The People's Perspective on Medicine


Cymbalta is an antidepressant used for treating major depressive disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

It is also prescribed to manage pain resulting from fibromyalgia, as well as for diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain. 

Full prescribing information is available at:

Check out Wikipedia for more user-friendly information: 

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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I was just prescribed a 30mg once a day for fibromyalgia and after reading these comments,I will not be taking any of this medication.

I decided to stop this drug Duloxetine. I have been on it at 40mg a day for a year for depression and help with MS, urgency, incontinence, and pain.

Withdrawal is currently giving me the brain zaps, sore eyes, anxiety, heart palpitations, flu-like feelings, stiff aching body, dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, strange sensations that come and go (which I initially thought were MS related), am tearful, panicky, irritable, angry, feeling out of it, have hot sweats, and head spins when I move my eyes, or body, and these are just some of the main effects.

I wish I hadn’t started the drug but at the time I couldn’t stop crying and was diagnosed with clinical depression. It did help the tears dry up but I think it only fogged out reality. I struggled to get out of bed and felt soulless, just a husk.

I look forward to this leaving my system, but wonder just how long this will take. I don’t want to leave the house, as I feel too weird with it all. I initially felt much brighter, creative, in touch with living again as I reduced the dosage, so things looked good, but then it’s been up and down ever since. So now I am off it completely.Keep repeating to myself “this too will pass.” Please, “everyone,” try something more natural to help you, don’t take this.

I have been taking Cymbalta to treat depression & fibromyalgia pain for about 5 years. Last year I tried to go off (with doctors permission) but I couldn’t handle the withdrawal and went back to full dosage after just a few days. Doctor and I decided to try weaning me off again.

It has been a month since I started only taking half of my normal dose and now a few days of taking only 20mg. Just wanted to say that this has been the most horrible experience. First I felt very physically ill with nausea, brain zaps, dizziness, malaise. Then I had panic attacks and general anxiety. Now I have moved on to full blown depression. I am known as a “sweet” person but I have become hostile and mean. I know this is the medication withdrawal but my thinking is so clouded. Doctor has advised I take a leave of absence from work to get through this. This medicine helped me with my pain and I didn’t really have anything bad to say about it until I tried to stop taking it.

I’ve been on 30mgs of Cymbalta for depression and pain and I like it I have some light headedness very mild once in a while and loss of appetite, little constipation but mostly regular several movements a day. All in All I feel better and have lost weight my pain has become a lot less than I have experienced in the past. With a cup of coffee in the morning. Cymbalta works for me. I don’t even need the Wellbutrin I used to take to counteract the stuck feeling I used to get.

I have had major life changes in the past 12 months and finally got into see a psychiatrist. I have been on Wellbutrin, Paxil and Lexapro but he prescribed me Cymbalta yesterday. I haven’t started to take it yet, it’s 60mgs once daily and after reading all this I am terrified to start it. I am also on high doses of Xanax and a painkiller for my chronic pain after spine surgery. Suggestions? Nothing sounds too positive, he said it would also help with my pain… I’ve been through withdrawal a few times and obviously trying to avoid it again! Feedback???

I have been on Cymbalta a couple of years. Last year, my doctor added Bupropion SR. So far, this combo has been working well for me. However, the excessive sweating side effect is about to get the best of me. It really makes me think twice about doing things socially which is not good.
Is there any solution to this problem? When I say excessive sweating, an example is sitting in a meeting with sweat running down my neck and in my ears and finally leaving when it starts to run down my face. It’s not pretty. HELP!!!!

