Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms Being Kept Secret?

April 22, 2010 — 438 Comments

I wrote an article on how much Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms suck and I was pretty shocked at the amount of comments that are being posted from people who were going through the same exact Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms. The common theme is that no one was made aware of the Cymbalta withdrawal side effects upfront.

There was an article posted over at The Discovering Alcoholic’s website where he talked about Purdue Pharma’s misrepresentation of Oxycontin. The top executives blatantly downplayed the dangers and the addictive properties of Oxycontin with one thing in mind…the almighty dollar. It got me thinking about all of the comments being left on my Cymbalta withdrawal symptom post.

I understand that people aren’t throwing their entire lives away to get another pill of Cymbalta like what is sometimes done (myself included on that) with Oxycontin, but there really is a similarity here. For Cymbalta to cause such severe withdrawal symptoms in people for such an extended period of time there must be some real brain dependency going on here.

What’s worse is that some doctors don’t even realize that Cymbalta causes these withdrawal symptoms and so they are not weening their patients off of it at the speed necessary to avoid severe withdrawal. I had gotten sample boxes from my doctor with the informational sheet (which has “please remove from box before dispensing to patient” written on it) inside and no where did it list the severe withdrawal symptoms. It did say that Cymbalta should not be stopped abruptly. To me, that doesn’t really drive home the fact that severe withdrawal will ensue if it is stopped to quickly.

To me, if doctors are unaware of the severe Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms this could mean that the pharmaceutical reps are going in the doctor’s offices and are not giving the entire scoop on this drug. Possibly…obviously, I’m not there and I don’t know this to be true.

Because of Cymbalta’s pain reduction property, the FDA has now approved Cymbalta being prescribed to Diabetic patients to treat pain due to Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. What I have been reading from patients making posts on message boards here and there is that it works for a couple of months and then is not so effective. Once that happens the patients end up having to continue to take Cymbalta for months and months after it stops being effective to ween off.

I’m not trying to say it’s some huge conspiracy like what happened with Oxycontin but it does make you wonder. Why aren’t Cymbalta patients being told upfront about the long weening off process and the severe withdrawal symptoms? Ultimately it is up to the patient to make an informed choice when starting any medication but it would help if the information was more readily available.

438 responses to Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms Being Kept Secret?

  1. Here I am, a comrade, who cold turkey stopped taking Cymbalta 60mg. because I was tired of being medicated, and my reality being distorted. Also my doctors prescribed Gabapentin 1200 mg. day in divided doses for peripheral neuropathy caused by Statin drugs. My doctor who prescribed it was ignorant and would not listen to the side effects I was having, gave me wrist splints for my wrist pain “so you can put off surgery for carpel tunnel” which I told her I never had before. Now my doc has dropped me, and was sending me a letter. The letter still has not come. She would not renew my Acyclivir for cold sores, and the medical group, Loveless in NM, is really being shitty to me. (The pharmacy aid told me my doctor has resigned, and could not get the Acyclivir). The office staff said she did not want to have patients with pain (she is a GP I just learned!!) Their Pain Doctor (a pharmacist) just quit and so my poor doctor wants happy pain free patients. It has really been abuse, and I have been abandoned, and for reasons I now that could be I am difficult since I quit Cymbalta cold turkey since I had no physician. Now I am difficult and p.o.’d.
    I am signing up with Blue Cross where I can get the most control possible. Hate these groups where they play games, and will not follow through with letters where they say they are coming.
    Hope to be moving out of this third world country, New Mexico, asap, as the docs here are rejects from the rest of the country.
    My feet burn throughout the day, and at noc feel like they have been beaten with a board, and have pickly and painful sensations like nails going through the skin and bone. Only have OTC pain meds, since I refuse seizure meds are the best they can do.
    Want to sleep all day, and make dumb decisions on my own behalf. The Cymbalta was initially prescribed for pain and depression due to the Peripheral Neuropathy, but bedtime pain was not being helped.
    My doc who resigned was a poor advocate for her patients since she did not even have handwashing sinks in her office. She said they were told that the topical sanitizer was adequate. Well, I don’t want other patients dead cells on my body, thank you, and I might like to wash and rinse my skin. I am a registered nurse and know better. I called administration at Loveless, etc. They finally put in handwashing sinks a week ago, just when she resigned from my care.
    Never would have moved here to NM and never would have signed up with Loveless where the docs refuse to listen to side effects and the staff tell you to quit calling and complaining about side effects because the doc is not well informed.
    Not too happy right now. Cymbalta side effects make me nauseated, and dizzy, and at times unable to concentrate and follow through with what I thought a minute I needed to do.
    We are being experimented with. Doctors love prescriptions cause they make money selling them. Plunging my feet in cold water at midnight helps but what a big shock, and that was needed when I was taking the chemicals they were selling me.
    Anyone with ideas what to do when a doc abandons you, etc. would be helpful. Plan to make her life as unhappy with complaints to the right agency as she has made me.

    • Judith, I so feel your pain. I also suffer from painful PN, which has evolved into Charcot disease and the loss of my right leg, below the knee. My symptoms were like yours in that I could not sleep due to pain in my feet. This pain eventually involved my hands and currently I still suffer form these symptoms. But unlike you my doctors treat my pain. My team consists of a family physician, neurologist, neuro-psychologist and a orthopedist. I also quit Cymbalta cold turkey and suffered the horrible withdrawels, and will never take it again. I currently take Lyrica three times daily and have a script for pain medication that can be taken as needed. My doctors also prescribe trazadone for sleep. My symptoms began in 2001 and my case has become severe and very complicated. I encourage you to seek proper care and find doctors who will listen to you and have experience with PN and chronic pain. Best wishes to you.

