The People's Perspective on Medicine

Duloxetine (Cymbalta) Side Effects & Withdrawal

The anti-depressant Cymbalta (duloxetine) can cause a host of side effects, but stopping the drug could also provoke unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

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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    About the Author
    Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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    comments (1925 total)
    Add your comment

    I understand drug addicts. If I could find one Cymbalta at the bottom of my purse with the lint I would take it to make this stop. My Doctor and I had a very long weaning off period, so nothing could be done more properly. (This is not the doctor who prescribed it.) I know we are willing to try anything, people fail to understand our sicknesses, and we try to find ways to hide it. The stigma is either we can control these biological functions or we’re psychopaths. So when something stops working we ask for something different.

    I started Cymbalta as a booster for something that was no longer working. I know it helped…some. If I could go back in time I would tell myself not to do it. It buys you time for sure, but I’ve never felt this kind of suicidal desire in my whole major depressive life.

    I cannot see straight, I have to retype everything or this would just be weird random words. I am so dizzy I am refusing to drive. I have shakes, actual shakes. I cry about everything. I cannot eat. I can only sleep using stronger drugs. Taking benadryl can be helpful for the shaking. Also for sleep. Unfortunately I can’t crawl into bed with benadryl until this is gone.

    I have children and responsibilities. Don’t get hooked on this if you have children. I am like a crazy zombie person to them right now. I know it will pass, but I will never recommend this and will speak out against it any chance I get. I am terrified.
    I have faced depression, cancer, heart failure, child birth, and this is close to the worst I’ve ever felt.

    I’m here crying, shaking, and feeling like a drug addict because I have gone a few days without this tablet because I forgot to reorder them. Which is a consistent problem. I have recently, over the last few months, noticed heart palpitations as I have been on this medication for years now. Since reading up on this drug I want out. I thought it was my depressive symptoms coming back but found out it is the drug that is mostly likely the cause of this. Why isn’t this explained? I could be perfectly fine but I don’t know that because I am stuck on this horrible drug.

    I was prescribed Cynbalta and Lamictal after being diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. This all came about after disclosing a childhood trauma. I took these medications for 5 years and then asked myself ‘why’ I was still being prescribed these meds; I had 5 years of therapy and was doing great.
    Well I stopped taking both meds in October of 2018. The withdrawal has been nothing short of the worst thing I have experienced.

    Initially I suffered from terrible brain zaps, panic attacks, severe GI upset, headaches, and insomnia. I took Motrin and drank bottles of Emitrol to help with the nausea. I had terrible anger outbursts and literally laid in bed for weeks drinking ginger ale and eating soup. Gradually the symptoms lessened but today 9 months later I have brain zaps still every morning, evening, and night; I only get the hours from about 10 am to 3 pm that are brain zap free. I still have random bouts of severe GI upset with no rhyme or reason to them or related to specific foods. I still suffer from insomnia and have panic attack’s occasionally (although not as bad).

    About 4 weeks ago I had a respiratory/ sinus infection with a horrible cough. I took DayQuil and NyQuil. At first I thought it was great because my brain zaps disappeared. After 7 days on Amoxicillin and these cough medicines I was feeling better. I stopped the DayQuil/NightQuil. OMG … my withdraw symptoms came back with a vengeance; horrible brain zaps and terrible GI issues that included nausea and diarrhea. I had no idea that this would happen and it is still happening as I write this post.

    To say these medications do not not cause withdraw is ludicrous. I almost want to drink cough medicine to make this stop! I was only on 40 mg of Cymbalta and 20 mg of Lamictal… all to help me deal with a trauma … all to supposedly help! Yet no one ever takes you off the meds or speaks to you regarding continuing them.

    To date on my own accord, desperation, and research I am taking a mega B vitamin, increasing antioxidants in my diet as well as eating a healthy diet with foods that are high in tryptophan, and exercising despite how hard it is to do anything. PS I am a nurse and I still had no idea nor was I ever informed about this from the counselor or psychiatrist at the time!

    To say

    I was taking a low dose of Cymbalta since October of 2018. In May of this year I started an every-other-day taper schedule. Eight days ago I stopped completely and today I’m having a tingling feeling all over. Has anyone experienced this? I have been dealing with fatigue and hot flashes but this is driving me crazy. Not painful just weird.

    I had only been on Duloxetine for a few months. I hated the terrible hot flashes that would last for hours. I didn’t like the general feeling I had on the drug, so I asked my doctor about weaning off. I reduced from 60mg to 30mg for 3 weeks and then tried one capsule every other day. I still have the brain zaps, anxiety. I’m going to start 20mg every other day. It’s incredibly difficult to work a full time job and have this brain fog and other symptoms. I seriously regret starting this med. The manufacturer needs to be taken to the woodshed over their denials.

    I started taking Cymbalta 15 years ago at 30mg for a combination of anxiety and “achy bones.” About 6 years ago I felt it wasn’t working as well so it was upped to 60mg. I now find myself in a situation where stopping completely is necessary.

    I began wake with headaches that would last all day til evening. This was about 5 days a week. I would sweat profusely even when nobody else was hot. I was having diarrhea constantly. Have had ALL of these symptoms checked out with specialists only to find all was well. GI specialist suggested changes in diet because nothing was wrong with my scopes. An MRI of my head and neck showed no problems. So my regular doctor finally mentioned that profuse sweating could be the Cymbalta. After investigating it myself I found that headaches and stomach issues are ALL related to Cymbalta.

    So here the real nightmare starts. I dropped from 60 to 30mg for one month. I then took 30mg every other day for 2 weeks, and every 3rd day for 2 weeks until I’m now 2 weeks off of it completely. Lord help me! Brain zaps, crying, total brain fog, lack of concentration and most painful of all is neuropathy in my feet that I have never experienced. Seeing my Dr, next week. Wish I’d never heard of this drug!

    I started taking Cymbalta about 7 years ago. I was losing my job and was under a lot of stress. My TMJ was getting bad from the stress. I have never been depressed. My doctor talked me into going on Cymbalta. Like others, I knew nothing about the drug and it’s side affects. After starting the drug I noticed that my concentration was diminishing. I stopped praying and I used to pray every day. I didn’t care about anything. I could not cry. No libido at all. About a year later I started having the brain zaps and just feeling really weird. I even went to the doctor. He said it was an anxiety attack and to take some extra Xanax.

    When I went home I checked my pill pack and realized that I neglected to put my Cymbalta in it and had not taken it for 3 days. So now I know what the side effects are for going off of it. Last year I was determined to get off of it. My doctor gave me 20 mgs. I was originally on 30 mgs. I was not working at the time so I decided this would be a good time to start the weaning process. I successfully weaned to the 20mg, and then I got a job offer that I had to take. Now 8 months later, I want to wean off all together but I am so afraid that I won’t be able to do my job if I start weirding out. I should have never been on this drug in the first place. Shame on these doctors.

    I have been taking Cymbalta for the past 11 years, I believe. My primary doctor prescribed it for me as a relief for chronic lower back pain. I wish I had never been introduced to the medication. Now, my medication management doctor is weaning me off of it. Says I don’t need it anymore. I have gone from 90 mg down to 30 mg.

    What has it done for me now? I feel totally sick inside. Besides that, my lower back pain is becoming worse all over again. I have had anxiety, dizzy spells, depressed mood, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, sleepiness, sweating, tremors, vertigo, and too many others to count. I know as soon as I tell my doctor that my withdrawal symptoms are causing me a lot of discomfort that he will just increase it again.

    How does one approach their physician and talk with them about getting off this stuff the correct way?

    I’m a 52 year old male who has worked physically demanding jobs my entire life and have been paying for that for the last 20 or so years. Most aches and pains have been manageable through common sense, physical therapy, and over-the-counter pain killers when it got bad enough. But I’d been in constant agony for years over what an MRI finally showed as being a partial tear in one of the muscles in the shoulder of my dominant hand. Finally I found a new family doctor who listened and recognised that I wasn’t just angling for opioids.

    I’d started a new regimen of physical therapy a couple of months ago but the pain was seriously impacting my progress so the doc first prescribed Effexor (venlafaxine) at 30ml/day for a week and then 60mg/day after. I found no improvement of pain levels whatsoever but within a week I was enjoying the best of the side effects; most dominant being a complete collapse of sexual function and uncontrollable night sweats. I put up with these symptoms and others (dry mouth, dry cough, uncontrollable yawning etc) for a couple of weeks and finally broke down and made another appointment. Doctor said: “Not a problem, there’s another similar drug that is reputed to have fewer side effects. It’s called duloxetine”. Under my doctor’s supervision I tapered off the Effexor by cutting the dosage in half for the last week of the prescription and immediately followed up with the duloxetine using the same stepped dosage as the Effexor.

    Three weeks later and I was a frustrated mess. The results were identical; from the lack of pain relief to the side effects. But now, being almost two months into this journey, my marriage and job were starting to suffer. So I decided last week that I would wean myself off the duloxetine as I had done with the Effexor. I know now that I should have consulted with my doc, but I was frustrated, and more to the point, I’d been given one month’s supply with no refills or followup appointments so it just seemed like it wouldn’t be a big deal. So I decided “Screw it, I’ll deal with the pain the old fashioned way if I have to, with painkillers and alcohol” (joking, not joking).

    Today is day 4 of no pills and the vertigo is so bad that walking across the room or driving to work has become a literal roller coaster ride. And it’s not the kind of dizziness I’m familiar with either; it comes and goes with seemingly no bearing on head, eye, or body movement, it comes on when I’m sitting or lying down as well as standing, and now it’s nearly constant. I’ve had to lay a towel down on my bed and pillow or I soak everything with sweat every night. And I’m not even going to get into what thoughts are running through my head; suffice it to say that my marriage is hanging by a thread and yet I can’t even get the energy to care that much and the concept of taking drastic action to stop this nightmare isn’t feeling that drastic at all. Indeed I’m sure now that the residual antidepressant effects are what make such a level-headed view possible. So that’s a conditional win, I guess…

    After reading a few of these stories here, I’ve decided I’m making an appointment with my doc so I can provide a little data for their records and see what they can do about these symptoms because there’s no way in hell I’m going back on this drug or anything remotely like it. I don’t really blame my doctor; they’re young and obviously in thrall to the drug companies, like most doctors are these days, but we discussed the effects and side effects of these drugs in depth before I agreed to try them and this is well beyond the pale.

    Taking and coming off of duloxetine has been the most awful thing I’ve ever done. I’m now on no duloxetine at all, and the side effects I’m having are horrendous.

    I have been on cymbalta for three years. I was given the drug to help with my degenerative arthritis pain. I have had extreme bloating in the past few months and irritation in my stomach resulting in reflux. My bowels became impacted and blocked, and I ended up in ER. I am on my way to coming off the drug. I have gone from 60 mgs to 30 mgs. It has been three weeks since I started from 60mgs to 30mgs, and I am very dizzy and find myself bumping my head while getting into the car, running into furniture and walls. I also have brain fog. My bloating is better but it has been a difficult journey coming off the drug. I hope to come completely off in the future.

