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Duloxetine (Cymbalta) Side Effects & Withdrawal

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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.

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"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.

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"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.

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"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.

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"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.

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"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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525 Comments

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So what is someone depressed suppose to do? My daughter is depressed but I advise her to avoid these meds because of the side effects and lack of real positive results. Any suggestions? She is seeing a therapist.

Thank you to those who commented on Cymbalta. I had major reactions from a med called Gabapentin. It works for some but for me it was horrific. I was on no other meds. I have permanent nerve damage in my feet. Ironically, this med is given to people who already have neuropathy! Yet this drug gave me neuropathy. Another doctor suggested Cymbalta and I did not pursue it. I am so appreciative of people who report their side-effects because it is important to know and recognize what is happening to your body.
Thanks.

I was on Cymbalta for over a year. It was prescribed to help with hot flashes, urinary leaking, and mood swings. It did seem to help all of those, but I was more tired than I wanted to be so I decided to discontinue the drug. I slowly reduced the dosage over about a 3 mo. span of time and it seemed like I was doing ok but then I think I had a rebound episode of a sort as I became very angry (not like me typically). I easily became agitated and I was downright rude to my husband--I knew I was acting this way, but I couldn't seem to break the cycle.

I am past those feelings now and am back to being me again, but I have to believe that it had something to do with the drugs.

After trying several medications and different combinations of prescriptions for my fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, degenerative disk disease and a couple other problems, my rheumatologist finally put me on Cymbalta along with a couple other medications before I finally found relief from intolerable pain, which had become worse and worse over the years. For a long time, I just treated myself with more and more ibuprophen (which also has side effects), Tylenol arthritis, heating pads, creams, pain patches, but nothing did the trick. Even a chiropractor didn't help. I was so depressed and in so much pain every time I tried to walk or dance or do anything at all strenuous. I even had burning and shooting pains when I did nothing at all.

When I finally found the combination of prescriptions that worked for me, I couldn't believe how much they relieved the pain. I had also suffered off and on my entire life from depression. And was surprised when I found relief after a few months from my depression. It was a welcome side effect that I wasn't expecting. It was a while before I realized it was from the Cymbalta.

So what do you do when you're in debilitating pain and nothing you've tried works? For me, it was a choice between the constant pain and taking a chance with the side effects of Cymbalta. Everyone responds to medications differently. I know people who can't take aspirin.

But I did run out of the Cymbalta at one point and after a couple days started having wicked withdrawal symptoms (at that time, though, I wasn't sure what was wrong with me until an ex-medical professional told me what he thought it was). At first I thought I had food poisoning. I couldn't even stand up because the nausea was so bad and didn't know what end to put over the toilet. I was also extremely tired and didn't want to do anything but sleep. After I continued with the Cymbalta again, I was fine. I agree there should be something written about this in the info they hand out with the RX.

I do have the beginning signs of a cataract in one eye, but I am almost 67, so I don't think that's so unusual, and I do experience fatigue, but I have so far suffered no ill effects.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE:

If the combination of medications (plus Cymbalta) is working to control your pain of fibro, and you are not experiencing significant side effects, we would encourage you to continue doing what is working.

If at any time you find it necessary (with your doctor's supervision) to discontinue Cymbalta, please keep in mind that this will require VERY gradual tapering to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

I was given this nightmarish drug several years ago, as my bright doctor thought it might be a good thing to help some anxiety he felt I was experiencing, on top of my ADD. Well, after less than two weeks I could tell I did not like this stuff. I hadn't even gone up much on the dosage, and since it had been so short a time I just stopped taking it...

Well, I went through several days, or a week or so of absolute hell. I felt like I had food poisoning, was seasick, and hungover all at once! I could not get up without being dizzy & nauseated, fell terrible, and basically could only sit still or lie down. I was completely knocked down by this nasty stuff, and of course the doctor had never said a word about any negative side effects, nor about having to taper off usage, even after so short a period of time. God forbid, if I had taken this drug for a year or two, or even a month! Needless to say, that's the last time I'll simply trust any doctor to hand me something to take! They are woefully out of their range of expertise, when after only one or two office visits they feel they know a person enough to hand them dangerous drugs as these....

I was on Cymbalta for only 10 days and stopped taking it about 5 days ago and now I am having horrible withdrawal issues. I am waking up in the night with profuse sweating. I am also having diarrhea with very black stool. Has anyone else had any of these problems when stopping this drug. It was prescribed for arthritis pain. After having two MRIs it was determined I had two herniated discs in my back and an injury to my knee that will require surgery. Any information anyone might provide would be appreciated

I am a 68-year old male, dealing with Type 2 diabetes (for 2 years now), esophageal reflux, and hiatal hernia (both for around 25 years now).

I was put on Cymbalta (30mg for 2 weeks, then 60mg for 1 week) as treatment for osteoarthritis. It is mainly used at much higher doses to treat depression.

The side-effects were apparent almost immediately: headache, ears hissing and ringing, bad taste in mouth, sweats, palpitations, constipation, body itching, sleep interruption/tired, eye-jiggling/out-of-focus.

Now, these were not ALL present at once (maybe 10 minutes to 1 hour at a time), nor all the time, except for the hissing ears and tiredness. Some days I had to take 1 or 2 naps of 2+ hrs. each!

The arthritis pain eventually lessened, but continued to act up at different points of my body for short periods of time; shoulders, hands, wrists, fingers, hips, back, ribs, knees, ankles, feet, toes.

At the time my doctor had me wean off the Cymbalta, the arthritis pain was hardly an issue, but the side-effects ruled my world!

I weaned off the Cymbalta by taking 1-30mg pill per day for a week, while weaning ONTO my new 'beta-testing' medication, Savella (mainly used to treat fibromyalgia in higher doses).

I took 1-12.5mg pill at night for 5 days, then 1-25mg pill for 8 days.

I contacted my doctor to tell her that I was experiencing many of the same side-effects as the Cymbalta, but not the ear-ringing (still hissing, though), no bad taste, no palpitations or body itching. The headache, sweats, constipation, sleep-interruption (as many as 5 times per night!) constant tiredness, occasional eye-twitching/out-of-focus, are the same.

The doctor has now told me to continue with just 1-25mg Savella per night to see if the side-effects will lessen. She said I will eventually move up to 2-50mg pills per day, if the side-effects ease up.

Today is Oct. 25, 2012, and I am scheduled to continue the Savella at this dosage for at least 3 more weeks.

I was prescribed Pristiq 4 years ago (which is similar to Cymbalta in that it works the same way) when the Lexapro lost its effectiveness. The Pristiq seemed to have no obvious side effects unless I forgot to take it in the morning. By afternoon, I would experience the brain zaps and hearing my eyes move and see "trails" when moving my eyes. This would go away within hours of taking the missed dose. I then tried to stop the drug myself, because I don't want to be on something that has that effect.

I tried weaning off myself by taking a full dose (100 mg) then 75 mg the next day and alternating for 2 weeks then go down to 75/75. I went crazy after 2 weeks and had to go back to the original dose. Not only did I have severe suicidal thoughts every 5 minutes, but uncontrolled crying, extreme sluggishness, night sweats (when I could sleep), weight gain, irritability and mood swings. Physically, my BP (which as ALWAYS been 110/78) jumped to 149/101.

After two weeks of getting back on the drug, all symptoms (including high BP normalized). I am now under a doctor's care to switch back to lexapro (which she says will work again since I have given the drug a rest). She is having me take full dose of Pristiq one day and then full dose of Lexapro next day for a week. Then in 2nd week, Pristiq 1 day, then 2 days of Lexapro. She supplemented with Abilify daily. So far, the withdrawal symptoms have been manageable and I am in my 2nd week. I have added weekly acupuncture for the mood swings and am hopeful that I will have my life back.

Because withdrawal effects from Cymbalta have been well-documented (and mine are the same or very similar except for the unilateral ear pain I will mention below), I won't describe them here. I have, however, experienced withdrawal more than once now. The first time I intended to discontinue Cymbalta as I did not feel the medication was effective for its prescribed purpose - depression/anxiety. I went from 120mg to 60mg, then off. It was as awful as many have described and lasted roughly 2 weeks.

Unfortunately I developed a pain in my left ear coincidentally with discontinuation. I was advised to start Cymbalta again as it may have "masked" that pain (which was not present before I started the medication btw).

I again tried to discontinue after a few months because Cymbalta has one major side effect: exhaustion. Because the ear pain came back at 30mg (from 120), I could not handle discontinuing at that time and so increased the dosage back to my original prescription of 120mg.

I am now in my third discontinuation cycle. Because I am now primarily taking Cymbalta for ear pain now (not depression) and I am quite young, I decided to try discontinuing once again (for both medical and personal reasons). I thought I was being quite careful this time, going from 120-90-60-30mg for a week at each dosage (I assumed 30mg was the smallest dose). This did not prevent the awful withdrawal symptoms at all. I have read reports of 'removing beads' from the capsules, which I do not think is a safe idea (though perhaps a compounding pharmacy may assist?).

In any case, I think it is vital that the FDA receive reports of withdrawal en masse (or if not the FDA, some other visible agency) in the hope that changes will be made. I read recently that the FDA had received 48 reports in 2012 - this seems awfully low. At the very least, low dose taper pills ought to be available, and doctors should be readily informed of the severe withdrawal symptoms associated with this drug (which I feel certain are quite common) so that patients can be fully advised of the dangers, if not decide not to take this drug in the first place. I would love to see a primetime report on this! I would encourage anyone who has experienced withdrawals on discontinuation of Cymbalta to report their experience to appropriate agencies, as it seems many patients do not realize what will happen until they actually experience it (and then go Googling and discover that this is a known problem). While forums help us to share our experience with others, a more serious documentation and reporting effort will be needed to hopefully implement change.

This reply is for what to do for depression. Depression is one mental complaint that responds well to "the talking cure" as therapy is sometimes called. I have experience of working with mental patients for over 10 years and have the equivalent of a masters degree in graduate level course work in psychology but did not take the degree. So I am not a psychologist, but I am not unsophisticated in this area either and worked under supervision with psychologists and psychiatrists.

A psychiatrist, who is the one who can prescribe, does not have nearly the course work in psychology that a psychologist has. You can look this up. A psychologist has a PhD in the subject of psychology but is not an MD, as a psychiatrist is, and therefore cannot prescribe. A psychiatrist has an MD then many fewer hours of training in psychology. Both folks are expensive to see for an hour, week after week, but well worth the investment, and often much better than meds. As professionals will say, you didn't get into the mental state you are in in 6 weeks, and it won't go away in 6 weeks. Yet most medical insurance does not cover more than a few weeks of therapy, which is largely useless in most cases. A person with depression will likely need to see someone weekly for a year or two. Again, it is well worth the investment if you can swing it financially.

It is also important to get someone with whom you feel comfortable, and if you still don't feel after 5 or 6 sessions that this person is someone you have a good contact with, you should look for someone else. Personally I would choose a psychologist over a psychiatrist for talking therapy because he has more training in psychology, and because, as the saying goes, if you have a hammer everything looks like a nail. If a professional is licensed to prescribe, as a psychiatrist is, he will be quicker to want the patient to go on meds. This is natural as any helping profession wants to help the patient, and naturally physicians believe in medication and are treated to glowing reports of new meds by pharmaceutical salesmen all the time.

If you think about it, and are contemplating being on psychtropic (for mental complaints) medication for years, the treatment that would interfere less with your body and produce fewer side effects would be having talking therapy for years. Yet people find that to be an unattractive prospect but are quite willing to contemplate going on meds for years. If medication is necessary, yes use it. But I would try therapy first, for a good long period, before going on meds. And in fact did this in my early 20's when i was deeply depressed. I saw a woman for therapy for about 2 years, left, and have never been depressed since, and I am in my early 70's.

Sometimes medication is necessary, particularly at first. But talking therapy has a long and successful history with depression, as well as other problems for which people today seldom seem to employ it. Mostly due to insurance's unwillingness to pay, and pharmaceutical companies now being able to advertise directly to the patient on TV. Do not expect to get any but the required part of the bad news from the manufacturer, who wants to sell his product, and that will be delivered at the end of the commercial in incomprehensible Fast-Speak. People in broadcasting even call this fast speech "pharma talk."

I too was given Cymbalta as I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis. One tablet and I was on the floor unable to move because of nausea, dizziness loss of control of my bodily functions. Had to keep my eyes closed and the sweating was incredible. I ended up in Harris Emergency with Stage 4 Blood Pressure and a few other issues.

Went home that night and the next day the DO suggested I hang onto them as he thought we might try them again a little later on after the Tramadol got into my system. I never went back to him needless to say. I am on some quality supplements and watch what I eat. If anyone want to know what I take I'd be happy to let them know.

I was in one of the original clinical trials for Cymbalta and continued using it after it was approved by the FDA. After a number of years, I switched to Pristiq. And somehow, I have ended up on Viibryd. All of these drugs cause severe, disabling diarrhea, which I treat with Bentyl and Immodium. I tried to withdraw myself from the Pristiq, with my doctor's knowledge. I was shocked to discover that there is no withdrawal protocol. You cannot cut up the Pristiq tablets into smaller dosages because of the way it is manufactured. You risk Seratonin Syndrome. It is a trap.

What I discovered on my own is that you need to add an SSRI while reducing the SNRI. Then, you taper off the SSRI. I used Celexa for this process (with my doctor's help).

Unfortunately, in my search for a brain drug that does not cause absurd diarrhea, I ended up with the last drug available, Viibryd, which is even more addicting than Cymbalta and Pristiq. Viibryd is no better than all the others and now I am addicted again.

I am seriously considering ECT, in order to be able to quit the brain drugs. ECT, however, requires a two week stay in the hospital, causes memory loss, and has to be repeated periodically. What kind of trade-off is that?

Anyway, if you are not currently taking Cymbalta and are considering starting it, be aware that it is highly addicting and your doctor will not know how to get you off of it in the event of undesirable side effects. There is no withdrawal protocol. "Tapering off" is wildly unpleasant and takes a long time and interferes with living your life.

OMG, what they said. ALL of it.

I've been on Cymbalta for six years. I was put on it by my rheumatologist for the neuropathy in my feet that was a result of fibromyalgia. I was feeling like I was keeping my feet in the bonfire all the time. She couldn't put me on it "officially" because it was only for diabetes and depression at the time. She put it out there that "You're depressed, aren't you?" so she could put that on as the diagnosis and start me on it. I lept at the chance.

I floated between 60 and 120mg, at first the 60 so that it would stop the pain. But I started having real depression, crying jags, and such. I ended up on blood pressure drugs and gained 100 pounds. I ended up going to a psychiatrist who upped the medication to 120mg to cover the depression and added an anti-anxiety drug.

This last October my husband lost his job. We found the Cymbalta was going to be over 600.00 a month. We knew I was having bad liver enzyme tests now so I decided to just wash out of it so that we wouldn't worry. We did try to go through the company to get help affording it but Eli Lilly denied us because they counted his severance as "income."

I took three weeks to come down from 120 to nothing, the longest I could make it stretch. I've had the "brain zaps", violent outbursts that have had me hitting my beloved husband of 20 years, screaming, throwing things, terrorizing the dogs, everything. I've cut my hair, pulled it out, hit myself until there were bruises, and destroyed things I loved. And I can barely remember it. My husband has hidden our guns and my medications because of the suicidal threats I've done over and over. I can't sleep, my neuropathy is back with a vengeance and the pain from the fibro is worse than ever. I'm in a daily flare. Sleep? What's that?

This stuff is real, this Cymbalta Withdrawal Syndrome. The manufacturers don't tell you this is going to happen but believe me, it is. Every time I see a commercial for this drug, I get angry all over again. It's not a panacea, it's a death trap in a pretty bottle. Maybe not when you are on it, but like Hotel California: "You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave!"


They have slowed down, from a daily/hourly occurrence to a week apart now. But they still come. I'm

Some background:I started a high stress job July 2000 and by February 2001 was crying every time I thought about going to work. I started on Wellbutrin but it stopped working and by 2002 I was on 30 mg of Cymbalta. By 2005 I was up to 120 mg. The last two years has been hard dealing with the side effects. My current doctor was willing to discuss a framework of getting to the point where I can stop the drug.

Drugs only deal with the effects and not the root cause. I had to start dealing with the root cause. The final straw was when I realized Cymbalta prevented me from mourning the deaths of my beloved uncle, my mother and recently our family dog. I felt cheated-I wanted to mourn their passing. I want to be rid of the night sweats. I wanted to be able to stay asleep without waking 6-8 times a night in terror. I wanted to have a conversation with words I actually want to say.

I went from 120 mg daily to 90 mg daily for month then alternating 90 mg and 60 mg for a month then to 60 mg-30 mg. My last 60 mg Cymbalta was January 26, 2013. I have tremors, crying spells, brain zaps, disorientation even if I think fast; and, yes, I hear my eyes blink. I sleep all the time and have no energy to do anything. I have a very loving and understanding husband and without his help I won't be able to make it.

I plan on getting totally clean of Cymbalta no matter how long it takes. Contact me anyone who wants an ear, shoulder or conversation about the journey away from Cymbalta.

I just started researching cymbalta withdrawals today. Due to a change in our insurance and lack of communication from our company, I wasn't able to refill my prescription of 120mg per day. Saturday was my last dose and as of Monday I was feeling like I was losing my mind but didn't know why. Ohhhh, how ignorance is NOT bliss in this situation.

I'm sitting in my office and think today was the worst physical and emotional coaster ride I have EVER been on. I have literally gone from wanted to scream, throw things, hit someone to crying in a matter of minutes... ALL DAY. My head is spinning and every 30 seconds or so, I hear this "whoosh, whoosh, whoosh" in my ears (similar to hearing your pulse when you have a bad migraine). I have this creeping crawling feeling going up the back of my neck when I feel an outburst coming and need to quickly excuse myself from conversations.... mind you it's just NORMAL EVERYDAY conversations, not a stressful conversation by any means. OR, I suddenly just start sweating.

This is absolutely craziness!!


Prior to this sudden cold-turkey event, there were no noted side effects while taking the medication. It did what it was initially prescribed for...

Hi SHEL,

Please call the doctor who prescribed the Cymbalta right now. I mean Right Now! In my experience, it is not possible to withdraw from Cymbalta without help. I suggest asking the doctor to phone in a prescription for a cheap, generic SSRI, one that you can pay for out of your own pocket, in case your insurance company objects. If someone else can go pick it up for you, that would be good. You will feel much better within a few hours of taking a dose of SSRI. Please consider this a medical emergency, even though you are not going to die. Your brain needs that serotonin!

If you can't reach your doctor, get someone to take you to a walk-in medical clinic. Going to an ER would be a last resort, mainly because they might want to run a battery of wildly expensive test to rule out everything else.

The cure for the sickness and brain zaps is a simple replacement SSRI, in my personal experience. It is Friday afternoon as I write this, so call your doctor right now. Call the doctor-on-call, if necessary. Go to a walk-in medical clinic. If you encounter a doctor who is unwilling to prescribe an SSRI without more information from your doctor, read him the warning from the Cymbalta literature (it is online, at the Cymbalta site). Persevere until you get an SSRI in your mouth.

I was on this drug for pain several years ago. I took it for about a year and really felt it was not that helpful and took myself off of it. It is an expensive drug and why pay for something if you feel it is not doing any good. I weaned myself off of it taking less and less till I stopped. However, when I finally stopped I got tinnitus for about 6 months, assumed it was related but did not know.

When my psychiatrist put me on Duloxetine / cymbalta for post traumatic stress, bi-polar and OCDD, he started me on 60mg right away and said.. "this drug doesn't really have any bad side effects.." He either blatantly lied (not good) or he didn't know (not competent). Either scenario does not breed confidence.

On them, I lost the will to function. I threw up, fainted got a horrid rash all over my arms and legs that itched like crazy, was hounded by phantom smells (similar to hairspray) so strong that it caused headache, and I lost all motivation to eat, wash, live...

I simply stayed in bed and what was weird about it was, I didn't stay there cuz I was depressed.. I simply couldn't care less one way or another. Devoid of ALL emotion or empathy for others. If my husband pointed out I hadn't been out of bed for 5 weeks other than to go to the toilet, and so had not left the house I would simply say "And your point is what exactly?" (in a nasty tone)

I wasn't eating and I wasn't doing any art (I design for craft supply companies so sort of HAVE to do art.) I simply emailed them and told them I was unable to work for them any more. !!!!! what the heck is THAT about? its my passion ... I NEED my art.

So during a window of clarity I decided to get off these crippling drugs... and its only then that I found out (the hard way) about the side effects of coming off. I thought being on them was bad. But coming off them? JEEZ!!!!

It wasn't nice finding out that weaning off them slowly or stopping cold turkey made very little difference to most folks. I feel cheated and very angry at my psychiatrist and will be meeting with him soon to tell him that I have not had this vicious drug for almost three weeks now and I will be asking if telling me there were not many side effects was him lying or him being incompetent.
Thank you for posting this article.

OK.... Bout 5 years ago my Primary Rx'ed me Cymbalta (30mg) It was for the extreme pains I was having due to Multiple operations and complications. This was the starter dose and Nothing really changed for the 30 days I was on it. The next Rx was for 60 mg. And 3 days after that I was feeling pretty good and could actually be productive.

I now find that it no longer has that effect (Maybe I outgrew it?) And I was feeling even worse later...so I stopped. Yes, right away. Seeming no side effects but what do I know I hurt so much now who could tell. So all the pain is back even worse that 5 years ago. IT JUST WORE OUT I GUESS. Or maybe I did?

I wondered what kinds of supplements you are taking. I have flu like symptoms at this time after trying to wean off of cymbalta. I have gone back to the 60 mg per morning because the pain of getting off has been so bad. I have heard there are some supplements that help with withdrawal. I am an educator and if anyone had told me I would be addicted to drugs (after 2 mastectomies) I would have thought them unreasonable. But it must be true... I hurt all over trying to get my body to accept the 60 mg again. Any advice?

I am terrified after reading all the Cymbalta stories. Should I go check into Rehab? My new doctor told me to quit taking it and start on Viibryd. He said there wouldn't be withdrawls but I am obviously having them. I feel so sick, dizzy & nauseous. If I knew I would be ok, I wouldn't be scared. I want to be anti depressant free! I would rather be locked up then hurt my daughters or husband. I feel so confused. I'm thankful to be a stay home mom instead of having withdrawl symptoms at work like a lot of these poor people. Please lmk how you are feeling. Coming from a family with a history of addictions, I am truly scared. I haven't seen ONE good withdrawl story that hasn't taken months or years. :(

Having read advice in lots of forums from people who have also been on this drug and had to come off, I have been taking OMEGA 3 (fish oil) daily and also avoiding all stimulant type foods (caffeine being the biggest one for me) .. I don't like sugar so I didn't have to worry about that but i did read on the forums that sugary snacks (also causing stimulation to brain and body) should be avoided too. I also found the weird brain zap dizzy thing and the aching joints were exacerbated when I ate chilli in food (again chilli and hot spices are stimulants to the brain)...

Other than that there seems to be little advice from users or professionals that sounds very hopeful. I can say, I have now been off mine (cold turkey style) for 3 weeks and I feel the horrid withdrawal effects less and less daily now. The first 2 weeks were the hardest, but taking the omega 3 and avoiding stimulants did help noticeably.

Jill… I came off them. After being on 60mg a day I went right to nothing (after reading how little difference it made to those who did it gradually)... Its just 3 weeks now since I quit and although I still get slight dizzy zaps and my concentration isn't 100%, I would say all in all I feel OK. whats left of the withdrawals are so minimal I hardly notice them.

That's in just 3 weeks by quitting without tapering and making sure I don't drink caffeine and sugary stimulant foods and drinks.

It's not pleasant but it's nothing like withdrawal from hard drugs. And most comments left will be from folks who have had a bad time of it. The majority of folks who had no bother at all with this drug, wont feel compelled to look it up on the internet and then make a comment so you are only hearing the one side. It's not a fair assessment.

Feeling a bit uncomfortable for three weeks isn't all that bad. If you got the flu you would cope feeling unwell for three weeks… please don't panic about this. It has pissed folks off so they are venting.

I know the feeling. I often wondered why my grandfather slept so much and why my grandmother would sit and stare out the window. It was depression.

My doctor does not understand why I want to get off Cymbalta. I stopped January 26th and up to this past weekend thought I was getting over the withdrawal symptoms. I try to think of myself as a child just learning how to deal with emotions. I struggle to control the crying and I am getting better but still have a way to go. Brain zaps and the spatial/visual problems have slow down but here recently I have been plagued with back muscle spasms and, some mornings, be unable to urinate in the morning. After battling the muscle spasms for three days I've found that Gatorade and a heating pad helps enormously. When I first had this problem I went to my doctor who hadn't a clue why I was suffering from the spasms.

My best suggestion is to work one day at a time, one step at a time. Whatever bothers you will not last forever; problems are not personal; and, eventually, we'll get better. Think as a child when dealing with your emotion, deal with things one event at a time.

Zuzu, your response seems a bit flippant. You did some research first, to inform you not to try and ease off the drug, then you had to figure out & deduce that sugary foods & caffeine would make it worse, etc. The issue is not whether you or anyone believes those going through hell are "only" a minority, or not, and even the "scientific studies" say it's 50% (which I believe to be low, for how do they know, not everyone makes their story public record), but that so very few doctors fully disclose the risks to their patients, and worse, many don't even know (or seem to care) what to do to relieve their patients of this torture!

My doctor gave me zero indication of any risk, especially of coming off the drug (which I only took for less than two weeks!), and even when I told him what happened, seem quite unfazed.... Between greedy drug & insurance companies, and pill-pushing, disinterested doctors, patients are just a number.

Another way of looking at these sites is that our experiences had to be so bad as to motivate us to seek out whether others shared this reaction, while many others simply suffered, and never thought to speak out. A close friend who's a doctor told me he considers those in his profession, "educated guessers", and when doctors, especially psychiatrists, have little time to properly evaluate & work with their patients, just writing prescriptions is the easy out. But these are powerful drugs, worse than most of the ones we put people in jail for using or distributing, yet they are treated like nothing more than aspirin, and that's wrong, & even malfeasant, and should be brought to light....

Hi there Steven

I am truly sorry if you felt my answer to be flippant... it was not my intent...

My first comment here (I used my real name of Louise and is 7 posts above your comment about me being flippant) maybe would help you realise I am not being flippant. I too had a terrible experience of this drug and am FURIOUS at my psychiatrist for not informing me of the side effects (far worse than the illness I was given the meds for and took away any semblance of a life I had) and then the terrible withdrawal which left me thinking I had some serious physical health issue... I am 100% in agreement that this medication should come with a serious health warning and I would like to see it put out of circulation.

However, on seeing someone saying they are terrified after reading our stories, I felt compelled to reassure them that they are not 100% doomed to some horrific months ahead. Nobody should be left feeling terrified of addiction just because we had a very bad time. They said they had not seen ANYONE say they had suffered for less than a year and they found this scary. My response was designed as an offer of hope as it was, for me, a fact that, after choosing to come off them cold turkey and then feeling like I was dying, it did all pass.

I did seriously find help in forums full of folks who had suffered terribly from this drug but had some advice to offer on retrospect. I respect and value the advise of others who have been through it and many many of them mentioned the same things I did. It's my luck good that they shared this info as I would not have known otherwise.

I almost instantly found the weird head zaps that came when I moved my eyes, lessened considerably when I stayed off of caffeine and improved more again when I followed the advice of other sufferers and took omega 3.

I can't lie and say it was all doom and gloom for months and months when it's not how it was for me. I fully accept its a horrific drug with horrific side effects. I hated being on it but when there is hope to offer someone who is feeling terrified just by reading our negative stories then surely it's the human thing to do to share this hope?

And the reality is that more folks comment when unhappy about something. we complain more readily than we praise... (I know it's why I googled this drug and why I was compelled to comment… because I felt the drug had caused me way way too much discomfort and misery) and folks who are contented and having a good experience do not tend to comment. There are people out there that feel this drug has changed there life for the better. So it's not unreasonable to offer some hope to someone who is being terrified by the one sided comments.

The short answer, I too hate this drug but had some hope to offer a scared person who was looking for reassurance so I offered it.

The doctor who originally prescribed the drug said I can be on it for the rest of my life with no problems. My current doctor does not know why I want to get off it but she continued the prescription so I could reduce the dosage over time. She is at a loss as to the withdrawal symptoms. Which makes me wonder why this attitude with Cymbalta. When the pain is over, you stop pills. When the infection is cleared, you stop the pills. So, why are they so eager to keep you on Cymbalta.

I believe the problem lies with all of us. The pharmaceutical companies advertise a new "wonder" drug and their reps push the drug when they visit doctors offices. The doctors are pushed for time and the easiest fix is to prescribe a pill to handle the symptoms instead of trying to find the causing problem; the patient wanting a quick fix, as we are the instant gratification generation, takes the pill with no questions asked. Researching the pills side effects are not even considered until it's too late.

Professional arrogance (medical community), financial greed (pharmaceutical companies) and instant gratification (the patients)is the problem.

I am currently on week six Cymbalta free. Some days are good, some days are bad. I research drug free solutions to whatever symptom is bothering me which recently has been back muscle spasms. I deal with one day at a time and I allow myself to cry without feeling guilty; crying spells are persistent.

Hi Louise, I can understand that, and didn't realize someone was so terrified, although on the other hand, I do believe someone should only consider using this nasty drug, as a last resort. My experience was awful, and had I had to go to work for the few days I was knocked on my butt, it would've not been possible. However, it lasted "only " a week or so, but then I had only taken it for at most, two weeks.... In an ideal world, the FDA would take this off the market, demand it be more fully tested, and if re-released, mandate that doctors be informed of all the pitfalls of this drug...

Yes, People do ask this quite often. I've got depression. I need medication. I read about this horrifying side effects, withdrawal symptoms and people warning not to take it?

Guys, before posting advice to depression patients, please remember, they are already at the verge of life and death. Nothing is working out for them and only HOPE seen for them is to END their LIFE. In such a situation if they are discouraged to take a medhelp, we are DENYING them LIFE.

I've been a VICTIM of this drug when managing my own depressive symptoms. I'm from India and Cymbalta is sold here under the brand name DUVANTA. Both are same drugs called Dulexetine HCL. Before this I tried several other antidepressants. We all are laboratory animals for the doctors but a sensitive doctor coupled with trust and patience from patient CERTAINLY yield GOOD results.

RIGHT NOW, I'm suffering from DULEXETINE withdrawal symptoms and I feel terrible but I cannot thank it enough for the wonders it cured my depression. Of course, it may not work for everybody and for those it didn't work, withdrawal symptoms are unwanted baggage enough to curse the drug.

I did taper it down. Here in India I get Duvanta in 20MG tablet. I was on 40 (Oct-12) and feeling very good and therefore decided to reduce the dose as minimum as possible. I reduced it to 30 (Nov-12) , then gradually to 20 (Dec-12) and everything was good. Then I reduced it to 10 MG since mid Jan-13 by cutting the tablet into half by tablet cutter. I Felt no side effects till then. From about 21-Feb-13, I cut the 20 MG tablet in 4 tiny parts and took 5mg for a week and then discontinued it at once.

However, almost after 2-3 days of full discontinuation, I started the symptoms that people have described. Brain zap is the most annoying one.

I'm now off the medicine about 10 days and still no improvement. I'm wondering if I should go back to 5mg again for some time or suffer it for some more time to let it go.

Fortunately my tapering did not get me more serious side effects such as getting back the depression symptoms or feeling irritable, etc.

I want to provide message to the depression patients that you must try this drug if nothing else is working, if u r afraid of withdrawal symptoms, I'd say for the good part of this drug, you don't leave it for lifetime, if it is working for you!! but better option is do a very gradual taper down and i trust you should be off the drug without too much of a problem.

I've just stopped 60mg of cymbalta and have started the side effects in a big way. The Brain Quakes are well underway and are not so much of a problem now since folks like you explain them to me in these types of forums. I thought i was going crazy or was suffering some other sort of disease?

Today I cried, for some valid reason, but I couldn't stop. I'm 52, male, seen or witnessed most of everything at one point or another, but sobbed like a child who'd lost their mother in a shopping centre.
I've been on them now for seven years and whilst these have been great for mood stability, my sex life and interest levels in most things are so muted that I'm simply not enjoying life.

I can't orgasm easily and intercourse is a waste of time and effort. I have limp erections at best and have trouble maintaining these.
One week of of Cymbalta and erections are improved and feeling for the first time. Can't stop crying about anything but at least I'm sad with feeling and not limp and glib.

The Brain Zaps were originally the most concerning symptom of missing a pill or two but this has set in now and I expect will last for weeks. Thanks to you all for documenting what you've experienced as I feel plausible in my response to cessation of he drug. Long live drug-free-ness and hopefully the anxiety stays away this time!

I agree... had I had the information ahead of being handed the prescription, I would have gracefully declined. And having a job and actually working while on the drug was just never going to happen. I was supposed to be moving house, packing and searching for a new lace... what I actually did was stay in bed till I had to get up to throw up, while clawing at an itchy rash, avoiding people and food and trying not to move as the weird dizzy zaps felt terrible. Along with quite a few other nasty effects.

The only reason I felt withdrawal effects were better than the actual side effects, was because I could keep reminding myself that it was because I was purging the evil drug of my system.

I am a counselor/therapist and there is no way on this earth I could have sat with clients for hourly sessions so I can't imagine anyone who had a physical job having to try and function feeling like that.
But hopefully Jill (the lady who made the comments about being scared by our comments) can see that coming off hers won't necessarily take years and years and wont be the end of the world.

If, as you indicated, the figures are 50% suffer like this then equally 50% manage ok so she might be one of those lucky people.

I see my psychiatrist next week and he will be hearing my full opinion of his decision to put me on this while saying (and I quote).... "there aren't really any side effect with this drug".... !!!!!!!

Anyway... I wish you well and thanks for responding.

I was on Cymbalta for over a year and probably would still be taking it if not for the side effect of sweating. The sweating was so bad, I could not go out anywhere because my hair would be dripping wet and my clothes would be sweat stained. Otherwise, it really helped me. But, the withdrawal symptoms were awful, I went through six months of gastrointestinal pain and diarrhea.

Shortly after my last dose, I missed one week of work because I was so sick all I could do was lay on the couch. I felt so terrible that at one point I thought I was going to die. I don't think anyone should have to go through six months of misery because you quit taking a medication.

I'm now 57 years old. I have been on Duloxetine 30mg for over a year, it was initially given to help with neck pain. The drug slowed me down physically, in doing that it released some tension in my neck.
It became obvious that it was having lots of side effects that troubled me. It put an end to any orgasms which had a bad effect on my marriage. It in effect put a block on any emotions. Nothing effected me, I wasn't moved by anything, I didn't feel! anything. I decided to come off the drug as the side effects outweighed the good ones.

I went to my doctor who gave me instructions of how slowly to come off them, also prescribing a lower dose for the second week. A total of three weeks and stop.

Four days after stopping. The trouble started. I had no idea why I was feeling so unwell. I put it down to my age but I got increasingly worse.
I had electric pulses in the base of my scull and up into my head which felt like I was going to blackout. I was so irritated that I had outburst of rage. I would get up in a morning feeling like I hadn't been to bed, it was a struggle to do the simplest of tasks. I felt like crying for no reason, I got the shakes, it was at this point I went to see my doctor.

The doctor took my blood pressure and it was double what it normally is and she came to the conclusion it was the withdrawal symptoms of the Duloxetine and told me to go back on them for a week and see if I felt better.

I have read up since on Duloxetine and now it seems I may never get off it.

IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ.
i have been taking 120 mg of Cymbalta for approx. 4 months. As with many, if not most SNRIs, i too have experienced some of the symptoms listed above as a result of rapidly coming off the Rx.

BUT HERE I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER IMPORTANT FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
1. the comments on this website could be skewed when compared to others with mild withdrawal effects due to the fact that people are primarily sharing their similar (!) experiences only.

2. while i agree that doctors and pharmaceutical co. are obligated to inform patients about the risks of taking a med. - Cymbalta in this case - it would be almost impossible for a dr. to share the plethora of side effects due to withdrawal, especially since having severe adverse reactions are not necessarily the norm.
**i am NOT excusing neglectful behavior on any medical professional's part;

3. rather, i am attempting to convey that each and every individual is affected by medicines slightly differently. try not to get too caught up in the anger or frustration associated with your unexpected experiences - this will likely only further affect your already unfortunately troubled state.

4. BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE! THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! don't be afraid to be upfront or firm with your doctor about the method of withdrawing from Cymbalta that is.not working for you. REMEMBER: this is your life, your body, your health, and you have every right to not only question, but demand answers and a second opinion.

in closing, i again am not trying to excuse any doctor or minimize anyone's withdrawal symptoms. i'm simply hoping to offer other factors to take into consideration.

i wish everyone the best of luck, truly. - mtp

while i appreciate your attempt at offering information on the negative affects associated with many cases of Cymbalta withdrawl, SHAME ON YOU for sharing only horrific, intimidating personal stories that play on the emotions and fears of those who are already in a vulnerable state. and the stories are offered in a striking BOLD font no less.

a patient has the right to any and all information regarding medicinal interventions in his or her life obviously. but shame on you for harboring, almost encouraging even, a place for those who are worried about their own physical and emotional well-being to feed off of your "scientific" personal testimonies. YOU have an obligation as a website/blog to offer information, not simply terrifying tales to haunt the already suffering individual.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE:

Visitors to our website are offered the opportunity to share both the pros and cons of medications. Anyone who wishes to share their positive experiences is welcome to do so. If someone chooses to use UPPER CASE in his or her message, we do not prevent them. We do not modify such comments.

We do not doubt that many benefit from antidepressants in general and from Cymbalta in particular. Nevertheless, withdrawal can be challenging for many.

Feel free to post your positive experience.

Sorry, but no one need be "ashamed" for sharing their negative experiences with this drug! Not everyone prescribed this dangerous medication is on the verge of suicide, having exhausted all other options, maybe you should not be so overly dramatic! I have ADD, and my MD thought I may have some MILD ANXIETY associated with it, so he nonchalantly told me to take Cymbalta. No mention of any downsides, no nasty side effects, nothing whatsoever of the horrors of stopping its usage, which was in my case, less than two weeks!

So, sorry, sharing one's honest experiences, vs silence, is a much better, and more admirable path. Being informed is always better than simply trusting what a doctor may prescribe...

MTP,

I appreciate your attempts to scold the writers of these experiences. Note: I'm one of those who has had horrible experiences and wrote them down here as a warning to others. I am not associated with the site, I'm not associated with any medical doctor or the pharmacy industry in any way (can you say the same? You only use initials).

Who I am is a mother of 4, grandmother of 9, an author and researcher (historical) who is desperately trying to keep going while battling what my doctors are saying is one of the worst Fibromyalgia cases they have ever seen. I was on Cymbalta at the 125mg level for over eight years and had to quit because of the cost of the medication after we lost our insurance and because it had started affecting my liver function.

What I wrote above is MY experience with it. Sorry it's not all happy, shiny, and great for the medication and its maker. Yes, it did the job it was supposed to for several years but it was when I was forced to quit the medication that the symptoms I describe happened. And I did have my doctor on speed dial, thankfully he's willing to see us without insurance and to take calls from us when we need him (he's been our doctor for over 15 years).

I read, as a researcher, that's what I do. I understand medical terminology and if I don't understand something, I can look it up. EVERY time I get a new medication, I read the FDA information on it, not just the patient information, but the doctor's prescribing information. It's important to me to know what I am getting into. If I need more information, I can call the pharmacy and talk to the the pharmacist. But I am not "uninformed" and I take a hand in my own care, paying attention to research on fibro, the newest treatments, the discussions by doctors, researchers, and also people like me who have the syndrome (it's not a disease.) I make informed decisions and if I question what medication I am taking, I will certainly talk to my doctor.

Cymbalta did NOT put out the information on what the people on this site are describing. They have not addressed much of this, and it's very dangerous for those on the medication not to know what the whole truth is. Doctors can only supply what information they are given and if the pharmaceutical company decides to not give out the information, they can't pass it along. This is why there is now a class-action lawsuit about Cymbalta Withdrawal Syndrome out there--the pharmaceutical company did not inform the doctors or patients what it would be like getting off of this medication.

Whatever good the medication does for people, they have a right to know what else it can do, good or bad. And it's those personal stories of withdrawal that are being given here, as the warning that the pharmaceutical company would not give.

Reply to Steven C: You are right! It is far better to share your stories of medical reactions because some people are frightened. I have actually felt better knowing I was not alone! My drug, however, was Gabapentin, and I had more than just a few side-effects, including permanent nerve damage (ironically, this drug is given for peripheral neuropathy and that is what I got!). Since I read that the pharmaceutical company had to pay many millions (a drop in the bucket to them) for its "off-use" recommendations it caught my attention.

Obviously, it's a decision we all make when we feel bad and then deal with the consequences. Also, I believe as we age (I am in my 60's) some meds do not work as well or affect us more. Some woman insulted me after I said that. She said that age has nothing to do with it. Oh, really? Too many elderly people are being given way too many drugs. Also, the interactions between drugs you are taking can be deadly.

Thanks for everyone writing in because I think it does help. If it scares you don't read it!
djd

I suppose only those with problems respond so let me give you another view. I have been taking Cymbalta 60mg per day for several years. Started taking it because of mild depression but soon discovered it helped the nerve pain I experienced because of my type 2 diabetes. Recently I decided to stop taking Cymbalta, primarily because of the mostly bad comments I had read about withdrawal symptoms. My doctor prescribed 30mg per day for 20 days and then 30 mg every other day for 20 days.

I had absolutely NO withdrawal symptoms. The only problem I have experienced is a recurrence of the nerve pain. While the pain is tolerable during the day it wakens me after about 1 to 2 hours. Since long term sleep deprivation is not good, or pleasant, I will start taking Cymbalta again without any qualms whatsoever. I don't discount the problems others may have had in withdrawing from this drug but it doesn't happen to everyone.

Further to my story on March 8, 2013 1:08 AM above, I saw my doctor for the withdrawal symptoms, he prescribed me a nerve tonic for a month. Let me tell you that it is not any antidepressant or anything of that sort. You can compare it with a Vitamin B supplement, if at all. But specific for nerve and brain function.

This was prescribed only to get my body and brain in order due to withdrawal. This is called as Meganeuron OD Plus in India. I'm sure in US, it must be available under a different brand name but its full contents are as below.

Folic Acid (Vit B9) 5 mg
Pyridoxine 5 mg
Methylcobalamin 1500 mcg
Alpha Lipoic Acid 200 mg
Biotin 5 mg
Benfotiamine 50 mg

I started it around 10 March and today is 26th March and I am seeing an improvement in my withdrawal symptoms. The brain zaps are almost absent. I didn't anyway had any other serious symptoms. I was more worried (part I'd say because of reading horrible experience here as well) than actual symptoms. I am having some symptoms of Fatigue and general body pain but I cannot claim that those are from the withdrawal symptoms. So, I am now confident that I'll be soon out of the withdrawal symptoms.

People should also close the loop, post their current status and Good experience, so that this site is more insightful. I'm doing my bit, if its helpful for somebody. Should you need any more information, please reply to my message, I've set an alert. Thanks.

Cymbalta was a lifesaver for me the year that my sister attempted to destroy me. I am a very tender individual, have always heard 'you care to much.' I don't know how else to feel, you know? I had just quit taking Cymbalta because it was expensive and because, after 18 years of anti-depressants I wanted to try it without drugs. Bad timing. So my doc wrote me an rx for Cymbalta 30mg and then upped it to 60 mg per day. It worked well, and now that I was able to hold firm against my sister, and because the meds cost me $235 per month WITH insurance, I was contemplating quitting.

This past week I got the worst stomach flu ever. Since I wasn't going to be able to keep the meds in me anyway, I decided to stop taking them. Brain zaps started as soon as I started to recover from the flu, and now I don't know if the constant bathroom runs are due to the flu or due to the cold turkey.

I am grateful to hear that Omega 3 helps, which I've been taking anyway, and will add in some vitamin D as I've often had a deficiency. I'm hoping that the contracting position I'm currently been holding (haven't found FT work since 2011) will not be effected.

I am also grateful for these forums that make me feel so much less alone, and give me alternatives that I can suggest to my physician. While the drug was initially a lifesaver I do feel that Lilly should be held accountable for 2 things:

1) Not indicating that there are repercussions of this magnitude from withdrawing nor offering a withdrawal solution.
2) For making this drug so expensive that the people who need it cannot take it.
3) Finding ways to re-purpose the drug's uses so they can hold onto the patent so there are no generic options.

Lilly should absolutely be made accountable for their lack of education and for their 'money is the bottom line' mentality. Why hasn't the FDA reconsidered its stance on this medication and included precautionary tales.

Lastly, I am grateful to all of you who have shared your experiences which make mine much easier to handle.

K

I stopped Cymgen cold turkey on 28 Feb 2013. for quite a few days had brain zaps, nightmares etc. now 6 weeks later have terrible tinnitus 24hrs a day. my ENT says no problem with my ears, and is sending me for a "dizzy" test later this week. I don't know where to turn anymore, as the noises in my head (a constant buzzing) are driving me mad. do you think it is the withdrawal from Cymgen after so long? Please give me your advice.

I have been going through side effects and withdrawals from the drug Cymbalta for a long time. It has been a week of being totally off Cymbalta, but I am still going through all of the side effects that other people have posted, however, it is not as severe, to the point that I did think I had lost my mind or had brain damage from this drug.

I started out over 6 months ago opening the capsule and counting out a few of the tiny balls inside. After getting down to have a dose of those little balls I decided to totally stop because I could not tolerate the side effects.

The withdrawals have been a living nightmare, but I know there is light at the end of this. I am still going through all the withdrawals but as I posted, it is easing up.

In 2004 when I first started Cymbalta 60mg I thought it was helping with the pain of fibromyalgia, and nerve damage from surgeries I have had, also I was suffering from depression. The Cymbalta never helped with the depression but for the 1st year it did help to ease the pain for the 1st year only, however, I have always had side effects from this medication, talked to my Dr about it, but was told they would go away after a while.