      • You have my sympathy, as losing a leg must have been absolutely the worst. So so sorry.
        My feet get discolored in the evening and I must keep them elevated. Sort of bluish red and I know the circulation is compromised.
        You are very compassionate given that you have suffered so much. More damage done in the name of medicine. It seems safer to not have a physician in the long run. The insurance groups here are for profit and they have no professionally trained people in the doctors office. They get my prescriptions wrong when the pharmacist calls in for a renewal order and are improper when it is drawn to their attention. They try to make it my fault.
        I am wondering why I cannot get Tylenol #2 for pain in my feet at night so I can fall asleep. Have not known where to turn. Waiting to get the letter from my doctor that she has fired me, before I find another. Strange they do not want to put it in writing, so I wait, and wait. Sleep deprived, fell to sleep after 4:40 am this morning but must get up to let dogs outside at seven am.
        Hopefully this too will be history, and maybe we can play a conference where we can all meet and share.
        My prayers are with you. Never expected I would be here, but guess none of us would.

  2. I am so glad I found this site. I’ve finally decided to get off all of the drugs I’m taking after the doctor called and told me I had to take Coumadin for the rest of my life, simply because I blood clots in May. I had just finished with chemotherapy for a second round of Lymphoma and had spent most of April and May sleeping and off my feet which resulted in the clots. The last time I had this problem was 25 years ago after a car accident left me bed-ridden for several months. Hardly a chronic problem.

    I got so angry that all the doctors seem care about is prescribing more medications to make money off of me.
    I had already declined to take four other meds, after they spent three years trying to scare me into taking high blood pressure medications. I lasted one week and became so sick, it took me two months to recover. But that still leaves me on five other drugs, including Cymbalta. I am 60mg and I want off. I’m also on Ambien, Ativan, Oxycotin and Vicodan. I plan to stop taking them one at a time, but figured I should start with Cymbalta as it will probably take me at least three months to taper off.

    I’ve been on antidepressants for 11 years, since my daughter died in 2000. I started out on Prozac, then switched to Paxil, then to Effexor and finally on to Cymbalta, on suggestion of my doctor. My husband also takes Cymbalta, but he is only on 30 mg.

    If I had known about these drugs 11 years ago, I never would have started them. I am so pissed!!
    No one has ever discussed the side effects on any of these, and they actually told me to stay off the internet because I would only find “horror stories” about my “illnesses”.

    Ironically, chemo triggered buried childhood memories about child abuse that caused me to freak out, and I was sent to a therapist to talk about it. She not only helped me deal with these memories, but she taught me how to stand up for myself.

    Surprise, surprise… now that means learning about these drugs and what they are doing to me. So now I am “on the internet” to see how many people have the same problems I have. Boy, have my eyes been opened!!

    Thanks, Erin, for sharing your experience, and for everyone who commented. It’s been very helpful for me.

  3. Hello Cindi,
    Thank you for sharing your pain with us. It is really hard to live it and then writing about it makes it even more real. Imagine. We must live with what is real.
    Please be very careful with your withdrawl from Cymbalta. I pulled it all cold turkey, and it was not a healthy way to do it. My thinking was so muddled, and my physician had resigned because her pain “doctor”, a pharmacist in this Medicare group, quit. Imagine it was too hard for her to deal with people’s pain. She only wanted healthy pain free people. I was so fed I that I thought I would show them and stopped seizure med and Cymbalta at the same time. Try to taper your meds. I finally started taking the seizure med after emptying half the capsule. It seemed that three months ago when they changed the generic, that the medication had a different effect on me, and I kept asking the pharmacist about it, and he just shrugged. How and who would I get to test it, so I wanted to stop using it, as I did not trust it any more.
    One person here wrote about a pain team that was developed to help her work out the medications that would work for her. My feeling is do not start it, but to be honest, we need something for nerve pain, and emotional pain at some point in time. I have thought that life is not worth living if it must be lived in pain all the time, but then I think of all the people with really horrid injuries from the war America has perpetrated on our people and the people in the world. So many missing limbs, and missing families, that surely I should not be complaining about my pain.
    I ended up going to the emergency room where the ER doc treated me like I was a drug seeker who might sell them on the street corner. Wanted to try Tylenol #3, to see it it would stop the pain. He was so rude and cruel, and I used a lot of restraint to not tell him what I thought of him. I worked in ER as a nurse more than thirty years ago, and never heard any doctor talked to any patient like that. Am getting a copy of his records and will write his managers. This was my second experience as a patient in ER in forty years, the other for bladder pain from a UTI. Will never go with Loveless again, since they gave me this PN and poorly managed pain plan. Never will go with Albuquerque Health Care either, since that is the urgent care that was to help me, not beat me up.
    Cinci, be very careful who you trust yourself with, exp, with Cymbalta withdrawl. Do it slowly and drink lots of water.
    I am thinking of you.
    Judith

  4. My husband has only been on cymbalta for a little under 2 month. For the last two weeks he has been acting like he is drunk. Staggering some, weak, lack of appetite just wants to stay in bed, feeling like he has the flu. He was given cymbalta for circulation problems in his legs not for depression. He says he feels foggie in the brain, weak and unsteady on his feet, his memory has been affected and I will not let him drive for his judgement is off. Is this the side effects any of you have experienced. Our doctor said she would put him on 30mg for he was on 60mg. What is the wein down process and what are the symptons is one goes cold turkey….Help anyone.

    • My best advice Adrienne, is to find another doctor. Cymbalta for circulation problems? Is that an on label treatment? Never heard of it, and cannot understand how this medication can help. If your husband is reacting so severely now, he must not continue. He should be tapered and taken off this drug. It is horrible to feel like that.
      I sympathize with how he must be feeling, and hope that you have reported these side effects to the FDA, as there is a page where you can report serious side effects, and this is certainly serious. They should not use medications for off label and I as a RN would never give medication off label to any of my patients.
      One family tried to pressure me to do so cause they spent hundreds of dollars on a medication that was not recommended for elderly, and could cause death. I told them no way, no how. They took their mother from my licensed home and put her in an inferior home and she was dead within a week, most likely because they got talked into giving this medication. This is your husband, the central figure in your life and do not take any chances. He needs you more now than ever.
      Suggest you give half dose for one week, then half of that for another week and then stop completely.
      I feel so much better since I am over the withdraw symptoms, although I sometimes still feel like I am spinning. Trying to get off the Gabapentin (seizure medication) for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy in both feet caused by statin drugs that I will have forever and why I was started on Cymbalta.
      I am looking at possibly having the nerves cut in my feet to stop the pain rather than have my brain and whole body affected by drugs to kill pain in my feet.
      Foggie in the brain is like having a lobotomy. No way, no how, for no reason ever is this justified.
      Please do not feel you are over reacting;staggering and feeling like one is about to fall and losing one appetite are BIG and Serious Issues. Be his advocate and take charge for his sake.

