Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms prompt lawsuits

As my long-time readers know, I’ve been closely following the lawsuits related to Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms on FedUpwithFatigue.com. I was recently asked by Prohealth.com to update their readers on the Cymbalta lawsuits. I’m reprinting that story here with the editor’s permission. 

I’ve created a special resources page for anyone interested in Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms and the pending lawsuits. It includes all of FedUpwithFatigue’s Cymbalta-related posts, links to news stories, support groups and other useful information.

Update 10/25/16: The Cymbalta lawsuits have been settled. Click here for the latest. 

Thousands of Cymbalta users are suing drugmaker Eli Lilly, claiming the company wasn't forthcoming about the frequency or severity of the drug's withdrawal symptoms. | Fed Up with Fatigue

When Lori Peterson’s doctor decided to switch her fibromyalgia medication from Cymbalta to Savella, she trustingly followed his instructions – a move that would land her on the couch for a week as she experienced Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms.

Diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2007, Peterson had been using Cymbalta for three years and was taking 60 mg twice a day. While Cymbalta eased her symptoms for a while, it had stopped working, and Peterson was hoping Savella would finally bring some relief from the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia.

“[My doctor] actually told me that I didn’t need to wean off of the Cymbalta as Savella was similar,” Peterson recalls. “I reduced the dosage of Cymbalta and then stopped. I then started the smallest dose of the Savella. After a couple of days, I could not sit up.”

For the next week, Peterson was so dizzy that she couldn’t go to work. She laid on her couch, unable to stand on her own.

“If I tried to sit up, my head was spinning so bad that I would just fall over,” she recalls. “I needed help getting to the bathroom and back.”

Peterson is just one of thousands of Cymbalta users affected by the drug’s high rate of withdrawal symptoms. A study by drugmaker Eli Lilly and Company found 44 percent of patients experienced withdrawal symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea, headache, paresthesia, vomiting, irritability, nightmares and others, when they suddenly stopped taking Cymbalta. A larger, subsequent trial involving more than 1,200 patients found 50 percent of patients have withdrawal symptoms.

Since up to half of patients may experience these symptoms, physicians should know to wean patients off of Cymbalta slowly, but many, like Peterson’s doctor, aren’t aware of the drug’s risks.

And there’s a reason for that.

In Eli Lilly’s physicians’ prescribing guide for Cymbalta under the “discontinuation of treatment with Cymbalta section,” it reads, “Following abrupt or tapered discontinuation in adult placebo-controlled clinical trials, the following symptoms occurred at 1 percent or greater and at a significantly higher rate in Cymbalta-treated patients compared to those discontinuing from placebo: dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, paresthesia, irritability, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, hyperhidrosis and fatigue.”

Catch the discrepancy? Trials indicate 44-50 percent of patients have withdrawals. Eli Lilly’s prescribing guide says 1 percent or higher. Technically, it’s accurate, but it’s not the full story, and some doctors could infer from that 1 percent figure that withdrawal symptoms aren’t common.

This discrepancy between Eli Lilly’s prescribing literature and its actual research findings has prompted hundreds of former Cymbalta users to file suit against the drugmaker, claiming the company didn’t fully disclose the severity or frequency of Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms. Thousands more cases are in the pipeline for filing, according to Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC, one of the law firms involved in the legal action.

The label gives the impression that withdrawal is a rare event (somewhere around 1 percent) when in fact it is common,” writes the law firm in a recent statement. “We think Lilly played with semantics and the system in choosing its wording; it chose wording to minimize the risk while at the same time using language such as ‘or greater’ as a CYA [cover your ass] measure. We believe the label is misleading, plain and simple. The testimony of the prescribing doctors in these cases proves it; they believed the risk was rare.”

It seems like a valid argument, but so far attorneys have been unsuccessful at convincing a judge or jury. The first three cases heard in federal court last year ended in verdicts for Eli Lilly.

Last August, plaintiff Claudia Herrera told California jurors that she felt “desperate” for months after she stopped taking Cymbalta. Her withdrawal symptoms included anxiety, dizziness, insomnia and brain zaps (which are described as feeling like a lightning bolt going off inside the head).

Eli Lilly’s attorneys argued it’s common knowledge that antidepressants cause withdrawal symptoms when stopped suddenly, and it’s standard practice for doctors to wean patients off of them. The jury bought Lilly’s argument and ruled in the company’s favor.

Later in August, plaintiff Erin Hexum’s trial was cut short by a California federal judge who ruled in Eli Lilly’s favor after Hexum’s physician testified that he couldn’t remember if he had read the physicians’ prescribing guide. The judge reasoned that if the physician couldn’t recall the guide, then how could Hexum’s attorneys argue that misleading information contained within it was responsible for her symptoms.

Hexum said she experienced severe cramping, requiring an emergency room visit, after she stopped taking Cymbalta for fibromyalgia. She has since been diagnosed with a seizure disorder and has lost her driving privileges.