    I have been taking Cymbalta for many many years along with Lamictal for my bipolar disorder. Those 2 meds have been the combination that helped me. I started on medication for the disorder in 1987, and it took until 2006 to finally get the help I needed. I never had any bad side effects that bothered me enough to consider stopping. How could I? I finally found the medication that gave me relief.

    I have known for a long time how hard it is to stop the Cymbalta. It has been 3 days since I have had it, though. ( haven’t been able to get to the pharmacy.) And yes, I am having horrible withdrawal symptoms. Yikes. Brain zaps, crying, angry, weird dreams, etc. My husband is on the way to get my meds right now. Cymbalta helps me so much with pain also. I do dread the time if I ever have to stop cold turkey. My doc already told me she would help me taper of if need be.

    I would never recommend meds to anyone. That is between a patient and their doctor. But I have been helped by these 2 medications. I do not recommend trying to stop a medication on your own. I stopped Lithium cold turkey on my own and ended up in bad shape. It took many months for that to happen. I thought things were great. I felt great. I wasn’t and ended up in the ER. If one doctor doesn’t help go to another one until you find the help you need.

    Been taking 30 mg Duloxetine for about 3 years for fibromyalgia pain. My pain had gotten worse, and side effects from the drug also worsened. I was paying $47 a month for a drug that made me feel horrible. After much research I’ve come to the conclusion that nightshades are causing my increased pain from fibro. If it wasn’t for SalonPas patches, I’d be at the dreaded pain clinic. Anyway, two weeks ago, I threw the drug in the trash, stopped cold turkey, and also stopped eating my beloved tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. Pain is less than it’s ever been! Side effects from withdrawal of drug sucks! Tinnitus is the worst for me, and the dizziness is second, but sleep is so much better, and I just feel better all over. I’ll take a few weeks or months of withdrawal over hurting so bad, no sleep, etc. This is my story for what it’s worth, 70 year-old female.

    I have been taking duloxetine for some time now. I was first given 30mg a day. It did not help anything at all. I was then moved up to 60mg a day, i honestly felt no difference and my DR made me feel like i was annoying. I myself then upped my own dose to 120 mg a day. I see no difference at all. This never worked for me. The only reason i continue to take them now is because of the side effects of trying to stop it. I have hot flashes and pretty strong brain zaps which sometimes disorient me for a second. I have also read that nightmares are a side effect and i can confirm that. Nightmares are definitely a side effect. I have 4 or 5 nightmares every night.

    I have been on cymbalta since 2008. My son died in 2006 and after feeling nothing, just numb I felt I needed something to feel, I tried 2 other anti depressants, the first one made me made me feel great for a week and then just nothing, the 2nd antidepressant made me feel so angry , so no good. Then my Dr. Put me on cymbalta which was good for me. I have been on it since 2008. No bad side effects but now I just want to be tablet free so I am trying one day on and then one day off. I shall see my Dr. But I think it’s time to stop.I I’m

    I am in the UK. I want to take legal action against the mental health team. Whilst on this drug for 2 years I developed insomnia. I was also on lamotrogine and had been on olanzipine. I wasn’t sure if the insomnia was left over from the Olanzipine, the lamotrogine or the Duloxetine. I came off the lamotrogine, and still the insomnia persisted. I was told it was unlikely to be the drugs but, lo and behold, when I took an overdose to try and make me sleep (stupid) I didn’t take the Duloxetine for a day, and that night I got an actual night’s sleep.

    My Dr. then took me off 90mg cold turkey, and a couple of days later my mood became hyper manic, and the insomnia came back so then I’d get super low and have to call the crisis team due to feeling so distressed. No one had any clinical knowledge so they would put it all on me and tell me to do breathing exercises. Eventually after 2 weeks the CMHT called me, and I was curious. I reported this elevated mood and increased spending and other hypermanic symtoms pretty soon after their onset, and no one called me back until I had to make a distress call to the crisis team.

    I’m not sure if I’m ok almost 16 weeks down the line. My sleep is a bit erratic. I struggle to sleep until about 3am and, luckily, I’m not working. My short term memory is screwed. I constantly lose things. Put them down, forget where I put them. It’s so frustrating. The GPs and CMHT were useless, and my trust in doctors has gone. This drug was the toughest of any I’ve ever been on to come off of, and there was no understanding of the symptoms from withdrawal. I was told “you just have to ride it out.”

    I’m totally baffled that so-called medical professionals are so clueless. These drugs stole 10 years of my life and made me totally unfit for work. I lost my income, my quality of life, friends and nearly my family due to side effects and withdrawal effects. I wasn’t better on them. I was worse. The only thing that helped me was CAT therapy. The drugs just screwed me up. So thanks, makers of these drugs. I’m glad you are making billions out of this misery!!

    I’m not all the way there yet but I feel much better off them all than I ever did taking them. They weren’t the answer for me at all. And the more I learn about them the more I want them banned. The stuff the doctors tell us isn’t even credited. Serotonin deficiency. Chemical imbalance. Show me the evidence, please. I won’t ever go back to a doctor unless it’s for something simple that they are actually qualified to treat. GPs prescribing SSRIs are getting people into hot water. They don’t understand what the drugs do at all. Ask them. They are utterly clueless. It’s criminal.

    I had been on 60 mg of Cymbalta for depression for a couple years. Before that I’d tried probably 20 other meds (they finally diagnosed me with treatment-resistant depression, and I had ECT treatments which actually DID help and probably saved my life). Cymbalta wasn’t working so well for the depression anymore, but since I’d also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and have widespread osteoarthritis and issues with my back, my “wise” doctor upped my dose to 90mg for a couple months and then to 120 mg a day (60 mg 2x/day).

    I began to have horrible issues with sweating, even when just sitting still, and would have to change my sheets after having horrible night sweats. I’d been having muscle spasms – some painful, and others just a nuisance and thought it was the fibromyalgia. Had I been reading more of these stories and articles – I would have realized it was the Cymbalta.

    A few months ago, I changed doctors, and we started to reduce my dosage after having had no relief of any of the symptoms Cymbalta was supposed to be helping with. I got down to 30 mg / day… and though I didn’t realize it at the time I was already having withdrawal symptoms. Having multiple conditions and taking multiple medications can make this very difficult to tease out which symptoms are from what.

    I thought I’d picked up a virus because I felt SO horrible, but actually after doing some symptom searches, I realized I’m was in full blown withdrawal now – tingling in my hands and feet, brain ‘zaps’, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness so bad that I lost balance regularly and have run into walls and door frames often.

    I’ve contemplated going back on a low dose because this withdrawal is now going into week 3, and I feel frightened, alone, and hopeless. I’ve seen the comments where people are opening capsules and reducing gradually by making in-between type doses – and I may try this to help ease these symptoms.

    I just hope that if anyone is contemplating taking this medication, they are able to read some of these accounts from actual patients – the drug companies and doctors don’t seem to understand or take seriously what this drug is doing to people. I can’t believe they’ve been expanding its on-label uses and getting more people trapped. And no authority has called them on the issues of withdrawal symptoms. These don’t seem to be just a few fringe cases – they seem to be pervasive.

    Please remember: you are your own best advocate, and you have the right to say NO to your doctors and demand alternate options to treatment.

    I’ve been on duloxetine for months now with many side effects, the main one being its damaging my liver. So my doctor and I have decided I’m best to go off completely. I was taking it for nerve pain. My doctor told me the withdrawals will be the worst you can get and has told me to take 1 diazepam 3 times a day to help. I’m only on day 2, and withdrawals have started but the diazepam has helped a lot. She ( my doctor) has fully prepared me for what I am in for when it comes to withdrawals and has told me to ring her or go back to see her if it gets too bad or go to local hospital. I guess I am lucky I have her support and my husband to get my though it.

    Have been on duloxetine for several years as well as welbutrin at the same time. From feeling socially unacceptable, to anger, to lost desire for doing anything, my world has become somewhat strange. Unlike many on here I was well aware of the dangers of stopping medications like this by going “cold turkey”. So I went to my medical specialist to find another antidepressant to at least try. I was prescribed going from a 120mg of duloxatine down to 90mg for 5 days then to 60mg for 5 days then to 30 mg for 8 days and then going to using Paxil.

    I’m at my 3rd day of taking the 90mg and am already feeling side effects. Light-headedness and dizziness are already coming on. A side note; I’m already on other meds that also cause light-headed feelings and sometimes dizziness. So at the moment I’m getting similar reactions from a total of three different meds. Two more days until I start the 60mg regimen. If it worsens my situation I’ll assure you that I’m going back in to discuss this with my specialist. How those of you that just quit taking it and dealt with the side effects is beyond me.

    If going from 120mg down to 90 is going to cause this dizzy/light headed situation- going to the 60mg is not a future I feel so sure about.
    For those only considering getting off an antidepressant, please don’t just quit taking them. Talk to a doctor first and find the best, and safest way to go about it.

    I wish all of you the best of health now and in the future!

    I have been on Cymbalta for about 18 months. I started with 30 mg daily. It had been suggested by my neurologist for nephropathy related pain.

    I had trouble with it. I had had discussions with my doctor for about a year about Cymbalta, never really wanting to use it due to the reported side effects. I have had problems with DVTs and PEs, so I was on blood thinners. my pharmacologist was very helpful in educating me about the weaning off process which I did once after being on it for 60 days with no positive effect.

    I tried amphetamine which was very harsh (in terms of side effects). I was never awake when I stopped moving. I weaned off of this and was talked into trying Cymbalta again. I did, initially, no problems, jumped to 60 mg daily. For about a year I did get good results for nephropathy related pain, but for about six months it became increasingly less effective. At the same time I noted that some of the brain fog, less ambition to do things, and libido issues were increasing.

    I had been hospitalized for a hematoma on the rectos sheath (stomach muscle) that had ruptured and cause serious internal bleeding. My INR levels were high at the time, and it was written off as the cause of both the hematoma and the bleeding.

    Meanwhile, after having no issues will maintaining the proper therapeutic INR levels, the last 4 months my INR checks have been all over the place. So I asked about discontinuing the Cymbalta. I wasn’t getting the same relief, and it seems that nothing had been right about me in recent months which coincided with my erratic blood thinner levels and decreased libido. Also after my hospitalization for internal bleeding I caused me to question why I had these undetected hematomas and others.

    I’ve gone from being highly physically active to no exercise at all and my weight has dramatically increased despite following a regimented diet plan. Some of the issues are related to lifestyle changes, others seemed to be connected to increased changes to my responses to the medication. I am in the process of weaning off the Cymbalta. I am experiencing some of the side effects mentioned. I had planned out a weaning off process with my doctor for about 8 weeks. I’m completely off, seem to have already started to feel more myself. Still have some minor effects that I expected.