I decided after almost 9 years of side effects that I had to get off Cymbalta. So for anyone reading, there is hope to feeling better once getting off Cymbalta.

My elderly mother is taking a small dose of Cymbalta 30mg and says she has no side effects. (I do believe more people have side effects than not.) We do not live in the same place so I cannot see her every day to know if there is a change in her.

I hope this will be posted and perhaps it will give a bit of hope to others taking this medication, that, yes it is difficult to get off Cymbalta but it can be done.

Don't give up.

I will have to change my display name because my mind doesn't feel so lost now.

The side effects coming off of Cymbalta are not fun to put it mildly. I have experienced something akin to what heroin withdrawal must be like (albeit to a much lesser extent) even though I was only taking the medication for 4 months. I've had terrible night sweats, dizziness, fatigue, brain zaps and nausea. BUT IT WAS WORTH IT.

Even though the withdrawal symptoms are bad, I WAS REALLY DEPRESSED when I started taking the medication and it really helped me. I was out of work for months and was still unable to function. Medication was a last resort for me. If I had not taken this medication then I would not have been able to move on with my life. I was able to return to work and able to resume my life with my family and friends. My physical energy came back and I was able resume sports again. My doctor gave me an aggressive schedule to get off of the medication since I am now back to my normal self. The first two weeks of medication reduction were really bad, but this week is much better. I should be off the meds by next week.

Also, as an interesting side note, the night sweats were a really strong side effect for me, but it wasn't listed on the list of side effects. I wonder if other have also had this issue. Just curious.

I am 1 week and 3 days into cold turkey Cymbalta stoppage. I still get the occasional head spin and zap, but nothing like the first week. I have more energy than I've had in awhile even though I also stopped drinking coffee at the same time. I sleep better now, and don't have as much trouble getting up in the morning.

I have the occasional crying jag mostly for sentimental reasons. This was something that the Cymbalta helped with, but now I'm just going to see if I can control my 'you care too much' tear fests. We'll see what happens.

Anyhoo, appreciate the new found energy and the $230 per month back in my pocket. :)

I havent received any feedback on my earlier posts but I hope my posts are useful for some so attempting to provide further updates, as promised.

Disclaimer: This is my personal experience, others experience may and will vary.

Look for my earlier posts on:
March 8, 2013 1:08 AM
March 26, 2013 12:20 AM

Country of treatment: India
Drug Brand name: Duvanta (Dulexetine) - equivalent of US brand Cymbalta

Below is a short summary

I was on different antidepressants prior to Oct 12 for about 1.5 years but none seemed to help much.

Oct 2012: Started taking Dulexetine 40mg to help relieve depression symptoms. It started working in about 15 days and results were pretty good.

I never wanted to be on pills, so decided that before it forms like a habit, I should withdraw the same. I did not have much side effects though with this. Other meds that I used had a lot of side effects. So, it was kind of wonder drug for me.

Nov 2012: Reduced the daily dose to 30mg. Still feeling good, no ill effects

Dec 2012: Reduced the daily dose to 20mg. Still feeling good, no ill effects

Jan 2013: Then I reduced it to 10 MG since mid Jan-13 by cutting the tablet into half by tablet cutter. I Felt no side effects till then.

14-Feb-13: I cut the 20 MG tablet in 4 tiny parts and took 5mg for 8 days 21-Feb-2013: and then discontinued it at once.

Almost after 2-3 days of full discontinuation, I started the symptoms that people have described as withdrawl symptoms. Brain zap is the most annoying one.

1-Mar-2013: I'm now off the medicine about 10 days and still no improvement. I'm wondering if I should go back to 5mg again for some time or suffer it for some more time to let it go.

I did not go back to the drug again but I saw my doctor for advice

8 Mar 2013: Dr Prescribed "Meganeuron OD Plus" - Vitamin B12 Nerve Tonic to relieve the withdrawl symptoms - Started taking the same

26 March 2013: Better Symptoms: Brain zaps subsided, most withdrawl symptoms gone

4 April 2013: 30 days course of Meganeuron OD+ complete.

9 April 2013: Continuing with normal life, no withdrawl or any side effect. Had some migrain headache last week but it has nothing to do with the drug / withdrawl as it were existing even before, during and after the drug.

So, from my experience I can say that, yes there are withdrawl symptoms, they are frightening, to the extent that you feel that these will remain for the lifetime but with adequate alternative medicines like nerve tonics with your Dr's advice and a proper tapering down, the withdrawl symptoms will subside in a due course of time.

I have tried to mention my timeline to help others for comparison but please understand that your experience may be altogether different. Specially when you are long term on this medication, you need a longer tapering down period and withdrawl symptoms period, so expect that, have faith and you all will be back to normal life.

My very best to all of you for the recovery.

I finally took my last dose of cymbalta 8 days ago... after weaning myself off for about a month before that.. I couldn't do the slow taper because I refused to take the drug for another year to get off. I can handle the dizziness and the brain zaps and the nausea and even the extreme migraines this is giving me - but I can't handle the emotional roller coaster it has put me on. I can't stop crying.. I sing a song, I cry; I think about my kids, I cry; I watch a show i like - and cry; no matter what it is, everything is making me uncontrollably sad. How long is this going to last?! :(

Read your blog; I have been on Cymbalta for just under 2 months and have an appt with my Dr to get weaned off. I WILL BE CONVINCING TO HIM. Hope you're doing better; and can relate to the symptoms while on Cymbalta. Not looking forward to the weaning effects; I do also believe that drugs do not cure the initial issue, but just mask it. I have always been a believer of this, till I started experiencing severe joint pain for many months-Fibromyalgia. thanks for sharing

Yes, the night sweats are very bad!! I have to keep the A/C on very cold, with fans also running. Also must do a lot of laundry because of so much sweating.

I am 1 week and 2 days totally off Cymbalta and still feel all the side effects.

I thought the other day it was easing up, but later on the side effects were very bad. Just moving my eyes give me brain zaps and something as if i can hear my eyes move...very strange.

I also sleep better now being off Cymbalta. I do not drink coffee tho.

I had horrible nightmares while on Cymbalta.

I am still going through withdrawals, but the nightmares have gone away.

I took the vitamin B-12, but it did not help for me.

My Dr prescribed Diazepam 10mg for me to take as needed. That helps.

I would like to know how many weeks it takes to be free of all side effects and withdrawals from Cymbalta.

I do realize everyone is different, but the more posts, can give an average.

Reply to Michelle-

I have and am going through everything you posted... I cry, then I feel angry, then I cry more, I feel sick most of the time and I was trying slowly to cut back for 6 months... wish I never did that and just stopped cold turkey, because I don't know if I am coming or going, can't stay focused.

I hope more people that are near the end of the side effects and withdrawals will post.

I don't know how much more of this I can take. I don't understand how Lilly manufacturers of Cymbalta do not know about what is happening to people.

If I could just stay in bed and sleep until all of this passes I would.

I am trying to hang in there and stay away from most people until this is over.

Dr's don't know everything and we are all different, so what may help some is hurting many.

Please know you are not alone... at least we can post to others that are feeling and going through the same things.

:)

I was on Cymbalta 60 mg for two years for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and depression and it was a god send. I had been on Zoloft, which was fine, but it stopped working for my anxiety after a few years. Honestly, during those two years on Cymbalta I felt better than I have in my entire life. I abruptly stopped taking it (my doctor's advice) when I found out I was pregnant. I miscarried the next day. I decided to stay off the Cymbalta so I could try again, but I had no idea the hell that rain down.

I had every symptom - dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, tingling, zaps in my arms and legs, cold hands and feet, anxiety, sadness, etc. I gave it 5 weeks and I felt as if I was drowning and if I had to live one more day like this, I might as well be dead. I decided in a panic to go back on the Cymbalta until I could get straightened out. I'm feeling somewhat better now, 5 days back on, but I know next time I decide to go off that I will do it SLOWLY and break apart capsules if need be.

Reading these stories, and seeing all the Cymbalta advertisements on TV, urging people to ask their doctors for this very dangerous, nasty drug, is so very maddening. If I were to tell someone they should take a certain drug to help their Depression, I could be arrested for practicing medicine without a license, yet these mega-billion dollar making drug making corporations can do it on national TV!!

How they can be so loose with so dangerous a drug is unbelievable, a tragedy, & an outrage. If a doctor feels a patient is so desperate that only something this risky might work, that's one thing, but to put it in the minds of millions that just taking this pill will turn their lives around is irresponsible, and should be criminal.

I've been on a maintenance dose of 60mg of Cymbalta for over three years. I took it because of debilitating depression and anxiety, with major episodes occurring over the past 25 years. Previously I had taken Zoloft and gotten on and off that drug a number of times. Since I've taken Cymbalta, along with regular psychotherapy sessions and meditation, I only have had minor episodes of anxiety. In fact, the side of effect of lowered libido is much better with Cymbalta than with Zoloft.

I respect the reports of those who have suffered severe problems during withdrawal and that concerns me. However, after living most of my adult life with depression and anxiety problems, I find Cymbalta effective in allowing me to lead a fairly normal life. Yes, I don't cry as easily when I am sad, which I miss, but that seems a minor trade-off for the alternative.

Those who have positive results need to report them, too. Still, I think it is awful that Cymbalta is being pushed as a cure-all for many other types of pain, especially if doctors prescribe the drug too quickly. These drugs should be given to people with chronic problems with severe depression, not to people who may be undergoing transient mood problems.

Here is what worked for me when trying to withdraw from Cymbalta: my doctor tapered me off Cymbalta (an SNRI) while tapering me onto Celexa (an SSRI). Then he tapered me off Celexa, which is much easier to stop. I imagine any SSRI would do the job. Most SSRIs are generic now, so therefore cheap. I had requested to stop Cymbalta because I was going on a very long trip out of the country and I was worried about being able to get refills.

I took Cymbalta for years successfully. Because of its anti-anxiety properties, it allowed me to learn to ski and to perform on stage. Side-effects started to develop, though. Now I take Pristiq (another SNRI) which works just fine. If I ever have to quit Pristiq, due to extended travel or side-effects, I will taper off/onto an SSRI to avoid the vicious withdrawal symptoms.

This is day 11 of being off Cymbalta. I finally had to go out to get groceries at the store. It was not easy, and I almost lost my balance a few times. Felt paranoid, like everyone could hear my thoughts.

My body has very much pain and the thing in my head with moving my eyes sort of like Vertigo.

I have not cried or felt angry, just feel pain, and depression.

I am going to tough it out as long as it takes. I feel blessed that I do not have to work any longer, have been on SSA from the government for a while. Also have been on just about every medication mentioned on this posting site, plus more, since I was a teenager, up to the present. I cannot handle any of the depression med's, I have an adverse reaction to them, and I don't want to walk around like a zombie either.

Diazapam helps with the anxiety, but I don't want to be "hooked" on narcotics either.

I will update here in a few days...best to all going through this. : )

Tonight I sat and read every single comment on this thread in an attempt to understand what I am feeling with regards to Cymbalta withdrawl. I am under the care of a psychiatrist for PTSD, Anxiety Disorder and Fibromyalgia. I have been seeing him for almost a year and this is the second time he has put me on this drug. I almost BEGGED him to take me off it the first time and he explained to me how to get off the 60mgs a day he prescribed... I did it and felt "normal" although my nightmares, flash backs and body pain continued I told him at the visit 1 month after coming off Cymbalta that I prefer to not take the medication any longer and preferred to use "talk therapy" to help me. I hated the way Cymbalta made me feel physically and emotionally and needed to talk things out in order to get thru the side effects of that emotional trauma.

He proceeded to "scold me" as he pulled his lap top out to show me that none of the side effects I was complaining about were due to the Cymbalta. He said that I needed this and that if I need to talk to someone he would put me in touch with a psychologist but that he didn't have the time as he handed me two months worth of medication so that I would not have to experience the cost since I am not working.

I went home and felt guilty for not listening to him after all he's the professional and I am not, I am the "wrecked train" and he's doing his best to help me right? So I took the Cymbalta 60mgs for about two weeks and suddenly the light came back on. I am the one in control of my body, he never gave me the name of a talk therapist he instead glanced over that and handed me more pills; and with the pills came the weight gain, the nightmares got worse, the restless legs OMG I couldn't lay down or sit for any length of time, the body pain from the fibromyalgia was not lessened nor was my anxiety being relieved instead it seemed to be increased because of all the adverse effects... BUT my mind was clear enough to remember that office visit to my psychiatrist and so I decided to wean myself off again and cancel my next appointment with my new "dealer".

As of this posting I am under a severe attack of hives and I have shouted at and threatened my husband with divorce because he doesn't understand me in the slightest and all I have and continue to go thru... all part of the withdrawal of this drug, my husband has been my biggest and most patient supporter! I honestly would like to say that this drug has helped me to overcome my PTSD, anxiety disorder and fibromyalgia but I would be lying.

I need to get past the hives that plague me day and night and the fits of anger. The RLS has subsided, the weight gain I will manage with diet and exercise, the nightmares will continue until I get to talk out the trauma with someone that deals with this daily, I will go back to my TRUSTED and BELOVED family doctor and seek her advise with respect to recommendations for the fibromyalgia and get her input for a therapist to talk to.

I do however want to end this post on a good note.... all of you have contributed your experience(s) and for that I am thankful... I am also thankful for those to legitimately dedicate their lives to helping others. If I were to ever be asked what could be changed with respect to my experience with Cymbalta I would suggest that the FDA spend a bit more time researching before marketing and the marketers not glamorize the product with fluff and distractions so much they gloss over quickly the adverse reactions. Everyone metabolizes medications differently in my particular case it came down to my doctor not listening to my needs and I blame myself more than him; maybe I wasn't direct or adamant enough about not wanting to take this particular medication... I should have never felt guilty or incapable of thinking for myself.

I am mostly thankful for my husband and his strong shoulders to carry me thru this and for that light that came on and brought me here. Thank you for reading and now please please PLEASE pass the back scratcher and benedryl I have to attempt to get some sleep no matter how fraught with vivid horrible nightmares and body pain.

This is day 13 of totally being off Cymbalta.

Still much the same.

I read the last post here and my heart broke. I have talked with people who have said much the same. I have had my Dr's also "scold me" when I would tell them about symptoms. I have looked around for Dr's after the type of experience of not even being looked at in the eyes, Dr's not mentioning to me when I had gained 75 pounds from the med's. I thought I finally found a good Dr that cared about me as a person, not a $ sign to keep me coming back.

That has not happened with finding one that truly cares, at least not yet. At this point, I don't trust them and am afraid to believe anything they say, until I have fully researched it online and by people I know. Also by looking at test results for myself on any test I take.

The weight has and is coming off from discontinuing Cymbalta and other med's of the same type that I was on before. Before I started taking Cymbalta I asked my Dr if Cymbalta would make me gain weight, I was told no.

There must be Dr's that really do care, unfortunately I have not found one yet. I am only staying with my family Dr now. After most of my life going to Psychiatrists and Psychologists, I am talked out and personally feel I will never get better if I continue to talk about the same thing over and over, keeping a journal, every day thinking about what I have gone through emotionally and physically, for years, when I have tried all the "techniques" that I have learned in therapy, the "coping skills" I've done it all and am tired.

I will never go to a Psychiatrist or Psychologist again. They made everything a nightmare with too many med's and at too high of a dose for each one.

If I keep myself away from things that are upsetting or something that could trigger a past trauma, I am sort of alright. But the past 8 years of my life or so, I feel like I am just hanging in there. Thank goodness the anger has stopped, the nightmares have stopped. If I had to work, I don't know how I would function. The SSA has saved me from that.

Husband left, never returned, said he couldn't handle it, so I am taking care of my two boys and staying quiet.

I had been taking Cymbalta (65mg) for over about three years and doing well on it. I recently underwent bariatric surgery and my doctor/surgeon decided that I should quit Cymbalta cold turkey as I would not be able to swallow the pills after the surgical procedure.

BOY oh BOY, day three after surgery I was rushed back into the hospital with dizziness, lack of coordination and non-stop diarrhea. The doctor was mystified over my symptoms and blamed the dizziness on dehydration. I told him over and over it was because he stopped my Cymbalta that I had these symptoms, but my words fell on deaf ears.

When I was discharged I put myself straight back on Cymbalta, but had to open the capsule and take the contents with a little pudding or the capsule would get stuck in my esophagus. Within two days I was feeling better. I am so very angry at my surgeon and his lack of knowledge of anti-depressants and how you cannot just quit them cold turkey. When I go in for my post surgery check up tomorrow he is certainly going to get an earful from me!!!

Thanks for sharing your experience. This makes it clear that Doctors are not Gods! They are human too and its possible for them to make mistakes and not have knowledge in certain area.

What is not acceptable is advising you do discontinue it without giving enough consideration for which drug you are taking.

I love your determination in getting off these drugs and knowing how we are to feel our feelings in order to heal. I'm in the same situation and currently weaned off Cymbalta. It's been a long haul. My mind is made up that I don't want to mask my feelings, I want to feel them and heal...Thank you for sharing.

I started taking 30 mg Cymbalta on 4 January 2013. After two weeks, I was on the 60 mg dose daily. After about two and one-half months, I started having severe pain in the right abdominal area, under my ribs. If I still had a gall bladder, I would say that I was having a gall bladder attack - it was dreadful, but the pain would pass. I have headaches on a regular basis, but they increased in frequency (oh, joy!), and my level of fatigue has been off the charts.

I have never been a person who sweats, and I am usually the coldest person in a room, and yet, suddenly, I was hot and sweating - a whole new sensation - and not a pleasant one. The other thing was constipation. This is something that I, as a Celiac, have rarely ever dealt with. But the discomfort from my fibromyalgia and RA did not seem to ease substantially.

With my doctor's agreement, I quit cold turkey on 30 March 2013. More joy! I do not know if any of these things can be attributed to withdrawl from Cymbalta since I have so much else going on, but I have been lightheaded, dizzy, I have difficulty sleeping, I am more emotional than usual, and i have a a constant noise in my ears/brain that reminds me of an old refrigerator running at a fairly high pitch. It is quite annoying as you might guess. I hesitate to drive at times because of all of the things going on, and I make simple errors in daily chores because I cannot seem to follow what I just did or what I know to do next (is this the brain zap that you all are mentioning?).

I want to lie down more than usual - at times it feels necessary to do so. Someone said they wanted to go to sleep until it was all over. I agree. I was only on Cymbalta for 3 months and have been off for 2 weeks. How long will this go on?

This is day 19 of totally being off Cymbalta.

I am still having the side effects of withdrawals.

A bit shaky...when i move my eyes, and/or head, it feels like everything is wavy...being unsteady...crying first thing when waking up...mood swings.

Upside of being off...sweating is not as bad...nightmares almost totally gone...i am able to sleep...legs are not restless much at all...feel like i want to get back into a routine of everyday things.

I want this Cymbalta out of my system...i feel it is still in there, because of what i mentioned above.

I will post in another week to report any changes.

I hope everyone is hanging in there...don't give up...there must eventually be an end to this horror of Cymbalta.

I have been on Chemical coshes of all types since the day I was discharged from army on 17th May 1977, but on duloxetine for 10 years and attempted withdrawal, however every time I actually felt noise and it was excruciating... I decided I am bigger and better than any drug, so came off full cold turkey 4 weeks ago... First 2 weeks were so hard, but I got through them and thought I was over it. Last night I went to a Boxing Evening, and watched non boxers control everything except the actual boxing. I was infuriated that people who had never boxed, or were not good enough to make the grade.

Today due to that I had serious issues and 20 minutes of lucid suicidal thoughts. Luckily as an ex British Champion Boxer and Army Commando, I knew I was to strong mentally to give in. However I just thought it was fair to share this with you all. Other problems not noted is my circulation is all over the place. If I had cash I would take the Drug Companies for every single penny they had!!

I just read thru all the posts. I'm so thankful I found this site because I was on the verge of starting the Cymbalta after 1 month off it. I came off the Cymbalta (after 7-8 yrs) by accident. I broke my ankle and during recovery mistakenly forgot to take the Cymbalta. After a few days w/o it I couldn't understand why I felt so miserable. I thought I had something else wrong with me. Then I thought of my pill boxes and realized the Cymbalta was missing. Well, I did like the fact that I was becoming more alert and feeling once again and since I'd been off it 5 days by then, I decided to see it thru. I too had most of the same side affects. Hearing my eyes move and the ill feeling was the pits.

I felt like I was coming to the end of the tunnel when the other days I started with palpitations, my blood pressure is up and down, and then the dizzy spells started the other day. That led me here. My dr told me to start it again but after reading these posts and realizing it's Cymbalta, I'm seeing this thru. I do not want to go back on this drug and will endure the dizzy spells as best I can. I've gone too far to turn back now. Thank you all for sharing your experiences - I find them encouraging to know I can make it thru this and there is life after Cymbalta and a better one.

Day 20 totally off Cymbalta.

After reading more posts here, I thought I'd post a few more things.

I forgot to list the feeling of noise... everything seems amplified. Very bothersome, I want to cover my ears so I can't hear it.

My blood pressure is up and am having heart palpitations.

This has been a very bad day for me.

Still doing my best to hang in there and not give up. This Cymbalta has eventually got to get out of my system completely.

Had to take Diazepam to stay calm.

I was on cymbalta for a month. After 3 days of being off of it, I am having to go to the bathroom like 10 times a day and feel very nauseated and weak. I just wanna lay down and sleep the horrible icky feeling away. It is insane how bad I feel.

Wow, just spent the morning reading all of these posts. And, I must say that I'm very alarmed. I decided to stop taking Cymbalta, as it was too expensive and after 2 months I didn't think that it made much of a difference in my arthritis pain or depression. I have now been off Cymbalta for 3 weeks, and I decided to google withdrawal symptoms because I started feeling really weird. I have the brain zaps (thanks for describing what these light saber sensations were!), diarrhea, dizziness, nerve tingling, loss of mental focus and major crying jags.

My doctor was actually skeptical about me taking it, and prescribed Prozac in case I decided to go off of it. Well, this morning I actually took her advice and took a Prozac. Hopefully it will help! I know it helped wean me off of Lexapro, but the withdrawal symptoms from that were much different. With Lexapro it was debilitating depression, so that is what I was expecting. I'd much prefer that to worrying if I have lost my mind.

Good luck, everyone. Any comments would be appreciated, but especially encouraging ones.

Phew! I thought I was going bonkers or even dying. I am a 59 year old that had heart surgery in July. Apparently, 75 percent of the people that have heart surgery have what is known as "Cardiac Depression". I had never heard of any such thing, but it would have been nice to have known beforehand, what to look for-- not that I was thinking I was depressed. I had 6 weeks of Cymbalta prescribed for me after a 6 week course of Cipralex. The Cipralex was doing funny things to me and I asked to be taken off. Cymbalta was the next best choice. 6 weeks was plenty, Thank You very much!

I left the rest of the prescription at the clinic...there was no way I was bringing them back home with me. I am making an appointment with an alternative practitioner on Monday morning to see if there is something that can be done with the "brain fart spells, eye and ear imbalances, tummy issues and whatever. Today was day 5...it has to get better!

I had never thought to check online to see if anybody else was having problems "coming down." It helps to know that there are others...not that you would want to wish this on anyone else. Keep looking up, everyone.....it will get better! I promise!

I too am ready to discontinue Cymbalta due to feeling lethargic and over medicated. (The other comments are a little concerning though) initially, my doctor insisted that I take 60mg./day even though I argued the drug was too strong and made me feel emotionally unhinged, physically shaky and unbearably nauseous. We compromised and I worked up to 30mg/day for two years. It worked very well and I actually enjoyed the results but my daughter and husband both commented that I recently seem distracted and lack short term memory. Lol, that's because I'm high on Cymbalta!

I would seek my doctor's help to discontinue but she seems to have gone MIA. A dependable psychiatrist is hard to find in my area. I'm on my third one-they are so flaky, they act more like the patients than the doctors! I do have a backup family doctor who can monitor & prescribe the basics but is not mental health savvy.

This is TMI but for others' benefit...I have PTSD from childhood abuse and neglect. Accepting it's challenges and accepting treatment for it has made a difference in my quality of life. I don't believe in toughing it out anymore. Why struggle and suffer, making life difficult when there's treatment? I can't control the jolt of adrenalin I get from hearing a door slam or fighting back tears constantly because of the numerous triggers in normal everyday life. For me, drug therapy provides a welcome break from anxiety, depressed mood and insomnia. (Although, I find there is not much support for drug therapies from friends and family who can't accept the reality that I suffer from a mental health issue. There seems to be a misperception that " mind over matter" is a treatment plan for PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders...the stigma continues!)

For one month I have taken roughly 15 mg/day, then 15 mg every other day and now every two days. All is well and is very doable at this point. The only minor withdrawal symptoms have been a few headaches, heart palpitations and a few seconds of dizziness today. But, I also take Lamictal which I have increased from 150 mg/day to 250 mg/ day for the palpitations and mood stabilization, Xanax .25 mg/night for insomnia and Advil for the headache.

I highly recommend Lamictal to anyone who needs a new option for depression, anxiety, sleep problems...no libido problems, weight gain, sweats or dry mouth-in my experience.

I had a gastric bypass in 2001 that resulted in damage to the major nerves in my gastro intestinal system. I had radio-frequency lesioning done and with Neurontin, the worst of the pain is being managed well. During all of this I was deeply depressed and added Cymbalta to the Wellbutrin that I was already taking for depression and anxiety. My doctor suggested this drug to help with the nerve pain. I'm not sure how much it really helped.

Now that I'm feeling better emotionally, I am trying to reduce the total number of meds that I take. At my highest dosage, I was taking 30mg of Cymbalta twice a day. I reduced to 30mg just once a day with no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. After several months I tried to take 30mg just every other day but the weird buzzing and zapping was too much, and I was really irritable.

My doctor gave me 20mg tabs and I've been taking those daily for about 2 months now. I was able to reduce to 20mg every other day without any side effects, but have now tried to go off of them completely. It's been 6 days since my last 20mg dose, and I'm struggling. I'm very zappy and my head is constantly buzzing. I feel it from my ears to the back of my head and all the way down the back of my body to my legs.

I truly cannot believe how hard it's been for me to get off this drug due to the side effects. Even after tapering for almost a year, it's still been difficult. I will never take this drug again! I don't think that the benefits for me were worth the trouble I've had with getting off of it completely.

It's been 11 days since I last posted, since then I went to my family doctor for the hives and the anxiety. I told her that I stopped taking the Cymbalta that my psychiatrist prescribed and that I have since cancelled all appointments in the future with him. She gave me a steroid cream to use and it cleared up my skin within 2 days.

I would like to reassure everyone that the withdrawal from Cymbalta DOES indeed go away. But I have to add that the symptoms of your condition (mine being PTSD, Fibromyalgia, and Anxiety Disorder) do come back..... the pain, nightmares, anxiety, ALL OF IT!

My intention is to do my best to not take any medication other than what she prescribes; she has me on Ativan 2mgs at night, and Mirapex (generic) for the RLS. My mind is clear, no more heart palpitations, no more angry outbursts, no more weight gain (I have lost 2.5lbs). My PTSD and Fibromyalgia will eventually fade I hope and pray with, exercise, time, trigger avoidance and the help of my therapy dog.

Hang in there everyone!! The sun does indeed shine again enjoy it while it lasts but look forward to all of your grey depressing days not lasting... nothing in life ever lasts good or bad. Take it all one day at a time, if that isn't doable then take it an hour at a time, minute at a time or just stand still till it passes and you can move forward again.

Author: Laura

Three weeks after quitting Cymbalta cold turkey (I was on it for three months), I can say that I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. I still have moments of light headedness, some brain zaps, soft stools + frequency, noise in my head, and generalized headaches, etc., but even though my medical practitioner said it was weight neutral, I gained ten pounds in the 3 months, and I am happy to report that as of this morning, I have lost those ten pounds. Therefore the light - I will also add that I was taking Cymbalta to help alleviate discomfort from my relatively severe arthritis and fibromyalgia. It did not help me, so I was willing to give it up, and it is very expensive, even with my good insurance.

I just have to say - I feel better today. I'm thinking this is the beginning of the end of the withdrawal - I certainly hope so. And the sun is shining today.

Hi Carrie,

You did not tell how much was the daily dose and how long you were taking.
Good to read your symptoms have eased. Just as a caution, sometimes, the symptoms do turn bad as well after 2-3 weeks, which happened in my case that prompts you to get back on medication.

But if you are committed to leave, stay that way and eventually it goes away. I'm now back normal almost 45 days after leaving dulexetine 30 mg tapering down till 5mg over 2 months.

I do feel weakness and tiredness but I don't blame it on withdrawl symptom for that, it is something to do with my diet and lack of exercise :)

I am scared to death. I am a 49 yr old woman who has Major Depression Disorder, Bi-polar, Panic Attacks, PTSD, and Fibromyalgia. I have been on Cymbalta 60mg daily, Klonopin 1 mg 4 times a day, lamcial 25 mg 2 times a day and Ambiem 10 mg at night. I have been in counseling off and on for the past 15 years. in 2008 Is when I first came down with Fibromyalgia, no one could figure out what was wrong with me and I did not know either. The Rheumatogists that I was seeing had me on additional medications besides what I listed above that I am currently taking, which were Vicodin, Fentenal, Soma and Flexeral. Ya I was a walking pill bottle.

To make a very long story short, I attempted to commit suicide in 2009, but it was not intentional I do not have any memory of swallowing all my meds at once. anyways, I was found (by a stranger) unconscious clinging to life... I was in a coma for 4 days. I was transferred to a psychiatric hospital (sectioned). The psychiatrist did not believe me when I told him what I was taking for prescribed medications (I did not drink or use any other drugs at all!!) When my medications were verified with the pharmacy where they were all filled at one pharmacy, the psychiatrist could not believe it. My medications were immediately changed to the 4 that I listed in the beginning and I have been seeing the same psychiatrist and doing well. (I should also add since 2008 I have not worked).

Well here is my BIG problem, my husband and I divorced in October of 2012. Our divorce agreement was that he keeps me on his medical insurance and I pay him half of his payroll deduction every month which I have done since October. We went through a bitter divorce so we do not have contact with each other, I just mail his check to him every month. I just found out today that he was fired from his job a month ago and I have no medical insurance, (He never told me so I could get prepared) therefore as of today I can no longer fill any of my prescriptions, see my Psychiatrist or my counselor. I can not afford to pay out of pocket for anything, since my divorce I am back home living off of my 81 yr old father and 75 yr old mother.

I have 5 days left of all my medications and then it is "cold turkey withdrawals for me" and reading the affects of stopping these medications abruptly has made me even more scared!!

BR just read your with deep concern.If it was in UK I would advise you to sue your Psychiatrist immediately, However it is what it is!!! My suggestion is simple, when man first came here there were no pharmaceutical companies, making massive money from a Drug which is tested on labrats (US), they then spin a massive web of deceit. No one should ever be given the amount od drugs you have been given. I am now day 28 free and woke up this morning to silence, however Tinnitus returned a few hours ago, go on my website shown, fill in details for me book.... pay nothing I will send it next week. We need to take back control of our lives. For me my Life is to important to give up!

“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” “Maybe if I share the path I walk then a little more of your pain will vanish. I want you to heal, whoever you are. I don't care what pain you've brought the world, I just want yours to subside. No matter what, your path is yours. Do not follow misery or worry. Devote every moment of your life to improving your dreams. Love your world. Cherish the good you do. Let go of hatred. Dream of love.”

BR, If you don't have one yet... I suggest getting a "Walgreens Rx Card" it will cost you about $30 a year but MOST of your medications will be CONSIDERABLY cheaper. I have one and I have no health insurance either.

Also, talk to your psychiatrist and tell him/her your situation and ask that you be considered a special exception and perhaps they will see you free of charge or minimally and give you samples of your meds.

I DESPISE Cymbalta but if it works for you, then that's a GREAT GREAT thing!! My psychiatrist saw me for medication and for 15 minute visits for minimal charge. Perhaps yours will do the same given your history and new situation. Take the money you would have put towards your ex husbands insurance and give it to your psychiatrist... work out a plan with him.

You CANNOT go "cold turkey" if necessary you call the Health Services number in your state and tell them your situation and ask to speak to someone that can sign you up for social services.... most hospitals also have Charity Care (each state may have a different name for it but you CANNOT be denied to be seen and treated. The hospitals will have a social worker also that can help to set you up with some kind of help. DO NOT EVER EVER EVER GIVE UP!!! If I were there with you, I would be on the phone and getting you the assistance you need A.S.A.P.

If you need help, CALL 911 and help will come... but DO NOT go cold turkey with those medications you are taking. I can't stress this enough!! I am not a doctor, I am someone who cares about others and with your history you need help with many things and you're entitled to help.

God Bless You.. you're worth more than you know to many...
DON'T BE SCARED.. BE DETERMINED!! DON'T GIVE UP!!! REMEMBER THAT MOTTO AND REPEAT IT OFTEN!!!!

Author: Laura

This is day 26 without Cymbalta.

I also am very concerned for everyone posting here. It is very scary what the psychiatrists and family Dr's and the pharmaceutical companies have done to us. I say "them", because they are professionals and we trusted them to help us. I wish everyone could ban together and sue the Dr's and pharmaceutical companies. It may not make our individual struggles go away but it surely would make life easier for us.

I never did post a list of all the meds I have been prescribed during my life because it is easier to ask, what have I not been prescribed and taken over the majority of my lifetime.

I have been in therapy since age 16, gone through the talk counseling, meds, even spent time in psychiatric hospital. I suffer from PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder with Psychotic Features, OCD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Fibromyalgia, Chronic pain from multiple surgeries on my neck, back, knees, and pain from head trauma from vehicle accidents, Carpal Tunnel in both hands.

My husband is never going to return, perhaps it is best this way. I stay to myself, but still take care of my two boys... (they are fine)... I have always been compliant with my treatments and the Dr.s, but always felt trapped. I want to feel that I am alive. Stopping Cymbalta has been the most difficult of drug for me to get off of. None of the meds I have ever taken have helped to make my disorders go away, all it did was mask them and make me numb. That is why I will never take them again. I am taking a few that do not make me feel strange... Vicodin, Aleve, for pain, Diazepam... generic for Valium, to help me cope with anxiety, Benadryl, to help me sleep at night, multivitamins and vitamin D-3.

Dr.s have said that my prognosis is poor, that I am severely impaired and disabled by my persistent severe symptoms as I described above, I have been unable to work since 1987, due to the psychiatric illness and physical conditions.

However, I am hanging in there and pray that I will continue to not fall apart. The trauma of abuse that happened to me when I was younger to cause the psych conditions is something I have lived with most of my life, but over the years I have learned how to stay away from most things that could possibly trigger the (re-living) trauma thing. It is only because of the disability from social security which I have been receiving since 1992... without that, I would be forced to be out in the world. I most likely wouldn't make it or be here for much longer if that were the case. I do the best I can with the physical pain and conditions by not giving up and doing as much as I can until my body gives out.

I do believe I am almost free of Cymbalta, I still feel a bit odd when I first wake up feeling deep sadness and towards the end of the day with being able to feel and/or hear my eyes move, but that is slowly going away. All I can say at this point is I pray I do not relapse with suicidal depression. I am enjoying looking out my apartment windows, watching hummingbirds and nature. I do get out and am able to drive when need be, so I suppose it all could be worse.

I am now 53 and have slowly through the years been able to take myself off most of the meds. Cymbalta is the last one I was taking for depression.

I may have lost my mind along the way but I am still here and not giving up. :)

BR, I am very concerned for you! I am no expert but I do some volunteer work where I help women find different types of social assistance in a crisis. Can you call your psychiatrist (and counselor) to explain your situation and request samples of your meds (and treatment) to hold you over until you can get on Medicaid or another insurance plan? Are any of your medications available in generic form that can be filled at Wal-mart for $3.00? (Wal-mart has a list of $3. prescriptions, call the pharmacy for specifics.)

Do any of the drug makers of your meds provide assistance for patients who can not afford their prescriptions? (You can check their web-sites or contact the drug maker for info.) Also, you can contact (by phone or internet) your local Department of Human Services (State or County) for help in accessing "emergency assistance" for living expenses, medications, mental & medical health treatment, disability and state affiliated health insurance. It can be frustrating trying to access the right department and person for the right help, but I would suggest doing it now while you have meds still in your system and can think calmly and clearly. (Make sure to get each person's name and extension number when you call DHS so you can refer back to them if you are shuffled from person to person. Take notes as you speak to them so can also refer back to your notes, in case you get conflicting info. Don't settle for a call back, insist on getting an appointment or insist on you calling them back at a specific time so you don't fall through the cracks.)

Many local churches often have not only food pantries but prescription help available. Some churches have a cash "help fund" for members of the church and the community whom are in serious trouble. If you don't have a church in mind, you can find phone numbers in your local white pages for the local Catholic Charities, the Episcopal Cathedral, or even any popular Mega-church. It might be hard to ask for help but you need it and it's their life's mission so it's a win-win!

Also, since you mentioned it was ordered in your Divorce Decree, can you contact your ex-husband's attorney to have him notified that he is in contempt if he fails to provide your insurance? Maybe your ex is planning on purchasing Cobra insurance (interim insurance when not employed) or has another job lined up and is not being forthcoming. Sometimes if you contact the ex's attorney via email they will forward it to the ex. The ex will get excited when he reads "violation of the court order" or "contempt" then call their attorney about the issue, thus the ex receives the bill for the attorney's time and you've at least taken some action. (If you don't and then end up going back to the court later, the judge might lay some of the blame on you for not coming forward sooner. Of course we all know that most people don't return to the court ASAP because the legal fees.)

Finally, if all else fails there is always the emergency room. As you probably already know they have staff, social workers that can help you access social programs as well. (just request one if need be) Some ER's at religiously affiliated hospitals provide great social service help. (even gas cards so patients in dire straights can get home).

I know state budgets are extremely tight and services have been cut dramatically so you might have to get creative and do all of the above if you can. I hope this info helps. Keep posting so we all can see how things are going!

question, to lost my mind. your at exactly same stage of withdrawal, have you by any chance had hours of clear lucid thoughts, that you feel needs acted on?? Then when you act, as is my want, people suddenly ignore you (even though thoughts are clear) you then go and lick your wounds, and hey presto back come suicidal thoughts. Thank heavens I am aware what is going on!!!!
Once a fighter always a bloody fighter!!!!

To bob c., I have clear lucid thoughts most of the time...actually I am more lucid without the med's...now, how to answer...suddenly people ignoring me...(even though thoughts are clear)...yes it does happen...and yes suicidal thoughts come to mind...I also am a "bloody fighter", (lived in west London) and I just ignore them too. Example, I was at a shop, was having a conversation with a person there, then they just walked away and started talking with someone else, then walked back to me and never continued the subject we were talking about. I thought, what just just happened there?

I feel unsteady going out, but the mask goes on when out and about, time has helped me to cover up the feeling of wanting to scream sometimes. Getting lost in music helps.
Sarah

I have been very pleased with the results while using Cymbalta. I was prescribed it for acute depression and found the symptoms relieved very quickly, however found I began to not care about anything, I did not cry in situations that should have effected me and while I gained a lot of weight I did not care. I did not realize my back pain relief was as a result of being on this product but now I have weaned myself off after 1 year the pain is back.

My mind is vague and I feel dizzy and light headed, not a good feeling but hope with time this will ease. I am beginning to feel more realistically emotional.

I have been very pleased with the outcome because I overcame my suicidal desires; I stopped crying over everything (even though I became the opposite). I was happy and loved that I could laugh again.

Side effects- Low libido, weight increase, bladder control lessened.

Day 30 totally off Cymbalta.

I too thought when first using Cymbalta that I was pleased by how it helped with pain and somewhat, as much as it could work, (better than any other anti depression med) for reducing my depression. But I started to not care either. I would say I was not a zombie from it, like other meds have made me feel, but I just didn't care about anything.

I awoke today feeling light headed. Yesterday I felt irritable and felt the strange sensation of when I moved my eyes and head that I could hear them. Noise sounded very amplified to me, and I felt strange sensations through my body for a moment. Not a good day or evening at all.

I am feeling my feelings again, and I do care about things now. I am slowly starting to feel human again. I am not sweating like I used to. I do have more pain but I would rather take pain meds for that, they do not make me feel horrible with the side effects that Cymbalta gave me.

I would like to know if anyone has been free of Cymbalta long enough to not have anymore withdrawals or side effects lingering in their system. Please post if you are free.
Sarah

Dear Bob C
I appreciate your response... I have had a psychiatrist since 2009 and a counselor... My Psychiatrist is has me on the meds I described in my post. I did see my Psychiatrist once a month for my medications... When I found out my insurance became inactive I called my Psychiatrist's office because I had another monthly appointment scheduled and explained that I no longer had medical insurance or prescription insurance and told my Psychiatrist that I can not afford the cost of the office visit or my prescriptions out of pocket because I am on disability and the response was "OK, I will cancel your appointment." This world is all about money...

Dear LC
Thank you for our concern, Cymbalta there is no generic medication for and is very expensive (I have tried all the other medications that you could try, Cymbalta was my miracle drug for my Fibromylagia)

I have called every insurance company and have spent hours on the phone giving all my personal information out to insurance companies hoping for insurance I can afford... 659.00 per month is my best quote and since my disability check is 1200.00 a month, that's not happening,

This is the best part, I called my psychiatrist because I had my monthly follow up/prescription appointment and explained my loss of insurance and the response was "OK, I will cancel your appointment," and that was it!! It is all about money, Insurance companies, Doctors, and any one that has something to gain... It is not about a person's health anymore...

To BR, I posted earlier about "Connection To Care" that is not for Eli Lilly. It is for another pharmaceutical company Pfizer, they do not have Cymbalta...I apologize for the misinformation.

The phone number for Lilly is: 1-800-545-6962

They have a program called: Lilly Cares Patient Assistance Program.

You can phone them for information on getting free Cymbalta. That is how I have received Cymbalta for about 9 years, when it first came out. My Dr gave me samples until the forms were received by the pharmaceutical assistance program. I have no insurance and could never have been able to afford to buy it from the pharmacy. I also have the same income as do you. I have never paid for Cymbalta. If you choose to continue Cymbalta, they should be able to help you. Until then, please phone your Dr A.S.A.P. and ask for samples with all your med's until the paperwork goes through. Please take the advise from LC, there is help for you. Most pharmaceutical companies have these programs. Your Dr just needs to fill in the paperwork and send a prescription with it, after that they just phone in refills every couple of months with your patient ID number. It is only once a year you must do the paperwork.

I had to leave my usual Dr and have been going to a family clinic. They help too, it is not as nice of atmosphere to be at but you will get help at a very low fee and/or sometimes the fee is waived, at no cost to you, sometimes they may ask you for what ever you can pay. There have been many times I have only paid $1 a visit to see a Dr, many times I paid nothing.

I understand the red tape and all the paperwork is not easy, but if you try to do it without your med's, you will not be thinking clearly. Please don't delay.


Have been tapering off for 17 days now after 4-5 years on daily 60 mgs. Cymbalta. I feel fine. Do titrate, don't go cold turkey. I alternate w half doses of 30mg. and a few zero days interspersed. Ibuprofen may be helping as I took it a few times, but I only felt queezy twice and don't know if it was related. TAPER OFF!

Want to lose the weight I have gained on Cymbalta. Wondering if anyone has had wt loss after being off this SNRI.
Good luck.

I've been taking cymbalta for almost 6 yrs. I am no longer insured so I am weening myself off...I have the brain zaps..bad headaches..blurred vision...very tired..dizziness has stopped..I just wanna cry at times this is very hard..and I'm in class..so I'm fighting this..I will try removing some of the medicine from inside..thx

I was on cymbalta for about a year for pain for my shoulder & neck. Then they realized it was a torn rotator cuff. The dr. said I could get off of it. Gave me 30 mg for a week & said I would be fine. I was on 60 mg. I did as I as told, once I got off & finished the 30 mg for the week, I was sick as you can imagine, my stomach was killing me, diarrhea, headaches. I felt so nauseated & dizzy. It was absolutely miserable. I had never ever had an experience like this with any other meds. It's been 3 weeks, I'm still nauseated, headached & my whole body aches. I've gained weight & have no clue why? I get these hot & cold sensations like hot flashes.

I feel like I'm in out of space. I fly off the handle easy. I'm just tired & feel like I never get enough rest. It's the worse meds I have ever been on. It helped only for pain like fibromyalgia but otherwise I'm still struggling with this after 3 weeks & wondering how long will this take. When will I feel better. They should really tell people to ween off slowly not so suddenly. This is an awful drug.

Instead of lessening my symptoms of fibromyalgia Cymbalta created new ones like muscle twitching in my arms an legs.I never experienced depression but i could feel myself sinking into one and with two young special needs kids i was determined to snap myself right out of it. DO NOT STOP COLD TURKEY!! that is dangerous and putting yourself through a hell you don't know what it will do to you physically or emotionally.

I investigated how to go about getting off it safely.I started with the 60mg i was on an cut that in half to 30mg then since there are no capsules in lower doses i took the capsule an lightly twisted it to open it up and poured the beads in a empty pill bottle .I started out taking half of the 30mg portion each night then tapering off each day then took it every other day until i had nothing left.I talked to my doctor about it an he was ok with this.

He gave me a one-time script for anxiety medication in case my anxiety attacks were triggered again. The only natural way to truly prevent anxiety is to talk to someone you consider a safe person and i had that with my support group i have been attending. and this 12 step christ based program not just for addictions but for people like you an me with hurts physical an emotional,hangups and issues we have buried or denied existed like you have too much pride,have a codependent or critical behavior,suffer anxiety attacks like me,depression, ,and habits that don't need to be addictions can be those who over eat,sinful nature or behavior,critical of others or suffer from stinkin thinkin of one self or others which believe it can destroy lives.I have attended two years now an dealt with past sexual abuse,verbal abuse,rape,grief from losing two babies whose hearts stopped in my second trimester,the uneventful an traumatic births of my two other children and their dx. of autism,supressing all of this created codependent behavior an eventually bubbled to the surface in the form of anxiety attacks an bowel disorders like ibs an stomach ulcers.

stress left long enough denied long enough can kill you.I was determined not to be a stat or let my kids see me have another anxiety attack.so i started the scary process of looking at the good,bad and ugly parts of my past an dealing with present issues.this is how i got courage to stop taking cymbalta and not letting the fear of the horrible side affects an not letting them scare me into an anxiety attack or returning to taking the cymbalta to feel better.


