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

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

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

The History of Cymbalta:

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

The FDA also approved Cymbalta to treat nerve pain associated with diabetes in 2004. In 2007 the drug got a green light for anxiety and in 2008 the FDA agreed that it could ease the discomfort associated with fibromyalgia. It was also approved to treat musculoskeletal pain associated with arthritis and lower back pain in 2010.

In other words, here was a drug that could relieve your blues and your aches and pains. And the drug company that makes Cymbalta (Lilly) has been aggressively marketing it as a good way to deal with chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis. Perhaps you have seen the commercials on TV promoting the pain relieving power of the drug with the slogan “Cymbalta can help.” It sounds almost too good to be true.

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

Cymbalta (Duloxetine) Side Effects

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

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

Stopping Cymbalta:

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

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

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

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

Sudden Withdrawal Symptoms

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

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

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

Cymbalta Withdrawal Stories from Readers

– D.G. shares a tragic story:

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

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

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

This from – P.J.:

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

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

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

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

– R.P. says:

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

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

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

— J.K. shares a parent perspective:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Karen’s story:

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

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

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

– R.H. and Erectile Dysfunction:

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

– M.O. on stopping Cymbalta:

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

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

Please add your own experience below in the comment section.

Revised 1/28/16

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  1. Rebecca S
    Uk
    Reply

    I’m so glad I found this as IV been thinking I’m going mad. I have been on duloxetine 60mg once a day for nearly a year I was put on it for fibromyalgia, severe back pain and anxiety caused by bladder and kidney issues I also have. I was never put on the low dose it was stright to 60mg it hasn’t done anything for my pain iv suffered from dry mouth sleeping issues severe sweating , heart palpertations, electric stabbing pains in my head I started to feel like I was depressed which has got worse and worse.

    Because of all of this and no effect on the pain, I took the decision to stop taking it . Along with duloxetine im on 300mg gabapentin 3x a day, zoramorph, oramorph and paracetamol this is another concern as I’m not sure if it’s been working against the gabapentin anyway 3 days in and I seriously think I’m going mad.

    I’m experiencing insomnia I’m in tears all the time I feel so low then I feel great, I’m feeling so sick along with stomach issues which is making my ibs worse. My gp is no support I’m frightened of going to see them about the withdrawal I’m going through in case I’m labelled with depression and get given a subsitute I’m ratty I can’t concentrate on anything iv been thinking about taking it again just to stop this but I’m no better off on it.

    I wasn’t told anything about this drug when I was prescribed it I was just told this will help with your severe pain and help you cope how wrong they were. It’s wrong not to warn people about all of this I’m in tears now but with relief that I’m not the only person who is experiencing the issues this tablet causes and I will never ever take anything like this again.

  2. Carrie
    Maryland
    Reply

    Cymbalta gave me my life back in a way I didn’t even know was possible. I started taking it about a year ago (March 2016) for nerve pain and anxiety brought on by extreme stress at work and General Anxiety Disorder that I’ve battled for my whole life. I don’t take the decision to depend on medication that affects personality lightly — especially since I work at a high performing Software job and value my identity, with the anxiety. I only knew myself with anxiety at that point and could never envision a different version of myself. Cymbalta was the first medication that I agreed to take for General Anxiety and I am honestly so grateful that I took the leap. Side affects were many at first (insomnia, sweating, dry mouth, tiredness, having fuzzy thoughts or feeling “blank,” stomach pain, feeling out of control at times, and nausea, to name a few) but, even though the side effects sound scary, they were imperceptible to anyone else, and it was not enough to deter me. I wanted to give the medication a fair shot and, in the end, I was very much rewarded for it: After a few weeks, the most extreme side effects subsided, giving way to a more focused, pain-free version of myself. After about 2 months, I was fully back to feeling like “me” (with all my same thought patterns in tact), but a more satisfied me (still pain free). A lot of my anxious thoughts and habits are gone. I worry less and I go out more. I say what I mean. I don’t dwell. I feel more motivated to get things done. I think the only side effect I have now is vivid dreams and sometimes feeling like I am experiencing life like an extrovert. Other than that — everything is awesome.

  3. steve
    Virginia
    Reply

    I have been taking 2, 30mg capsules of duloxetine twice daily in conjunction with 3 other drugs for severe back pain for the last 2 years. Over the last few months ‘brain zaps’ have been getting more frequent. By process of elimination, I have concluded that Duloxetine is the culprit. I tried over a two week period to cut down the dose, and 3 days ago, was happy to have stopped altogether. What a mistake! The last 2 days has been a continual ‘brain zap’ with ringing in my ears as loud as the TV. Sleep? What’s that? I can’t wait to have Just the severe back pain again! Can’t take it anymore. Broke down and popped a couple of capsules as I began writing this note. I will try the method of taking out pills from the capsule, as posted earlier. (Thanks for the suggestion). My thoughts to all who are suffering just to be rid of this drug from their system.