  5. I just wanted to thank you all for your comments. I am in the process of weening off Cymbalta and stopped taking it completely, this is my 3rd day! I actually fired my family doctor of 14 years who just wouldn’t listen to me!!! I told her that I was having severe depression and horrible thoughts. I tried to make an appointment with her and she had her staff call me back and tell me that I needed to see a psychiatrist, WHAT? I went on a mission to find a new doctor, and I found a very caring young woman who LISTENED to me! She said that Cymbalta is a horrible medicine and since I was taking 9o mg a day it has taken 2 months so far to ween me off! My new doctor told me that I was going to feel like hell while weening off of this medicine, but I will feel great once it’s out of my system. Well, she was right… I FEEL LIKE HELL! But, reading your posts, I realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I thank you all again for this web site and your comments. God bless you and Merry Christmas!

    • I have been taking Cymbalta for 3 1/2 to 4 years and I hate how it was making me feel! I told my doctor that I wanted to go off of it and asked how I should go about it. After asking my why I wanted to go off of it, he then told me to just stop taking it. I told him that the ads for it says Do Not Stop Taking Suddenly! He said he had never heard of that before,but if I really wanted to stop taking it, to go for 1 week taking 1 60 mg. a a day and the next week, take one every other day. I am on week 2 and I really feel like crap!!! Dizzy, brain flashes, headaches, and nausea.I will get through it!! I am also considering changing doctors too. When I toldl him of the wierd things that are happening to me, he aseked why I think it is the Cymbalta.(I am taking several other meds too) I told him I had read lots of bad things about it and I didn’t want to take it anymore.He dosen’t ever listen to anything I have to say about it. My daughter is a drug rep. and she says that doctors only know what the drug reps tell them. If they are not informed, the doctors don’t know anything. It helps to know that others are going through the same thing I am going through. I will hang in there and get through it by the Grace Of God!! Sandi

  6. Congratulations Mary Beth. You will get past this and will notice that the feelings pulling you down will end. Physicians do not want to listen to side effects of medications, because they are likely owning stock in the companies that produce them.
    You are being monitored and tiered down slowly and will therefore adjust without serious signs, but if they occur for a short time, you will be ready for them and take it in stride.
    Merry Christmas to you and I wish that you find a physician that will know his business and not just “practice”.
    Love, Judith

    • hello judith im new at this i have been on cymbalta 60mg for anixety for seven months than on 30mg for a mth den on 30mg every second day since i stopped cymbalta i have severe stomach pains diarrachea headaches i was just wondern are they side affects of cumin off and if it is how long will it last i really feel like shit i didnt feel dis bad before i went on it i hope it passes soon :(

  7. I was prescribed Cymbalta for depression and neuropathy , approx 3yrs ago by a local psych , I began with 30 mg and stepped up taking a year to arrive at 120 mg , I never truly felt any changes due to only Cymbalta , but ….. I was also on Lisinopril for blood pressure , Simvistatin cholesterol , Gabapentin for I have no idea why , and also Novolog with infusion pump therapy .
    A year ago I was involved in a domestic situation at home , which I had no recollection of , and was dismissed as frivilous . …. but where the issue arises and till beginning my own research on what I’m encountering . Upon being removed all my meds in proper containers with Doc’s names phone #’s and dosage instructions . ……. All were ignored I received no meds and my insulin pump was confiscated , so I find now this is the way law enforcement now handles individuals with medical issues , Btw I’ve been T1 diabetic for 26 yrs ……. After getting back to my psych it took a while , he had no idea what to do , now as I read I guess theres no instruction for this as its not proper behavior to shock individuals off meds . Now I’ve come to find out why I’ve encountered all the symptoms , I have been dealt .

    • I am 23 yrs old and have been on cymbalta for 3 years, 60 mg. At first I went into the doctors telling then how I have a lot of anxiety. The first thing I was put on was cymbalta. At first it was great since it took away my anxiety. But then I started to notice that when I would forget to take one for the day I’d be very cloudy in my thought process during the day and instant anxiety. 3 yrs later I don’t wanna be dependant on any type of prescription so I was weaning myself off the cymbalta by taking out 7 to 10 beads everyday. Until my last pill 5 days ago. I felt fine up until yesterday the fourth day. I’ve had very bad nightmares, brainzaps, very emotional, anxious, scared, and my body hurts so bad. I’ve looked up so many sites of people weaning off cymbalta and the hope I hold onto is knowing I’m not the only one out their going thru this. I am disgusted with my doctor and how he prescribed someone so young such a strong drug to begin with. I read an article of how these doctors get paid to push products on you. Not fair . Wish they could feel what all us are going through trying to get off cymbalta. My biggest question is….. Is there any severe things I need to look out for before I know the symtoms are too much. Can it injure your body in any bad way while getting off.
      Thank u so much for listening and for everyone’s stories.
      Jen

  8. Thank you for putting this blog up. I have been taking Cymbaltia 60 mg for three years now.I no longer have insurance so I under my doctors supervision, having been weaning myself off. Dizziness, forgetfullness, eye shakes, heavy sweats, so tired, I husband and daughter just don’t understand what I am going thru. I have been taking 30 mg. for three weeks now, is it your feeling that I will feel better when I stop it completely, and it is totally out of my system?

