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Here’s What You Need to Know about Fibromyalgia Pain and Abruptly Stopping Cymbalta

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In the last decade since its introduction, millions of patients have been prescribed Cymbalta for fibromyalgia (FM). However, a large percentage of those who subsequently attempted to stop taking it quickly discovered that their fibromyalgia pain was nothing compared to the severe withdrawal symptoms they experienced.

In 2008, Cymbalta (duloxetine) became the second drug to receive FDA approval for the treatment of fibromyalgia. It was classified as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. At the time, the FM community was excited to have another medication available that would hopefully reduce fibromyalgia pain for at least some patients. Little did any of us suspect the misery that could result when those patients wanted to stop taking Cymbalta.

The medical community has long known that abruptly discontinuing any antidepressant can result in Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome. That’s why patients should be strongly urged not to suddenly quit taking an antidepressant, but to talk with their doctor about gradually tapering off the medication. Sadly, most patients reported receiving no such warning when they were given a prescription for Cymbalta.

Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome

However, neither physicians nor patients expected how severe the symptoms of withdrawal from Cymbalta would be. In fact, it was bad enough to warrant its own diagnosis – Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome. An FDA advisory committee report about Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome (which currently seems to have disappeared from the FDA website) originally stated, “Much anecdotal evidence has accumulated documenting the injury, distress and life management impacts caused by discontinuation of Cymbalta. The effects of discontinuation can be severe and extend for weeks or even months.”

Neither did anyone expect how many people might be affected. A 2005 study on duloxetine (the generic name for Cymbalta) discontinuation, found that 44% of users experienced withdrawal symptoms. Subsequent clinical trials reported that number to be as high as 50%.

Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms

As you read through patient descriptions of their Cymbalta withdrawal experiences, it’s not uncommon to see terms like “horrific,” “a nightmare,” and “going through hell.” Some of the withdrawal symptoms described include:

“Brain zaps”
(electric shock sensations)
Extreme mood swings
(“irritability that quickly turns to rage”)
Suicidal thoughtsParanoia
DizzinessConfusion
Nausea and VomitingLimb pain
HeadacheFatigue
NightmaresInsomnia
DiarrheaAnxiety
Excessive sweatingAgitation
Involuntary crying or laughingHypomania
TinnitusSeizures

The Discontinuation Dilemma

When it comes to discontinuing Cymbalta, the prescribing information says, “A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate.”

While gradually reducing the dose sounds like a reasonable approach, there is one very big problem. Cymbalta is only available in three dosages: 20 mg., 30 mg. and 60 mg. To complicate things even further, Cymbalta is a capsule, not a tablet that can be cut in half. Adding insult to injury, patients are warned, “Cymbalta…should not be chewed or crushed, nor should the capsule be opened and its contents sprinkled on food or mixed with liquids.” So although Cymbalta manufacturer, Eli Lilly, recommends gradually reducing the dose, there is virtually no way to actually do that.

What Can You Do?

If you’re currently taking Cymbalta and want to stop, talk with your doctor about developing a discontinuation plan. Make sure your doctor is aware of how severe Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome can be and discuss possible options for treating the various withdrawal symptoms that you may experience. Some doctors have tried switching patients to a different antidepressant that is easier to taper off of and then treating other symptoms with appropriate medications (like antiemetics, antihistamines, etc.) through the withdrawal process.

Although not recommended by the manufacturer, some patients report successfully weaning off of Cymbalta by opening the capsules and removing a few of the tiny beads inside––sometimes as few as one or two––very gradually reducing the dose over a period of months.

If you are contemplating whether or not to take Cymbalta, be aware of what you’re getting yourself into. Trying to get off of the drug may leave you feeling far worse than the chronic pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms you’re trying to relieve. Thoroughly discuss the pros and cons with your doctor before making a decision.

Update: Lawsuits Against Cymbalta Manufacturer

Since this article was first published, there have been numerous lawsuits brought against Eli Lily over the severe symptoms caused by discontinuing Cymbalta. Lily won the first few cases, but was facing hundreds more when it was reported in late 2016 that they had quietly settled the remaining cases “to avoid continued legal costs.” Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

This article was first published on ProHealth.com on March 10, 2014 and was updated on April 4, 2019.


