Cymbalta Withdrawal Only Exists On Message Boards

May 27, 2010 — 269 Comments

Earlier I had written a post titled Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms Suck where I had gone on a rant of all the shitty Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms I was feeling. To my surprise, that post became very popular and a lot of people have weighed in about their experience while weening off Cymbalta.

I am now completely off of Cymbalta and haven’t had any Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms for a couple of months. I do however, relive my experience every time I read a new comment posted on my Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms article. Sometimes people have questions about certain withdrawal side effects which I don’t have answers to so I’ll try to look something up on line…that’s not easy.

Where Is All The Info?

It seems that Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms only exist on message boards and blogs. Other than that the only cautionary warning is to not stop taking Cymbalta without consulting your physician. If you enter the term Cymbalta withdrawal in a search engine you will see that the top results are message boards.

Just try and find some site actually associated with the pharmaceutical company listed…you won’t. That is completely shocking to me. It is a fact that Cymbalta is causing moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms in people yet the company doesn’t feel that it’s necessary to address this?

Take A Closer Look

Even scarier than the number of message boards and comments being left by people suffering Cymbalta withdrawal is what is actually being said in these comments. There people who have been going through Cymbalta withdrawal for up to 3 weeks just crying out for help from anyone.

A common theme in these messages about Cymbalta withdrawal is that the people suffering are not getting the help they need. They are either going to there doctor and being told that they are being “extra sensitive” about what they are going through which is magnifying the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms. Or they are being told that Cymbalta does not cause withdrawal symptoms.

I have over 80 comments on my Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms Suck post and out of those 80 there are about 2 people that were taken seriously by their doctor about the withdrawal symptoms they were experiencing. In those cases the doctors either changed the rate of the tapering schedule the patient was following or got them on a supplement routine that would replace what their body was now lacking due to the withdrawal.

It just seems like Cymbalta is being prescribed more and more for not only depression and anxiety but now also for diabetes nerve pain. People find, after taking this drug for sometimes only a few months, that it is no longer serving the purpose it was intended for. Instead of being able to quickly taper down they are now stuck taking Cymbalta for months and months after it is needed just to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms.

I Gotta Do SOMETHING

I read this stuff and it makes me crazy. But then I say “what can I do?”. Not much actually. Along with keeping this topic in the spotlight on my site I decided to create and online petition which I will be sending to Eli Lilly at the end of 6 months. I strongly urge (and beg you) to please sign my Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms online petition. As of writing this article I have one signature and it is my own. Come on…be a pal!

269 responses to Cymbalta Withdrawal Only Exists On Message Boards

  1. It is so good to read these posts and know I’m not totally crazy. I have the exact same symptoms when I just miss 1 dose. I have the most bizarre dreams, terrible night sweats, extreme light-headedness, dizziness, etc. I’m scared to go off because I seriously don’t think I could function.

    • It’s great to have found this blog. I am “weening” off cymbalta under direction of a physician and haven’t felt so awful in my life. I’ve had night sweats since being on cymbalta and have been diagnosed as “pre-menopausal” although i’m 39. I’m having the nausea, stomach upset, anxiety, dizziness and brain flashes that have been talked about here. It’s nice to know there is a reason for feeling like this and that it does get better. Thanks so much to you all.

    • I went through Cymbalta withdrawal. It was a nightmare. Presently, my lawsuit will be filed very soon…next 10 days probably. There are at least (guess estimate) 1,000 lawsuits being filed. Call 1800-709-8978 , Pogust Braslow & Millrood . (2) 1-800-827-0087
      Braum Hedlund. Look up their name, Google attorneys, fill out the information form and submit. Then call them..Don’t worry about your Statute of Limitations (2 years)…talk to attorneys’ about that…..Pass the word…

      • i have tried three times to taper off of cymbalta, i had to continue taking the lowest dose of 30 mg to not get vertigo, now if im late taking it(830 a.m) by 11 i have vertigo, doctor finally gave me something for it(another pill) so i now feel like i can never stop taking it, it does help with the low/manic states i go into but i hate feeling trapped

    • I said the same exact thing! I thought I was crazy!

  2. I feel so much better mentally now that I have been off for about 5 weeks. I can think straight with no fuzziness that I used to have. Also I don’t fight sleepiness while driving although im back to my natural insomnia but thats normal for me. I have to deal with a wider ranges of emotions that cymbalta dulled but thats okay. I am up for it now. Still have joint pain and I lose my balance once in awhile but I’m hoping that mig C ht get better with weight loss.

    • I began a taper off 60mg of Cymbalta in August due to the doctors finally agreeing with me that my frequent hospitalisation for Atrial Fibrilation MIGHT be caused by this anti depressent. One year on this drug did do wonders for my depression and anxiety but oh brother, what a tangled mess it left with side effects. After three weeks on 30 mg and suffering for the first two weeks with ALL the usual problems I ended up in hospital again with AF. It’s fair to say I got really pissed off and threw my Cymbalta away. Now I am three weeks into sudden withdrawal and have the sence that I am not depressed or anxious but adrenalin courses through my veins and it’s very unpleasant. The unreal feeling of being highly stressed without having any reason.I have developed lower limb and hands fingers feet and toe pains that are very extreme and hard to manage. Some palpitations but not as many as I used too and my heart no longer races at night waking me up. All the rest including body zaps which are settling, headaches which are also settling. Brain pain which come and goes. Libido shot. Sudden loose bowels which can be unpleasntly exciting.. Then I had a sudden unexplained breakdown last night. I have been taking omega 3 and vitamins and pain killers (paracetamol) and have started to diet. My weight fluctates wildly but overall I am gaining rapidly and my blood sugar has gone through the barrier and maybe I am now diabetic. Test next week. I wonder how long this shit will last? NEVER GIVE IN!……Have started on St Johns Wart to see if that helps. I am guessing this may take months.

      • I was on that stuff for 2yrs.By the 3rd day of backing down on mg,i was hurting so bad.Then brain fog,well i was back to 20yrs ago when i first got sick,cfs then fib.Its been 2yrs off of it and i still not right.Dr.got me off of it by putting me on prozac 2x a day.I’m still working on getting back before the Hell drug!!

      • see my comment under Cindy. February 4, 2015

  3. Actually, from re reading all the posts I think that most people may start to feel ok in about the 6 to 10 week range. Some earlier. Some longer.

    • Mal,
      I am worried that you went off so suddenly. Are you working with a doctor since then?
      I too consider myself independant and all but sometimes… I am wishing you a better recovery my friend!

      Reading your post I was reminded of the limb and digit numbness I used to have and the headaches. I think most my worst withdrawals symtpoms are gone and I am left with a 50 year old body that needs TLC and lots of patience 🙂

    • I found that I felt awesome at 10 weeks. For some reason at 16 weeks I went through a horrible depression. I cried everyday for over a month. I was never that bad before I started CYmbalta. It could have been due to my kids were in school full time, I lost my job, my back is still in horrible pain, and we have 2 kids (8, boy and 6, girl) sharing a room in our 2 bedroom house. Also, our house has depreciated so much that we won”t be able to move for probably 10 years. I bought my house 14 years ago and it is now worth less than what I paid for it. At least we can afford out mortgage though. Sorry for the babbling.
      Anyway, the St John really helped. I was taking 3 times a day for about 2 weeks and it worked. I had to stop because we just found out that we are pregnant. SURPRISE!!!!! IUD is not that reliable. Anyway, we are happy about this. The baby will have to sleep in my dresser drawer. Lol
      The one thing about the St John Wort is that there was no withdrawal when I stopped 2 weeks ago. I have been a little moody, but I chalk that up to the pregnancy. I rather take something natural that if I miss a dose my head doesn”t start spinning.
      Good luck, you”re not alone.

      • Mal the Oldfart October 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm

        Thanks Mike and Laura,

        Yes Mike, I am seeing my doctor and have a back up plan but like most doctors he does not believe that Cymbalta withdrawal is what we all know it to be. He is a good man and I have known him for 30 years. He just believes what the drug companies tell him, I guess . I know what you mean about an old body needing TLC and patience!

        Maybe I just bottomed out or it’s all in the mind but I swear after one day on St John’s wart I feel better. Much better. Laura, I think you have done really well. Good luck with everything.

        Keep smiling and try to see the funny side of life.

        CYMBALTA MAl the OLDFART.

        🙂

        • Another week later and I am really struggling with the anxious feelings that i have no reason for. Snapped a cuppla times….poor wife and son. Going on a road trip to get away for a few days. A break for everyone. Well, 4 weeks down tomorrow and looking forward to some relief in the next cuppla weeks. Pains in the lower arms legs fingers and feet persist but seem to be better at times…..driving me nuts…as if i wasn’t :). Palpitations almost gone? headaches managaeable now. Blood sugar through the roof. Walking 30mins daily. Good for everything. Really, just the damn anxiety thats grinding me. If it was better the pain would be easier to take. Will post again in a week.

          Mal

          • I’ve been coming off of 30 mg Cymbalta for 2 months now and am only 1/2 off of it. So many problems. The anxiety started out of nowhere after well into the withdrawal and I’m on klonopin everyday so I can’t imagine what it would be like if I wasn’t. I have been tapering by emptying the capsule and staying at same dose for a while then emptying more, etc. My doctor suggested taking 1/2 of my remaining 1/2 dose in the morning and the rest at night. I don’t sleep but the anxiety is much less of a problem because it evens out the amount in my bloodstream (Cymbalta has a very low half life which makes it hell for some to get off of). My daughter’s psychiatrist said it is one of the worst out there (I take it for pain but decided to get off to see if my cholesterol would go down since increased cholesterol can be a side effect and I didn’t feel it was helping much anyway). He does prescribe Prozac to his patients and after 2 weeks on it they wean off of Cymbalta much easier and then wean off Prozac once done which is much easier than weaning directly off of Cymbalta. I don’t tolerate Prozac so decided not to try it. I think primary care physicians who prescribe these meds don’t know how bad they can be for some people to get off of. My doctor didn’t even warn me to go VERY slowly, just said not to quit all at once. Here I am after 2 months just getting over severe anxiety while on anxiety meds and I’m only 1/2 way off of the Cymbalta. Lost tons of weight since I haven’t been able to eat much due to nausea and then the anxiety (stomach in knots). Good luck – might try splitting your remaining dose if you’re still having problems or anybody else dealing with anxiety (I’d wake up with an anxiety attack when that symptom started).

          • see my comment under Cindy…posted February 4, 2015

          • I was experiencing anxiety on such a high level that I was almost deemed incapable of taking care of my son. Bright lights bothered me, noises aggravated me and even foods I had eaten a million times before, I now thought were going to spark up an allergic reaction! I thought I was going insane. It has been two years now and it’s better but it took a while, maybe 6 months or so. You will be okay. Breath and if you haven’t been yet, go to the Doctor’s again…DEMAND help! They are well aware that there has been cymbalta class action suits and that this is a very real thing!

      • Wow, I am back to this site and glad for it because I have been soooo depressed this past week. I was thinking that it was how I am when off meds but then Laura – you mentioned the same thing. Most if not all other Cymbalta symptoms seemed gone but I alternate between crying and anxiety. Also, I forgot when I went off and was able to look back to my first posting and can say its been about 12 weeks or more.

        Thing is, like you I have legitimate situational things beyond my control and I am perimenopausal so I cannot figure out what it what. I think I need to take something if I am going to make it through menopause. Anyone else have suggestions?

  4. Mal, I’m sorry you’re still struggling. I’m finally over it all but it took a good month to 6 weeks. I lost track. I’m “drug free” other than ativan at night and the odd zopiclone for sleep but at least I know exactly where I’m at. Which isn’t a great place, but better that than doped up or withdrawing. I started taking magnesium citrate – 300mg in the a.m. and 300mg in the p.m. – yesterday after doing a bunch of reading on the internet about antidepressants as I almost went on fluoxetine because the past few weeks have been nothing but tears and suicide thoughts. I don’t know if its a coincidence, but I had a fabulous sleep, anxiety is almost nill and I just feel a bit better all around. Magnesium plays a huge role in our muscle function, among other things, so it might help with relaxing you and maybe (MAYBE) with the pain. I don’t know. But it doesn’t come with any side effects, so I’m going to see what its like.

    Good luck to all of you.
    barb

  5. I started Cymbalta 4 yrs ago for Fibromyalgia. I have suffered horrendous hot flashes,night sweats,electrical kind of tingling down my arms and the top of my head, which all Dr’s attributed to Menopause. On 10/6/11 I asked my Dr to wean me off Cymbalta in my own desperation to figure out the real underlying cause of my unbearable symptoms. Within approximately four days of being cut from 60mg to30mg per day ALL my sweating and tingling STOPPED!!! COMPLETELY!!! On 10/20/11 I began decreasing to 30mg every other day….WELLLLLL….now I have diarrhea, vomitting, irritable bowel, and basically feel like crap. It used to be HORRIBLE when I would exercise…DRENCHED! But now, doing the same exercises, I am barely sweating. I can’t hardly leave my house being sick like this.

    • Karen,
      I forgot about the sweating. We live in Chicago and it gets cold in the winter. I was always sweating even when it was freezing. My poor family thought there was something wrong because I was always sweating. After I stopped the Cymbalta the sweating stopped. The other issues with the vomiting, irritable bowel, all lasted a few weeks. I went for a colonoscopy because the GI issues were so severe.
      Hang in there, it will get better.
      FYI I was on Cymbalta for pain and fatigue.

      • Laura,
        I finally turned the corner this past weekend and am doing much better. I am so happy to be off of Cymbalta. I live in Connecticut and my poor husband has dealt with me having centrai air on with a ceiing fan over the bed and a floor fan blowing towards the bed. Yes, that is how bad my sweating (accompanied by tingling) has been. Dr’s always passed it off as Menopause. As soon as I just went from 60 mg to 30 mg this all stopped. I was also put on Cymbalta for pain and fatigue.
        Thanks for the encouragement!

        • Can relate to the sweating. That’s what first let me know something I was taking was horribly wrong. Can’t tell me I’m going thru menopause cuz I’ve already had a hysterectomy!! Kills me they always try to blame it on menopause!!! I had the hot flashes years ago, and they were nothing like this!!!! Trust me…don’t believe them!!!

          Did someone say they had horrible lower back pain with this? I’m there baby!!! Feels like someone took a hammer to my lower back.