  9. I am just a week or so off cymbalta switched to Zoloft since I cannot afford Cymbalta without insurance and I FEEL LIKE DEATH! I puke, feel shakey, brain zaps, blurring vision, very dizzy, slurred speech sometimes or confusion, nightmares, insomnia,(i take sleeping aid in which I am sure i will get stuck on them and not be able to sleep on my own when this ever ends) feel like if I lay down and close my eyes i spin. Does this end? Its ruining my days I have no desire to do anything and feel like hell.

    • That’s what my dr switched me to and he said I didn’t need to ween off because they are both re-uptakers ??? But I’ve been off Cymbalta and on Zoloft for 4 days now and I feel foggy as ever… :(

  10. I have been on Cymbalta 60mg for just over 2 years. My doctor put me on it for my IBS. I was hesitant to get on a drug of this type but he said it would help my stomach so I took a chance. Well I cant really say it has helped with my stomach at all. Also, within the last 4 months I have been experiencing severe panic attacks, many of them occurring while I’m at work. I did not link it to Cymbalta until I decided to cold turkey my meds without talking to my dr. I was fine for the first 4-5 days and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been extremely dizzy, lightheaded, emotional and nauseated. I feel like HELL and dont know when it will end. I called my dr after 5 days of cold turkeying and he prescribed me Cymbalta 30mg to take everyday for 2 weeks, then go to every other day for 2 weeks and finally twice a week for 2 weeks. I am on the second part of that, every other day for 2 weeks, and I still feel horrible. I actually just had another panic attack about 30 min ago. I have been having panic attacks atleast once a week and I can tell when they are going to happen because I am usually very dizzy that day. I honestly just want to check into some kind of rehab facility until this drug is out of my system. My body does not know how to cope with any stress at all right now. I would have never gotten on this medication if I would have been informed about how hard the weening off process is.

  11. I feel your pain! I have been withdrawing from this garbage for two months and am finally at a zero dose..Only problem is severe hot and cold flashes, migraines, severe severe insomnia( I mean I have not gotten sleep in 5 days literally)..I’m extremely moody and without being on xanax xr I would be ripping my hair out at this point..I was also never informed whatsoever on the side effects of this drug at all, I really hope at this point it gets better because even going from 60 mg down to 20 It still did not help at all..I’m scared that there is going to be long lasting side effects from this and with my experience with this drug I refuse to ever take any pill again unless it is a life threatening problem…Not to mention I am also getting constant chest pains..This stuff should be pulled off the market because I have an eery feeling I’m going to see one of those, call If you have taken this drug commercials that has led to deaths or something

    • This is the first time I have every written or replyed to a website. I was on Cym. for 2 months 30 to 60 90 in two months. I could not remember anything. It certanly did not help with any anxiety, if I had a cocktail I would immediatly become drunk. I decided to wein off. This was not the life I wanted to lead. It has been two weeks weining and 4 days off. I have never felt this bad ever in my life…. I have beat cancer 3 times and that didn’t compare to this. Horrible nightmares, night shakes, no sleep, very dizy sick to my stomach, hot flashes and very cold flashes. I feel like if I don’t keep enough water in me than I would pass out at the wheel while driving my child. It is the worst drug I have ever hear of. I am glad I found this website. I wish I would have read up on this before taking and trusting my doctor. 47 in kentucky.

  12. I’ve been on cymbalta since august 2011 started at 30 mg for 1st 7 days then bumped to 60mg then in september my Dr bumped it up to 120mg for my fibromyalgia since i was in severe amounts of pain and not able to function on a day to day basis. I was not made aware of the side affects of should i need to be weened off this medication how much my body would let me know it was not agreeing with it. Its now mid february 2012 and my new Dr agrees since in the past 6 months my moods have gotten worse and the pain hasnt improved we should try other ways to treat my fibromyalgia so Im being weened off of the cymbalta. Im on day 6 of going from 120mg to 60mg and ive done basically nothing but sleep and lay around, I have severe migraines, dizzy spells, feel nauseous, and im either sad or crying. You can say Ive withdrawn from everyone around me and isolated myself at home. My husband is being paitient and understanding thinking maybe i just need to let my body rest but i worry its making me more depressed then i was prior to taking the medicine. this is no way to live and i wish i was informed prior to being prescribed this drug of all the side effects so i could of chosen whether to take it or refuse to take it.

    • A long-distance friend was taken to the hospital yesterday for following Dr. orders on going off Cymbalta. She directed me to this group. Like you, Debbie, I was put on Cymbalta for “Fibro” (even though I told the Psych. I didn’t have “Fibro”. I’ve been on 60 mg for 2 years and am going to start going off tomorrow. I’ve been through soe of the things you have, before I’ve started tappering off. I just got a refill for the 60mg & after reading the entries here I think I’ll try the “Take two little balls out of the capsule” for several days, then take out 4, etc. I am also supplementing myself with 800 mg of SAMe, 1000 Vit D, B12, B6, Vit. C. Still need to work on the doses. Anyone think I’m insane? I can’t sleep until about 4 am and then sleep until noon and can’t function, isolated myself to a point, one drink and I’m suddenly the life of the party (not me), DIZZY, blurred vision, etc. Can’t wait for all that to get worse before it gets better. I’d appreciate some advice or stories of what you have tried and has helped or hasn’t. I know everyone is different, but I have got to get off this before I move up the dosage and go for another year! Stop me. Thanks.

  13. so you guys mean to say that it is normal to have this horrible chest pain as well as the other side effects from weaning off this crap cymbalta?

  14. I was put on this drug after 12 failed nerve blocks for residual chest wall and lung pain after six lung collapses and two lung surgeries in the past three years!! I have been to every pain specialist in Toronto and they even suggested methadone which I refused. I got totally addicted to the pain meds for a good year and a half and it almost destroyed my entire life. I am a marathoner so this was all new to me and am does it happen fast! The cymbals does nothing for my pain and I thought initially it was helping for my moods but now it has no effect. I am back running so I have cut myself off of cymbalta but for the past three weeks everything I eat goes right through me? Did anyone else get this side effect?? I literally am just renting my meals!! I am starting to get really worried about it but don’t want to go and see the dr and explain why I felt it necessary to go off of Cymbalta since I know he won’t agree right now… So frustrated with all of this nonsense and the pain is back in my chest and back to boot!!