Karen Lee Richards is ProHealth’s Editor-in-Chief. A fibromyalgia patient herself, she co-founded the nonprofit organization now known as the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) in 1997 and served as its vice-president for eight years. She was also the executive editor of Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine. After leaving the NFA, Karen served as the Guide to Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the New York Times website About.com, then worked for eight years as the Chronic Pain Health Guide for The HealthCentral Network before coming to ProHealth. To learn more about Karen, see “Meet Karen Lee Richards.”


Resources:

Warner CH, et al. Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Aug 1;74(3):449-456.

Perahia DG, et al. Symptoms following abrupt discontinuation of duloxetine treatment in patients with major depressive disorder. J Affect Disord. 2005 Dec;89(1-3):207-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2005.09.003

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413 thoughts on “Here’s What You Need to Know about Fibromyalgia Pain and Abruptly Stopping Cymbalta”

  1. Altostrata says:

    Also make a complaint to Pfizer, Pristiq’s manufacturer: (800) 438-1985 in the US.

    Rxisk.org is also collecting complaints about Pristiq.

    If you think your doctor has been remiss, file a complaint with your state medical board if you’re in the US.

  2. Juloo says:

    I’m in the process of going from Effexor (venlafaxine) to Welbutrin (bupropion). While ramping up with the new med, the doctor had me slowly reducing the Effexor from 150 to 73 to 37.5, then opening the capsules and using half the grains, a quarter, etc.

    After a couple of weeks of the last step, I stopped all Effexor. I was relieved to have weathered the switch so smoothly.

    Then about a week later, ‘discontinuation symptoms’ like those listed above set in. Within a few days, I was very emotionally changeable (so not me) running between anger and tears daily. And the brain zaps! It was no different than the weekend I was traveling and had forgotten to bring my meds…from 150 to 0. Awful! Except that this time the jump had been from about 15 mg to 0 – and with support from another med!

    Suspecting this might be the case, I counted out a few grains – I figure altogether under 1/10 of the 37.7 capsule, so under 4 mg – and after fits and starts, take this daily until I can see my doctor. I may need to be in this holding pattern a little longer and taper grain by grain. Even several months!

    After reading this article, I did more research online and found a study that suggested those tapering off Cymbalta are about 3 times more likely to experience this sitation than Effexor users. My most sincere sympathies to all here undergoing this transition with this reaction. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

    Effexor was a god-send

    1. aryiella says:

      I am on Pristiq 50mg once a day and have been for a few years. I take it for depression and fibro. It is not helping my depression anymore but there is no way to get off of it! And so I am stuck on this stuff and cannot try any other meds until I am off this one! There is no smaller dose than 50mg and the tablet is time-released and cannot be cut or it will not release the medicine in the proper way. I would prefer to not switch to Effexor as a replacement due to the additional side effects I had when on that previously. Pfizer is extremely irresponsible for putting a drug out like this that CANNOT be properly tapered without EXTREME discontinuation symptoms. I have been contacting attorneys, but nobody is interested.

    2. tbrhslp says:

      I can attest to SEVERE withdrawl symptoms with Cymbalta. Without going into detail, please know that one should absolutely consult their physician before discontinuing and be prepared to have family or friends able and willing to help keep an eye on you during the discontinuation.

    3. Altostrata says:

      You can indeed open the Cymbalta capsules and count out the beads, but you cannot dissolve Cymbalta in anything.

      The gelatin capsule doesn’t do anything. The coating on each bead protects it from being dissolved in your stomach. This destroys the drug. Cymbalta is absorbed further down in your intestines.

      Many, many patients have found this is the way to taper off Cymbalta. Some people are so sensitive to dosage reductions, they can reduce only a bead at a time, by week or even by month.

      You can search the Web and find many, many reports of severe Cymbalta withdrawal syndrome, and many people tapering by the bead-counting method because it’s the only way to go off gradually enough.

    4. catz902001 says:

      I was on 60mg twice a day for 7 yrs along with blood pressure meds and sleeping pills. One day I just decided that I was sick of taking all the meds and I stopped cold turkey. It was hell for a few weeks and my husband and family really suffered with me. But I did it and by adding a few supplements I did really good for about a year. But we had a death in the family and all the stress set off a horrible flare. Now I am back on all of them again. I have been in a bad flare for 2 months but as soon as it breaks, I am going to try again

    5. Juloo says:

      I don’t know why that ‘Effexor was a god-send was dangling there…although it was true when I began and for the 7 years I took it until it gradually stopped working. But it isn’t giving up the ghost quietly!