    I am convinced more than ever the issues I experiences, all the same as reported here, and the experiences I’ve recently had with internal bleeding and blood thinners are all related to the use of Cymbalta. Unlike many who’s reported here, I’ve had good advise about weaning off but none have connected some of the problems I’ve had like the folks reporting here online. Glad I made the decision to come off Cymbalta. Should had done it sooner. I believe it is likely inappropriate for those on blood thinners.

    I have been on Cymbalta for about 7 weeks. Felt fine at first but all of a sudden I got anxiety X 10 while driving and had to pull over and be picked up and taken to work. Ever since then I feel anxiety when driving only. I decided it’s the Cymbalta, as I have never had this feeling EVER. I am working to wean off of this if it’s the last thing I do to get my peace back. Any weaning off tips appreciated.

    About 3.5 weeks ago after discussion with my doctor, I decided that I would like to discontinue Cymbalta. She had prescribed this for me to help with my fibromyalgia symptoms, and I do think it helped. However, I have very complicated health issues that have resulted in a handful of pills in the morning and evening. I’d been experiencing new complications that after lots of tests and scans had not resulted in any further diagnosis or help. I began to wonder if all these meds were warring with each other, creating additional health issues and wanted to eliminate something.

    After my primary care doctor and neurologist talked, they selected the Cymbalta as the place to start and set up a plan to slowly wean me off the drug. Six days ago I took the last last dose, and have felt increasingly bad. I’m hot one moment, freezing the next, short of breath, and have diarrhea. I’ve been crying a lot, which I discounted. I lost my husband of 46 years, 2 and a half years ago and find birthdays (both his and mine), when I miss him a lot. But this is way beyond that. I had been feeling stronger and felt like I was moving forward with this new chapter in my life. I’m beyond exhausted and yet have had trouble sleeping. I feel horrible. Today has been the worst, which is why I started searching. I thought about what had changed in this last week – no Cymbalta! Not exactly sure what to do now! Suggestions anyone?

    I have only been on Cymbalta for a month with bad side effects of lethargy, nausea and generally not feeling better. Going from 20mg up to 60mg. Was weaned off over a two week period. The day after I totally stopped I began having even more brain zaps then when I was on it. Uncontrollable crying. Lethargy so bad that my husband had to stay home to help me care for our special needs daughter. It’s been 3 days and I am still having horrible withdrawal effects. I hope that I feel better soon. If this drug is causing such severe withdrawal effects after such a short time being on it, I can’t imagine what people are going thru who have been on it for a long period of time. I’m upset that my psychiatrist even thought this drug would be a good fit for a person already in a depression. I think that the big pharma companies have too strong a hold on what the doctors prescribe. It always seems to be about the money and not what would be best for the patient. That’s my 2 cents on that.

    I have been taking Cymbalta for almost 4 months for Fibromyalgia and neuralgia pain in the base of my skull. Since the first few days of taking it, I have had really bad diarrhea and sometimes stomach pain and soreness. No over-the-counter anti diarrhea product is helping me. I don’t know what’s worse – pain or intense diarrhea. My doctor doesn’t seem to take my seriously when I tell her how bad I feel. I am glad to see posted stories of other Cymbalta users. I am going to ween off this medication as others have suggested. Doctors don’t have a clue and who knows you better than yourself. I am going to research natural remedies for my pain. I’m done!

    After many years of taking a low dose of effexor following some depression, a physiatrist (a doctor who also treats patients for pain) switched me to Cymbalta to help relieve lower back pain following an ineffective double spinal fusion. I experienced brain zaps during the whole time (4 yrs.) while taking cymbalta. I told my internist about the brain zaps and was basically ignored. If I had been warned about the real side effects of this drug, I never would have taken it.

    Cymbalta did nothing for my pain. The brain zaps became so frequent, along with periods of brain fog and hot flashes ( I’m in my 70’s), I decided to wean myself off of it by opening up the generic capsules and removing 3 of the 12 balls inside, taking the remaining little balls each day for one week. The next week I removed 3 more and stayed on that dose for one week. By the end of one month, I had gotten off of the drug completely.

    The brain zaps are still there but have diminished in intensity. The same with the hot flashes. The muscle pain is worse. I have been experiencing wide emotional swings and general feelings of anger and hostility. I have been Cymbalta-free for 2 weeks now and refuse to take this dangerous drug again.

    Drug makers are able to get away without disclosing all of the true side effects of their drugs, and I am grateful for sites that enable patients to warn others as well as educate themselves about what big pharma is doing to us!

    I was put on Cymbalta for pain relief from peripheral neuropathy while on chemotherapy. It has only been about two months but as chemo has proceeded, so did my pain and as a result, the dosage has been increased. After reading all of these horrible side effects, I have to say that I am worried.

    After being on this drug for 15 years I decided to get off the 60 mgs.daily Cymbalta. I suffered a car wreck in 2004 which left me disabled. I was put on this drug immediately. Jump forward to 2018. I realized it was time to get off of some of the drugs that were no longer of benefit. Withdrawal has been hard but each passing day it’s lessened. The electric shock in my head was frightening but it did get less intense. So it’s been two weeks, and I am feeling so much better. Taking things one day at a time. And self education, watching, and researching all information I can find has helped me get more understanding. Sharing my experience with others and learning what they have experienced has helped immensely. Thank you.

    I’ve been on Cymbalta for 6 years with the current dosage at 60MG for about 3 years. I don’t think it’s working anymore and would like to wean off.

    How should I go about doing this??

    Your advice is appreciated.

    I had no choice but to come off Cymbalta. I lost left kidney to cancer in 2010. Having type II diabetes, I was on Metformin and Cymbalta for anxiety. Found out in August 2018 the damage from Lipitor, HBP meds, Cymbalta and metformin: I was in stage 3 kidney failure. Age 68 and unlikely for kidney transplant I had to get off these meds and on an alternative. As of today I’m clean of all, including Cymbalta, 4,weeks out. How did I become a prescribed addict? I still am brought to tears at the realization. 2 weeks ago had possible TIA, almost undetectable but for symptoms that put me in ER. A step backward but still forging ahead. Brain zaps, am emotional, poor sleep, but feeling somewhat stronger every day. Now I’ll barely take Tylenol. Better numbers for the kidney failure. Great numbers for blood sugar. Cholesterol is iffy high, and BP is still somewhat high. Depression is mostly about getting this way on prescribed medication from a doctor I trusted.

    After reading several letters from patients trying to stop taking Cymbalta I too have a story to share. I have been taking Cymbalta for over 10 years and really don’t believe I need it any longer, so I decided to stop taking it, cold turkey. Its been only 5 days and I am miserable. I now know this is a mistake as I am having terrible withdrawals symptoms and wasn’t sure where they were coming from. I finally decided to look up this problem and found my answer with someone who shared the exact same symptoms. I too experienced hearing my eyes move, or a swishing sound going between my eyes. If I move too quickly I thought I would fall and then would have to lie down with cold air blowing on me so I would overcome the feeling of falling . I have hot flashes going to cold flashes. I also experienced these feelings while I was taking this medication regularly. Of course not to this extreme. I also heard from others that this medication interfers with the other pain meds I have been using which really helped with movement (which I also stopped using due to some other ailing problem I am having)
    since I suffer from mild arthritic pain due to my job being a sit down, stay down computer position which I’ve held for over 20 years. I didn’t think to remove a few medicine balls at a time and will start the count down tonight because I can not function properly under these conditions as I feel wobbely and unsure of myself and a bit cranky. I would love to feel normal again without using meds to get me by.

    I’ve been on Duloxetine (about 3 weeks) for depression and anxiety, but I feel horrible, and after coming across this site I think I’ve just decided to start tapering off. My head feels sluggish, and I have a persistent odd cold sensation in the back of my throat/sinuses. I have suicidal thoughts nearly all the time and and intense anxiety. I have NEVER felt this desperate in my life. I’m 55 and was prescribed it by a V.A. psychiatrist, along with Buspar, which seems to amplify the anxiety/dread. I have been leaning heavily on a couple of old friends for support, trying to keep my wife and daughter insulated. It’s just a nightmare. I worry that I won’t be able to get off and that I’ve “broken” my brain, which is honestly how I feel.

    I sorry to hear about your experience. I had a bad reaction to Buspar, and I cried for a week and felt suicidal. I almost drove myself to the er. My brother had a similar reaction. I am currently cold turkeying Cymbalta and it’s rough. But I’m not having any suicidal thoughts. Mostly, physical symptoms. I don’t recommend doing what I’m doing, but since I’m one week in I’m going to ride the withdrawal symptoms. I was taking it for depression but it made my rls terrible. I wish you the best of luck.

    I’ve been on a generic of cymbalta for several years. Two years ago I asked my doctor to help me start to wean myself off of it. I felt odd and not myself anymore, believing it to be this medication. I was under more stress, etc. but wanted to eliminate it from my system. I have been experiencing short-term memory loss and believe this to be a contributing factor. He scoffed and said it doesn’t do that to people!

    I remained on it not knowing what else to do. When my mom became ill, I was under even more stress! I went back again telling him my sorrows and worries. He advised I double up on my dosage! I didn’t do that at the time but eventually did. I have had some significant life changes and want to discontinue this drug. I’ve started, this week, taking my 60 mg dose at night but skipping the 60 mg dose every other morning. I feel awful!!! Can’t sleep, more depressed, and have a constant mild headache.

    What can I do!!! Please tell me how to get off this nasty medication!!!

    How sad it is that we all went to doctors for help and now we are all dealing with the exact symptoms as everyone else who looked for help and none told about the damaging effects it would have on our bodies, minds and livelihood if we ever had to come off these drugs the prescribed.

    I only took Cymbalta for 2 months, the side effects of taking were bad, but the side effects from stopping it are horrible.

    My doctor didn’t, nor did anyone else tell me, about any side effects. I did read the insert but there are so many “possible” side effects on every drug, it seems almost like we have become immune to realizing the”warnings” would EVER BE true. If they were would they REALLY prescribe it to you? They say “in rare cases”. It truly doesn’t sound so rare.

    I never even had morning sickness, I work 50+ hours every week and run a very successful business, I had never taken more than Tylenol in my 40 + years and then about the time menopause hit, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I really thought it was hormonal but after a year of dealing with pain and symptoms- and refusing to go on Lyrica, I gave in to the pain. My Rheumatologist increased so fast each month that I couldn’t process. I have never had any tendency toward depression. I was a very happy go lucky spirit and rarely even get a common cold. This was all so new to me.

    I’ve been on Lyrica for about 2 years. When starting on Lyrica for the fibromyalgia, I didn’t want to die but I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t really have a preference either way, I would cry uncontrollably and the person I “felt like” was unrecognizable to me at times. It was like I was on the outside looking in. It truly scared me. I told my dr and she simply said -“ It’ll pass”. I felt with that “passing” for about 6 months.

    About the time I was finally feeling some relief of the psychological symptoms of the horrible drug, the physical symptoms became worse. I was placed on Cymbalta. Thank God, I had no depressed feelings, however I had no emotion at all, I never cried, even when appropriate to do so and the pain did not subside.