I didn't give in.I prayed alot ,started to practice deep breaths filling up my tummy not my chest the common mistake we make that causes us to hyperventilate making the anxiety worse so i practiced this when i wasn't anxious so when i was it felt more natural to do out of habit.also i forced myself to eat regular meals this lessened the anxiety,I took multivitamins high in vitamin b6,b12 and D.remember D is the feel good vitamin we get from the sun.and i took and still take omega 3 stay calm and fish oil suppliments for my chronic pain an anxiety.I took ginko biobla for cognitive foggyness an brain zaps but it didn't help the brainzaps.(brain zaps sound like the crack sound when you quickly touch two live wires i noticed them more at night when you lay down an almost asleep)not fun.Then the dizziness was like you have a bad sinus infection like when your equalibrium is off and you get stomach sick from it.almost like vertigo except you don't need to move or move your head in any direction just looking left to right triggers it even slightly.

all of these symptoms don't come at once but can last all day like the dizziness so when you decide to taper off this drug tell your family so you have help with the kids,have help if you need it cause you'll feel like crap atleast 2 weeks so work is out,so is driving when your at your dizziest days,you will feel agitated easily irritated so childcare help is essential because you will need a break to lay down to be alone to collect yourself,go for walks if your physically able to walk off the irritable feeling.journal your symptoms everyday for your own account an your doctors.you will notice the symptoms tapering off slowly as each day goes by.don't give up it gets easier.

the last few days since i have stopped all together taking anything i have felt more energy,no symptoms and today i had another headache not sure if it is from the withdrawal since i also had a migraine while i was tapering off, an a little dizziness.But disciplining myself to go to bed at a sensible hour instead of up late on the computer,eating even when i feel nausaus an taking gravol when i feel nausea,continuing to go to my 12 step support group called Celebrate Recovery which by the way is a international program,it's free, for anyone in the community or city you live in,doesn't matter what denomination you are even if you don't attend church you are welcome and nothing is pushed on you,you don't even have to share anything you are not comfortable sharing you can just go an listen to other peoples answers,experiences an stories and feel comfort in that until you start to feel the safeness the strict guidelines they keep that ensures you feel the safe environment to share you hurts hangups an habits and after time you will feel freedom from all the junk you buried an are struggling with,learn coping mechanisms to create a healthier attitude an lifestyle an recover from all that you struggle or hurt from.

If you are interested an live in Canada go to www.celebrate.ca if you live in the USA or other countries go to www.celebraterecovery.com for more info an locations of a group in your area.no need to suffer in silence.deal with the root of your issues an you won't need to depend on antidepressants for your life issues and you'll feel better i wish i had found Celebrate Recovery before I started on this antidepressant roller coaster years ago but i am grateful that i have had atleast 2 years now better late than never. Remember "Nothing great happens when you hold back!"

I found it easy to get off Cymbalta by switching to Celexa first, no problem making the switch with no taper or anything.

The Celexa can be broken in half then broken again so you take such a small amount toward the end of the taper.

I would never have tried to get off cymbalta because of the timed release capsules with the little balls making it impossible to taper.

I was on cymbalta for herniated back disc issues for about a year. I weaned myself off of the drug over a period of about 5 weeks. I started to feel very fatigued, lethargic, stomach issues and overall pain in every joint in my body. Doesn't seem to want to go away. It's been a couple of months....still feel very tired with pain in all my joints from my fingers to my knees.
HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD REALLY BAD JOINT PAIN ISSUES AFTER STOPPING CYMBALTA??

Yes, Yes and Yes!!!! I am 36 days totally without Cymbalta. I am still having strange sensations going on and my body pain is way up, to say the least. Cymbalta helped with Fibromyalgia and the body pain for a few years, (I started Cymbalta when it first hit the Dr's office) but since and even when I was tapering down, I have been in much pain. I thought 36 days off of Cymbalta I would feel better by now. I don't understand how a medication can still be in a persons system this long after stopping it. I do regret ever agreeing to take this medication!
Sarah

I have had great success with Cymbalta. I get the drug from my psychiatrist free because I have a limited income. I am very well-educated and am a nurse. I stopped because I simply did not have the time to drive over an hour to get the med and thought a few days I would be ok.

The first day was fine, the weekend was sheer hell. I experienced auditory hallucinations in my head that felt and sounded like a " duck call", I had extreme vertigo, nausea and deep depression. I have a history of self harm and was constantly barraged by the need to cut myself, which I was still rational enough not to do, but it would have been so easy. I rationally knew that this was because I abruptly went off the med I need.

My son is going to get my med now. I now know I need this med just as a diabetic needs insulin. As a nurse with 20+ years, and a degree also in psychology I feel a complete and utter fool thinking that I could be fine for a few days. Will never do this again.

If you do decide with your physician to stop this med, so yourself a favor and wean off. This is not a drug to stop cold turkey. The brain that needs the Serotonin notes the lack of it very quickly. I can tell you it is not pleasant, for me who is normally a calm and very intelligent person thought that I was absolutely losing my mind. I feel so stupid for thinking that because I could understand the physiology of the problem I could cope. I was wrong. I also have fibromyalgia which the happy effect of Cymbalta decreased my pain significantly. This is an excellent drug when used correctly.

I ran out of my Cymbalta prescription about two weeks ago. I have been experiencing the "brain zaps" (and am so glad to know this is a real thing others have experiences), crying jags and overall malaise/fatigue. I also notice increased muscle pain from my fibromyalgia.

At the same time, I think I am actually feeling better in a strange way--less emotionally flat and more hopeful in general.

My question for others is whether now that I've gone cold turkey, these withdrawal side effects will abate eventually or if it's better to go back on and step down gradually as others have descibed. Any opinions and experiences would be appreciated.

I tapered down for 6 months, taking out a few of those little balls inside. When half of the capsule was gone I decided to stop Cymbalta, cold turkey on a dose of 30mg from 60mg. I now wish that I had slowly continued tapering down because I am now 39 days clear of no Cymbalta and I am still feeling the side effects of coming off it. I have heard that some medications stay in your system for up to 6 months. Don't know if this is a fact.

I have increase muscle pain from not having Cymbalta, but after 9 years of taking it, my body must have started to get a sort of immune thing going on, because after the first year or two of being on 60mg it seemed to work very well, but then I noticed I was turning into a person that did not seem to have emotions like I did before. Now I am feeling again emotionally and physically. I have chose to not take Cymbalta or go back on it ever! It is not good for our bodies. Too many damaging things can happen to a person taking it long term.

It is your choice to take or not take. I don't like that my Fibromyalgia is worse now that I don't take Cymbalta, but I had to out weigh which is worse, Cymbalta in my body or take something else to help with pain. I am taking a closer look at all the medications I am prescribed and researching them all to find out if I need to find alternative ways to help with what I am taking each medication for. Dr's don't tell us everything about what the med's do to us, so we need to take a very close look at whatever we put into our bodies.

I will never take anything ever again without researching the medication thoroughly. I definitely will never take a new medication that has just come out, until years after it has been studied and we know all of the side effects and harm it can do.

I am still wondering how much longer I will feel the effects of the Cymbalta being in my body. I do feel better since the beginning of stopping, but like I said, I still feel strange sensations that I did not feel before stopping. To me, Cymbalta has been a nightmare!
Best to you on what you choose to do.
Sarah

Hi JLS,

If you are already away from the medicine for 2 weeks and are able to cope up with the symptoms, I strongly suggest NOT to go back.

Since now that you know what to expect, it will be easier for you top manage with this.

Be watchful of the symptoms coming back for which you started the whole treatment and treat those separately with an alternative medicine.

All the best.

I was prescribed Cymbalta several months ago for nerve pain associated with herniated discs. The initial dose of 60 mg. did nothing so the dose was increased to 90 mg. a day. After taking that for two months with no pain relief, the doctor reduced it 30 mg. because I had also been experiencing severe insomnia. I told the doctor I was going to get myself off the medication.

I started by continuing to take it as prescribed while I read comments about withdrawal on different websites. After a couple of weeks of research, I reduced it to every other day for a month. I am now taking it every two days, but the brain zaps are more frequent. I will stay on this dose for another month and try another reduction. I'm afraid it's going to take a very long time to finally be clear of this drug. It should be a warning to everyone who watches the tv commercial when the list of side effects takes longer than describing the benefits.

I agree with Jill. Her experience mirrors mine. Given Cymbalta for Osteo for knee pain for 3 months. It worked like charm coupled with an anti inflammatory med for first 2 months but at 3 month knee pain crept back in to original strength. So I'm out of Cymbalta and been off it more than month. Had some symptoms ( irritable, dizzy, crying, BP effect, back pain, itchy, brain zaps) but in the last week I feel better and I am taking Fish Oil. I recognize it may take time to move through fog of the drug but I'd rather fight the knee pain head on then take that stuff again. For me answer came when doctor prescribing said he had never taken it and did not know if he would- you have make call for yourself.

My doctor prescribed Cymbalta for fibromyalgia pain. It was almost $200 for a three week supply. It did nothing at all for my pain and gave me hand tremors and severe, uncontrollable diarrhea. On Cymbalta, all I could do was sleep, but the sleep was not refreshing. I was not depressed before taking the medicine, but shortly after I started taking it, I kept envisioning myself jumping off buildings, driving my car into walls, jumping off bridges, hanging myself, stabbing myself. I had never had these kinds of thoughts before and they disturbed me greatly.

The doctor agreed that this was not a good medicine for me. Since I still had two pills left, she told me to skip a day, take a pill, skip a day, then take the final one. Because I was on 30 mg a day (the lowest dosage) and because I hadn't been on the medicine very long, the doctor told me there would be no problem stopping the medicine.

However, what I read online said that taking the medicine every other day was the worst possible way to stop; it was like going cold turkey, re-starting the meds, and then going cold turkey again.

So I just quit taking it. What difference would it make, since I only had two pills left anyway? How bad could it be? Unfortunately, I would find out.

This past week has been a hellish nightmare. It has been seven days that feels like forever. For me, withdrawal symptoms have been:

Weeping, absolutely uncontrollable and unprovoked weeping and sobbing.
Irritability. My poor family!
Rages, completely out of the blue.
Nausea. Oh, the nausea and vomiting.

My head feels as if it will split in two. Actually, it would feel better if it would just go ahead and split and get it over with. The pressure in my head is intense; the pain is focused mainly in my forehead and I cannot explain how badly it hurts.

I have pain and a loud buzzing in my ears.
Itching all over that drives me insane. I have scratched myself bloody. It feels as if there are things crawling on my skin. Or under it.
Sometimes I see things crawling, out of the corner of my eye, scurrying away when I look directly. (In other words, hallucinations. Some people take drugs to hallucinate on purpose? I cannot understand that. It is a nightmare.)

I am experiencing paranoia; I feel as if people are watching me all the time, looking at me, judging me, out to get me. I can not look people in the eye.

Everything is turned up too much: lights are painfully too bright, sounds are too loud, smells are too strong. I spend the better part of my waking hours with my hand over my face, trying to block out some of the sensations.

I have been sleeping about 18 hours a day, which is my only escape from this misery.

I certainly hope things go back to normal soon, because I cannot take much more of this. And if I cannot get back to work soon, I will lose my job.

I had to stop taking Cymbalta because I became unemployed and couldn't afford the drug without insurance. I knew I was going to run out so I started to wean myself off, the withdraw is hell. I have been taking Cymbalta for fibromyalgia along with Celebrex and all was good, together these two drugs made things better for me.

I am crying all the time, my temper is very short, and I am angry all the time. How long will this continue?

I was given Cymbalta for my fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety. It worked... my pain was almost gone and I was feeling great. I went to fill my prescription and my insurance requires a pre-authorization. It's now been 13 days and I'm still waiting. In the meantime I've run out of the medicine and cannot get the Dr. office to call me back. I needed to at least get samples to carry me thru.

I just called the insurance and now they're telling me it was denied because they don't see in my medical records where in the last 90 days I have tried this whole other list of medicines. REALLY???? Why is it up to insurance? I work for the dang insurance company... have had this insurance for 22 yrs now... and have used it about once or twice a year during that time. What a rip off... I have paid enough premiums over the last 22 years and they have spent nothing on me so now they're gonna complain about how much 1 medicine cost? I take no other medicine... jeez. I hate them right now.

I'm in the midst of crisis here but they could care less. I'm having horrible withdrawal effects... crying non stop, sick to my stomach, depressed, can't sleep....this is pathetic. I think I'd rather be dead!!! I guess in reading all the above I should just move on and forget it... since I'm 1/2 way thru the withdrawal....if I live long enough.

3 days ago I was ready to die... but since my grandsons father committed suicide when my grandson was 3 yrs old I am able to talk myself out of making him go thru that horrible pain once again. I HATE INSURANCE COMPANIES! they have no idea what they do to people... and I know personally... most of them do not care... at least the 1 I work for... everyone is just an ID#... not a human.

Cymbalta, been weaned up to 60mg in the last 2 weeks as I have been weaned off of non-working Lexapro. It works great and I feel wonderful EXCEPT I am in the bathroom at least 3 times an hour 'round the clock, and am now wearing adult diapers.

If only I had found this web site sooner . . . My side effects were masked by dental surgery and liquid diet . . . now I know.
And I know why MD is not fast to return calls.

There must be a solution out there for us. Any one reviewed Herbal/Oriental Medicine?

Need to wean off this without getting on something else and go back to meditation, massage, and acupuncture.

I am on day 2 of being off Cymbalta. First day was fine but now am dizzy, have diarrhea and feeling very spacey and tired. Was put on Cymbalta 30mg then 60mg for pain one year ago. It took away the pain but I noticed after being on the drug for 2 months that I was craving alcohol and I was not much of a drinker before taking the drug. This is my second go at getting of the drug and the side-effects are nasty!!

Since weaning down to 30mg one month ago I have noticed that I no longer crave alcohol. I don't ever want to go back on this drug and will suffer through the withdrawals as best I can unless they interfere with work. Don't want to go on any other drug to help with the withdrawal symptoms unless I absolutely have to.

I am only now realizing that all the medical complaints and complications I have experienced over the past 4 years are likely the result of taking Cymbalta 60 mgs which my GP put me on for Fibromyalgia. He will soon learn that this drug almost cost me my life.

I am now trying to wean myself off Cymbalta - with great difficulty. I first developed Fibromyalgia, then Systemic Lupus. Since being put on Cymbalta 4 years ago I have experienced hives on a regular basis. Some mornings I wake up with a face that looks like I have measles. Terrible itching. This progressed to allergic reactions to 4 groups of antibiotics.

I have had an untreated ear infection for 2 years because after taking the first antibiotic pill (Aug 1, 2011) I almost died of anaphylactic shock. Hospitalized for 2 days after being unconscious with blood pressure of 50/30. Strangely I had taken this same antibiotic (Avalox) before being put on Cymbalta - with no problems.

Cymbalta helped a lot with fibro pain -at first. But after about 1 year of taking this drug my health declined and continued to decline to the point that I am now stuck in my home, on Long Term Disability, and cannot function at all.

While I cannot blame Cymbalta for ALL my medical problems, I can blame it for damage to my liver, severe diarrhea, worsening of depression, a growing number of substances to which I am allergic, including eggs, headaches, nausea and loss of appetite. The debilitating fatigue has caused me to become deconditioned to the point that just walking my dogs a short distance is difficult. Can only function for about 2 hours before crashing. Severe short term memory loss. Incredible sweating.

Why were there no long term studies done on this drug before it was approved? Some health authority needs to develop a protocol for helping patients to get off Cymbalta. I am at the end of my rope... and I am still taking 60 mgs, but now only every second day. I will advocate with Health Canada to read these posts and to mail warnings to doctors across the country. Prescribe Cymbalta at your peril! The initial pain relief is not worth the long term side effects and the nightmare of withdrawal.

I've been on a number of meds for anxiety/depression over the passed 5 years and it's interesting to read that Cymbalta hasn't worked with most people.

Pristiq was the worst experience for me, as I would start feeling withdrawal symptoms hours after a missed dose whereas it wasn't as bad with Cymbalta.

I've been off Cymbalta for only one day and judging by all these other posts am not too excited about what's about to come. My doctor suggested to wean off the drug by dropping from the original 60mg dose I was taking to 30mg for 2 weeks and then to stop altogether for another 2 weeks.

Since dropping to the 30 mg and stopping altogether I've defenitely noticed a change in mood. Very irritable and emotional such as crying fests over the smallest things. I've also had indigestion, the "eye jolting", headaches, sensitivity to light, and feeling more fatigue.

I guess the only upside to this is my libido has certainly gone up! :-P

Someone is screaming inside my head right now, and I'm trembling inside. I try to meditate, homeopathic meds help, camamilla, rhu tox. (Check out ABC homeopathy's remedy finder) I am allergic to Cymbalta and am terrified of not being able to take something for the depression I have suffered from for more than 40 years.

There is no one to turn to, not sure anyone cares. I's so scared.

maggie

I am 54 days totally off Cymbalta as of today.

I feel so very much better, it's like night and day.
The withdrawals and side effects were very bad and difficult to go through, but I have that poison out of my body and I will never take it again.

Yes, it is a nightmare to go through, but you can make it. Don't give up.

I am feeling better, no depression, but I have to take Vicodin for pain. I would rather take that than Cymbalta. If I ever find a natural way to take something non-narcotic I will, but the Vicodin and Diazepam for anxiety are helping very much.

I can finally say that, for me, the nightmare of Cymbalta is over forever!!

Best to everyone posting.
Sarah

I have been taking Cymbalta for more than 7 years and it did wonders for my depression and my suicidal thoughts and it let me sleep because it took away the dreams that had been so real I would awaken feeling like I had fought a battle. It's no longer working for me and my doctor is weaning me off of Cymbalta and starting me on a new medicine that will increase as the Cymbalta decreases. I hadn't realized that while taking Cymbalta I was having so many of the side effects!! mainly the hot flashes that were continuous and as it stopped working for me the sleeplessness.

If I forget to take my medication I get light headed, numb lips, dizziness, and many other symptoms. Of all the side effects I think the worst of them was the dry mouth (I have heart failure and so I was constantly drinking which kept me swollen) and the hot flashes; I don't know how many times I was tested for pre-menopausal which always came back negative. This site has helped because I know now that I wasn't just being a hypochondriac but the doctors don't realize how severe the side effects are. The new medication I'm told has very few side effects if any and is much better for my heart.

Hi Everyone!

It's so heartbreaking to read all of your stories. Please know there are others going through this with you. I am writing in hopes someone has some suggestions for me too.

I have taken Cymbalta for several years and it worked well for me (acute depression and pre-fibro) and had no significant side effects. Recently, my %$@#! insurance company decided to stop covering my Cymbalta. What exactly do they expect us to do when there is no generic and no alternative? And, according to other websites I've read, although the patent for Cymbalta expires this summer, the mfg is applying for an extension. That means no generic and still no insurance coverage for us. WTH? My doctor says if a generic doesnt come out soon, I will have to be weaned off of Cymbalta and onto something else and I am scared to death.

Don't get me wrong...my doctor has been wonderful about giving me samples (If you haven't asked you doctor for samples, you really should...the good guys will fix you up!) and even directed me to the free 30 day coupon website and wrote me a prescription especially for that. Unfortunately, I ran out this week on Tuesday and when I called my dr's office to get some samples, I was told they are off for the holiday week. It's my fault for waiting until I was out to call him :( But now I've been 3+ days without my 60mg dosage and am sliding into those bad side-effects of withdrawal. Does anyone know of anything I can take until my doctor gets back in the office on Tuesday? I'm afraid by then, I will be sick as a dog. I tried taking a Xanax last night just to help offset the anxiety but I can't do that every day. I work in a high stress job and need to be sharp.

Thanks!

Hi Your story I took to heart.
I have been on cymbolta for 5 years the dose was 120mg. My doctor has taken me down to 90mg for three weeks and now has said that I have to come off it by taking 60gm for one week and then 30gm for another week and then finish altogether.

I have all the horrible side effects you stated and I am only up to week one. I though it would be impossible to sweat as much as I am at night, needing up to three showers a night and know sleep. I can not think straight and are so worried of how worse it is going to get.

The most frighting thing is I am a single mum that has two boys with Autism that at times can be quiet hard to handle.

I've been taking 60mg of cymbalta for about 6 years now and recently decided to get off of it. My doctor weaned me off of it slowly over the past 3 months, and I took my last pill of 20mg two days ago.

I have gone through heavy withdrawal before when I temporarily ran out of pills years ago, but now I'm facing it again, though not cold turkey. Even though my doctor assured me going off of it slowly would eliminate the symptoms, it has not. I'm having the horrible brain shocks, feeling of confusion and flu like symptoms among strong mood swings, inability to sleep and horrible nightmares.

Oddly enough, my libido has also gone up a huge amount, which combined with the previously mentioned symptoms can be both confusing and frustrating.

While its comforting to know others have also gone through this, I would like to know if others who have weaned off of it very slowly have had the same rough symptoms.

-A

I will share my experience, too.

I made the mistake of asking to be put on Cymbalta. Someone told me they were on it for MS but that it was also an antidepressant. Since my current antidepressant was no longer helping, I asked a psychiatrist for it, despite being on the "no pay" end of sliding scale due to such low income. This meant having to get it through Lilly's patient assistance program, which meant periodic interruptions in dosage due to waiting on paperwork to process every year when reapplying + the mental health facility not always having samples.

I was on 60 mg daily. Right now I am about 2-1/2 weeks off the drug, waiting on paperwork to process again. Fortunately, the worst of my physical withdrawal scenario occurred during 4 days when I was scheduled to be off work - the queasiness, needing the stay in bed, difficulty going to sleep because of disturbing dreams as soon as I'd drop off - and just feeling bad all over. I also had a few "brain zaps". I had to go back to work about the time the vertigo kicked in, but it must not have been quite as bad in my case because I was able to muddle through.

Now I feel like I'm in the worst part of all. My depression is coming back, roaring back with a vengeance. Rages, suicidal thoughts, inability to sleep deeply, crying for no reason - all symptoms I have when I'm not on a medicine of some kind. The only thing that never changes for me whether I'm on a med or not is a lack of motivation and constant exhaustion... anyway, I think I'm going to tell my mental health place to forget the Cymbalta.

I've been off it this long and figure I might as well stay off it. I've already gone through all this withdrawal crap and there's the danger I'll have to go back through it again the next time I have trouble getting the drug. I have to find something I can afford to buy myself so that I can stay on it and not go through these withdrawals. I never had such WD's when I quit Prozac or Zoloft (they had stopped helping).

The thing I fear most is my mood. I have to deal with the public in my job and I'm afraid I'm going to go off on them or my co-workers. Anyway, if this drug is going to stay on the market Lilly needs to make a taper protocol with different strengths. Apparently 30 mg at a time is too fast an adjustment and going from 30 to 0 is too big a drop.

Been off my Cymbalta for four days. The brain zaps are no joke. I am going through hell. Lips feel numb and tingling and I am nausea. I did not know a antidepressant could give you withdrawals. I have a good friend that said to look on the Internet. So here I am. I also am getting angry real easy like I am going to snap angry. I just really wish someone would have told me this could happen. When I think of withdrawal I think of pain medication not antidepressants. So if you are reading this PLEASE know you can have severe withdrawal.

I took cymbalta for three years for severe depression. I felt it was time to go off it. I have now tried twice to go off it. The first time, the Dr. dropped me from 60 mg to 30 mg to try to ween me off it. Within 24 hours, I had such severe pain in my neck I couldn't stand it. By 36 hours of the lower dosage the pain was shooting from my neck down my right arm and up into my head.

The Dr. diagnosed me with a pinched nerve in my neck because of cymbalta withdrawals. As soon as he upped my dosage back up to 60 mg the pain went away. After a few weeks we decided to try again... this time more slowly. So, I did 60mg to two days... 30mg for one day... and so on for two weeks. Than started doing 60mg one day, 30mg the next. I managed to ween myself down to 30mg with very few problems.... just a lot of irritability.

Trying to ween myself off of the 30mg has been pure hell. As soon as I started doing 30mg one day, none the next... then back to 30mg... the hell started. Severe fatigue, severe irritability, body aches, chills one minute, hot flashes the next, diarrhea, vomiting, severe headache, neck pain, crying for no reason. It has been unbelievable.

I have done what they said and am weening myself off slowly... it took about 5-6 weeks for me to get down to the 30mg, can't go much more slowly than that. I want everyone to know my story... DON'T GO ON THIS MEDICATION!!!! IT IS AWFUL TO GO OFF OF~!!!!!

My son no longer has health health ins and ran out of cymbalta. Stopped and is experiencing withdrawal. What are those without ins supposed to do?

Wow.....I am scared to quit.....but now I want off........how are you doing now?

I've been taking cymbalta for about 3 years for my fibro/chronic fatigue. I developed severe nighttime problems. Crazy dreams that I acted out. Talking, moving, screaming. I would wake up exhausted. My doctor finally told me two weeks ago to slowly stop taking it. I feel like I'm going crazy. I have the brain zings, dizziness, tears, unable to think clearly. I just found out today from others online that i'm not the only one. I will never use anti depressants ever again.

I've been off Cymbalta for almost two months now, after having taken it for only three, and I can say that I think I am back to "normal," so hang in there and do discuss this with your medical practitioners, too. They cannot be expected to know everything or how you might react to a medication.

I've been on Cymbalta and Gabapentin for the last year to provide relief from fibromyalgia pain. I feel lucky that the combo has worked well for me and has restored a quality of life I had been missing. I'm getting extremely frustrated and irritated with my pharmacy though (through Kaiser) as the Northern CA region doesn't stock an ample supply of Cymbalta and it is constantly an issue to get a prescription refilled and can take weeks before I have a full refill.

I get 90 pills at a time and take 3 at night. That's one month. I have to start refilling my prescription 3 weeks out. This time, I started that process and haven't had any Cymbalta for the last week because my refill has been held up somewhere. I basically quit Cymbalta cold one day while waiting for a refill and am now feeling the effects.

I have become so utterly tired I can do nothing but sleep (which isn't good for my job or as a mom of a 2 year old and a 4 1/2 year old), I'm super irritable, having panic/anxiety attacks. Basically the whole list above. My anger is really directed at the pharmacy right now for allowing this happen (despite phone calls from me asking what the status was). After it is finally refilled, then I'll have to adjust to taking it again. I feel like I'm at a complete loss and totally helpless in getting back to normal while I wait for a refill.

Guys, don't panic by reading all these experiences. Yes, it is indeed difficult withdrawal symptoms. But understand that those having problems only hit internet and express their concerns on this site. There are many others (I believe) who may not have experienced any significant issues and may not be even aware of this site.

If you are having this drug and trying to leave, make it very slowly, have patience and faith and your symptoms may not last beyond 3-6 months!

I've been all through this and what I've found is while tapering down, doing 30 one day and doing none the other day is not a good idea. Whenever possible, try to break the tablet in half or through half of the contents from a capsule and take the same dose, say 15 mg, every day.

Your body may not tolerate high dose on a day and nothing on the other day. This would create a lot of chemical imbalance in your body adding to more symptoms.

OMG, I have had those same symptoms for about 10 days now - I stopped taking my Cymbalta, as I had lost my health insurance. This is my story -I have been on Cymbalta 60 mg for about 2 years. It was prescribed after my combination Welbutrin and Zoloft seemed to have stopped working. It seemed to be different for awhile, but I never really felt right and was tired, unmotivated and my what I call adult ADD symptoms never got better - I always found myself in the same situations over and over again because I could not focus, concentrate or motivate myself. No one would ever have guessed this about me, I seemed happy. I came to realize that not only had the Cymbalta increased my blood pressure for which I was prescribed another drug, my symptoms were never addressed or my medications really managed by my doctor - he just kept prescribing them as long as my lab tests were OK.

When I lost my health insurance, affording the Cymbalta became more difficult - almost 300.00 per month. Thinking that it had not really helped me and that I would rather spend the money on my health than my questionable need for Cymbalta, I stopped it - that was 2 weeks ago. I am having it refilled immediately and start tapering as suggested by taking out some of the pellets.

The whoosh, whoosh, whoosh in my ears (which I could created on demand by rolling my eyes, was diagnosed as an inner ear infection - even after I told my doctor about stopping the Cymbalta - this is scary.

I have been on 60 mgs of Cymbalta for as long as I can remember after my son was born in 2003. I gained 40 pounds that I have not been able to lose. My libido has suffered greatly. I finally decided to wean myself off of this horrible drug. Went from 60mgs to 30mgs and it wasn't so bad. I went cold turkey off of the 30mgs on May 1, 2013. Today is June 6th and I am STILL experiencing horrible side effects of the withdrawal. Loud brain zaps and ringing in my ears, so bad I cannot even fall asleep. The worst nausea and stomach pain I have ever felt. I am exhausted, cranky, weepy and easily angered.

5 weeks and I still feel just as bad as I did during the first week. When will ALL of this medicine be out of my system? When will I start feeling better? I am so frustrated. I went to see my Internist on Monday and she asked if I just wanted to go back on Cymbalta---uhhh, NOOOO! I want it out of my system forever!! I want to laugh again. I want to enjoy eating. I want to lust after my husband. Right now, I just want to leave work, crawl in the bed and never get out. Crying and nauseated...I'm 49. I want my life back!!!!

Hi jt and SHEL,
Don't be worried. You will be out of this soon. From majority of the experiences on this site and with my own experience, moving from 60 to 30 was not a problem for many but then doing 30 alternate day broke lose the hell for many.

Read my experience on Kiran | March 8, 2013 1:08 AM | Reply

I wish I could have given more time for each reduction. You may feel tempted to get rid of the medicine faster but hold on. It's not worth the withdrawal symptoms that you would face.

You can also take Vitamin B12 supplement (Daily dose of 750 or 1500mcg) during tapering, if its available OTC, or request presc from your dr. This is a Nerve tonic and will help some relieve of the irritations and symptoms.

We patients have had to agree that the doctors had no clue about the withdrawal symptoms that we had faced, neither the manufacturer educated them on these or we have to say even mfr is also unaware. But we as a community, will help each other.

Oh my! Finally I am not going crazy! I was on cymbalta for just 6 weeks, when I decided to wean myself off because of the crazy side effects. It took another 6 weeks to wean off. I have been completely off of it for about 2 months and my joints hurt like I am crippled with arthritis!
My fingers/hands, elbows, hips, knees and feet. I think others think I am going crazy or some type of hypocondriac!

I am hoping TIME is what we need for this drug to get out of our system.

I have thought about doing a detox to see if that helps. I doubled my water intake, I am active but its hard to be as active as I want to be because of the joint pain. WE can't let this drug win...that's for sure!
Good luck to you!

After almost eight years on cymbalta, it had lost the effectiveness. My Dr. added lyrica to help with fibro. Soon after, I started to have a deep depression and wanted to end the pain that I have lived with for so long. Pain can not be seen so my family is not very helpful or understanding of my limitations. The stress of life was so great, that I attempted suicide. I was Baker acted and put in the hospital for four days.

At that point, no more meds! The symptoms are what everyone has described. I feel alone and lost in my own brain fog hell. Not one of my family has a clue what a nightmare this is. I do not blame my Dr. Just my uncaring family who just do not get what over all pain for years can do to the quality of life. My mental state is a direct result of years of fibromyalgia, neck fusion and physical labor.

FOUR WEEKS off of cymbalta and things are still bad. Took 30 mg for a year, tapered by opening the pills and removing half, then half etc etc. As soon as i was down to 5 beads, the symptoms began. After 4 weeks the brain zaps have lessened, but i am still very dizzy, nauseous, and have bad headaches. The anger I felt at first has subsided, but I am afraid I will never get back to "normal." trying to get a call through to my "pain management" doctor is useless, and really, when I did see him last week, he had the usual look that doctors give you when you explain withdrawal from anti-D's. And I find that scarey and unacceptable....these folks need to do some research and give this experience some time and thought.

I'm doing all the right things, taking care of myself, taking fish oil, vitamins, staying hydrated....but nothing seems to really help.
:(

Swanie, you are such an inspiration. I wish I can communicate with you more. I have been off Cymbalta for about three months. I am still having problems sleeping. I wake with severe pain all over my body.

I, like the rest of you am trying to get off of CYMBALTA. I have been taking it for approximately 3 months, which I feel is a relatively short period. For those of you who have succeeded in cessation of CYMBALTA I am happy for you.

I was prescribed CYMBALTA 60mg/day for nerve pain in my feet that intensified after quitting (pretty much cold turkey), prescribed OXYCONTIN for neck pain after a cervical fusion that didn't go as expected.

Both medications were prescribed by my pain management doctor. I also take 3600mg/day of NEURONTIN and 3 to 5, 5mg PERCOCET each day as needed, also prescribed by my pain management dr.

I told my pain management dr. during my May 2013 appointment that I had kicked the OXYCONTIN, but my feet had this really aggravating sort of creepy-crawly burning feeling all the time. He prescribed the CYMBALTA to help with the foot pain. After about 12 weeks of CYMBALTA my feet weren't much better so I decided to quit taking the CYMBALTA as well.

I'm currently on day 6. To say the least I am miserable. Thankfully I have an understanding wife and family. We've researched the withdrawal as much as we can and expect some irritability but I pray to remain respectful to them and everybody else. (pain management dr. said nothing about withdrawal when prescribed, perhaps he doesn't know)

The affects of the OXYCONTIN withdrawal for me were relatively mild compared to the withdrawal affects I am feeling from the CYMBALTA which are essentially the same as everybody else has described on this post. The ringing in the ears, brain zaps, lack of concentration, etc. are horrible. I'm not sure I can do this one cold turkey or not, kind of sounds like I should try the removal of some of the pellets from the capsule to get through it but I keep thinking its just going to be a few more days.

So far, I haven't seen a time frame for the life of this drug to leave your system.

Truthfully, I think this drug alters your nervous system to the point that when you quit taking it, everything in your body has to re-adjust to be able to "feel" again, hence the physical pain and the emotional roller-coaster many have described.

I will see my pain management Dr. again mid-July. Hopefully I can kick this before I see him again. One thing I do know, I will take as much of his time as I need to tell him what a mistake this rx was for me.

This drug, which was originally approved as an anti-depressant will still alter the brain as it was intended to do as an anti-depressant. It may work as a pain killer as well but it has truly adversely affected me. My mind just feels numb. Makes you pretty impulsive, don't care much about anything feeling.

Bottom line, if your researching this site before starting to take CYMBALTA talk to your Dr. about alternatives. It seems to be a 50-50 shot on getting off of it easily. For those of you, like me, who found this site looking for answers as to why your feeling the way you do and if others feel the same as well, I wish you luck and pray that God will give us the guidance to overcome and conquer this addiction, for that is truly what it is.

Pray for yourself and pray for others...GOD BLESS


Folks, this drug is highly addictive in the sense that you don't know you are addicted until you miss a couple doses or try to quit taking the medicine. But it is just that...an addiction. Surround yourself with positive people and seek out the professional help needed to overcome this addiction. Obviously doctors don't really know what we go through when trying to kick this stuff. If you find a doctor willing to work with you to wean off this properly talk with him and be honest and forthright with him/her.

After reading the FDA website about ceasing this medication and the adverse affects reported it really amazes me that they let it continue. Additionally if you read the information supplied on the Cymbalta website they certainly are elusive about the affects of withdrawing from this medication.

When approximately 50% of us have these withdrawals their is obviously something that needs to be done to educate and inform the patients before starting this drug.

Stay positive, you will get through it. If you think your doctor is not doing what YOU think needs to be done look for another doctor, they all like the money base but some of them do care.

I have been on Cymbalta, 30 mg. for about 8 years. My initial reason to wean off of it, is the expense. Now after going thru the weaning process and reading the awful side effects of the weaning process, I am sorry I even started taking it. I started during menopause and now am back on hormones. I will be 70 in August. My gynecologist has given me the method to wean off of Cymbalta and it should take about 6 months to get off of it. I am hoping that I will lose the weight I gained and I am having great difficulty getting rid of.

I have reduced the amount to half by taking an empty capsule and removing most of the little white beads. Who knew they could have so much power over me. I should be done with the withdrawal by October. Each change I make is a 6 week duration. The worst thing so far has been dizziness to begin with when I lay down and now diarrhea. I did have fybromyalgia to begin with from taking over the counter L-Typtophan. I do not wish that problem on anyone.

I am praying that I do not go back to the muscle pain, the insomnia and the depression. I have noticed I am waking up in the morning with the depression. The new symptom now is stomach ache. I wish you all good luck with breaking up with this drug.

All of the above apply...or seem to. MY FAULT....as usual..everything is....didn't get into see my doc in time to get my script...so got him to mail order it as we usually do..CYMBALTA. Just knew I would get it sooner...wrong...MEDCO....hate them right now,...got a call from them wanting $390.95 before they could mail it to me...and I had been out for a few days....OUT...my doc didn't have any samples and at that time I was just not thinking right...to get a small script for my local pharmacy until my mail order arrived...no not me...can't rem.

So..here I get a call from Medco wanting all this money before they would mail it to me...I told them I was totally out and had been for several days...they could give a you know what less. Had me talk to one of their pharmacist...he was a jerk! Now...after paying all that...and we always pay for everything we get on time for years...I'm ancient..I'm 62 and feel like I'm 162. I am having all of the

SUDDEN WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS:
• Brain "Zaps" (electric shock-like sensations 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
Funny when you can hear your eyes move and your digestive system is messed up...and your husband doesn't understand and is a jerk. I'm totally whacked out...and I know since I was taking (2) 60 mg a day I will have to start out with one a day for awhile and build it back up...what a freaking mess....
PEOPLE: if you get on any meds like this...please do not run out...or stop them cold turkey...Please......I'm begging you....

Hi everyone I have recently been weened of cymbalta. I was on 90mg per day. The way I came off it through my psychiatrists was to take 30mgs a day for three days. It was alright apart from day three I felt feeling off my face and had the brain zaps etc. It has been three weeks now and I feel great so just get through those first few days and you should be right. good luck to everyone I hope this helps x

I started taking Cymbalta almost one year ago. I had periods of feeling very nearly Wonderful on it. No anxiety and/or depression. To periods of complete and total lunacy. Wanting to kill myself etc. The whole time I took it I had the sweating, could not sleep,& gained weight. Told my Dr that it wasn't working and she blamed it on my not sleeping.... So I continued to take it. And it was giving me HELL! So I quit my job because I was to the point of totally not functioning. And went off 60 mg Cold Turkey!

Well Folks - it's been three weeks and people have to think I have totally lost my mind. Brain fog, brain zaps, can't complete a conversation because words are lost to me. Recently I have started the uncontrollable crying for no reason. Screaming and being horrible to my family without a clue it was coming on. I could go and on but you all know.... Going thru it yourselves. I get a lot of headaches. And they don't really get better - they just become a dull throbbing annoyance.

Needless to say I can not go out and look for work feeling like this. But I actually prefer the way I feel now to the way I felt on them. Which is crazy but true! So right now I am unemployed with a lot of problems because of Cymbalta but I feel it was one of those things... I won't be taking anymore meds for depression and will see where it goes from here.

My friend went off Cymbolta cold turkey. The side effects are horrid. He is vomiting, mean, and terribly depressed. He is in a lot of physical pain. It has been going on for over two weeks. It is deeply painful and sad to watch. He was almost unbearable to be around, because of his extreme mood swings and cruel comments/behavior. His depression is some of the worst I have seen.

Given this, I would strongly advise people to not take this. This is like watching someone come off a heroin or cocaine addiction, which are illegal drugs. I am disgusted that the FDA allows such medications to be legal and so freely prescribed. It is irresponsible and dangerous. If he did not have support, I am not sure what would happen to him. I now have to wonder what happens to others in withdraw of this medication who do not have support or just can not take the symptoms of withdraw anymore.

I have been a headache/migraine sufferer for over 20 years. Topamax has been a dream medication for me. The side effects have been minimal and well worth it to not have migraines/headaches. I wish I had been prescribed this years ago.

I have been prescribed many different antidepressants for the headaches/migraines. Not one has worked for my headaches/migraines. In many cases, they brought on a headache or migraine. I had horrible side effects from from all antidep. I am not open to any antidepressants after my experiences. I am obviously open to medications, but I have yet to find any benefit in antidepressants.
I have had many friends on antidepressants, and have not seen them having positive results either.

The withdrawal also seems to be a big issue-as well as maintaining. Many have complained about libido too. I just hope people look into other options and use these as a very last resort.

My son has ADHD, and has done very well on medication. However, he is also having anxiety. It is recommended he taking anxiety med. I do not want to do this, because of the side effects and w/d.

Being a teacher for 25 years explains why I was put on an anti depressant. I was put on Prozac in 2004. As time went on my osteoarthritis worsened so about two years ago my doctor prescribed Cymbalta. This was at a time when I put total faith in the medical profession. It took the place of the Prozac.

Little did I know it is related to both diabetes and blood pressure which I acquired while on the cymbalta. I didn't know that until I did research. Now retired and on a very fixed income, I asked my doctor to ween me off because I could not afford it.

May 28th, she dropped me from 60mg to 30 mg daily for two weeks, then one very other day for two weeks. MAJOR MELT DOWN. Crying, brain zapping, vertigo, exhaustion, hot flashes, you name it. I called my doctor. She wants to put me back on. 30 mg daily. Now is the time I have lost faith in the system.

I want yo be totally drug free to see if I really do have depression. My doctors kept putting me on medicines to fight symptoms from other meds. I was on Simvastatin for cholesterol but that causes diabetes and I was on Propanolol for head tremors caused by the Cymbalta.

Today I feel dopey and tired. I don't move much to keep down the nausea, brain zaps and headache. I am taking Benedryl to sleep. How long is this going to last? I have not had any Cymbalta for 4 days.

Hi YTC,

Don't give up and don't lose hope. It takes time and the time really depends on how your body has become used to the drug and how starved it is for the drug. This condition creates these symptoms. This time may vary from 2 weeks to 6 months, but you are guaranteed to come out of these symptoms.

But stay positive and focused, you will be fine sooner.
Now since we all know that when we feel like ending life, its the depression that's talking and not you, we can come out of it.

So in a way, due to this drug, we are setting us into a DRUG FREE world which is much better and economical!

I have been taking 120mg Cymbalta for approx 16 months for back pain, I was not sure if I was getting benefit for sure or not.... Not being certain made me think why am I taking this if I am not sure it is helping my pain, at the beginning of April 2013 I reduced to 60mg and did not notice any difference at all with my pain.

My next thought was to stop taking the Cymbalta all together as I was not convinced I was experiencing any benefit in the way of pain management so about April 20th I made the choice to stop taking the prescription the only problem is the capsule is 60mg so I started taking one cap every second day hoping to lower my over all levels in my system and after two weeks I just stopped taking the drug.

I did not notice any I'll effects until the third day when I just felt off, dizzy but not dizzy I waited for a couple of hours but the feeling stayed with me so I made the decision to open the caps and reduce the drug by about 80%, I did this for a couple of weeks until I saw my Doctor that I have been seeing once every 6 weeks, he asked if I needed a refill and this time I told him I had pretty much taken myself off the Cymbalta, he asked how I felt and did not have any concerns or harsh words when I said I just did not want to take the drug unless I really needed it.

Today I no longer take any of the Cymbalta and have no noticeable symptoms or side affects, which surprises me after reading so many people claim to have a struggle with the withdrawal.

I think this may be the worst drug put on the market. when it was originally used for depression... and then pain. Imagine that. My pain management dr. just weaned me off the oxycontin and I was having pretty severe pain in my feet, kind of like fibromyalgia pain.

So, same office visit that im clean of the oxycontin he prescribed CYMBALTA for the pain in my feet. Three months later feet still hurting so I quit the CYMBALTA, 60mg 1x/day, cold turkey. Two days later and WOW...horrible, horrible, horrible. I'm 17 days and things are a little better. My advice... talk to your Dr. for advice on weaning, but I don't think you can eliminate the withdrawal totally.

About half of the people quitting this horrible medicine will have the side effects that everyone talks about.

Educate your family and friends about what to expect during the withdrawal period. I highly suggest you open THIS WEBSITE and just let them start reading the posts from people going through it.

best of luck to all... here's to feeling better.

CHEERS!

Day #1 off the stuff. - no side effects
Day #2 7:00a.m. little light headed, slight headache... Decided to be pro active.. Fruit juice, Advil, jucuzzi bath, 1 mile walk (first in a year). Mediation lots of water.

I was given Cymbalta for my idiopathic bilateral leg and feet neuropathy. I started at 30mg twice a day. After 6 months I was told to increase to 60mg twice a day (which I only increased to 60mg in am and 30mg at night). I didn't think I was having any adverse reactions, as the pain and burning in my legs and feet was significantly improved, that is, until I was called into the office because it was taking me too long to finish my assigned work. Also the work that I was turning in was littered with stupid mistakes, like making duplicate slides in a PowerPoint presentation or pulling up and reporting data incorrectly.

All this while I am struggling to ensure that my work is perfect. Apparently I thought it was good work, even though I was not meeting deadline, but obviously it was not. Tasks that I should have know how to do, I was having to research or ask someone to explain to me. I knew something was wrong when I started to speak out loud to reply to some random thought! I couldn't help myself from verbalizing an answer!!!

I started seeing things that truly weren't present in the room. I would sit in front of my computer in a trance. I would think that I need to do some task, but I couldn't remember what it was I needed to do. I find myself just listening to my thoughts rather than listening to my favorite NPR radio station. Anyone who knows me knows that NPR is on from the time I step into my car until I exit my car, without fail. I find myself smiling, shaking my head in agreement but I don't know why or laughing for no reason.