      Edit…150 to -75- to…

      I’m posting from an iPad, so entering text is sometomes hit and miss…

    6. Zachary1018 says:

      So I go to the Lily website because I could swear they tout that it isn’t a narcotic. If you go to the products page you can click on every product. Except Cymbalta. Try it and tell me whether or not I’m crazy. If it is blocked out, then why?

    7. katkar says:

      You’re right. I couldn’t click on Cymbalta either. You can still click on the Prescribing Information and the Patient Information but not on the product name. I”m not sure what that’s about.

      I can tell you, however, that Cymbalta is not a narcotic; it’s an antidepressant. Most of us tend to think of withdrawal as only happening when someone stops taking narcotics (opioids). But there are a number of other drugs that result in withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them abruptly. That’s true of most antidepressants. Judging from what many patients and some doctors have said, though, SNRI antidepressants in general and Cymbalta in particular seem to have more severe withdrawal symptoms than some other types of antidepressants. So it’s important to taper off of those medications as gradually as possible. – Karen

    8. Drifter110 says:

      I went to my rheumatologist today to discuss the next steps as in the past 4 months I have weaned off of 100mg Pristiq and was switched to 60 of Cymbalta for my fibromyalgia. After two weeks on Cymbalta I did not like the side effects and she had me wean off by taking every other day then every two days then three days then none. In speaking with her of the terrible side effects, suicidal thoughts, extreme anger and stomach issues etc she told me I needed a psychologist as I have sever mental issues and NEVER had she EVER heard anyone have these symptoms and that I was probably Bi-Polar and should switch from my shitty therapist to a psychologist immediately. She suggested I find a psychologist immediately as must have a sever imbalance in my brain that would cause these side effects and there was no way these drugs caused me to feel that way.
      Needless to say, I am not going back there. So happy I found this page as I know I am not bi-polar or insane and think my doctor was way out of line. Thoughts?

    9. ProHealth-Editor says:

      Drifter110 – Although Cymbalta has been on the market for 10 years, I’m finding many doctors are just beginning to learn that it can have such severe withdrawal symptoms. However, that is no excuse for the way your doctor treated you. All she would have had to do is Google ‘Cymbalta withdrawal’ to discover your experience is not that unusual. In fact, one of the top links that shows up is a document issued by the FDA because of all the complaints they received. They even gave what you experienced an official name – Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome. You can read and download a copy of the FDA document at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Advisor…/UCM172866.pdf I hope you’re able to find a more understanding doctor.

    10. judimld says:

      Any drug that will interfere with serotonin or norepinephrine activity will cause your body to stop making them naturally. Therefore you will be completely dependent on the drug to regulate those two important elements. Once you stop taking the drug, of course, your body will take awhile to secrete those elements again and you will experience these terrible drug withdrawal symptoms. This is when the so called medical experts, who have created this synthetic chemical imbalance in your body will go a step further and diagnose you with the second most serious psychiatric disorder next to Schizophrenia, BIPOLAR Disorder.. and then God help you to get out of this psychiatric trap and get living on your own energy again. These drugs are dangerous and have ruined many people’s lives. I managed to survive this entrapment almost twenty years ago and have written my story in a book called Judging Judi.

    11. LadyConstance says:

      I am a 62 yr old female and this is my experience:
      I see others had been on Effexor as was I. I guess it stopped working? I can’t quite say but I never had problems with Effexor. New Doctor switched me to Cymbalta a few years ago. I too was on Welbutrin with the Cymbalta. I also, since I have no thyroid, that came out earlier this year with a cancer scare, take Synthroid and Caduet for high blood pressure AND cholesterol. Add to these Adderal for ADHD. Absurd, too much!

      Then I developed a disgusting skin thing, they called it nummular eczema/dermatitis. So I was put on Dapsone AND Cyclosporine. Insanity! So all by myself, in an effort to heal my skin, I decided to go gluten free and to get off some of these meds. I was convinced one of them was causing my skin issue which by the way, is the worst itch I have ever, ever, experienced, absolutely no relief, and so repulsive…you have no idea, all over my legs, arms, hands, looks like boils, so I have that going for me!:( Yuk.