  4. Lisa
    LA
    Reply

    I’m starting week 3 of my weaning off Cymbalta. I started it about 7 years ago for anxiety (menopause symptom). I was on 30 mg. I tried to wean, with MD’s ok. I ached all over. So I went to 60 mg and the aches/pains were better. Now, I’ve been working out with a personal trainer. I figured I’m sore all the time and really am well past menopause, so again, I’m getting off of it. 60 to 30, then my Doc gave me Zoloft as a “buffer”. Not sure what happened, but with my weaning came RANDOM itching. Left thumb, right eyebrow…So bizarre. I was ready for the zaps. I’m now off all, but started SamE and Fish Oil, along with a Multivitamin. I do get random hot flashes, and the zaps are much better. Hang in there, y’all. I feel for those with depression because the withdrawal symptoms could push many over the edge.

  5. Jim
    Texas
    Reply

    It is very scary. I’m 55 and stopped cold turkey because my doc told me the beauty of Duloxetine / Cymbalta was “you can stop anytime with no side affect” – WRONG ! “Brain Zaps” is a great description and they come every few seconds, but sometimes not at all. You’ll be irritated, aggravated, dizzy and have trouble focusing on various tasks.

  6. Kelley
    VaBch Va
    Reply

    I only took Cymbalta for 3 weeks and realized that I would most likely not be here either physically or mentally if I were to continue. I became completely disconnected from my life. I experienced tremors, severe anxiety, insomnia, my heart was pounding out of my chest, I could not put my thoughts together intellengently, had no interest in anything, felt like I had a vice grip on my head, could barely get out of bed, severe night sweats in the rare occasions I could sleep, major panic attacks, and an over all feeling of uneasiness.

    I quit taking it a week ago and all of the symptoms just magnified. I wonder if I will ever get better. IvNEVER want to feel this way again!!! I am even worried about seeing my grand daughters tomorrow because I’m struggling so much just to get through each moment, hour and day and they are the light of my life. This drug should be taken off of the market. If I ever thought my depression was bad, I now realize that I can handle it. I absolutely can not handle feeling this way. I just pray that I can get back to a normal (if there is such a thing) level of depression and move on with my imperfect self and life. This is no way for anybody to live and is absolutely debilitating.

  7. Rosie
    USA
    Reply

    My 75 yr old sister just tried to commit suicide. She has been on Cymbalta for a long time. She tried to OD on a different drug. Fortunately her daughter suspected it, and found her, and called 911.

    She was unable to talk, communicate, or anything when found. She had to have her stomach pumped, and spent several days in the hospital. I was totally shocked. She is the last person I would have ever thought would do such a thing. I am still trying to process the idea. I just hope and pray she will be okay now.

    • Jessica
      St.louis Mo
      Reply

      Wow,
      I am speechless and, like you say, disconnected from my daily life. I’ve been on this medication for three-plus years.
      I want off of this because it’s taken away my joy,& quite frankly my ability to connect thoughts and emotions.
      I was once a gregarious and happy girl! I had no idea what I was getting into. Stopping is crazy hard. I do have chronic pain from Arthritis and Fibromyalgia; also longer-lasting depression than ever!!!
      HELP!!!

  8. JoDell
    Idaho
    Reply

    My doctor failed calling in the right medication to my pharmacy. I have now been off Cymbalta for 5 days. I feel like I am going crazy. Tremors, constant headache, constant anxiety, exhaustion, crying. I feel like I can’t handle much more. It makes me feel better knowing I’m not the only one having these withdrawal symptoms. I’m hoping I’ll be able to start taking it again today. Fingers crossed.

  9. Dinah
    Texas
    Reply

    I have recently experienced the withdrawal symptoms from quitting Cymbalta. I didn’t quit on purpose but forgot to take the medication for about 10 days. I didn’t realize what I was experiencing was withdrawal. I blamed it on emotional upset due to the election. When my physician figured it out, she warned me that quitting Cymbalta cold turkey can cause a sharp drop in sodium and the electrolyte balance very quickly may become skewed and life threatening. I had no clue. All those symptoms are low sodium related. I began my normal dose because the drug really does help my lower back pain and fibromyalgia.