    Upon demanding an appointment a couple weeks ago, A on call doctor in my PC practice, suggested I get off both and said “slow down in a week or so, and then stop altogether. I took a week reduction from Lyrica and 2 weeks reduction for Cymbalta. I’ve been off both for 4 days and Last night even with the new drug Gabapentin ? Which suppose to be for nerve pain – and not for something I didn’t have like depression 😊( so I’m happy about that.) However, even with that I was in so much pain last night I couldn’t sleep. I have been so nauseous, lightheaded and fear of fainting today that I stayed home (which I never do)

    I started research tonight and found this GOD SEND of a forum. I was actually scared tonight I would die in my sleep because I was so dizzy trying to get ready for bed.

    I’m in a lot of pain tonight and last night, BUT I won’t take another capsule of either of these two meds or anything In a brain altering drug ever again. You can simply not stay on any drug like these forever. I pray everyone would read this forum before taking one dose of either Lyrica or Cymbalta.

    I’m truly sorry anyone had to go through this and I am going to pray that we will all find a better way of healing.

    Switched from Paxil to Cymbalta.
    The coming of Paxil was horrific. But had done so much research and had a doctor monitoring me with half-dosing. We had a happy ending.

    Cymbalta has been great, but life has thrown some angst-ridden situations at me, and we needed to make a change. Have had no back or neck pain with Cymbalta. Have had no complaints about this drug. It is helpful if you need it.

    I went through a double whammy with prescriptions. Life trama made me lose sleep and appetite. I lost some mobility. My doctor was prescription happy, and put me on drug after drug after drug for 2 years. I was a mess. So went to a new doctor, and she prescribed me Cymbalta. It seemed to help, but after 2 months things got bad. I then tried to quit cold turkey. 2 days good then awful. so back on it. The thing I want to say, is finally I cut it down to 1 pill every 2 days. Then three days and so on. My last pill was a week ago. I am not 100 %, but I can manage. You really have to look at if the first action you took (like my doc who did all the prescriptions) he did all the damage to make it look like fibromyalgia. For people like us who are in pain all the time, it helps to detox ourselves to know what is really happening, before the doctor evaluates us. Only problem is that we are in too much pain to ride it all out without another prescription. Not our fault, and people dont understand our pain, and/or side of it.

    I have back and leg pain from a car accident years ago. I have battled my pain with everything you can imagine to help relieve it. I’m blessed to be able to walk and have a cage in my spine that has been fused by bone spurs and arthritis. I was placed on Cymbalta a couple of months ago, and it did help, however the cost has been detrimental. I went cold turkey a week ago and advise anyone not to ever do that or take the drug at all. I have had about every withdrawal symptom that’s been listed, and you can’t explain to anyone unless you have been through it.

    I was diagnosed with acute angle glaucoma recently. Discovered that Duloxetine 60mg for 4 years may have caused this but not proven as glaucoma can also be inherited.
    Withdrawal symptoms have been very unpleasant/ My temper has been vile, restlessnes.insomnia, accident prone therefore have avoided driving my car for several weeks. GP titrated me off over one week going from 60mg to 30mg then I had nothing. Not pleasant at all but after a month happy that I am no longer taking this horrid drug. I am a healcare professional Registered Mental Nurse so I do believe I know what I am talking about. Just want to raise awareness and wonder if drugs like these need taking off the market. I have also reported the glaucoma via the yellow card scheme.

    I was prescribed duloxetine for residual nerve pain. Started 30 mg for a week increased to 60. After two months and a follow up appointment the Dr noted that it wasn’t helping and suggested I stop using when the medication was done. It has been 2 weeks and I’ve never felt so bad in my life. Tinnitus, headaches and sensations I wasn’t unable to describe until I read about brain zaps here. Nightmares, broken sleep, sweating and an uncharacteristically short temper. Did I mention crying at odds times (like now). I can’t seem to find relief from any one of these symptoms. Pharmacist yesterday suggested I should have begun feeling better last week. Telephone health link suggested I go to emergency. I find it difficult to decide.

    I recently was forced to changed GP due to long time GP going concierge, I take two meds. Prozac 90mg, high due to >20 years on this drug, for social anxiety and mild depression and advil for spinal fusion, degenerative spinal issues. New doc offered Cymbalta 60MG as a replacement to Prozac with benefit of relieving chronic back pain. It worked wonders on back in a few weeks and I was HAPPY with back but not with anxiety as compared to prozac. Dr. increased to 120MG Cymbalta. Soon physical side effects began to arise. Sexual, hot flashes, headache, nausea. Dr. reduced back to 30MG and referred me to psychiatrist for med fine tuning. Psych put me on ADHD meds and propranolol for anxiety. No reduction in previous side effects then extreme side effects hit, suicidal ideation, deep sorrow to the point of sobbing for a man who had never wept in his adult life, ever. Agitation, hostility, emotional volatility, mental confusion, brain zaps, light flashes in eyes and more. Functioning was a hurculean effort but I managed to the point of exhaustion. Went back to Psych. Put me back on Prozac, instructed to taper off Cymbalta. Turns out I’m addicted to Antidepressents physically and cant easily get off them. May take months in spite of 12 hour Cymbalta half life which leads me to believe effects on brain are much longer lasting than the time Cymbalta and other AD are in your blood. If you have not started on AD, don’t. If you have, try to wean off with a good Dr.’s help. Replace with holistic solutions. if you are going thru withdraw symptoms see a Dr. and know you are not going crazy, the Pharma industry has. Trust nothing, advocate and research for yourself. Good luck to everyone. These ADs are FAKE Meds. with no better confirmed results than placebo. Read followup test post Pharma produced testing. Not pretty.

    JB, you’re back on Prozac so I’m sharing my experience with it. I took Prozac for more than ten years without any problems until it stopped working. I increased the dose to 80mg and developed severe dizziness; actually fell down more than once. My doc couldn’t understand it, as 80 mg is thought to be safe. My research finally found a report in The Lancet (British medical journal) that older people (I was then in my 60s) can become dizzy when taking high doses of the Prozac class of antidepressants. My doctor had never heard of this and was glad to know it. The problem cleared up when I was switched to Cymbalta but that seemed to turn my technicolor world black-and-white, so now I’m dealing with Cymbalta withdrawal.

    I have been on Cymbalta since 2005 for migraines. I moved and couldn’t find my prescription so I just decided it was time to try getting off the drug. I was off for about 4-5 days and thought I had made it past the worst. That was in late April 2018. I came across this website when looking for information on withdrawal symptoms. I have experienced the same symptoms as most everyone else. Brain Zaps being the absolute worst. I didn’t know how to describe that feel or exactly what “brain zaps” really were until I read someone’s comment that it felt like you could hear your eyes move. To me it felt like every time I blinked my eyes I could hear it in my ears. That sounds so bazaar, but exactly what it felt like. I went to my doctor after the first few days and refilled my 60 mg RX, followed by a 30 mg RX. Since then I have been slowly trying to get off this horrible drug. I read about people opening the capsules and counting the white balls inside. I thought “I can’t do that.” Guess what, I have been doing the exact same thing. I have been completely off for 1 week when I started having a stiff neck. One side then both sides. Today I broke down and opened a capsule and counted 15 white beads. I took the dose to see if it’s still withdrawal symptoms or maybe I just slept wrong. I don’t know how many people are actually helped with Cymbalta, but based on how many people have had major issues trying to get off of it, I think the FDA needs to reconsider allowing this drug to be sold. Surely, there is a better alternative. I have learned one thing through this ordeal. I will NEVER take another drug that affects my brain. Period!

    I have been taking Duloxatine for about one and a half years now, primarily for depression but recently for fibromyalgia. In this period of time I have gained three stones in weight (42LBS). I hardly eat. But talking to other users I found out that they have gained a lot of weight also. Other side effects: sweating, constipation and more.

    I decided that I would wean myself off of them, as I am on a high dose (90mg per day). I reduced it down to 60mg per day and then to 30mgs. This is where I hit a brick wall. As the lowest dose tablet in the UK is 30mg I couldn’t halve it agin so I took one every other day until I stopped. The side effects of stopping are awful even though I did it gradually. I constantly feel sick, dizzy (as if I have fluid in my head and a spirit level bubble is bobbing about), and of course I am in agony because I have arthritis , fibromyalgia, and other osteo-related problems. So you’re damned if you take them and damned if you don’t.

    I have been on Cymbalta for several years (3 or 4) for fibromyalgia & it replaced the Zoloft I had been on for many years for depression. Zoloft eventually stopped working for me, and I was immediately told to stop it (by my rheumatologist) & was placed on Cymbalta. It worked well in the beginning. In this last year, the Cymbalta seems to have given me the same symptoms that everyone on this forum has described. I told my primary care physician that Cymbalta was giving me problems & he added Lyrica to the mix. I felt great for the first 2 weeks, then started feeling terrible. He said to stop the Lyrica & raise the Cymbalta to 90 mg. I had been on 60 mg. That’s when things got really bad.

    The Rheumatologist said to go back down to 60 mg. and it would take a long, long time, but she would try to wean me off it. Right now I am exhausted most of the time, crying off & on all day, dizzy, in some pain but not a lot, feeling suicidal because I want all this to stop. I have sweats & no energy. I don’t want to do anything but lie down with my eyes closed. The thought of this taking months or years is daunting. I have not cut up capsules yet, but am thinking about it. I have not had brain zaps yet but it sounds awful. I don’t know what to do next. My husband is a saint for helping me through this.

    After reading quite a few comments regarding Cymbalta, I realize I am having withdrawal symtoms as well. There have been so many hot flashes daily. These happen both night and day. I can be still as a statue and all of a sudden here it comes. I cut down my doseage from 90 to 60mg. It has been at least 2 months, not sure how long it is going to take. I have been on 60mg for quite a few years. Will talk to my Internist to see where to go from here. Good luck to everyone.

    Has anyone been able to stop this medication with minimal or no side effects? I guess I want to know if it is even possible. Having some severe issues. I tapered off over 4 weeks. Maybe that’s too fast. Severe nausea and shaking and trembling that is just violent.

    I haven’t read any success stories. Last dose was 10 days ago.

    I had missed two doses of my Cymbalta and experienced hallucinations both at work and at night time while I was trying to go to sleep. At work I would look from left to right, and the room would shift, and at night time I had very clear feelings that someone was grabbing me and trying to kill me as I was falling asleep. Once I realized this was due to the missed doses I got right back on the medication. However, my libido had left town completely and insomnia had set in.

    The worst side effect for me was the severe fatigue and brain fog that I experienced every day to the point of falling asleep while I was standing up doing my job at work and also being completely confused as to why I was doing something a certain way when I’ve done the same job for 20 years and knew it had to be done the correct way. And to top it all off when I asked the physician who prescribed the medication how to get off of it, he said to just stop taking it completely, and go back to taking Lexapro like I used to do. I didn’t do this because I didn’t think it was wise but the brain fog has become so bad that I have to do something so I’m beginning this research to see how I can do this.