      For about a week all seemed to be going fine as I got off Welbutrin and reduced Adderal and Cymbalta. I guess they hang out in your body for a good long while because the poop finally hit the fan a few days ago and I was sure I had MS! Nausea, weakness, aches in muscles, esp. legs and glutes. Couldn’t walk the dog. Couldn’t feed the dog w/o barfing. Sweating, shaking, major brain fog, words escaped me every time I tried to make sense, sounded like an idiot. I was also manic! Crazy talk happened and I was like OMG what did I just say? Shut up! Shut up! I own a vintage furniture store and also a design biz and I can’t believe I have gotten this far w/o making a complete fool of myself. It has been about 2 weeks and as I was driving home today from meeting with a design client I said aloud, “here come the tears” because it was 4 PM and they always come at that time. Got home and immediately called my long time family doctor, a female, who has always helped me get right with such kindness and compassion. It was after hours but I got her via her service and she took charge, called in RX for my nausea and instructed me to get into her office in the AM with all my meds and we would figure it out. I feel hopeful. Just bracing for the dreams…

    12. unclejames says:

      I was taking Cymbalta and Welbutrin too..after the nightmare with Cymbalta I would be terrified to try and stop the Welbutrin. I will never take another medication without researching it first. Doctors should research medications before prescibing.

    13. YearoftheHorse says:

      My heart goes out to you. I too have had FM for 15 years, am your age and also have many side effects and other problems leading me to take many, many drugs, both prescibed and OTC in a day. I will say that 1) you should be careful taking yourself off any drug w/o consulting your Dr – but you know that now and 2) When I had Wellbutrin, alone, w/o Cymbalta I too had strange skin reactions, welt like things that didnt erupt into boils but looked like they wanted to. I might suggest it is the Wellbutrin you may have been “allergic” to and /or the combination of both, and not just the Cymbalta. Maybe. I’m not an MD but I know my body,or try to, and am doing the best I can. ANd I know you are too. Its frustrating isn’t it? Hang in there and work with your Dr who hopefully knows these side effects and containdications etc. Good luck!

  3. mrswoody says:

    I took Effexor for years too. I started on it right after it came out when they were still figuring out the dosage. I was on 450mg a day for 4 years when I decided I wanted to stop it. I tried telling my doctors that I had “electric head”(my name for the brain zaps)and horrible anxiety, nausea, etc. but they just didn’t believe me. My doctor said to me “you are the only person I know who could get addicted to an antidepressant”. After the DSM finally listed the withdrawal symptoms and I showed it to my doc, he started tapering me off. It didn’t come in a capsule then so I had to cut up the pills once I got to the lowest dose pill which was 37.5. I got all the way down to a little crumb and I just could not get completely off. It took a full year of reducing it by one a week, then every 5 days, 4 days, etc. before I was finally able to get off it. That was 10 years ago and I still have “electric head”.

    I recently went on Cymbalta for depression and fibromyalgia but after reading this I am not taking it anymore.

  4. JanisMarie says:

    I was on Cymbalta for fibro for 18 months, and it gradually became ineffective. It took MONTHS to get off, which I did very gradually. The brain zaps drove me crazy and frightened me. Then I developed Periphial,neuropathy, since my B12 was extremely low. I’m missing the intrinsic factor in my gut which breaks down the B12 from food. Causes pernicious anemia, which used to be fatal, until B12 shots could be given.
    Well, the neuropathy was absolutely horrible…made fibro seem like a walk in the park! Of course, guess what relieved the neuropathy? Yep! Cymbalta. It has now been over 18 months and once again losing it’s effectiveness. Now I’m going to go through the misery of withdrawal all over again.
    I used to be such a healthy person:(

    1. LadyConstance says:

      Hey, I don’t have B12 either. Every time I get blood work they say, “no B12 and dehydrated”. I drink tons of water all day and night. Not sure what any of this means but there it is. I guess I wonder what anyone can do diet-wise to help with whatever Cymbalta is suppose to cure!? I am now gluten free and ready to try anything natural to feel better damnit!