    • First of all, I hope your symptoms have improved since this post! I was put on Cymbalta for pain as well, but stopped after only a few months because it became clear that it wasn’t helping. Of course it had to be Summer when I took it, because I too had HORRIBLE sweating problems!! The withdrawal was awful but I found that once I stopped taking it completely it only too a few days for my body to get used to the symptoms. I say “get used to” because unfortunately it took awhile for the effects to vanish, but it got easier to get back to my regular life. I was lucky in some ways because I’m a university student, so I was able to get work done without leaving my house for a few days. I guess what my rambling is trying to say is that things will get better once you get through the worst of it! Good luck and I hope you’re feeling a bit better now!

      • Katy,
        Yes, thank you, my symptoms are so much better now! I seemed to have turned the corner over this past weekend. I just feel a little like I have Vertigo right now….waiting to see if it’s just a lingering feeling from withdrawing or what. Thank you again and hope it’s going well at school for you. Take care.

    • see my comment posted February 4, 2015 (cindy)

  6. So thankful I am not crazy. Stopped taking Cymbalta 2wks ago after only being on for 5 months when pain came back in lower back. It worked great for about 3 weeks and then nothing. I talked with my doctor and decided to ween myself off. Only now I have “body zaps” mostly in my face and legs. After reading your post I am hopeful it will not last much longer. I still have the chronic back and leg pain but could deal without the extra.

  7. Mal the Oldfart October 31, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Hi folks,

    Five weeks today and I am improving all the time from the withdrawal symptoms. It’s not a smooth curve, there are ups and downs but the trend is positive. The rageing anxiety is now mostly background that has to be kept under firm control and i still get down and emotional but not as bad as before. No way as bad. The body zaps and brain pains are much less frequent. The gastro intestinal things are still, well, unpredictable, but also much better then two weeks ago. The pains in my arms legs feet hands toes and fingers persists but again it is not as bad as it was and at times is barely there.The palpitations are much reduced in number but when I get ’em I get ’em. Body muscle quivers at night still around but again i am sure not as much. Blood suger is still crap.

    Yes, I still feel like shit but not as much as I did. No where near as much. It has been a battle but one worth fighting. Keep on through the hardest of times and you will see improvement.

    I think my estimate above of 6 to 10 weeks to get through the process is looking about right.

    Regards to all,

    Mal the Oldfart

    • You are my encouragement. I am old too but I am going to do this. It has only been four days but to me that is four good days.

  8. I am very proud of myself. I took my last Cymbalta 20 mg on Sunday and even though I have a dull, nagging headache I am working though it. I have tried to come off this drug before and go back to it because of the headaches but not this time. I have been on it for about 4 years and I am tired of feeling like I am in a fog all the time. I want to fell like me again, good or bad. I asked my doctor for prozac to help but he said to just taper off. Wish me luck.

    • Mal the Oldfart November 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm

      The Prozac has a long half life making it easier to come off than Cymbalta which has a very short half life of about 12hours. Consequently when the symptoms begin to hit they hit hard and it takes longer for your metabolism to recover. I wish I had used a longer half life drug to help the process. Maybe you have to become procative with your doctor, or find a doctor who has a better understanding of antidepressent discontinuance syndrome. Either way, it’s a hard battle but one you can win. Tough love but I promise that you will begin to fell better and regain control of your life. At five and a half weeks the worst is behind me and I know that I have a way to go, but maybe not that far.
      Mal

      • Ok. Day 5. Last night was horrible. Very bad headache but this morning is better. One day at a time. Mal, if you can do it I can too. Good days are ahead!

  9. Well, it’s been a long five weeks, but I am starting to feel alot better. Since I last wrote, I am now completely off of Cymbalta….AMEN! The nausea is completely gone…the sweating is completely gone….Irritable Bowel is improving….. I would NEVER go back on that again. I do have some pain, and almost a feeling of Vertigo….but overall I am so much better off Cymbalta! I just still can’t believe this went on for four years and no one, including myself, figured it out…. oh well, I hope everyone here is getting better. Take care.

  10. Mal the Oldfart November 7, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Ok. 6 weeks down the cymbalta free pathway. Like Karen, I am feeling a lot better. Still have pain in the hands arms legs and feet but it is improving. Irritable bowel also now is a lot better. Raging anxiety and dips into the emotional well also almost completely gone.Still have some vertigo at times as well. No headaches, nausea, brain pains, flushing and only an occassional body zap. Much more energy. However….I am having racing heart at night again…..think I figured it out…I went on St Johns Wart to help ease the symptoms after 2 weeks and I am certain it helped but SJW can affect the thryoid in some people and as i have also had a few bouts of slow heart rate I am thinking that it may have had an unintended consequense. SJW has a very long half life so I should be free of its effects in about another 3 or 4 days (from 4th Nov when i took the last one). Otherwise, apart from the feeling that I am coming down with something nasty I feel relatively well and normal! I will post again in a week and I will try and recall all the side effects and list them if that might be helpful to others. Congrats Karen. We are thinking of you L Warner. We did it and so will you!

    • I’m on day 20 and I am so scared and frustrated

      Dizziness
      Nausea
      Some vomitting
      Constant panic feeling
      Very Irritable (making me very hard to be around)
      Crying spells
      Intermittent Tremor
      Hard getting words out

      The only thing that is helping ease (not stop) these symptoms is dramamine…
      I don’t want to become dependant or become tolerant on this drug…

      I need hope…

  11. I am 9 weeks Cymbalta free!!!!! Hardest thing I have ever done in my lifetime. It does get better. Stijl having the most awful jaw pain, anyone have any suggestions for this. Also headaches and shocks in all extremities. Aniexty comes and goes…. Started the wean July, 14, been a rough road, but come such a long way. Exercise, supplements and positive mental attitude. Gets a little better each day! Good luck to everyone still struggleing. Stay strong!!!

  12. Rebecca, Dramamine is not a drug that you get dependent on.

  13. Seven weeks yesterday. I am through it, I think. It’s a bit hard to tell at the moment. I would like to say I feel well but I have picked up a re-occurence of a bacterial infection in the secret mens business area and feel like shit and the strong anti biotics make me feel ill as well. SO, I will postpone my 7 week report for a few days.

  14. First – I’m from Sweden, so excuse me for my bad english. 😉

    Iv been using Cymbalta for about a year. Have been using different kinds of antidepressant on and off since -92. The reson I got Cymbalta this time was that all the other once gave me big weight problems. But … They have never been as big as they got on Cymbalta. 😮 So … on doctors orders, I´m have now gradually and slowly dosed down from 90 mg to 0 mg (the plan is I will try Voxra instead, since I suffer from such severe panic attacks that I can not be free from medication) and I feel like I´m dying. … I took my last pill last Sunday.

    The worst of my withdrawal symptoms is constant brain zaps. Can not move my eyes even the slightest, without getting them. It s horrible! 🙁 I also have pain and pressure in the head and the neck. I feel sick, weak and ill and crying all the time and I have terrible nightmares. The only positive thing is that the terrible sweats I had last year- (thought I had the menopause, haha) – is gone.

    Anyway – Yesterday I was sent to the emergency hospital, because my local doctor thought I suffered from something really dangerous, when I described my symptoms. Not one of the staff at the emergency had heard about brain zaps and the only reason I have, is that I first experienced them – (but to a much lesser extent) – when I stopped with Zoloft for a number of years ago and also sought facts over the net. As said here before – if it wasn´t for personal blogs and patient forums, one would not be able to find information about the problem at all. :-O 🙁
    To find information in swedish is even harder, that´s why I´m here now. 😉

    Even though I´m sad to read about all suffering here, I´m glad to find out I´m not alone.
    /Tette Merio, Sweden.

  15. What blows my mind is that these pharm reps (that wine and dine those who are selling their product – THE PROVIDER prescribing it), always stress how great THEIR product is.
    WHY??? Its the mighty and powerful $$. Do you REALLY think these pharm reps are gonna tell the BAD? Probably not. They like their paycheck better then the people who are being prescibed this terrile drug. So, providers, who do not know the VERY bad possible problems with this drug because it is hardly anywhere in the research.
    So, they keep prescribing it (not warning about the potental HELL one will endure if they miss a dose or try to stop) , the pharm reps make their money and the Manufacturer is making millions.

    Its sad but true. Money ‘seems’ to be more imprtant/valuable then the human life. I feel sorry for those who can actually wake up in the am and do that to others.

  16. Hi there..I’ve been on Cymbalta for over 3 months..had to do cold turkey off it because I had no insurance anymore..I would say I’ve been off it for a week now..few days ago I felt dizzy, crying spells, mood swings, etc…and still going through it…does anyone know when I might be myself again? I know its causing distance now with my boyfriend…I need HELP! 🙁

    • Hi Katrina

      To answer your question,
      Noone really knows and it depends on a lot of factors such as
      How much your dose was and how long you were taking it
      So, hopefully, since you did not take it long, you won’t have to deal with this horrible
      Withdraw long.
      I took 60 mg for around 5 years and I’m still having the horrible withdraw
      I’m over 3 weeks on 0 cymbalta after a taper over 5 weeks.

      Good luck… You are not alone

  17. Hi Rebecca,

    Thank you for your response…I was on 60mg for 2 months and 30mg for the first month..I just hope this goes away soon since Thanksgiving is next week…this sucks!

  18. Hi Katrina,
    Hang in and you will be ok. The ammount of time it takes depends on the individual but most people seem to be through the worst in the first 4 weeks and pretty well recovered in th 6-10 weeks range.

    I am 8 weeks tomorrow and now just about symptom free. Well, I bloated like a toad and I might now be a diabetic, but if thats all and I’m cymbalta free, I’m happy.

    Mal

  19. That goes for you too, Tette. Hang in. You will get there. Just remember that the things you feel right now will pass. It isn’t you. It is the after effects of Cymbalta.

    Mal

  20. Going on 4 weeks!!! Still with symptoms and so frustrated 🙁

    I am reading many at 5, 6, 7 plus weeks starting to improve and I’m so happy for you.
    So why do I feel like this is never going to end????

  21. Thanks Mal..I saw a few posts that people have used Dramamine to help the withdrawal symptoms so I bought it today..I can say it has definitely helped me…hoping to be 100% very very soon…I think if I knew about these withdrawal symptoms, I would have never gotten on it..I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and I’m here to listen since I know first hand about my family not really being there for me these past few days..

  22. Rebecca,
    You are just about through the worst of it. You will start to see little improvements over the next two weeks and sometimes you will slip back a bit but overall the trend will be good. Your body is relearning how to make it’s own hormones and chemicals that have been affected by the cymbalta. At about 6 weeks you will notice the difference. Looking back over old posts will confirm this and help you along the way. It’s tough. Try a website called The Road Back…

    http://www.theroadback.org/

    Mal

  23. I am so thankful that I saw this website! I went cold turkey off Cymbalta 8 days ago and I have been pretty miserable. I have been taken 60mg daily for about a year and a half for fibromyalgia and depression.I just never felt right on it. I knew I would have some side effects getting off cold turkey but what everyone called “brain zaps” had me really confused. It feels like the roadrunner is zapping across my brain! Plus I have always had ringing in my ears and now they ring so loud!!! I’m sweating bullets and burning up one minute and cold the next. The dizziness is bad but i always thought that the Cymbalta added to the dizziness. My tears started about the fourth day but seems okay now. I will be so glad when this is all over, just concerned how long this will take. I have come too far to stop now, last time I tried I only lasted 4 days. I just want to be my old self again and i think taken the Cymbalta made me lose me. Wish me luck!

  24. I have so much going for me right now; but I still feel so sad and meloncoly. I only ever got on Prozac and then Cymbalta for my Fibromyalgia. They said Cymbalta was so much better than Prozac and I was put on it back in 2006, at 30 mg a day. I tolerated the side affects, which at the time seemed better than the horrible body pains with the Fibro. Then the side affects became daily affects, which disturbed me…the brain zaps, the ‘non-feeling’, the horrible nighmares, the robotic existance. I knew this wasn’t really me, and I took a chance and decided to face the Fibro should it return full force. I began reducing the crystals in my capsule. The first week, I reduced the capsule by 1/4, then after two weeks, I reduced to 1/2 a capsule, then after two more weeks, I went down further and further each couple of weeks, until I took my last capsule of probably 5mg on November 11th. Since that time, I have had terrible side affects, digestive issues, with pain and diarreah, hot and cold flashes, sleeplessness, flu like symptoms, and this past ten days has been worse with a Migraine headache, followed by Vertigo. The Migraine lasted seven full days, and my vision was so impaired I could not see normally. Then the Vertigo hit and is still causing me problems. I have tried taking Dramamine on the worse days, but did not take one yesterday, and there wasn’t much difference. I try to carry on and keep my daily routine, but feel so awful and now the anxiety and depression is here, which I don’t normally have an issue with. I am sixty-five and retired now. My husband suffers from many health issues and is in the bed much of the day. It’s just tough. I believe that medications might be helpful, but only ‘short term’. Doctors are medicating without knowing their client well enough, and they don’t keep up with the side affects as they should. It’s up to each of us to know our own bodies and take full charge of our health these days. Fortunately, I am in good health, and the Fibromyalgia has not shown itself at all since 2006, and after I got off Cymbalta. The brain zaps were the worse, as I was getting them every few minutes all day long that first week I went off. Then they stopped and I got the Migraine. My poor brain is trying to adjust it’s circuits and get me back to ‘me’. It just might take longer than I thought.

    • Things will improve for you Karen.

      I’m 9 weeks out now and still getting bouts of withdrawal symptoms but I am a helluva lot better than I was. I am just about through it. For me, the withdrawal has not been an even slope but full of waves of improvement and bouts of worsening symptoms. I suspect every one has this this to some extent.

      Way back I guessed this would take 6 – 10 weeks and it might take a little longer for me but after the 6 week mark I started to notice marked improvements.

      Keep at it,

      Mal

  25. How is everyone?

    I can say I’m improving… but some of the symptoms are still at full force (irritability, crying spells, nausea)

  26. I am starting to wean off Cymbalta from 120 mg. I have been on some form of AD for 14 years. Have experienced withdrawal when getting off of similar meds to switch . Awful. Zaps…the worst 🙁

    I’m down to 60 , 2 days in, not bad. Aches/pains, in a bit of a fog, but nothing big. Will be doing the rest VERY slowly (hoping to get RX for 20 mg and 30 mg so I can do 50’s for a week or two, 40’s, etc). Not looking forward to withdrawal while trying to work. Waah 🙁

    But these medicines have destroyed me. I have major sleep issues. My sleep study showed that I woke up over 120 times in the night. The AD’s have ruined my REM sleep. I also have adrenal fatigue and all kinds of problems that a normal 28 year old female should not be dealing with.