  15. Martha I have the chest pain!!

  16. I am so relieved to read all of these comments about weaning off cymbalta.
    I have been slowly weaning off since January, 6o mg one day, 30 mg. the next, for two months. Starting March, I am at 30 mg. a day.
    I am light headed, slightly dizzy.
    My head buzzes. My decisions difficult.
    I’ve felt so many unpleasant things that I didn’t know were side effects.
    The hot flashes, the feeling of being crazy, wanting to jump out of my skin.
    Wanting to go home after work and go right to bed.

    And I am still at 30 mg.
    In 2 mos. I hope to be off it completely.
    I feel awful.

  17. Based on the withdrawal I am going through- which is like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life- I think this drug should be taken off the market. Maybe it works for some; or maybe it’s ok for those who will stay on it the rest of their lives. But it didn’t work for me, and I’ve never felt so awful in my life as I am feeling during these withdrawals.

  18. I was on 150mg of effexor per day for about 1 year.. I complained to the dr that my sex drive was way down and if there was another med that didn’t have this bad of an effect on it. He prescribed me 30mg of Cymbalta and after 7 days 60 mg.. He said I didn’t need to ween off of effexor but I started getting side effects bad and called another dr from the practice I go to. So she worked something up for me to ween off and have the Cymbalta as well. Now lately my panic attacks have been outrageous to the point that I can’t even leave my house sometimes. So dr switched me to Zoloft. Again he told me because they are both reuptakers then there is no need to ween off of the Cymbalta. Now after reading all these I am wondering has my Zoloft kicked in? Are my panic attacks worse cause of withdrawals. Now mind you, I am getting married in 4 weeks…. I so need this to get better before then:.. Please tell me there is hope and that 4 weeks is plenty of time to get the Cymbalta out of my system. FYI I was only on Cymbalta for 2 months.

  19. i am 41 and on and off of antidepressant meds for the last 14 years. After being on one for awhile it would begin to not work and then he would change my script to something else. Finally for the last 5 years i have been on 60 mg. of Cymbalta. I had gained alot of weight and on day realized i was tired of being sick and tired and just plain numb to everything in my life. I decided to take control of that issue then tackle my 40 lbs i needed to lose. First, it was for me to decide in my mind I was done taking meds. Period. I was NOT going to allow myself to being held captive anymore by these damn meds. I talked to my doctor and he put me on a step down program. i was at first skeptical because he started the ween down by ADDING Wellbutrin….ugh, really? adding more to ween off?! It was only later in my 4 week weening that I found this to make sense and understand what he was doing by adding the Wellbutrin. Over a 4 week process i gradually decreased my Cymbalta dosage then decreasing the days and finally ending with Wellbutrin. I will not type this and lie, there were times and days that werent the greatest. but again, I had made up my mind and was determined to live med free. My withdraws consisted of headaches, insomnia, thirsty spells, sweating spells and an occasional brain zap. Honestly, for me, nothing that was not bearable. I began taking high dose Fish Oil and DHEA vitamins. I began exercising regularly and controlling my calorie intake to 1000 cal., i also began going to the tanning booth (which the doctor suggested due to cold dreary Ohio weather). In 2 weeks of being clean and sober from the meds and following the above regiman, I have dropped 10 pounds and honestly felt as though I am alive again!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t sleep all day like i use to, I have not felt so good in sooo long. I recommend anyone wanting to take control of their life again and stop becoming a prisoner to these damn synthetic drugs. We have become a society of giving a pill for everything and it is a shame. God bless everyone and find your strength from within :) you CAN do this!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jen,
      This is exactly what I am going through. I want to know how much fish oil, it is Omega 3 or Omega and what dosage you take daily Also How much DHEA as well I am not going to rant here about irresponsible Md. I just want my life back, I took Cym. fir eight months and the only one to give me any real info was the pharmacist when I called to asked how long the withdrawal takes. He did say 4-6wks for someone like me to took it for 8 months and stopped cold turkey. My doc wanted to ween me( of course more drugs taking more money for him). Please help with suppliment info.

      Bouncing off the walls in Ottawa, Canada

  20. My Dr. gave me Cymbalta for depression/anxiety. I started on 30mg and moved to 60mg. I’ve been on the drug for about 6 months and want off! I am also on wellabutrin. I stopped taking the Cymbalta for about 3 days and felt loopy and dizy but able to function. I am very teary too. I cried for about 2 hours today…uhg. I then looked on line and found you guys. Now I know what’s going on – thank you! My Dr. said that there shouldn’t be any hard time stopping this drug – I took that as stop when you want…bad choice. After reading your posts I’ve called my Dr. I’m a little nervous that I did the wrong thing in quitting cold turkey. I can’t wait to talk to my Dr. to be weened off this crappy drug! I had no idea how bad this could be!!
    I have one question for you guys?? How long did the withdraw symptoms last???

    • Did you talk to your Dr. yet, about weening off the Cymbalta? For me I had to do it real slow. I was on 60 and after 2 months I’ve been off Cymbalta for 2 weeks. I did not have Welbutrin and my Dr. knew I was going to ween myself off. He didn’t offer any advice, accept to ask what I was going to do for the pain. I told him I’d figure that out after my my brain stopped zapping, I quit feeling dizzy and stopped staring into space doing absolutely nothing for days on end. Cold Turkey, I probably would have killed myself. Even slowly cutting back by opening the 60 mg and counting out 1 then 2 then 3 etc. I had some horrible days. Crying was helped with “self-medicating” and using this list for ideas. I had a prescription for Klonopin (4 mg at night before bed). I spread those 4 out over 24 hours to help with “break-through” panic, hysteria, creepy-crawly feelings, jerks and headaches. The last two weeks has been rough, but I’ve been better the last 2 days and hope to have many more days that are better and better. Talk to your Dr. but read this list and do what you need to do to make you feel better and get through the dark periods. God bless.