  5. hermeneutic123 says:

    Judy,

    You are absolutely correct. I had severe irritability and suicidal thoughts every time I tried to taper off of Cymbalta and with no history of these symptoms in 35 years my doctor prescribed me Lithium for being bipolar. No one ever informed me about this including my psychiatrist or that this was even a possibility. My side effects were so pronounced when trying to stop the drug that in 2012 the State of South Carolina adjudicated me a mental defective and they ignored the fact that this syndrome existed. Prior to this I was a successful academic and corporate executive with no history of mental illness. I was prescribed Cymbalta for depression I was experiencing while going through a nasty divorce. Though I was discharged by my psychiatrist a year ago and only have the diagnosis of ADD I am now labeled and slandered all over the internet. I continue to excel at work but lose one management position after another when my name is Googled. I lost my home, cars, and filed bankruptcy all because Eli Lilly hid the effects of coming off this drug.

    Tony

    1. dgj123 says:

      OMG…someone help I have just gone off 90 mg cymbalta cold turkey on my 5day nausea isn’t in it ,stomach pains,crying all the time,nightmares,excessive sweating at night,I can hear my eyelashes moving when I blink,headaches.i was giving this instead of armpitripline a year ago and went cold turkey off them after being on a 150mg for 6 years but the withdrawal from them was severe headaches and moody and lasted about 2 weeks how long is this withdrawal gonna last I really don’t want to restart them I’ve got through 5 days but feel all in …..how long does the withdrawal last and why are these drugs being perscribed in the uk when there are even lawsuits going on in the USA and why aren’t we told about the possible withdrawal side effects when given these drugs it hasn’t help my back pain at all and I’m never gonna take any pills for pain again or for depression which I have suffered from for 30 yrs cos nothing has really helped …help

    2. cymbalta1 says:

      Tony, thanks for sharing. I tried 4 or 5 times to come off the drug but it made me so unstable I would start taking it again. Finally, I thought hell if I can get myself off Oxocodone after 5 years I cn surely get off this.

      I literally feel like I am out of my body, I am confused, suffer from insomnia, and just don’t feel normal.

      I had not suffered a panic attack in years as I was prescribed Zoloft and it worked well. Then Cymbalta has taken me to a place I don’t like being and I don’t know what to do I am afraid to take any other medication. I have tried gabapentin, Lyrica, Prestique, but they all had bad side effect but I got off them and still felt like myself no so much anymore it scary will I ever go back to feeling normal…

    3. cymbalta43 says:

      I have been on Cymbalta 120mg for about 5 years. Inow have insomnia for which I have been prescribed zoplicone 10mg. It does not always work. I also suffer from a phantom itch that can strike anypart of my body and have gained weight. My knees and feet still experience pain at times. I was put on the medication for osteoarthritis and then depression when going through a tough relationship time. My daughter is an BScN and was horrified to see the drugs and dosage I am on. I am going to see my doctor for help with discontinuing cymbalta and the zoplicone. I will let the blog know how my journey progresses as it is frightening that there are no ‘good’ ending stories here to give hope for a drug free future.

    4. vickiede52 says:

      I have been trying to stop taking this because it’s not helping my pain. I started experiencing headaches, a blackout, brain zaps, weakness, nightmares, insomnia, dizziness, lightheadedness, extreme nausea and loss of muscle control. I have been sent for CAT scans, MRI, ultrasound and blood work just trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I took one pill and bam, all my symptoms went away like they were never there. That’s when I Googled withdrawal symptoms. I want to get off this med. I have nightmares with it and without it. I can’t sleep at night and can’t hardly stay away in the daytime. I’m tired all the time like I’ve been fighting in my sleep. HELP!!!!

    5. greeneyes48 says:

      I totally understand the way you have to be taken off the med bc I tried to take myself off the med an I had so many other problems with it I went back on the med and my doctor said to me you just take your self off without wenso I recommend for anybody else that is on sub Alta to please to please wean yourself off with doctors watching over you because the symptoms are severe and really can hurt you in worse conditionning

    6. frankilee says:

      I have reead alot of comments about withdrawl symptoms, well my doctor did not get a PA from ins. Co. And i had been on cymbalta for 7 years and taking 60 mg. A day well i ran out waiting for pa cause once a year my ins. Require it, well then i started feeling funny i was having nightmares ever night and i was having trouble with chest pains my memory was not so good my eyes was blury and so on and on i was not feeling like my self ,then it hit me i had no cymbalta to take well i called the doctors office i think they thought it was a joke, well it aint no joke then i called px and the told me yes i was having withdrawl ,so the px her self is going to see about it going thru to my ins.co. cause she agreed it could do alot to a person to just cold turkry.i know cause its happing to me ,so i hope no one goes thru what everone else oe my self is goung thru.please dont ever stop nothing like this cold turkey.