    I was prescribed Cymbalta after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Living with pain seems wrong but what I believe is even worse is being hooked on the prescription and then having to figure out how to ween yourself off. I was given a plan with lower dosage for 2 weeks then every other day for a week, plus an optional 2nd week if withdraw symptoms continued. I didn’t continue the every other day for the 2nd week. BIG MISTAKE!!

    While the medication is out of my system, my system is not done withdrawing. I have severe brain zaps, nausea, insomnia, hot flashes, memory issues and blurred vision. First thing I realize is that the ween off plan should be specific instructions and not optional. I struggle to keep focus even as I write this post. For 2 weeks I have been taking a flaxseed capsules ever morning to help with my insomnia and it is working. I purchased them at Costco. I am 100% off all medication but not done with the side effects. I hope it’s done soon

    Firstly, thank you everyone for your comments and stories, it’s so nice to feel like it’s not only me. 8 months ago I was put on this to support me weaning off pregabalin, big mistake. I can hardly walk in a straight line and fear driving. I feel sick, tearful, fatigued, my blood pressure is low and I’m having palpitations.

    I know it’s withdrawal symptoms because if I take a pill I feel better within hours. My GP did not warn me how hard duloxatine is to come off, worse still is when I saw a different GP last week I was to not to be so silly “duloxatine has no withdrawal symptoms, in fact it’s the easiest to come off” proof our doctors are in league with the pharmaceutical companies.

    I’m gutted to hear it’s going to take so long to come off but I’m determined. Good luck to you all xx

    I wish I had read this before taking it for fibromyalgia AND trigeminal neuralgia. Ugh. Now what?

    I have been on Cymbalta for about 4-5 years now for pain. As of two and a half weeks ago the prescription ran out then I had to wait, and as of now I’m not sure I want to go back on it. I’m just now hearing about the withdrawal symptoms, and I’m shocked that I was never warned. The withdrawal is everything that everyone describes, and I couldn’t figure out why after two weeks I started with the headaches, nausea, and hot flashes. I guess it will be a while before it’s completely out of my system. I will see how long I can do this.

    I’ve been taking Duloxitine 30 mg. for approximately 10 years for arthritis pain. Unwanted side effects included constant tiredness, tremors, and, in the beginning, brain zaps. A welcomed side effect was much improvement to my occasional, very mild bladder leaks. In fact, it completely stopped the leaks. The tremors have become much worse over the 10 years and for this reason, I have decided to stop taking the drug. It has been 1 week since stopping cold turkey and the brain zaps are occurring big time; once again, my bladder leaks and I’ve been very emotional, easily brought to tears. It’s too early to say if my tremors have lessened but I have a great deal more energy since stopping the drug.

    My arthritis pain doesn’t seem any worse since stopping but I’ll be very glad when the brain zaps stop. I never knew how to describe the brain zaps and didn’t know they were a side effect of Duloxitine until I found this website. It’s nice to finally find out what was/is causing this very strange sensation. I hope I never have to go back on this or similar medication and I think big pharma and doctors have much to learn about certain classifications of drugs.

    I was on Cymbalta for 10 years for depression and fibromyalgia. After all this time I felt it wasn’t working and decided to detox. By accident I went away and forgot my pills. I had no bad side affects except I had incredible energy for 5 weeks with only night sweats and chest zaps. Now The …. has hit the fan. The zaps are worse and I am so dizzy I want to just lay down all the time. However, I will never go back on this drug. I shall go through this nightmare and get to the other side. I’m taking liver detox natural products and drinking plenty of water. I’ll take care of myself and ignore the depression, I’ll just get through this. I have started CBD oil and that has taken care of the fibromyalgia pain most of the time. No way am I going back on Cymbalta or any other big pharmaceutical.

    How are you doing so far? What kind of oil and dosage? Ty

    I have been taking Cymbalta for approximately 8 years. I have had all the symptoms and side effects that everyone else has mentioned. I never put 2 + 2 together, I blamed the side effects on many other things, menopause, just getting older, all my life stressors.

    I accidentally forgot to take Cymbals one day and I became so sick, I again thought the cause was something else. Over the last 3 years I’ve forgotten to take my pill a few times and have had the same severe reaction each time. I finally figured it out – withdrawal syndrome.

    I googled Cymbalta withdrawal and discovered the huge problem this medication has caused so many people. Long story short, I’m counting the days until this drug is out of my system for good!!!! Since cutting my dosage back over the last 3 weeks I’m already sleeping better and not having night sweats.

    Moving forward, I will definitely listen to my body and not ignore what it’s telling me!!!

    I am having brain zaps and sleeplessness with being on Cymbalta. Doctor has me trying to take it with no other medications and no food for a few days to see if that changes. Now what am I going to do if I have this while on the medication?

    I have been on Duloxetine for about a year and Lyrica for 2. I ran out of refills for my duloxetine and haven’t had any for two days. I’m starting to get dizzy, irritable and short of breath.

    Thanks to this page I know what’s going on. Once I get through this I will stop the Lyrca gradually. I was not aware of the side effects. Both medications were prescribed for neuropathy.

    I have been feeling great using generic Cymbalta…taking care of my farm and rescue animals with no problems for almost 2 years. My mail-order prescription company dropped the ball on auto ship, and I thought no big deal…WRONG! In less than a week, I thought I was losing my mind. Watching TV and every sad and not so sad story had me either in tears or a raging maniac. Stopped caring about anything…felt all of a sudden that life wasn’t worth living. Didn’t know why, thought I’d suddenly lost my mind. Brain jolts, heart pounding, dizzy, ears ringing. Started going over things and remembered I hadn’t taken my Cymbalta in almost a week…BINGO! I got my shipment yesterday, and I don’t know how long it will be before I can even begin to feel any kind of normal again. I am scared spitless that it won’t begin working. This is the scariest thing I have ever, EVER gone thru in my life!! I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy! I am just trying to start taking my regular dose instead of downing the whole damn bottle in desperation and hoping it works within a couple of days! I don’t know how long I can take this!

    I’m stoping duloxetine now and it is awful, I’m more depressed than ever not really sucidial but don’t really care either if something happens like I used to.

    I’ve been cutting by pills back over the last month and don’t really see a end in sight but I’m sure that will come. I can’t sleep, I have night sweats like no other, no energy, no sexual desire, sorta just hope I won’t wake up.

    However, I guess after reading all of these on here, it this might eventually change after f@$kin 18 months. I just want to get back to being productive and achieving goals. Probably like 500 misspellings in this post but hopefully it makes sense. I would suggest never getting on a anti-depression medication. Just go to the gym or something.

    I wish that I could send you a picture of me today as I continue on my quest to detox off of Duloxetine (Cymbalta). I have all the symptoms previously mentioned. I even have been taking a liver detox med to speed up the process. It’s not helping. I am afraid to drive for fear I’ll get in an accident. I think I’ll stick to Tylenol for my arthritis pain even though it doesn’t help much.

    Cymbalta is an evil drug in the same way as is Lyrica. I’ve been on them for 12 years, off label for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. No doctor told me the dangers of staying on Cymbalta so long! It has a ton of side effects for me, but helped pain to some degree. But now it stopped working as well. I refuse to up my dose to keep pace with pain.

    I went online to social media to find out it can cause long term BRAIN DAMAGE!? It muddles your thinking and causes memory loss. I, too, discovered doctors are CLUELESS about detoxing and withdrawal. They all say the same thing— do it in several weeks, stepping down.

    I’ve read horror stories of people getting seizures, hospitalized and getting permanent brain damage from this ill-advised protocol. I didn’t want to pull apart capsules and count 300 BEADS a day for a year. So I found a smart doc in the know who experimented on himself to know first-hand what it was like. He had me do it in 6-week step downs. It will take about 9 months, but no bead counting. Even so, I have insane insomnia, a great deal of pain, and depression doing it. But at least no brain zaps or worse.

    If I had known that I would have heroin-like painful withdrawals from taking Cymbalta, I NEVER would have started! It’s criminal that Lily gets away with off-label prescriptions. There have been class- action suits against them for this. Beware! Take this with eyes open and never for fibromyalgia. Same goes for Lyrica. I’m getting off that as well. It similarly causes heroin-like withdrawals and is taking about a year for me to detox.

    I just started cymbalta for pain aprox 10 days ago. Initially it helped, but after around the 5th day I started having bad stomach pains, nausea, pain came back, etc.. Today is my 1st day off of it, and wow, the withdrawal symptoms: pain on top of pain, exhaustion, sweating, stomach pain etc. And I was not given any warning of such!

    I truly am beginning to believe that the creators of these meds really need to either: a) take a new route and methodology of resolving issues or b) quit trying to get rich off people while making them sicker in the process! What the heck is wrong with these big pharma companies? Are they part of the new world order population control agenda, lol? Anyhow, I absolutely believe they should be held fully accountable for their actions, especially since they have the clinical acknowledgement of such reports! There is no justifiable excuse for such! If I develop even 1 bad adverse effect from this, mark my words, I Will Sue the company. And, indeed, I will Win!

    I am a 32 year old female. I took Cymbalta for over 3 years. I had spent the previous 2 years trying almost every other anti-depressant in existence. Finally, I found Cymbalta. It was the only drug I found effective quickly and had almost no side effects for me.

    I took it without issue until just into my third year when starting to try and conceive, I realized that my libido was not any where close to what it had been 4 years ago. I was only on 30mg of Cymbalta, so I decided to stop my treatment to hopefully regain my libido, and also, for concern of my *hopefully* soon to be pregnancy.

    Immediately after stopping Cymbalta I began to have dizzy spells. The only way I can describe it is my head felt like I had the drunk spins, except instead of spinning everything was moving back and forth. These were really bad for the first 3 days, and I was somewhat crankier thank normal during this time.

    After about a week of not being on Cymbalta, the dizzy spells lessened to only once or twice a day, and I am very tearful. not so cranky and snappy, but now very tearful, and also, since stopping Cymbalta, Adult onset Bed wetting has occurred 3 times in a week. (NEVER happened before in my life). The side effects of coming off do seem to be lessening fairly quickly though, as I can see improvement in just a week.

    I was taking 60 mg of duloxetine for over 2 years for depression, anxiety and neuropathic pain. My doctor moved across the country and insisted I video chat with him once a month in order to renew my script. I found the sessions intolerable at so many levels and we eventually had a falling out over it where he refused to renew the scripts and I was forced to stop cold turkey.

    It has been 4 days and I do have head ringing and a disassociation from particular movements. I’ve been supplementing with CBD tincture and chamomile tea. My moods can foul to anger quite quickly. Didn’t seem so bad until I woke up at 2 am from a sound sleep covered with itchy, burning hives.

    The point is, I am suffering and the last word from my doctor was “good luck” when he refused the renew a medication that has worked very well for me. So much for mental health institutions working for wellness of their patients.

