelgia pain and low mood in my case. I m still feeling terrible and on 20mg…. so still going to try coming off it.. will take out 1 ball at a time and do it that way. thank you for all the posts it has helped me in my bad state of mind, to know that others are struggling and its not just me… having said that , I am so sorry for anyone on this drug.

  13. Lauren
    Ended, il

    I was on Cymbalta for a little over a year for fibromyalgia. Loved it and it really helped. Also really helped with some mild depression and anxiety issues. My script ran out about 5 days ago and after 2 day of quitting cold turkey the effects are night and day. Brain zaps and shakyness are the worst. I also noticed the impending doom feeling and general depression creeping back up. I never had any negative side effects while on it so I will be refilling my prescription. However I do worry about the day I decide or am forced to stop taking it for whatever reasons. It will be rough.

  14. Payton K.

    It is November of 2015, and I began taking cymbalta on Feb. 14th of 2015. At the beginning, it was doing wonders! I felt better, less crying spells, just generally and completely better. The first time that I didn’t take it for one day was maybe a month into it, keep in mind I only take two 20mg capsules each day, I felt completely dizzy and lightheaded. After that first time I tried to stay on track and made sure I took it every day.

    Eventually I began to feel way worse about everything altogether and completely stopped taking it to “lash out” I guess towards my parents. I felt beyond depressed and I was convinced it was doing nothing for me. Now after reading all of these other stories, I am determined to stop taking this medicine. Yesterday was very busy and I simply forgot to take it and I can honestly say I have never felt worse than now. My head feels completely empty and every single movement causes extreme “brain zaps” and vertigo. I am beyond anxious, irritable, and hostile just as listed above. I have intense nerve tingles all throughout my body and it is miserable! The only time that I feel slightly better is if I am eating, but afterwards I am just nauseous. The medicine lately has not helped with my severe depression one bit and I have been leaning heavily towards suicidal thoughts. The next day after forgetting to take my pills is utterly unbearable and there is nothing that can help at all. I very much regret taking cymbalta.

  15. Diana

    Cymbalta SAVED my life. For years I suffered with Fibromyalgia pain and bouts of Lupus. I have been pain free (60mg day) for 7+ years. Convinced I had found a “cure” I tapered myself off the drug. Huge mistake, my pain was back in full force. My doctor said that using Cymbalta for Fibro pain or other neuropathic pain is a lot like taking blood pressure medication. It is not a “cure” and is meant to be continued to control the initial problem.
    To those of you who have been dropped from insurance, call your doctor and ask for samples. They have them. My doctor has given me sample bottles in between my mail order supply or while changing insurance companies. Also, Cymbalt (name brand) will give a one time free prescription to the consumer. Ask your pharmacist!

  16. Allison

    At age 16, after a nearly-fatal battle with self harm, depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder, I was prescribed Cymbalta as a last-resort act, because my family has always had conflicting thoughts about prescription drugs.

    Cymbalta gave me no relief, and each time I told my psychiatrist this, she would increase my dosage. This continued for about 6 months, until I was on dosages higher than 100 milligrams a day, when my health decreased rapidly, and it was realized that I was dangerously overprescribed. In fear of an accidental overdose, doctors began to taper me off the drug slowly, with the discontinuation process lasting longer than a month.

    That month was easily the most painful experience of my life, as each day I suffered through terrible migraines, extended periods of extreme dizziness, tremors, sleep-preventing nightmares, appetite-losing stomachaches, and many more symptoms. The withdrawal from this drug is enough to drive anyone to serious resorts. The withdrawal I went through while trying to come off of this drug was terrifying and life-threatening. I would never wish that pain on anyone. The FDA has this drug black-boxed, and nobody under 24 should ever take it in my opinion. I never should have been prescribed this drug, never mind in such high doses. I would never recommend Cymbalta, as it destroyed my body while offering no relief to the crippling depression it was supposed to help.

  17. Desiree

    Have been on Cymbalta for 10 years. Brought up concerns to physician about fainting, bowel and bladder changes, sudden brain jarring?, struggle with weight, neurotic issues like pins and needles shooting in my feet. I was told I was dehydrated! The dose was increased thinking I’d been on it so long No longer at a therapeutic level. BP dropping, head/face felt like it was being crushed. I tossed them all. The first 24 hours I already have relief. With or without Cymbalta- sleep disturbance. Benadryl gets me wired. Trying melatonin but still up! What is a safe alternative? Ugh

  18. Jan

    I had been on cymbalta about 8-9 months for nuro pain… In that time I gained 30 pounds never in my life have I gained that much weight. Well I stopped it cold turkey over a week ago “yes I know your not suppose to do that” but Lilly has made impossible to wean off.. So I decided to give it a try and if I got to bad with withdrawal I could get back on and start over. I have been dealing with the eyesight trouble and brain zings and unable to sleep and my gut is extremely bloated and hard. Other than that it’s been about 7 days cold turkey and it’s been livable .. Not great but it’s better than being on it and having excessive weight gain! I’m 53 and never gained more than 2-3 pounds at holidays then loose them again. This 30 pounds is awful and the gut bloat is uncomfortable. FDA needs to do a lot more homework on this drug! Shame on Lilly for making it hard on people to get off this drug.