  21. i sympathise with everyone on this site. i have been on cymbalta 60mg for 18 months now due to anxiety. i think the cymbalta made me feel worse than i thought looking back. i have a foggy memory of my past 18months. i have been completely off cymbalta for 5 days now. i started by taking 30mg for 2 days then nothing. the withdrawals were awful but now i am on day 7 and woke up feeling great. hopefully this is it for me… ! yesterday was a pretty good day also. can anyone tell me if this is it… will i only start going uphill from here??? i really hope so. i want to actually live in my life… not just be part of it.

  22. I am glad to know I am not alone. I was put on Cymbalta for depression after my divorce and ended up going up to 120 mg a day. Although it worked pretty well for depression, it also caused me to not give a darn about watching what I ate. So, 40 pounds later, I decided I needed to get off it. I have been weaning off for 4 months and now am on day 4 of being totally off. Terrible brain zaps, insomnia, muscle pain, and I have become incredibly crabby. I just wondered how long to expect these symptoms. I read Magnesium Malate may help with the brain zaps. I’m scared I’m going to end up fired because of my uncontrollable attitude. I’ve explained how horrible the withdrawal is to my boss but I called him a dumbass today. Not in my nature at all. And I keep yelling at my 3 year old. I hope things don’t get worse….

  23. It’s been a horrible week, month, two months for me. I weened off Cymbalta slowly, but didn’t take into account that I have been on SSRI’s for a long time. I’m have been off Cymbalta for 5 weeks and tonight I may have to end it all. Lots of people are stronger than me or have better support. I thought I was loved and had a few friends, but I think I chased them all away with my anger that is one of the side-effects. I tried to explain what I was gong thru and what to expect, but people don’t want to put up with me being like this for months and months. Yesterday the Dr. said it could take another 2-3 months. I’ll have no one left in my life by then. It’s got be over now.

  24. Sorry but the pharmacology info. states and has stated that you don’t stop cymbalta or any other SSRI abruptly due to side effects. And the doctors I go to tell you that. I take it for chronic back pain and there is effectiveness there but I have to get off of it and another drug I take for another condition because the price my HMO pays for them are bringing me to close to the “gap” in medicare coverage and I still have 6 more months in this year with only $900 to go before I’m in the gap. Cymbalta alone will put me there in 4-5 months.

  25. I have to say that some doctors are inexperienced with some drugs. I, however, did NOT have this experience. I knew what was coming, and sure, it sucked, bit I was warned. I had two different doctors in the process of taking Cymbalta (I moved). Both of them said, “DO NOT TRY TO STOP TAKING THIS WITHOUT TALKING TO US FIRST.” When I was considering it, I got detailed directions on how to ween off, and a phone number to call if it got too bad. For three weeks I was very sick, but I was warned, so I took some time off of work. I was even informed that withdrawal symptoms can mimic original symptoms, but for me this did not happen. In my opinion, the experience I had on Cymbalta was well worth the struggle of withdrawal (a year of peace, compared to three weeks of severe sick). Cymbalta helped me so much with anxiety. If I hadn’t gone on it, I might be in a casket right now. For those of you who feel that it is worth it to be on Cymbalta, try asking your doctor to switch you to something like Prozac when you want to ween off. It has a much longer half life than Cymbalta, and is one of the only SSRIs with less of a risk of Discontinuation Syndrome. I’ve heard that it can help with the Cymbalta sick that people go through when trying to go off.

  26. I’ve been on SSRI’s for many years (+10), Cymbalta being the last. I’ve had a terrible time weaning off. My Doctor has me on Lamictal now, to help with the withdraw. I wanted Vicodin but as a Pshychiatrist he can’t really prescribe that. I have had 20 surgeries for another disease over the past two years and had stored up some Vicodin. I found that really got me through the day with energy and no side-effects. Have you heard about Lamictal or anyone one that med? I’m in a bad place almost 3 months after starting to ween off.

  27. day one….. Dr. Pulled me off cymbalta cold turkey. I am so worried. I will keep you updated!

  28. day one….. Dr. Pulled me off cymbalta cold turkey. I am so worried. The more i read the more scared i get. I am having horrible side effects from the cymbalta. I would rather deal with the fibro pain, then the medicine! I will post all of my withdrawl symptoms as they occur. Wish me luck!

  29. I had no idea ! I have been on 60 mg of cymbalta for 4 plus years and have been weaning off for a month then to nothing within 4 days I have experienced nausea, diarrhea , bloating, my stomoch is very sore and hard, severe cramping , hot and cold shivers , tiredness and very bad dizzy spells which ate still happening I also get tearful and hear noises in my head I thought I has gastro ! I have never in my life felt so unwell, I’m hoping these symptoms will pass soon Iam very headstrong not to fall back into taking them ! Am I doing the right thing? Comments would be greatly appreciated

  30. WOW.. I’m taking 120 mg a day for OA and depression.Fiona,I am having the same issues! Swear I hear a bluegrass band off in the distance,dizzy,can’t sleep,can’t remember shit.Weight gain,bloated.I look like I’m 5 months pregnant!! Twitching.Can’t deal w/ stress at all. Short w/ the kids.I have dealt w/(successfully) opiate addiction ,that was brutal.Used Kava Kava,Valerian root for sleep and St.John/s wort to boost mood. Seemed to help.Also drink alot of water to flush your body of that junk,w/cucumber or lemon. In an attempt to get some sleep tonight I just took 4″capsules”,one stuck to my tongue and now the roof of my mouth is numb!! WTH??