    Hi, I have been on Duloxetine for about 10 months but recently I knew I had to come off it. My attitude was ‘couldn’t give a dam’ about anything. I couldn’t cry either. I decided on a slow withdrawal, or so I thought. I was on 60mg morning & night. I reduced it to zero over a month. Having read articles on your website everything now falls into place. It’s the brain zaps. I have been trying to describe this sensation to others including the hospital, but no one understood me. I have been beside myself thinking that I had a brain bleed or even leading up to a stroke. Your site has put my mind at rest So here’s a BIG THANK YOU from a 60yr old woman in the UK. I hope these withdrawal symptoms end soon :(

    My 3 month excursion of being on this Duloxetine crap under “pain management”!

    1st month: small side-effects, weaker dosage, no biggie. I could handle it. Prescription got upped. (Imagine that!)

    Month 2 was rough, but a lot of storms came rolling through, so kind of hard to lay the blame on this drug. Prescription was upped again.

    After 3 months, I’m barely able to move. Doesn’t help, I think, that I tweaked my back a couple of times, but when I let them know at “pain management” about new pains in old wounds on top of worse symptoms. The “dr” just wanted to up it again, with no questions asked about what I was going through! Seriously, he was in the room for maybe 2 minutes, tops! I walked out & told them to keep their drugs and stopped taking what I still had. 3 days later, I was in the worst pain I’ve been in since my accident 7 years ago!

    Only reason I didn’t/haven’t checked myself into the ER, was because it’s the weekend. (Been there before and not going back if I have a choice in the matter). Meanwhile, I looked this stuff up, and now I don’t know how much pain is real or how much is from detoxing off this garbage!

    I’m now taking my first month’s weaker prescription in hopes to bring the detox down some. IDK if I’ve just weathered the storm, or if it’s actually working, but I DO know that I can’t get this nastiness out of my body soon enough.

    I just started taking Cymbalta yesterday. Took the pill in the morning , but around lunch is when it started . Got extremely tired, started having hot and cold chills, getting shaky, heart felt like it was racing, and tingling in my mouth/tongue along through the whole body . I didn’t take the pill The next day and I am still having the symptoms. Anyone else experience this ??

    Duloxatine was prescribe to me for fibromyalgia. Although it has helped out for most of my pain symptoms. my first bad experience was head explosion. I woke up abruptly to a white flash and loud sound. I explained this to my doctor and she never heard of it.

    I thought I was loosing my mind. My dreams got worse, yelling at nite, fighting in my sleep and last my husband said I literally flew of my bed smacking my head on the side desk as I went down. That’s when I knew. this medication is not for me. Now weaning off it.

    I stop taking Duloxetine after just a few months. I was on it for depression and what I believe is fibromyalgia. I heavilly documented the first week of starting Duloxetine or Cymbalta. At first I had a loss of appetite but that quickly returned to normal. Immediately I noticed that I could not sleep through the night for more than about 20 minutes. I would wake up, then fall back asleep for another few minutes. I was so sweaty all the time I couldn’t leave anywhere without a hair tie, and I felt I was waking up thrashing and drenched with sweat every night.

    I will admit that I felt less depressed although more incapable to express a wider range of emotions. I was stronger in my emotional replies towards other people, meaning that I didn’t take so deeply they’re smart comebacks. I felt less anxious in a variety of situations though overwhelmingly the negative side effects of the sleep and sweat were too much for me to handle so I started progressively tapering off.

    Reading more into it, I don’t see solutions for progressively tapering off properly. I was on only 20 mg of Duloxetine for about 3 months. I have experienced what doctors call vertigo, ended up in the hospital for 8 hours with no explanation as to what I was going through after one month of feeling uneasy. I just hope there is an end in sight soon, as I have had to leave work several times this month because I could not continue to focus nor complete my work properly.

    I was diagnosed with polymialga ( a form of fibromialga) and after a month of suffering and horrible nights where I could barely sleep I caved and decided to take Cymbalta 30mg once a day. I was terrified, I don’t like the idea of pills but I have to say that it has brought my pain down a notch or two and I can sleep finally and for the first time on my side since my shoulders are so painful. I have no side effects from it except loss of appetite which is a good thing for me. I don’t know how long I will be on it but it does scare me when I do go off it eventually.

    Polymyalgia rheumatica and fibromyalgia are 2 different diseases. Fibro is not an auto-immune disease, and affects the nerve cells. I have both of them. Polymyalgia rheumatica is an auto-immune disease that affects the joints. Prednisone does help with the pain for that. Cymbalta does not, and may make you very sick. I would rather have the pain than the side effects & withdrawal symptoms.

    I was started on 20mg of duloxitine 2 months ago for severe anxiety depression and peripheral neuropathy pain caused by chemo. I wish to god I had never taken it if I thought the nausea dizziness tinnitus and all the other side effects were bad when taking it , it is nothing compared to how it makes you feel when you try to come off it.

    I spent Tuesday at 3 a.m. debating as to whether to throw myself off my balcony, obviously I didn’t but it was a serious thought at the time, the nausea,retching and generally feeling like you just want to curl up and die . I have taken antidepressants before and have never had withdrawal issues like this.

    I will never take this drug again and to eventually find out that there is no way that you can really wean yourself off these is disgusting. The manufacturer should be made to take them then try and get off them , what a way of making sure your product will always bring in the dollars.

    I took this drug for nerve pain for nearly two years and it worked really well, when nothing else would. I was on 120 mg a day. Nobody told me if I missed a dose or tried to come off these pills I would feel like I’m dying!! I have very slowly reduced the dose over months, to see if I was painfree without them. I have been off the pills for 8 days now. I have had horrific headaches, nausea, upset tummy, I am itchy, dizziness, tremors and can’t sleep. I wish I had been prewarned!

    Thanks so much for the medical information and other people’s perspectives of trying to come off the drug. I only decided last week to come off the 120mg prescribed for severe anxiety as the side effects are so unpleasant.

    I came on here to look for support and see if anyone else is experiencing the same problems I am; itchy body all over, bursting into tears for no reason, nausea, upset stomach, severe cramps, dizzy spells, pins and needles and total mind blanks.

    It really has been the worst experience and I have decided to use the advice on here by slow withdrawl and removing some of the balls of a 60mg and take every third day as this is now the third week of being in total hell and I’m not coping at all.

    I was prescribed Cymbalta a couple months ago for my anxiety and depression. My doctor won’t ever give me any refills at the pharmacy. She wants me to come in each month and talk to her. And, being a newlywed, I don’t have the money to pay a medical bill every time I need a refill for my depression. I called her on the phone, and she got me the second refill, but still didn’t give me any more. I am not very good at time managing, and I would run out and not realize that I needed to call her or set an appointment. I will run out of it and be out for a few days, and in that few days I become a monster. I am so irritable. Everything makes me so angry that I want to punch something. I feel dizzy randomly, and I haven’t felt the other side effects so far but I become the angriest meanest person on this planet. I get mad at my husband for no reason. Then when I try to figure out why I’m so angry it doesn’t make sense. I have wanted to hurt myself because I have been so angry. I’m not sure what to do. I don’t have money to keep visiting the doctors, but coming off of this medicine is a living hell. I wish I was informed because if I had known I would be the monster it makes me, I wouldn’t come within 100 feet of it. It really helps my depression, but those couple days when I have to fight for a refill are really rough. I don’t want to be on this drug for the rest of my life. i think everyone should be warned before hand.

    Dear Abbie, I feel your pain literally. Due to a severe lack of communication by my doctor, I am currently undergoing cold-turkey withdrawals because my prescription was not refilled. I think this is about Day 5 and I am in the monster phase, too. I can barely keep it together and sometimes I can’t even do that. Like you, I have a hard time with time management and self-care (untreated [thanks for that, too, Doc] ADHD).

    I’m finding a new doctor but the wait to be seen is about 3 months so I will have to play nice for a while. I can’t offer any advice, only my most heartfelt sympathy. I wish I could give you a hug. Please take care and get emergency help if you need it.

    I also have experienced every discontinuation side effect on the list, and I’m still going through it after a week. I assumed that if I weaned off slowly it would not happen but it’s not true. The side effects do happen. Very discouraging, and I hope this ends soon. I was advised to wean off the drug since I didn’t think it was helping me for the chronic pain issues.

    Scary to read these adverse reactions, and I am truly at a loss as to what to think. After trying so many meds without any success, Cymbalta turned my life around, snapped me out of my sucidial depression, and changed everything.

    But now, some issues are comng up that are very troubling:
    I am having vivid violent nightmares, waking up yelling and scaring my partner half to death. She has a look of terror in her eyes I have never seen in her before. She is afraid to be around me. I have little or no memory of these nightmares, but shecan’t forget them!

    I understand this class of drug has helped many and hurt many. What should a doctor think when lots of patients say it has been a huge help, when others say it is horrible? I have no doubt it did help me but, I have gained weight, lost interest in sex, and now have horrible violent vivid dreams. Now what? Where to from here? I don’t ever want my life threating depression to return. It almost killed me. Cymbalta stopped that in it’s tracks,a miracle. Now this. Jonathan

    Oh my gosh I had no idea there were this many discontinuation syndrome side effects! I have taken Cymbalta before, but don’t remember it being this hard to stop. I have been weaning myself off by reducing the amount of the little “balls from inside the capsules, and then taking it every other day for about 2 weeks. When I finally stopped taking it all together, the discontinuation effects didn’t really appear for several days. At first I thought something else was wrong, but after reading these comments I am both frustrated and comforted at the same time. I have experienced almost every one of the discontinuation side effects as those who have already posted here.

    It’s going on two weeks since I’ve taken any, and they’re just as bad as when they first started. Thankfully I have the next 3 days off work, and plan on resting and flushing and doing some moderate exercise. I have noted that my sleep is much much better, but I don’t necessarily feel refreshed and I am certainly very agitated and irritated, especially later in the day. Mornings aren’t too bad, but when stress levels start to build each day is when I noticed a massive increase in those discontinuation side effects. Thank you to all who posted here! I’m going to ride it out and wait it out and definitely consider something different next winter when I treat my seasonal affective disorder. Cymbalta really did work well for me, but I’m not sure if the come down so to speak is worth it.

    I was taking duloxetine on and off for about two months last summer. Doctor prescribed it without telling me anything about side effects. I was sick every day I took it, feeling like a volcano had erupted inside and leaked out my eyes. When I was off a few days, then I realized joint pain was much better. Tried it again in different doses, but still could not tolerate side effects.

    When stopped again, had one or two days of feeling like crying. Then my body or mind was telling me to take it again. Felt like that for several months, but never took another pill. I was fortunate not to have had serious withdrawal symptoms but never again will I take anything the doctor prescribes without researching it first.

    I’m 30 years old, suffer from so much chronic pain, and after all the massages and therapists, I end up with pain management doctor. He gave me cymbalta without telling me what it was. He increased my dose, and honestly my pain didn’t change that much. But I could have slept better.

    When I changed my job and had to wait for my health insurance I had to stop taking it.
    Oh, my Lord, I was crying for no reason, laughing for stupid things so hard until I got stomach pain, having diarrhea, zap in my brain. Then I found out what Cymbalta is!

    As I’m writing this I still have problems and anxiety attacks but I will not take that pill anymore.