  19. Jenny

    I’m on day 6 of weaning off on my own. Brain zaps for sure. But I’m used to those. The fatigue is crazy. I slept for 14 straight hours last night. When I would try to wake up I would have the fog that forces me to take it when I skip a day by mistake. I’ve been up for three hours and will sleep again. I have to. I’m beginning to think that sleeping thru the fog is helping. And the sweating is crazier than ever. Dripping throughout the night. I’m going to stand my ground. This drug is evil. By the way, I’ve already lost weight. In 6 days. Dropped a pant size already. Not just one pair of pants. All my pants are bigger. But that should not be your reason for trying to stop. I didn’t expect that. But it happened.

  20. Andrea

    I’ve been through the withdrawal and want to tell you that BENADRYL will help with the symptoms. I don’t work for the company, this is legit. It was almost immediate relief from feeling so shaky, on the verge of tears, suicidal…everything people have said on this board. Our stories are so similar.

    The FDA has called it Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome and issued a black-box warning (the highest) in 2009. Eli Lily’s protocol for doctors is to tell people to go back on the Cymbalta at the level where you started to feel the symptoms, and taper more slowly. It’ll take about a week to feel any positive results. The fill-in doc I saw wouldn’t give me anything for immediate relief because “most people don’t have any problems”. Oh god I wanted to smash her face in. Throw me a few Percocets or something.

    I sat in my car and cried my eyes out, went home and stuck it out. I hid in my apartment and sleepwalked through the next month. I googled it and couldn’t believe there were so many others – it made me feel better and thanks to everyone who has taken the time to post. Benadryl was mentioned a couple of times so I tried it and the relief was immediate.

    When you’re in the intense part of the withdrawal, all you want to know is “How long is this shit going to last?” I think 2-3 months and then the intensity starts to ease. But try Benadryl. I hope it works for you.

    I can totally see how people could snap if they’re pushed. Anti-depressant withdrawal definitely should be given more legal weight in the defence of a violent act.

    It’s been 10 months and I still have low-level depression, not debilitating, but hovering. I wasn’t depressed before I started taking it. It was prescribed for neuro pain from sarcoidosis.

    If Benadryl, or anything, helps you, tell your doctor and especially your pharmacist. It might help the next person. Ask your doctor if they’ve submitted your withdrawal symptoms to Eli Lily, or your country’s equivalent of the FDA or medical association (I think they’re supposed to? Anyone know for sure?)

    Please dig deep and white-knuckle this.
    I’m glad these sites have brought us together. I wish you all the very best.

    Andrea from Ottawa

  21. Anna
    Colo, IA,US

    I have taken cymbalta for 5 years now, was upped to 90mg in January, and now my insurance dropped me, I had 7 60s and 7 30s left to wean with. Don’t get me wrong, I had very few side effects and it helped my depression anxiety and borderline personality tremendously, but the withdrawal symptoms alone are not worth it. I have had nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and a headache for almost a week now, and its sad because I still have a small amount of meds in me. I found this site while I was doing research on whether or not I should seek medical attention. Hopefully I will be able to eat and sleep soon!!!!

  22. Ash

    I just watched my best friend go through a horrible withdrawal after forgetting to take his pill for A DAY! He was shaking and unable to sleep. He had an awful anxiety attack. He took his pill and within an hour was able to calm down and sleep. Screw this drug. The withdrawal is terrible. It’s nut worth it.

  23. Linda
    Elkins WV

    I have been on Cymbalta for 6 weeks for Fibromyalgia and have had severe night sweats, terrible weird headaches, constipation, low libido, nausea and dry mouth…I’m not sure if it’s helping with the pain as anticipated or if I’m just having a few good days at a time. I’m stopping it tonight and I hope I don’t experience any of the withdrawals considering I haven’t been on it that long.

  24. Claire

    I’m currently coming off amitriptyline, pregablin (Lyrica) and duloxetine, to try an alternative fibromyalgia treatment. I’ve only got a 2 week window to come off all 3. It is the duloxetine withdrawal I’m finding the worst. Have only been on it for the pain relief and working with the other drugs, rather than any depression, but the withdrawal is not pleasant. GP warned me about some possibilities and we came up with plan together, but still is a struggle. Main issues…..dizziness, nausea, temperature changes and impact on sleep. Get really hot at slightest activity, then freezing cold within seconds. Really a struggle sleeping and feel very uncomfortable in own skin. Really hopes this improves. Regardless of new treatment outcome, never returning to this medication again

  25. Stephen
    Roanoke VA

    I was first prescribed cymbalta in May of 2013. I had to stop taking it for five days before a surgery I had in 2015. But then started again after surgery 60MG.
    I have just dropped it cold turkey, been a week. Bad bad VERY BAD idea it’s put me with no sleep for 10 days 9 hrs total.
    This was prescribed for nerve damage after 2 back surgery in 90 days. It was also to help me with Myoclonic jolts, from the back surgery. It never did.
    I would never had taken it had I known the side effects,
    I’ve been climbing the walls, aggressive wanting to beat down the doors. Shakes jitters oh and did I mention no sleep but 9 hrs for 10 days.
    Now I’m back on this crap to step it down go figure.
    I’ve been on Gabbapentine for three years and my doc just switched me to Topamax. Another mistake just dropped that cold turkey after unbelievable side effects again.
    I’m also on 50 MCL Fentanyl no wonder no sleep. I’ve never ever felt like I do right now ready to hang myself.
    I have to get off these Meds if only to spend the rest of my days in severe pain.
    The company that makes this should give warnings on the bottle so we know what it’s going to do to us and how hard it’s going to be to get off.

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