  10. Dee
    Florida
    Reply

    I began menopause at age 50 and presently at age 69 am post-menopausal but have had serious hot flashes and night sweats continually for these past 20 years. I have a family history of cancers and never wanted to take hormone replacement therapy, but after trying every ‘natural’ product you can imagine without any relief, I had become so exhausted from insomnia, tiredness, irritability- -all the side effects from lack of sleep due to unrelenting hot flashes, that my MD started me on Prempro. Unfortunately for me, even though my hot flashes have decreased considerably, the night sweats continued. Therefore, I was kept on Prempro for hot flash relief and started on Duloxetine/Cymbalta to help me cope with the irritability from insomnia and for the published side effect of Cymbalta for decreasing menopausal symptoms. WHAT A BAD DECISION FOR ME! I ended up with worse hot flashes and night sweats so bad that the sweat would pool on my skin and actually run off, so my MD weaned me from Cymbalta and NOW I HAVE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS OF LIGHTHEADEDNESS, TINGLING PALMS + LIPS+ CHEEKS, RINGING IN MY EARS. I thought I could be having a stroke until I found this site and learned that so many others have this same problem. I just added my situation if it would help anyone else who wondered what was happening to them. I sure wish ELI LILLY PHARMA would have told us about this possibility. Hang in there, fellow sufferers.

  11. Kim
    Lancaster, pa
    Reply

    I looked up remarks on Cymbalta because I too was trying to wean off when I realized that it wasn’t for me. Yes it helped some of my pain levels from Fibro and my back pain. I had noticed though that my brain felt like weird. I had a very hard time thinking what I was doing each day without many lists and reminders! It was like I didn’t care who did what and where and almost became numb to even my grand daughter crying and upset about something and I felt heartless! It wasn’t until I had started a whole food diet and seeing a new counselor/psychologist, that she shared that I might want to wean off this med to “feel” again. My sex drive was nil and took all I had to care about even how I looked! Family had noticed I was easier to talk to. It probably because I didn’t know how to reply! I’ve been weaning down for weeks and finally after down to a 20 mg every other day for 2 weeks I stopped. It’s been 4 days. Still get brain zaps, foggy minded, got very sick, vomiting and throwing up on 3rd day off them, but feeling better each day and never want to go back! I found cleansing the gut, is helping. Eating very Whole Foods. Lots of rest, lots of probiotics and digestive enzymes and regular enzymes are the only thing making me feel better! I’m trying to take it easy on myself until I get through this. Then my counselor advised if doing naturally and exercise isn’t helping then only try something for my Fibro pain that is NOT a depressant. Seems every serotonin inhibitor becomes hard to wean off and eventually make you feel nuts. So I’m done with them. Counseling and good diet and rest will have to do! I am looking forward to “feeling” again!! I encourage you to do your own homework BEFORE starting any drugs! About side effects AND getting off them when needed!

  12. Believe
    Queensland
    Reply

    Hi everyone, firstly, my heart is breaking just reading all these posts. I was prescribed Cymbalta just over 12 months ago and it changed me as well I gained at least 15 kg, I was prescribed it for my back I had two torn discs and suffering depression.

    I had all the side effects. It effected my life at home; always angry and at work I left two really high paying jobs due to how I felt.

    Anyway, I started reading about Cymbalta and how it affects you and realized why I had changed so much and become someone I didn’t know, so I decided enough was enough and it was time to come off it. I am 50 and a mother of two beautiful daughters I have a loving husband and I thought I was losing my mind.

    I was on 60mg I tapered for two weeks. I just tipped out half the capsule, know it’s been 29 days of no Cymbalta and yes I have had all the side effects of withdrawl, each day is getting better, still very tough going but I am determined to beat this.

    It is worth it. I am starting to see me again, finally. I found being kind to yourself, eating healthy, as well I have taken some supplements charcoal magnesium vit c potassium and alot of water and rested as much as I can has helped.

    I still have more of a journey ahead of me but I believe it is possiblet to break free of Cymbalta. Believe in yourself, as you can do it.

    • Cynthia
      Georgia,USA
      Reply

      Thanks for your input. I am 67 and realize that all the drugs that are supposed to make me feel better are making me worse. I’m cutting 60mg of Cymbalta to 1 every other day and then plan to break the capsule.

      I’m also trying to get off the blood pressure med, gout med, and metformin. I plan to keep on farming until I’m in my 70’s, so health is important. I have so much muscle pain each day I’m realizing it may be the meds.