I took 30 mg. of Cymbalta for nearly a year for moderate depression due to ongoing physical health issues and some personal issues. Feeling I was better and tired of the constipation, dry mouth and feeling ‘anxious’ a lot of the time, I decided to wean off of it.
It’s been 2 mos. now and I don’t know if it’s still withdrawal side effects or depression coming back but I feel so depressed off and on and my colon has either ‘wakened’ up after the constipation issues, or something else is going on, because right after I eat I have bouts of running to the bathroom.
One doctor commented, on another website, that taking 30 mg was like taking a ‘placebo’ and one needed to take a higher dose to benefit from it. Does anyone here agree with that? Well, I did benefit in that my depression left for the most part, while taking it (placebo or not), but since I’ve been off, I feel these side effects and wonder if, since some think it’s a ‘placebo’, if I’m just fooling myself thinking it’s due to withdrawal. Comments please.

Had a horrible time on Cymbalta. This drug does nothing for fibromyalgia pain. It made me feel like a zombie, no energy, no motivation, and insomnia too. The worst thing was stopping the drug; it does NOT leave your system in a few weeks like they say.
Anxiety, insomnia, panic, dizziness, increased pain, etc. Read Dr. Breggin: Your Drug May Be Your Problem! All doctors should be required to spend a few years trying different antidepressants – just to see what it’s like! Why not, if they’re so good for you, so harmless? The way doctors hand them out to everyone else with no screening tests, why shouldn’t they take them – to help with the stress of medical school?

Anxiety nausea panic attacks tiredness fear tearfulness insomnia anger irritability horrific nightmares no patience pins n needles had to constantly phone cpn and nhs 24 couldn’t come off it to try something else. Was feeling really scared. duloxetine makes me feel really tired no motivation and I’ve never been so fat.

Has anyone had these problems while taking Cymbalta:
Weight gain? Cramps or pain in lower leg (specifically when hiking up a gradual slope). I’ve had such intense pain in my calves I felt like I was going to vomit. I had to stop every few steps until I reached the top. No trouble going down.

Gail, do what is necessary to not go on Cymbalta. I am a new peoples pharmacy online community blogger and just left a comment on their blog re:cymbalta.

I took a high dose of Cymbalta for 5 years — am 6 weeks into getting off it. Why? my new insurance policy does not pay for it, at $131/month I cannot afford it. After being on other anti-depressants, it was the perfect drug for all my symptoms. Things at work are not good- I feel it may be because of my emotional changes – I question every emotion and behavior action I make. It is very stressful!
What next? — some over the counter supplements, nutrition supplements to help me get through this. Prayer.

I have been taking Cymbalta for a year and a half after having taken the other drugs for years, Prozac, Paxil, etc.. I am taking it for generalized anxiety disorder, but I really can’t tell whether it is helping me at all. I feel no different taking it or not taking it for several days. I have decided to cut down to 10mg./day rather than 20mg. that my doctor prescribes. I don’t know if I would be able to get off of it completely because I have been afraid to try. The drug that really helps me is the generic of Ativan, which can cut off a major panic attack within an hour or two. I always joke with my husband by asking him, “Who needs medications more, psychiatrists or their patients?” Our answer is always the psychiatrists, because they don’t have any clue how to deal with patients without the meds.

Totally agree with Steven- and I wish that I had taken my doctors advice and taken a few weeks off on disability to see if the med was going to be the right one for me. What it did was to get me sleep deprived so that I made a totally unintentional mistake at work. NOT GOOD. I got fired AND my employers told unemployment that I was guilty of “misconduct” so I didn’t get unemployment.
Review your situation- maybe you don’t really need meds at all- just a less depressing job!! Good luck to all

I’m glad it’s helping Christine out, but unless it absolutely is a last resort, and actually makes a huge, positive difference, STAY AWAY!
This is a nasty, far too readily prescribed drug, and many thousands of people have had seriously awful side effects, the worst coming when they’ve tried to stop taking this stuff….
I’d advise doing a little googling, about Cymbalta side effects, as there are entire websites full of people very sorry they ever saw this drug….

I have been on duloxetine for about a year. I have multiple sclerosis and it helps with the burning sensations I get all over. Like being burned with an iron that never stops burning. The duloxetine did not take it away completely, but it made it much more tolerable.

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