I am calling my doctor to get off Cymbalta so I have a chance of demonstrating with clear mind that I am not incompetent in my job. Hopefully, I won't have lingering adverse effects from the drug as I wean off it. I really love my job & I want to do the very best work possible so that it will reflect favourably on my department and on my abilities!!! I need my brain back! I need to be able to think clearly! rpm

I am a retired combat veteran, I was put on this nasty beast about a year ago or so. For sever anxiety and PTSD. I ran out and it's been 5 days without any and I don't know where to turn.. I get hot, run to the bathroom, yell at anyone or thing near me. I even smoked some weed to help calm this down but especially at night it comes calling my name. My legs hurt, I sit up I sit down I walk around the house. I find myself finally asleep on the couch being awakened by horrible nightmares again. I can't wait for my prescription to finally arrive.

WayJ,

Thank you for sharing your experience of not experiencing withdrawl symptoms. This will certainly encourage people to take the medicine who really need to take but are discouraged by reading this forum.

For any medicine that you take today, there are always risks and side effects mentioned on the prescription that is based on the sample study conducted by the pharmaceutical companies. They also mention that as common side effects, rare side effects, etc based on the statistics.

This is to give you an idea about the risks involved in taking the medicine.

Although I've experienced pretty much the symptoms mentioned on this forum, I always tell people that a general human tendency is to search only when something abnormal is seen and that's why patients having such problems only find this forum and the number of posts gets more and more on the negative side.

At the same time, there is a larger percentage of patient who would not have faced any symptoms or mild enough to ignore it. Very few patients like you would have proactively searched internet just for the sake of it.

Again, I'm not advocate of the manufacturer, in fact, I'm victim myself but just trying to put the things in perspective so that we do not shut the door for patient who would really benefit from this drug and who knows may not have considerable side effects.

I am on day 4 of my 30 mg step down from 60 mg of Cymbalta. My doctor gave me 7 days of the 30 mg and I ran out on 6/21/13.. the side effects have been horrible. The Zapping in my hands and feet as well as the dizziness and loss of sleep are the worst. The nerve tingles are bad to. One of the side effects of Cymbalta has been terrible restless leg at night. With this I have had to go on Requip to counter the restlessness.

I sure hope that will go away soon as well... I have not slept well in a year. This has not been a good experience. Now my DR wants me to go on Welbutrin 150 XL... I see that is has bad side effects as well. I don't like the looks of life ahead now.. Living a life filled with side effects ? NO.. I don't think so.. Not good at all.

Hi. I developed peripheral and autonomic neuropathy and it is from toes to throat extreme burning. I was put on Gabapentin and it has helped with the nerve pain. I was also put on Nortriptyline and a year ago I switched to Cymbalta/Duloxetine. I have spent the last 6 months feeling like hell as I tried to come off the Duloxetine. I have divided the doses and done it gradually but my body has really suffered with sleep disorders and gastric upsets. I'm now back on Nortriptyline and wish I had stayed on it.

I have suffered from depression since I was a teenager.

I have been on Cymbalta and seeing a psychiatrist since the beginning of 2009. We tried a few different anti-depressants but Cymbalta worked the best (for me - would never advocate it for anyone else).

Because I was severely depressed the adrenaline gave me the energy I needed to get my day completed and the therapy helped me sort out my feelings and develop insight into who I was so I became better able to cope with situations and emotions.

Cymbalta has been incredible for me, but coming off it is a nightmare. Brain "Zaps" (electric shock-like sensations in the brain), Dizziness, light-headedness and vertigo. The real killer is the hostility I feel and am showing towards those around me. Even my hair tickling my face threw me into a burning rage 2 days ago.

I have gone from 60mg to 30 a day. My doctor was very supportive and advised that if I wasn't coping then I should take 2 tablet a day and go back and see him. I was only given a one month prescription and have to visit him.

I have to keep reminding myself that my strong emotions are just my body wanting and craving the drug and that emotionally I have been ready to come off the drug for about 2 years (I wanted to have a baby and the gp + shrink decided it was best to stay on for my and the baby's safety).

I really hope this works for me and I can be drug free, but I am also prepared to continue on if it is for my and my family's safety.

You poor thing, hang in there things will get better. Sending lots of positive vibes your way xxx

I took Cymbalta 30mg daily due to depression from a very stressful job environment. When my job changed, I began to decrease my dose by removing 10 "beads" from the Cymbalta capsule each day. There are approximately 300 beads in the capsule. I discontinued the med over 30 days. It has been 7 days since I have completely stopped the medication, and every bone and muscle in my body hurts. It feels like the flu x 10. I am a pharmacist and will advise patients accordingly when they want to discontinue Cymbalta. It is very scary.

I took Zoloft for depression after 10 months treatment for Breast Cancer. At the end of my treatment, I just lost the plot. The Zoloft were great, and as I had worked the whole time during my Cancer journey, I decided (with my husband's approval) to quit work for around 6 months. When I did resume work, with a different company, there was so much pressure and certainly office bullying from other women there, I went back to my GP and he put me on Cymbalta.

Within a few weeks, I felt like I was ready to kill anyone who looked sideways at me, and had constant thoughts of suicide. As these are in capsule form, you cannot cut them in half or anything like that to "wean" off them, so I went cold turkey. It was living hell.

I have constant nausea, brain "zaps" that left me feeling like a lunatic, shivering, sweats .... the whole bit. But I stuck it out - ended up taking a week of sick leave to do this. Then I just went straight back on the Zoloft and told my doctor to NEVER prescribe these tablets for me or anyone else EVER!!

I now know of several people who experienced the same things I did and worse. The Zoloft is working fine, and I am finally losing the kilos I managed to put on during this whole episode.
Kharma PS - Got a new job now too.

was taken off cymbalta, klonopin, gabapentin all at the same time because of me becoming pregnant. I was taking for symptoms from Myasthenia Gravis. This is crazy. I can't sleep eat think walk talk or anything normal. The dreams and hallucinations are scaring my family. The head pops relentless and all I was told was to stay hydrated. Shakes, chills, sweating, hot, my body is all over the map. I can honestly say I am really upset now. There has to be a better way.

I called pharmacy and he said withdrawal will get better once out my body. Only been 2 weeks. I been on all of these for at least a year. Stomach aches everything. It's time the docs got better involved now.

How does it help? I'm trying to understand how can a stranger help you when you know what is your problem, you know the solution, but you cannot educate your brain to change.

I felt good with cymbalta, I felt like someone I used to be. Confident, secure, happy. I stopped using it and two months latter I feel anguished. And I stopped very gradually, toke vitamin D to help with the withdrawal effect, went swimming, decreased the dose gradually and know, I find myself wanting to feel good has used to feel. I read a lot about withdrawal effects, but I don't read about the effects you get after your off of it. How to deal wit it, what to do. You seem someone that could give an honest opinion. Thank you

I love Cymbalta. Have suffered from anxiety since 2007. Tried about 6 different med's (not including Cymbalta), of which Effixer (sp?) was the most effective. I suffered through horrible side effects, until I felt like I could function without it. In 2013 I started experiencing severe hot feet, groin pain, armpit pain, joint pain, etc. Ridiculous symptoms that made me feel like I was nuts (which technically, I guess I am).

Dr. prescribed 30 mg's of Cymbalta and now I feel great. I didn't realize it at the time, but I had gotten used to the adrenaline constantly pumping through my body - which stopped once on Cymbalta, along with all other other body pain. I am thankful for Cymbalta & it worked a heck of a lot better than all the other meds. (although it did have some negative side effects - not even worth mentioning due to my greatly improved quality of life).

I am on Cymbalta for same reason-herniated discs in neck. I have to have a cervical CT w/ myelopathy which requires i be off anti depressants, muscle relaxers, yadayada yada, so I stopped taking Cymbalta! OMG! Same thing happened when I had to stop Gabapentin (made me very irritable). I am having the brain zaps bad, crazy thoughts, crying, arguing with my husband about nothing, horrible dreams, sweats, chills, diarrhea. I'm a mess. Hope I can stay still on the table tomorrow while they stick a needle in my spine and insert dye. THANKS LILLY AND FDA FOR SUCH A GREAT DRUG!!!!

KC...cant imagine what you are going through having to withdrawal from all of these at once.
I'm having a hard time with just the CYMBALTA withdrawal and still have a few others to wean off of as well.

Communicate with your family. Have your family read some of these posts so they know what you are going through is real, seems nearly everyone who experiences the withdrawals, which is nearly one half of everyone who was prescribed this drug goes through. The FDA really needs to do some more analysis about the withdrawal and side effects associated with CYMBALTA.

Get as much rest (sleep) as possible, listen to soothing music to help relax and take warm to hot baths often. And as far as the hydration goes I think that's key. I started eating a lot of fruit, strawberries, pineapples along with the unsweetened pineapple juice and bananas.

If you are 2 weeks into it already you should be close to being over the hump, although the effects can last for some time.

I don't really think the docs know the true effects this drug has on the brain when using it for things other than as an antidepressant. It was prescribed to me for fibromyalgia type pain in my feet. I took it for about 3 months with little effect for the pain.

Hang in there, it will get better...communicate with ALL your docs and with your family about what you are truly feeling.

BEST WISHES for you feeling better and with your pregnancy.

PRAYERS YOUR WAY...rg1

the good side!! I went cold turkey!! have not had any thing go wrong yet after 2 months. had heard it was bad just thought I would do it my way!!!
I had been on it for over a year !!just lucky I guess??

This is so true. I went off Cymbalta as I lost my job and couldn't afford it. I am going out of my mind, ringing in my head, irritable, crying over nothing all the time, sweaty, dizzy.

I called my doctor and told the nurse what I was going through and the nurse called me back and said that the doctor called me a prescription in to CVS. I don't have the money to get it. The doctors don't care.

Why are there only negative stories here? I would have died without being prescribed Cymbalta. My depression and anxiety were horrible until I started this drug. I do agree that my first 3 days were horrendous but once I got through it, I've felt normal.

Been taking Cym for close to two months... 60mg. Hate it... stopped on Monday (4 days ago)and have not felt diddly yet.. Called my Doc and told her I was wanting (going) to stop and her assistant told me that the Doc said she would call me if there was anything she wanted to talk to me about... Haven't heard squat... it's been 3 days.

I agree with an earlier post that this site seems to magnet for people who are or have had terrible experiences... People who haven't had so much difficulty are not going to look on a website where 98 % of the commenters are extremely negative... Now I may have a ton of side effects tomorrow but so far, I have had nothing but a few sweaty episodes. Look forward to hearing anything though...

Ok, so I am in the phase of weaning off this medication, and it is HELL. The dizzyness does not go away easily, I am easily agitated and even worse I can't think straight. I have a hard time with being impulsive. I usually am quite the opposite, quiet and reserved. It is taking me awhile to write this comment down because of how hard it is to keep a thought. Cymbalta was useful when I was taking it but I no loner depend on it. I do not know how long this will take, but I cannot stand being edgy and irritable.

Your advice is very helpful, as is this entire site. I have been trying to withdraw from cymbalta for only a week and I am having a dreadful time of it. I've been taking it for years but only 20 mgs. For years I've had symptoms that have led me to neurologists and cardiologists. Why on earth can't Dr's recognize these symptoms as side affects instead of having us waste our time with specialists??

After a serious crying jag this morning I found this web site. I wish I could find this tonic that you describe. I certainly am going to try but if anyone can help me I would be very grateful. So far I haven't tried to take apart the capsule, but taking it every other day. Suicide seems to be creeping into my thoughts, but I would never want to hurt my wonderful family. So sorry if I'm all over the place. This is so hard....

I had been on Cymbalta for 6 months and I couldn't stand the side effects any longer, I also could not afford to keep refilling the prescription. I was instructed to keep taking it and see if the side effects went away. I said heck no and decided to quit cold turkey. It's been 9 days and I am starting to feel better but I have to agree with the other posts, it has been very difficult. I have had extreme headaches, sweating, nausea, insomnia and dizziness. At times I wanted to go back to it but I have been sticking it out. The effects are still there but not quite as bad, so hopefully I am on my way to clearing this drug from my system.

Was on Cymbalta for maybe 5 months. I was at 120 mg per day. Went to refill my prescription at cvs this month and my insurance wouldn't cover it since I needed to start mail ordering it. Otherwise, I could pay over $800 for my one month script! Decided to just go cold turkey. For the most part, it hasn't been too bad. I've had occasional migraines, one brain zap, but the worst part of all is the nausea and diarrhea. Hope it doesn't get worse before it gets better. It's been 4 days now.

I'm a 16 year-old girl, and I've been taking 120mg of Cymbalta for depression daily for about a year now. Unfortunately, my mother's insurance ran out, and she hasn't been able to find a proper one. Without insurance, Cymbalta for a month would cost the family $400. $400 we don't have. With this, I abruptly stopped taking it, and my clinic wouldn't give me any samples.

Cymbalta worked wonders for my depression and anxiety. My ability to cope improved dramatically. But, the withdrawal from the sudden abruption in taking my meds has been the worst withdrawal I've ever had. Worst than the Prozac withdrawal where I hallucinated dramatically (A good story though).

I wouldn't describe one of the side-effects as "brain zaps." It's like each one of your senses either heightens of lowers, but all at the same time. They happen in pulses, in rhythm with my heart beat. Your eyes un-focus, your ears try to plug almost?, your torso tenses... it's so hard to describe. Basically you're mentally unstable as well as physically. I don't recommend this drug for anything.

Am I the only one Cymbalta has worked for? It has worked for over 5 years I am just weaning off it now. Pharmacist called the doctor to rewrite the script so it was a slow withdrawl. My depression symptoms are coming back in force which I expected. Headaches and tiredness are present but that is what I expected. I will try citalopram once my body is completely of Cymbalta.

Just wondering why you want to switch antidepressants if it's working for you. From what I can see going off of citalopram may be just as difficult. Cymbalta helped me with my depression, and I think also arthritis pain, since weaning off, the pain is much greater. The problem was the side effects. I had so much dizziness I just cannot describe how my head sometimes felt. I really wish my doctor had recognized my symptoms as side effects instead of referring me to specialists who found nothing. why ask us what kind of medications we're on if they don't recognize the side effects?

I have been taking Cymbalta for awhile now and have the worst withdrawal symptoms from it. I have called the fda and they want anyone with the bad withdrawals to contact them so they can look at the medicine to see if they might need to pull the drug and do further study on it. I am tired of taking it and feelin sick all the time. so please call the fda asap and let them know so we can get this drug under control. 1-800-332-1088.
thankyou.

I have read many comments from patients who have had undesirable side effects and withdrawal symptoms from stopping Cymbalta suddenly. First of all, in defense of medical and health professionals, there are doctors/nurse practitioners who are aware and are knowledgeable in these withdrawal symptoms from Cymbalta. You need to make sure you are seeing a medical professional who has knowledge, experience and training in this area of expertise. My situation has been pain related and Cymbalta has been very helpful for my neuromuscular and fibromyalgia pain.

I have experienced undesirable withdrawal symptoms when I have run out of prescription and don't get filled in time. After 3-4 days, I begin to have a generalized fatigue/malaise feeling, nausea, GI issues like stomach and intestine pain( yes, intestinal discomfort), gastritis, diarrhea and horrible uncomfortable gas.

Stopping Cymbalta abruptly is dangerous and recommended not to stop taking without tapering off slowly. My Nurse Practitioner and primary doctor are very familiar with the risks of this drug. So is my pain specialist doctor who is very familiar with all the pain related non-narcotic as well as narcotic drugs and their side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

I am glad to see so many who have become their own advocates when it comes to drugs and how to educate yourself and responsibly make decisions. But, I also want to stress that there are health professionals that are experts in these specific problems.

I plan to start to slowly weaning myself off off Cymbalta, but I will still do with my doctors and Nurse Practitioners support and guidance. I really do not need the Cymbalta anymore due to majority of my pain issues have been resolved. This has been a very long process going on over the last ten years. I also need to be aware of how my emotional state will be when I am off of Cymbalta to rule out any need for possible depression, especially for being on the drug for so long. I do not anticipate any reason to go back on for depression, but definitely have to look at my health in a holistic approach. I am 55 years old and have been through some very serious health issues and near death illnesses over the past four years.

Thank you for all the very beneficial information and this definitely will help me in weaning off this medication. Best of luck to all and continue to educate others in medications that the pharmaceutical companies are not required or willing to share, at least so far. I foresee eventually, that these companies will need to be more proactive and not be so worried about money and bad reputation instead of truth and education and helping people to the best of their ability. Someday anyway, if we, the consumers and health professionals continue to lobby for changes. Thank you. :)

I too am going through Cymbalta withdrawal syndrome, Reading this thread and many others on the subject I keep seeing people talking about severely debilitating diarrhea. I too experienced this symptom for months while on Cymbalta. After 8 months of testing and finally a colonoscopy I was found to have lymphocytic colitis. But the fact remains that the debilitating diarrhea started exactly at the time I started taking Cymbalta. But unfortunately neither my doctor nor myself associated the diarrhea with the start of my Cymabalta.

I believe we may have missed the boat on this one. But what am really wondering is if anyone else that had diarrhea at the start of Cymbalta was also diagnosed with lymphocytic colitis and perhaps maybe if the lymphocytic Colitis was caused by taking Cymbalta??? Would be happy to hear from anyone that may have some insight in to this

In regards to comment by BEA Melen, RN Let's be clear about something almost no one I have seen any of these threads "Stopped Cymbalta Abruptly"!!!! I myself have been on Cymbalta for a little more than a year My lymphocytic colitis started when I started Cymbalta. As far as weaning off slowly its almost impossible because Eli Lilly does not make dosages conducive to a gradual weaning off!! I've been weaning off for 2 months already and my withdrawal symptoms are severe!!! Many of those symptoms are not reported at all by Eli Lilly and yet they are sooo many suffering as I am. And many of the withdrawal and other symptoms that Eli Lilly report as being "RARE" are NOT "RARE" at all. So be careful I have been on many SSRI's and never had a problem at all. But the 2 SNRI's I have been on I have experience horrible and long lasting effects.

I have been on Cymbalta for approximately 10 years mainly to help with my chronic pain issues. I had a femur fracture that went undiagnosed until the bone became necrotic. (I am a Registered Nurse & I am on my feet 12-14 hrs a shift). Because I didn't whine & cry like a baby about my fracture pain (which by the way was fractured @ work) I was told it was just a sprain & I was sent back to work, went through 6 weeks of physical therapy & cortisone injections.

I finally demanded a 2nd opinion & that's when my life was turned upside down. I have had to date 3 total knee replacements because of the location of the distal femur fracture. I've had several knee surgeries prior to the first replacement which included drilling holes in my femur to promote blood flow to a Dr induced injury to heal the dead bone that was diagnosed too late. This life journey is way too long.... I guess the point is my Dr put me on Cymbalta to help with my chronic pain & I must admit that it helps. But I ran out of my Cymbalta once & swore that I would NEVER go through such horrible symptoms again.

Well, I called my refill in well over a week ago to be sure they would be ready before I ran out, only to discover that my insurance company now requires "pre authorization before they will fill it. I have been out for over 12 days now & the "brain zaps" are very disturbing. I find myself crying for no apparent reason, my thought processes have no process. I'm yelling at my children who don't deserve it then crying some more because I'm hurting the ones I love the most. I also have terrible muscle cramps in my legs. I have awful headaches & blurred vision & dizziness. I am in need of extensive shoulder surgery as well as bilateral carpal tunnel repair & bilateral foot surgery due to extensive arthritis. There has to be a better answer.......

I am going through terrible withdraw syndromes from Cymbalta. I have been on 60mg since 2008. Tried several times gradual weaning off. Had panic attacks, lightheaded, Zapped, constant floaty, confused feeling, slow in answering questions. Started back with 30mg, got better but not fully. May have to go back to 60mg. Again, doctor may treat you, finding the root cause is very difficult. This is effecting my work and worries me. After reading comments, at least I don't feel alone. I thought it was me..it's the medicine.

I was on 60mg cymbalta for severe neuropathy in both hands and feet from chem. It helped a lot, also helped with severe back pain from 4 spinal fusions. I decided the side effects (sweat and sores on the underside of tongue) were not worth taking the meds. I cannot believe the pain all over my body now, how confused I seem to be at times. I know I have difficulty with a lot of meds and ended up ICU for 5 days from a shot, but this withdrawal is really difficult and I feel that the medical profession should explain it to patients before they prescribe it.

I was on Fluoxetine came off that after a year and then was put onto Duloxetine, which I've been on for a year also! I sometimes can be a few hours late taking them, and even then I get horrific brain zaps!! So I've now managed to halve my dose over a few weeks, by opening the capsule and taking some out, no side effects with this, so definately a good way to go.
I think it gives your brain more time to adjust to it.

I was recently prescribed Cymbalta as an adjunct therapy for my scleroderma and arthritis. My blood sugar became unstable, and subsequently over an approximate 2 month period I developed cataracts. I also had great difficulty sleeping, increased heart irregularity, extreme dizziness, and frequent vivid strange "dreams".

Then if all else were not bad enough, because I was on Tramadol and Gralise, I developed Serotonin Syndrome. I knew that something was wrong, but frankly, no one cared, not even my primary care physician. People made jokes that I was flushed and sweating due to menopause. My cardiologist determined the problem while reviewing my medications. I have been off Cymbalta for approximately 3 weeks and I am still having trouble with sleeping, flushing, and brain zaps. I was weaned off twice because no one really has a good plan for weaning off this drug. I only take one Tramadol and one Gralise a day now. I hurt and am having difficulty walking, but it beats having all of the latter. By the way, I am a health care professional.

Peoples Pharmacy response: We are so sorry that you had this terrible reaction. Serotonin syndrome is very dangerous and unfortunately is not well recognized. Here is a little more information about it:
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2013/03/25/doctors-overlooked-scary-drug-interaction/

Since I have been off Cymbalta for approximately 3 weeks, I am still having difficulty sleeping, depression, crying fits, and have been demonstrating a fits of anger for which i am embarrassed. I also still have brain zaps. I also get the chills and muscle cramps. I have been taking 5HTP daily but I do not think this is working. Any suggestions? The pharmacist says that this will pass, but I am wondering when.

I was taking paxil for depression, but my Dr. switched me to Cymbalta to help me with my fibromyalgia condition. I've been taking it for several months.

I'm not depress anymore, and decided to stop taking the Cymbalta because I think it's not really helping me with the pain. It's been three weeks since I stopped taking it, and exactly the same time I been having a horrible headache, that won't go away no matter what I take. But reading these comments made me realized that withdrawing from Cymbalta is the cause of my headache. Made up my mind, not taking it anymore.

Cymbalta is incredible, but the withdrawals are not. I basically feel like I'm dying and belong in a hospital tied to a bed. I'm tired, depressed, achy, anxious, I can't breathe, I'm having electric shocks all over and I'm very sick and scared. But, with Cymbalta I am golden. Just not the withdrawals.

I took 90 mg Cymbalta daily for well over 5 years. I gained 50 lbs on the medication, which made my BP and cholesterol levels out of control, which made me feel even more depressed than what I initially had been; so, I decided I'd almost rather be half-crazy than unhealthy. I have cycled on and off of antidepressants my entire adult life (I am 44) so I am aware there are withdrawals with each cycle-off.

Because I had been on the medication so long and my dosage was so high, I tapered myself very, very slowly - backing down to 60 mgs for a month, then down to 30 mgs for a month, then I began to skip days with the 30 mgs until I finally laid them down all the way.

It's been almost a month since I have taken any Cymbalta. I have the standard withdrawals symptoms: hypersensitivity with sight and sound; roaring in my ears; nausea and diarrhea; headaches; irritability and short fuse; tremors; sleep interruption and irregularity; "foggy head" and "checking out" from time to time (kind of daydreaming); and, thoughts of hopelessness, suicide and overwhelming indecision and confusion.

However, (and I'm assuming because of the long term usage and high dosage), I have experienced some quite different withdrawal symptoms as well, which most often manifest themselves when I am trying to get quiet for sleep at night: itching all over and especially the soles of my feet; cramps in my calves and feet; and, a store of nervous energy that doesn't present as clearly during the day that makes me feel like I could kick my legs in a swimming motion for hours on end and never tire. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to scream and explode if I don't get out of bed and exert some sort of energy to alleviate it.

I am giving myself, from years of experience and being quite frank, til the end of the year to be completely free of the drug on the inside and to begin to see my body physically adjusting on the outside. Of course, the withdrawal improves over time. I still have really bad days even now, a month out, but I can surely tell the symptoms are lessening in frequency and severity even now.

I would never suggest to anyone to go off of any antidepressant nor anti-anxiety drug cold turkey. Never. Ever. Always consult your doctor if your medication is not working for you. If you don't feel your doc is listening or taking you seriously, find another doc who will. Depression, anxiety and the drugs that treat them, are nothing to play around with.

And if you feel the hopelessness or suicidal tendencies, don't wait for someone to tell. Call 911 right then and ask for assistance. Right then. Unless it is rooted in the reason you're depressed or stressed to begin with, it is just a passing adjustment while your body accepts the fact that you've taken its crutch away.

Good luck to everyone. My advice before you spend an entire adulthood on meds like this is to get into some real therapy with a good counselor who really cares - and find out why you need the drugs to begin with. Many times if we can address the problem, reprogram the way we react to it, we can deal with life on our own, without the drugs. But if not, hey, that's okay too....

I was on cymbalta for 2 1/2 months for chronic back pain (13 herniated discs). terrible high blood pressure, dangerously high heart beat, it causing me to have a neurological disorder of my eyes, and the severe constipation ( called for colonoscopy due to severity). And the scary thing, I have multiple drs I see for several issues and not one damn dr linked the new problems to the new prescription of cymbalta.

Well instead of being put on five different drugs to combat cymbalta side effects, I chose to stop cymbalta. Well hello, wouldn't you know my blood pressure is back to normal, heart beat is not completely normal but much better (100 bpm now, was 140-150 bpm while on it) the only thing that none of my drs warned me of was the "brain zaps" terrible feeling during withdrawal.

Today makes 1 week 1 day of no cymbalta and I'm getting better each day with the withdrawals but my chronic pain has returned. Going to see my orthopedic surgeon for options for this pain. No more CYMBALTA!

I need advice about my Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms. I have read all of the comments on this site, and I'm having every single side effect you can think of. I have been reducing my dosage over the past month, and my doctor had said to finally end it by taking the 20 mg every other day for a week or two.

This was just causing me to vomit on the days that I had to take it, so about two days ago I just stopped taking it completely. Now the headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vision problems is almost unbearable. Should I open the capsules and start taking a little bit each day again? Or should I continue to not take it at all? I'm desperate for advice.

I have been on Cymbalta 60mg. For about 5 years now.I'm taking it for panic attacks and it works good in combination with ativan 1mg. Three times daily. Although it did take several weeks to work. And if you take any antidepressants you can't stop them cold turkey. You will have terrible side effects.. always talk to your doctor before stopping any medication and come off them slowly..Hope this helps!!

I've been on Cymbalta for 7 years for clinical depression. I've since found out that I am bipolar 2, which is the condition of all forms of mental illness to most likely result in suicide. If you are unfamiliar with bp2, please investigate - if you have it, you should be on a mood stabilizer as well. The most common occurrence with bp2 is that although an antidepressant may work at first, it often becomes ineffective over time and you have to switch to another one. I've been on seven.

The really funny thing to me is the list of common withdrawal symptoms. I have many of them already! Like TR above, I too have itching. My life long insommnia has not dissipated. I have had vision problems. I'm diabetic and have a hard time controlling blood sugar and i eat right. I get dizzy and sometimes feel hung over even though I don't drink.

But my WORST problem that no drug has helped with my constant, sometimes severe fatigue. Exercise does not help and actually makes the fatigue worse. Once summer (not sure how I did it), I biked 25 miles a day, five days a week for four months and my depression improved only a tiny bit, my insomnia not at all, and I lost about 3 pounds. I was still fatigued most of the time.

Although I've been complaining about it for 40 years, I've been ignored until my psychiatrist said I should add Abilify. Any alternative? "take long walks" even though I told him I'm too tired to walk more than 3 blocks about 1 minute previously. Abilify? One of its side effects is FATIGUE. So no - you can cram it, doctor.

In desperation, I am going to try the Fisher Wallace device. After that, it's 5-htp. I'm going to wean myself off the Cymbalta - thank you all for the advice. Wish me luck and thanks for listening.

Kj--I hope you are doing better. Skipping a day did not work for me. As someone else said, you just go through withdrawal symptoms every other day! I ended up dividing the capsules using small plastic solo cups, first in half then in thirds for about two weeks. I've stopped completely. Still some dizziness now and then, but so happy to be finished with. Cymbalta!

I thought that I'm going crazy. I could hear and almost feel these static discharges inside my head. They have disrupted my life for only week now but along with the dizziness it's been very disturbing.

I no longer have a job or insurance coverage and could no longer afford the pills. I took the last 7 every other day to try to lessen the effect of quitting but the withdrawal effects didn't start until two days after I took my last dose.

It's been a week so far and these brain zaps are driving me crazy.

I have been on Cymbalta for a little over a year and it stopped working. My doctor wanted to put me on Abilify but I told him that I didn't want to take that route... that I wanted to try something else.

He wasn't too happy about that... just so everyone knows.

He finally decided to put me on Prozac which so far seems to be working, though the withdrawals from Cymbalta are absolutely horrible!

The only comfort I have found that helps is marijuana. Sounds crazy I know but it has been the only thing that has alleviated my rage and crazy thoughts.
Now I'm sitting at work and having crazy muscle spasms/ twitching going up and down my left arm.

I truthfully can't wait for these symptoms to be over... I feel like I am going crazy!

I have been on 60mg/day of Cymbalta for about a year or more now. I was prescribed Cymbalta for pain from 3 herniated discs in my neck and constant shoulder pain after a dislocation and 2 surgeries which failed. I have severe headaches and am now also prescribed Relpax (eletriptan). My 3 different doctors could care less what side effects there are, however, my personal doctor told me that I should not be taking Cymbalta with Relpax. I have been weaning myself from Cymbalta for about a month now. I went from 60mg to 30mg and now I am pouring half the beads down the toilet and taking approximately 15mg per day. Yesterday, I thought I would go ahead and stop. WOW! My wife was talking calmly to me and I went completely nuts. I started screaming and wanted to hurt her (but did not!).

This is not me... I don't act like that to my best friend. I have read other stuff about the "irritability" but I am experiencing rage. Even today, after taking the 15mg again, I'm on edge and blow up at anything. I have constant pain in my head, my stomach feels awful, and I lack energy except when I get angry. I have no interest in anything either. Hopefully I will lose the 60lbs I've gained while taking this crap. I hate this. Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences, it helps to know others have defeated this mess. God Bless

I have been on 30 MLG OF CYMBALTA FOR 5 years now and it has done what it was proscribed for which is help with anxiety attacks. But I can't afford it or doctor appt right now because of no insurance. So I am on my second week of withdrawals and it is awful. If I had know I would have done it different.

I am taking a phenergan generic to help me deal with the symptoms when they are really bad and it helps is NON addicting and is cheap. It's meant for nausea but relaxes my body so I can be calmer. I am feeling all the side effects that are above but no suicidal thoughts at all. I do get VERY angry and have no patience but that is easing up too. I hope this doesn't last much longer. I just can't afford to go back on. But my nerves are taking a beating!

I have been taking Cymbalta for at least six years, and it has helped me tremendously!!!! I started taking it as an anti-depressant. But, now I take it for lower back pain (bulging discs). I also take Lyrica. They both help a lot. I took Gabapentin for several days, fell three times, and finally realized what was making me fall. The falls were really painful but, thank God I didn't break anything. As soon as I got off the Gabapentin, the falls immediately stopped. So, I hope they never quit making Cymbalta and Lyrica as I have very few side effects!!!

I have no scientific facts, just experience. I am withdrawing from Cymbalta, went, with doc's approval, from 60mg to 30mg. I have had chronic back pain for two decades. I was actually on the Cymbalta, also for decades, for depression. I don't know what is happening. My upper back and neck are in severe pain. I am thinking of going to the ER, but don't want to go through all that just to find out I need to go to some specialist, or, worse, be treated like a junkie coming in for a fix.

I go to a pain management clinic, but can't get an appointment until Oct. 9. I am wearing a brace, which helps. I don't know if this is from withdrawal, or if the Cymbalta was relieving pain and now I am rebounding.

I also have tinnitus so loud that it sounds like there are a zillion crickets in the house. I have read this is an established withdrawal side effect.

I wish I had withdrawn more slowly. What is your story? Lynn in Louisville KY

I am new on this blog. I have been amazed at the amount of people going through so much weaning themselves from Cymbalta.

I am thinking as I go through all of the emails if we can start the very first sentence " IN CAPITAL LETTERS" with the number of days people have been off Cymbalta and how they are doing with the symptoms.

I, like so many others, are going through all the withdrawal symptoms right now and want to know "how people are feeling on the 10th, 20th, 50th, etc. day".

I will be happy to do this in my first blog.

I've been on various antidepressants over the past 15 years and nothing has really worked--except to keep me from being curled up in a ball & crying 24/7; but I've otherwise I've still been depressed to the point of being non-functioning regardless. And I've been on Cymbalta at least half of this period; and although it's worked better than the others such as Prozac, Zoloft (worse sexual side effects), Effexor (mega weight gain) and Lexapro; it's been the hardest drug to withdraw from. I also have a very flippant, disengaged psycho-pharmacologist who's only advice has been to "pray for menopause".

Anyway, I experienced the following side effects from Cymbalta: blurred vision, dry mouth, diagnosis of narrow angle glaucoma, night sweats and lowered libido (doctor denied this was possible because according to him, Cymbalta has the least sexual side effects); and whenever I missed a dose I would get the "brain zaps", feel dizzy and disoriented, and have even more severe night sweats accompanied by fitful sleep and very vivid crazy dreams.

SO--I made several attempts to withdraw over the traditionally prescribed period of 2 or 3 weeks; but even after a month or so after being off of it I was severely depressed, nauseous and so disoriented I wasn't even able to drive. Eventually I did consult a much better doctor; who put me on Wellbutrin; but she ultimately told me that my body now "needs" Cymbalta and then unfortunately she moved away.

I've since taken several months--as opposed to weeks--to withdraw successfully. First by very gradually reducing the dosage to then taking it every other day, then every 2, 3, 4 and 7 days. I'm finally off of it and don't have the severity of previous withdrawal symptoms--however I'm now back to feeling like crap--less motivation, ambition, joy, hope or any real investment in living except that I don't have the courage to commit suicide. However, I really don't want to get back on this drug--it's expensive, and my insurance won't cover it; and the side effects are too alarming--especially if the benefits aren't significant enough to offset them. In addition, I'm now experiencing really bad menopausal symptoms (but no night sweats) and have only recently begun bio-identical hormone replacement--and I'm still taking Wellbutrin (which I doubt is doing anything at this point if I still feel this badly).

Anyway, I landed on this page because I'm concerned about the long term side effects that all of these medications have had on my brain and fear they've permanently damaged my brain chemistry. I've been reading about brain scans, ketamine therapy (another alarming option) and I'm encountering more and more literature that seems to support what I've been feeling--that depression is way too complicated to just keep throwing trial-and-error medication at. And yes, I've also combined treatment with decades of talk therapy; which I was doing even before starting meds--and although helpful--it's never been enough. So if anyone out there knows of any cutting edge psychiatrists (or is that an oxymoron?) in NYC who aren't married to Eli Lilly or any other pharmaceutical companies--I'd love to find them.

DAY 12 of weaning off....I have only been on Cymbalta for about 5 months. It helped my Fibromyalgia pain immensely-I had a terrible flare and could barely move. My anxiety is about 75% better. I was actually starting to have a pain-free life. However, the side effects of this drug became too much to handle. I gained 20 pounds, despite exercise and calorie restriction. I have never been this heavy in my life. The weight will not come off. I was actually losing weight before I went on Cymbalta. I also had severe constipation-ever since I had my gallbladder removed, I have suffered from diarrhea, but with Cymbalta I could barely go, and I was always bloated and gassy. I also had insomnia, but that seemed to be improving. I got hot flashes a lot, too.

I was at 120 mg. I started weaning by going down to 60 mg each day for a week. Then, I went down to 30 mg a day, and that is where I am now. I did not start having severe symptoms until yesterday, when I became pretty sick. Dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, heartburn, and extreme fatigue. Today is better, but I am still absolutely exhausted and feel like I have the flu. This is reminding me of when my Fibro was bad.

In 2 days, I will take 30 mg of Cymbalta. The next day I will only take Prozac (20 mg). The day after, only 30 mg of Cymbalta. I will be alternating like this for a week. Then I will go to Prozac every day. My doc and I discussed different meds, and after researching, I am hoping that Prozac will not cause weight gain. I have read that the drugs for Fibro tend to cause weight gain, and I cannot have that, because I am super short and many of my family members are obese. I am basically going to be in pain rather than be obese. I am hoping the Prozac will help with my anxiety.

My rheumatologist told me that most of his patients cannot tolerate the side effects of the Fibro drugs. He cited weight gain and GI problems as common complaints. What he did not tell me was that coming off this drug is so bad. I am thankful I was not on it long.

A psychiatrist, after reading a list of anti-depressants, suggested Cymbalta for depression and to help neck pain.
At first, no problem. Five months later, increased suicidal thoughts and aggression that was uncontrollable. I made the mistake of weening myself off without a doctor's recommendation. Three days later, nausea, vomiting, unstoppable crying, and a feeling of not being able to balance while walking. I was considering go to the ER, but hoped I could handle the suicidal thoughts by myself. After talking with my therapist, I realized that was not a wise decision. After reading other comments, I too hope I can get through this very hard time, with God's
help. Thank you, Kathy

Today is day 5 of being off Cymbalta. PLEASE tell me that it will not take 30 days to detox because I don't think I can handle it. I'm recovering from a serious staph infection which is why I didn't remember to take the Cymbalta. I will go back on Prozac as soon as I can get the prescription filled (today).

I have been on Cymbalta for over a year, 60 mg as I was suicidal and suffer from major depression, anxiety, muscular skeletal pain, and a few other issues so I also take several other meds. since I did not and still don't have insurance, and the cost of Cymbalta is so high, my doctor gave me samples, but when I last saw him, he did not have any, and said he would not have any in the future, nor did he give me a prescription for more. I called the following week and left a message that I had enough left to last me until two days ago, and of course he is on vacation this week. It has been two days now, and to be honest, the Cymbalta did work for my depression, but I am really scared about the withdrawals, and he obviously didn't give a c..p.

Ah crude, I am on Gabapentin too, and I am having major issues with my left foot swelling to the point where I have no arch, going dead, and now numbness up to my knee at night. My doctor completely dismissed any cause of neuropothy, he said instead that it was either my heart, liver, or kidneys, but since I have no insurance until my medicare kicks in on Dec. 1, there was nothing he could do.

DAY 18: the past three days have been awful, but the worst issues begin around 3 pm or so. SEVERE dizziness, bouts of terrible nausea, itching, and major fatigue. I ache terribly. Today was better than yesterday, so I am hopeful. I am taking motion sickness pills, benadryl, and Pepto Bismal. The motion pills are helping me somewhat.

The Cymbalta worked very well for my pain, but it was not worth going through this.

My Cymbalta withdrawal: day 58
I'm 66, two years retired after 43 years teaching, worked as an itinerant in a high-stress, national model program, and it's not my first rodeo. When I retired, I had fibromyalgia, lymphedema, high bp, a cholesterol issue, severe osteoarthritis, and more. I already knew about suffering. (Just for the kicker, my last two work years, my spouse drove me, I ate on the way home, and went to bed for the night the second I got in the house.)
For years I had been on Effexor and needed a dosage increase. My insurance declined. I tried Cymbalta. (Years before I tried Lyrica for one day and had visual hallucinations.) After three months and no relief, we decided to taper off the 60 mg. of this drug, so I took 30mg. daily for three weeks, and 30mg. every other day for two.
YES, I'M USUALLY IN THE 1/10 OF 1%, and am generally a doctor's all-tme exception. I can't tell you how many times I've heard: "This has never happened before in my career." (My brilliant orthopedist who had replaced many NYCity ballet hips, etc., remains dumbstruck as I emerged with both femoral neuropathy and lymphedema, so now I can't walk alone.) SO I KNOW HOW INDIVIDUAL I AM AND AM MY OWN BEST ADVOCATE.

CYMBALTA WITHDRAWAL (medically supervised) IS THE WORST EVENT OF MY LIFE. I've had sixteen severe symptoms, most simultaneously. The worst have to be the wish to die and the panic attacks, when I can't seem to breathe. However, I am absolutely determined to survive this. I'm proud as hell to be starting the third month. IT CAN'T LAST FOREVER.
My BIGGEST CAVEAT to pass on to all is that, for me, the withdrawal isn't linear, and it may not be for you. I now can be sick as hell, finally have a few good hours and really think I'm getting better, and go back to severe sickness and even new symptoms.
Remember, you're INDIVIDUAL. When I can, I eat, even if the IBS pain kills me for hours, because you HAVE to eat. When I can, I sleep. Guess what? It helps time pass, and this process is nothing if not slow. Sleep helps me escape the brain zaps, which are accompanied by a sound like a wire brush on a drum or sand being shaken in a jar. Often it's multiple zaps and sounds in a row (not the "as often as once a minute" crap I read on an official medical website). The zaps are sequential and had better not start to syncopate . . .

I fully believe that there is an end and that I will get through this. Tonight I got up from bed, saw my cat on the floor moving, and experienced sheer panic because I thought she was a gargoyle. A few seconds later I knew I was hallucinating.
CYMBALTA WILL NOT WIN . . . I WILL. Put up signs or Post-its or whatever saying that this will pass. Get tough. Ask for medical intervention if you want to or if you experience the "Seek immediate help" symptoms.
Take the Omega-3. Nordic Naturals is an excellent, high quality brand.
I'm in month three. I'm still here. I'm going to come through this.
I'll post again.

Hi. I initially had the brain "zaps" when stopping Paxil 2 years ago. It seemed the docs didn't know what I was talking about -- I switched to Cymbalta, believing I needed an anti-depressant and believing the commercials. I have now tried going off of it three times -- each time I get brain zaps so severe and constant, I can't do anything except sit in a dark quiet room and NOT move my eyes or head. I have been on 30 mgs. for about 6 months, 60 mg for a year before that. I have never felt the drug made me less depressed OR helped chronic back pain.

The absolute worst is getting OFF of it??? What kind of a drug has you addicted because of the side effects from NOT having it?? Furthermore, it is expensive and I guess they've gotten an extension of the patent which was to expire June 2013. It costs me $200 for 30 days, so I've been existing on samples mostly. I ran out a week ago and thought I would try to "ride out" the zaps. On the 4th day, worse. As I said, could only sit in dark room. My husband couldn't take it anymore and bought FOUR of my prescription for $36. I broke the 60 mg. into 3 and took 20 mg. A few hours later, the zaps are almost gone, although I still feel I have a hangover. I'm getting more samples and will continue maybe at 20 mg. every other day and wean much more slowly. Any advice, welcome.

I was prescribed this drug for chronic pain. I have never taken an antidepressant before and never will again! I am mid-50's and have had acid trips as a teenager that were not as bad as trying to get rid of this drug! I am on day 3 without Cymbalta and refuse to give into the urge to take more of this crap to stop the withdrawal. I don't want to give up the ground I have already gained in getting this stuff out of my system. I have gained 20 lbs on this drug and decided to step the dosage down for 1 week then take every other day 1 week and then stop. Yeah, right. I should have done my research. People have to resort to counting 'beads' to get off this stuff? Really??

The withdrawal symptoms are unbelievably bad.

I have been weaning off for a long while now. I am 27 years old and was put on Zoloft for a bit of a mood swing I had when I was 11 or 12 and no one ever took me off the antidepressants because I felt fine, I wasn't sad. At 24ish they switched me to cymbalta claiming it was a safer drug.

I remember the Zoloft withdrawls only lasted a few days and weren't fun but didn't last long. I have also been through opiate withdrawls, because a doctor thought pain killers on long term were a great idea, and for everyone wondering if cymbalta withdrawls are like that, no, that is very painful and not comparable to this. I have been off cymbalta, well more like weaning I guess, for several months now. At the top I was taking 120 and the do for weaned me down to 30. I took each step down for 90 days and did well with that. Now what I do is go as long as I possibly can without a pill. I mean I really try to push myself and mark the calendar when I last tool a pill and shoot for one day later than that. For example if I take a pill Tuesday then one on Friday that's 3 days I won't take another until next Tuesday then Sunday for 5 days.

I have built up to 7 days so far. It has helped me because the withdrawls start later and later and then hopefully not at all. My worst withdrawls are the anger and the back pain. I am a really generally happy person and them this back and shoulder pain sets in and then it starts to get to me and I can't sleep and then BAM I am just a mean person. I feel like I could punch a hole in a wall. It's horrible. It only sets in badly at night and I can usually move around enough during the day to offset of. The dizziness isn't too bad but by the time I need another pull it usually is getting to the point of making me nauseous and that's really the only side effects I have. No brain zaps or anything like that. I have been trying melatonin at night to help me sleep through the pain and anger but I usually need somewhere between 6-10 mg to just honestly knock me out. Also does anyone else get lucid dreams from withdrawing from this? My doctor looked at me like I was absolutely insane but I know it's from coming off this medication!

I am 25 and I felt depressed with low energy for a few months and my doctor prescribed me Cymbalta.

For the first 3 days I couldn't even go to work or smile, I was in tears all the time and I couldn't eat anything since my stomach was aching badly. For a week I was having trouble sleeping and I was very demotivated. After 3 months taking it I had constant suicidal thoughts even though I did not have any big issues going on in my life.

I went to a psychiatrist and she doubled my dose, which made me even worse. I tried to stop taking the medicine for 2 days but could not go thought all the side effects, so I went back to 60ml a day. Nothing changed and my psychiatrist tried to get me to a clinic and I decided to look for a REAL doctor.

My new doctor was very surprised and she wanted to try to change the Cymbata to another medicine slowly. I started taking cymbata plus another anti-depressive which helped a lot.

Since Cymbalta I have been having trouble sleeping; really bad dreams every night plus sweating a lot during night. This week my doctor went on vacation and I ran out of both my meds. I have been without cymbalta for 2 days and it has been bad. Somebody said something about "hearing our eyes move" and I could not agree more, I feel light-headed, sleepy, I have minor skin reactions and I fell out of my own head.