  13. TAMMY
    MISSISSIPPI
    Reply

    I have been on Cymbalta for about 8 years 30mgs a day, but when my mom past away in September doc up it to 60mgs. Well I am forgetting how to do stuff, like make coffee and do my job i deliver mail. I get so confused on my route, I forget what i am doing in the mail truck, so I stop taking Cymbalta, it has been 4 days now, and my head feels so weird, it feels like my brain is bleeding inside, my head hurts, my eyes feel like they are bulging out, and my body hurts, I can’t sleep at night, and I am so tired…My husband stopped his to he was taking 60mgs 2 times a day, and had bad brain fog, he was taking his for back pain….it was effecting his job to.

    • ceci
      South Africa
      Reply

      Yes my sister, it’s possible to beat this. I took the same capsule for almost 20 months, I started skipping a day without the pill. Then I skipped 2 days, then aftea month I skipped 3days,, after two weeks of skipping four days, I stopped.It’s about 20 days since I took the last pill. I have times when I feel irritable, brain zaps but I always tell myself that I’m not taking any antidepressant again.

    • Lee
      CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
      Reply

      My biggest withdrawal complaint was that “head/ear rush/snap”.

      Somebody suggested to that the way to do it is:

      1: Take your time (doesn’t have to get done today
      2: Taper to the lowest dose (20mg for CA)
      3: Begin extending the length of time between. As soon as I got an ear rush I would take one
      4: Duration between will become longer until one day you think: “Well, shoot! I haven’t taken a Cymbalta for a week”

      I haven’t taken taken a pill in a month, no snaps and am always amazed at how easy it was. NOTHING LIKE COLD TURKEY COMING OFF 50mg FENTANYL PATCH!!

      and it seems my short term memory is shot..dunno if its the cym or that I’m 70.

  14. Jodi
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    Reply

    I am on 40 mgs of cymbalta for about 2 yrs
    40 mgs of prozac
    450 mgs of wellbutrin
    250 mgs of depokote

    Two weeks today, I reduced to 20 mgs cymbalta
    It’s my first day at 20mgs.

  15. Vanessa
    Memphis, TN
    Reply

    After taking a combination of Cymbalta and Wellbutrin for over 10 years on and off to treat depression and anxiety, and after a host of other annoying issues, I decided to start cleansing to get rid of candida to see if I could start sleeping through the night again.

    I was also fed up with constipation and continuing to have thoughts of suicide and hopelessness despite being on meds. So, in Nov 2016, I became vegan and started taking cleansing herbs. I also kept my diet pretty alkaline. After the first couple of weeks on the herbs, and 3 bowel movements a day, a strange sense of relief came over me. I actually felt more calm than I had felt for over 10 years!

    But it wasn’t until the end of Dec 2016 that I sought help from my psychiatrist in weaning myself off of the Cymbalta and Wellbrutrin. She prescribed lower doses of the Cymbalta and recommended I discontinue the Wellbutrin. By the last week of Dec I was down to 20mg of Cymbalta once a day, then every other day. As of today, I have not had any duloxetine for about 3 days.

    For the past few weeks I’ve not only had the brain buzzing and strange head/balance sensations, but the hot flashes I started having intermittently 20 years ago have come back with a fury! I started wearing short sleeved thin tops to work in order to be able to bear the discomfort. My hands and arms turn beet red when these heat waves come over me several times throughout the day. And I begin to fan myself furiously in the hopes of getting through these moments quickly.

    I’m glad I found this site because now I can read about the experiences of others. And it makes me realize that the TSH blood test I had done a couple of weeks ago may not show any abnormalities at all because these intense hot flashes, unbeknownst to me, are part of getting off of duloxetine. It is frustrating to also read that I may be going through this for a while.

    I’d also like to mention that the nurse practitioner I saw a couple of weeks ago recommended that I continue taking duloxetine to treat my hot flashes! What!? So be advised, dear readers. Keep working on getting OFF of these meds and bear the discomfort as best you can with as many natural tools to assist as possible.

    I plan another course of herbal cleansing to include liver cleansing and will keep working on flushing my system until the head buzzing and hot flashes stop. BTW, liver cleansing could be the solution to curing depression according to one doctor I follow online. So far, being without both Wellbutrin and Cymbalta has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.