    I have been titrating off Cymbalta for only 2 weeks. I have gone from 60mg to 30mg capsules. I became physically sick, nauseated, light-headed. I cry for any reason but the pain in my body has become really bad. So today I decided to take my 60 mg tablet, and I am beginning to feel normal again. Now that I know these awful drugs are what is making me sick and weird, I will not take anymore anti-depressants.

    First of all, I’ve had MS for 27 years. So a lot of these nasty side effects I’m about to tell you confused the heck out of me. I’m not one to “always blame my MS” for things that are strangely going on in my body so I couldn’t tell if these were side effects from Cymbalta or my MS.

    My GP put me on Cymbalta after I was diagnosed with Raynauds syndrome and fibromyalgia. I have NEVER felt pain like that before so my GP said take this, it’s great for fibromyalgia. He made it sound like it’s no big deal (Cymbalta). I was hesitant at first because it’s an antidepressant. I’ve never had any mental health issues so I was scared it would maybe make me depressed or something…well!..I was a raging bi**h on this med. Irritated all the time and found myself being nasty and a little mean. Most were just “thoughts”- nasty and super judgy thoughts about people. So I’m glad I didn’t say most of those thoughts out loud but it still shocked me! I’ve always prided myself with being happy-go-lucky and smiling all the time. Anything and everything makes me happy (Ik, weird but true).

    So I called my Doc and told him I’m done! I’m stopping this horrible drug! He said ok but take one today (I was on 30mg), don’t take one tomorrow and then take one more the following day, and be done. Cool! I was happy to do that. Then the monster came back lol (not really laughing). Whoa! I thought omg what’s happening now? The most severe side effect was the foggy brain, vertigo-type thing going on. And what’s up with the “zapping-flashing” thing in my head?? Did this drug just exacerbate my MS?

    Oh joy…no it’s the side effects from the poison I’ve just stopped taking. I was only on it maybe 40 days but the nausea and brain stuff going on and now eye “weirdness” and eye pain. I can only stare ahead. Can’t move my head or eyes side to side without getting majorly dizzy and almost falling. It seems like every day there’s something new. Will this continue and for how long?? I guess I’ll just ride this out. Wonder how long it will take until I’m back to myself, pain and all?

    So back to Advil. I’ll never take Cymbalta or an antidepressant again. Pain will just be my new normal.
    I wish everyone the best, take care:)

    Duloxatine should be banned

    I have been on Cymbalta 30 mg for my depression/anxiety. It has been an easy transition from the Effexor I was taking, which caused countless side effects and was not helping me at all. The Cymbalta is slightly helping my depression and anxiety. I asked my psychologist if we could bump it up to 60 mg and he agreed. However the increase required a prior authorization from my insurance which took over a week.

    I was without my Cymbalta 30mg for 2 days and I felt awful! I would have to say the nausea was the worst of my problems. I was exhausted but had great difficulty falling asleep. The prior authorization went through and I took my first 60 mg capsule today and the nausea is gone! I do not know how it well Cymbalta will work in the long-run but wanted to share my experience so far. I can also say that my dr went into great detail about the side effects of Effexor. But he gave me no information on the side effects of Cymbalta. Nor did he mention the withdraw complications if I stopped taking the medications abruptly.

    If I could offer one piece of advice to anyone reading this.. please do your research and do what best works for you regarding your mental health. A drug that may not work for one person might be the “miracle” treatment for another. We are all so different and our bodies react differently to everything we put in them. Please do not get scared after reading some of these posts, but rather take them as a cautionary tale as to what could possibly occur. Do your research and listen to your body!

    I’ve been on Cymbalta for about 3 months. I just turned 71. I have severe fibromyalgia & I lost the use of my legs. I’m also bed ridden. At first I thought the Cymbalta was helping the fibro pain a bit. I’m also on Percocet & morphine. Then the side effects kicked in. Mine were not being able to sleep at night and only short naps in the day time. They got unbearable when the muscle jerks began, some light some severe in my arms & legs; the next side effect was my eyes–my vision before was 20/25. It went to being blurred so badly I couldn’t read the closed captioning on the tv & so many things were so blurred I could not see them. My eyes always burned & teared plus I saw no pain relief at all.

    I went against advice & stopped dead, no slowing down or tapering off. It’s going on 5 days now. The muscle jerks stopped & my eyes are almost normal. I never had the diarrhea or vomiting. Come hell or high water I will NEVER go back on that drug again. I don’t know if any other withdrawal symptoms will happen or how long till the ones I have stop but I won’t ever take another Cymbalta again, not ever!!!!!

    I was on paroxetine for about 3 years then my doctor had switched me to duloxentine (cymbalta). For the first couple months on duloxentine my ocd had worsened and on top of that so had my depression and anxiety. I called my doctor to tell her how bad it had made me feel. I had given it about 4 months so I felt like I tried it and it wasn’t going to get better. She took me off of it completely.

    This is my second day off and I feel awful withdrawal symptoms. I can’t stop crying, my mood is completely worse, I felt like I was going to pass out, and spent last night throwing up. On top of all that I have very blurred vision. I called my doctor to tell them of the withdrawal symptoms I was having and to get some help to only be told that there are no withdrawal symptoms from this drug and that they don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m glad there is places to read up on these things to get help when your doctor refuses to help you.

    I’ve been on cymbalta for a little over two months now. When I was prescribed it the Dr told me that he would be surprised if I felt any side effects and it should begin working in a week. He got my hopes up so high. Then when the medication did a mediocre job at assisting my depression, I was kind of concerned. I got into a predicament last night where I need more medication and it’s the weekend so the pharmacy wasn’t open. It’s only been two days without my medication and I already feel like I’m going through withdrawal effects of street drugs. I would’ve never taken it if I had known from the beginning that it does a mediocre job at helping depression and has HORRIBLE withdrawal symptoms. I am upset with my Dr and wouldn’t recommend this drug to anyone, ever.

    I am in the same position as you I’m currently down to two 60mg tablets a week and I know exactly what your going through. I have been on them for 10yrs don’t even know if they really helped to be honest !!!. Keep going you can do it get this horrible stuff out your system. Good luck with you all the way Jo😊

    Have been sick for the past week or so – really bad headaches, nausea, the “head zaps,” etc.
    Been miserable at work so I took vacation for the next three days to rest and hopefully get to feeling better. Today I realized I’d been out of my Duloxetine (Cymbalta) since about the time I started feeling like this. Due to financial difficulties, I wasn’t able to refill it when I ran out. Today, I’ve got the money and will be getting it refilled now. Hopefully, I’ll be feeling better soon and no matter what, will not be running out again.

    I have been on Cymbalta for 10-plus years. I was taking 30 mg in the morning and 60 at night. First I decreased my dosage by 30 mg at night, and almost a month ago I backed off another 30 mg. I only take 30 in the morning now. I am having terrible withdrawal symptoms. Actually, I was having brain zaps before backing off this last 30 mg. I am no longer having brain zaps but I am having extreme spine pain, numbness in the lower part of my legs. I feel that there is a cloud of Doom hanging over me that I can’t quite shake and extreme fatigue. I sleep until 2 in the afternoon so my days are shot before I even get out of bed. Then I can’t sleep at night.

    I am not suicidal and would never act on it but I do have suicidal thoughts. I am so tired I have lost interest in everything that has brought me joy. After reading so many stories of others going through the same things, I do have hope that this will be over eventually. The last 30 mg I will go off a few beads at a time to avoid going through this horrific withdrawal again. I actually broke down and took 30 mg three nights ago because I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I really don’t want to do that again because I want this stuff out of my body. I’ll stick with it but I have to say that getting off Cymbalta is extremely, extremely difficult. My doctor told me that it has helped a lot of people but I was having side effects that are the same or similar to the withdrawal symptoms. The terrible nightmares I suffered for years have stopped since I am down to only 30 mg a day now. The night that I went ahead and took another 30 mg, I had a nightmare.

    I’ve been working through the withdrawal of cymbalta for over 3-1/2 years. Was at 120mg (yes, that much) and now am hopefully just about done as I just started alternating 10mg a day, then skip a day. I also never did any weaning in the late fall through winter per my doctors recommendation.

    My concern now is I’m experiencing more aches & pains in my arms, neck and legs even though I’m very active. Although I started on cymbalta due to depression, maybe it’s been treating pains that I never knew I had?

    If your doctor doesn’t give you guidance on how to reduce in a very slow, methodical way, see about finding another doctor. My doctor is an integrative medicine doctor, so has recommended some supplements to help with the cymbalta weaning, but most of all she wants me to feel good.

    I’ve been on this drug for over 15 years…first prescribed by a psychiatrist, but I stopped counseling and only went to him for med checks. Every time I said I felt kind of “flat”, he upped the dosage…which is how I got to 120mg.

    I have had several different antidepressants prescribed for me over the years for seasonal depression. Cymbalta is by far the worst I have ever taken. I stopped taking it three weeks ago, after only taking it for a period of 35 days. I have never experienced withdrawal like I have from Cymbalta. Night time sweats, I have to get out of bed and change my pajamas, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, irritability, sexual dysfunction, feeling like I am a zombie.

    This medication is absolutely the worst I have ever taken, and as it has already been stated, if you call the manufacturer, they tell you they have not received any relevant complaints about this medication, typical lies that seem to be the norm for these drug companies.

    Hasn’t this company noticed that a few people have taken their own lives from the horrible effects of this medication. How can our government, and the manufacturer deny any allegations, and the reported horrible side effects from this medication. How may people have to die before something is done, this medication should not be prescribed, it is absolutely the worst antidepressant on the market.

    I totally agree with you. It should be banned.

    To anyone who is trying to discontinue Cymbalta for any reason: PLEASE do not quit cold turkey or quit quickly! The physical pain and discomfort as well as the emotional hell you will go through is not worth it. For those who are not lucky enough to have few to no side effects coming off, well, so happy for you. But that is a minority for sure. Even though we want to get off this drug as quickly as possible, the easiest way is slowly – listen to your body – it will let you know if you are going off too fast. I open the capsules and reduce the amount by 10% per month which works for most people. I keep a log of how many little balls I take out of each capsule and over the period of a month, slowly reduce by 10% and have few side effects. Please refer to the website “Cymbalta hurts worse” it has great info and great support. Good luck to all!

    I ran out of Cymbalta due to a mix-up in refill requests, and was off my medications for five days. The effects were severe. I dealt with everything on the list in this article. Every time I moved my head, I felt like my brain was being left behind, and then it would snap back into place. MY head ached all the time, I couldn’t sleep, and I was exhausted constantly. I broke up with my partner of almost two years, because my anxiety was so high that I didn’t know what else to do and could not comprehend anything other than leaving him. I was irritated by everything, snapped at everyone, and now that I’m finally back on my meds, I have to figure out how to fix all the messes made by the side effects I dealt with.