    Scared…but EXCITED to get off once and for all. I just hope all my problems don’t come back once I am unmedicated for the first time in over a decade! : /

    • Hi J,

      I recommend reading the Mood Cure by Julia Ross. Depression can be treated effectively with key amino acids such as tryptophan and GABA. By starting a supplemental regimen, you should be able to avoid going back to anti-depressants.

  27. I was on Cymbalta for 18 months for fibromyalgia. I developed muscle and nerve damage as well as pulmonary hypertension, which is progressive and fatal. On my withdrawal I ended up in the hospital with atrial fib and had to take medication for that for four months. During my withdrawal I had extreme mood swings and tried to commit suicide three times. I had intense itching with blistering, muscle and joint pain and stiffness, anxiety, headache, feeling “out of body”, vertigo, dizziness, vision changes, abdominal pain, a cracked molar root from teeth grinding that had to be pulled, and a trip to hell for myself and my family. Google Cymbalta Martha Rosenberg and you will see that Cymbalta should never have been put on the market.

  28. Cymbalta is bad been taking for some months and Im getting off its complete horse shit and Im not taking nothing else, Im moving back to the surf the best drug in the world. All these drugs are crap just find something in life that makes you happy and do that. Try not to be a sheep and live a dull 9 – 5 life with a mortgage and kids and you might have a chance.

  29. How long will these brain zaps last? I’m on day 5 – yesterday was really bad, the zaps and dizziness is really scary. I’ve seen a few posts from people that have tried Sam-e and Omega 3 – I went to the store last night and bought both. I hope this helps!!

  30. I was on Cymbalta for 6 years. I have been weaning off for about a month now. I didnt wasnt to be on it anymore becuase of how out of touch and “dead” i felt inside. I had no emotions. Everything was just on an even keel, no ups and no downs. Also, as you all know, Cymbalta makes you extremely constipated. However, now (sorry for being so blunt) I go 2 to 3 times a day. I dont think that is normal but maybe its just some of the anxiety coming back from cutting down on the cymbalta. Hopefully it will gradually be normal again. I’ve tried to go at least 4 days without taking a pill but at day 4 I start to feel nauseous so I take 15mg every 4 days. I wish I had never ever started this horrible drug. The doctors just want to keep increasing dosages.

  31. I have not been a regular follower of this site. However, I see that many here are just as troubled by discontinuing Cymbalta (Cb) as I was in late 2011. I was prescribed Cb in about 2005 primarily for diabetic neuropathy, and secondarily for mild-to-moderate depression. Cb quietened the neuropathies within a couple of days and I continued the regimen for the neuropathies alone, as it never seemed to be effective for the depression. After several years of Cb I’d had enough of all its side-effects and decided to quit it. Anecdotes on Message Boards and Forums had me quite concerned. I was not going to replace 60mg/daily Cb with another poison, and decided that I would discontinue it using a method I read about: by COUNTING THE PELLETS in each capsule, taking out from 4 to 10 pellets daily. This didn’t work, though, because each capsule had differing pellet quantities: I suppose the capsules were filled by weight, not pellet volume or count. The first capsule had 540 pellets, the second one had only about 300, but the pellet count varied with each capsule. I had already made the decision to quit Cymbalta, so I gave myself about 6 months to wean to zero. I simply took several pellets from each daily capsule and hoped for the best. After a month of doing this, I was done and haven’t taken Cb since. I will warn, though, that the ‘brain zaps’, convulsions, nausea, and most every other description of withdrawal is true, with the severity being interpreted by each individual. It was not a fun three month period as my body must have enjoyed its long, warm association with the poison known as Cymbalta. I am now (Jan. 2012) 3 months without it and am happy to report that all my old friends have returned. That is, everything that Cb had dulled, including below the waist, is discovering renewal and rebirth, and restoration. Oh, yes; the diabetic neuropathy has totally abated. I never discussed this beforehand with my doctor as I had already made my decision and done my homework. Anyone who has not suffered through taking, and then discontinuing Cymbalta has no clue. THEY HAVE NO CLUE. IT’S UP TO YOU. If you want to kick Cymbalta, withdrawing is probably going to be one of the most unpleasant periods of time that you will endure. Hellish, even. But I wish you success as it will be a worthy task, and worthy of your best efforts. Fair Warning: Cymbalta will kick your bottom. Hard. You’re going to need your Big-Boy or Big-Girl pants. I strongly suggest that you do not take another prescription poison to withdraw from a prescription poison, do not attempt the on-off method of taking every other day – that won’t do it, either; just throw away a few pellets a day for a month or so, and don’t give up on yourself.

  32. I’ve been on Cymbalta for three months now. My doctor wanted me to go to the 90mgs a day. I wasn’t sure I wanted such a high dosage so I asked him to keep key on the 60mgs. I’m 18 (almost 19) years old. I’m taking Cymbalta for anxiety joint pains. I somehow managed to loose my prescription and I’ve been off Cymbalta four about four days. Frankly because I’ve been too busy and too lazy to pick up the new prescriptions at the pharmacy. During these few days I’ve experience mood swings, nausea, dizziness, and more anxiety. These few days have been awful. I can barely drag myself to classes and I can’t seem to focus during lectures. I figured I was just going through a small depression or maybe I was having withdraws from stopping Cymbalta cold turkey. I found this post while searching for Cymbalta withdraw symptoms. After reading this post and the comments I’m certain I won’t be taking the 90mgs dosage. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I’ll stop taking Cymbalta like others have. I need the medication.

  33. Are there some cases where tbere is nt all the brain zaps ect…and just give you flu sysmptoms for a week????

  34. WHAT DO I DO? i have been on cymbalta 60 mg for 8 months now for fibromylgia. i never had depression issues or anxity until i started cymbalta. now i find myself snapping for no reason, sores in my mouth, very dry skin, hearing things, and more. i am only 27 with 3 kids and i am always mad now! i never was before! i want off this, i think the cymbalta is causing it, my doc could care this i think! i would rather be in severe pain then be a cranky witch! help

    • I’ve been taking Cymbalta well over 6 yrs now. I’ve tried weaning off, switching medications, etc. and none of these have worked. I’m in a much better place in my life now mentally, and I don’t want the toxic synthetic drugs in my system anymore! I’m on other prescription medications as well that I’m also trying to get off of. I realize I can’t do it all at once and that it is going to be a long process, however…after reading many others withdraw symptoms….I’m terrified! I’ve never made it past a few days without the Cymbalta without starting to feel completely out of control in my thoughts, feelings, and physical well being. I also have three children and my husband travels for work. I have to be on top of my game. Will I ever be able to get off of this drug? It isn’t safe!

  35. My sister was rushed to the ER today with stroke like symptoms. Head CAT scan and MRI do not indicate a stroke but she still has slurred speech and she did have drooping on one side of her mouth and vomiting. She had been weaning from Cymbalta and had the terrible side effects I am reading here. She had the zapping in the head. I don’t live near my sister so I told a friend of hers at hospital about the Cymbalta, but of course doctors don’t think it was that. Has anyone on this board, posted anything like that? I live in CT and she lives in NC so I am worried for her. I don’t know if I will find this post area again so if anyone has info on this could you email me. Thanks

    • Pam, How is your sister? Has anything been diagnosed? I’m sure no one will admit it was the Cymbalta even if it was. I’ve been praying she gets through this with no side effects. I have nothing else to offer, advise-wise. Please stay strong.

  36. I have taken Cymbalta for several years. There were side effects but I felt better. (a little dull & lazy) However, I was starting to see differences so my doc suggested weaning me off & starting Paxil. I decided not to go on the Paxil & am miserable. Thank you for this site; At least I’m not going mad. I thought this would have been much simpler & the issues would be lack of medication not withdrawl. Although I am not happy about the time it will take, at least I now know what to expect & will plug on.

    • Ann Morissette March 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      I started taking Cymbalta a year ago due to constant joint pains and depression. I feel like I made an uninformed decision. We moved from VT to CO a few months ago and I decided that with the change in climate and being near my children, I wanted to stop taking it. With a doctor’s supervision I weaned down and have been drug free for five days now. I don’t think I have ever felt so awful. The hot flashes/chills are horrible, nausea and headache and all of my teeth in my upper jaw are aching. I have trouble with my teeth anyway but now I wonder if this is a part of the withdrawal. I am determined to make it through but if I had known getting off this drug would be like this, I would never ever have taken it. Was helpful to find this board as now I know I am not crazy and that there are lots of like minded people out there who know how I feel.
      Ann

  37. Mal the Oldfart March 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    AN UPDATE:

    Well, I have a sad story to tell. After getting off the Cymbalta and having ridden out the worst of the discontinuance syndrome i had a major AF attack on 5th december. My doctors now seemed to agree that the cymbalta was causing my heart problems but as i crashed back into anxiety and depression they thought it best to put me back on a low 30mg dose of cymbalta and then ween me off at a controlled rate after 1 month. I took a four day 15mg dose then went 2 days with nothing and then I was started on 150mg Aurorix twice daily. I don’t think aurorix is available in the USA but I’m not sure. It seemed to help with the emotional side of the discontinuance but not with the physical symptoms which were as varied but not quite as severe as my first attempt to be rid of this drug. At the five week mark I crashed emotionally, began having palpitations and tremors again and still having a lot of bad physiacl symptoms. Its six weeks now and I am up and down like a yoyo. I have looked back and was in the same position at the 5-6 week mark last time. I expect from my previous experience I will start to show some improvement soon but who knows. I am struggling but still determined to get through this once and for all. Sick and tired of being sick and tired.

    Mal

  38. Mal the Oldfart March 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Update:
    I had a major AF attack 5th december and crashed back into anxiety and depression so the docs put me back on a short course of cymbalte and weaned me off after one month. A short change over to a drug known as Aurorix here in Australia. Seemed to help for a while. At the 5 week mark I crashed emotionally again with the weight of all the usual symptoms of withdrawal. Six weeks and I am up and down and struggling but I have looked back and know that I was not much better off, if at all, at this stage last time. I am still in the hole where I am not over the worst of the withdrawal and the aurorix has not fully kicked in, I am also on beta blockers for my heart which won’t be helping my mood but it’s that or risk a heart attack or stroke. I hope that I will show some improvement soon. BUMMER.

    • Mal the Oldfart March 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      Bloody computer crashed and I thought the first post was last……

      • Mal the Oldfart March 12, 2012 at 6:14 pm

        7 weeks and now I am enjoying some times of almost no symptoms and other times not so good. However I am definately not as bad as I was and I think I was right that most people begin to improve at approx. 6 weeks. Then its a washing machine for a while, or a yoyo if you like. Yesterday I was calm as can be and today agitated after a bad night with palpitations that reappeared again. I am also recovering form a bout of infection in the secret mens area and have been taking very strong antibiotics. Here is the amazing thing- look back on my post at 7 weeks last time…..I had the same infection! In fact i am mirroring my first withdrawal. I think I may have been a little better at this point last time, but I’m not sure. The beta blockers are a problem I think as they upset my stomach and effect mood.Anyway, a lot of the physical symptoms have either reduced, are absent or come and go – all signs I am slowly mending.

        • Mal, please advise how you are doing. I love your posts and just feel so much care and sympathy for you. Not that it helps your fun with cymbalta (I refuse to capitalilize the word anymore!!) but appreciate what you are going through. It just seems like a big round circle of crap!!!

  39. Hello,

    I’ve been on Cymbalta for 1 year now and I would like to taper off. I had an anxiety attack due to stress at work. My doctor witnessed that my anxiety is severe and put me on a dosage of 60mg. I lived through the side-effects of starting the medication (diarrhea, brain fog, night sweats, and high blood pressure).

    After 3 months, things seemed better, clearer, and the anxiety disappeared. Some things were strange. Why am I sweating ALL THE TIME? I could not stop sweating. I’m sweating as I’m typing this. I have a fan on me but I’m still horribly uncomfortable. I have a 24/7 cold sweat going. It’s so bad that I avoid all social events and interactions. While everyone is comfortable in their environments, I look like I’m in the final stages of a triathlon.

    I’m a shut-in now, except when I have to go to work.

    Last Christmas I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to my doctor and had the dosage lowered to 30mg. The only improvement I noticed was the taste in my mouth changed flavour. From zinc to copper I believe.

    I want to be off this stuff. In a few weeks I will be switching from Cymbalta to another SSRI. I will keep you updated on my progress.

    Hang in there everyone. We’ll find a way out.

    Chris

  40. I am so glad for this website!! I was on Cymbalta60 for about a year and altho it helped my fibromyalgia, it caused horrible daytime sweating and fatigue. I got mixed messages from my PCP and my rheumatologist…I guess because none of them KNOW! I started last night…went to 30 mg of cymbalta and 1 lexapro 10 before bed. I had some of the electrical zaps in my legs rather quickly…not to mention bad nausea all night long. This morning I just want to cry for no reason. Supposed to watch my grandkids this weekend and don’t think I can do it. All of these posts give me some hope. They want me to stay on the 30 cymbalta and lexapro longterm and say the sweating should subside. We’ll see. I’m holding onto HIS hand!

  41. Just heard from my PCP, who says to definately NOT follow my Rheum. advice and that I can only be on cymbalta and lexapro for 2 weeks max. Now what do I do? Get off eveything totally and go on WHAT? and feel WHAT? I am in tears and confused just trying to figure out who to follow? Since none of them know!!! Tell me again how this is helping my depression? Arghggghh!

  42. Mal the Oldfart April 22, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Gazebo lady and others.

    Hang in. It’s a long slow process. I still say most people seem to show noticeable improvemnt between 6 – 10 weeks but I now know that it is probable that bouts of withdrwal symptoms, lessening in severity, will last for months. In my own case I am confused as to what may be a withdrwal or a side effect of my othe meds.To ease my own mind I have had a full blood count done and when I get the results I will be in a better position to act on my symptoms – viz headaches, neuropathy, anxiety,IBS, body zaps ,lethargy etc etc you all know very well. Keep fighting through because it does get better, but it can get confusing if you can’t distinguish between the reducing withdrwal symptoms and other things that might or might not be going on.

    Wishing you all the best

    Mal

  43. Okay..here I am at the (almost) end of my first week of weening off this evil drug. My Dr. has me adding in Lexapro now. Read the stuff about it, and not sure I want to get on that one either. I haven’t been off an antidepressant (due to Lupus and fibro pain) for 20 years!! Not even sure who I AM anymore!! I need help here cause I’m sure not getting it from any of my drs. Anybody is free to answer because at this point, I can hardly put words together and the Restleess Leg Syndrome is driving me NUTS! Leg zaps…..I thought you all had to be kidding…..jokes on me there! I already take Xanax for anxiety….will that be enuf to help me ween off the cymbalta? Not sure I want to go from one problem to another. Already going to have to get off the xanax at some point!!! All I want to do is sleep! Somebody advise….before I kick somebody(acccidentally?) !!!