  16. Desi
    Cantonment, FL
    Reply

    I was prescribed cymbalta only a month ago for SCI pain, but soon realized it was not working for me. I realized soon after that – that it wasn’t a tricyclic antidepressant. So I stopped taking it, and on the third day got very sick. I threw up a couple of times and it wasn’t untill the next day I realized it was withdrawal symptoms. I was prescribed the 30mg strength and had only taken it about 3 and a half weeks. I am now splitting my remaining capsules and taking about 15mg. So even short timers get the withdrawals! Good Luck y’all. Also try praying, for it may help…

  17. Margie
    St Pete Beach, FL,
    Reply

    I have been trying to get off Cymbalta for many years (6-8) I started with 60 mg for nerve pain caused by chemotherapy. It took 2 years from when I decided to go to a lower dose to get there. I opened the capsules and progressively removed more and more of the drug. I went on 30 mg capsules after that and did well for a couple more years. They I started having hot flashes, no control of my body temp, and the nerve pain was worse than before. I read about this drug online and decided to cut back again. It took me a year to go down to 20 mg but my temp problems continued. Added anxiety. I started cutting back again by opening the 20mg capsules. Two weeks ago I went to just 10 little balls of drug once a day. I figured OK time to quit. I have joint pain, dizziness, light headed, headache, and digestive problems. From reading on this site I feel I should stick it out for another week or so and could start to feel better. Beware of this drug.

  18. Julie
    Tennessee
    Reply

    I went from taking 10mg of Lexapro to cymbalta about a year ago. I originally began taking the lexapro for anxiety and inability to concentrate. I didnt have any problems with the cymbalta until I forgot to take it for a few days. I began having extreme hot flashes and hand tremors, initially thinking it was my age, 51. Now I am questioning if I should try to come off this drug because all I have read and experienced.

  19. Miranda
    TN
    Reply

    I have been taking cymbalta for 3 months for depressionand began sleeping constantly! I became ridiculous the amount of sleep i was getting and still always felt tired and like my whole life was n slow motion. So i decided on my own to stop taking it because i wasnt my self at all anymore! I came off of cymbalta cold turkey 7 days ago… I had 5panic attacks last night and 2 today. I feel awful!! Short of breath, fatigue, what feels like electric zaps n my brain, headache, shacking and tremors all over the list goes on and on!! The way i feel is ridiculous! No human being should have to go thru this just by stopping a pill… I want me back, i want my body back( it feels like it has been invaded by aliens) just figure of speech but thats what it feels like.. How long will this last?

  20. Angela
    Harrodsburg, KY
    Reply

    I have been taking Cymbalta for several years now, and it’s been a Godsend to me. But recently I have been let go from my job because they are closing their doors, and my insurance has been dropped. nNow I can’t afford my medicine, and I have been off the Cymbalta for a week. I have such dizziness as if I’m going to pass out at times. I can keep my head straight and just move my eyes, and I feel like I’m about to pass out and the room spins.

    So from reading all these messages from others that have been off it or trying to get off of it, I have the same side affects. I guess I will just have to fight through this, and maybe I will finally stop the dizziness. Thank you for your messages. It has helped me figure out why my head is spinning. I wish all of you the best. Angela

  21. Rebecca
    Minneapolis, MN
    Reply

    Cymbalta was a lifesaver for me. I’ve been on it 5 or 6 years. 90 mg/day. After twenty years of major depression, I had tried every category of antidepressant. None worked. I begged for electroshock therapy, and was introduced to my first SNRI. It was a miracle. My brain was no longer King Lear’s continual “howlhowlhowl.” I lost my medical coverage on January 1st, and have been forced into Cymbalta withdrawal. I was given four weeks of Fetzima, because it was the only SNRI available to me at no cost. I’m on day five of having run out of Cymbalta, and the symptoms still get worse every day. As of today, I am no longer able to work, because of the vertigo. The brain zaps are incredible … I swear I could power the toaster by plugging the damned thing into my ear. The symptoms of influenza, the feeling of a hangover, and the ability to function equivalent to the effects of (as I remember from my drinking days) roughly a pint of vodka flowing through me. The never-ending feeling that you get when the world begins spinning around after having drunk too much. And let’s not even get started on my bowels … ha! Or the crying …. Ah …. life without health care access …… Any news on Fetzima out there?

  22. Jan
    Maine
    Reply

    I have been through all the side effects, yet went back on when I relapsed with severe depression and Fibromyalgia pain. When I went off the last time, I used a formula from the Road Back book I had found. It took a month, but no brain zaps, etc. There is a website now. Fish oil was the answer to the brain zap side effect. http://www.theroadback.org/cymbaltawithdrawal.aspx
    I truly can’t recommend this enough. Good luck everyone!

  23. Shawna
    Columbia, MO
    Reply

    I was prescribed Cymbalta for PMDD, after I was prescribed Prozac. In Sept of 2016, I took myself off from Prozac and told my dr. that she has 1 more shot at getting it because I refuse to be anyones guinea pig. Cymbalta was like a god saint miracle. I got sick about 2 wks ago and stopped using it. Since then (3 wks later) I’m still having light dizziness/ vertigo feeling also I’m tired…. ALOT!!! No motivation. How long does this take to wear off??? I will not do this again!

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