  31. Cymbalta is an evil drug. I have a lower back injury I sustained due being being assaulted.
    I’m prescribed 60mg a day and have been taking it for just over 6 months. Being cripled with a lower back injury for 2 years and going bankrupt due to not being able to work, my Dr believes I suffer from Major Depression. I feel that I’m only depressed due to these circumstances, becoming disabled, not being able to do much anymore and financial ruin. I have never suffered depression before. My DR insists I continue to take it even tho I am experiencing horrible side effects.
    Since taking Cymbalta I now find myself crying randomly daily and feeling like a broken man. I hardly see my friends anymore as I feel like something is wrong with me, I’m embarrassed that they will think I have lost my mind.I dont want them to see me like this so I have driven them away. I have become a recluse. I have lost my sex drive and my happy nature.
    It has made me feel so depressed, have suicidal thoughts, has killed my motivation and I hardly sleep at night even tho it makes me tired all the time. I toss and turn every night, have body jolts and muscle spasms, clench my jaw regulary like it is locked into the closed position and my legs are very restless. I wake up in a pool of sweat every morning even in winter.
    I feel so sick in the stomach and have stomach aches and cramps everyday.
    My mouth is so dry , I never feel hydrated, hardly eat, but on the positive side it has decreased the amount of cigarettes I smoke, from 20 day to only 5 smokes a day which is good.
    I feel so agitated, erratic and highly strung. It makes me talk too much, I’m forgetful, clumsy and accident prone. I have hot flushes and random episodes of excessive sweating and people look at me strangely when they notice. I get the shakes and feel like I don”t own my body. Sometimes I just lay on the sofa and stare blankly into space like a zombie. Time passes me by and I don”t even notice or care. Its like the rest of the world doesn”t exist. I have never felt like this before. I feel like I am unable to function normally.
    After reading other peoples comments and experiences and experiencing my own I have decided to wean myself off this drug, I’m worried about the withdrawl, its going to be hell but I just want to feel normal again.
    I can”t talk to my friends or family about it , as I have cut off most communication with them due to feeling unwell and fear of being judged for what I am going thru, I am on my own. It”s hard to explain whats going on to someone who has never experienced something like this and the last thing I want anyone to do is feel pity for me or call me a victim.
    My Dr keeps telling me to deal with the process, but I’m at my wits end and can”t take it anymore.
    I will never take Cymbalta again.

    • G… I know exactly what you mean. I have been on Cymbalta for 2 yrs now. I felt wonderful once they got in my system. I too was put on them for depression caused by my husband leaving our 30 yr marriage to go live with someone he moved in with after their first so called date. I was devestated. That wasn’t the end of my bad luck either. On top of that I lost my home and had to live in a friends basement. Had to turn my only son into the police for child molestation. (hardest thing I ever had to do but felt I had no other choice) Lost almost all my belongings when the basement I was living in flooded. Had no income what so ever as I couldn’t work due to back injuries. They sold their house so I had to move with other friends. Had a heart attack in Jan of 2010. The friends I was staying with also ended up having to move so I was homeless. I wanted to be by my son as I still love him no matter what, so I was going to camp for the summer when I got caught in a rain storm and my tent didn’t hold up. I ended up staying with my ex’s brother and his friend. This was the best thing in the world because I ended up falling in love with his friend and we now have our own place, my disability finally came in and I am finally happy again. Now, because I had to switch dr.s, my prescription for cymbalta was from my old dr. and ran out. Of course the pharmacy didn’t tell me that I needed a new prescription. I finally called them to see what the problem was after not having it for a week, and that’s when they told me. I now have to make an appt with my new dr. to get the prescription renewed. In the mean time, I’m going through pure hell. I have the shakes so bad that I can’t even hold a glass of water…the headache is as close to a migraine as you can get… I’m crying day after day… Feel like i’m climbing out of my skin, and so irritable that my boyfriend says he can’t stand to be around me. I just feel so helpless and sad. I haven’t slept in days… maybe an hour here and there.. and that’s even with sleeping pills.I just don’t know how long I can handle this feeling. I also ended up in a mental hospital for a few days right after my husband left me as I tried to commit suicide. That’s when they decided to put me on Cymbalta because nothing else was working for me. I have been on and off of anti depressents for 25 yrs. I just can’t seem to cope with every day life without them. I would love to be able to go off of all my meds, but also know I am not strong enough to survive without them. Not now anyway. I give anyone a big round of applause that can survive the withdrawls.
      Good luck G… God Bless you and keep you strong enough to follow through.

  32. I was on 60 mg of Cymbalta for about 18 months. I decided to go off the drug for several reasons and tried to taper off as slowly as I could. After about two days of being of Cymbalta, I started to experience some pretty severe withdrawal symptoms. I was not aware of just how bad it could get…my doctor didn’t tell me that withdrawal symptoms could be severe. I was nauseous,vomiting, had diarrhea, chills, and those lovely “brain zaps”. It felt like having an extremely severe flu. For me, the brain zaps were the worst. If I turned my head quickly,I would get a buzzing sensation in my ears and a slightly displaced, somewhat lightheaded feeling. I had never experienced anything like it before, and luckily haven’t since. When you are going through it, it feels like its never going to end, but it does. Some people will overcome it quickly, while others will take longer. It will get easier with time. I would definitely recommend tapering off as slowly as you can, and ask your doctor for advice.

  33. I’ve just gone cold turkey on cymbalta 60mg, after dropping it down to once every 2 days (and it made me feel like I was going back on it) and now I’m feeling horribly naucsous and my head is spinning all the time. I’ve been sent home from my casual job twice now and I’m fed up and am hoping someone has some advice on what I can do/take to stop me being so nausious.

    • hey Anatomicagirl,

      Sorry to hear you have had to experience the nightmare of discontinuing Cymbalta! How are you doing now? How long did it last? I am three days off altogether now and it is pure hell!

  34. This is hell! I took cymbalta to help alleviate musculoskeletal pain as well as anxiety. I was unwilling but pushed by my primary physician for several months that cymbalta would help me tremendously . Finally I gave in. Only 2 WEEKS on cymbalta I started feeling dizzy , blurred vision, excessive sweating, headache , extreme fatigue, and sleeplessness . So I called my Dr. And said the side effects were too great. She said stop taking it. Now, 3 weeks later I am even worse and so are the symptoms. Not only has my dizziness increased , I now have vertigo and am afraid to drive. A day ago I got up from a chair in my backyard and blacked out… Actually fainted, fell straight back and landed on the cement. I ended up in the ER with a Huge lump on my head and a bruised tailbone . On top of that , as if that’s not enough, I feel so depressed that I feel desperate at times. I cry, I am completely irritable and cannot handle ANY pressure. I am a mom of 3 teenagers and this has affected their lives as well as my husbands and my relationship! I feel robbed and cheated of precious time! Something needs to be done and people need to be informed of the withdraw symptoms PRIOR to taking cymbalta! Please don’t let your loved ones take this drug ever!!!