Both Herrera and Hexum are appealing their cases.

In early September, a Virginia jury ruled against plaintiffs Gilda Hagan-Brown and Janine Ali, who claimed Eli Lilly was negligent in not fully disclosing Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms. Both women said they experienced depression, migraines, pain, fatigue and brain zaps after stopping Cymbalta in 2012.

To date, more than 200 plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against Eli Lilly. Attorneys have been unsuccessful in their attempts to consolidate these cases into a class-action lawsuit. Understandably, Eli Lilly’s attorneys have fought class-action status because it increases the chances of the company eventually having to pay compensation to thousands of affected patients.

The next Cymbalta case isn’t expected to be heard until late this year.

Have you been affected by Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms? Share your experience in the comments section!

If you found this story interesting, then you might also like:

What you need to know about the Cymbalta withdrawal lawsuits

Quitting Cymbalta? What you need to know before you take that last pill

The Cymbalta withdrawal lawsuits: An interview with the attorneys

A timeline of the Cymbalta lawsuits

I will continue to cover the Cymbalta lawsuits as they unfold. Subscribe below for updates!


  1. jennifer says

    i believe they continually use antidepressants to get people addicted. they’re severely over-prescribed. i was on lyrica and decided to stop it only to end up in the hospital due to a seizure! these are not meds to take lightly. they literally mess with your brain chemistry. the side effects are sometimes worse than what they’re supposed to treat. the lack of effectiveness of cymbalta and lyrica to actually treat fibromyalgia should be considered. we get so desperate for the cure to our pain that we’ll try anything. but these drugs aren’t a fix all by far. i have been offered heavy pain killers and i refuse to do it. the only thing that worked for me was neurontin but stopped after about three years. my father in law also used it for pain not related to fibro and it worked like a miracle but soon it was ineffective for him also. the only thing somewhat helping right now is CBD oil for me. i read that you never build a tolerance to it but we’ll see. at least there are no side effects to it and i can sleep again.

  2. Gina Schaefbauer says

    Please help if you have any advise, comments, help for my peace of mind. I have been on cymbalta/duloxetine for 3 years for anxiety & depression. In those 3 years I gained over 60 pounds. If I’d go more than an hour past the time I usually take my pill I would feel nauseous. I can’t afford to pay for my prescription anymore. I have now been out of my duloxetine for 5 days and feel absolutely miserable!!! I can’t sleep, can’t drive due to dizziness, keep missing snippets of time when talking to people, feel like I’m going to fall over, keep having zaps in my brain… Is there something, anything I can do to help get me through this horrific experience? I am someone who has never done illegal drugs, smoked, don’t drink alcohol and drink 1/2 caffeine coffee. I don’t think I’m going to survive this. Please let me know if there is a light at the end of my dark tunnel in a sinking ship.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      You are going through withdrawals! Going back on Cymbalta will end the withdrawal so that you can then wean off much much slower over a period of months w/ your doctor’s help. Please do not try to push through these symptoms b/c they can be dangerous. I would also advise joining the Cymbalta Hurts Worse group on Facebook b/c they have a protocol to help people get off Cymbalta.

  3. Dawn Corrigan says

    I was given Cymbalta for spinal nerve pain and took 30mg for 1 month with no improvement so was increased to60mg the next month and I felt happier but no pain control, so was increased to 90mg the next month. At that point I felt it was causing delay of bowel emptying and emotional problems and decided to D/C on my own. I went down to 60 mg again within about a week of going up and then down to 30 mg for a few days and quit. Got a horrible migraine and nausea for one day and thought I was good. Nope! At day 4 I became severely ill with vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, dizziness and brain shocks, and facial tingling off and on. It’s been 7 days now and I e lost 5 lbs and though the vomiting was only a day long event, I am still having the brain shocks, facial tingling/ numbness, nausea, intermittent diarrhea and inability to stand or drive or care for myself. I have been flat on my back for 7 days feeling like I’m going to die and a trip to ER and a call to my Pain Management Doctor and nobody knew what was wrong. My sister just told me tonight that those are all the symptoms of symbalta withdrawal. How long does this last? I’m going crazy and I can’t take it!!!

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      It can last for months. Some people have issues years later so this is nothing to just push through. I’d suggest getting in touch w/ your doctor so you can get back on Cymbalta to alleviate your symptoms ASAP and then work w/ your doctor over a period of several weeks/months to reduce your dosage down to reduce withdrawal. I’d also suggest joining the Cymbalta Hurts Worse group on Facebook b/c they have a titration protocol that might help you.

  4. Kristin Goradietsky says

    I gradually reduced my dose of Cymbalta from 60, 30, then 15mg over a 6 week time period. At 15mg I experienced the worst withdrawal symptoms including, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, massive headaches, fatigue, dizziness, hot flashes, sweating, and balance problems. It felt like my brain was in a vice being squished. My doctors who prescribed this drug over the past several years never once warned me about it. Do not take this drug unless you plan on being on it forever. I have never been so sick in my entire life. Also, while on Cymbalta I experienced constant tiredness, fatigue and slept 12 hours per day and still was tired.