  44. Hello to everyone here, I’m glad I found this site. I can’t say that I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in experiencing this hell I’m going thru. It is unfortunate that so many of us are going thru or have gone thru these sort of withdrawals from Cymbalta and similar medications. I’ve tried to get off of Cymbalta several times. I was off it once for about 10 months and things never got better.You’ll have to forgive me if my post ends up really disorganized but that is the condition my mind is in right now. My experience is not just with Cymbalta but it has been the one I was on the longest and the one I am currently trying to come off of. My problems with psych meds began in the fall of 2004. Earlier that year I had gotten in to a fight in public and I and the other person were ordered to take anger management and to have a psych eval done. During the psych eval the lady suggested and said she thought I may have ADHD. I believe I may have had a very mild form of it but it was definitely manageable without medication. She kept insisting that I take home with me the three month trial sample of Strattera she was offering me. So I took it home and tossed it in the closet and forgot about it. Latter that fall at the age of 27 after having been laid off from my construction job I decided to go to community college for my AAS in Agri/Food Science because I was interested in becoming a quality control technician at a local dairy products manufacturer.
    I ended up moving in to a dorm apartment to be closer to college and while I was unpacking I came across the trial of Strattera. Latter on I decided to check it out online and decided to try it. I had never been on psych meds before and I had never had serious depression and had definitely never been suicidal. So I’m not sure why I ever decided to try this stuff. Anyways I took it as prescribed over the course of about three months. I didn’t really have any problems while I was on it. I did have a couple pretty serious panic attacks like I had never had before. I was never told about having to ween myself off the stuff and I should have done more research on the stuff but I was busy with my studies. So when I ran out that was it I was done with it. By the end of the week I was having dizziness and gray out spells, tremors, and all sorts of weird physical stuff. One night even I went to see my 8 year old daughter and spend the night with her and we both fell asleep on the floor. I woke up in the middle of the night gasping for air and I couldn’t move. You know how and arm or leg will fall asleep and you can’t move it. Well that is what happened to my whole body. I thought I was going to die right there on the floor next to my daughter. I had no money or insurance or other financial means to get help then and I’m in the same situation again now.
    All the weird physical stuff progressed and then I started having memory problems. I had always been a good speller and had a good vocabulary and good language skills but I started struggling to spell simple words and remembering their definitions and even when I seen them spelled right or heard their definitions it didn’t sound right to me. The memory and thinking skills got worse and it was as if someone discharged a capacitor and all life and energy just drained out of my body and mind. For me the memory and thinking problems where the scariest and the worst. I could have handled just the physical stuff. I felt like I had some sort of dementia or Alzheimer disease and that is what I’m experiencing now again. Of course in between now and then my mind has never worked right again.
    This all spiraled down hill into severe depression until may of 2005.(remember I had never had problems with depression in my entire life) By this time I was constantly in some sort of delirium or psychosis and really out of it. But somehow I managed to stay in school and managed to finish my first year with a 3.7 GPA Even though I missed the last week and a half of classes. The reason I missed those classes is because one evening while sitting at the computer trying to do homework It was like the whole world just collapsed in on me and I went to the restroom and broke open a razor and half heartedly slit my wrists. I couldn’t bring myself to do it that way and I became frenzied looking for a quick easy way of doing it. I won’t go in to all those details. Eventually I ended up collapsing and crying outside my front door, after locking myself out accidentally, for about 20 minutes before getting up and dragging myself down to the public campus phone and dialing 911. They took me to the hospital and stitched up my wrists and treated my other wounds from my various attempts and admitted me to the psych unit and I was given Ativan on a regular basis. Several days later I was moved to an actual mental hospital for further observation where I was prescribed Cymbalta, Seroquil, and Klonopin. I remember feeling like I was on some sort of acid trip while on that combination of meds. Since then I have been on and off of all sorts of various combinations of medications but usually with Cymbalta in the mix. I’ve never felt like myself again. Before all of this I had never experienced any sort of psychosis in my life but afterward there where several episodes where I even experienced symptoms of schizophrenia and paranoia because they had given me, a non psychotic person, anti-psychotic medications. The most medicated they ever had me was at one point when they had me taking Cymbalta 60mg, Prozac 40mg, Klonopin 1mg all in the morning and then Seroquil 300mg, Remron 25mg, and Klonopin 1mg at night. I managed to get myself worked down to only being on the Cymbalta over the last year and a half and this last 9 months have been weening very slowly off of it and have now been off of it for about a month. It was real bad with the dizziness and nausea and disorientation and so on etc…. for about a week and then it seemed liked things had actually gotten better. For a couple weeks I could actually think and feel like a normal person (well not like things where before all the meds) but more normal than they had been in a real long time. But then about a week ago I woke up feeling as if I had had some sort of stroke without actually having had one. To try to use some descriptive analogies it was like someone threw a metaphorical hand grenade in my head. Or someone pouring solvent on the glue that holds my mind and memories together and then sticking a blender in there. I don’t really know how to explain it but I literally feel like I’ve experienced some sort of brain damage/amnesia more so than I think I already have from all these various meds I’ve been on. Stuff that was solid and reinforced in my mind now feels vague and distant. All the integration and connections and associations that should be tied to memories and senses and tie memories and senses together is just massively wiped out and devastated. It’s like 35 years worth of learning and knowledge, understanding, wisdom, experience, and memories has just been devastated and much just wiped out altogether. I’m in this constant stupified state of delirium with this constant mind bending crazy headache and I just feel so stupid and unable to think now that I want to die. Ever since I came off of Xanax a year and a half ago I’ve had a real bad headache and had this real strange feeling in the front of my brain like someone has there hand pressing on it and poking and pinching in the front part of that grove that goes down the middle of your brain and this constant tight tingling windburn sensation there as well. And this is messing with my eyes as well. And now that I’m off of Cymbalta it’s like one type of headache and dizziness on top of another. As I had mentioned earlier I have no money or other financial means of getting any help but even when I was able to see the doctor a few times they weren’t helpful. They just told me

    • Your mind will rewire and heal. I relate to a lot of what you wrote. Also how you wrote it. You did a really good job expressing some of the tougher mind elements of coming off these other meds and cymbalta. I hope you can continue to feed your brain well. The foods we eat in America are garbagiola!
      Oh..at the library there is a DVD named “Brain Fitness and peak performance,” it’s not bad and there are more. A really good book is “Your miracle Brain” by Jean Carper. These can be found used on the internet. I’m on day 25 w/o the evil C.

      God Bless

    • Mr. Schmoe, I, too, feel like someone took a blender to my brain…you put it very well. I might also point out, since you did mention the subject…my nephew committed suicide last month using Strattera and Klonopin. He was 22 and they kept telling him he had ADHD. They have had me on Xanax for a couple of years because I was having panic attacks after a bout of pancreatitis which put me in the hospital for a couple of weeks. Thought I was “lucky” I had it to depend on…but now I see that coming off it is another problem in itself. I have these brain blackouts and zaps…where I cannot remember from one point to another. It’s hard to explain to a “normal” person. One thing for sure, the Drs. do Not WANT me to get off Cymbalta. They’ve tried everything to get me to stay on, even a lower dose. There must be a lot of greasy palms in the medical field….I’ve never seen anything like this. Bless you…and yes, people do read your posts on this site. Hang in there!

  45. I’ve read just about everything on this hell drug. I can’t believe I took it almost 4 years at 60 mg. It worked probably for 1.5 to 2 years. The rest of the time was me in a messed up state of thinking. So many bad, evil side effects comming off. It’s bee 25 days of NO C. today. Thinking getting clearer. Waves of symptoms coming back as of now. Hard loving these folks who put this drug on the market and the FDA whom let them! I feel for the folks who have a 40 hour job, and coming off this. Friends please get your omega 3s, Vitamin B complex augmented with some more vitamin B1. Ginger tea for the nausea. I get my care from the VA. I was taken in by this drug at a terrible time in my time here on earth. The adds were what made me comfortable taking it. What a total sham! Please don’t give up and go back on this evil drug if at all possible. I’m still sick and things are getting a tad bit better as time goes on, but then the waves of symptoms come back. A friend whom came off it stated it took 6 months to finally get rid of the nausea. That’s the tough part for me. As well as weird pains and heavy flu symptoms. Until I’m stronger that’s it for now. God is my refuge, and even my prayer is difficult as I come off, but I know the all knowing is here with me because I pray for the Holy Spirit to be with me in the day and in the night. If you can have friends to support you..Get Them as well!

    Paul in Abq. NM.

    • Paul, hang on to your religious values!! They will get you through! I am in week 3….almost to week four. I’m down to every other day and next week i only take 2-30 mg then I’m off. Dr. is supplementing with Lexapro, which is helping some. But the nausea is really bothering me. I have compazine, bentyl, promethazine and zofran and Levsin. None of it really helps tho…it’s a brain thing. I know what you mean about having a hard time prayng. I have asked my friends for intercessory prayer on my behalf. I am having a difficult time getting into DOING anything….reading or watching TV…can’t exercise outside because of the Lupus. Haven’t tried the ginger tea yet. Just a BLAGHHH kind of feeling. I’m thankful for making it this far…I can’t wait until I’m at 6-10 weeks off. I like what you called it….”the evil c”…. good way to refer to it! Having Restless Leg crap almost all the time now…all day and all night, but Benadryl seems to help. When will I stop crying?

  46. Mal the Oldfart May 10, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Progress will be made, but it’s slow and with relapses into withdrawal symptoms you might have thought you had passed. That’s why it’s a good idea to record whats going on in this blog or keep a diary. You can look back and affirm your situation.It does take some time to rewire you brain. There is a shit load of hard times at first but it does get better. Slowly,with relapses yes, but it does get better. The first noticeable improvemnts are felt it seems, in the 6-10 week range. You can expect the relapses to lessen in severity slowly as time goes by but you should expect that this may take many months. Try a website called ‘the road back’ for some good advice on nutrition.

    Mal

  47. I too am suffering horrible withdrawal symptoms. Not because I want to stop taking this but because my insurance no longer covers it! I’ve been On 60mg for years and have gone cold turkey,NOT something I recommend at all. I’m nauseous, light headed, sensitive to light and basically want to die. May 26 will be one week this I hope it ends soon. This was a medication I truly believed would help me with my depression I can honestly say I will NEVER take this again.

  48. I have been taking cymbalta for two weeks. The first few days my only side effect was constant yawning, and I thought “I can deal with this”. They got worse and worse everyday since. Now it’s anxiety, panic attacks, migraines, can’t sleep (well, I have problems staying asleep now!), I feel like a mannequin, my skin feels like dough, it crawls. My eyes are dilated, I look and feel like I’m on a bad acid body fry. Today was the worst. Every time I closed my eyes to relax from the anxiety, my chest would tighten up with a feeling of terror. Almost like when you do a somersault in a pool underwater, that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach? But in my chest! I had the shakes all day, major anxiety for no reason….And it’s only been 2 weeks on! After reading a lot more on personal experiences I am not going to take another bit of it. After being on it only two weeks, should I expect a severe or lengthy withdrawal.

  49. Mal the Oldfart May 31, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Hard to say, leah. Everyone is different, it seems. If you have trouble try tapering by opening the capsules and taking out about 1/4 every week. Otherwise just go hard at it and it will pass.Try green tea and fish oil supplements. See a website called “the Road Back” for really good nutritional advice to help cope with the symptoms.

  50. Enjoyed your blog….thought I would share with you my experience.

    Cymbalta and the 9 Circles of Hell

    As a child, I was taught the nine circles of hell. At some point it kept me from doing the really really bad stuff growing up. That, “what if it is true and I screw up enough to have to go through them”. As a young adult I learned about mercy, grace and forgiveness and have for the most part felt I would escape the circles so vividly portrayed in this “Divine Comedy”, that is, until now.

    About a year ago, my wonderful doctor (who always wants me to feel my best) suggested that I take a new medication that would help me with all the aches, pains and anxiety that accompanies them. It was really a simple regiment for someone who doesn’t like to take medications, once a day…that’s it and within 3 weeks you should start seeing a difference. So let’s take a look….

    First Circle: Limbo.held for those who are unbaptized and virtuous pagans. It’s where the good people go when they don’t commit, not a bad place, but still, those stuck here can’t obtain the higher gifts and enlightenment of those who have accepted grace. Limbo on Cymbalta looks quite the same…you don’t feel horrible, you have been a lot worse and will take this numbed out feeling instead of the constant pain any day. Yet, you can’t quite reach the level of enlightenment or freedom you really desire. Everything looks beautiful, green grass, beautiful homes, etc., yet, you really don’t want to play outside, live in the houses or enjoy the scenery. In fact, enjoyment of the great pleasures have now been replaced with ‘let me just get through it’. Still, you are not so upset that you will stop and what’s a little weight gain, it’s not like you are looking or wanting to attract “that” type of attention anyway.

    Second Circle: Lust. A place where our appetite sways our reasoning. Yes, this is the period where you have discovered that chocolate is better than sex and sleeping is better than any other activity available to you. You live for the next nap, getting into your pajamas, hot showers that induce a deeper sleep…you look at a piece of chocolate like you use to look at your husband on the first date. You don’t really want anyone to know this so you are quiet about those deep thoughts and fantasies about dipping your pillow in chocolate so you can kill two birds with one stone. Again, not horrible, but you are without hope of rest and starting to get the picture that this is it for you. Pop another Cymbalta…you will be here for a while.

    Third Circle: Gluttony. Yes, at this point it’s been about 8 months, things have been not so bad. Kinda like a frog in a pan of water that is heating up ever so gently as to not disturb it or cause it to jump out. Yet, one day, you wake up and think….”I want to get back to life. I have slept all I can sleep, chocolate isn’t doing it for me and I would really like to, well, you know”. This is where the levels of hell split off onto themselves. You start off by first thinking how hard can this be? All I have to do is stop taking the pill. You stop by the pharmacy and ask what’s the best way to go about it and are told..step down slow. Take one pill every 2 days for a week, then one every 3 days for a week and then you should be done. It’s lies, all lies. Yet, because you are a glutton for pain, you do it. In fact, you may even entertain the idea of why wait. You can handle any withdrawal and you are almost out of medication, so let’s just see how this works without it. Day one..is cake, internally you are saying to yourself, ‘That doctor, he just wants me to take the medication, there are no withdrawal effects’. Day two, still not bad, but wait, what is that little annoying floating feeling I’m getting and damn, did I just do a carpet shock on the hardwood floors? with my brain? This can’t be the Cymbalta?