It doesnt matter what I will have to go through, I made my mind that I am going to get off Cymbalta once for all. It only made my life worse since the start and I hate myself for allowing a mediocre doctor to convince me I needed it. BEWARE!

I took Cymbalta for a month and half and then stopped because it was making me irritable. For 3 weeks of the withdrawal I was crying, easily agitated, and overwhelmed. I felt like I was coming undone at work. I also got nauseous at the sight of anything unappealing. I thought I may have been pregnant due to being so emotional. Turns out that my solution was getting back on Effexor. Now I'm feeling like me again.

I was on celexa and ampitriptyline for years doing pretty good. Dr thought I should stop celexa and go on Cymbalta for body pain, as I have severe arthritis. I gradually took myself off of celexa and did very well. Then the nightmare started when I began taking the Cymbalta. No help with body pain, in fact my hips hurt so bad, I thought I was headed for a hip replacement. Dr then told me to gradually come off and I did.

Now I am in a whirlwind of depression, odd eye movements, very weepy, depressed beyond imagination, hostile to everyone, headaches,dizzy, wanting to fall backwards . I am not only having thoughts of suicide, but wishing others were dead also. Never had this happen before. I am very concerned these symptoms are going to last forever. I finally got a psychiatrist appt in two weeks, hope I can last that long.

I would not recommend this Cymbalta to anyone. I feel they almost have made it so you can't come off of it. Very scary and I am worried these side effects are gong to last a very very long time. If that happens, I probably will be divorce and have alienated everyone around me. :(

35 DAYS OFF CYMBALTA AND NO MORE BRAIN ZAPS YAY

I was taking Cymbalta because they said it would help with nerve pain and should help anxiety at the same time. Didn't help at all with either, so I stopped. After 2 months, I've been so angry and irritable, I felt on the verge of committing myself. I'm never taking any med like that again. Doctors are so quick to give out these kinds of "meds". Crazy.

Has anyone else experienced an onset of withdrawal symptoms within 12 hours of a missed dose? If I miss a day, I am on the floor by lunchtime the next day (I take my 120mg at night); tears, brain zaps (for me this is fuzziness and increased noise until it physically hurts my head, it is terrifying), dizziness etc (literally all of the above).

Please comment how long it takes for you to experience withdrawals. I am a 19 yr old girl, healthy weight and have been on Cymbalta since I was 16.

Wow, this is all incredible. How do drugs like this even get approved. I'm on 60 mg of Cymbalta for depression and body pain (likely fibromyalgia). It treated my moderate depression and mild anxiety, but did nothing for the body pain. Since it's such a nasty drug, and does nothing for my pain, I'd like to get off of it and go back on an old-school SSRI.

My doctor is a big fan of weaning, but she told me it is hard with Cymbalta. She prescribed me a 30 mg dose and for one week I am supposed to go 60-30-60-30-60-30-60 and then for another week only 30 and then the third week 0-30-0-30-0-30-0. Has anyone tried this method? Does it help with symptoms. So far I would consider my symptoms mild, not that much more intense than Celexa withdrawal (which I also weaned off of).

I also read on a fibromyalgia forum that you can get a compounding pharmacy to make you weaning-appropriate doses that go down by 5 mg gradually. I think it requires a special Rx from the doctor and would probably cost more money, but I may consider this route if I just can't get off of it the prescribed way.

Here I am up at 4:30 reading this site after reading the FDA paper from 2009. I started Cymbalta for fibro somewhere around 2006 or 2007 after the rheumatologist I saw said he couldn't help me. Not before writing me some couple hundred ultram before I left. Referred to pain clinic. Cymbalta helped me with my pain; not so good with my depression. The result is I wound up on 120mg daily.

In the meantime, I had suffered with heart problems. LONG QT was diagnosed, sudden arrhythmia death syndrome. It worsened over time until I had a defibrillator/pacemaker installed. Never was Cymbalta indicated that it might cause worse heart palpitations & no one suggested I come off of it. I had read about withdrawals & counting beads. My reason for coming off were I reunited with my ex and after years of being sexually okay, I no longer could feel sexual nor complete the act. So I have been downsizing my dose for the past year until now I am taking 30mg every other day or so.

However, I am experiencing recurrent nightmares which woke me straight up tonight and here I am. I also had problems whenever I missed a dose, dizziness, stomach cramps, ill stomach, emptying of bowels. Still I get sick when I go too long. My partner, he thought he was experiencing benzo withdrawals after stopping Pristiq. We still discuss this as he is a tough man and managed with meds. to ease the symptoms. We may never know. All this was self-initiated and I may have to count beads before all is said and done. My fibro pain returns, but it beats the lack of true intimacy with my mate as well as having been a guinea pig while STILL no doctor has spoken to me of the withdrawal-even though they know I am tapering off.

This drug could have been more dangerous to me than I know. Will I ever know? Trust your instincts, follow the people who post and share to make good informed decisions for yourself. I found it useful to read here that someone said using a SSRI might be a good way to help come off. Bead counting has been primary in most of what I have read about the people who taper most easily. So you know, I also suffered with severe depression during this time which for me, has gotten better. And have seen a caring therapist who also provided a necessary support system. For now, I cannot work and hope to return to the workforce in some way.

Took Cymbalta for YEARS and it worked great. Helped with the depression, helped with the arthritis pain. Insurance just cut me off saying they wouldn't cover it anymore. I stepped down with what I had left, but have had a headache for two weeks and constant pain everywhere.

Not the Cymbalta's fault. I tried to reason with them,but they will not cover it and I can't afford it myself. It worked for me, but I knew it would be hard to go almost cold turkey off of it, and it's been just like I expected it would be.

Thank you, insurance.

I've been taking cymbalta for over a year now. With little to no side effects it has really helped me with my depression. But not too long ago I ran o for 4 days. With the holiday my doctors office wasn't open so I had to wait. But during those 4 days I've never felt worse in my entire life m I had brain zaps and I was so angry. I could hardly move. So many things were wrong. But its also been 4 dayssince I've been taking it again but I havnt felt normal...the top of my head sometimes has these aching pains or my brain literally felt like it was burning at one point.

I try to sit down and do my college work but I can't because I can hardly focus, ill sit there and feel kinda dizzy and light headed. My head just won't feel right and ill get really tired and just not care about the homework. Its not a feeling of depression. Its something else..and its ruining my life

I was prescribed Cymbalta for Fibromyalgia pain and it worked fairly well. The side effects became unbearable: severe stomach pains, chest pains, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, burning pains in my legs, severe diarrhea, gas, and bloating. My doctor never discussed any of the side effects. They only thing she told me was that if the medication did not help the pain to stop taking it. She never said anything about tapering it or stopping it slowly. The withdrawal from the medication has been horrible. I have been irritable, argumentative, seeing shadows, numbness in my lips, dizziness, headaches, I feel like I am on "speed." Hyper might be the word I am looking for. Does anyone else feel like that? How long can these symptoms last? Is there anything a person can do except to wait for it all to end?

Hi, I am currently in the process of quitting Cymbalta cold turkey. All that I have read about I am experiencing. I am so nauseated I have been following it up with projectile vomiting for the past 2 days, the brain zaps, I have had very very deep thoughts today and told myself, it's the Cymbalta or withdrawals doing this, this is NOT you. My head literally has felt like its turned or pivoting inside my skull which gave me about 2 seconds of vertigo each time. That has stopped. I was about ready to go to Urgent Care to find out why I have been so sick.

I have been on Cymbalta since 2002! I have quit it several times cold turkey but never experienced anything like this before. I just had some brain zaps for a few days and that was it. I also have a sinus infection but I checked that out and it doesn't cause vomiting even if its a severe one.

Right now I am taking 1 pill every other day and will continue to do so for about a week and then that's it. I figure why prolong the agony of the withdrawals now that I have read all that is mentioned above.

I just came from the Cymbalta official website and there isnt anything listed about withdrawals if one suddenly decides to get off of it. It states to talk to a dr first and that is it. I too have read the insert that comes with it so many times over the years and there is nothing there.

I was put on it for neuropathy-well it hasnt been working for a long time so my Dr added Neurontin. Then a warning came out this year not to take the two due to possible negative interactions. So I naturally picked Cymbalta thinking it might start working again on its own.

I am reeeeeally looking forward to the day these withdrawals stop. At least now I am armed with information and know for sure its not my mind suddenly playing tricks on me or that I have the flu. For me its a lot easier dealing with stuff like this when I have plenty of information to go by. Years ago when I had my accident the ortho surgeon put me on oxycontin. I had been on it for more than a year and quit that cold turkey!

Do NOT ever attempt this on your own-I should have been hospitalized 5 different times while going through the withdrawals but refused treatment. The severe withdrawal symptoms of Cymbalta are about as bad as the Oxycontin up to a certain point but I dont think anything can be as bad as Oxycontin withdrawals especially after being on it for so long.

I count my blessings in that I have always been a fast healer so maybe I will get through this quicker than some of the folks here; that is what I will be definitely praying for. I will come back in a week to post an update on my withdrawal progress. Good luck to all of those who are going through this too! And thank you for those who have already been through it for your information.

Hello.i am 50 years old.and have had rheumatoid pain since the 9,i have been on meds. with no relief, I suffer P.T.S D. due to losing several family members and children. My dr prescribed Cymbalta and Xanax for the fibromyalgia and depression.

I have worked for the government 25 years but just learned I will soon have no insurance. I can't afford the meds without it so I quit taking them.

I did not know that my life would spin out of control. I have been hospitalized with the withdrawal symptoms and feel like I am going out of my mind. .I WISH I KNEW THIS BEFORE I EVER TOOK THE MEDS. IF SO I WOULD H NR TAKEN THEM.

I am taking 40 mg of Prozac and my last dose of Cymbalta was Sunday. I am having the dizziness, brain zaps, hearing my eyes blink, heart palpitations, exhaustion etc...but plan on not taking anymore Cymbalta. Since I am on the Prozac will my withdrawl go slower or maybe I should increase my dose of prozac for the time being.

I am on day 3 of withdrawal from Cymbalta.

I am getting the head wooshes, head zaps, dizziness, loose bowels etc etc. Last night I had terrible nightmares, cold sweats, and woke up a few times. I'm extra tired today, and having a hard time concentrating at work. HOPEFULLY this is as worse as it gets, but I'll post more as it progresses.

Just a little background: I've only been on this for a month, for depression and anxiety (1 week on 30mg, 3 weeks on 60mg). I decided to stop taking it because it was making me feel worse. One of my main complaints before I started taking this was fatigue, so I have no idea why i was prescribed this, as it made me feel even more tired! I now wish I had done more research. Anyway, Cymbalta not only made me feel worse, but it gave me tremors and twitching! My doctor says this is uncommon, but I looked it up and apparently it happens more often than he said. He had me stop cold turkey because getting tremors obviously isn't normal.

He had also previously prescribed me Wellbutrin which gave me insane panic attacks. I've taken Zoloft before and had success, but was weary of taking it again due to the sexual side effects. It turns out Cymbalta has the same effect on me anyway, so I might as well try to the Zoloft one more time.

I will say some good news about this though: If you have severe depression, or you've gotten so depressed and stresssed out its hard to think, move, etc etc. then you are probably no stranger to extreme fatigue, dizziness, brain fog, trouble concentrating, insomnia (at least i have gotten this way before and have gotten used to it at times) Therefore the withdrawal symptoms I am having are not bothering me as much as i thought.. i mean, they definitely suck, but guess what? You'll live!! However, I will post again, in a few days and let you know if I've changed my opinion :) GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL!

I am reading this, and I still can't believe what I'm reading. My pysch tried to up me to 120 mg and I refused. I am on 60 trying to get off. I am numb. The brain zaps (I described them to my doctor as someone banging up against the side of an old black and white TV set and making the picture jump). I have been taking care of my father, who died last week from alzheimers. Three days later I had to put down my beloved english setter of 16 years ....first there was nothing...no tears, just a blank expression.....
now its turned to anger, frustration, thoughts of suicide, headaches, body aches
yesterday was 9/11. the tears finally came....more anger, apathy....I cannot believe this. I don't know what to do first. I am going to start the taper today ....this explains everything I have been going through for too long. I am stunned.

I have been dealing with low back, hip and sciatic pain for about 5 years. I had a flare up at 30, and after a couple months it resolved. Since then I had a couple minor flares lasting a few weeks, nothing I couldn't treat myself at home for. Then at 33 I get up for work and BAM, I'm in so much pain I cant breath, one leg felt shorter than the other and I was dizzy. Doctor does the watchful wait to see if it goes away, nope just gets worse. By month 4 I was walking with a cane, my right foot went numb and I haven't driven a car since (almost 2 years now). My hip images were normal, back images were normal, and I picked up a new symptom of eye pain and blurred vision. The doctors decided I had peripheral neropathy and gave me Cymbalta.

I was not given the list warnings (aside from nausea, headaches and drowsiness, I was told to ignore the side effects), I was told it was my last option take it or be sent to pain management indefinitely. I am also legitimately allergic to opiates, so no pain meds for me, pain management equates to no treatment. I started taking Cymbalta, I had muscle spasms, couldn't sleep, in exhaustion I would literally collapse only to wake up with spasms, my eyes got worse, I had rashes, mouth sores, the works. Then I had to step up to 40 mgs, things just got worse. After collapsing and having seizures on a sidewalk, my Dr decided to step me down to 40mgs, I told him I had never stepped up to the full 60mgs because of the side effects, though I will have you know my back felt fantastic. He was annoyed and stepped me down to 20mgs, the spasms and sores continued so after 9 weeks he stepped me down to 20 mgs every other day. He performed a EMG, which came back normal ruling out peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage and any ailments of the peripheral nervous system. Which means there really is a ghost in the machine, a problem of the central nervous system.

After that last appointment on 8/27/13, I was given the opportunity to change health insurance and ditch Kaiser, I took it. Till I can get into see my new Dr I am taking the every other day regiment. I have read about brain zaps, but this is ridiculous. Imagine walking on an electrified fun house floor. Every movement is jerky and I can actually feel the signal like flashbulbs exploding along my nerves. When I walk I'm completely disoriented, I fall, crash into things, I'll feel like I'm traveling at warp 5 and hitting the emergency break. Sitting, standing makes no difference, I feel like I'm rocking back and forth (I'm not, I actually asked). This is horrible, and it's making it hard to work. I fell at work Monday (I kept it to myself, it's not a work related issue, its the stupid medicine). I'm taking vitamins, drinking water, I eat healthy, my body feels like someone else is driving, I'm just at a loss on what to do.

RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN TO THE OTHER SIDE!!!!Just kidding (not really). The pain and frustration are short lived. At least in the scope of life. I weaned off by going from 60 mg to 30 and a few months later taking the 30s apart and dumping some of the crap out for abt 2 wks and then cold turkey for abt 5 days. Piece of cake if you have booze. haha Suicidal thoughts were fleeting cause I know that I have a lot to live for. You do too. And doooooon"t you forget it.Grandkids, kids, loved ones, sex drugs rock n roll, whatever, LIFE IS GOOD.T hank your creator for every moment, good and not so good and move on. Life is short so make the most of it and laugh often. Most of the time, depression is all in your head. You can beat it because you are worth it. And dogonnit, people like you haha. God bless you and stay strong.

My experience with Cymbalta:

My family doctor prescribed Cymbalta because I could not break out of the severe depression I had been in for almost a year. She gave me 30 mg samples to take for six weeks. The followup visit was yesterday. I told her that I had only had one episode of ankle swelling, mainly because I had to drive home 230 miles and didn't have the option to put my feet up.

Wouldn't you know, that very evening my feet and ankles swelled up again! This was yesterday, and I'm still having problems getting them to go down.

Cymbalta DID WORK at getting me out of my depression. I was having terrible, disturbing dreams BEFORE starting it and now I wake up smiling in my sleep. I'm calmer and less anxious.

I am concerned about the side effects though. Turns out I had some of them for a while: hot flashes, night sweats and nausea. Also, I have a bit of pain in my "bad knee" and a spot of pain on my calf. I am a walker, but walking 1.5 miles yesterday did me in. I would have thought that it would keep the blood pumping and keep me from having foot swelling, but the opposite happened. And I made it a point to stay very hydrated all day yesterday.

My dose is only 30 mg and my M.D. just wrote a prescription for a year's supply. I have taken 40 mg of Prozac for years and this is the way I put it to my doctor: "The Prozac keeps me hanging on and the Cymbalta helps me to be happy again." She absolutely mentioned NO possible symptoms other than swelling, EVEN THOUGH I told her I have had some nausea, constipation and diarrhea! Grr...

To be honest, these accounts have really got me worried about taking Cymbalta. But, as I mentioned IT HAS HELPED ME TO KICK THE DEPRESSION. I may decide to take my 30 mg only every other day and see how that goes.

In my earlier comments, I forgot to mention the extreme pain I experienced while going through withdrawal. I saw my PCP the other day to explain to him what I had been going through as a result of stopping the Cymbalta suddenly. He actually had a smirk on his face as I attempted to explain my symptoms. His solution was to put me back on the Cymbalta. I thought he was joking or out of his mind. There is no way, absolutely NO WAY I will ever take that drug again in this lifetime. I have gone through the worse of the withdrawal and I am beginning to feel better. The severe pain is gone and the woooshing in my ears has gone, thank the Lord. That will drive you bonkers. I am still feeling a little hyper but I am sure that will leave in a few more days. Just ride it out, everyone who is trying to go through this without having to go back on this medication, unless you need it for depression. I was taking it for fibromyalgia.

okay, now I can't ignore it anymore. I ruined my marriage to a beautiful woman because I couldn't care about sex. That was 5 years ago. Two years ago I moved to be closer to my dad who was suffering from Alzheimer's. He died last week....not a tear... three days later I had to put down my beloved lucky dog 16 years....again numb, not a tear.

Crushing hurt anger and pain is under there waiting. I am on my last 30 60 mg pills. I don't know how I am going to do it but I MUST be free of this nightmare in the next 30 days. The brain zaps, headaches, nausea, body aches, sleeplessness, anger, sweats. I have degenerative disc disease and hereditary (or habitual) depression. I hope God is listening, because I think the light at the end of the tunnel might be a train... I'm going to give it my best shot.

So glad I found this site as my doctor is trying to wean me off and I feel so sick. He cut my dosage in half, then told me to take one on and the next day not take on for a week. Currently on my first day 'off' and I felt like yelling and screaming at customers and feel like I've been hit with the flu. At least I know that it's 'normal' for this drug. Hopefully will be over soon.

I'm a 62 yr.old male and have discontinued the use of Cymbalta cold turkey. That may not be the smartest thing to do but with the cost involved (30 day supply after insurance=75.00) not only can I not afford it, but I can't tell that it helps that much either. My neurologist prescribed it for my peripheral neuropathy. I had been taking gabapentin for it but that made me dizzy at 1800mg. per day.

The only side effects that I've had so far (5 days) is irritability and very vivid nightmares that are usually about death and destruction. These bad dreams usually come on about 2 hrs. after going to sleep and are so upsetting that it hard to back to sleep so I just get up so, insomnia, is not good either.

Side effects while taking Cymbalta include depression, lack of motivation, no sex drive and body itching around my buttocks and genital area. I think I'd rather have numb fingers and feet than to continue this medication. I hope this information helps someone else.

I was put on Cymbalta for my fibro & other issues & it was the worst mistake of my life. It caused horrible personality changes & suicidal thoughts that I never in my life ever had. my husband finally pointed out my personality changes to me & I told my doctor.

I tried to ween off the med, which has no weening protocol. It was the most horrible month of my life & I am still suffering from the effects. I had horrible nausea, stomach pain,dizziness, brain zaps, lost 12 pounds in less than 2 weeks. I could barely get out of bed most days.

I finally had to call a therapist because I became so scared I was going to kill myself because my thoughts were so erratic & I was having panic attacks, which I also never before had. I have always been very stable & this was sooo scarey. I now have developed bleeding & an infection in my ear & glands in my left side of my head & I fully believe its from this medication's withdrawal effects.

What really gets me though is my prescribing doctor is totally unconcerned about any of this! I have repeatedly tried to tell her about how bad it has been & she has been so cavalier about it it is appalling!

I have been depressed all of my life since childhood, but I was not diagnosed until my 40s. I have been the guinea pig for nearly every antidepressant ever produced. Prozac was like a miracle for me for exactly 1 day, then it did not work anymore. Paxil did not help my depression, but it made men gain a lot of weight. There were myriad others in between the time I was put on Cymbalta for Major Depression and nerve pain. It took a few weeks, and suddenly I was pain free, but I could not sleep at night, having night sweats, and tossing and turning like a fish out of water. My electric bill for air conditioning is $200/mo. b/c the Cymbalta makes me heat intolerant and I sweat profusely during the day when other people were comfortable, and I am so embarrassed--my face/hair is dripping wet.

I couldn't function during the daytime because I did not sleep, and it affected my thinking and judgment I was so exhausted. What a dilemma. Plus, after about 6 weeks, it completely stopped working and my pain returned with a vengeance. In addition, it never alleviated my depression but by the least bit. Now because it stopped working and I cannot afford the exorbitant price, I am on Effexor. I asked my pharmacist what it would cost me for 1 month of Cymbalta, and he calculated it and said $1,040. Even with my crappy insurance they did not want to pay for it (Humana Gold Plus). I have had to pay for most of my meds by myself and now I'm in that "gap" where my ins co won't pay anything. My meds are approx. $450/mo, and my savings acct is wiped out. I have to choose between food or meds.

I posted a comment about a month ago about my horrible withdrawel symptoms from Cymbalta, and I just wanted to share my updated situation. I am definitely a lot better, though it took weeks for it to go away. The "brain zaps", nausea, dizziness, mood swings, headaches, etc. were almost unbearable. I had to miss days of work it was so bad and I couldn't drive. All I can say to people is seek assistance from the people you know. Just let them know what's going on. My doctor was absolutely no help at all by the way. I drank a lot of Sobe life waters and ate a lot of berries. For some reason it helped. I started taking a probiotic and fish oil capsules as well. Distraction is the key though. I just asked my husband to make me help him with outside projects, and it helped me keep my body moving and forced me not to dwell on the symptoms quite as much. Take lots of naps and drink fluids!! No sodas!! I know this is all easier said than done, because that's exactly what I said during the time. I just want people to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Just keep going! :)

I don't know where to start. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia several years ago and was prescribed Lyrica. It worked pretty well at the beginning. Then I got one of the most terrible news anyone can get: I had cancer. The tumor was removed and since according to the doctors mine was a "nasty" cancer, I went through long chemo and radiation treatments. I was prescribed a medication that supposedly will stop the cancer from coming back. It has wreaked havoc in my body. I have excruciating pain, I can hardly do anything anymore and it seems the fibromyalgia is acting up again. The doctors prescribed Cymbalta. So there I was taking both Lyrica and cymbalta.. The pain didn't disappear and I decided I was taking too many medications so I asked my doctor to help me quit the Cymbalta because I felt it wasn't doing anything to make me feel better.

It's been hell.. I've had all the symptoms people have described here including the suicidal thoughts. I cry all the time. I want to die. I worry about my husband,he's been incredibly patient and helpful but how much longer can he live with a mad woman? I feel my life is over. I am so depressed. I took the last Cymbalta capsule 4 days ago and the withdrawal symptoms haven't subsided one bit. And I just want to die.. By the way, I'm 66 years old.

I posted a little over a week ago regarding my withdrawal.

The worst is over, at least the obvious worst. It's been about 11 days since I went cold turkey. Personally, I do not know how anyone can prolong this by weaning off... I want this drug out of me as quickly as possible, even if it means suffering a bit more. This drug has made me never want to take an anti-depressant, or any chemical pill for that matter EVER AGAIN.

I no longer have dhiarrea, or tremors which is a good thing... although I do get the occasional twitch. The horrible nightmares and night sweats have subsided, which is also a good thing. I still feel nauseous, still getting the whooshes and zaps, and my mood is definitely low. I get random headaches, and have had several crying fits. I took another poster's advice and have been taking fish oil, as well as my regular vitamins (not sure whether or not it helps, but i don't seem to be having as bad of an experience as others... although suffering is relative)

My advice (although I am not a doctor) would be to go cold turkey if you haven't been on it for longer than a month or two... bc I feel as though keeping it in your system would do more harm than good.

I asked my doctor if I could try Cymbalta for the terrible chronic and worsening musculoskeletal aches and pains that I had been experiencing for a long time. I and my family had no doubt that I would be in a wheelchair before the end of the year. My doctor said - of course, I could try Cymbalta. He wrote a prescription and within one day I was feeling better.

It was soon evident that I had my life back. I could get around the house again, go out to the store and lunches, stand and cook, and do all the things I had been unable to do for a long time. My musculoskeletal aches and pains were 95% gone. Surprisingly, my peripheral neuropathy was greatly improved and didn't keep me awake anymore. I never admitted to being depressed, but I must have been -- not surprising with the chronic pain and discomfort I had lived with for so long and the bleak future I was looking forward to. My mood improved. I felt excited about doing things, happy, and energetic for the first time in a long time and still do.

My only side effects have been anorgasmia and a slight tremor that seems to be lessening.

My doctor said that he had no other patient who had responded that well to Cymbalta. And, he said that I might have had fibromyalgia after all. Fibromyalgia had never entered my mind. In fact, I knew almost nothing about it and never thought it could have caused the terrible symptoms I suffered from.

End result - as long as Cymbalta continues to work for me - and I continue without any serious side effects I will stay on it. It did give me my life back. I've been on it 8 or 9 months now.

PS: When I started it. I took it for one month and couldn't believe the change in me. Just to prove to myself it was the Cymbalta, I stopped it for one month - and immediately went back to all my previous symptoms. After one month without it, I started it again and got immediate relief and my life back again. For that month - other than going back to the way I had been before, I don't think I had any particular withdrawal symptoms.

I've was taking Cymbalta for 3 years for empty nest syndrome. I'm 48yr female.I have just gone of it cold turkey 4wks ago. whilst on it I found I was able to cope better with stressful situations things that once bothered me didn't I felt happier in general I did put on weight but was a lot calmer than normal.

Although just recently the last 6mths I did feel like I needed to take control of my self as I felt like my mind was clouded and needed to clear my head. Week 1-2 off Cymbalta has the head zaps, extremely irritable, angry snappy picky I feel sorry for my husband and 2 sons.

Week 3-4 head zaps gone less irritable, each day gets easier and better I've started taking "SAME" tablets from the health food shop they have helped greatly keeping me in control without having that foggy feeling my energy levels have now increased I'm starting to feel like I have control of myself again although I'm sure it is going to be some time before the full withdrawal from the drug subsides I'm doing the best I can for now. Good luck

Wow...as many of you have said I too thought I was going crazy. I have had 2 surgeries to fuse my neck, and have additional herniated discs in my neck, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine. I also have tendon tears in both shoulders, daily "migraine-like" headaches and pain all over my body. I have the associated issues with my arms/hands & legs/feet from my back issues (numbness, thing not working right, etc). I have been on pain meds for so long now it is crazy and as many of you know, over time they aren't as effective. I recently began to see a neurologist as I finally have insurance again. The neurologist is great, I have to say this first off.

After talking and discussing that my pain meds really aren't doing the job even with my pain med doc adding/changing things, we (the neurologist & I) discussed options especially as a large concern with my pain doc & my neurologist is the tylenol that is contained in my pain meds. I will say we have been using for example Norco instead of Lortab as Norco contains less tylenol. Anyways that is the basic back story that leads up to this hell I am going through now.

So since the pain meds I am on aren't taking care of the pain & have the tylenol concern, a few months ago my Neurologist suggested that I try Cymbalta (also Neurontin for my nerve pain) in hopes that I might be able to stop taking some of the other meds (narcotic/tylenol meds). I was ok it is worth a try! I was told that I would most likely be very tired (and may experience possible other side effects also) and such while adjusting to the Cymbalta & Neurontin. I tend to be one of those odd people who have the opposite reaction. And in this case, instead of being tired, I was wired. One day at a friends house she was like what are you on...are you doing coke or something...I was like no...just Cymbalta.

It did help with my pain and the added energy was a plus. This being wired feeling did calm down some after a week or so. However, to my dismay I found out that it was going to cost me $200 a month even with insurance to fill my Cymbalta prescription. I used the (1 time in 12 month) free coupon along with a month of free samples from my doctor to fill my prescriptions.

I do not like to take this type of medication as I don't feel I am depressed or if I am (which having chronic moderate to severe pain & headaches I probably should be/am) I feel I for the most part overcome it by "having a positive attitude" (LOL). My doctor's office worked with my insurance company to get Cymbalta approved so it would be cheaper, however, in the interim we discovered there was a potential drug interaction problem with one of my other medications and Cymbalta. So after being on Cymbalta 60mg for about a month and a half it was determined we needed to stop it.

Since my time on it was short they didn't feel it would be difficult to stop but to be sure I was given 7 days of Cymbalta 30mg. I took that last 30mg just over a week ago. I felt fine for the first few days and then everything changed. I was at physical therapy for my shoulders and realized I was like so shakey and feeling weird and dizzy but wasn't sure what was up. So I went home relaxed, cooked dinner and then realized all those weird feelings were coming back(dizziness, unstable, shaky, trembling, disorientated, sweating...etc..and pain...pain...pain especially in my back..OMG!!) Well brushed it off as an odd day (I have those from time to time with all I have going on) and as usual after dinner took an hour "nap" and was then up all night. The cycle repeated for a few days. During this time having had to do errands and such, I also realized I had no business driving as my vision was messed up and I just felt wrong overall.

I also began to have worsening swelling in my legs and feet (which I have been told is from my lower back issues) and then finally hit the crash phase 3 days ago. I then only wanted to sleep and slept as I normally do an hour at a time (due to pain) but in this case was able go right back to sleep which is unheard of for me. I have also awoken on quite a few occasions (and still) found myself in some odd dream where I would be doing something and would wake up to catch myself doing the motions of writing or eating or whatever was part of the dream - this even happens when I am awake but all of a sudden close my eyes and I guess begin to sleep or something like a waking sleep....the worst feeling/experience of all the things I am experience. I was/have been so out of it, my husband would talk to me and I had/have no idea what he said. I am still dealing with this and am so glad to have found this site and realize I am not going crazy...because I was starting to think that. These withdrawal symptoms have ruined plans this weekend...no one seems to get it either. I wanted to get up this morning but I couldn't...I was so out of it and tired I couldn't think, move...I was numb felt odd, having major numbness in my arms and legs.

I have told my husband I feel like I am on another planet all alone due to these withdrawal symptoms. This is so odd to me because I really have never had "withdrawal" issues from meds when ending/changing until now. This is horrific! I am now getting the urge to cry over nothing and that is sooo not me. These symptoms have had me scared, but at least now I have piece of mind. However, I am still concerned as I can't shake these odd feelings!!

I can see the usefulness of this medication, but shame on the manufacturer for not disclosing withdrawal information and basically dismissing it as non-existent, failing to disclose/educate the physicians. I so hope if nothing more, this helps someone who is going through this. Good luck and best wishes to all!

PLEASE try your best to stay away from any of these medications. But if you must be on them as I must be- - -be your own best advocate!!! Read everything you can on what you are being prescribed- good and bad. you must inform yourself- unfortunately most Doctors have no idea- truly! you must trust your own body regardless of what anyone else tells you. Make sure you have a Doctor you trust... Someone who is available to you- who you feels cares- who will be understanding patient kind considerate and extremely knowledgeable. If you have to go thru 100 doctors it doesn't matter- find one who cares about you!!! My prayers are with you all- I truly know .... And most important NEVER let it get to the point of feeling like you want to hurt yourself- Find help immediately. Gd luck

I posted several weeks ago as I was withdrawing from Cymbalta. I have tried to talk again to my doctor-the rhuematologist & my regular M.D. Neither one had a clue as to how bad this drug is. Or they don't care. I am still trying to figure that out. I have been doing better now that I am about 6 weeks out in my withdrawal recovery, but I am finding I am suffering from chest pain & pain in my left arm & shoulder. I mentioned this to my M.D. today when he was doing the final check on the bleeding in my ear & he was unconcerned. Go figure. If it gets worse I will try seeing a cardio doc but as of right now I have no faith in any of them. This episode with this drug has just about ruined my life, my marriage has suffered terribly. We were fine before I started this med. My personality changes were so severe & then while coming off this med I become so erratic & suicidal, I'm still not sure if we will get through it. I still struggle everyday to just get through each day, I still get brain zaps, nausea, eating issues. My pain level is unbelievable, a ten is not high enough. I really hope the next time I post things will be better...

Cymbalta,

It is a wonder drug for me... I have had chronic lower back pain for years.. Did not know until a couple of years ago that my disk were compressed.. However Cymbalta did the trick. it also helps me to deal with my anxiety and depression.

The one thing is, when my prescription runs out and I do not fill with in a week my body goes thru some wild changes.. I forget that it's the withdrawal from the drug and start thinking that I have some bug or eaten something bad. Vomiting, dizziness, tingling hands and feet ringing in the ears... simple solution.. do not run out of the script. it may have these type of side effects but still better that heavy narcs like oxycontin.. Been there don that.. talk about negative side effects and weaning off. Might as well as been main lining horse..

Good luck,

Works for me !!

I must say that reading the posts here have been a revelation for me. I have been weaning off of Cymbalta for two weeks now, and it has been absolutely horrible. Nausea, vomiting, brain zaps, bitchy and unbelievably depressed. My doctor simply said to start going off of this drug so that I can start Effexor as I have relapsed Depression on Cymbalta, and then just left me to it. I've called her three times begging for her to let me start the Effexor so finally after 1 1/2 weeks she phoned in a prescription for me, but her whole attitude was like I am just being a pain in the butt to her. And after reading a bit about Effexor, I'm not sure it's that safe to take either. I am so discouraged sand sad right now that I am starting to feel that battling this illness isn't worth it anymore. I am almost 50 years old and I've had Depression since I was 16 and frankly I've had enough. Is there nothing out there that actually works?

I went through all the terrible withdrawal symptoms, also and like you my doctor acted as though he could care less. He did offer me a tranquilizer after I refused to allow him to put me back on Cymbalta. I didn't have the prescription filled, however. I am feeling much better and so will you. Just hang in there and give it more time. The symptoms will gradually subside. It takes patience and I am afraid your family will need to be understanding. That is the difficult part. Sometimes, our love ones have a hard time understanding that the ugly behavior is not coming from us but is a product of our withdrawing from a crazy medication that we have been taking. I wish you nothing but the best.

Dear MV, I am 63 years old and I have battled depression most of my life. There are many anti-depressants that work well when dealing with this disorder but it is a matter of which one works for you with the least amount of side effects. Sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error before finding the right one. Sometimes my doctor would find one that would work only to have it stop working after a few months. Counseling along with medication helped me a lot. I was able to come off medication and have been off for a couple of years. My rheumatologist put me on Cymbalta for fibromyalgia and because of the side effects, I stopped taking it. That's when I ran into a lot of problems. All of the withdrawal symptoms sent me to my doctor who looked at me and immediately told me I was depressed and NEEDED to be back on antidepressants. When I told him I was not depressed, he did not believe me.

After dealing with depression most of my life, I think I would be the first to know if I were depressed or not. Talk to your psychiatrist and work with him/her and be patient. If your doctor seems not to care, find one who does. I have an excellent psychiatrist. My primary care doctor leaves something to be desired.

I took cymbalta for a month but stopped because I believe it was making my heart race. It was because when I stopped after a few day my heart race went back to normal. The first three days were fine but now I'm withdrawing bad. I'm having pain everywhere and I'm not sure if because of two my herniated disc in my neck or the cymbalta. but I think its the cymbalta. Last night I was in so much pain I could barely sleep and I was drench in sweat but cold. Yesterday the brain zaps started but some of the side effects I had while on is going away. pretty much all I feel is pain and these brain zaps.

i was only on for a month and i'm feeling this way but i know this won't last forever so i just have to be strong and deal with it because its not like i have any other options to take.

I originally posted on 9/12/13, and after another day of fun house floors, I quit. Two weeks later the worst seems to be over, I'm just waiting to see what stays and what goes. My hip pain is back as I expected, but I figure the cane is a better option than the pills.

I am fatigued, disoriented and when I try to walk without my cane my body spasms, jerks and twitches (the cane just gives me an additional balance point). My eyes are still blurry and hurting. I'm still having seizures, but not like that first one, once these stop I get up and besides being extremely tired I'm ok.

My appetite and other systems are normal. I go see a new doctor on the 4th of Oct., hopefully I get some real answers. - T

I am a 57 year old female and have been on Cymbalta for 8 years.My son committed suicide and I am having a battle of severe depression.I had two bloodclots go to my lungs and they were unable to dissolve them,so they"capped them"

My insurance did not pay well,my Doctor could not get my Coumadin regulated,so he told me he could not see me anymore as my insurance was not paying him enough.

So left with medical bills and not being able to work for a while,I had to chose what meds I could stay on.I needed to stay on the Coumadin,which still is not regulated,and my blood pressure pills.

Could not afford the Cymbalta.I have been off of it for a full month and feel like I've been hit by a truck!!!I was on 60mg. twice a day.My whole body hurts,my night sweats are so bad that I have to change night gowns once a night at least.I own my home and car and because I have "assets" I do not qualify for any help.I am BEGGING for some or any advice!!!!

My wife has quit Cymbalta 60mg cold turkey. She/We are on day 7 and I can honestly say this is the worst HELL we have ever been through. She refuses to take another pill no matter what the outcome. She refuses to see a Doctor because she fears of being put on another drug or the same drug at a lower dose. She has all the symptoms of most others that quit cold turkey. She claims she just does not want to exist any longer.

Now, my question is.....I love her unconditionally and want to support her! I DON'T KNOW HOW TO!!!!!!!

This is not my wife; she knows this is not her or her brain. Crying, angry, angrier, psychotic, brain zapps, tired, tired, dizzy, did I say just plain RUDE! She says she knows she is acting this way but has zero control, and she also says she does not care.......about anything.

I'm really just plain scared. All the information is mostly about the patient quitting the cymbalta, but what about the people around them that it effects when they start going through withdrawals from not taking cymbalta.

I want answers! Like why the FDA does not require the severe withdrawal side effects from discontinuing a drug to be published? Doctors certainly by now know the severity of quitting cymbalta. If support is being her "punching bag" then that I'll be.

I think the manufacturer should be held responsible for not properly warning consumers/patients of the withdrawal symptoms!! I'm sure that wouldn't go along with their sales quota plans though.

She needs help, I need help. Am I alone??

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE:

We would encourage you and your wife to immediately seek counseling. That does not necessarily lead to more medication, but it could help you understand what is happening and how to get through the next several days of the withdrawal experience. We consider this a medical emergency that requires professional assistance ASAP!

I was on duloxetine 20mg for 9weeks. The side effects were horrendous and never left me dr said to stop taking it and gave me 10 mg of citilipram this was 4 days ago and I am now feeling more depressed today, I would like to know if this will get better. I am keeping myself as busy as I can. I would like a little help on this. thank you SMF

I have been taking Cymbalta for 2 years due to depression and fibromyalgia. Even though the drug helped these conditions I have been experiencing extreme dizziness the past year. So I decided to go off Cymbalta after an ENT specialist told me my dizziness was from taking Cymbalta. The withdrawal symptoms are absolutely terrible. I have this bone crushing headache with vision problems and the dizziness continues. I hope discontinuation will be worth it because now I am feeling like I couldn't possibly live with this much longer.

I have been on Cymbalta for back and fibromyalgia pain for almost four years now. I found that D-Ribose was incredibly helpful with my FMS pain, so my doctor and I decided to stop the Cymbalta. I have been off the med for three days, and have felt stragely, tinnitus, horrible vertigo, upset stomach. I just found this website because I was looking for information to see if the effects I am feeling were due to stopping the Cymbalta. Now, I am HORRIFIED that the FDA, pharmacists, nor doctors seem to be aware of this HUGE problem!

I cannot even drive to my doctor appointment this afternoon, am calling a cab because of the vertigo. I can only imagine what another day of this might bring.

Its nice to hear that a professional has had an experience with this but-let me say that I tried to talk to not one or two but no less than 5 doctors on this issue & got NOWHERE. They all acted like I was a nut case.

I am an intelligent person, or so I have been told, with fibro, crest syndrome & osteo arthritis. I went through hell on this drug not only while I was on it but still as I have been off for now going on 3 months, I have been hospitalized & lost almost 20 lbs.

Still no doctor will recognize this is the cause. My stomach is so messed up I cannot eat hardly at all. I feel these doctors are enabling this to go on by not listening & continuing to prescribe this medication.

Please please please dont leave her alone! I was never suicidal in my life until i went into this med withdrawal. If she gets too bad please go to the hospital. You cannot control this yourself!

I was so scared I sought out help before I hurt myself. I am doing much better now. She will get better, but it will be rough for a few weeks. I am 3 months or so into my "recovery" and am finally feeling better. Hang in there...

Everything everyone has said here is valid. I was put on Cymbalta for MDD and GAD. I couldn't afford the prescription so I had been relying on samples form the doctors office and psychiatrists office. I went all the way up to 120 when on a weekend.... from lack of my own planning, ran out of Cymbalta.

Thank Goodness for family, I have never been so out of my mind, I was sobbing all the time, wouldn't get out of bed, wrote a suicide note to be found later and I am not sure what would have happened if my husband and parents weren't there. This was the lowest I had ever ever been.

I was put back on Cymbalta and symptoms subsided, flash-forward 3 months of not being suicidal anymore but the drug was not helping my depression so my Dr. and I decided to taper off and try Lexpro. He stated go week 1-60 mg week 2-90mg.... going from 120 to 90 and I started having some suicidal idealization, and crying jags. I called the nurse line and got to advice as to what to do next. After researching online my husband and I decided to push out the time on the drug before dropping down a dose.

2 weeks at a time at each dose, its going better, the first few days are always make me feel different but yesterday I took my first pill of Lexpro. Oddly enough, now that I'm off Cymbalta, I feel more clear in my thinking and at least in my view, a better more aware spouse and mother. I wish I'd known the suicidal risk if you stop Cymbalta. I was very close to being that case that ended my life. I don't even know that person from back in June. I just know I had no medical assistance to help me cope.

The FDA needs to figure out how to get people off this!!! My heart breaks to think I might not be here now for my children because I ran out of an antidepressant on the weekend.

So glad I found this site. I was taking up to 4 -75/ lortabs a day in addition to up to 4 - 2mg of Xanax per day. I have very bad anxiety and neck injuries from MV accidents. Anyway, my dr. Is no longer practicing and I seen a new one. She took me off the lortab and cut the Xanax in half and replaced it with Lyrica at night and 30mg of Cymbalta for daytime. I already stopped the Lyrica and have only taken 5 of the Cymbalta. Not only did this Md tell me to take it, but I went to the spine center yesterday when the PA told me to stick with the cymbalta and not stop the other. From the first day I made the changes (started the new meds) I have been a mess. Shaking, ringing in the ears, not sleeping, diarrhea, and just feeling not myself.

I am not taking another cymbalta. In fact I will find another Md, I was not even told of the side effects. We do have to be our own advocates. I just hope I am getting off them soon enough not to have major withdrawals. I am leaving in a week to go away for two weeks. While I never abused my other meds I know that getting off the pain killers is wise and hoping I can function on the lower dose of the Xanax.

Thank you for sharing on here, your stories have helped my decision to do what I am doing.
I already take vitamins and fish oil, need to skip my one cup of coffee at least for a few days to see how this goes. May you all get your lives back to some normalcy. Prayers that you do.

this is worth-it. keep on, it does wonders. for the first time in months I can walk properly and bend and even ride bicycle. no mentionable negative aspects. I am so grateful. I feel life is worth-it and now I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity. I also use omega 3, 6, and 9 and take a sleeping pill at night. never awake and full of strength and energy the following day.

Just to offer another view! Cymbalta has been a life saver for me along with Lyrica. I have peripheral neuropathy and my doctor has tried treating it various different ways. Without help I am virtually disabled from the pain. But when she got on the combination of Cymbalta and Lyrica, suddenly the pain was not consuming me.

Several times in the past few years I will go a few days without my meds. Either I have been sick and not wanting to take anything or gotten overly busy. The only withdrawal I have is a return of the pain. Then about 2 weeks ago I realized I was out of my Cymbalta and reordered through mail pharmacy and they have been delayed in getting it to me. But guess what. No withdrawal. Taking it one day and now I haven't had it for almost 2 weeks. Again my pain has returned (not as bad because of Lyrica I guess) but none of the scary withdrawal symptoms.

I say this not to discount those with real issues. But to provide proof that many people don't have any issues at all. Those with issues should work them out with doctors. Not scare everyone else who might be helped by this medication.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia earlier this year by a new doctor after being sick nonstop for about 18 months. My new doctor told me early on that Cymbalta would be the key to feeling better, but b/c another doctor had put me on Paxil for depression/anxiety, she wanted to wait and get the previous doctor to help me "step down" first.

Fast forward through that process and I began taking the Cymbalta last month. I had some side effects (i.e., bad sweating, etc.), but I wanted to see if I could "wait them out" and give them time to subside since she said it would help so much. Exactly 2 weeks into it I was so sick I wanted to go to the ER. I was the most nauseated I have ever been and threw up almost continually. The nurse said I had lost 5 pounds in less than 12 hours. Needless to say I never took any more Cymbalta b/c everyone agreed it was side effects and not a virus or anything similar.

She then gave me Effexor to switch to. The thing is, I am now so terrified to take it after my Cymbalta experience that it is still sitting on the shelf. She told me it was very similar so I am scared it will cause the same results. I feel much worse with my fibro and I know my depression is creeping back on me now, too, but I feel paralyzed. I don't even want to make my follow up appointment b/c I don't want to admit to my doctors that I can't bring myself to take the meds they have asked me to. I am at a total loss.

Any advice on what to do would be greatly appreciated.

I have been on cymbalta for a while and found it helped me a great deal with my depression (but not not with my sleep). I recently have started trying to ween myself off it and am suffering pretty serious withdrawal symptoms like dizziness and irritability. Other than these issues, it was a great antidepressant.