    7. RainboJacson says:

      If you run out of Cymbalta and need to wait to get in to see your doctor, ask them for some sample packets that you can use while waiting for a perscription refill. I had to do this once while changing jobs and waiting for the new insurance to kick in. Any doc worth their diploma should know how bad it is to just stop taking it and should help you out. If they don’t, go to another dr office and tell them what is going on. I had to visit a few to get enough to last until my new insurance kicked in. Thankfully they all helped me.

    8. Ncrumpler says:

      Thank you for your positive words. I have to get off this stuff.

    9. EdwinaEarthshine says:

      I was put on Cymbalta for Fibro as soon as it started being marketed for that specific illness. It did allow me to work full time for two years, but then it quit working and so did I. My illness came back with a vengeance and then I tried to get off of the Cymbalta which turned into a months long nightmare. My doctor thought all of my symptoms were from my illness so at first didn’t know about this syndrome. I found out about it because I googled “brain zapping” which was my worst symptom. I found a wikipedia article about SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome at that time and shared it with my doctor. At first I was decreased to the lowest dose and told to take it every other day, but that did not stop the symptoms I was having (many on this list). What I had to do was to, literally, empty each capsule out onto a plate, count out the little balls. Then put 3/4 of the little balls into empty capsules I purchased separately from a supplement store, and take that 3/4 amount for a week. Then do the same thing, decreasing another 25% for another week, then decrease another 25% and so on. If the symptoms returned I had to add back in more little balls. It took me a good 6 weeks to two months to finally get off of that drug. I know the method goes against the manufacturers advise, but it worked for me and there are no meds we were aware of to treat things like brain zapping so I was forced to try this. I’m glad my doctor supported me.

  6. lwspeer says:

    I took pristiq and had to start taking effexor for insurances purposes. I took the extended release for abut two years and soon realized I must get off of this drug. I was losing my hair, having wieght gain, had terrible headaches, asthma symptoms as well as sever dizziness from which I had to go to bed. I went to a new doctor and she tapered me off by adding 1 Prozac plus the 1 Effexor I was taking daily. AT the end of 5 days I was to stop Effexor, and I am doing fine. Neither Pristiq and Effexor helped my depression and the side effects were terrible. When I stopped it I lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks, and everyone in my family has noticed a change in me. I no longer have these dangerous symptoms and feel a great deal better.

  7. eguillot says:

    I have been on Cymbalta for Fibromyalgia for several years now. I also have epilepsy, and I can tell you that the “brain zaps” are EXACTLY the same feeling that I get right before I have a grand mal seizure. My neurologist calls them partial seizures. So probably those “brain zaps” that everyone is getting from withdrawal are actually partial seizures.

  8. roberthilley says:

    The manufacturer of Cymbalta is facing a number of lawsuits from people who experienced withdrawal symptoms after stopping Cymbalta (duloxetine).

    The label states that withdrawal occurs in at least 1% of patients, but studies have found that at least 50% of patients experience withdrawal and 10% of the cases are severe.

    If you or somebody you know has taken Cymbalta and suffered from severe withdrawl symptoms, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You can learn more by visiting http://www.schmidtlaw.com/cymbalta-withdrawal-lawsuit/ or you can contact the law firm for a free case review by dialing (866) 920-0753.

  9. LadyConstance says:

    I don’t understand. If someone needs medicine for an affliction and goes to a doctor and gets medication who is to blame? Are you saying we should have been given a disclaimer to sign? Come on, I am in the throws of Cymbalta withdrawal and if I had to point a finger at who put me here…I couldn’t. I mean if there is one sure thing to know about any drug is IT’S A DRUG. Some provide real, life saving results and even those can have sketchy side effects. It’s about balance and choice, our own choice, no? If we keep suing the drug companies we will NEVER get a cure for cancer! Now I’m not saying these guys are always good guys but if you have ever suffered a disease so horrible that you would take snake venom to feel better you would know that worrying about the backside is not even in the realm of “what if’s” because if tomorrow and for a year or 2 your life would include joy, laughter and health you might just take that snake venom, it’s up to you.