    Fourth Circle: Greed. Yup, it’s the third day, you realize it is the Cymbalta and you are trying to dial the phone with your hand that is shaking the least. Yes, you will hold for the pharmacist, yes you need it filled right now, yes, you will give them your first born if they promise to inject you with it upon your arrival at the pharmacy. It’s at that moment, you realize there might just be a problem. Still, you are greedy and want off the medication. Can’t just leave well enough alone. So, you decide to take the advice of the doctor and go slow. You will medicate yourself to the highest dose possible at first though so you can stop electrocuting your brain for an hour. A couple of days later, you try it again. This time as per the instructions.

    Fifth Circle: Anger. It’s not intentional and you are not this person, but damn if you don’t understand now why serial killers begin killing, why child abuse, spouse abuse and animal abuse begins. Talking to you is only done on a necessary basis and the brave soul who decides to ask a question better have clear approval before he/she even attempts speaking. As in the poem, you lie sullen gurgling beneath the water, withdrawn “into a black sulkiness which can find no joy in God or man or the universe” and it’s only week one of withdraw…………… it will last until week 3.

    Sixth Circle: Heresy. Week four has begun, you are cutting down the medication once again. You can’t move backwards, you have come to far…fear is the first thought that comes to mind when you wonder what is next. You are truly contemplating if heroin at this point would be a good counter drug to help you get off the “hard” stuff.You reject any type of advise given on Cymbalta regardless of degree, experience or knowledge. You are convinced that someone, somewhere has created the ultimate substance to which no human can ever stop taking. The fantasy you have about stringing the pharmaceutical company up in the middle of the town square and offering other withdrawal patients to publicly flog them has finally made it to paper and you are about to push the send button.

    Seventh Circle: Violence: If you haven’t actually hurt anyone by know either physically or through your sharp tongue, you are doing great. The whole week of the 7th circle is to prevent violence, try not to smoke crack as an alternative and to protect the children, elderly and vulnerable populations from the wigged out Cymbalta head you have now become.

    Eighth and Ninth Circles: Fraud and Treachery: Finally, you are starting to feel like a human. The brain zaps have finally calmed down or stopped. You can now look at your spouse with admiration that he or she stuck it through with you. You begin your apology notes. Yes, some of the neuropathy has come back, yes, you can now feel all the pain, but you tell yourself and the doctors it’s not that bad. And like any other female that has spent the past 46 hours in labor to birth an eleven pound baby without anesthesia, you smile at the suspecting people about to go on your journey and say, “it wasn’t that bad after week two”.

  51. Mal the Oldfart June 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Yep. That’s pretty much the way it goes. I have always said it takes most victims somewhere in the 6-10 week range to get over the worst of it but it does not go away entirely for quite some time. Many months is my best guess. You will have unexpected bouts of withdrawal symptoms and you will be tempted to think that it is anxiety/depression and you might need some pills……..I am 4 months off cymbalta on my second attempt and I still get occassional withdrawal symptoms. In fact I had a return of unexpected bad feelings just this morning and when I did a reality check i realised i had been getting some warning signs for a few days…mild zaps, increasing anxiety, dizziness, a flu like feeling, headaches, pains, tremors, heart pain….none of it anywhere near as bad as the early days….Be prepared for a long recovery.You have done very well.

  52. hi, i’m 40 yrs old have been on cymbalta for almost a year, was on zoloft but that wasnt helping with the pain issues i was having, on top of having a chemical imbalance i was diagnose with chiari 1 which is almost like fibro but has its own unique disabilities. cymbalta is too expensive for me to continue to take, when i first tried quiting i freaked cause the side effects are horendous, the main reason i stop cold is cause i cant affor to refill prescriptions, so this time around i have decided to just not refill at all if i cant afford the upkeep. since my main problems are anxiety, foggy brain, back pain, i figure i dont need an antidepresent, i stumbled upon tryptophan and wonder if anyone has tried it. my mother is terrified of me stopping cold turkey but like i’ve told her, i do it every month till i can afford my refill, glad i’m not alone, this is a great blog, i want and desparetely need some relief, xanax is my quick fix, but i don’t know where to turn, right now i’m so emotional and need help, any advise would help!!!

  53. I had asked my shrink 3 times during the past year to take me off of Cymbalta. He just kept adding other drugs to “compliment” the Cymbalta. I told him that my depression does not have an ego and the drug was making my situation worse. Impossible to get out of bed, lethargic, anxious, deeper depression etc …etc…and sadly etc. When asked about the withdrawels symptoms I had seen online, he told me that you guys were not to be trusted cause …well you know ……your nuts and all. The same with the Internet in looking for official sort of studies.
    Four days ago, I decided that all of you are NOT nuts (you should feel better now) and I got off the Cymbalta cold turkey with the help of my Doc.
    I am crawling through my skin, short tempered, always tired with flu like symptoms, dry mouth, etc, etc, and sadly etc infinity.
    Thanks for this awesome article and the informative comments. You guys are great to share this information even though my shrink says you haven’t a clue what you are talking about.
    I hope this ends up as a class action lawsuit.

    • What kind of doctor ‘helps’ a patient get of cymbalta cold turkey. That’s very irresponsible. Cold turkey isn’t the way to do it. I’d advise getting back on it and tappering slowly and finding a doctor who will really help and someone who can split the pills down beyond their lowest available dose in a accurate way so you have more of a gradual taper.

  54. I’ve been off the stuff for about 4 months now and have had periods where it felt like things may be getting better. But overall things have actually gotten worse as far as the memory loss and cognitive decline. I’m 35 years old and feel like I have a cross between dementia and some sort of amnesia. It seems that all my smarts and all the connections and associations that reinforce things in a persons mind have been massively wiped out. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, knowledge, experience, that used to all have memories and those connections and associations tied to them are just devastated. I look at things that should bring back memories and invoke emotions but instead nothing connects back in my mind nor invokes any emotion. I smell something that should take me back to things in my past things that should be deeply familiar and now everything is just weak and shallow and distant. It’s a nightmare. All those deep connections and memories and emotions that make you feel a part of and knowledgeable about the world you grew up in are devastated. When i’m on the cymbalta I can think and remember how to do things but I feel unhuman and unable to feel any sort of emotion the way a normal person should. When I get off the stuff it destroys my mind and memory, I can’t remember how to do things I could do just a few months ago, stuff that I have had years of experience in. My mind becomes so entirely slow, dull, weak, rigid, shallow, and stupified that I’m unable and to do so many things that I’m normally good at and confident in and have had years of experience in. And I still can’t feel emotions the way a normal person should. It seems I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t take it. And the damn doctors don’t believe me or take me seriously. I just want to punch them. I just don’t know what to do or how to get help.

  55. I’m 35 years old and I’m a freaking retard now. 35 years worth of knowledge, understanding, experiences, memories, skills, smarts, emotions, everything up in phucking smoke. If my mind and memory are this bad now I just don’t want to live any longer to find out how bad things are going to get.

  56. Mal the Oldfart July 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Joe, you are at your low point. Everybody hits it at a different time. Persevere. You will get better. You will have good days and bad. you will have relapses. You will be a little better after each setback. I’m nearly 6 months off Cymbalta for the second time (had to go back on and wean off after a failed cold turkey attempt) and my life is much better. Not great for sure. But a lot lot better and I am getting slowly better all the time. Good days and weeks and bad days and weeks and the path is not steady but marked by progress and back slides but always slowly getting better.

  57. To this day i still have spells where i have trouble getting words out, even thinking the words! I also have daily chest pain and what feels like jiggling in the chest and a slight electric buzz. by the chest i mean my heart area. It took me all summer last year to get this crap out of my system and the withdrawals lasted for months! It’s been about a year now and like i said, i have all those symptoms! Also of note, the doctor said i have arthritis in my spine, im 30 this month…. it hurts to touch the bone and the surrounding tissue in my entire back! WTF!

  58. I have been on Cymbalta for the last 4 months, starting with 30mg, then 60mg for the last month or so for a combination of depression and back pain. Last week, when my 30-day prescription ran out, I decided that I could live with the suicidal thought as I have lived with it for the last 35 years, and that my back was doing better with physical activity. Also I didn’t like the “creepy crawly” feeling on my skin while taking the stuff. So I quit cold turkey. This last Monday night, when I got home from work, I suddenly felt dizzy and disoriented to the point of not understanding a word my wife spoke. For the ensuing 36 hours, I was not able to stand up due to dizziness and nausea. This morning, I am actually able to walk and drive to work, but the dizziness still comes and goes. I am hoping that by 5:00PM, I will be alert enough to drive home. I did find that drinking ginger ale alleviates the dizziness and nausea. Hopefully the symptoms will decrease with every passing day. Yup. My doctor did tell me that Cymbalta had no withdrawal side-effects… Ya right!

  59. I lasted about 2 quarters of a 60mg pill before I couldn’t stand the side effects. Tightness in chest, anxiety, racing impending doom thoughts. It’s really sad that our government allows such toxic substances to be put in our bodies when all or many ailments can be remedied with medical mary jane. I was so sick from the cymbalta and that’s what saved my sanity.

  60. I was prescribed Cymbalta for roughly 2 years (60mg) for chronic nerve pain. It helped a lot in the beginning both with the pain and the mild depression I was experiencing. After awhile it lost effectiveness and I was just tired and emotionless all the time. I went through a divorce during this time and really just now feeling the emotions as I go through withdrawal. I went from 60 to 30mg in April. Each step down I noticed the 2nd week was often more difficult than the first week. In July I went from 30 to 20 for 2 weeks which was very rough. The vertigo and anxiety were my two biggest symptoms. I took tons of Omega 3 and Sam-E. I was really uncertain if I should go off from 20 or wean slower. I decided to go to 15 for 5 days and 10 for 5 days (removing beads) and stopped taking almost 3 weeks ago. I believe that was a good decision. The first 7-10 days cymbalta-free was very rough with vertigo, mild panic attacks, and monster anxiety. The odd thing for me is everyone complained of loose stool and I have been constipated for weeks. Now after 3 weeks I am just super depressed and anxious, also a bit paranoid. The sleep is better and less nightmares. I went thru 2 weeks of waking up every night with the dream that someone had broke in my house and was coming for me. It is summer and beautiful outside. I’ve had some days off work and still no motivation or excitement. I’m forcing myself to the gym 2-3 times per weeks which I believe is crucial. I’m hoping each day gets easier and I eventually return my normal mood and energy levels. I have taken very small xanax (0.5) mg twice per day when needed, but do not want to take Prozac or any other anti-depressants. I hope this is helpful and Go Reds!

  61. If I had known how horrible the withdrawal symptoms were going to be with Cymbalta, I would have never taken the medication! I was on Cymbalta for about 18 months. My doctor prescribed it for pain but we figured because I have several chronic problems, it would not hurt altering my mood for the better. And it did help, but I only found this out for sure when I came off of it. Now I know that some of the side effects are even worse than the withdrawals I had. I had 3 major problems while taking cymbalta: abdominal pain, constipation and PROFUSE sweating. I have Crohn’s Disease so sometimes it was hard to tell if Cymbalta was causing my abdominal distress or my Crohn’s. But I have to admit the WORST part was the constant sweating…..all day, every day. (and night too) I have never been someone who perspires, I just get hot and turn beet red. We knew it wasn’t my hormones because I have been on replacement therapy for years. I have never had a problem with being hot and sweating like that. While on Cymbalta, I rarely went anywhere that I needed to look my best. I would be soaked with perspiration even after a cold shower. It was HELL!!! So, slowly over 3 months I came off the Cymbalta, decreasing my dose and alternating days that I took it. The sweating stopped completely. But the nausea, dizziness and emotional ups and downs seemed as though they would never stop. Finally, just this week, I have started to feel “my” normal self; which is not always really normal considering my other chronic ailments. But it looks as thoough there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you are considering Cymbalta for pain issues, I’d really advise you to think about it for a long time… Once you start, it’s hard to turn back. And by the way, all literature denies weight gain on Cymbalta; but I gained 40 pounds in 4 months!! I weighed 149 when I gave birth to my only child in 1987, and I stayed in the 120s and 130s for 25 years, but now I weigh 168. There is no other logical reason for my weight gain….it had to be the Cymbalta!! Good luck if you try it. I understand for some people it is an only choice…..if you have other choices, take them!!

  62. I have been so fortunate. I’ve been taking some type of anti-depressant for over 15 years. For the last 8 years it has been Cymbalta. I tried to wean myself from it several times and was unable to do so. I would have crying jags and just feel miserable. We recently lost our health insurance plan that we had through a job and now have to purchase our own plan. Of course, Cymbalta isn’t covered in the plan and I would have had to pay $150 a month. No thanks! so, I read somewhere to take fish oil when giving up Cymbalta. I wasn’t going to do it cold turkey but it worked out that way. Every day I took two doses of fish oil (2400 mg twice a day). It’s been almost two weeks now and I haven’t had any withdrawal symptoms at all. I’ve also been doing a lot of praying through the whole process. I don’t want to get off on a tangent, that’s not who I am, but I do believe that through the grace of God (and fish oil) I’ve been able to give up this drug. I’m not recommending that anyone do it my way – I’m just sharing my experience.

  63. I started cymbalta in april of 2012 it really just made me feel like i didnt care about anything and sweating was awful idk if it caused my problems that started but this is what happened to me my period stoped then it started aug 1st and still hasnt stoped 3months of being so tired, lots of dr visits, and buying enough pads and tampons for 10people i though i cant do this anymore the dr giving me more pills and doing a biospy, and still nothing so i stoped the cymbalta cold turkey 3days ago and now i cant stay away so tired but i have to do something and i really feel the cymbalta has caused these problems not helped with anything one minute i am crying the next i want to throw stuff just praying this gets out of my system soon and my 3 month long period stops

  64. I found that this drug did nothing for severe depression so I quit 8 days ago. Now I know how it works. I’m so sick I couldn’t possible kill myself.

  65. Going cold turkey….multiple reasons for doing this,one can’t afford it anymore, two tired of having to be on this medicine, and last but not least doing it for myself. Have read all the heart wrenching stories and I know what I am faced with but I have to do this. I want to live again and have my emotions back. My husband knows when I haven’t taken it and gets upset but he doesn’t understand that it is the side effects that are making me that way. I just hope that I can get over the side effects quickly.