Jennifer,
I have been on both Cymbalta and Effexor, I was being treated for neuropathic pain, and panic attacks. Cymbalta gave me horrible side effects, I also had nausea (which was minor compared to your experiences), mouth sores, tremors, seizures, rashes, I was exhausted all day but could only sleep an hour or two at a go. Like you I tried to tough it out, give it a go, but the side effects only got worse. My Doctor finally agreed after 3 months, it was not a good medication for me. My experiences with Effexor were very different, I didn't have the side effects I did with Cymbalta.

I took it for a couple years (2000-02) with no problems, why one worked and not the other probably has to do with the formulation. After the seizures, like yourself I'm not up for trying another SSRI, even Effexor. Just thought I would chime in because I have taken both, your decision however is just that, yours. Do your homework, talk to your Doctor about your concerns, if your Doctor doesn't want to listen, or does not take your concerns seriously, change your Doctor.
All my best - Taanoir

59 yr old male. Prescribed lowest dose of Cymbalta for chronic stress headaches.

1st Week: No headache, difficulty urinating, extreme constipation, "sweats", insomnia
2nd Week: As above, but headaches returned a-periodically, nausea. Dosage increased
3rd Week: As above, a-periodic headaches, tremoring, anxiety, fatigue.
4th Week: As above, dosage increased.
5th Week: As above, headaches daily, constant fatigue, inability to concentrate, irritability
6th Week: As above. Dosage increased.
7th Week: As above. Headaches regular, periods of disorientation, constant nausea, constant fatigue, constant anxiety, aggressive tremoring, extreme irritability
8th-12th Week: As above.
13th Week: As above. Self-started weaning.
14th Week: Withdrawal symptoms--CONSTANT HEADACHE, nausea, dizziness, disorientation, extreme irritability.

Process continuing.

Hi, just wondering how long before you were free from Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms. I am up to day 17 of no Cymbalta and today was one of my worst days!!! Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

I am on my fifth day after quitting 60mg cymbalta for one year. I went cold turkey because the tapered version didn't seem any better. I've experienced brain zaps, extreme fatigue, dizziness when standing and an emotional roller coaster ride. Does anyone know how long this should last?

Hi all - I used to be on Cymbalta 60mg for several years. Within the last 3 weeks, my MD tapered me down to 30mg. No problems to report with the lesser dosage. I am now 4 days Cymbalta free. I feel like I am coming down with the flu. I feel feverish but my temperature is normal. I do have some dizziness, sweating, and nausea and do have insomnia that just started within the last 2 days. Two questions, (1) does anyone know of this flu-like reaction and (2) how long can I expect to deal with the insomnia? Thanks much.
Patti

Have been dio with non specific chirrios and that cymbalta (I have chronic pain RSD/CRPS) is most likely the culprit. I have been on for over 5 years and reducing from 90mg a day. I am down to to 30mg every other day. I have had bad headaches and confusion. Will the really bad effects come later?

My new doctor just advised me antidepressants are 80% placebo effect!!! He recommends cognitive behavior. & a list of natural herbs & 'remedies' including exercise. Start her on a quality omega3, walking. See a naturapathic doc if necessary. I was on 60mg for years telling my doc it didn't work; after just holding my sons 'ash ceremony' (after mourning 2 years) & laying in bed for another month due to opiate w/drawal & grief, and pain from 3 rear end accidents & degen arth in neck, she increased my dose to 90mg & now I'm into 4th week of severe headaches,(one LOOOONG headache since I've gone to 90 & 30-30-30; then back
To 60 ... Oh my ....
incr'd sweats, mood swings, etc etc, ... The headaches & sweats ARE THE CYMBALTA. now I'm my own guini trying to get off the drug altogether. I'm going to post a new post explaining more. Praying for everyone:)

Hi GJ, I so feel for you...I am up to day 20 since I quit...sorry but no end in sight and I can't find any blogs where people talk about going this long or life after withdrawal...I think they all die after day 5! Last night I was awake most of the night..nausea pains etc...in fact I ache all over most of the time...anyway sorry to be grim but it's good to know someone else is still alive and pushing through...I would love to hear from someone who has made it through. Anyway I will keep you updated and would love to hear how you are going. I felt so alone in this last night.

Hi Sarah thanks so much for your post...I am at day 19 of withdrawal and just want to cry because I feel so alone in this...I started taking Cymbalta 120mg 2 years ago for depression...the worst of my withdrawal at the moment has be the pains and aches all over my body and the nausea...did u have this?

Hi Av...please tell me your pain is now gone....I am up to day 19....in pain and feel awful !

Hi Carley....how long did your withdrawals last?

Hi EM...I am on week 3 of withdrawal and in so much pain....are u fully recovered yet ?

Hi Gmm, I am IATA day 19 of withdrawal...is there hope...I think I am going to die. And to all those people who sing Cymbalta's praises...yes it was great but now I am in hell !

I am quitting cymbalta cold turkey. This is my first week. I have had very little withdrawal. headache in the am, brain noises. I as wondering if they will get worse. I was taking 60mg for almost a year. if withdrawals will get any worse, if so what do I do?
Jane

I am devastated after reading these posts. I started weaning off my 30mg dose of Cymbalta 10 days ago by taking one tablet every other day for a week then stopping (day 3 since topping). I stopped as I am pregnant (surprise). I am experiencing all of the above symptoms, have a 2 yr old, lively son and am meant to be taking him on a long-haul flight in a week's time. I cant go back on cymbalta due to the risks in pregnancy. Reading that this may go on for many more weeks.....yeh it's not good :-(

I am 66 yr old woman. I was given Cymbalta 6 mos ago for pain control for fibromyalgia. I experienced a lot of discomfort with side affects the entire time; although the last few months the dizziness was a bit better This drug has made me feel super drugged up, couldn't focus on anything, like my whole being was wrapped up in gauze & it made me have constant blurry vision. I accidentally ran out of my 60 mg prescription & thought ,"this is a good time to stop this medication". I didn't have any problems the 1st day but then 4 days of a nightmare began.

I went to Doctor for help because the withdrawal symptoms had become unbearable! I was shaking, had tremors in left hand & back of head, felt like my brain was bouncing inside my skull, crying for no real reason over everything, when I tried to walk I couldn't tell where my feet were hitting the ground; (like after I 1st got bi-focals), I was stumbling, terribly hot & sweaty followed with chills, horrible nauseous & some vomiting; rapid speech, couldn't sit still, had chest pain, both arms went numb, blood pressure was erratic; up & down, felt like I was going to have a seizure.

I have had fibro & arthritis pain for 36 years; now I have spinal stenosis & degenerative disk disease and diabetic neuropathy. At this time I don't care how bad it gets; this is not the answer!! This is a dangerous drug! I will never take anything like this again. I can't imagine the FDA approving a drug like this! It is also bad that there isn't lower dosages to use to wean off this slowly! I went from 60 mg to 30 mg to "get me stabilized" but no one has been able to tell me how to get off totally.
Did it help my pain? A little, I think; I can't really be sure.

I'm terrified now. I have been taking Cymbalta for 4 years for depression. I did not know I was menopausal. Now that my gyno has advised I am smack in the middle of menopause and I am taking estrogen I thought I could wean myself from Cymbalta AND Lorazapam. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow about this and wanting to stop taking some of the meds I am on. I have two severely damaged discs and degenerative bone disease with a NO to surgery by neurologist. I have to rely on Oxycodone and Celebrex in the morning. To sleep it has been Lorazapam, cymbalta, cyclobenzaprine for the muscle pain. I am terrified.

I know this caused the demise to my marriage, my poor husband just thought I was an insane broken beatch and left me for someone in less pain. I am NOT suicidal today. I just don't know if I can go through the agony of dropping some of these meds. but there is something telling me to try to give myself the chance to get back to me. the funny loving "skinny" laughing joking reliable peep I was. Its day two, headache, and shaky but slept better night two than night one. God help me and all you. Thank you all for this information.

This is one nasty drug to discontinue. I have taken it for over a year for chronic pain and it is now ineffective and I am trying to get off of it. I was taking 60mg and I slowly tried to stop taking it. I can't control my emotions now, very agitated and feel like my blood pressure is out of control. What is a safe way to wean myself from this hell!!!

Hi -- I posted in August -- I am still trying the "weaning" -- I tried the 30/0/30/0 method but would get the "zaps" back on the 0 day. So now I'm doing about 10 to 15 mg. a day -- so far, still haven't been able to stop completely. The zaps I do get are nowhere near the intensity of before, but then I take the pill or part of, as soon as I "hear" them, and they go away.

Be grateful at least doc gave some advice. All I got was a puzzled look and a recommendation I see a psychiatrist because I have a "unique" brain.

I'm so happy to have found this site. I had no idea what was going on with my body. At first I thought it was something to do with my neck because I was feeling surges throughout my head and down my arms. Now I realize those are brain zaps. This started when I wasn't able to afford a refill, so I was off of them for 2 days. Then realized that maybe I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms from Cymbalta so I googled it. Sure enough I was. I immediately got my scrip refilled because I couldn't take it anymore; the debilitating brain zaps, suicide ideation, nausea, light headedness, photophobia, etc. I'm so bummed that I ever started this medication.

I started seeing a psychiatrist for depression and all around low energy (probably due to depression). He said Cymbalta would be an "activating" drug, meaning it would give me energy and out of bed. I started at 30 mg and my doc took me up to 120 mg. I became overcome with fatigue. I wouldn't be able to get out of bed. I would sleep 18/24 hours per day if I had the day off, and days that I worked or went to school, I was debilitated with fatigue.

I changed docs, and now I'm taking 60 mg per day because he concluded that my sleeping all day may be due to too high a dose of Cymbalta. He also put me on wellbutrin. I want to come off this drug so bad because even when I forget to take a dose, I start to get the brain zaps and other withdrawal symptoms that cripple me. And once I am able to take the missed dose, I don't get relief for at least 12 hours, so my day is ruined.

My doc knows I want to get off this and I guess were going to take it slow, but slow to him, is going from 120 down to 60 immediately. Luckily I didn't experience any physical side effects from this, just psychological, like increased depression and anxiety. Now that I'm on 60 daily, I want to start tapering down to where I can stop this drug completely.

If anyone has any success stories of how they did it, and how long it took, I would greatly appreciate it. My life is so demanding and I don't really have time to take off so I know I will have to push through my days experiencing these terrible withdrawal symptoms. I've tried tons of antidepressants for the past 12 years and have never experienced symptoms like this when coming off of those. I'd experience some emotional symptoms yes, but never debilitating physical symptoms. It seems like no one has been able to successfully come off Cymbalta without any physical withdrawals symptoms. But if anyone has any tips of what could make this an easier journey as I come off of it, I would greatly appreciate it. I don't think my doc understands what I'm going through when I tell him about these symptoms. Wish they were better educated on the drug that they were prescribing.

Thanks for all of your posts!!! It's so nice to know that I'm not going crazy like I thought I was, and it is the Cymbalta, not me.

There are other anti depression meds that are NOT like this to come off of, I've never had this happen to me before and I've been on a long list of these kinds of meds.

I was on Cymbalta for 6 months, and the only thing it did was make me sweat like a mule. I was getting up 4 times per night to change t-shirts.

My doctor took me off of it a week ago, and have been having horrendous attacks of sleep apnea. I was diagnosed 2 years ago with severe mixed sleep apnea, but have never had anything like this happen before.

I'll doze off for a couple of seconds, and wake up gasping for breath. The feeling of being oxygen starved continues after I wake up, to the point where I'm forcing myself to hyperventilate for minutes on end.

Does anyone even know whether this drug is safe for people with sleep apnea?

I have been on Cymbalta for at least 9 mths. I found after the first night of taking it (nausea, felt faint and restless) the results were pretty much immediate (suffer from panic disorder) & has proved to be overall effective treatment for me. Now as we are planning to have a family, Cymbalta is no longer an option for me (quite happy to stay on it, but quite expensive).

I am day 3 into my withdrawal of a 30mg tablet. I have broken the capsules and will reduce the balls slowly, week by week (no I have not seen my doctor for advice on withdrawal. He doesn't even know. I saw a psychiatrist who said 'to take it on alternative days'....in which I took no notice of).
I believe I have done enough research and read enough blogs (we are the people going through this after all) to know the facts.

So for me- the tiredness has hit me HARD. Sleep hasn't been an issue, but I feel like I'm experiencing 'glandular fever' all over again. The headaches come and go. Hopefully this is the worst I experience??? I know that if I miss a dose (happened once)- I have a full blown panic attack and a stomping headache. Good luck to everyone going through this process!!!

I have been on cymbalta for well over 3 years I have been off now going on seven days, I feel horrible, shaking, sweating, nausea and weakness I don't know how long the withdrawal period is but it is truly horrible the doctor does not even know how bad this is.

Will this ever go away?

I took Cymbalta for about 6 months for depression and anxiety after my Celexa was no longer effective. I just switched to Lexapro about 3 days ago due to a lapse in insurance and the high cost. I'm nauseous and have been throwing up, my ears are ringing so much it hurts, and I've been having the "brain zaps" and as others have described, I can see traces where my eyes move. I also thought I saw a turkey in my apartment a few hours ago. I thought I was getting a serious case of the flu until I looked this up. Needless to say, it's been rough! Why on earth did my doctor prescribe this stuff?!? I'm really hoping these symptoms start to improve in the next few days because I don't know if I can make it!

I was on Cymbalta for only 1 month and had awful side effects, worse than the ones I had with Celexa. I'm talking constant suicidal thoughts, self harm, loss of appetite, no sex drive, crying - the whole thing. My psychiatrist took me off of Cymbalta cold turkey & has started me on ability 5 mg. The withdrawal symptoms are exactly what is described above. It's awful. I wish she had weaned me off because it makes it impossible to function normally

I was taking Cymbalta for about three months for chronic neck and back pain. I initially started the medication with little to no problems, but my body got used to the 30 mg and needed to go up to 60 mg. I should have known there was problem at this point.

About a week ago I started getting odd sensations (headaches, dizziness, light-headed, brain-zaps, tired, fatigue,tingling,head feeling warm, and upset stomach). At first I thought I may have had a cold but I remembered when I missed a day of Cymbalta I felt these same symptoms. I'm not sure if this can happen but I believe I got used to the 60 mg and my body was craving more of the medicine, despite regular daily intakes. I stopped Cymbalta cold turkey three days ago and I still feel those symptoms including insomnia, diarrhea, down feelings, and difficulty forming clear thoughts. These symptoms are incredibly unbearable. I wish more people would know how bad the side effects are of getting off this medication and your bodies cravings to the medicine.

Has anyone had any relief from natural remedies while getting off the medicine? I try to stay really hydrated, eat healthy, and take vitamins but I'm not sure if there is anything else to do.
Doctors must inform their patients of these effects when they get off Cymbalta!

Hey, I read your post I have the same symptoms. I believe the unfortunate truth is this is what happens when you stop taking Cymbalta. How are doing now? What day are you on? I also feel feverish but do not have a have a high temp. I pray for strength to last these symptoms and I pray for everyone on here also. This side effects are excruciating and it makes it difficult just to function daily.

Hi, I have been Cymbalta free now for 5 weeks and only just at the point where I have no withdrawal effects but hang in there. It's a hard hard road but it can be done and is worth it to feel human again!

There are always risks associated with taking any type of medication. No medication should be taken apart or be taken in any other fashion other than prescribed by a professional. Also, no drug should be stopped abruptly, especially without knowledge or consent of prescribing physician.

I have been on Prozac, Effexor and Cymbalta over the years. Yes, they all have side effects. A patient and their physician should determine whether or not these possible side effects outweigh the need for the medication. Always, always consult your physician regarding starting or stopping any medication and make sure your physician knows of all other medications, including over the counter and herbal supplements.

I am so pleased I visited this site. I thought I was going mad. I ran out of duloxetine 3 days ago, can't pick up my prescription until tomorrow. I am obviously going through withdrawal, have stomach pains, nausea, headaches, brain zaps, dizziness etc.. All the withdrawal symptoms mentioned by others. I am scared, can I make it till tomorrow? Have decided to try to visit pharmacy today to see if they would give me an advanced amount of drugs till I get prescription tomorrow.

Thank you all so much for posting your stories here. After 1 day of Cymbalta 60mg, I too experienced the lightheaded-ness, shaky and blurred vision, severe nausea, vomiting, cold and hot flashes and moments that I have found myself drenched in sweat. I thought I was catching the flu, but this is like nothing I've ever been through before, so I thought to research this drug my doctor so readily prescribed me. I'm glad this has helped some of you, but I'd rather deal with my depression than ever take this drug again. Hoping to be able to get back to work tomorrow, I wouldn't wish this experience on anyone, but I'm glad I'm not alone. Good luck to the rest of you!

I am suffering the wonders of Cymbalta withdrawal syndrome now and for the past month. I am a freelance editor and writer; I feel that the most responsible action I can take against Lilly and Cymbalta on behalf of all the millions who have had to experience the Cymbalta withdrawal is to write a book that outlines the non-warning and problems experienced by those affected by Cymbalta withdrawal.

Please send me any and all information that you can contribute to my research of this issue. Of course, any and all information I receive will remain entirely confidential throughout the entire process of my research and the ultimate publication of such relevant material.

My sincerest desire is to prevent other patients from experiencing the horrible effects of withdrawal from this hideous and dangerous drug, Cymnbalta.

Sincerely,
Susan G.

I started on 60 mg Cymbalta for mild depression and anxiety as well as some chronic pain. I would take it in the morning and in the late afternoon I would begin to feel like I was gagging all the time and also had excessive yawning which also made me gag. My doctor then reduced me to 30 mg and once the gag reflex disappeared I alternated 30 mg and 60 mg every other day until the gaggy feeling went away.

However, I found myself belching a lot. My appetite decreased, I was sweating a lot more than usual and had trouble with urinating and dripping afterwards. I also began having symptoms similar to someone having gall bladder problems. After a few months and my doctor dismissing my thoughts on this, I decided to wean myself by removing 5-10 balls from the capsule each day and gradually for about 4 weeks I continued as I let my body tell me when it was okay to take more from the capsule. My final dose was 7 balls inside a capsule about 3 days ago.

I am still light headed and am having trouble staying focused but it is tolerable. The other problems seem to have disappeared with the exception of the gall bladder symptoms. They are less frequent, so even though I'm not sure if they have anything to do with the Cymbalta or not, I truly feel there is a connection here. I would be interested to know if anyone else has had any gall bladder problems that came on suddenly after starting this medication. If they don't go away I do intend to follow up with some testing prescribed by my doctor but I feel I have to rule out the Cymbalta.

I took Cymbalta for 3 years for Fibromyalga. It was so expensive I just couldn't afford it so I came off. I was taking 60 mg a day. My doctor lowered it to 30mg a day for 10 days. I am completely off but feel horrible. I am having the "Brain-zaps". Nervous, no sleep, and headaches. I will never take anything like that again!!! I hate how I feel.

I think your pursuit of writing a book is great. If you need any information on my experience from stopping Cymbalta please let me know. It been twelve days since I stopped taking Cymbalta and I am still experiencing symptoms.

Amanda

Susan G :please feel free to contact me, I would love to be part of this book. I feel the need to be an advocate 4 people who have been ill advised by their Doctors/ Psychs. I am unable to psychically mentally & emotionally go through such horrid withdrawals. I have gone down from 60 2 20 mg- but that's it. I feel I'm forever doomed to be on this medication. When I thought of taking a drug that is non narcotic I NEVER imagined that with drawls would be an issue. I have a story to tell as does everyone on this page: I want mine to be told!!!!! Thank u in advance 4 ur consideration.

Please - how r u doing ???????

It took me took months to get over the withdrawal symptoms after taking Cymbalta for 2 years, 2 caps a day. The symptoms were terrible; extreme headache, brain zaps, sweating, fatigue. I had to quit taking it because the drug gave me vertigo, daily for a year. I couldn't continue to function with that issue so after visiting an ENT specialist who told me that was the problem, I decided to slowly stop taking Cymbalta. If you want to ask me any more questions, I would be happy to answer.

Just thought I'd update everyone on "me" -- Crossing my fingers right now, as I've been "zap-free" for almost 2 days now -- yesterday I took only a few "pellets" from inside the capsules, today -- nothing taken yet. Prior to this, was still getting the brain zaps periodically even though continuing to take 15-30 mg./day -- I'm getting excited, it may be "over". !! (This "weaning" has been going on since August.) Although my doctor "never heard of the zaps" I mentioned to my "SO"'s nurse the other day and she nodded and says "everybody says that". Glad Susan is writing a book; I would really love to know, what do these "zaps" mean, i.e., what exactly is going on in the brain??

I may have mentioned, but I will repeat, I had the zaps when going off Paxil, and my sister experienced them going off celexa. So, not limited to Cymbalta; another reason I'm reluctant to switch to something else.

My doctors have failed me by causing me to suddenly come off Cymbalta. They refuse to refill unless I come in for an office visit, again, but instead of calling me and telling me this, they just let me run out. I tried contacting them for 3 days with no response, the pharmacy had been trying for 2 weeks knowing my refill was coming. Too bad no one let me know there was a problem. I finally found out what the problem was when it was too late to get in before the weekend, and 3 days after I ran out.

Withdrawal effects. I am literally going insane. Not only am I having brain shocks, I'm having entire body shocks. I was prescribed the medication for all the reasons except depression. It worked well for all of it. Now I can't breathe or blink without shocks. The pain from my medical issues is through the roof. I cry about anything, and I flip out about the rest. Not only am I going insane, but my family is too. I feel bad for all of us. I have no sex drive, I just read side effects and now I know why. I thought not having an orgasm in over 2 years was from my hysterectomy. My poor husband is so very patient, just married 8 months ago.

I am totally freaking out, from head to toe. I have never been so miserable in my life. I want this to be over. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow. I have a choice, go back on or figure how to get off of it. I want off. But only if I don't have to feel like this, not this bad anyways.

Dear heart -- your daughter would benefit from going to a fully organic diet, fresh fruits & veggies - hormone and antibiotic-free lean meats, and lots of clear water or lemon water. She should try to cut down on sugar - especially refined sugar. She also would be wise to check out her environment(s) for toxins that may be affecting her. Mold, pesticides, even heavy metals can affect her moods. They can also affect her endocrine system, so it's important to check out everything with a naturopath, if you can find a good one. Good luck!

Friends -- Drs. won't help. But there's something we could all do to help ourselves and each other. Start writing it down. Write it down and send it to your Dr. in a letter form. Then send a copy to the FDA. If every person affected by these drugs with terrifying side-effects designed to keep us from feeling or caring, having normal sex lives, not to mention the effects of detoxing from them, we'd have it all in writing. We must start caring more about ourselves, our health, and the health and well-being of each other. And only we can make it stop!

I just can't quit right now. After day four, I felt I couldn't catch my breath. I went to the doctor and my BP was fine. That's good, but I had serious business at work and not able to concentrate. Then the muscles in my arm started feeling like guitar strings. I guess it was tendinitis. I am separated and with the stress of divorce, Christmas alone, etc., I made the choice to go back on till after the holidays. Then beat this MONSTER head on no matter what. God be with you an yours who are suffering so much. My heart hurts for you. I will be here reading your posts. We need success stories if there are any with stuff. I hope mine can be one day.(and yours) hugs..

I have stopped taking cymbalta for two weeks now and still am having the zapping and dizziness problem. it has been the worst experience of my life. The doctor never told me about the withdrawl syndrome. When would it finally go away. Where is FDA on this? People need to know before the are given the medicine.

I been taking cymbalta 60mg for the past four years and does help for my fibromyalgia....but now my insurance is not covering it on the pharmacy only on mail delivery so it take about a week to arrive so in that week I go through hell with withdraw symptoms is no jk....they are awful especially the zaps on the brain and the dizziness you can't drive, talk, walk, not even to the restroom with out someones help and I'm 29 it makes me feel useless plus I have twins 2yrs old who depend on me.... and all I can do is lay down all day... until I get back on them again...

i'm going through this right now- the withdrawal. Can anybody tell me how long this will last? I have numbness for a second to my lip I can feel it and its so weird.

I was just taking 30mg for two months and now I'm having brain zaps and really bad headaches. I wish there was a smaller dose capsule so that I can taper really slowly. Too bad that 30mg is the smallest.

I just started this drug with no side effects but after reading about the withdraws makes me not want to take the pills anymore. What should I do? Please help

stopped cold turkey 60 mg/qd a week ago ..... dizzy spells, lightheadedness, crying for no particular reason, somewhat risky behavior .... I would like to know if Cymbalta induces a PERMANENT chemical change in the brain????

A therapist or psychiatrist who will not load her up with more medications is a good way to start. However, staying occupied, hydrated and exercising are better than any drug.

People who are depressed ruminate on their situation because they have little or no distraction. The more people are alone or not doing anything the worse the depression can become. Setting a daily routine of activities both personal, at home, and looking for some activities in the community to occupy their time is a win, win situation. Committing to community activities and sticking to that commitment will be invaluable.

Second, depression is amplified when the body does not have sufficient blood volume to help keep things "moving." It has been well documented that the better hydrated a person becomes, the better the entire body is and subsequently the mind starts to heal as well.

Finally, exercising may be the single greatest help. Start slow with a treadmill, elliptical trainer or walking outside and work up to a 3 to 4 day a week routine.

Exercise causes the body to throw off endorphins which create a general feeling of simply feeling better. So, not only does the exercise help people stay trim, it helps them simply feel better because of the effect of the endorphins.

I hope this has been helpful.

I never had side effects (or any effects at all; although some friends say I am now "grumpy" without it) while taking it. There must be thousands of people who take it, and get off it, without experiencing our issues. You didn't say why it was prescribed to you, or if it's "helping", and no way to know whether you'll have these effects when and if you get off of it, but maybe you can tell your prescribing doctor what you've read on here and see if there is an alternative for you?

I reported last week that the zaps were gone -- they did return - milder than when I went "cold turkey" for sure. So I'm not out of the woods yet, but hoping they will go away completely.

They have 20 mg ones too. And my doc is having me taper and once I get down to 20 mg/day, I will start taking 20 mg every other day, then will stop once my brain gets used to that. Hopefully it works with minimal brain zaps because right now when I forget to take a dose I get zaps within 24 hours

I have been on Cymbalta for 2 years approximately. It was prescribed for depression, following several life changes including spousal separation, family death, personal injury, and job loss. Recent health insurance changes had forced me to make some adjustments to medications and I was searching for an optional medication that would give me the same results without going broke. My physician, prescribed Welbutrin.

I inquired with the doc "should I gradually decrease the Cymbalta before starting the Welbutrin?" Her response was no, just stop one and start the other. What a mistake! After about 36 hours off of Cymbalta, I began having severe tinnitis, (which I still have), nausea and diahrrea. My head began to "echo" and I had these tremendous "sparks" in my head. I could not get a logical sentence out of my mouth, could not focus on work, was easily agitated, and felt totally out of control.

I thought I was having a reaction to the Welbutrin. Luckily, I have a niece who is a PA. She told me it was not the Welbutrin, and told me it was classic withdrawal from the Cymbalta. She told me to call my dr. and ask to be put back on the Cymbalta and wean myself down off the dose gradually.

I have done this, and am feeling much better, lowering the dose over the course of a month. Go figure, a PA knows how to wean someone off of antidepressants, but a DR doesn't have a clue... thank God for this website too. I now know just how dangerous these drugs are, and am going to try to get off antidepressants completely.

I began taking Cymbalta almost 3 years ago for extreme anxiety and depression. It started to help my symptoms within two weeks. The only side effect I had was some sexual dysfunction, which I considered minor when compared to the incredible relief of the anxiety.

This past summer my psychiatrist suggested that I wean off of the meds and he described exactly how he wanted me to accomplish this. I began by cutting the dose in half for two weeks, then taking the half dose every other day for two weeks.

He explained to me at the time that some people experienced withdrawal symptoms. When I was completely off the Cymbalta, I began having severe dizzy spells which would cause vomiting, and a lethargic feeling. I also began feeling very anxious and had strange sensations throughout my body. I had a great deal of trouble functioning. I thought I had weaned slowly so I didn't immediately associate my symptoms with the discontinuation syndrome.

When I finally consulted my doctor, he explained that I had a strong sensitivity to the drug, but that within another several days I should be feeling back to normal, but gave me a low dose of Prozac to alleviate the symptoms.

Apparently, Prozac has a longer half life which allows people to withdraw without severe symptoms. I am just starting this regimen, and I hope it is successful. Just knowing what was wrong has helped me cope with the situation a little better.

If I ever take Cymbalta again, which I would consider since it helped me so much, I know that the weaning process would have to take much longer.

I was 26 when my amazing (and I say that truthfully without sarcasm) NP placed me on Cymbalta to assist in controlling in nerve pain from a herniated L4-L5 and a bulging L3-L4 (lower back towards the tailbone). The first week I took it, I was exhausted the entire time. I could sleep 12-14 hours and still have absolutely no energy. My NP was amazing in providing me all the information regarding side effects. She spent almost an hr and a half discussing the potentials of this medication, so long story short, I was aware when I agreed to try it.

After that first week, I started being more alert and was able to function in that capacity again. However, new symptoms arose... I have never batted clinical depression of any kind, and for the first time in my life, I began contemplating suicide. I called my NP the second I had my first thought. She took me off immediately. At the same token, my ex partner had been placed on Cymbalta and it did WONDERS for her. Long story short.... I believe there are some practitioners who are amazing and some who should never be practicing medicine. Side effects can occur for every drug on the market.

I think as individuals aware of ourselves need to be extremely self aware when beginning any new substance. I am also thankful to the practitioners out there who actually practice medicine to help and heal. I have been exceptionally lucky to have such a patient, understanding and AWARE professional who helped me and supported me and really listened to me. But would I recommend Cymbalta? No. All the stories above are too common to outweigh the good. I wish everyone the best of luck and kindly remind physicians why the became healers to begin with.

I just wanted to thank you for your post. I was prescribed Cymbalta after Celexa & Tramadol seemed to stop working. I was on Cymbalta for 30 days, and I knew immediately I shouldn't be on it. I was in pain the whole time I took it, not the normal pain, but brand new pain I had never had. I felt awful. I stopped taking it when the script ran out. I have been off it for a week. Foot pain stopped immediately. Side effects are wretched. I have the worst dizziness Ive ever known. I thought I was hearing things when the zaps started..lol, I thought the bathroom fan was making a noise, nope, its my ears, from the zaps. I am very sick to my stomach, but i am so hungry, like my body was starved while I was on it, robbing my body of nutrients.I will get through the withdrawal, then I will start weaning myself off of over 10 years of daily Tramadol. I am going to seek a natural regime. I am tired of doctors and media telling me how normal feels. Thank you for your post, it was encouraging to know I can do this!!!

I was taking 120mg a day of cymbalta for 8 years. I took b12 and vitamin d everyday as I was getting off cymbalta cold turkey. Not saying this is good for everyone but I believe it really helped with a lot of withdrawal symptoms. I began taking the vitamins 2 weeks before I quit meds to make sure it was in my system. I hope this will help as the journey continues. Be sure you have someone around you for a couple weeks so can be sure you're ok

Hi, after reading this site I am quite apprehensive, but also cheered by the knowledge there are others out there that have shared my experience with this drug. I started taking 30mgs of Cymbalta on 18th November, after being on 225mg of Lyrica for RA and Fibromyalgia, also osteoarthritis. Lyrica gave me awfully embarrassing physical reactions such as fecal smearing upon waking, and did not seem to help much with the pain I was suffering.

I started Cymbalta with great hope. My Rheumatologist put me on them with the knowledge I was also taking Citalopram, I asked him would I have any side effects, he said no, only slight drowsiness. Well.... oh my the hell started, after 6 months of being COMPLETELY off my BP medication, my BP shot up with regular readings of 200/170 with a pulse of 100. Today I went to my GP and he advised me to completely stop based just on that, he said I was in danger of having a stroke.

What I did not tell him about is the CRIPPLING anxiety I have been experiencing, the constant irritability and outbursts of absolute MURDEROUS rage, inability to sleep, constant obsessive thoughts, muscle twitching in my arms and legs (I had to have an MRI on a torn rotacuff in my right shoulder and had to repeat the procedure 3 times, a procedure which should have taken 30 mins took nearly 90 because I just COULD NOT keep my muscles from twitching!)

My hands tremor continually and my mood is so bad, I feel at times like no one cares, there is a constant feeling of dread, as well as losing almost 7kgs (approx. 1 stone) since commencing the Cymbalta. Some days I just don't eat, I can't be bothered, no appetite, for ANYTHING. I fear myself. And this is while I am ON the drug. I feel like I'm on speed. These drugs need to be taken with the FULL knowledge of what they can do to you. Wishing you all luck

Cymbalta and Trileptal have really helped me. I was close to total despair. No serious side effects. Everyone is different on the side effect front.

Hang in there. Things can change.

Bresy

I was on Cymbalta since 2008. 20 mg., 2x daily. Jan. of 2013, it was raised to 30 mg because my depression was increasing. That's when the trouble started. Before that, I really never felt it was working, but figured that was all in my head. After the increase, my mood swings worsened, I had severe, violent "meltdowns".... total inability to handle any type of stress/crisis. After one particularly awful meltdown, I decided that was THAT. In early Sept. of this year, I began slowly weaning myself off. From 2-per-day to two every other day (one in the days between) and then slowly lower and lower until I was down to 2 pills a WEEK.

It was a roller-coaster for a while, but, I kept at it. Now (Dec. 3) I am off completely. I met with an Herbalist/RN two weeks ago and was put on an herbal supplement that she makes. Fresh herbs soaked in grain alcohol.... the combination I'm taking is Lemon Balm, Skullcap, and Milky Oat Tops (not sure of the ratio)...1/4 teaspoon, twice daily. I overlapped the coming off Cymbalta and beginning the herbals. (Didn't take both on the same day.) I know I get the "brain zaps" and lightheadedness, and I have some days that I experience my depression....BUT, I can handle life so much better now. I'm sure I'll be going through this "withdrawal" state for a bit longer, but I'm confident the herbs are making this transition so much more tolerable than it would have been without them. ~~Peace. God Bless. Namaste.~~

This is a little long, but I needed to share this.
I don't even know where to start. When I first began taking Cymbalta was in 2004 for depression. I needed help and this is what the doctor suggested. He started me on 30 mg to see how I would do. It didn't take long before I saw 60 mg and the year wasn't over. The 60 mg was doing the job. I had some side effects but nothing that outweighed my depression doing better. While taking Cymbalta for the depression, I was also seeing a counselor as I believe talk therapy is a really great help for depression. I had depression several years before but did okay with therapy and managed to stay away from the meds. A couple of years went by and I found myself at the doctor's office because of continual nerve type pain all over my body that continued to worsen. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. The doctor upped the dose to 90 mg and said that would help with the pain. And it did help with the pain. I spent a lot of time going back and forth to the doctor for various medical problems that seemed to have no answer. My liver was causing me a lot of pain so the doctor ran tests. It had doubled in size with no explanation. I don't drink and I didn't take Tylenol. The doctor said he would just take blood tests every few months and keep an eye on things. A year later my blood tests were elevated enough to have another ultrasound down to see how my liver was doing. It was quadruple in size and again no explanation or further testing. Just a, let’s keep an eye on things. Not long after that, the Fibromyalgia pain had worsened and it was back to the doctor’s office. He added 100 mg of Lyrica a day to my Cymbalta regimen of 90 mg a day for the pain. This really helped with the pain and a bonus for any depression. Then my life had what I like to call hell happenings. This changed my finances, insurance and being. Suddenly I was without insurance, no income and no vehicle but thankfully had a place to go live. I had to scramble to find help for the meds. It took my researching to find out there was patient assistance. My doctor was kind enough to take care of me with samples of the meds I was taking while applying and thankfully qualifying for patient assistance. This was only for medications. It is strange that I qualified for meds but not for medical assistance. That's another story for another time. I was doing okay until my doctor decided to end his private practice and join a hospital. During this process, paperwork they received to do my yearly renewals got misplaced/lost. Because of his joining this hospital, he could no longer help patients with samples. There is something wrong with that picture. A hospital not taking care of patients leaves a bit to be desired. Little did I know that I was about to enter the hell of withdrawal symptoms. I suddenly find myself out of 90 mg Cymbalta. The first day was like the flu, but oh that second day. I thought I was going to die. I called the doctor and pleaded for help. They said they could call in a prescription for me. Not long before this happened, I had just started a temp job and finally received my first paycheck only to use it for a Cymbalta prescription. I was so sick though that I didn't care and wanted to feel better. The prescription gets called in for one week of 60 mg and one week of 30 mg so I can take my 90 mg dose. Because of the cost, I was only able to get the 60 mg and then my 30 mg could be picked up on my next paycheck. At this time, I find out the renewal paperwork I submitted was screwed up and not at my end. That was something that actually made me feel good. The mistake was the doctor’s office and not me. Now I am on the phone with the doctor’s office about being weaned off of Cymbalta with what pills I had and would be picking up later on. The cost of the drugs through the pharmacy with no insurance would take my check every week. I would have been working to just pay for my meds while the mess up with the paperwork got cleaned up. Consequently, they came up with a weaning process of 60 mg for the first seven days and then 30 mg the next seven days. I asked about the withdrawal as I was very concerned. What I was told is that I would feel like I had vertigo/flu for about a week but not real bad. They lied. My last 30 mg tablet was Tuesday, November 26th. I was able to go to work on Wednesday only feeling a little blech, but not bad. Thanksgiving rolls around and I am feeling the vertigo and telling myself it is the withdrawal but won't last long. Black Friday comes and the vertigo is worse but I decide to go to work and give it a try. That lasted three hours before I went home. It wasn't long after getting home I begin vomiting and can’t stop. The vertigo was so bad I could barely make it to the bathroom. Thankfully I didn't have to go far to that room. The vomiting lasted for four days. After the vomiting ended, I then got hit with diarrhea for two days. During this time, I am hearing the noise of my eyes and just the slightest movement with them sent me into a head spin that seemed like it would never end. I was finally able to call the doctor to see what I can do to help ease the symptoms. I am told to take Ibuprofen every four hours and rest. Also, to make sure I get fluids in me since after vomiting for four days and the diarrhea I am probably dehydrated. Because of the blasted withdrawal symptoms, I lost out on a chance of getting a permanent position where I was working as a temp. In fact, I have been told my temp position will not be continuing. I am now back to no income, still no insurance and no vehicle (but was doing pretty good with getting rides). The doctor told me the symptoms would last about two week’s minimum. He couldn't say how long beyond that. Thankfully the puking and diarrhea are over with (at least for now and I hope it stays that way) but the brain zaps, major irritability, being angry beyond the norm, wanting to hurt myself (so far no one else and not to the point of being suicidal yet), having the feeling of wanting to tear my skin off or my eyeballs out and the agitation hasn't stopped. I never know when I will suddenly get hit with a wave of uncontrollable emotion. You know what is going on but have no control. When I first entered this hell of no Cymbalta, I saw a picture of breast cancer that was progressed. Sometimes pictures may gross me out, whether cancerous or not, but after a couple days I would be fine. This picture grossed me out so bad with my brain being all messed up that I puked. Now I keep seeing that vision and many times am tearing at my skin to try and get rid of it. I am not the one with the cancer; it was someone else that I don’t even know. There are other things I see that make me want to tear at myself, pull my hair out (I haven’t done that yet), take my razor and shave my skin until I think whatever is there is gone (haven't done that yet as well). I have bruises where I have pulled or pinched my body hard. For a few days I was very fatigued and just wanted to stay in bed and sleep. Now I can’t seem to sleep. This is not like me and I have never been like this before. It does scare me that I don’t know what is going to happen next. I can’t work now because of the withdrawal and don’t know when I will be in well enough shape to return. As I learn more about the withdrawal, I have found more information about the side effects while taking the medication. The side effects list liver damage. Do doctors not know this? Whenever I would bring up the possibility of my liver problem and other things happening being a side effect, it was passed off as most likely being something else. I have learned now that Lyrica doesn't have pleasant withdrawal symptoms either, but not quite as severe. What do I do when I can’t get that medicine anymore?

I started taking Cymbalta 3 years ago to help with menopause symptoms. I saw my dr a week ago, asked if I could finally get off it and he said up to me. When I asked how long it would take to get out of my system, he said 4 days. He did not instruct me to "wean" myself off it. My blood pressure (normally ok) has spiked to 145/107, I'm lightheaded and have blurry vision - apparently I have withdrawal symptoms after researching online . Heading in to call my dr, just hope his recommendation isn't to go back on and then wean myself. Be careful when/if you get off this med.

I have been on cymbalta for over 6 years. I'm trying to wean myself off now. I've tried before with help of my doc. Unfortunately I don't think he understood the withdrawals; nor did I. Anyway I couldn't do it. I thought that I was just so severely depressed that I couldn't live without it. Not true. I was put on it during cancer treatment and for chronic pain. My dose was raised to 120 mg when my mother had cancer and passed away.

I'm down to 60 mg but I'm having such a hard time getting off of this. I had no idea it would be like this. I have had thoughts of wishing I could just die. No thoughts (yet) of actually doing anything but I'm so angry and hostile towards everything. I'm decreasing the beads right now. I have faith in my God and I know He will protect me through this. I'm just so angry of not being informed about how dangerous this drug is. I will never just blindly trust any medication like this again.

I was put on Cymbalta a yr ago for Fibromyalgia along with a few other drugs. Since losing my insurance the Dr has been giving me samples to help me out. This last week I ran out of samples and wasn't able to get a hold of the Dr. I had read about the horrible side effects from going cold turkey....and BOY are they spot on! I've had anxiety attacks, dizziness and nausea from even moving my eyes, brain zaps and fog, severe emotional spells where I cry uncontrollably, insomnia, and a weird tingly feeling throughout my body.

I still have flair ups on the medication so my thought at this point is this... I've never been on any medication that has caused physical withdrawals at all and if I'm still having flair ups, why would I continue to take a medication that has my body so dependent on it? The flair ups are uncomfortable... but not as bad as the withdrawal from Cymbalta. I'm going to continue to go through the DT's and take my chances with Fibro flair ups. It's time to look for a more natural remedy than to trust the FDA and Ely Lilly with my health.

Hopefully the side effects subside soon. I haven't been able to go Christmas shopping because I'm not able to drive while going through this!

Good luck to anyone else going through the DT's with me and if your researching whether or not to start Cymbalta..... pay close attention to what you've read from everyone. I read them beforehand and still trusted my Dr. Bad choice!

Merry Christmas everyone and have a safe and Happy New Years. I'm off to take a bath and cry.

Wow! I've been in quite the similar scenario. I took Cymbalta for fibromyalgia. It helped not only for the (horrible) pain but also with my mood. I ran out for just a few days. I was so dizzy I thought I would black out. All I wanted was to sleep the whole day. Plus, I had nausea. All the side effects were so very, very bad that I was actually wondering if I was pregnant. I took the Cymbalta about an hour ago and am already starting to feel better.

Yep. Brain zappen right now.. thank you for commenting and helping me understand whats going on with me. Off cymbalta for 5 days. Trippy feelings. Merry Christmas. ...

I have been on Cymbalta for years and just decided I'd had enough of it. I stopped cold turkey from taking 60mg. It's has been a living hell. It's been about a month off and was doing pretty good until this past weekend. The dizziness is back again and I have severe rage and anger. Have never had this before. Not sure what to do.

I've been reading everyone's posts for quite some time now, as i also have been withdrawing off of 60 mg of cymbalta which i was on for 5 years. I have had a long history with antidepressants, and although at times it felt like they saved my life, it has always been extremely alarming as to how hard it is to be freed of them.

I would like to try and offer up some comforting information if anyone is interested. I am fully off of cymbalta now for i guess a week or 2. I did do it very slowly over the course of months, but am still experiencing a lot of discomfort..brain fog..nausea...general confusion.

I have found that eating very non-greasy simple food seems to help my stomach. I am a total foody, but have been doing a lot of bland brown rice, steamed vegetables...lean protein, etc. I notice when i eat too much sugar or caffeine, I start feeling loony again. Keep your tummy feeling warm and satisfied...soups...rice...soft fruits and veggies...as much water and hot tea as you can take.

Give in to the lethargy if you can and allow yourself to rest. I know its hard with everyday life, work, kids, spouses, but don't be afraid to ask for what you need while you are going through this. "Quiet" helps a lot with the brain zaps and the vertigo. This will end...so just know that....and be super kind to yourselves in this withdrawal. Ride the waves instead of trying to swim against the current. Don't judge yourself and instead of trying to figure out why you feel a certain way, just close your eyes, and take 5 very deep breaths, and know this is temporary.

Any and all drugs that are dealing with our actual brain function are very powerful and I believe, no matter what FDA says, these drugs are not fully understood especially cause we all have different brain chemistry. I sincerely hope in the future, instead of all of us just being a statistic, that we (our brains) can individually be tested by the right neuro-physicians using sophisticated methods so that the correct drugs and dosages are actually given...not this guessing game which really has not been perfected.

Sorry for the ramble but wanted to share and spread some hope for all of us. It will get better. Keep breathing and believing.

I have been on Cymbalta for 5 years since my mothers death, both for anxiety and depression! Have stopped taking the Cymbalta for about six weeks now, but feeling very tired all the time angry at everyone and feeling really depressed and sad. Looked up side effects today cause I couldn't understand what was going on with me, figured it had to be the Cymbalta! Think it's time to see my doctor.

You wrote the most cogent response. I'm not looking for a forum to complain but I was searching for a detailed titration regime. Sadly no one has provided it.
Hope you're doing well.

I'm checking in again. I've been 'weaning' since July and have posted before. I'm completely out of cymbalta now and pretty much for the last month, except for a few 'pellets' here and there. Brain zaps are still present, but at a decreasing frequency -- last time was the past weekend, they were 'strong' but didn't last all day and not since then.

Today I saw brand new doctor and, for once, he knew exactly what we were talking about "discontinuation syndrome". HE says it only occurs with anti-depressants that work with 2 neurotransmitters -- these are: cymbalta, effexor, and paxil. (I also had brain zaps when going off paxil). He put me on celexa as he did think me to be 'depressed' although not in a major way. Let's hope it's temporary.