  10. kattails says:

    I stopped my Cymbalta (90mg daily) about 2 months ago cold turkey and I still have excessive sweating. Does anyone know how long this will last. Thank you

    1. notwinning says:

      Dear Eli Lilly,

      You win! Although crying while writing this concession, I’m not a sore loser. I am a nauseous, disoriented, fatigued, anxious and emotionally distraught loser, but after only 6 days of attempting to discontinue use of Cymbalta (at 30mgs) I’m throwing up, and throwing in the towel. As a consumer that has 2 jobs, a household to run and yet can now barely drive, look at a computer or move my head from side-to-side due to dizziness and nausea, I remain your loyal customer. Your total lack of any manageable discontinuation options and standard of care for someone who would actually like to stop taking your drug, ensures this.

      Congratulations.

    2. washk says:

      I have been on Cymbalta (currently 60 mg) for almost 10 years now. I was originally prescribed it for depression but it did not work for that at all. Most other anti-depressants I had tried prior made me suffer very severe side effects. What kept me on the Cymbalta was I also had endometriosis and after my 4th surgery was still suffering severe pelvic pain and doctors could not figure out the cause. Surprisingly, I noticed that the Cymbalta completely stopped my daily pelvic pain. So I decided to stay on it. Fast forward a few years, I tried to stop taking it and got all the symptoms of withdrawal I’ve read about. I couldn’t handle it so I stayed on it.

      Now for the past two years, my insurance companies refuse to pay for it. It is not prescribed for the FDA approved conditions, therefore they will not cover it as a benefit. Since I can’t stop taking it, I’ve had to apply to Eli Lilly for patient assistance, which luckily I have been approved for because who can pay the $400/month for a medication.

      I feel trapped. I’m trying to sign up for insurance for next year right now and again it is not covered by any of the providers. I am thinking I will try to taper off this year with the guidance of my doctor and keep track of my withdrawal symptoms. I will ask if I can get a low dose of prozac added to my daily regimen to see if it helps with the brain zaps.

      And I love how there is a generic version of Cymbalta but it is not a preferred drug by most insurance companies and still costs as much as the brand name. This is ridiculous. And if I stop taking it, will my pelvic pain come back?

    3. nancydolores says:

      I started reducing cymbalta intake in August and with the support of Chinese medicine, completely stopped taking it by November. It’s late February now, and I sense that my symptoms of insomnia, night sweats, depression, crying-at-the-drop-of-a-hat, broiling abdominal and chest sensations just might be discontiuation syndrome. Aargh!

      So while I STILL wish to stay off cymbalta,I understand your position of needing to continue yet struggling with the cost. I founded sources of Cymbalta for about $1.10 a pill through online pharmacies in Canada. You might give that a try.

    4. petie1999 says:

      I’m really glad I found this board and all of the information out there about weaning myself off Cymbalta and transitioning to a new anti-depressant. I’ve been taking Cymbalta since about 2008 for depression after I had a back surgery and my other medicine was no longer effective. I originally started at 30mg, but over the years it stopped working and last year my dr moved me to 120mg. Over all these years NO ONE has ever explained the severity of withdrawl symptoms that I could experience. All I knew was that if I missed even 1 dose I would live in a fog, 2 days left me physically ill, and 3 days had me crying hysterically. Now that I HAVE to get off of it b/c it absolutely no longer worked for me, I have felt like I’m living with the flu – all the same symptoms, but in combination with brain fog, hysterical crying or maniacal laughter, and weird feelings in my brain. I’m trying to combat it all with lots of water, green tea, multi vitamins, and eating right. I also shared the info with my husband, kids, and friends – so if something happens to me they know what to tell the doctors. Thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences b/c I know that I’m not alone in this.

    5. Brainzap85 says:

      Hey guys, I’m so happy I found this message board.

      I was prescribed cymbalta for my anxiety and avoidant personality.

      It was magic, I felt amazing, best I’ve felt in years. It really worked wonders for me.
      I was away camping blissfully having a good time. It got to Sunday afternoon and I realised
      Hey now I haven’t taken my tablet in two days. Must remember to take it when I get home.

      Enter “whoa what’s that” turns out my first brain zaps were happening.
      I googled it, I panicked, I want off this crazy medication.