  66. Marijuana, cannabis, weed whatever you call it. I am not a drug user but going through the withdraws….. THIS SAVED MY LIFE!!!!!!! And i used it during the withdraws. USE IT!!!!! It slowed the brain zaps, vertigo, EVERYTHING! TRUST ME! THIS WITH SAVE YOUR SANITY AND YOU’RE LIFE WHILE GOING THROUGH IT! My withdraws had lasted for 6 months before they completely went away. I was only on it for 3 months!

  67. Pkak great example! Except I have attempted quitting 3x and never made it completely off this satan evil drug! I plan to check into the top rehab center who uses natural things….scared to death but even more scared of what this drug will do to me if I stay on it for longer than I already have…

  68. OMG …I am so glad i found this site, Been on Cymbata 9 months, just stopped ..this is the 5th day, I did the gradual 90,60,30 and as i dropped to 30 felt like hell…i am extremely tired and my resting heart rate is 114, my head (brain) just feels strange..i never felt brain symptoms before but thats what it feels like, I keep taking long hit baths and keeping my head underwater, if for the fact that I can hear my pounding racing heartbeat, it seems to be some relief. The drug did help with the depression brought on by a shoulder injury.Pain and not being able to work…but i swear it turned me into a raving lunatic when i tried lower the does as the doctor advised over a two week period, while taking 90 I had no emotion…just exisiting…
    I keep getting this wierd shock feelings in my scalp and they feel like they are right in the middle of my brain, I just want my old self back …and to not feel so utterly awful…I blame this all on this drug…does any one really know when or how long it will take to stop feeling so bad? and any pointers on how to get this crap out of my system?

  69. I HAVE BEEN OFF FOR TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I had been tapering off for two whole months, went from 30 mgs to 5 mgs.

    And now I haven´t had one gram in 2 weeks and it´s been quite scary. I mean, the brain zaps weren´t so bad which is the scariest thing if its ever happened before, I guess because of the tapering, but I am feeling so disconnected from everything, and my eyes hurt, I hate daylight!!! I wish I could sleep all day, but I work in two different jobs every day, so I have no time to rest. I am a little dizzy, and have imbalance spells at least a couple of times a day.

    I try doing a bit of yoga every night, go on youtube.com and look for short yoga workout. Try not to drink any alcohol, not to go out at night, get all the sleep you can, relax, breathe and fight. This is the second time I was on this drug, mainly for anxiety and neck pain ( I have a lot of neck tension and knots).
    It´s hard, but I am not going to give in, and I haven´t taken any supplements or additional anxiety meds either.
    Keep us posted on little tips please!!!!
    GOOD LUCK ALL!!!

  70. Wow! is all I can say! I’ve been on antidepressants for 14yrs (divorce hit me hard)
    -first was Prozac (started for agitation and anxiety, helped alot for about a year then got the dark depression for the first time) at this point my Internist reffered me to a Psychiatrist for more specified care.
    -Wellbutrin was the first time in 2+yrs i felt like “me”, good relief from depression UNTIL I couldn’t remember what I had for dinner the night before),
    -Lexapro (ok, then went flat, then dark depression again),
    – Effexor (general relief from depression but hot flashes like NO other),
    – added Neurontin at some point around 2002 for anxiety),
    -changed to Cymbalta 3+yrs ago (helped for a good amount of time, but in past year concentration is LOST, no motivation, brain mush, someone on the forum described it as “blender used in your brain”)
    – was borderline suicidal 2 winters ago after having ankle surgery and mental anxiety caused by being dependent on others, was convinced by my daughter to go to our local Stress Center and I became an outpatient for therapy, both group and medicine management they put me on a mood stabilizer called,
    – Lamictal (I definitely felt better! Have felt pretty good for about the last 16mos, but started having alot of memory issues again {different from Wellbrutin}, seems to keep me even, but get hand tremors), also put on Trazadone (sleep through the night)
    – so for past 2yrs have been on 120mg Cymbalta, 300mg Neurontin, 200mg Lamictal, 100mg Trazadone

    Geeze, writing all that makes me seem like…well, a person that struggles with mental health issues! I AM! That is my new normal, but I want to feel like my “old” me again, thus the med changes. So saying all that (above) gets me to weaning off Cymbalta that I began over 2weeks ago. I have begun the withdrawal phase, it is wicked- malaise, puffiness all over, brain mush, achy, mild headache all day, back pain, knee pain, joints, my eyes feel like I cried for hours (tired, weak), upset stomach, wanting to eat, food then doesn’t really taste good, the symptoms come and go and combine differently. I don’t think the medical community knows (or will admit) that this is some crazy, crazy stuff and the risks need to be weighed against the benefits!!

    I am weaning off Cymbalta to switch to Vibrid wich is new and has supposedly had great success, I guess I’ll see how it goes. I’m off work until Jan. 2nd, I sure hope I can go to work and function!!

    • I just submitted my information to the FDA, don’t be intimidated by the submission form, just do your best to describe your symptoms.

  71. I’m really glad I found this site. I’m really struggling too. I’m so pissed at myself for not researching this drug more before starting on it in December 2012. Was told by my dr I was suffering from post partum depression. I insisted I wasn’t. I had been depressed before and this didn’t feel like depression. So I started cymbalta. It seemed to help at first. Although the side effects nearly ruined my marriage. No sex drive. Zero. None. Not to mention all the other stuff like constipation. Here I am a year later and found out the real cause of my pain is rheumatoid arthritis. Completely misdiagnosed. So now I’m weaning. After researching I see the dr gave me incorrect instructions on weaning. I’ve never been suicidal but the last few weeks have been hell on earth. If it weren’t for my 3 year old I’m not sure i would still be here. I can’t even begin to write it all. I’ve read a few people have used Prozac to wean. I took Prozac years ago with great success and had no trouble stopping. Has anyone tried this approach? I’m calling my dr on Monday to ask for a prescription. I’m desperate but too scared to use weed to alleviate my symptoms.

  72. Thank God, I am one of the lucky one’s who can go to the drug store for a refill of Cymbalta. But what I have gone through for the past 36 hours, is just shy of being in hell and all because I had forgot to p/u my script 2 days ago. The inside of my head felt as if suddenly huge tumor had grown inside and was pressing on every nerve. I was so scared, between the vomiting, diarrhea and then suddenly being incredibly sensitive to light, even my little night light was too bright for me. How could I have become so sick, so quickly? Luckily my brother in law who is a pharmacist is visiting us, had asked the question “When was the last time you took the Cymbalta?” Within 4-6 hours, I could lift my head up from the pillow. For those patients who do to through these terrible withdrawal symptoms, for whatever reason, I feel your pain. More education needs to be provided to us, the patient, either. Because, death seemed a good option for me at the time.

  73. I have been on Cymbalta for roughly 2.5 years now. Considering my past depression and anxiety, the drug actually worked quite well overall for me. However, since my insurance was ending I decided to try and wane per my GP”s approval (as if she even know what”s going on) from 60mg to 40mg to 20mg and then to 0. I noticed some discontinuation symptoms going to 40mg, usually a somewhat altered state of mind. What would happen is I would feel abnormal mentally, the way I thought and viewed things seemed abnormal or unreal. These feelings/thoughts would involuntarily seem to bring on racing, irrational thoughts that I could not control and thus intensifying the feeling causing extreme anxiety/terror. Now, these episodes had some physiological composition. In the midst of these feelings I would have excessive yawning and spine tremor/tingling. Moreover, I could literally feel in my brain that when I yawned ( and it was a long hard yawn where I could almost feel my brain stretching) I would instantly feel better and back to normal, but just for a short while (maybe 10-20 seconds), until the abnormal state would seemingly seep back in until I could yawn again. This would be a reoccurring cycle that would last anywhere from 30 minutes up until usually an hour or so. Now, these episodes, although very uncomfortable and inconvenience, were at least tolerable (perhaps due to the fact that I know the different levels of severity). When I went down to 20mg is when I noticed the severity and unexpectedness of these episodes change dramatically. The aforementioned symptoms from going down to 40mg were all there when going down to 20mg, just much more intensified and now intolerable. Now the episodes would bring on more irrational feelings (God is punishing me, the devil is torturing me etc)

  74. OMG!!! Thank you so much for this site. Honestly I thought I am going to dye because I probably should not be driving in this state. Brain flashes, dizziness and feeling off balance is more than horrible. I have had weird dreams but at least I’m sleeping through the night (I wasn’t before). I was on 60mg for about 6 months, on 30mg for another 4 months. My doctor wanted me to taper off but she didn’t have samples of 20mg so I went of 30mg last week. This has been the worse 7 days. I hope it stops soom since I don’t think I can handle the brain flashes and I need to be able to perform at work and take care of my kids. I wish doctors were more carefull about prescribing it, or better yet they should NEVER prescribe it to anyone again. I am that mad!

  75. Eric,
    I have had problems with depression, anxiety and sleep for a while. I was on Cymbalta, Martizapine and Wellbutrin at the same time since September 2012. Martizapine helped with sleep but I felt so grogy in the mornings that I had hard time functioning. I didn’t really notice much improvements with Cymbalta as far as anxiety, but I can be THANKFULL to Wellbutrin in so many ways. Although it doesn’t address anxiety, it has helped so much with depression that I do not feel anxious at all. Cymbalta caused shaking hands and I almost felt more anxious being on it. I know getting of Cymbalta is hard as I am going through it now, but ask your doctor about Wellbutirin, it was been a wonderful medication for me and side effects are NONE. No weight gain or loss, no sexual side effects, no headackes, nothing. Best regards.

  76. I started on Cymbalta in 2004 (age 54) at 120 mg which I was told was the maximum dose. I initially told my doctor that I don’t want to be on this drug forever. He said i could take it for the rest of my life with no problems. At this time my depression was so bad that i didn’t care as long a it stopped the crying and let me function as normal as possible. My depression was due to an extremely high stress job. I noticed things during the years that weren’t me. Delays in witty sarcastic comebacks, confusing thoughts and delayed reactions, saying words I had no thought of saying; for example, shouting to my husband that the light was not yellow as he was entering an intersection under a red light when my brain was screaming the light is red, dyslexia which I never had before. I chalked it all up to age. Then my favorite uncle who was like a dad to me died in 2009-no tears or feeling of mourning. My mother died 2011-again no tears of mourning. I realized that the Cymbalta not only kept my depression tears in control but also all my emotions.

    I retired in August 2011 and told my new doctor about wanting to get off Cymbalta so she reduced my dose to 90 mg. As they were 30 mg capsules I started alternating 90 mg and 60 mg. In December I went to 60 mg and 30 mg.

    With insurance Cymbalta is $170 a month. On retirement and my husband out of work due to auto accident left me unable to get my full month prescription so I decide to bite the bullet and make this my last month. I skip 2-3 days and then take either 60 mg or 30 mg. I have had the shakes, brain fog, no energy-desire to do anything and when I force myself to do something my hands shake. I love to decorate cakes and hoped to make some money at it but my hands shake so bad that I am unable to do cakes. The last three nights I have woken in a panic attack just as I fall asleep. Night sweats so bad my sheets are damp in the mornings. Believe me, going through menopause was a breeze compared to this. I spent 5 minutes looking for the cap to a bottle I was holding only to have my husband tell me the cap was already on the bottle.

    Believe me when I say that I am sorry you guys have had to go through the misery and hell you have been but I am glad to see I am not alone. I am not going insane, just withdrawal. We all can beat this. We were strong enough to ask for help in the first place, wise enough to know enough is enough and caring enough to stick together and give encouragement to others.

  77. I have “weened off” cymbalta from 120mg per day, over the past week. If you can call it weening off… I spread 3 days doses over a week, and now I’m done with those so its cold turkey from here on out. I have wanted to get off of Cymbalta for a couple of years but there always seems to be some trial in life that makes me feel I need to continue. I’ve been on it for over 5 years and I think that is too long. The final straw for me deciding to quit is the cost! Even after I fight with my health insurance just to get them to cover this med, the cost is still high. That is why I’m not even weening off slowly – I’m just going to try to get through the withdrawal. Anything that helps to lessen the symptoms, I need it. If anyone knows what has worked, please share. I read from this blog about Benadryl so I will get some today and try it. The only other thing I’ve read is Kava Kava, so I will look into that. I’m experiencing lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, high emotions so far. I’m worried about the brain shivers that I’ve read about. Please reply if you can help! Thanks!!

    • My last Cymbalta was January 26th. It was controlling my emotions and the other side effects finally got to me; and the price. But in dealing with the withdrawals I am trying to stick it out. Analyzing and talking through the events as they happen is helping me. Instant gratification got me on Cymbalta so I am hoping ‘having a stiff upper lip’ with get me through everything. I have a very loving and understanding husband and that helps a lot.

      I am trying to think of myself as a toddler just learning to deal with my emotions. If I start crying for no reason I just let it go. After the tears I wonder what the big fuss was about and it’s getting longer between crying fits. Tremors, brain zaps and spatial problems I just hope will fade in time. Then I am retired and can go through this in the privacy of my home.

      I also want to talk about it, talk it through with others experiencing the same symptoms. I believe talk therapy and knowing there are others dealing with the same issues will help a lot. I used to see a therapist but the problem with that is they were never available when I was in a crisis. I check my email 3-6 times a days so the listening ear will be here while the crisis is still fresh.

      Right now the urination difficulties is actually pissing me off. I told my husband he may have to learn to cath me if it gets any worse. (Wow, I made a funny without planning to.) Right now I am trying reverse psychology and put on some Depends; but, I may have them on backwards. I also believe humor and being able to find something funny about the withdrawals will help.

      So, I am here if you want to talk. What works for me may not work for you but having a sympathetic and understanding ear always helps. My English and grammar is not the best in the world but I will be here for whoever needs someone to talk with.

      • Swanie, thanks for your reply. I used benadryl twice yesterday and that seemed to help with the lightheadedness and dizziness. The whole day was spent on the couch just trying to hold my head together – everytime I stood up to walk, my brain felt like it was sloshing around in my head. I cry at the drop of a hat and then a few minutes later it passes, just like you were describing. I am also using ibuprofen to help with the headaches and pressure. I don’t know about the urination problem – what are you experiencing? I think you are right about being able to share what you are going through with someone else who is going through it also. You are lucky to have an understanding husband to support you. Its just me here and I don’t have anyone to talk to about it so I will probably take you up on your offer to stay in touch via email. I will be happy to do the same for you. I work during the week but I check my email several times a day and will be able to read/write at least during the evening. Keep in touch and keep on going! We can do this!!

        • Nancy, I am here for you whenever you need someone to talk with. Please remember that not everyone has the same withdrawal problems.

          Now, the urination problem. I know this is going on the board and men might read it but if it helps them, fine. Somethings are easier to talk about if there is no physical contact and you really don’t know the person. Also remember I look at the fun side of things and try to fine humor in everything.