I don't know if we will ever get a detailed titration regimen -- this doctor was quite amazed/bemused that I was counting 'pellets'. All I can add is -- I have decreased so so slowly --
On another note, a friend of mine who is on 90 mgs. picked up her Cymbalta and was given a "generic" for which they charged her the regular 'high' price -- so apparently there IS a generic available -- (I had previously been told by pharmacist that they 'extended' the patent). ONE of the reasons I stopped was because of the cost -- but IF it had been 'working', I would have found a way. It did not help any of my pain -- or mental acuity.

I started on psych meds at 15, then pain meds at 17, and have lived (by the grace of G-D) to tell of surviving poly-pharmacy (psych meds, anxiety meds, pain meds) for too many years!!! I am now 37--free of it all for >2.5 year, except for Cymbalta, which I have been on for 8? years or so. A wonder drug!!! for a long time for me in helping with 1. pain secondary to fibromyalgia/arthritis and 2. depression/mood.

I was on 120 mg for years, and prescribed Cymbalta when it was still 'off label' for pain issues. I cut down from 120 mg to 60 mg a year ago without titration. I am now 2 days into detoxing off of the 60 mg and it is the hell I remember. I warn EVERYONE, and especially the mom's with teenagers out there: PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CHILDREN TO BE GUINEA PIGS!!!! These meds are not meant for long-term use, nor for combining with other pills upon pills!!!

The withdrawal is hell and has kept me from successfully getting off of it completely more than once. 'Bat s*** crazy' is the term that comes to mind. Thankfully, I have an amazing faith, ability to utilize all of the tools that I've learned through the years to manage it, and an incredible partner who is committed to my being free of this drug!!

This drug needs a black box warning. Medical schools need to stop being funded by drug companies. Dr's need to stop handing out pills for everything. If heroin withdrawal is a 10, full on Cymbalta withdrawal (at least for me) is an 8 (and I've experienced the former). Major GI issues, the achy-dull 'soreness' of muscles and 'my legs feel like cinder blocks' feeling, the 'zaps,' the anxiety, the crying, the mood swings, the visual disturbances... please: try talk therapy first. Start journaling or some other creative outlet(s), research Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (and DBT :) ) and try something else before you get on these meds. Please.

And do not stop cold turkey without medical supervision (I am a medical professional, as well as formal and informal education in multiple healing areas/modalities/lifestyle approaches). I will be finding out more about where to report the adverse side effects and danger of this drug!!

I was put on cymbalta about 4 years ago to help with fibromyalgia and anxiety. Since then I have had 3 babies so every time I became pregnant I stopped and every time had bad withdrawals, why do I start it again and again knowing that it makes me so sick?????

Idk but I stopped again about a month ago because I am tired of being on meds and in the last4 years I have gotten worse like more numbness, foot pain, hot flashes, really bad neck and back pain so now I feel worse omg!! Please think twice before starting this medicine. I feel so bad I am so nauseated and just feel out of control I am crying all the time my whole body hurts!!!! I really hope that I get better soon I have 5 boys I need to be ok.

I want desperately to come off cymbalta! I have tried twice but the brain zaps were so bad, and I got really depressed. Cymbalta helps well with my Fibro pain and so it has been good for something. But my moods swings are increasing and my memory loss is horrible! I tried to wean over a month and the brain zaps were too severe. I take 60mg daily. Any suggestion?

I've read about counting the granules, not sure if that works or not. I'm worried about getting rebound depression. I have children, and I'm definitely more "chill" when I take my med. was not diagnosed with depression before taking drug. Thanks!

I have been on and off antidepressants since I was about 15 (I'm 21 now) before I took about a year break from any medication I was on Cymbalta. I remember it actually helping me and I don't remember having to wean off of it or anything. So I was experiencing some severe symptoms of depression and figured I'd get on Cymbalta again.

I'm beginning to feel like this was a huge mistake. It's been 4 days and I throw up every single thing I eat or drink, I have body aches and pains, chest pain, headaches, stiff neck, fever, chills, diarrhea, and I feel like I'm having these "brain zaps" that most people have when trying to get off of it. I am so dehydrated I'm having to go to the hospital because my body won't keep anything down. I just don't know if I should hold out and pray that it goes away or get off of it ASAP

Ok, so I commented a while back on my story of starting cymbalta so I won't go back into that. Just wanted to post an update and I thank everyone for your posts because they have been so helpful on what to expect. I'm on a break from nursing school for about one month. I can't go on taking this drug. It's made my memory foggy and my body extremely fatigued. I can sleep for 48 hours straight if I have the time. I've weaned down to 20mg daily for the past week. Feel really nauseous and out of it cognitively. Also extremely antisocial and it's hard to get out of bed. I bought some st. John's wart and 5htp to help with decreased serotonin levels which has helped a little bit for post couple of days. My time off is running out for my break from school and today I decided to stop all together. I'm hoping the brain zaps and other physical symptoms i experienced earlier when I wouldn't be able to afford my medication, won't last to long and I hope to have some energy before I have to go back to school. I'll keep you all posted. Thanks everyone

WOW! I have been taking 90 mg cymbalta for 3 years and decided that I was getting no help from it. A couple weeks ago I went down to 60mg and then for a couple of days was on 30 mg.

I was scheduled for at CT myelogram for today and was to be off the cymbalta for a full 3 days prior due to contrast being injected into my spinal canal. I have been experiencing the same withdrawal symptoms as described. I don't plan on taking it as I want it out of my system. The worst for me are the profuse sweating, then chills, and the night tremors.

My head also wooshes and have a headache with it. I am relieved that I am not alone. I am determined to continue. I may just call my dr tomorrow and let him know what's going on. Thank you all for your posts.

I have no clue how long I have been on Cymbalta probably over 4 1/2 years. But since August I have been trying to go all natural and come off medicines I don't need or that are casing my liver functions to continue to elevate. I stayed on the Cymbalta because of my fibromyalgia and the ongoing back pain I've had since before my back surgery. Since my back has improved I decided it was time to come off this drug. Of course I could never ask my doctor they seem to enjoy adding more and more medicines even when you don't need them.

Since August I have lower my liver function and several other functions that have been high for years just by going natural and cutting my Cymbalta. I went from 120mg a day for thirty day to 60mg for thirty days to every other day for 30 days and decided that was it. Since I have stop taking it I feel like I'm in a tunnel and dizzy at times with a headache between my eyes. I have had crazy foot pain and the feeling of fullness in my ears.

At first I thought something was really wrong but after reading these posts I know now it is the medication. Hopefully these side effects will disappear soon and I’ll be feeling better. My thyroid has even come down since I have cut down and now cut out this medication.

I am on Cymbalta for my fibromyalgia and it helps better than anything else I have taken. it also helps with my bipolar but if I accidentally run out the headaches are excruciating! all the side effects listed on here i had before taking cymbalta because of the fibro. This is actually the only medicine I've taken that didn't give me bad side effects and the way it helps my bipolar keeps me from changing to a different med. I've taken zoloft, effexor, prozac, lithium and a few others I cant remember never helped. Medicine does me weird so that's probably the reason cymbalta actually helps me.

The worst experience ever.

Getting on to Cymbalta was quite weird. I felt nothing, cared for nothing, I was almost a robot. I was thirsty all the time and had ZERO sex drive. I could not climax at all, and even my grandmother almost dying barely faced me. I could not be happy over the little things just like I could not be upset either. Eventually you figure out a way to try to be normal or just fake it till you make it.

Getting off Cymbalta however has been the worst experience ever. Brain zaps, feeling like fainting, diarrhea, upset stomach, nausea, headaches, sweating all the times specially at night (as if someone dropped a bucked of water on my bed) insomnia, inability to stay asleep. Everything irritates my stomach. Constant burping... and many more things. Stomach is distended and hurts all the time. there are so many things to list... I do not take any other drugs and I prob will never take anything like this again.

Yet the manufacture refuses to accept that all of these symptoms happen when you try to get out of it. consider yourself warned. I was only on 30 mg once a day

Thank you to all for sharing your stories. You have helped keep me from believing that I was losing my mind. Also, I am so grateful for learning how to bead count. I have written a complaint to the FDA. Not for the purpose of litigation but solely for the protection of patients.

Now to comment on the few who have down played these symptoms. I have MS and chronic pain. I have been on many drugs, trying to live my life. I have titrated off of many pills, including OxyContin. This feels like a narcotic.

I was warned by my Dr., but thought that with the pain I would try it. Thankfully I stopped at 30 mg. Still it has taken almost six months to get off. This is my first day without Cymbalta. My brain is mushy and my head hurts. My nerves are on edge. So much that the sound of paper tearing almost sent me over the edge. I do have Prozac on hand if I need it. I am having problems with the Omega supplement. I have stomach issues, long story. I have been forcing myself to walk and lift light weights and stretch. I hug my dog and my kids. My husband too.

Now, has anyone else had sudden onset with lower back pain. This is new for me. Thank you all again. I wish that I could reach out and hug each of you and make it all better.

I have been on Cymbalta 120 mg daily for past 2 years. I currently am going off it, cold turkey. It is 4:30PM of my 7th day. Side effects are minute to minute and sometimes hour to hour mood swings, a feeling of impending doom, fearful feelings, a feeling of fullness in my head like it might explode, shortness of breath when I walk, feeling of internal trembling or shakiness almost as though I am on speed, tightness in the back of my neck, tense, tired but can only sleep about 4 hours, feelings of self deprecation or putting myself down, doubting myself and what I am doing 1 minute then feeling good about what I am doing the next minutes, terrible fear about permanent damage from stopping this drug, dizziness, blurred vision and the first 3 days it felt like a cap on the top of my head with a headache in the cap.

On the 4th day the headache left and I would off and on feel kind of up which is what made me decide to do this. I am terrified. One thing I am also doing is praying to God to release me from this bondage. One thing I forgot to say was I do sometimes cry for a short period of time and I seem to be overly sensitive about other people's problems. If someone mentions death, funeral, or someone is dying of cancer, I tear up.

This evening while putting on mascara it was as though I could hear almost a static noise in my head or maybe a better way to describe it is an electrical current sound. It is really difficult to describe. This is the first time I have heard this and I am on my 7th day of cold turkey from Cymbalta.

Oh my gosh yes!!! I stopped taking cymbalta about a week and half ago. I started taking cymbalta for depression. I went up to 120 mg and I realized what this was doing to my brain after I couldn't afford my prescription and missed 3 days of taking it. I started getting the so called "brain zaps" as well as other unpleasant symptoms. Thought I was going nuts. Thank god I found this site and realized I wasn't going crazy and the physical symptoms I was feeling are real.

But anyway, that's the moment I decided I needed to get off this drug. It was obviously doing something way too intense in my brain if it made me feel that bad when I wasn't on it. Also when I was on it I could sleep two days straight if I had 2 days off from work or school. I tapered from 120 to 20 mg in about 6 months. When I get down to 40 I started feeling nauseous all the time and had bad vertigo. I went down to 20, and continued to feel worse.

I decided if I'm feeling this bad tapering, I might as well just stop. I'm on break from nursing school and figured I should stop when I have the time so I could handle the withdrawals without having to deal with school. So it's been about a week and a half and I'm feeling a lot better. I know people have reported withdrawals lasting a really long time, weeks and months. But everyone is different and wanted to let you know how this process has been for me.

I'm not going to lie, it's been a living hell. The brain zaps were horrible the first few days. Nausea was bad, headaches, and vertigo. And like you are experiencing.... the BACK PAIN!!! I am glad to know that I'm not alone with this. I was wondering if this could be a symptom of getting off cymbalta. It literally happened the day I stopped taking it. Started with low back pain, then started going up my spine and my upper back and lower back were killing me. I would have to log roll to get out of bed. I even work at a chiropractic office and would get adjustments to help.... The adjustments helped with my upper back, but my lower back is still killing me...

Other than that, I feel so much better. The brain zaps have reduced significantly. I've been taking supplements.... Omega 3s, St. John's Wart, lemon balm, 5HTP, magnesium calcitate, B12 and B6.... might be kind of excessive but I think it really helped. I was able to work for the whole week. I also noticed an increase in energy every day. While I was on cymbalta I could sleep for 48 hours straight when I had the time. Now I'm able to get up in the morning and stay away throughout the day. Exercise has helped tremendously. I don't feel any of the physical withdrawal symptoms while I'm doing aerobic exercise. I've had to do things like walk in treadmill with slight incline or eliptical to not have hard impact on my low back.

Anyway, good luck! Hang in there. It's totally worth stopping even if you feel bad going through withdrawals. Drink tons of water. Even with the withdrawal symptoms I started feeling more and more like myself every day. I feel like I'm getting my old personality again. I was able to uncontrollably laugh with my girlfriends today for the 1st time in about a year. Let me know how your back pain progresses and if you hear any other cases of this, or any ideas on how to help it. I've been relying on muscle rub and chiropractic adjustments at work for temporary relief, but the pain still comes back.... I'm currently laying on a heating pad for some relief.

Good luck and good job stopping! It's gonna be well worth it in the end. For me, I think I'm through the worst of the physical withdrawal symptoms and it's only been a week and half. I know it's different for everyone, but some of the posts really scared me, like people saying they still feel awful months later. Hopefully you'll get through this fast!! Keep me updated on your status!

I am so happy I read your comments. The exact same thing happened to me, Loiuse. I was off Cymbalta for 3 days before I even realized I hadn't put them in my pillbox, then it was weekend and I couldn't get any of them. 1st 3 days off I was overly sensitive to things on TV, teared up over sad things on TV but would also catch myself laughing out loud at funny things on TV. Also I became very tense and yelled at my little dog because he shredded a kleenex. (not me at all).

4th day I off and on would have an up mood which made me decide I can do this. I am starting my 8th day of cold turkey. My side effects have been mood swings, one minute I'm feeling better and thinking I can make it. Maybe 1 hour later I feel alone and fearful, like impending doom. It is getting better and better each day. Other side effects dizziness like vertigo, blurred vision, clumsiness, my right middle back yesterday 3 times the muscle seemed to catch and felt like a ripple went through it. Not sure if that has anything to do with Cymbalta.

Last night while putting on mascara I felt or heard almost a zinging sound in my head going back and forth between my ears. As soon as I got my makeup done it stopped. I am also experiencing internal shakiness, mostly have to sit in a chair or lye in bed, get out of breath when I walk, feel almost like I am on speed, not outward physically speeding but an internal feeling of excitability, One last thing, I am using prayer to help me get through this. This time I am determined to stay off antidepressants with the help of our Great God.

Thank you so much for responding! I thought, great now I have back pain. I've been using heating pads, taking B and C vitamins, eating more veggies and waiting for my brain to return. I'm sleeping better now and have a bit more energy. The joke was that I needed a pre bed nap because sleeping was such hard work. I need to drink more water. I start out and get busy and forget. Your story is very encouraging and I'm glad that you are off of this stuff. I have ( with my Dr's help) gotten off three pills and now going after Neurontin next. Not right now! Whew, I can live with more pain if I can stay awake and have my brain back. Thank you again for your encouraging words. It means a lot.

63 year old female, used various antidepressants over the past 18 years for depression. Each one seemed to work for awhile then Dr would change to different one. Cymbalta worked well for me but then my insurance company, BCBS doubled the price to force me to start ordering 3 month supply by mail through Medco who never seems to get them to me on time. I got fed up with the high price and hassle with Medco and went cold turkey 9 days ago.

I didn't even know about all the withdrawals until I read this web site yesterday. I have some but not all. Day 1-3 extreme irritability, yelled at my little dog for shredding a kleenex, (not a normal reaction for me). Day 4 actually feeling a little better so decided to go cold turkey. Day 5 woke up with feeling of aloneness, impending doom, overly sensitive while watching TV or talking to people would actually tear up if anyone mentioned cancer, death, etc., also would laugh out loud at things on TV. I've never been that type of person.

This is the day my lower gut area started cramping and I started having more frequent bowel movements but it wasn't diarrhea like numerous people had. My sister has been helping me through this by talking to me for 8 straight hours at a time sometimes off and on through the night and day. When depressed this helped a lot by taking my mind off the depression. Also each time I felt depression I would pray and beg God to heal me. Each time I would start feeling better after prayer. Day 6 one minute I would be feeling confident that I could get through this then the next I would be doubting myself and thinking about taking the med again. I felt so bad I canceled a dinner date with my little grandaughters.

Day 7 This evening around 5PM I was putting on mascara getting ready to take my grandaughters out to dinner. I was having to force myself to go. All I really wanted to do was curl up in bed by myself. Suddenly I felt or heard a zinging noise inside my head going back and forth between my ears, almost an electrical sound or a static noise. I'm not sure if this is what people call brain zapping or not.

Also I am having what I think might be a muscle spasm just to right of center half way down my back. During the past 3 days while watching TV, on 2 different occasions I would see movement about the size of a mouse in my left peripheral vision but when I looked there I saw nothing. Is this a hallucination? Also since day 5 I am dizzy, have vertigo, blurred vision, off balance, feel like I am on speed, not buzzing around being active physically but speeded up internally and all shakey inside. I also feel rather weak and tire easily.

I don't sleep more than 4 or 5 hours at a time and seem to get winded when I walk. While on the phone I have rushing thoughts and talk faster than usual. Day 8 I woke up with no depression this morning, did not have it all day, did have all my previously mentioned symptoms, though. Around 10PM the muscle spasm in my back got worse and more often.

Other than that it has been a really great day for someone in withdrawal. I will continue to post tomorrow. I think I may be going to be one of the lucky ones and have fewer of the symptoms and a shorter withdrawal time. Actually what I should say is I know God is healing me and I am very blessed.

Wesley, I too have been on Cymbalta for 7 years. Yours was the first case I read about that had the longevity like mine. How long did the brain zaps last, how about dizziness and sweating for no reason? I hope you see this because I see you were going through this in March of 2013, and I have been going through it for about 2 weeks. I will not ever go on this drug again hopefully, I just have to learn how to figure things out in another way. I would just like a heads up as to how long the withdrawals will last if you have been on it for 7 years. thanks!

Up until 13/1/14 I had been taking Cymbalta for the relief of acute nerve pain, I had been taking this drug for 18 months with average results, but had recently told my doctor of crazy night sweats. My doctor told me to stop taking Cymbalta immediately and trusting your doctor I stopped on 14/1/14.

It is now 20/1/14 and I have been diagnosed with acute depression (something I have never had before), the usual crying, loss of feeling in my hands and arms, brain zaps, sickness etc. The doctor I saw today (not the cold turkey one) put this down purely to stopping Cymbalta. How the hell have I gone from an average albeit in pain man to a wreck in one week.

I have run out of Cymbalta on several occasions over the last three or four years due to the expense. It currently costs me $173.00 for 15 30mg capsules which last a week (I take 60mg/day). I am 67 yrs. old and I take it for peripheral neuropathy (I am not diabetic). Whenever I run out, I suffer brain-snapping, vertigo, dizziness, tremors, fatigue, etc. These symptoms last until I get back on the drug.

I wish I could do without it, but the pain is too severe and there are no real alternatives that I know of (apart from Tegretol which causes seizures). I wish I knew the long-term effects. I wish I could sue the company, but I can't afford it.

It's day 8 cold turkey for me. I have been sitting at work all day. That's good. I thought I was not going to be here after Fri night. The nightmares and heart palpitations were scary. I slept last night with the help of Lorazapam, muscle relaxer and Nyquil (for sleeping only). The sudden hot flash with profuse sweating has been only once today. But the headache has not gone away since day one.

Day four I had the lightning bolts like like a migraine and nausea. I have been on 30mg for over 10 years. Day 8 and I'm making it. I am glad to have done this in the winter because of the heat/hot flashes. Showers have helped a lot. Just sitting in the shower feels like I am washing and detoxing all those years of that pill away. Treat yourself and don't be in a rush. Just allow yourself to enjoy no matter how long it takes. Drink! Drink! drink water or whatever you can to hydrate. More later and God Bless

I am interested to know what dosage people took that report withdrawal side effects.

I took 120mg of cymbalta per day for over six months (in combination with other drugs, for anxiety and depression).
Is that low? High? My anxiety was lower, but depression became more of a problem. So my doctor had me stop cymbalta.
I dropped to 60mg for a week, then stopped. I am on week two after stopping.

I am now getting the head zaps repeatedly. I also find the head zaps are worse when I move around (as opposed to lying down). It's like a split-second head rush and lose consciousness with ear ringing getting louder. Had one once in a while when I ran out of cymbalta a while back. Now they come in waves.

I think about different ways of killing myself. I have crying fits, which is new. I don't want to get out of bed. I would say depression is worse. If I took cymbalta for 6 months, how long should I expect side effects to last? I hope not more than a couple weeks.

I took abilify to help stop recurring thoughts. Stopped that problem cold in a few days, which was really weird. But it made my anxiety crazy. I could not sit still to watch a 30 min tv show. I was taking several drugs, so I didn't know it was ability causing the issue until I stopped taking abilify.

Is klonopin a placebo? Cause that does not seem to do much for me.

What is an average cymbalta dosage?

I think it is important that people know that I only was on this for 3 months. I started taking Cymbalta September 27, 2013 30MG for Sjogrens Syndrome. I was told by my doctor it would help with the joint and nerve pain I suffer from. The first only side effect I had was nausea, and vertigo. The pain I suffered started to go away within 3 days. I thought my prayers were answered.

Fast forward just one month, Oct 2013 the complication of my Sjogrens turned on my nervous system (very rare)... and I started going to a Chinese medical doctor for acupuncture.. After 3 treatments a week with him and lots of herbal tea, I really started to feel better. So much so, I wanted to get off the Cymbalta, after all why take medicine if you don't feel you need it.

I spoke with my Primary doctor who gave me this wean off plan... I was to take it every other day for 1 month.. I did this the whole month of December... No problems. no side effects, felt great. Next phase, Jan 1st take 1 pill every 2 days for 1 week then I am done cold turkey.

Jan 9th 2014 was my last dose. I was fine the first couple of days.. I thought "great... no worries"... By day 4 the brain started to not be clear, I started losing my keys, and my train of thought all the time, passing exits, not remembering where I was driving to, or where I was suppose to be. Then the next week the moodiness started, it went in waves from screaming at my husband, which I NEVER do, to crying like there was a death in the family for hours, not being able to stop. I felt.. correction still feel like I am losing my mind. My joint pain and nerves are on fire, I can not sleep, and every night run to the bathroom if you know what I mean...My hands shake like I have Parkinson's...

I was only on this drug for 3 months!!! PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THE CHOICE TO GET ON THE DRUG LIGHTLY!!! think it through....

This drug is wonderful for what they say it is for while you are on it... But people should be prepared to make a lifetime commitment to want to be on it forever if you do not want to go through total hell coming off it!

Colbie...age 42 still in Cymbalta withdrawals day 12

My daily dose was only 30mg. back when it was 1st prescribed to me he (Dr.) wanted me on 60mg., it took only a few days of that and I told him it was too much and he lowered me to 30mg and was on it at least 10 years daily.
I am day 9 cold turkey. I had little to no sleep last night. I thought I had found the answer to my sleep deprivation, but it didn't work. Nightmares, waking in sweat, heart beating so hard and fast I thought it would bust from my chest. Nervous ticks such as shoulder jerks, head jerks and numbness in my hands. Feeling like a robot wore off after a few hours this morning and I finally smiled. Have a fan blowing on me constant as sweat just appears whenever.
God Bless

I decided after 4 years to stop taking Cymbalta. Over a period of a year, I reduced to the lowest dosage 20 mg from 60mg. I purchased glyceryn capsules to make my own dosage capsules. I counted the beads in the 20 mg capsule and they averaged about 181 per 20 mg. I did the math and made 18mg, 15mg, 12mg, 10mg capsules. At least 7 days each one. If the head zaps were to strong, I stayed on until they disappeared. As I decreased below 10 mg, the withdrawal symptoms stopped after 4 days. So those dosages, I stayed on 5 days.

The 5 days rounds were 8mg, 5mg, 2mg and then I stopped. I am 4 days post stopping and my head zaps still continue when I make quick head turns for example while driving, or get up from a horizontal position.

I only hope it will stop soon, and by soon I mean before 14 days. I actually thought this could continue for the rest of my life! A horrible thought.

No one helped with this program, I just made it up myself.
I know I am sensitive to the drug, and was looking for other people's input as to their withdrawal time frame. I was hoping 2 weeks was the max.

I have FMS following a car accident in 1999. My long term disability through work would not take me on, as my doctor said my pain was all in my head; my physiotherapist treated me for 55 sessions including resetting my pelvis three times before I quit going for physio and having them say they would have healed me if I had kept going; my chiropractor who I saw 3 to 5 times a week for months before I stopped going, who also said in writing that he would have healed me had I kept going to see him. No wonder LTD wouldn't do anything. Two years later I lost my job over FMS and received 1/2 of the legal settlement against the person who caused the accident. In 2006 I had a total breakdown and did and said things I would normally never say or do. So I finally went back to my doctor, who I hadn't seen for 6 years. He examined me and found 14 trigger points and it finally hit him as he was walking out the examination room door, I think you have fibromyalgia! and that was that.

I was in such constant excruciating pain that I could barely get out of bed and could only walk 100 feet at a time. I was a healthy, active, and well woman at the time of the accident and have been through hell and hopefully, Back!
Since taking Cymbalta for the last two years I have had blackout moments where I have fallen in my house and done some serious damage to myself, memory loss, constant diarrhea, ringing in my ears, verdigo, developed cataracts in both eyes, 2 strokes in a 24 hour period, have developed osteoarthritis, day sweats where any activity such as house cleaning makes me sweat so much that I look like I just washed my hair, extreme bouts of depression and anger... and the list goes on.

In my personal experience, yes it does alleviate FMS pain somewhat but the side effects are making my life a living hell and causing serious health issues. I am down to one 30 mg a day and thank you for letting me know not to withdraw quickly, as the pharmaceutical expert at my doctor's office said just take them every other day for a week and then every 3rd day, etc. So I would have totally quit them in 7 weeks. I am grateful to have your experiences to share and thank you for averting another fiasco in my treatment.

Dear friends,
I have to tell you all I am 2 weeks CYMBALTA free. I am on day 15. I just had a weekend at my parents and slept well with no nausea ( I did have to have some pepto Saturday and that helped). I cried at my sisters speech on Saturday, I cried in church on Sunday. I cried Sunday night, I cry at the drop of hat. but it's ME, not Cymbalta. I had been on 30mg 1x a day for many many years (I think plus 10) and I will not ever go back to a "anti depressant". Please Lord.

I don't know how much relief fibromyalgia suffers are getting from this med, I hope it is helping.

I have two herniated discs, one in lunber and one in cervical with scolioses and now hip dispacia at 51 and it sucks. After two weeks I am not able to tell any difference in pain levels so I do not believe I am a fibromyalgia sufferer as many of you are. my pain comes from damaged discs and and I can now say Cymbalta did not help me in alleviating any pain. (apologies for my horrible spellng). I can say I no longer feel like an empty drawer. I had a few of the "zaps" today, and a headache I believe is from the damage to my neck. Dizzy, like vertigo. Take stairs slowly. Drink water, because I can't seem to get rid of cotton mouth. With all that, I am not EMPTY and you all know what I mean. Please hang in there with those of who know this med is not needed in your life. You will be free of it's clutches. God Bless

Last Fall, I complained of fibromyalgia pain to my general practitioner, who suggested Cymbalta. I took Cymbalta (20 mg) for about three months. I didn't notice a difference in fibromyalgia pain, but it did help with mild depressive and anxiety symptoms.

However, on Cymbalta, I gained over ten pounds, so I started to look up info online about side effects. I stopped taking Cymbalta not because of the weight gain, but because I am a breast cancer survivor who also takes Tamoxifen. I read that Cymbalta can reduce the effectiveness of Tamoxifen. I need to take Tamoxifen to reduce my chance of getting breast cancer again. My oncologist says that if the cancer returns, it would likely show up in the liver, brain, or bone, and would most likely kill me within a couple of years. I need to stay on the Tamoxifen, and I need it to work for me.

Since I've been off of the Cymbalta (about two weeks), I am exhausted much of the time. I often feel a strong urge to lie down and sleep during the day. I have tingling in my lips. I often feel light-headed and slightly faint. I have also been irritable.

This drug is awful. I was initially put on Cymbalta a couple of years ago after trying to kill myself. I have suffered with depression since I was a child, but always coped with it without medication...until I was given medication for my RLS. After being prescribed Mirapex and Requip for my Restless Leg Syndrome, I gambled away all of my savings and became so ashamed and depressed that I decided to end my life.

Fortunately, a friend found me and I was sent to the hospital. Unfortunately, there, they gave me Cymbalta 30 mg and some other antipsychotic that made me a zombie. When I got out of the hospital, I continued the Cymbalta, truly believing what all of the docs and shrinks told me in the hospital - there was hope for me to live without the depression I had suffered with for so long. I was actually optimistic and did feel better when I was first on the Cymbalta. I even remember the drive home from the hospital, I was looking out the window, up at the leaves on the trees and the sun was shining through them, and I thought, "Wow! This is beautiful. This is what the world looks like to 'normal' people." I thought I had been reborn - I thought I was seeing the world the way people without depression see it.

But it didn't take long for me to realize that there was something wrong with the Cymbalta. I first noticed that I developed a compulsion for picking at my skin on my fingers. I always bit my nails, so at first, I thought it was just a new way to release my anxiety when I got really stressed or nervous. I soon realized that it wasn't just that. I began chewing and ripping the skin off of my fingers (mostly my thumbs) until they would bleed. I'm talking several layers of skin ... and I DIDN'T FEEL A THING! I had absolutely no pain! I would even do it in my sleep! I would wake up and there would be blood all over my pillow. Sometimes, I would have to go into work (I was a teacher) with gauze wrapped all around my thumbs to hide how awful it looked and to prevent infection. My students were always asking me what was wrong with my fingers, and I was sooo ashamed. I would just say I burned myself cooking or I cut myself. Overcome with embarrassment, I began picking at the skin in my nose instead - at least the kids couldn't see that. I would take tweezers and tear holes into the inside of my nose until it would bleed and then scab ... then I'd start all over again, picking at the scabs. I never felt any of this. The Cymbalta had completely numbed my pain receptors!

I would have other accidents where I wouldn't feel anything too. I burned myself once so bad that I could smell the skin burning, and I had no idea. My boyfriend noticed it - I was completely unaware. I would notice bruises all over my body whenever I would take a shower and I would have no idea where they came from because I never felt any pain or discomfort. On a positive, my menstrual cramps were completely gone, but so were my toenails - I would rip them out at night (I took the Cymbalta at night before bedtime) and wake up to only somewhat uncomfortable feet (I could still walk in high heels and did every day for school, so the pain was minimal).

Other things I noticed were that if I ever was late on a dose, like even a couple of hours, I would immediately feel drunk. I would be disoriented, foggy-headed, dizzy if I looked quickly from left to right, and confused. Driving was impossible if I was late for the medication and there were several times where I had to drive home from somewhere just to get my medication and I wouldn't even know how I got home. It was like I just blacked out.

If I had any alcohol whatsoever, I would immediately black out. I mean, my body would continue functioning - it happened several times when I had a friend over, so I have been told - I would continue having a conversation, cook food, clean up, or whatever, but would have no recollection of it the next day. I would wake up the next morning and look around my house and be shocked. It was obvious that I had done a bunch of things that I didn't remember at all. It was also scary. One time, I woke up naked, wrapped in a blanket on the floor of my computer room. I had no idea how I had gotten there, or why, and was completely alone in the house. I remembered going to bed - with my nightclothes on - in my bedroom.

Eventually, after years of being on Cymbalta, I developed a serious drinking problem. I found that while I would have these blackouts, no matter how much alcohol I consumed, I never woke up with a hangover. I also found that my tolerance for alcohol went up drastically. I used to get drunk off of one glass of wine. Now, I could drink a whole bottle and more. I used to only drink wine - a glass after a long day at work while I watched my reality tv shows. I eventually turned to beer...and ultimately, began drinking 6 to 10 beers a day. I started drinking at noon and was blacked out by 7 pm.

I also developed a serious gambling problem. This had begun when I was taking Mirapex and Requip for RLS, but on the Cymbalta, it was exacerbated. I went from gambling $100 to $200 at a time on the Mirapex/Requip to gambling thousands at a time. I even stole from my family to fuel my addiction. I would drive 150 miles a day after working all day, just to go to the casino. Sometimes I would go 5 or 6 days a week! It was ridiculous! I hated myself for going. I would scold myself and pray to God for help and sometimes cry the whole way there and back, but I couldn't control it. It's all I thought about all day. Random things would make me think about it - like a jingle on tv that reminded me of a noise a slot machine makes or an ad for The Wizard of Oz or American Idol (popular slot machines that I've played). I began losing and losing and losing and became more and more dependent on the Cymbalta. I knew it was causing my problem, but I was too ashamed to tell my doctor and was too afraid to go off of it because I knew that then, I would have to face all of the awful things I had done.

On the Cymbalta, it was as if I lived only in the present moment and didn't care at all about any consequences. I never thought about the future and I was totally numbed emotionally. I didn't even care that I had stolen money from someone I loved in order to fuel my gambling addiction! That's not me! I am a caretaker - I take care of my elderly, disabled parents; I take care of my students, friends, boyfriends. It's what I do. It's what makes me feel worthy and like I have a purpose. To steal from someone I love is just not something I would have done, if it weren't for the drug.

With all of this, I decided to go off of the Cymbalta a couple of weeks ago. I have hit rock bottom in my life. I was forced to leave my job (where I had spent 9 happy years), I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars - some of it not even mine, have ruined a number of relationships, have gained several pounds, am thousands of dollars in debt, and am completely broke. I have no money coming in and am such a mess that I couldn't even get, never mind keep a job. Since weening myself off of 60 mg a day, my memory is awful, my vocabulary and word-recall have been crippled (even simple words like "conflict" come out of my mouth "Com...Conft... Confrun...Comflict...Conflict), and I feel like I'm living in a haze all of the time. I have awful sensations in my head when I look from side to side, I am constantly bumping into things, dropping things, and falling down, and my attention span is virtually nonexistent. My response to pain is extremely heightened (probably due to the fact that my body has forgotten how to deal with pain, since I didn't feel any the whole time I was on Cymbalta). Even tiny things like bumping my knee brings tears to my eyes. My emotions are completely out of whack - I can go from crying uncontrollably at a sad story on tv to flying into a complete rage at someone driving too slow on the highway. Sometimes, I get so angry, I actually want to physically HURT people! It's scary. I even punched a wall the other day, which I soon regretted because I don't have my "Cymbalta Shield" as I now call it, to prevent me from feeling the pain. Never in my life have I punched anything. I'm a 5 foot tall, 110 lb female! I'm not a darn boxer!

Fortunately, the night terrors, vivid dreams, and night sweats have gotten better. I can now sleep through most of the night and 90% of the time, I don't wake up covered in sweat. The chills and hot flashes during the day have improved too. I've started pursuing my own remedy for the constant nausea (which I will not disclose here. Now I can at least keep down some food, mostly noodle soup and saltines. Anything else, I take a couple of bites and then get so nauseous that I have to stop eating. The worse of it is though, that I think the Cymbalta also numbed the sensation you are supposed to get when you're hungry, which was great when I had no appetite, but now that I'm off it, I'm STARVING all of the time, but can't keep anything down.

I have some severe nerve pains that travel down my arm now and anything even remotely active makes my whole body hurt and ache. I've also become incontinent and my whole system is messed up. I'm thirsty all of the time and I'll drink a bunch of Gatorade and not feel a thing. All of a sudden, I have to RUN to the bathroom in pain and HAVE to urinate. Up to that point, I will have no feeling of having to go at all. It's ridiculous. I've also "gone" a few times accidentally, while I was in the shower, or if I sneezed, or if I was just standing, brushing my teeth. It's humiliating. Between that and the night sweats, it's a good thing the laundromat is nearby.

Fortunately, the hallucinations have stopped (I had both auditory and visual ones - the worst was when I saw my cat, who we had just had to put down, walk down the hallway and into my bedroom. I literally went into the bedroom, hoping he was there, and then burst into tears). I think about suicide all of the time, but I'm fighting off those demons. The skin on my hands has grown back and my nails are starting to grow back. I don't feel like gambling or drinking anymore and I haven't had any blackouts since I stopped taking the Cymbalta. I do still have some trouble sleeping, but it's tolerable. Oh, and the kidney/abdominal pains have stopped. They were stabbing pains that began when I started lowering my dose from 60 to 30. They would last anywhere from several seconds to several minutes, but I haven't gotten one in a while now. I do still get headaches and have teeth pain and heart palpitations, but all are tolerable.

All in all, even though my depression is back and worse than before, I do feel proud of myself for coming off of this awful drug, so that keeps me fighting. I've been lucky to have a very very supportive man in my life to help me through all of this, and I remind myself of that every day. My main concern is the permanent repercussions of my being on this drug for so long. I also want to make sure that people out there know the truth about this drug and I would like to pursue some avenue to force the drug's maker, Eli Lilly, to be more forthcoming, honest, and transparent about the awful side effects and the damage that this drug can cause. I hope that this post, even though it's long, will help some of you out there who are going through the same thing. I know that there is hope out there for us all.

I have been "weaning" off of Cymbalta for about a month now. I was told to take 60 mg every other day, then go to the 30 mg dosage and work from everyday down to 1 a week then none. I am so over this. After reading this site, I no longer think I picked up a "bug" in Mexico - it's definitely this drug. I have the brain fuzzes, zaps in and out, feel like I can hear my brain twitching, my eyes are constantly tired and dry, am having the sweats and hot flashes like no other and diarrhea.

I also have a major cough going on, so yeah maybe I do partially have a bug. The rest of it I blame fully on the Cymbalta. I have been on it for over a year for fibromyalgia and was taking Gabapentin along with it. As it turns out I didn't even have Fibro, I finally was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis which although not a much better diagnosis at least I have a chance to go into remission after doing the courses of methotrexate in between being sick and having to stop.

Cymbalta YOU STINK. It should never be prescribed for pain. If it is for depression then keep it that way and make sure that the patient is monitored while taking it.

Anyone have any suggestions to help get off this evil ride, please fill me in!!!!

I, too, had many of the complaints listed by many of you. I've posted before on this forum. I weaned myself off slowly... and know and herbalist/RN who mixed a tincture of Milky Oat Tops, Lemon Balm, and Skullcap. I take 1/4 tsp. in the a.m. and in the p.m. I had a time of "adjustment"... basically getting totally off the Cymbalta. I experienced brain "zaps", up and down emotions, but, they all calmed down and evened out.

I no longer have suicidal thoughts, I no longer re-play negative experiences with no control of my thoughts. Things are not perfect. I'm still working on emotional problems, but... WITHOUT THE INGESTION OF CHEMICALS!!!! I began weaning myself off of Cymbalta on Sept. 5, 2013. I took my last Cymbalta on Nov. 30, but had began my herbal tincture on Nov. 25. Today is Jan. 29... and I feel so much better off of Cymbalta and on the herbals.

I have chronic back pain. It started in 2009 after a car accident. After years of shots, physical therapy, meds, tins unit, xrays & MRI's I finally had back surgery for a partial collapsed/herniated disk in L4/L5. My Newest doctor has me on Cymbalta (against my better judgement) for Pain and is trying to totally take me off Oxycodone. I have felt horrible during the past 2 days on this medication. NO pain relief at all. Sadly, he is not interested in what has helped my pain for the past 5 years, only taking me off of it and trying something new. I have read many reviews of Cymbalta that were not positive. The pharmacist told me it was one of their most popular drugs.

So you have to weigh and decide, do you want to have a reduction in pain and deal with NEW side effects that can alter your life, your quality of life. Or don't take Cymbalta! As for the depression, I have used Celexa before and it was mild, not any noticeable side effects and it worked. Everyone is different, we know that. Not a lot of doctors do.

Why do I want to spend hours reading all this **** about someone else, when I am living every word of it every day myself? I had no idea what stopping Cymbalta could or would do, so I just quit taking it. Yep, cold turkey. I quit Cymblata and all my other medications, too. I figured I felt like crap while taking them, so I'd probably feel like crap without taking them. I was right. I do. When will it stop? WHEN WILL IT STOP???????????????????

Please forgive me. I have never spoken like this in my life. The tears won't hardly stop either.

Can you please share with me?

I've been off of cymbalta now for about 3 weeks. Maybe a little longer. I was feeling great about after a week of stopping... Yeah I still have withdrawal symptoms, but they were pretty minimal. I was getting my energy back, and was feeling pretty darn good. And then about week later, I started feeling so crappy again.

The brain zaps are gone, thank god, but I'm constantly nauseous. I don't throw up, but I just have the most nauseating headache and the only comfortable position is laying down and not moving my head. It sucks! My doctor told me SSRI discontinuation syndrome usually lasts about 3 weeks, so if it's not gone in a week to go see my general practitioner to see if its from something else. But I know it's not.

I know it's from cymbalta withdrawals because this is exactly how I felt right at the end of my taper... when I was on 20 mg for a week. I felt so nauseous all the time that I decided to just stop taking it because no good in tapering anymore if I feel like crap. Might as well just get the withdrawals over with.

Everything was so good for about 1 week. I was exercising, sleeping, feeling energetic, waking up early... all that good stuff. Now I just feel like I did when I was tapering and down to 20 mg. Nauseous, headache, dizzy, and fatigued. Ughhh I'm so frustrated!! I hate this drug. I wish I had never started taking it, and I wish doctors, even psychiatrists knew really how hard this stuff is to come off of. It's not like any other antidepressant I've ever come off of, and believe me... I've tried them all, and discontinued them without going through this hell. Anyone have any remedies for this nauseating headache that I deal with every day??

I am finally off Cymbalta!!!!!! Yes, it is horrible to come off of it. This was my third attempt. I tried to wean before and once weaned over 1 month and once over 3 months. Both times I failed. This time... cold turkey.

Two days after stopping, I cried from morning until night. I had suicidal thoughts. I told my husband to not leave me alone that day, or the next. And now... I'm done. I am nauseous still and trying Tums and mints to get tough it. But... I'm smiling. I'm not numb. I understand that you can still have "bad days." I think so many of us, even if we take Cymbalta for pain, succumb back to it if we have a rough day, or cry. It doesn't mean you're depressed. It means you have emotions!

I am using heating pads, tub baths for Fibro pain. But I think I'm so happy to be off Cymbalta after over 10 years that it is worth it!!!! You can do this!!! IT IS WORTH IT!!! Don't try it alone-have someone with you until you feel safe if you tend to bottom out while coming off of it.

I must admit I was surprised to read such negative testimonies about Cymbalta as I was put on it for severe depression 3 years ago and responded very well to it - in fact I have been a totally different person on it. It was prescribed in conjunction with Topamax for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy with which I was diagnosed at the same time. I was also on a low dose of Olanzipine (5mg) but I've stopped that now.

However...

I now feel ready to do without the anti-depressant and have gradually been weaning off it (about 3 weeks) and the side effects have been awful. All as listed by other posts: the nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, headaches, tiredness, irritability etc,. I can put up with the physical symptoms if I knew they were going to pass - what I'm afraid of is the depression manifesting itself again - I CAN'T EVER GO BACK THERE.

I have been on Cymbalta for over two years for pain from fibromyalgia. It seemed to do nothing for the pain but I got a lot of the side effects. Last Friday my GP took me off them, along with other medication. I feel so sick with it and so agitated. GP says it can take up to two wks for this to go. These drugs have more side effects than benefits. Easy to prescribe with little regard for the patients health. It was the rheumatologist that put me on them and never followed it up. Thank god I have a good GP who saw what was happening.

It is so helpful to read of others experiencing wooziness and the dreadfully frightening brain zapping when coming if this drug Duloxetine. They put then under so many different names it is very disconcerting.

I was initially put on 40mg about 10 yrs ago for urinary stress, which seemed to help a little but I noticed it was an anti-depressant as well and as going through a tough patch just thought I would hang in there but just take it down to 20mg a day God knows why really. It did become the norm to just pop it in every day. Then when we were away on long distance travel and I ran out of them and I experienced dreadful sensation in my head of fast train passing/whooshing through a tunnel and every time I moved my eyes I put down to over tiredness and catarrh in my head.

Then when I made a concerted effort to come off all unnecessary tablets before some chemo it stared up again and we are talking 5yrs on I then connected the two. Dr could not understand me saying I thought I needed the mental hospital as my head was giving me grief and spoiling my everyday life. I thought I had just lost the plot!

Now after taking in a print out of 'withdrawal from Duloxetine' he has taken no offense, but I think I have educated him re these symptoms. But he had no real answer than for me to just come off them myself taking one every other day, but that starts zapping again so now will try what someone else wrote here where he opened the capsule and counted the granules and reduced that way and he says he is winning.

I have been on Cymbalta for at least five years for depression and anxiety and last week, after an insurance mix up, I couldn't get anymore. I have had the suicidal thoughts and the uncontrollable crying fits and it has been hell. I didn't know that others had these "zaps" in their brains. But after reading this, it's nice knowing that I'm not just imagining them happening!

It's discouraging knowing that these symptoms of withdrawal don't go away soon though. I'm not sure that I want to even refill any future prescriptions because I know that I will have to wean myself off them eventually. Maybe I'll try Prozac?

My mother was the one who put me on this medicine and I wish they would have told her the side effects. Parents need to think ahead. It's only been a week and withdrawal is unimaginably difficult.

I was put on an antidepressants 10 years ago. Started with Prozac and then have been on about every other one since. Each doctor I saw would switch me to a different one to try to get better results. I have been taking Cymbalta for about two years. At my last appointment, I told my DR that I didn't think the meds were working. He suggested increasing my dose. I said "NO THANKS".

Last week I decided to quit taking it, cold turkey. Day one I had no symptoms. Day two it started. One way to describe it is like having a VERY bad case of the flu. I experienced nausea, diarrhea, sweats, restless leg syndrome, irritability, insomnia, weakness, brain fog, fatigue and frightening nightmares. Without the support of my family, I would not have been able to get through it. I spent three days in bed. Emptying the dishwasher would work up a sweat and require rest.