      I took my last tablet on Thursday last week after almost a year and a bit on it, 30mg then up to 60mg for a couple of months and then down to 30mg again for around a month. Yeah it was a fun year. Laziest year of my life. But anyway.

      The withdrawals are strong, it sucks, I have the inner shivers and kinda like vertigo.
      Luckily I haven’t had much nausea or vomiting. My guts are going crazy though.

      So is my heart. The thing that scares me most is that out of all of the posts there is not one here that says, “hey don’t worry guys. Symptoms last two months and then you’re golden. All good”

      Why? I don’t think you’d forget to Inform other people suffering with the same afflictions you are that you’re all better. Out of this whole process thank goodness I actually feel like I am keeping my mind. No real deep depression or eratic thoughts yet. Here’s hoping I won’t get too emotional.

      I really feel for you all. Thank you for sharing and I wish us all the best of luck… Something tells me we are gonna need it.

    6. unclejames says:

      I just found this site tonight. My pain doctor right before Thanksgiving had her medical assistant call me and tell me I could no longer take Cymbalta and Welbutrin which was her idea. The Cymbalta was for my Fibro and the other for mild depression. My doctor was already out of town and would be gone until after Thanksgiving. I was told to choose which one to stay on. I chose the generic Welbutrin as it was much cheaper. She did not bother to tell me I should ween myself off. But I had a feeling it should not be stopped cold turkey so I tried taking it every other day for a week or so. Then came the nightmare. Nauseated every day, headaches off and on each day, neck pain,upset stomach.I went to primary doctor thinking I had some sinus issues. Nope! My friend is a RN and we decided it was the withdrawals. those symptoms lasted 2 weeks. I ate Phenegan to stop nausea. well then comes lower back pain I cannot get relief from. so back to primary for xray, no new issues. She gave me some naproxen but it keeps my stomach upset. I also have Interstitial Cystitis which has reared it’s ugly head all week long. I have periods of feeling like I am in a fog and cannot think clearly. My vision was blurry at times. After reading this article, I do not think I can go through this for several months. My husband passed away 2 years ago and I have done fairly well but now I cry everyday over him and depression is setting in. So now I don’t know who to turn to. I wonder if my doctor had any idea about these withdrawals. I am quite pissed with her. Any suggestions on who to see or go see her and tell her what she has done. I am miserable. And upset.

    7. unclejames says:

      I was taking Cymbalta 60mg once a day. I have been in withdrawals for a little over a month now. I am angry with my pain doctor for not taking me off slowly. I will be calling her tomorrow to discuss this. I cannot believe she did not know about just taking me off without weening me off. She has caused me major problems.

    8. Bamboohut says:

      Hello unclejames,

      I typed out a detailed post about my Cymbalta withdrawal nightmare but my iPad shut down because of a low battery and my post was erased.

      It’s late and I’m too tired to type it all again so I’ll just sat this – my w/d story is similar to yours and it has been SEVERE and UGLY. Your posts caught my attention because they are very recent and my horrible journey started in late November of 2014. It’s been over a month since I took the last 60mg capsule and I am still living a day-to-day hell on earth.

      Please let me know how you’re doing. I will pray for us both because I truly believe it will take divine intervention to reverse the devastating side effects that cymbalta has caused.

      May God bless you and all the others who are suffering because of this poison.

    9. beechgirl says:

      I have taken 6 pills prescribed by pain management. My first reaction was that it was wonderful. After the first dose my pain level was noticably less. Then the palpittions, dry mouth, nauseau and lightheadedness started. I googled it and found out about Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome. I specifically asked this dr who was new to me what the side effects were. His answer was something like nothing to worry about. I put a call into.him first thing this morning, it’s evening and I haven’t heard back from he yet. I am thankful that I did the research myself before I found myself stuck on this medication. I’m looking to tesolve a pain issue. I have never been disgnosed with depression. The pharmaceutical company should be taken to task,as well as the FDA. I am furious with this dr for not giving me full disclosure about this medication. I try to be an informed consumer when it comes to my medical care as I am a long time hospitsl worker. Shame on me too for not researchinh before taking the first pill.

    10. Bamboohut says:

      Beechgirl, please do not let your doctor talk you into continuing with this drug. I beg you DO NOT take a single dose