          About two morning ago (Friday) I got up to pee and couldn’t. First of the morning and should have been a deluge; nothing but this sensation like an orgasm. After I thought about it I realized that it was muscle spasms of the urethra and it was shut. I have been blessed to never have bladder or urinary infections so when something is not right down there I am lost. All my forcing and voluntary muscle contacting down there just made the ‘Charley horse’ worse. Not pain but a very weird and uncomfortable skin-crawling feeling. Well, it took me 15 minutes just to get a spoonful of urine out; and, then all day long it was dribs and drabs. Yesterday was normal but this morning was a repeat a Friday so I said the heck with it. I wasn’t doing a repeat of Friday so I put a pair of Depends on and just went with the flow. (Honestly, I don’t have to work at this punning.) I figured if the urethra was going to open and I couldn’t make the bathroom in time I was covered. I’d just let it go and try to remember my baby days when grandma changed my diapers. Ha, lots of luck with that, I can’t even remember last week let alone 61 years ago.

          During the day everything resolved itself and you should have see the revealed look on my husband’s face when I told him he wouldn’t have to cath me.

          Then I thought I put the Depends on backwards because there was a lot of padding in what I thought was all the wrong places. I read the bag and I had them on right but they are made for both men and women.

          I am the type of person that tries to find adventure in everything. My thinking helps me cope with all this poop. Brain zaps- I have had ringing in my ears for over 20 years. Now there is zapping sounds. I figure the brain finally turned on it’s bug zapper. In reality it more like the neurons looking for the chemicals Cymbalta was supplying them. My zaps come in sets of two-zap, zap. Then I am fine for a few minutes or even hours then zap,zap. First zap is the brain saying “Hey, dude, where’s my fix?”. Second zap the brain saying “No way, kid. You got to do it on your own now.”

          Visual and spacial disorientation. Ever see the movie “Stargate”. When Daniel Jackson is standing in front of the liquid wall, puts his head in halfway and then you see what looks like all his cells individually being pulled out into the universe. That’s how I feel. I move slower, make sure I can hold on to things and go forward as best I feel cheated that I am going through the sensation and still on planet Earth and make a mental note to talk to my travel agent. Naturally, zap-zap puts their two cents in and I forget the complaint.

          Crying is another event I try to celebrate. Best thing for me is the shower and jut ball my eyes out. It’s proven that crying releases chemicals from the body; that why you feel good after a cry. So society has us believing its bad/weak/foolish to cry. Wrong. It has a purpose and should not be restrained. That is what Cymbalta has been doing to us: Controlling our emotions. We are not machines, computers or robots. One problem is that we, the human race, ha advanced more and faster from 1900 to 2000 than from 1000 to 1900. Our id/subconsciousness, that which makes us us, has not been able that speed of advancement.

          If we look for the root/cause, honestly look, honestly question and answer our selves we should be able to retrain ourselves to be as we were meant to be – drug free, Cymbalta free.

          OK, I’ll shut up now. My husband says that is one of my withdrawal symptoms-I am more talkative now than what I have been in the past 7 years. Not my old self but he says he can see the old twinkle in my eye.

          I’m hear for anyone who wants to talk. We will be helping each other get through this journey. I am not making light of our withdrawal symptoms, just dealing with them the best I know how. I tell my husband that sometimes I feel like a two year old who watch an ice cube melt in her hand. I am sad its gone and terrified that I will be blamed for losing it.

  78. UPDATE: The urination problem really bothered me especially after experiencing a cramp like feeling on the left side of my back early Monday morning. It made it impossible for me to sleep. I was restless to the point of being constantly on the move just to get comfortable. I saw my doctor Tuesday morning. She told me that everything checked out okay and the urine test came back normal. She said if what I was experiencing was Cymbalta withdrawal then it should resolve itself in a couple of weeks. If I still have this problem in April and May, then we need to run more extensive tests. She said my symptoms sounded like kidney stones but as I was not in pain she doubted I was passing a stone seeing the urine test came back normal.

    Please don’t assume new ailments as being just Cymbalta withdrawal. If you are experiencing anything acute then see your doctor.

    I had another sleepless night last night due to the spasm in my lower back. Brain zaps are getting further and further apart but the visual and spatial problems are still there. Still struggling with crying but I’m getting better. Now if I can just get the energy to complete one household task in one continuous motion I’ll be happy. It shouldn’t take me an hour in 15 minutes blocks of time to clean up dinner dishes.

    Later, folks.

    • Swanie, thanks for your offer to be a listening ear and for sharing your experiences. I think you are right, that it is important to distinguish what problems/symptoms are caused by cymbalta withdrawal and something else.

      Last night, I experienced something that I can only describe as an emotional free fall. Sounds pretty harmless, but it was far more uncomfortable than a crying episode or an angry outburst. It was like falling off of a skyscraper in slow motion…you know something is terribly wrong and you keep reaching out to grab something but you can’t. It was such a relief when something finally triggered the tears and I cried myself to sleep.

      I don’t think I’ve experienced brain zaps yet. I feel like my brain is continuously shaking inside my skull. Any physical movement or thinking makes it really bad. I just want to reach inside my head and hold it still. It takes all my energy to get through the work day, since the only thing that helps is to be still and close my eyes, and not think. I think the Benadryl has been helping.

      I’m not sleeping well; in fits and starts. But the dreams are what are disturbing. The ‘me’ in my dreams has a different personality than I’ve ever experienced; totally unfamiliar. Even while taking a 90 minute nap today, I kept waking from my dreams and feeling panicky in my wakefulness – like I was in some kind of danger. I have never had paranoia before, but I think I was approaching it today.

      I pray this won’t last too long, but I’m more determined than ever to get off of Cymbalta BECAUSE of the withdrawal symptoms; it makes me so mad that it has been doing such major things to my mind/body. I hate having anything control me like this!

      Stick with it all of you who are doing this!

      • Hi Nancy. An emotional free fall is terrifying. There is no reason behind it and the brain always looks for some logic in everything. Best thing is just try to not panic more than what you already are at the time.

        Dreaming and sleeping have become a problem for me also. The dreaming for about 2-3 months and the sleeping since mid January.

        My dreams have been so life-like that I have to force myself to wake up and then struggle out of the dream. I stay disorientated several minutes after coming out but it still took me 20-30 minutes before I was fully awake to this world. I have a very good imagination and nights that I have problems falling asleep I make up stories to wander through and those stories become real when I finally fall asleep. I am not into horror, blood and guts slasher movies so my “stories” are easy to be in. I guess it’s my way of escaping the now to a place where I have more control over my life. Naturally, I am always the young beautiful hero. 😉 I think dreams are the brains way of giving us control over ourselves and surroundings which is the direct opposite of what is going on in our real world. Maybe in your case, your brain is giving you different scenarios for you to work through safely in dreamland to give you confidence to successfully work through the withdrawals which is a totally new experience for you.

        I don’t know if you are religious or spiritual. I believe in the God of Abraham and I believe there is only One God that has many names. I use the Arabic word for God – Allah. I use it because a ‘s’ can not be used to make it plural and ‘dess’ can not be added to make it feminine. It is gender neutral. Allah gave us everything we need around us and within us to help us succeed. Dreams help us deal with real life. When real life is upset, then being in tune with your body-dreams will help you sort through the problems.

        I have, also, been having problems sleeping. It’s like I don’t feel comfortable to sleep at night and sleep better during the day. Since stopping Cymbalta I have night terrors. I’ll fall asleep and within 10-15 minutes wake up extremely anxious with the worse case of impending doom I’ve ever felt. I have not had very many dreams in the last two weeks and I think that is one of my problems. My sub-conscience has not been able to help me deal with what my conscience has been going through while awake.

        Just keep thinking that all this is temporary. Once the drug is totally out of our systems and our bodies have adjusted to being Cymbalta free things will be better. BUT, we still have the hurtle of retraining our thoughts, habits and life expectations so we don’t fall back into the Cymbalta trap. I would wake up in horror KNOWING someone was standing over me, waiting for me to move so they could kill me. My muddled brain told me to stay very still and the bad guy will not see me and will go away. OMG, how stupid was I. What was this guy, a T-Rex; and where was my husband; better yet where was my dog that sleeps with me all the time. So, with that new thinking those panic events have vanished.

        This is not Cymbalta related but maybe it will help. I was raised by my grandparents and was the one to find my grandmother when she died. I was 27 at the time. For years after her death I would have the same dream, 2-3 nights a week. Always the same. “Huge Gothic house on hill at night, one light on upstairs and the urge to go in. First room big, dusty filled with empty cots. I could see the light in the hall at the top of the stairs. Go up the stairs and into the hall. Rows of closed doors on either side of the hallway and the light shone from under on at the end of the hall. The closer I got to the light the colder I felt. My hand on the door knob, the knob so cold my hand froze to it.” This is where I would stop all the time and force myself awake. I was terrified. Finally after going through this for 5 to 6 years I decided to continue on in the dream and see what was behind the door. It was just a dream. When I did open the door in my dream I looked on the most beautiful valley I could ever imagine and heard this soft voice whisper “Don’t worry. She is safe.” When I woke I realized immediately that the ‘she’ was my grandmother and even though she was dead she was safe. I never had that dream again.

        OK, bored you enough. Our bodies will help us through this if we tune ourselves to listen to what it is saying. Later.

  79. You know how you say “that’s the best/worse” until the next “best/worse”. Yesterday was one of those. I guess we will all go through “the worse ever” repeatedly while journeying through withdrawal.

    I now have a tenderness on my right side back and front; the liver area. So, as long as I don’t turn yellow I won’t panic and rush to the doctor but I have stopped taking my high cholesterol meds and I am staying away from that bottle of grapefruit juice in the fridge. (Not hard to do as it’s been there for over a year, can’t have anything to do with grapefruit when on cholesterol meds.) After all, it seems to me that even my doc is in unfamiliar territory when it comes to Cymbalta withdrawal.

    Why does a drug for mental problems affect the liver? Cause chronic diarrhea? Why do doctors wonder why you want to stop using the drug? I mean, you do not take antibiotics for the rest of your life when you have an infection.

    Yesterday was spent most in tears. My husband is ADD so we deal with his issues while trying to deal with mine. Even though I understood what he was saying at his level my emotions grabbed hold of the understanding at a deeper level and ran with it. Then the discomfort on my right side just escalated it. Even chocolate did not help. 🙂

    Well, after a half way good night’s sleep and seeing the sun shining I think it’s a new day and we can start fresh. My husband and I had a reassuring conversation before getting up and I think, so far, it will be good day.

  80. It’s been 2 wks. Cymbalta free… I still feel strange dizziness, out of body exp…. this is horrible

    • This Friday will be a month for me. I still have the visual and spacial problems along with crying spells that come on without notice. The brain zaps are not as intense. I do find that things I had patience for in the past are increasing getting on my nerves and I have to watch what I say. I am more vocal about things I used to let slid. I know this is probably the quiet before the storm. Ten years on 120 mg daily will not pass this meekly. I am just taking one day at a time and hope that my husband’s patience and understanding continues; if not, we’ll need battle helmets over here because divorce is not an option. 😉

  81. I’m about 5-6 weeks into cold turkey from Cymbalta. I’m finding that there are periods of times that I don’t feel the headache, brain zaps, and dizziness even without the benefit of taking ibuprofen which is the way I can usually keep those symptoms at bay. I’m taking triple dose of ibuprofen throughout the work day just to be able to function. The diarrhea and occasional nausea have not let up yet. I’m treating this with immodium daily. But I am experiencing something in the last few days…a whole new low in terms of depression. I’ve never felt depression this severe. I am in a state of total lack of interest in anything, I mean ANYTHING, including things that used to provide temporary distraction just to be able to keep coping. When I’m not feeling that, then I’m feeling extreme loneliness, rejection, lack of self-worth; I’m crying or angry all the time. I thought I had felt hopelessness before, but I really feel there is no hope and it is a very dark, empty feeling I’ve never had before. I spend hours trying to talk myself into carrying out the most basic functions, such as going to the store to get water (forget about food). I’ve been trying for days to find something, anything to get a hold of that will help me keep going. Many times I’ve felt like I want to die, cease to exist (because killing myself is not enough, I want my soul to no longer exist), but I’ve never actually thought that it was a real possibility that I could do something. The worst thing in all of this is that I am going through this completely alone. I feel how much I need support and its very discouraging to face it by myself which also feeds into the depression.
    I travelled to another state and spent a week with my daughter who just gave birth to my first grand-baby. It was a wonderful time and I was so grateful to be able to be there for it. It took a lot of energy to hold myself together and keep my mental/emotional issues under control. On the plane returning, I fell apart. I could not hold it in any longer. Since being home these past 5 days, I’ve crashed. This is the hardest time I’ve had in my life. I’m worried about where its going, especially if I don’t find some help, some relief, some hope. I’m really worried.
    Nancy

    • Mal the Oldfart March 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Nancy, after about 6 weeks things start to improve slowly. Any anxiety and depression is most likely a side effect of your withdrawing from Cymbalta. look into yourself and you will be able to recognize the mental symptons as distinct from realy held anxieties and depression. You will start to boumce. Up. Down. Mentally and with the physical withdrawal symptoms. Recovery is not steady but has a two steps forward one step back pathway. You will continue to suffer bouts of discontinuance syndrome for man many months but you will keep improving. I am one year off cymbalta and still have occasional symptoms and down times but I promise you, it’s all been worth it.

      Mal

  82. I can totally relate. One thing that has helped me is i went to see a new psychiatrist and she completely validated what everyone is saying here. She put me on prozac and said i should be able to stop the cymbalta in a week. Prozac does not have the same withdrawals. Its worth a shot. I will let you know how it goes.

  83. So I’ve been on prozac for a little over 2 full weeks, the lowest dose. I stopped the cymbalta on Friday. Today is Thursday. I can honestly say this time I’m not feeling the withdrawals. No nausea, no dizziness, no brain zaps (YET!). The only thing I’m noticing is a bit of fatigue, but that could be from taking the prozac too…plus I have an auto-immune disease so it coudl be that as well, who knows. I have noticed some spikes in my moods and increased irritability, but guys this is TOTALLY working for me. It is worth a try, please give this a chance. I’m on 10mg of prozac and this new dr said I would hopefully only need it for like 5 weeks, but we’re monitoring that as well. I will keep yall posted.

  84. I have quit cymbalta cold turkey after trying to wean off. I am dizzy, have the constant brain shocks, disoriented and nauseous.
    I wish I had been told about how difficult this medication was to come off of before I started it. I am 34 and feel like a 50 year old going through menopause. I have night sweats that soak my bed. It is miserable. I can exercise right now because it feels like my brain is going to explode when I do any type of cardio. I hope this passes soon.