    Thank you SO much for your post! After 5 yrs on Cymbalta under a pain mgmt doctor, I wanted to get off of it. They had me 1/3 my dose then go off in four weeks. I thought I was going a bit crazy, the physical feelings & overwhelming gloom are terrible! After two weeks and 3 doctors I found one who told me to do this yesterday. He put me back on a low dose opening the capsule. I am not sure if it’s enough, I am not crying all day now but the rest of the symptoms are still there.

    The doctor told me this was a huge problem and most doctors don’t know anything about it. Everyone sharing their joirney really helps!

    I am highly skeptical about the off market studies and would ban off usage. I also don’t think doctors inform people at all or properly before putting them on this. I can’t see anyone agreeing to be put on it when it’s this terrible trying to stop taking it.

    I have been off since last wed. I’m seriously going crazy. Crying, yelling at my kids. Not sure if I should tough it out or take a pill every other day. I have so much going on, a trip Friday, my son’s graduation next weekend. I’m beside myself and need some advice. Go back on every other day, open capsules and count beads, or stick with staying off them. Did I mention I’ve been weaning done since march an only was on 20mg! Glad I know I’m not going crazy…sounds like we are all in the same boat. Need advice quickly.

    I have been on Cymbalta for 10 years and tried to wean myself off it. I was an emotional wreck! I cried, could feel my eyeballs move, had brain zaps, dizziness, and so many other things. While off for the few weeks that I was off it, I decided it wasn’t worth it, so started back up again. I thought that I’d still be depressed without it because of the crying jags I was on while not taking it.

    It has worked for me for the reason it was prescribed–severe depression. I have been a different person than I was without it. I agree, it makes me want to sleep 14-16 hours a day, makes (made) me sweat like crazy, but my anxiety and depression have basically disappeared. Now that I’m older (66) the sweating has gone away…….they say when you get old, you get cold, so I’ve gone from sweating to wearing a sweater!

    I guess it would take a coma to get me off this drug. It truly is an EVIL drug. But, at this stage in my life, I don’t think I can handle the side effects again.

    I removed 7 more balls from the capsule each day . It did help with side effects. Today is 2nd day without anything. I do have brain shivers and dizziness and nausea. I am also tired.

    I have been on Cymbalta for several years to help with neuropathy due to multiple sclerosis. My neuropathy was getting better so I asked my neurologist if I could discontinue Cymbalta 60 mg. I started by decreasing the number of little pellets in the capsule. I am now off it, but am weepy which is not like me. I have also been getting the brain zaps, but I think that is from MS. For those trying to go off listen to your body and keep track of feelings so you know what might be happening. Good luck

    I have been taking 60 mg/day Duloxetine for approximately 8 months. It seemed to stop working for me so I decided to quit cold turkey after reading hundreds of comments about tapering off slowly vs. abruptly. It’s been four days, and so far so good. Just feeling a bit tired, but I get tired taking it anyway. Maybe it will get worse, but I wanted to share my success so far!

    I have been on Cymbalta 120 mg for three years. Two weeks ago my physician decided that it wasn’t helping my major depression. I took 60 mg of Cymbalta the next week, and 0 mg this week. I have experienced nausea, extreme fatigue, trembling, and fluid retention in my legs and feet. Today I was very sad. While on Cymbalta I had fatigue, fogginess, lack of interest in activities, tinnitus, dry mouth, and a 60 lb weight gain. I’m not taking another Cymbalta capsule if I can tolerate the withdrawal symptoms.

    I was prescribed Duloxetine by a neurologist for post-concussion headaches. I was only on the drug for 6 weeks (60mg per day) and still had the headaches along with side effects so I wanted to come off it. GP advised 2 wks on half the dose, then stop. I felt awful, lethargic, nauseous, and the brain zaps were brutal, never felt anything like them. These issues need to be highlighted more & GPs need to have a better understanding & strategy for stopping the drug.

    I had no idea Cymbalta was used for pain relief. 2 days ago I quit cold turkey. I went from taking 120mg for years, halved it to 60mg for 2 weeks, and now nothing. The current experience is not pleasant, but it’s also not terrible. I’ve had brain zaps before when I’ve forgotten or stopped medication, but I’m not having them now. That said, I feel a vibration through parts of my body every now and then. Concentration isn’t going too well, but I’m going to try and sleep through a lot of the issues. Alcohol doesn’t help, but I’m not gonna stop that either!

    I’ll give myself a weak to see how things go – if I’m still feeling like this (which is admittedly pretty low-grade, symptom wise), I’ll go see a doc.

    It works like a dream on nerve pain, but it comes at a high cost. Shit load of side effects, and it was easier for me to come off of Benzos and opiods. Withdrawal can cause serious suicidal ideation.

    My doctor took me off Mobic because of the possible side effects to my esophagus and started me on Duloxetine. I was supposed to take 2 capsules a day but I could not stay awake at all with 2 so I cut it back to 1 after a few days. In the last 6-8 months that I have been taking it, I have gained almost 30 lbs for no apparent reason. My husband said I am not eating more than I usually do, that he doesn’t understand this weight gain any more than I do. I can’t stop it.

    Also, I have almost given up doing anything except sitting on the couch. My house was always very clean, I am always organized. Now, I’m embarrassed about the condition of my home- all I want to do is sit or sleep. The fact that this drug may cause weight loss was in 3 to 4 places in the literature- almost like they were advertising this fact. I had to dig deep in to the list of side effects to find anything about weight gain and when I did, it was way at the bottom of the article AND listed as a common side effect in 1% to 10% of users. Now, after reading about withdrawals, I’m really nervous about stopping it.

    I have been on Cymbalta for 3 yrs for Fibro. I am on a fixed income and can’t afford to take them any more. I am also going through menopause. I have discs in lower back that are very painful. I am 56.

    I have been off Cymbalta for about three weeks or a little more. It’s horrible: the brain zaps and have no energy. I hurt all over. I am angry for no reason, and I cry on and off. Oh, and no sex drive. My husband doesn’t realize what I am going through. I can’t wake up and am always tired, no energy, sluggish. Pls don’t do it this way. It’s horrible.

    Had muscle spasms in my back so bad that for a couple days, I could not stand up straight. Hang in there. It has been a little over three weeks since I stopped. I was on Duloxetine for 10 yrs. I have been sick ! It is getting better but that is not saying much.

    Hi. I’ve been on Duloxetine for chronic pain for 2 years. I’ve tried numerous different medications but none completely eased my pain which is in my head. I was referred to a local pain clinic and have been taught to self-hypnotise for my pain. This works very well for me. I have decided that I would now like to start to reduce the amount of Duloxetine I take daily (120mg). My doctor was very helpful and suggested a reduction of 20mg a day for one month and to report back to him after that time. I’ve read the comments on here with much interest. Just wanted to let everyone know that there are doctors who are on the ball and that there are other treatments for crippling chronic pain. Good luck everyone.

    If I miss a pill of Duloxetine, by the afternoon I start to feel clammy, cold, and anxious. I have nightmares and wake up drenched in sweat. Then for the next day I have low grade constant anxiety. Does this happen to anyone else?

    I’ve been on Duloxetine for many years. I ran out this week and put my repeat prescription in on Wednesday,due to the weekend, I cannot pick it up til tomorrow (Monday).

    So this is only day 5 without it (now Sunday), and all ‘coming off’ side affects have already set in. I’ve been laid up yesterday and today, only getting up to vomit.

    Reading this site is very helpful, I now know why I feel so dreadful. I’d never heard of the head-zaps before, but I’ve certainly got them already. And they’re unbearable. Even writing this is incredibly difficult, as I appear to have gone completely dislexic over night.

    I will get my scrip tomorrow, and do as advised here on the page by K.T., and wean off very slowly- thank you for the advise.

    I have borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder, along with the other diagnosis of major anxiety and depression. I’m on several medications that have done wonders for me, especially the 450 mg of Wellbutrin.

    I had been on Cymbalta for a year. My doctor had slowly been reducing it because he told me that he doesn’t know why the psych doctor that I was going to had prescribed this. bHe said it’s generally not used for my 2 major psychological disorders. Two weeks ago I went from 60mg down to 30mg which is the normal step-down. He prescribed the 30mg for only 10 days. My last dosage was last Thursday 3/29/18.

    By the weekend I started to feel tired and unmotivated which is exactly what my Wellbutrin is for and thought to myself !#@#$, “I hope the med didn’t suddenly stop working!” By Monday the lightheadedness started in as well as feeling dizzy but not like what I thought dizziness should feel like. It’s like sudden waves of dizziness, several times in one minute. It’s like closing my eyes halfway and feeling a wave of dizziness and drowsiness but I’m not closing my eyes, my eyeballs are moving to the left or right and giving me that feeling.

    It’s hard to explain without going into a BPD fit about how I can’t explain it well enough for other people to understand it like I do. (If you have BPD, you’ll understand that fit). So today is Wednesday, and I don’t feel any better, and I don’t want to drive although I have to. There are so many individuals that have come off it but all of them have different recovery times. I’m hoping this will only be for another week or so instead of anywhere from a month to several months to a year that I’ve heard about.

    So I wish you all luck on your recovery and hope that luck will help me too.

    Hi, my name is Andreia. I want to ask if anyone has experienced tinnitus (ringing in the ears) with Cymbalta (duloxetine) and if it eventually goes away. How long for this to stop after you take the last pill? I take my last pill for about 7 days and still have ringing in my left ear, how long do I have to wait for this nightmare to end? I did my research about this issue every single and find some people that stopped taking this medication and the ringing in the ears went away, is this true? I really need an answer? Can someone give me an answer please? Thank you all. Hang in there, it can be done.

    Yes, I have had constant ringing in my ears. I’m currently going through Cymbalta withdrawal and having lots of trembling, fatigue, nightmares, nausea.

    Please do not go through a sudden withdrawal. I changed psychs as the one I had been seeing did not listen to me and the Duloxetine had no effect on my depression or severe pain. I was on 60mgs daily which he reduced to 30 mgs ( I had previously decreased myself from 180 ) for one week and started me on Sertraline 50mgs at the same time assuring me the withdrawal symptoms, if any, would be very mild. True. I have noticed my muscles are tender, feeling warmer and a bit sweaty at night and vivid dreams, not the nightmares I had but rather pleasant ones. I am only one week since stopping so I fully expect these to improve with time. However non of the horror effects you are describing. Life is tough enough for depressives without going through the horror you are describing.

    I’ve been on 60mg Cymbalta for over a year now. In that time I’ve gained about 60 pounds. I have a lot of fatigue in the mornings, usually to the point that I have to take a nap from 9 AM to 11 AM. I still feel tired the rest of the day, but I can function. Another big side effect is that I feel hot all the time, even in cold weather, and I sweat a lot. I often have vertigo when I get up from sitting as well.

    The Cymbalta has deadened my negative and suicidal thought patterns to a certain extent, but at the cost of making it hard to read or do anything that requires mental focus. I also crave sweets and junk food constantly.

    I’m going to try getting off this with my doctor’s help. I would really advise people to pass on trying this. I just don’t think the side effects are worth the dubious level of relief from depression and anxiety.

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