I am now on day seven. The only symptoms I still have are stomach related and fatigue. I also started crying while watching a Tide laundry detergent commercial. And then I started crying again when I told my husband about what happened. Crazy. I feel like I am on the right track and the worst is behind me. I will never go back on an antidepressant. While on them, I felt numb and uninvolved in my life. It was like being in a constant state of "who cares?" I wish I would have had the courage to stop them years ago.

I have been off Cymbalta for 3 days now and I am dizzy, have terrible pain in my lower abdomen, I feel like my head is detached from my body, and I'm getting these weird twitches in my extremities. I truly feel as though I'm going crazy. I'm just glad I happened upon this site; I don't feel quite so alone in this hell I'm going through. I'm supposed to be getting some Cymbalta tomorrow, but I really don't want to be addicted to a horrible drug like this! Should I taper off, or just deal with this? Help. Please.

It can be hard to find the right anti depressant, but for those who suffer with depression it is a must. Most Dr.s DO share the side effects of the medicine and DO tell their patients to NOT stop taking the drugs all at once. Pay attention to the warnings, make sure that your daughter understands and work with a psychologist and counselor. The initial side effects are usually temporary and the benefits when you find the right drug for you, are life changing. Keep the faith.
Mary

WISH I had seen this before I tapered off. After many years taking 120mg my tapering to 60 was unremarkable. My withdrawal symptoms after going 1 week every other day and 1-2weeks of 1 every third day without my 60 mg went well. Then when I stopped: severe exhaustion, dizziness, hypersomnia, and sobbing.

After several days of this, I googled to see if Cymbalta withdrawal might be different (worse) than other antidepressants. The answer is, it can be worse. I'm reading of people taking up to a year to get off! Eli Lily is not trying to get the word out. Not a surprise there. I am determined to see it through. I simply will not go back on. It made me chronically tired and not sure it ever improved the depression. In my opinion unless depression is severe, there is no reason to people to take this drug. Counseling and life style change and determination and hard work worked for me.

I was on Cymbalta for 5 1/2 months and really helped my fibromyalgia pain & initially I felt great but had diarrhea almost immediately. I wanted to hang in there because of the pain relief and increased energy but as the months went by I could not continue. Now I am of and on Citalopram as I also have depression but now I have no energy whatsoever and I am so tired. I still have diarrhea and may have to have a dose of steroids as it turns out I also have Lymphocytic colitis. Extreme warning: the treatment may be worse than the disease. I will never take any drug again that is similar to Cymbalta.

Please be careful and remember that different medications effect ppl differently. I've been on Cymbalta since 2011 and it's the first antidepressant I haven't reacted to (Valdoxan is the only other one I was ok on). I've tried Prozac, cipramil, Zoloft, Effexor, Effexor-xr, endep, and a couple of others. This medication has significantly helped my anxiety, and at the time I was started on it I was actively anorexic and was having a mild-moderate flare of PTSD. This really helped turn things around.

Make sure that family/friends know if starting on an antidepressant and that u see a professional at least wkly for the first 4-8wks as it's well known that if a suicidal reaction is going to occur it's most likely to happen between the 2-4wk mark when energy levels have improved but depression is still present. Also make sure the diagnosis is accurate and be aware that it's a process of trial and error to find the correct medication for the individual. I was misdiagnosed from age 14 to 25, numerous labels, however with the correct diagnosis a personalised treatment plan was able to be formed and implemented with appropriate medication (some things were missing, I needed a betablocker for the PTSD and associated dissociation, and I need a collaborative team approach including therapist with experience in both trauma and anorexia).
Hth someone and best wishes

TAKE OMEGA 3 FISH OIL FOR HELP!
I have been taking Omega 3's for 4 years with my Cymbalta and it has helped drastically. I take 3000 mg in the morning and 3000 at night. I was going through an absolute horrific nightmare with cymbalta about 4 years ago until I started the fish oil and most of the side effects and brain zaps went away. Recently I decided though, that I was tired of being a slave to cymbalta and fish oil.

Omega 3 fish oil has helped me a lot, although I still get brain zaps and hate the drug. So I recently decided to start tapering off, and let me tell you it sucks. However my experience has been not as bad as some I have read, and I am guessing that it is because I take A LOT of FISH OIL. Now while I am tapering I am taking about 4000 MG 3x a day to help with the brain zaps. It will make you pee like crazy and it seems gross but I don't care because it helps me a lot!

I am hoping within a month I will be off of this dreadful medication and back to a normal life!
Adam

Taking Cymbalta for neuropathy pain and arthritis for five years. it was fine. If u miss one dose u r miserable. With drawl is the biggest problem. vomiting, dizziness, eye winking, restless sleep etc, etc. Cymbalta sucks

Thank you to those who left comments. I am experiencing the horrible dizziness and nausea plus the "brain zaps" and sudden crying for no reason whatsoever. I feel like I am out of control, just wildly tumbling down the road without any say in what happens. My doctor did not help at all and acted surprised that I had these side effects saying "that most people don't get those".

Her solution was to give me another prescription for motion sickness which makes you super sleepy. That made no sense to me since I am not sleeping at night and am so fatigued during the day. At this point I don't want to take anything. She did not have me ween myself off the drug, I stopped cold turkey. To those of you considering taking the drug, do your research and be very leery of taking it.

I've been taking Cymbalta for about 5 years now. The doctor is very liberal in his prescribing methods. He has me on 120 MG a day all at once in the AM. If he could get the insurance companies to agree, he would up my intake to 180 mg.

I'm for once grateful to the lousy insurance companies that they said "no" in this instance. I finally worked up the stones to go off this stuff cold turkey 4 days ago. It's hell, to say the least but I believe I have no choice.

I do have a couple questions though:
- How long does it normally take to get past these preposterous withdrawal symptoms?
- What is the worst case scenario?
-Is it dangerous to go off it cold turkey?
It was after all, certainly risky to begin taking it.
I hate this stuff so deeply, I cannot describe it.

my experience is the exactly the same as M.O (the last story). I was on Cymbalta for 4 months, I started experiencing all the side effects listed in the leaflet. My doctor never told or warned me. I had enough and saw my GP and asked to come off them, I was told to stop - not wean off or anything! I have never felt anything like this before in my life - the brain zaps are ruining my life, they are 24/7, I feel soooo tired but have insomnia, its been 2 weeks now and now let up, someone tell me it passes quickly because I feel so awful!!!

History - Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome (similar to fibromyalgia), GERD, irritable bowel syndrome, acute clinical&chronic depression, suicide plan, bipolar2 disorder.

Cymbalta 60 mg daily for 4 months caused extreme fatigue, nightmares, worsened restless leg syndrome, weight gain, heat intolerance, ++ perspiration, hot flashes, nausea, decreased work productivity, little enjoyment in life, suicidal thoughts again.

Withdrawal from Cymbalta: tapered from 60 to 30 mg daily, then started taking the capsule apart and removing granules until down to basically nothing. 11 days ago I stopped taking Cymbalta altogether. I continue to have Severe dizziness, thirst, nausea, gagging, vomiting, balance problems, concentration and thought processes altered, fatigue, fatigue, fatigue, horrible irritability, light and sound hypersensitivity, brain zapping, ear swishing-noises, talking out loud to myself, itching, profuse perspiration and hot flashes, thinking I'd be better off dead! I will stay off these meds, and I will not kill myself... I recommend never starting this medication... it is living HELL!

Actually - I was put on this medication a few weeks ago, and I think it is AMAZING! It has saved me from terrible depression, and really eased my osteoarthritis pain, as well as helping me with extreme fatigue I get from several autoimmune problems. Apart from some insomnia, which is getting a bit better, I think it is a wonder drug - For me!!!

Hi all. I don't know where I left off -- but I did want to post and say I am DONE with Cymbalta -- I believe my last "zapping" was the end of December -- It took me 4 months of weaning and weaning and counting capsules. In January I got a new doctor who is very familiar with this "sudden withdrawal symptom" as he called it. He says it doesn't happen to everyone; and it only happens with drugs that affect 2 neurotransmitters. He did think I was somewhat 'depressed' and put me on celexa. Everything is great -- I feel SO much better. Another friend who is on 60 mg/day -- found out she has low testosterone and her doctor said this can produce symptoms very similar to depression -- so she may be able to get off Cymbalta; may not be truly clinically depressed.

Sad, but we must be our own doctors. Now I don't know if I'm typical or even helpful to you all, as I never felt anything WITH the Cymbalta -- no real pain relief -- and my withdrawal ONLY consisted of the horrible "zaps". If I can be of any assistance, though -- please feel free to email me. Good luck and there IS light at the end!

My GP put me on a half strength Cymbalta for a couple of months then advised me to take one every 2nd day until I was ready to come off them - around 2-3 weeks. I've been off them now for a week and have had a headache for nearly 10 days, my vision does funny things (like I can hear my eyes move in my head). My vision also goes in and out of fuzzinness - as a bookkeeper this is NOT something I enjoy. It's almost like a strain to focus sometimes. I don't want to go back onto the meds as I've finally gotten my libido back but it's like choosing between a rock and a hard place!

First, I want to say to people who have gone off of Cymbalta cold turkey and think they are doing okay, that it just might be a delayed reaction. It's been almost a year and a half since I went off Cymbalta cold turkey and my life became a living nightmare. I ran out of my prescription of Cymbalta during a major move from one state to another. During the process of moving, I simply forgot, or at least I wasn't aware that I would run out, literally during the drive to my new home town. I didn't feel weird or have any noticeable withdrawal symptoms, so I thought I was okay and didn't need to take the medication any longer.

However, over the course of the next 3 weeks, I slowly went into heavy withdrawals, without knowing what was happening. I thought everyone else was out to get me, had nightmares and hallucinations, blackouts, tried to commit suicide, almost got a divorce, and almost permanently ruined my relationship with my daughters. I have included a letter I wrote to myself soon after I was back on Cymbalta, but first let me say that I tried counting the balls because I was determined to get off this drug, but after several months I became worse and had to go back to my full dosage. All of this I did on my own, because none of the doctors I saw knew or understood anything about the side effects of Cymbalta.

In fact, when I told them what I experienced in withdrawal they really didn't have much of a reaction. It was as if I had told them the sky was blue. Today, February 26, 2014, I am still on Cymbalta, and feel it has permanently affected my brain in certain areas, but I will have to take it for the rest of my life. For instance, my memory is gone, not bad, gone! My family will have conversations with me that I don't remember having, and I need to be constantly reminded to remember anything important. I can't just write myself notes to remember, they have to be verbal reminders given to me and step by step instructions!

I've had MRI's done for this and the brain zaps, as well as sleep studies. My chronic pain and depression are as bad as they've ever been: the Cymbalta is just a poison I swallow so my life doesn't get worse. I always want to be alone, and find any excuse possible to not interact with anyone because it's so hard to be sociable. I spend a lot of time in bed because I can't find a good enough reason to get up. I think about death all of the time. Except for the time I was in withdrawals, I'm not really suicidal, but I dwell on it, hoping it will come soon. I probably would have taken my life by now, except I fear how that will affect my eternity. I want death to be the beginning of joy and the end of suffering, not an eternal continuation of it.

Here is the letter I wrote to myself on August 27th, 2012 so I wouldn't forget my experience:
"I have been on Cymbalta for over a year, prescribed to me as an addition to my Wellbutrin and to help with the pain after back surgery and ongoing neck pain. I suffered major withdrawals when I went off Cymbalta cold turkey - I had just moved to a new state and could not get my prescription refilled by my former doctor and had an appointment with a new doctor that was booked out two months, so I ran out.

I was unaware that Cymbalta was such a dangerous drug, and did not know I was going through withdrawals. I had an argument with my oldest daughter and some horrible things were said by both of us. Neither one of my daughters will accept my apology, nor will they speak to me, and I am no longer able to see my grandchildren. During my withdrawals, my husband and I separated but have since reunited. He is very supportive of me getting help. Some of the symptoms I experienced from withdrawals is blackouts, paranoia, nightmares and hallucinations. Also, I tried to commit suicide with a drug overdose of pain pills and Xanax, but I must not have taken enough... I didn't end up in the hospital and was 'loopy' and slept a lot for only a few days. I was lucky.

The doctor I eventually saw gave me a prescription to get me back on Cymbalta, and I have been physically ill with the same physical symptoms I had while going through the withdrawal - dizziness, nausea, ringing in my ears, crying and despair. I want to get off this poison and am trying to find a psychiatrist who understands the pharmacology of anti-depressants so I can be weaned off this safely. Cymbalta has ruined my life. Without my children and grandchildren in my life, I don't know who I am or what I'm going to do. I moved back to this state so I could be near them, and within 6 weeks my life was shattered!

Thank you for your comment. It is week #2 for me. The dizziness has finally dissipated somewhat and I am now experiencing HORRIBLE headaches and am so exhausted all the time. If you don't mind me asking, when did you finally get back to feeling normal physically?

I have posted before about the horrible side effects I went through with this medication. I had terrible mood swings, suicidal thoughts, severe weight loss, health issues that still are going on closing in on a year (I started on it in March of '13 )after I started the drug & went off it. I was only on it for 5 months & when I weaned off. I had a horrible reaction weaning off & now have chronic pancreatic issues that I am still seeing specialists about. I feel very strongly these were all caused by this drug. I was in basically good gastro health before I took this drug & now I have been horribly ill for going on 7 months now with no end in sight. Anyone even considering this medication should think long & hard before taking it. It has just about ruined my life.

This is the worst! I'm getting off of Cymbalta right now, this is my 3rd day off the drug completely, but I had to step down from 120mg, to 60mg, then to 20mg, and now I'm on 0. My lips and tongue are tingling, it they almost feel like they itch but are numb at the same time. I am so dizzy, my vision takes a minute to catch up if I look at something different too quickly. Literally, I feel drunk.

I lose my balance when walking, and I can hardly form sentences. I can think just fine, but when it comes to speaking its difficult. And yea, these brain zap things... I hope this is over soon.

I have wanted to get off Cymbalta, Lyrica, Nartriptam, and Nartriptlyine for some time, but just waited... I have been on the bulk majority for at least 18 month and the Cymbalta 24 months. Last week I came down with Influenza and considering I could not keep water down, no pills accompanied that. All I can say is it was a week for HELL. Not only did I have Influenza B, but having to suddenly stop 4 medications I have been taking daily was a nightmare. I have been off all 4 for 10 days and still feeling tons of side effects;
Nausea
Light headed
Tired
Funky sounds in my head - sounds like a bolt of electricity

So thankful I got off the meds as I know they are not good for you, but being this miserable is tough... not to mention I am a cranky, cranky, cranky person who can go off at any moment -(totally not like me). Not only can I start yelling at any moment... almost everything I am not upset about makes me cry!

Thankful to be off these awful meds, but sure hope these withdrawal symptoms cease soon!

BE CAREFUL my friends.... not sure I would say this is worth it!

I've been on Cymbalta for 8 years, recently went from 30mg to 60mg dealing with unforeseen life issues including selling my home, changing jobs and dealing with a parent in hospice. Superwoman needed additional assistance.

Realizing I took my last pill 2 days ago and needing to get it refilled, thought it was no big deal until the side affects of withdrawal hit me hard: Migraine, upset stomach (flu like symptoms), major dizzy and blurred vision. Put it all together realizes how heavy duty this drug is! So hate this feeling and waiting for it all to subside after taking a pill a few hours ago.

Never knew how potent this drug is when the body does not have it - scares the living day lights out of me. And this medication is not cheap!

Drew,
I think you went way too fast.
I hope you're OK
Adam

I am so glad to know I am not the only person experiencing these awful withdrawal symptoms after stopping Cymbalta. I am 23 and have been on Cymbalta since I was 16. It was prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks. The drugs did wonders with ridding me of my panic attacks. However, there have been times when I ran out of my Cymbalta due to needing a refill from my doctor, etc. I was completely shocked at how unbearable these withdrawal symptoms were. For years I have been trying to quit taking it but I completely lose my mind as soon as I stop it.

I get brain zaps (which are so frustrating to try to explain to someone who hasn't experienced them before-AKA my doctor). I also have nausea, tremors, and just feeling like I'm in a complete depressed fog. The tremors are frustrating because I shiver as if I'm cold but at the same time I'm sweating uncontrollably.

Anyway, recently there was a mixup with my nurse and getting more refills for my Cymbalta and I have gone 6 days without it. I will say, for whatever reason, my withdrawal symptoms are getting a little more tolerable than other times I've tried to quit. However, I still am dealing with them to some extant every day.

I'm scared these symptoms could last forever. Had I known the difficultly that comes with getting off of this medication, I would have never started taking it.

I have been on 90mg Cymbalta for 6 or 7 months. It has helped the pain from the fibro and arthritis. I must be one of the lucky ones. I had no side effects when I started taking it and I stopped taking it 2 weeks ago with no side effects. The pain is coming back but I am retiring and I will not be able to afford it.

In 2006 I was prescribed Cymbalta while going through a difficult divorce with no history of depression. A few years later when I didn't feel as if it was helping me I tried to come off Cymbalta with the permission of my doctor but had suicidal ideations. My doctor then prescribed Lithium as it supposedly combats suicidal ideations and he stuck the diagnosis of depressed and bipolar on me. I tried to come off Cymbalta again in 2012 but was involuntarily hospitalized (not committed) due to neighbor concerns of suicide. I finally cross tapered off Cymbalta using Celexa and have been off all drugs since late 2012.

My hospitalization made the local news and though I am 35 years old with no history of arrests or conflicts with police (including the 2012 event) I have been terminated by 3 employers due to the publicity around my hospitalization. I was an IT executive with two children and a wife and have been forced into bankruptcy, lost my home, car, and live on food stamps simply because of the withdrawal symptoms experienced in 2012.

Last month I was given a significant award at work for outstanding work performance but lost my job when the media article came to light in my company. The company flew in a psychologist from a firm called CRA and even though the psychologist and my psychiatrist both stated that I was "low risk" they chose to terminate me due to the media hype. Again, none of this resulted in an arrest, charges, or a commitment, just stigma.

Though I am fortunate to not suffer from clinical depression the events since 2012 have ostracized me from friends and colleagues who don't understand how horrible this drug us. I have spoken with an attorney but they stated that I would have to prove that it was because of the perceived disability. It doesn't sound like there is anything that can change people's minds overnight.

About 6 weeks in to Cymbalta I am not a happy camper. It replaced Effexor which I have been on for many years. Cymbalta was to help with chronic foot pain. Today I realized that I am numb, I do not feel any happiness or sadness. No sexual function at all! I want to get off of it now. I have called my Dr. once about it 3 weeks ago. The Dr. said give it time. I did and it is horrible. Dry mouth and a zombie like personality. I hate this drug. I want my life back. I will deal with my pain in other ways. Any info on weaning myself off it today would be greatly appreciated.

People's Pharmacy response: Our best advice is slow and steady. And do let your doctor know what you are doing and why.

My doctor cross tapered with Celexa. It was still difficult but nothing like reducing the dose of Cymbalta on its own. Basically he ramped me up on Celexa and then reduced the Cymbalta until that was done and then reduced Celexa to 0. I'll give an example assuming a 30mg Cymbalta start (these are not accurate dosages but just an example) : Week 1 30mg-Cymbalta/10mg-Celexa, Week 2 30mg-Cymbalta/20mg Celexa, Week 3 20mg-Cymbalta/30mg-Celexa, Week 4 10mg-Cymbalta/30mg-Celexa, Week 5 0mg-Cymbalta/30mg-Celexa, Week 6 0mg-Cymbalta/20mg-Celexa, and so on until off both. I was misdiagnosed so my goal was to come off all SSRI/SSNIs. You will have to break open the capsules but please consult a doctor before messing with your Cymbalta dosages. It is VERY DANGEROUS to mess with your dosage of Cymbalta and it will take a couple months to get off.

Good luck!

Updating on what has happened to me since last fall... I have been so sick since coming off this medication. I now have pancreatitis,lost 30 pounds, can't eat anything even resembling real food. I firmly believe is directly related to damage caused by this drug.I have never been well since I started taking this drug last spring & withdrawing last summer. My health has deteriorated continuously since I started it.

I am so sorry for what you are going though. I get the suffering you are experiencing. the doctors act like they have no idea what you are talking about when you try to tell them how this drug affects your system. I have tried in vain to tell so many I have lost count. I too have experienced the emotional & personality issues. I am surprised my husband is still with me.

I have been off the medication for 7 months & I am still not right mentally or physically. the mental issues really scare me sometimes. I used to be a happy person, now I can barely stand to be around people anymore. I suffer severe physical issues that have basically ruined my life. I wish I could tell you it will get better, but what I will say is don't give up, you have a family who needs you & somewhere there is help. Keep trying to find a doctor to get you off this drug & get this poison out of your system. I have read a lot of the comments on here but yours sounds so much like what I have gone through I had to comment. I wish you the best of luck & I hope you make it through this nightmare.

January 31 was my first post here. I had run out of Cymbalta, so it was stopped cold turkey. I had no idea what was ahead. The mind games, the filthy mouth, the crying, the outbursts, the confusion, the insane itching, the need to not be here anymore, the hallucinations - were just about more than I could handle. My mind told me I didn't need any of my medications so I quit taking everything, hypertension and blood thinners included.

Many days, weeks went by that I did not know if I would make it through to the next day. It has been 8-10 weeks since I quit. These weeks have been the most horrendous I have ever experienced. I am finally at the point now where I may go most of a day without an outburst or mind game happening. I don't cry much now and I'm getting to where I can see I may be comfortable around people again.

It is still easy for me to get tensed up to the point of an outburst, but most times I can tell it's about to happen and try to divert it. I don't cuss much, even to myself now. These are HUGE improvements. Even though I know there will be an end to all this insanity, I now realize I will be here when the end of this comes - and one day, I WILL BE OK AGAIN! My prayer for each of you is the same, that you may soon realize YOU, TOO, WILL BE OK AGAIN!

At some point, I did have the mindset to keep a journal of my daily, sometimes hourly experiences. When I have bad days or times now, I go back and read some of my journal where I can appreciate how far I have come. In reading posts from others here, I am ever so grateful for the journey I did have, for it easily could have been much worse, with a totally different outcome. I still have a ways to go, but I am ever so grateful for that light at the end of the tunnel, which I can now see.

I agree with K.T. I have been on Cymgen for approximately a year. I was on 90mg, reduced to 60mg for 3 weeks then to 30mg for two weeks. I then opened the capsule myself and halved the dosage. So now on 15mg which I will take for a week and then halve the dosage again. So far so good, besides feeling nauseous and the slight brain zaps, I can handle it. I would not recommend this medication to anyone. I WILL NEVER go on anything like this again. PERSEVERE!!! Withdrawals have to go way.
Lisa

I have been following this site for several weeks now due to going off Cymbalta and trying to cope. I was on 60mg for 7 years for Fibromyalgia and had to go off for a few reasons. Doctor put me on 30mg for two weeks then totally off. It has now been almost 8 weeks and it has definitely been the nightmare as described 'to a tee' by all those before me.

I have finally gotten past the worse, I hope, but I still feel very anxious and cannot sleep without aid. I sincerely hope it has not done permanent damage to my central nervous system since I have never been a nervous/anxious/insomnia person in my life until now. I had to go off hydrocodone and oxycodone before I had major back surgery years ago and with all the side effects that accompanied that, it was nothing compared to this.

As others have stated the doctors have no idea what you actually deal with while getting off this drug and all of us should write letters to the FDA for stronger warning labels relating to the withdrawal process. I've waited this long to comment because I wanted to see if this anxious feeling and sleepless nights would pass but so far that is hanging with me.

I have written several times about my issues concerning cymbalta. I had been on this drug for about 2 years. Going from 60mg to 20 mg. I am now accomplishing what I never thought I could do: I have been off cymbalta for almost 3 and a 1/2 weeks!!!!!! The first 2 weeks were emotional troubling, but nothing unbearable. I feel I am now finally on my way to recovering from this drug.

I am not a doctor - I can only tell you what made it possible 4 me - drinking lots of water w/ electrolytes - omega 3-6-9 complex BUT the miracle that has made this possible is a drug called Amitriptylin (elavi ). I increased my dose from 10mg to 20mg along with my prescribed dose of 2 mg of Klonopin at night. During the day I take Nudexta 10mg/ 5 mg of Methadone & .5mg of Ritalin. I am on these drugs due to a Traumatic Brain Injury- Cymbalta was for nerve damage (neuropathy) and depression.

Again I am not a doctor, nor do I know if my increase of Amitriptylin will help anyone else, but it saved me!!!! I cannot believe how easy getting off was, compared to the 3 or 4 times I tried before. I had resolved I would NEVER be able to get off- now - piece of cake. The only thing that was different then ANY time before is I got on Amitrptylin and then I increased my dose. For me this is a MIRACLE!!!!!

Little by little I will get off the rest of these medications as I can. If I need to stay on one or two- I will be ok with that. Me getting off this drug was the most important thing to me in order to heal and recover from my injury.

I wanted to let you all know. I am hoping desperately this drug- will save you from either not being able to get off cymbalta and / or get thru the withdrawals so fast it's doable.

For the first time since my Brain Injury, I feel the fog lifting. I am speaking clearer then ever before. I am not crying everyday - or angry & impatient. I have started to feel like the old me- even before my accident. I so very much hope this helps someone- anyone. NO ONE should suffer being on this drug OR trying to get off this drug.

Please feel free to ask me any ????
I support everyone's journey. Much Health Peace & Joy

What organizations out there represent those of us that function everyday like "normal" people but are discriminated against in both social and employment environments? My life was destroyed because of this drug and I don't feel I have anywhere to turn. Does anyone know of a mental health organization similar to an ACLU, NRA, NAACP, that protects their members through education, lobbying, and legal actions?

The side effects from the withdrawal will go away. You have to tell yourself that the feelings you have for the first couple weeks aren't real and will subside. It's the rejection and isolation that will stay with you long after when people can't understand that the erratic behavior you exhibited wasn't you, it was the drug.

Most people will never seek to understand that. You are labeled as mentally ill and people begin to fear you. Most every major crime in the US has been attributed to mental illness lately. Though the estimate is that 60 million Americans suffer from mental illness there are 200 million that don't. It's depressing to think of it that way...

T.V. ----
There is the FDA & if u ask me they could care less.
The Pharmaceutical companies make $
The Doctors make $
Everyone makes $ off of our pain & misery. It's a battle that every 1 of US would have to fight against the companies that make these drugs & the Government that supports them.
In my former life I was a Therapist. NO ONE seemed to care about my clients- the addicts, the mentally ill. The injured, disabled, sick.

We have a system of throwing people away. If ur not what's considered a "winner" it seems ur voice will not b heard!!!!!!
If u EVER find such a group- LMK :)

I used Cymbalta for over two years for Diabetic Neuropathy. It recently stopped working. I decided to stop taking it and went to my doctor to be weaned off it. Apparently this has occurred too quickly as I feel like crap! Every time I move my head I feel seasick. I am extremely tired, irritable, and sad. IT has been one week since I took ant Cymbalta. I wonder how long the dizziness, fuzzy vision, headaches and various other aches, and tiredness will last. Oh yeah, add insomnia to the list. No one told me how it would be to discontinue Cymbalta. If they had, I probably would never have started!

This site is a godsend to me today, I am on day 10 with cutting down Gabapentin by 80% and Cymbalta from 90mgs to 30 msg and on day 2 of zero, and the withdrawal is horrendous. I know it's dramatic and I should have been prepared but my weight has ballooned by the meds so I made the brave decision to do this as I have a 3 week period to deal with the side effects...

I've lost 10 pounds in 10 days which is spurring me on to do this but by god the withdrawal is so bad, dizzy, fuzzy, feeling drunk, faint, itchy skin to the point of drawing blood, nausea, weak, diarrhoea, thirst, numbness, pins n needles, shaky, disorientation... I would never have started to take either of these pills had I known how bad it would be to get off them, the only thing that has helped my withdrawal is the 100mgs of codeine which has stopped the buzzing and shrill noises in my head... but that's gonna wipe me out for a few hours I know I am taking supplements and I have a strong family support to help me.

I thought the fibromyalgia was bad but I'd cope with that any day over this, what worries me is that I have taken these meds for 5 years now so I hope it won't have changed my personality in that time, not that I like myself very much at the moment that's why I have entered on this epic journey to try and find the confident healthy slimmer me that I was before I started all these dreadful meds, does anyone else feel like this? Or have you any suggestions as how to cope with the withdrawal or how long I can expect to feel like this?

I started on Cymbalta about 5 years ago at 60mg per day. I didn't have any problems with it until they changed my insurance and I didn't have any insurance. Long story short I was able to get back on insurance but in the process I ran out of my Cymbalta pills. Boy was that a duzy! At about 2am I woke up with chill like symptoms, except these were mega chills, my whole body was shaking violently, my speech was slurred and stuttering. And I hurt, all over really bad. My freaked out family had me get up (to see if I could) and they called the paramedics. By the time the paramedics finally got there, about 20 mins. later the shaking and studdering had stopped and I was just crashing, my vitals were OK but I just wanted to curl up in a ball and go to sleep, I still hurt really bad all over.

I had to buy 1/2 a bottle of the new generic cymbalta the next day at a cost of $100, for 15 pills! I was in alot of pain for the following week. I did alot of soul searching for the past month and decided that if this med can cause that kind of side effect for missing just one dose, what was it doing to my brain and nerves taking it long term? So when I lost my bottle of generic cymbalta 5 days ago, I decided that it was time to make the decision to try and stop taking it.

I have had 3 events of falling asleep. only to wake up unable to move, I could only make a sound to try to alert my hubby that I needed him to wake up and help. It seems that it only lasts until someone touches me to pull me out of that zombie state, but it is scary as hell lying there waiting for someone to hear me and help to wake me from the dead. Today is day number 5 and I have had flu like symptoms all day. I can't wait to see what lies in the days ahead but I am sure that I am NOT going to like it!! I pray this torture will end soon and I can deal with my fibromyalgia with something that is not so scary and dangerous!

Bought I microgram scale from Amazon and started the long road to getting off Cymbalta! On it for several years since I lost my Daughter in an auto accident. And I have back leg pain from synovial cysts.

I don't know what the pain future will be, but I can't live with these side effects. Started today with 20 mg after trying every other day with 30mg which intensifies side effect and adds a few more! Here's hoping!

Hello, I have been on Cymbalta 80mg for about a year and a half. While at first taking these pills I was on a lower dose and for the first few days was completely wigged out. After my body accepted this drug things seemed to get better except the fact that I was not coming out of my depression and possibly was getting worse. I also suffer from back pain and high anxiety levels. So later I was upped the dose to 60mg and then finally up to 80mg where I still stand today.

I was scared to complain about things not getting better and being put up to an even higher dose. Oh I was also given abilify which scared the crap out of me, because this combination of the two drugs really messed with my heart giving unusual beating patterns that at times hurt or felt like it was going to stop and even skips a beat or two. plus my liver started to hurt really bad as if it were going to explode. So I stopped abilify with out any problems.

Now I have learned a valuable lesson with taking cymbalta- DO NOT STOP TAKING IT! I have final talked my DR. into prescribing me a different pill, because I have had enough of Cymbalta. I cant take it anymore. This drug is not easy for me to get threw my insurance and its caused me to run out of pills several times. The first day with out it, things seem to be ok, but by the end of the day I feel brain zaps which is an insane feeling for me. The second day without, I start feeling brain zaps stronger and more often, feelings of wanting to throw up and really worn out. Third day without it, starts to get bad.

I feel intense brain zaps, major visual problems, heart beat out of whack, sweating constantly, feel very sick and not well, but still can function. Fourth day without. OMG, I pretty much want to kill myself because of all the side effects have intensified which by then I could not function anymore. Fifth day with out. I broke down, my emotions were so out of whack that I could not control crying, or being angry, or any other feeling. I felt like I was going to die. My body hurt everywhere and shaking and hot/cold. I could not think or really move because of the brain zaps made any movement extremely intense that it hurt. I was admitted to the emergence room where I had to remain in a dark room while they tracked down more cymbalta to give to me. Since that day I have made sure I always had a three month supply with as many refills as they could give me.

So now I have this new pill Sertraline, my DR. said I can just stop taking Cymbalta and start this new drug. I was like yeah right you cant just stop Cymbalta, DR. said its ok because they both manage serotonin levels and that the transition will go smooth. Well, its day two now, and intense sweating has begun and worst of all the Brain Zaps are coming back.

I am so freaked out right now, that I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to reach day 5 without Cymbalta. I'm thinking about reducing the doses myself of Cymbalta so that I can wing myself off of it while taking this new drug. But I read that these two drugs together are something serious and I'm not sure if its going to make things worse for me or not. If anyone out there is reading this and is educated in medications, please help me.

I have major depression and have been on a wide variety of antidepressants and mood stabilizers: Lexapro, Seroquel, Abilify, Lamictal, Wellbutrin, and of course Cymbalta. I have taken various antidepressants since I was fifteen, and though I was always suspicious of Big Pharma I accepted that being on those drugs was a necessary evil on my path to wellness.

That all changed after Cymbalta.
I was put on Cymbalta a month after I had abruptly stopped taking all my meds (Lamictal, Wellbutrin, Abilify). I still trusted my doctor then and figured he heard me when I told him I felt much better off the meds, that I was happier and thought I had been over-medicated. He put me on Cymbalta with NO mention of any potential risks or negatives that might accompany the drug, and quickly raised my dose to 90mg.

For the next 18 months I felt nothing. My therapy became entirely nonproductive because I was so disconnected and numbed. One day my doc off-handedly mentioned that he had heard (from his own patients) that cymbalta had really terrible withdrawal symptoms. I was familiar with tapering and figured that was what he meant, but when I googled Cymbalta withdrawal I realized this was a much more serious, insidious, and potentially devastating phenomenon that for many patients is impossible to avoid, no matter how slowly they taper (I was taking one bead a day at the end, and that's out of the 300 beads that made up my original 90mg dose).

It took me about four months to discontinue, and now it's been another four months since I took my last dose. I still experience serious withdrawal symptoms. The absolute worst is the double-whammy of extreme hot flashes and violent crying EVERY MORNING. I dread waking up because I know I will have to open the door and stand in front of a fan blowing freezing air, and that's not even enough to stop the hot flashes. Not to mention every morning like clockwork I verge on suicidal and cry loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear. I HAD NEVER EXPERIENCED EITHER OF THESE PROBLEMS UNTIL I STARTED TAPERING OFF CYMBALTA.

Every day I go without Cymbalta the symptoms strengthen. It's been eight months since I started tapering and the withdrawal symptoms are only getting worse. I am terrified of the warm weather coming because I am already so unbearably hot all the time and it's currently below freezing. I feel so helpless and out of control and because of this horrific experience I am unwilling to go on any other psychotropic drugs, even though I think they are needed. I don't think I will be able to put any faith in another medication, and of course my doctor was no help-- he seemed to get annoyed when I expressed my fears regarding discontinuation, AND WHEN I DESCRIBED MY WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS HE TOLD ME I NEEDED TO SUCK IT UP AND RIP THE BANDAID OFF.

If he had cared at all or even bothered to do enough research to refute my (factual) claims he would have known that if you "rip the bandaid off" when discontinuing Cymbalta YOU END UP WITH POTENTIALLY PERMANENT DISCONTINUATION SYNDROME THAT MAKES IT JUST ABOUT IMPOSSIBLE TO LIVE. I'm pretty sure my harrowing journey had no effect of my doctor's faith in Cymbalta's safety or efficacy.

For this reason, please ask your doc lots of questions! They won't tell you the risks if they think you should be on the drug and the chance of complications seems minor but telling you the risks might dissuade you. It's a horrible way of "dealing with" patients that treats us like morons who could never make an educated decision about our health. Doctors also seem to have this willful ignorance to their patients' input or fears about a drug that can make them blind to the truth even when it's coming from reputable sources like the FDA.

I know my doctor made no effort in the four months I was tapering to learn about Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome, no matter how much convincing information I gave him that Eli Lilly willingly misled doctors and consumers and intentionally made Cymbalta very difficult to get off (we're not supposed to open the capsules, but I needed 1/100th of the 20mg that come in the smallest dose capsules. ONE ONE HUNDREDTH OF THEIR SMALLEST DOSE IS WHAT I NEEDED TO TAPER. THAT IS NOT A REASONABLE DIFFERENCE.

Also, I'm 22 years old. Cymbalta took my early twenties and I don't know how old I'll be when I get to live freely again. Everything is dictated by my relentless mood swing and hot flashes. I haven't gone out in months and my friends just can't take the constant crying. Cymbalta has taken almost everything from me.

I can only hope this goes away eventually. I hope that enough of us are shouting that we can be heard by doctors that otherwise wouldn't know about this problem. If I can prevent one person from going through what I have been through, the years I lost won't feel so pointlessly tragic.

I have all the symptoms except depression. dysrhythmias, anxiety, sweats, dizziness, headache, pain, fatigue...and oddly I feel a tremendous empathy for others.

I have been on a regular "list" of drugs for over a year for fibromyalgia. The began with Cymbalta, then added in order.... Neurontin, Xanax, Percocet and Fentynal. I took myself off the Percocet and Fentynal about 2 weeks ago. Withdrawal from those narcotics were horrible. I have now been out of Cymbalta for 3 days and the headaches and hot flashes are just as horrible.

I am visiting my doctor today (with all my meds) to go over a plan of treatment. The combination of all the narcotics and others DO work for the fibromyalgia, but I can't bear having the addiction!

Wow...who knew that withdrawal was worse than side effects. Cymabalta was actually very effective for me 6 months ago. I was having some all over body pain and dealing with my aging mother adding to my stress levels. Never considered myself a subject to depression. It help tremendously. However, after 6 months of embarrassing sweats (15 years post menopause) and episodes of unpredictable loss of control of body functions, I decided I was "ok" and didn't need the help.

I reduced the dose for a week and started skipping a day between doses and then stopped completely last Friday. Today, Tuesday, all the withdrawal symptoms arrived. Dizzy, nausea, strange "buzzing" in my head, lack of focus, overall weird feeling....oh yeah...and the tears have returned. Crying over spilled milk!! Big bummer....

Will be finding a holistic fix for this and save what is left of my dignity. Age 60 female.
Read all of the websites, wish I had read this one in my research. Warning...Don't just google side effects, google withdrawal effects!!!

I am currently being weaned off Cymbalta after being on it for neuropathy cause by chemotherapy. The side effects I'm feeling right now from being weaned off of the Cymbalta are almost as bad as some of the side effects I had from chemotherapy. I have extreme dizziness, a strange sound with eye movement, almost like a zapping sound. I also have feelings of intense sadness and break out in tears for no reason whatsoever.

It's only been a week and I'm hoping that this doesn't last too much longer. There really needs to be more education and communication between Dr.s and patients to warn them of these side effects.

I have been taking Cymbalta for 1 1/2 years and was prescribed it by a Rheumatologist (I no longer see) because I had symptoms of unknown arthritis or Fibromyalgia. I was never diagnosed exactly. I was already on Lexapro and was told I could take both. I had some of the symptoms they list in the beginning but they went away. I weaned myself off Lexapro about 6 months ago.

I have been feeling great and then all my joint and muscle pains reappeared a month ago. I decided to see a new Rheumatologist and meantime my Cymbalta ran out so I stopped taking it 10 days before my appointment. Since then I've had every withdrawal symptom listed and more! I am scared, mad and refuse to go back on it just to figure out how to wean myself off of it!

My new Rheumatologist immediately knew what my pain and brain zaps were caused by! Now we just have to figure out how to get rid of the side effects so I can get back to a normal healthy lifestyle! I was never told that there would be a chance withdrawals that would disrupt my life like this. How do you explain to your child why you are suddenly crying, shaking, vomiting, dizzy, or yelling?

Thank God I have faith and a family who is being incredibly supportive in my recovery from a drug that was supposed to be helping me! God is my therapy and He is the one I turn to now. No more drugs! One last helpful hint; walking did seem to make me feel better most days. However there are some that I just can't due to feeling as though I am going to black out.

I started taking Cymbalta 20 mg two years ago for fibromyalgia. In March 2014 I weaned off of that for one month and did not take any at all for three weeks. Three days ago I restarted it because I became very labile and depressed and every spot on my body hurt about an 8 on the pain scale. I was very fatigued and went to bed at 4 pm and slept until 7 AM the next day. I would really like to get off this stuff. Has anyone else experienced pain and crying for no reason three weeks after last dose of Cymbalta? How long does it take to feel normal again? I thought I was going Bananas. Thank you.

Did your withdrawal symptoms go away? How long did it take. I have been without it for three weeks after tapering off. I had to start again after experiencing shay you have described, severe depression, crying over nothing, and severe joint pain. We were going on vacation so I started it again. I will try again after we return ..

Am currently trying to get off Cymbalta. I have tried in years past without any success. I am having the same horrible withdrawal symptoms as those listed. I didn't realize there were withdrawal symptoms like these--no one should take the drug in my opinion. I'm looking forward to the day when all the withdrawal symptoms stop!

I was diagnosed with Fibro about 4 years ago. My doctor put me on 60 mg of Cymbalta. It helped me tremendously- my only side effect was that I was always hot and got the sweats. I had to sit with a fan on me at work all the time. She did warn that it's very difficult to come off of. Well, thanks to the new insurance changes, a 90 day supply that used to cost me $50 now costs $565 (and that's generic!) so I decided I can't afford it and I need to wean myself off.

I did a lot of research on the internet & found several people who weaned themselves off by opening the capsules, counting the beads and reducing every few weeks by approximately 10 mg. I'm down to 40 mg a week now and will be moving to 30 this weekend. It's working wonderfully. I highly recommend this method if you need to come off the drug.

Hi I have been on Cymbalta for over two years. 90 mgs. I went of it cold turkey about a month ago and had to go back on it because of the low back pain and internal shaking. Did anyone have those as withdrawal symptoms? I thought it was the return of my anxiety that's why I went back on it. But if they were just withdrawal I will get through it. Please help me as my dr. doesn't seem to know anything.

About two months ago, my doctor prescribed me cymbalta 60mg, she had told me after I started taking it for about a week and complained of felling sleepy all the time that this was the strongest dose (60mg). Now I've decided to stop the drug cold turkey only two full days ago, since doing so I've begun to experience the "brain zaps" and the dizziness and all the other symptoms stated by other story tellers who have used the drug and told about their experience in getting off it.

But one symptom however that I have not seen or heard being spoken about by anyone that I've been experiencing for about 24-36 hours now that is increasingly growing worse is a constant vibration in my ears and also a constant ringing in my ears as well, but here's the biggie, and I know I'm not crazy but I have upon waking up in the middle of the night, been hearing something similar to a whispering of faint voices, and let me say it is quite scary to hear! Alarming to say the least.

My sexual drive has begun to return in the short time that I have stopped the drug, but that's I'm sorry to say, the only good thing that's come out of stopping cymbalta so far. I've tried to find on line any information that tells me how long these side effects last while in the stopping process (cold turkey), but I can't seem to find a definitive answer. If anyone knows or has an idea of how long these horrible effects last please post as I am very concerned.
Sincerely : Edward G

I just can't believe all of this. I have all these withdrawal symptoms and had no clue! Why don't they tell you all of this right up front. I thought I had Lyme Disease, achey joints, dizziness everything. It's been a week of this now. I hope it doesn't last too much longer.

Way better withdrawal if you no longer suffer from depression. Also symptoms are much milder than Paxil. Took me 1 year to get off of it, and I was really sick. With Cymbalta, dizziness and diarrhea after 4 days cold turkey. I'm functional.

My GPO put me on 60 mg Cymbalta to even out my feelings of anxiety & difficulty getting off to sleep. I decided to go off them and he gave me a prescription for 30 mg and told me how to wean off, but I forgot what he said, or got lost in the process, so not sure whether to keep weaning off it or quit altogether. I think it's about 3 days since I had a tablet, & I feel OK at the moment, but very scared of the horror stories here!

Last week I had an unexpected day of feeling woozy & wobbly & weak & weepy...I later realised it must be from weaning off the Cymbalta, so I googled weaning off it. I'm OK now, but undecided if I should take another & keep doing it gradually or just stop now.

whether connected or not, I dont know, but I get uncontrollable itchiness over my body, (head, upper arms, upper body mostly) and mostly at night. It goes away eventually.

any suggestions, anyone?

I have been on cymbalta since 2006. At first I thought it was a miracle drug! It helped me be calm and not despair if my alcoholic, druggie boyfriend (and father of my 1yr old) did not come home/was on a binge, helped me lose weight, and stay cool tempered with the baby.

Then in 2008 I finally kicked boyfriend out and he broke into my house, held a knife to my neck while he raped me, threatened to "gut my dog like a fish" right in front of me, then kidnapped my daughter. He smashed my car up with her in it (not properly restrained) and when finally cornered by police, stabbed himself in the neck in front of child. They were both ok, but I was worthless after all that.

I was put on Xanax in addition to cymbalta, but it made me so tired I couldn't function. I asked my psychiatrist friend to switch me from cymbalta to something else as I felt it had lost its effectiveness so I went on Zoloft for about a yr. That did nothing but make me gain weight. I eventually went back on cymbalta and since I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2011, I've put on 30lbs. I'm sick of paying $50/mon for something that obviously isn't doing the job anymore, so I tapered off at the end of March--totally stopped April 1st (I only had slight zings etc so that part really wasn't a problem).

Now this past week and a half is the problem... I'm like a raging bipolar lunatic!!!! I'm giggling uncontrollably one min. Then screaming and cursing, complaining about everything, and having crying jags the rest of the time. I'm incredibly mean to my 8 yr old and my boyfriend of 5 yrs is at his wits end with me(we've been trying to get pregnant since dec. so that's another reason I wanted off of cymbalta)......... How long are these crazy fits going to last?????!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to everyone who has posted comments about the withdrawal symptons. After being on 40mg for a year (my doc wanted me to go up to 60 but the almost constant hot flashes/night sweats kept me from following his instructions), I decided I'd had enough. I was on it for fibromyalgia (made worse by lupus) and it did help, but I just couldn't take the side effects any more. After seeing my doctor 5 days ago, he told me