  85. I just quit taking cymbalta wasn’t weaned off just took off completely at once.that was fine by me.because the pain and suffering I HD while taking this so called pain relief for fybro.was killing me.and I nor my drs knew .i had crippling spasm literly I would be crippled unable to move screaming to just die.my face would swell my arms legs my throat I felt as if I was being choked.ears ringing blurred vision unable to speak without stutter.tremors from hell.i thought I was going crazy.i became bed riden .i suffered for 2yrs.ive been called a pain pill dealer now banned because I didn’t know it would effect .y liver and pain many.dr done im not stupid why would you tested fine in the past.well I get tested every 3 months I know when it’s gonna be .anyway.ive been off a week now I feel clearer spasm have calmed down.but I still have this damage that’s done.and I most def.cant get those 2yrs back.why or can we get payment for not being properly warned or treated being passed around being told no this can’t be it.someone should have to pay.this drug is dangerous I never got any relief from depression anxiety or the nerve pain.i got worse.7574125143 if anyone has any helpful info.thank u and good luck to you all

  86. I have been on Cymbalta for over 8 years and for the most part it worked. I had been on several antidepressants throughout the years. I was diagnosed with depression when I was 14, but I was not prescribed medication until after I had my son when I was 22. I also have fibromyalgia, diagnosed in 2005. The first time I stopped taking Cymbalta was when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter in 2008. After I had my daughter I was prescribed zoloft, it did not work so I went back on Cymbalta. I started seeing a Psychiatrist last year and he wanted me to stop taking Cymbalta cold turkey for at least two weeks to see how I did, well this was less than a week before Thanksgiving and let’s just say after 2 days things were not going well. So I started taking just 30mg. Right now I have been off Cymbalta for almost 4 weeks and it SUCKS!!! But I realize how numb Cymbalta made me, I could not cry at all. Since I stopped taking it I am extremely tired, in pain, constant daily headaches, feeling lost, depressed, worry some, crying for reasons unknown, not hungry per say but wanting to eat, unfulfilled, angry, stressed, severe anxiety, I fly off the handle easily….now I am wondering if I am truly depressed or if I am bipolar? Cymbalta withdrawals and withdrawal side effects are horrible and no one should go through them alone. I tried to make doctors apps, but I found out my psychiatrist resigned November of last year due to health issues, and I cannot get an appointment with my reg doctor until the end of this month – even though I informed them of my situation. I hate the US medical system and I have to add I hate United Healthcare!!’

  87. I was taking Cymbalta for about a year for depression and anxiety. It worked well but the past two months i felt like it stopped working. I went to see a psych doctor a couple of weeks ago and he put me on 40mg of prozac. He told me to take 30mg of Cymbalta for 3 days and then start with the Prozac. The only real “side effects” i have been feeling are electrical type body shocks but that are not intolerable. I’m surprised so many people here are finding it so hard to get off Cymbalta. I might go back on it if the Prozac does not work since i’ve got about 100 pills left. It’s a good drug i feel but i was going through a very bad time a few months ago so maybe that is why i didnt think it was working well enough.

  88. I would not say i am “addicted” to any specific substance but i am addicted to taking pills. I am on clonodine, attenelol, and lisinopril for high blood pressure, synthroid for thyroid, prozac for depression/anxiety, xanax for severe anxiety, ambien for sleep (i love my ambien by the way), Nuvigil for alertness…..if ever there was a wonder drug it is Nuvigil. I dont take it everyday but it is awesome to have “just in case”. I feel like if i take a pill it will make me “better” somehow. I am slowly weaning myself of ALL these medications…even the high blood ones. My blood pressure is fine since i have cut the dosages i take and hopefully i can quit altogether someday soon. My doctor said he wanted me on a statin for cholesterol but i said NOOOOOOO. I’m not taking yet another pill. He tried to talk me into it and i said yes but never filled the prescrition.

  89. I’ve been suffering from depression on and off since I was about 14, wen my father and mother seperated. I was always able to deal but nearly 10 years ago I had a miscarriage and the depression didn’t let up, so I went to the doctor. I was prescribed Lexapro, which was AWFUL; it made me so nervous and twitchy, overstimulating the little OCD I have and I started plucking out my eyelashes. I got off that quickly and was put on Cymbalta 30mg. I didn’t notice much difference, so the doctor told me to double my dosage for a while and see how that felt. I noticed a good change, so she changed my RX to the 60 mg dose. I was good for years. One weekend, I forgot to fill my RX before a holiday, so the pharmacy was closed for three days and I was without Cymbalta. That was the first time I ever had withdrawals and it scared the living hell out of me. I was nervous, jittery, paranoid…I crawled into our closet with a blanket and huddled into a corner. After I got the pills again, I was fine but the feeling of dependency upon something like that was frightening. The withdrawals only happened if I forgot the pills for three days, so I figured I could deal with it.

    A few years later, I simply forgot to take it one day and the withdrawals instantly came back. I could deal with it being after three days but after ONE? I went to the doctor and told her I wanted to be weened down because the dependency on them ad the withdrawals after one missed dose was freaking me out. She understood and gave mean RX for the 30 mg, telling me to alternate them in every few days, adding more of the 30s and less 60s every week. I did this for a week weeks until I was only taking 30s. It was really difficult but I felt okay after a few months. I told her I was ready to move down again and she got me some of the 20 mg dosages, which I didn’t know existed. I went straight into those no problem. After taking those a few weeks, she instructed me to only miss a dose or two a few times a week until I could take one dose less and less, until I was off of it. Except it wasn’t working. I felt horrible withdrawals and realized I’d need to drop to a lower dosage first, but there wasn’t one premade.

    I checked a few message boards regarding the tapering of Cymbalta. I had a hard time finding empty gelatin capsules for some reason. One of the pharmacists said it was possibly because of drug issues in the city I lived. I got some Cymbalta samples from my doctor and emptied the capsules, keeping the pellets in a medicine bottle. I went by the tapering of pellets according to the message board I’d found and it seemed to be working fine. I dropped from 20mg to 10 mg perfectly. Shortly after that, we moved to a different state, 10 hours away from the doctor I’d been seeing for nearly 10 years. I ran out of empty capsules and couldn’t find them here either, so I looked online. I saw poor reviews, as most gelatin capsules came from China and people reported them tasting funny or being colored strange. This made me nervous, so I stopped taking the pills, because I had nothing else to put them in.

    The withdrawals were much easier to handle this time around, much more subtle. I was a bit edgy for a month and then it just subsided slowly. After a few months, I felt perfectly fine; like I’d felt more “normal” that I had in years. A few months ago, I had a bout of depression with no noticeable trigger and then intense anger. I was snapping at everyone and everything, something I don’t do; I was just so DAMN angry. I noticed it too and apologized after I lashed out. After a day or so, it went away. Currently, I was just hit by depression really hard, with no noticeable trigger. I have the really intense urge to cause harm to myself, something I’ve only done maybe twice in my life. It’s never to try to kill myself, not at all. It’s actually just to cause physical pain so the mental anguish will go away. I’ve been refraining and I think I’ll be okay without doing it.

    It’s just, a few months ago, with all that anger…..that seemed more like bipolar disorder than depression. So now I’m wondering if that’s actually what I have. My father has it really badly, actually. Unfortunately, we’re without medical insurance because it hasn’t started since we moved here. Not to mention, my husband is looking to change jobs in a month, so there will be at least three more months until I can see a doctor again. I’m a little freaked out because I feel so weak-willed suddenly. I really don’t want to take any medication again, but if I have bipolar, what choice do I really have short of therapy sessions? I’m also hesitant about seeing a new doctor because I had such a good relationship with my previous one. Some of them look at me like I’m a hypochondriac, which does wonders to piss off a patient with possible bipolar disorder. I’m afraid I’m going to have to play the doctor-hopping game until I find one that doesn’t just want to pump me full of drugs or write me off.

  90. Hi Erin,

    Thank you for doing all of this. I appreciate all your work. I am sure everyone else does as well. I guess I came here to this site because it WAS the first thing that came up. Not something from the company themselves, offering information to the people that are thinking of taking it or are taking it. You are right, that IS wrong!!! If there are so many people, why isn’t the company adding these symptoms? Do they know about it? Are the Dr’s taking the time to report it to them? They are supposed to but its added paperwork for them. So that says something. Its probably not always reported by physicians. Maybe those with withdrawal symptoms should be asking their Dr’s to report their symptoms.

    You can report these withdrawal symptoms to the FDA stating what they are and that they are not listed on the companies drug information. If you would like to report it you can do so here : https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/medwatch-online.htm

    I am not sure if my link works but you can go to the official FDA website, click on “Drugs” at the top of their header. Bottom left look for a box of “Resources for you” and click in “Report a problem”.
    Next page -Left side in the Report a problem box, click on “How to report a non-emergency”.
    Next page – The 3rd bold section down stating “How do I report non emergencies about medical prodicts, medicines….etc.” at the end of that paragraph click on “How to Report”.

    ** I know a little redundant ** lol

    Next page – click on “Reporting by consumers” under the “Voluntary reporting by consumers and Healthcare Professionals”
    Next page – click on “Online reporting form” found in the middle of the page under the bold “Submitting adverse Event…….”
    Next page – right had side click on the big blue box that says BEGIN

    ….FINally its the form. Yes a little redundant on the pages….unless I did it the long way or something. lol Sorry if I did – but at least I got you there. 😉

    I suggest EVERYONE go there and submit a reaction they had after weaning off of the drug. Because its important. If people can take the time to write a message, then they can take the time to report it. Because I am sure physicians are not.

    ok – thanks for reading my message and I hope everyone is feeling better after they have weaned off such a drug as Cymbalta. I feel it is over prescribed myself. And for me, it never helped my pain….ever…just added another drug to my pillbox. Never worked for me how it was intended. I was on the highest dosage possible even, for 2 yrs….waiting and hoping it would work, then questioning myself “is it working and I don’t know it?”….nope – I found it was just me, wishing something would evenutally take my horrible pain away.
    Thank you for you time and attention
    God Bless you,
    Jean

  91. I am so glad I found this forum! I was on Cymbalta 30 mg for almost 2 years for anxiety and realized it was affecting my health. My blood pressure kept going higher even with diet and exercise, the joints ached, depression, I was exhausted all the time and I couldn’t sleep.

    I started weaning myself off over a months time and took my last pill May 21, 2013. The first few days were okay and then it hit me. The terrible headaches, intestinal pain and gas, nausea, brain zaps. My husband and I thought I had food poisoning or a terrible virus at first. I am going for a yearly physical this week and will probably have some testing done to rule out Gallbladder problems (runs in the family), but after reading this forum, realize it may very well be withdrawal symptoms of Cymbalta.

    On a good note of going off the Cymbalta, even feeling as lousy as I do, the depression is almost completely gone, I am sleeping better, the joints aren’t as achy, and my blood pressure has gone done from the 140/95 range to almost normal in only one week completely off the pill.

    If all my tests come back normal, I will be contacting Cymbalta and the FDA to report what went on with me. This is not a drug to be taken without extreme caution.

  92. FLPackerBacker June 3, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you all for taking the time to share your experiences. It really has opened my eyes. I never thought about how long I would have to take antidepressants. Now I just want to get off them. I too feel duped that I was put on this drug with no good exit strategy. How do I get to work every day? Drug companies don’t make any money when you try to quit their product! Hmmm. My blood pressure sky rocketed when my doctor switched me to pristiq. And I don’t have BP problems. I took 50mg for only 6 days and told by the doctor to stop everything and see me in 10 days. (I was on Cymbalta for 6 months and lexapro for 2 years before that) by the second day i was having trouble dizzy, nauseous, stuffy ears feeling and sensitive to noise. Once i started getting more dizzy the next day and getting rushing blinking noises behind my eyes i went back on cymbalta. The next day i was feeling better Like I said how do you go to work when you can’t drive. I can’t quit work for a Month at the drop of a dime!

  93. Started taking 5 years ago for FMS and sleeplessness related to it.
    (20 mg). I must say it worked great. Problem came when I went to refill and the insurance company decided to make sure the Dr had tried cheaper alternatives. After 3 days of waiting for the pharmacy and Dr office to figure out where the prob was, (we faxed it, no you didn’t , yes we did) I was feeling amazing without it. I decided to go without and then……all the side affects everyone mentioned here. Took 2 weeks to sort out prescription. I have no intention of going back on it. Never want to go through this again.

    My phy has always told me never to stop suddenly yet they felt no urgency to pick up a phone and contact someone to resolve the problem. Very concerning. Thanks to all who posted

  94. I am 53 days off of cymbalta and morphine sulfate e.r.. I feel horrible. No one understands what I am going through. The morphine part is over, thank the lord! When will this nerve pain, sleeplessness, sweats, & irritability go away? HELP ME!

  95. I tried just one and now all this the truth is Ihad no energy the next day felt like I was drinking was jerking periodidly while eyes stared closing jerks or has muscle spasms also stomach has spasms I am not taking any more regardless. I was taking it for nerve pain in lower back L-4-5 and depression. I think I will stay with my subs a little longer. I am super glad I came across this blog, I wish everyone the best in getting what works for you.

    Subs over Cymbalta /generic brand

  96. I know that some of the side effects and withdrawl symptoms are actually the disease poking it head up. I was misdiagnosed with M.S. at first because of a family history. Wrong. Fifteen years later they find I’ve got fibro, which eats the brain frankly, and it makes you clinically depressed.

    I found out this the hard way. Waiting around to die from M.S. but letting the real disease eat its way through my nervous system system instead. I possibly got the fibro from an infection due to a surgery.

    Yeah, some of the weird stuff about cymbalta, like hallucinations, diarrhea, kidney problems, incontinence, sleepless nights, disconnectedness, are not part of my own situation normally. That list is due to cymbalta instead. Stop taking it, the weird stuff stops. Pain does not.

    I stopped taking it years ago, then watched certain symptoms re-emerge regardless which lead me back to it again. This last time however I could not tolerate the side effects. It was plainly getting to me.

    I stopped almost over night, didn’t have the normal symptoms…like the brain shocks or twitching eyes. The situation was so bad that in spite of what fibro is like, I’m not taking medicine at all. It does seem it has caused some problem with my guts though, but they are getting better after two months.

    So be careful, those side effects, may be the disease itself or a radical departure that will hurt you. On the other hand, don’t wait around to quit for fear the of the side effects. The med has you on a negative feedback loop and, in a sense will try to save itself.

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