  35. Hey Hurting,

    I feel your pain, literally right now! It’s terrible isn’t it? I have been on 120 mg Cymbalta for at least six months (I can’t even remember if I started some time in 2012 or even back in 2011 – that is how blase and fuzzy I have been on them!). Anyway, I recently decided to get off medicaion altogether and try treating my depression simply with with good nutrition, exercise and adequate sunlight etc. I started the nutrition first and I did notice I felt much better, then about a week ago I went down from 120mg to 60 mg for one week and stopped altogether at the start of this week. It is day three of cold turkey and I am in hell!!!!! The dizziness/disorientation and confusion is so debilitating isn’t it? The list of symptoms I’m having is endless: nausea, diarrhea, headache, hot and cold flashes, broken sleep/nightmares, restless legs, extreme irritability and emotionality. I have zero tolerance for pressure too – that’s what brings on the meltdowns! At the moment I am at work and just getting nothing done at all. I was at the supermarket yesterday and found I couldn’t count the money out to give the cashier – so embarrassing when your brain just goes AWOL with no warning isn’t it?! I am wondering how long this is going to last. I don’t want to have to go back and get 30mg cause that would seem like a step backwards but I’m not sure how long I can handle this. I certainly can’t afford to remain at zero productivity for much longer as I have a writing deadline at the end of this month… So are you at 3 weeks of cold turkey now or 3 weeks total of cutting down dosage and then off altogether? I hope it’s the latter otherwise it’s not very encouraging… Poor you having to cope with teenagers and husband. I agree completely about the need for better information on the discontinuation of this drug also. The funny thing is from what I have read on the internet people weaning off Cymbalta over long periods don’t seem to be doing much better! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that things improve soon.

  36. I have been on Cymbalta for a few months. It started out fine. No back pain and I was not depressed. Out of nowhere, I became severely depressed or would have outbursts. I have tried weaning off both by going down to the next mg level, to taking out the beads, 7 each day. I am on week 3 and I am ready to go to the hospital. I can’t sleep, brain zaps, diarrhea, nausea, can’t think, sobbing uncontrollably, outbursts. I can’t even drive my car. My doctor put me on Prozac for the side effects. It does nothing. I can’t take living like this anymore. Please, if someone knows of ANYTHING to get rid of these side effects, let me know. I am avoiding the hospital but at this point, I don’t see this going away any time soon. I was told it takes months. Why is no one made aware of these side effects??????

  37. I am a registered nurse. I have worked in critical care and emergency rooms most of my career. In 2006 I went to sleep driving home from work and had a head injury among many other broken bones. By God’s grace I lived through the experience and in rehab, they put me on cymbalta. Wow, this is an incredible drug.I went cold turkey and quit taking it last year and went through horrible withdrawals. I had the “fuzzy” times, thought about suicide and was a nervous wreck. After getting through the withdrawals, I now am fine and work as a travel nurse. I would never recommend cymbalta to anyone. It is very addicting. I take no other meds because all meds have side effects. I wish I could help everyone out there with medications. I believe herbal meds and Dr Schutz is the best medication for all problems. The pharmacy companies are manipulative with the doctors and there is alot of money under the table with all the medications prescribed. Interesting to read all these comments and thanks for the blog. My patients have told me the same that cymbalta is almost immpossible to get off of. Good luck to all…..

  38. So, I am not the only one. Surprise, surprise.

    My chronic pain started in 1989 after a drunk driver rear ended me at 10:30 in the morning. Life changed forever after that but the next collision I had was with Cymbalta. I must say that Cymbalta did help with my chronic pain; no doubt. The problem made itself apparent about five years after starting it when I realized that I was going through life as if I had not a problem in the world. Everything was going to be OK even though I had not paid my taxes, had been spending money like water, had not painted the house or hardly even mowed the lawn. It was like nothing mattered today, tomorrow or ever. That was not who I am or ever wanted to be.

    Thinking that it was the pain med I spent two months trying to withdraw from that. Just by accident I forgot to refill my Cymbalta twice. I finally realized that the pain was still very real so I restarted the pain med. Then, shortly later, the world began to clear up. Looking around I realized that it wasn’t the pain Med causing the problems, it was the Cymbalta.

    Now two months post Cymbalta I am pulling life back together. I am catching up with doing the stuff that should have been done and most importantly taking care of the most important thing in my life, my wife. She loves the renewed attention, the lawn being trimmed, the house being fixed up. Life as it should be.

    Yes, my pain level has gone from an average of 4 to about 5.5 but I am learning to mitigate that by pacing my activities and even giving up sailing. Loved sailing but the price is too high.

    It will take time to complete the process but the fact is that life is better without Cymbalta.

  39. My son (20) died 6 days after stopping Cymbalta. He was on it for two months (60 mg) to help with bipolar depression it was a dissaster and he became manic and started drinking. His psychiatrist told him to go to 30 mg for 7 days then stop. Six days after he stopped, he ransacked his apartment, went for a drive (no seat belts), rolled his car, and died on the spot.
    This stuff is poison. No doctor should prescribe something that is unsafe to stop taking!

  40. So very, very sad and sorrowful. There is nothing that can undo this but by telling others maybe it will help someone else. God rest your son and help you in your recovey.

    Get a lawyer and sue the doctor.

  41. Hey! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

  42. Oh my. I have Fibromyalgia and have been taking cymbaltia since it came out. I am now up to 120 mgs a day. I do not have any left and cannot afford it. It is over $400 dollars a month. We no longer have a drug card. This is so worring me.

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