  5. Brittni says

    Hello, I am currently trying to get off this medication and to be honest it’s scaring me. I have been on 60mg 2x a day for about 6 months now and it isn’t working for my depression anymore, if anything it just makes me more tired than my depression did. So I spoke with my doc and she wanted me to “taper” by taking 1 a day for a week and I should be fine. I am far from fine. I have ran out of these meds before and strated getting these symptoms and when I got the meds and took one I realised those “shock/pulses/” went away. So I knew when trying to taper off this past week and the symptoms getting unbearable that taking one would help, so I did. Can somebody please help? My doctor is supposed to be getting back with me in a couple of days and I am a stay at home mother….I can’t be like how I was with the discontinuation….I’m scared to quit taking it.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      If you’re on Facebook, please join the Cymbalta Hurts Worse Facebook group. Members there are using a protocol to minimize withdrawal effects. Cutting your dose in half is not an appropriate way to withdraw someone from Cymbalta. I would encourage you to print the studies linked in this article and give them to your doctor so that she is educated on the issues w/ Cymbalta withdrawal and will know about this issue for future patients: https://fedupwithfatigue.com/eli-lilly-letter/

  6. Keni Matsayko says

    After taking Cymbalta for about 4 years, I tried to cold turkey it , but with the extreme withdrawal symptoms; panic attacks, unending brain zaps, anxiety, nausea, migraines, irriatabiliy, mood swings, and so on, I decided to go to the doctor and properly ween off of Cymbalta. The weening process started with 30 mg( I was originally on 60mg). I took 30 mg for 2 weeks, then 20 mg for 1 week, and finally 20 mg every other day for 1 week. Needless to say it helped with the extreme panic attacks and horrendous brain zaps( I could describe as having lightning bolts battle inside of my head , or a light Sabar fight between Darth vadar and Luke Skywalker and I had front row seats), but it did not stop these horrible side effects completely. I am still suffering from 24/7 nausea. I have dealt with vomiting, migraines ,brain zaps, and just an over all feeling of being ran over by a truck. I wonder how long these things will last? This company and all other companies that distribute this medicine should Stop Immediately! Nobody ever informed me that I could face these dipilatating symptoms if I ever wanted to quit. What have we put into our bodies to cause this type of withdrawals? I don’t believe anything this company would tell us at this point.

    • Angela Bop says

      I was on cymbolta for 2-3 months said I didn’t like it wanted something new have me trintellix. I did not take cymbolta for a few days then I started trintellix. Since stopping cold turkey I have head aches, dizziness, brain zaps bad, anxiety, cry allot, heart burn,blurry vision sometimes have to squint my eyes body cramps unsteady standing up. My brain zaps got so bad one night really scared me thought I was gonna die. I hate it wished I never heard about the drug

  7. Does anyone suspect that Cymbalta might have made their pain worse in the long run? Here is why I ask:
    I took it to block a nerve pain in my shoulder. It worked and I was very happy with it.
    I have arthritis in my knees and it seemed as I got older, it was getting worse and spreading through out my other joints. The pain was crippling. Four neurologist and three pain clinics later, I’m thinking this is just too much for a little arthritis. I again visit a pain clinic and get the same advice, they want to change my Cymbalta to Sevella. I balked when he told me to just stop because I had tried before but I was assured it would be “fine” if I just cut it in half the first week and half again for a second week. He at least did suspect some myalgia.
    Of course I wasn’t fine. I thought I was going to die. Same symptoms as the lady in the story.
    During the worst, I could feel (and see, as I was hallucinating) nerves firing at my finger tips and then pulse with pain as it moved past each joint. More like the nephropathy I had in my feet.
    To shorten the story, I am still feeling some effects of the withdrawal but my pain as I knew it is gone. I still have joint pain but it is normal, take an aspirin, work out the kinks, old person pain. My life has changed so much. I smile. I travel. My bubble has expanded. I’m thinking the Cymbalta was blocking some nerves and they were trying to find a new path. That is always received as PAIN by the brain.
    The new me is also thinking that the Cymbalta caused my pain for the last eight years.

  8. I had been on Cymbalta for 10 years for depression and was never happy about the weight gain because it was like a vicious circle. Weight gain just caused me to be more depressed and I was still a crying mess even taking it so what was the point. I finally began trying to transition off of 60mg daily 3 weeks ago at doctors advice. Trying to ween off of it and onto a new med that is supposed to work in a different way. This is my first week of being completely off the Cymbalta and the withdrawal symptoms (brain zaps, headaches, dizzy, irritable, anxiety, crying, tired, nausea, weird dreams, lack of concentration or focus and just plain blah) are kicking my butt. I am really afraid of getting on any other medication after dealing with this one but I am not sure that I have any other options. I just want it to be over already at this point, I wish that I could just crawl into bed and sleep until it was over. I just keep praying that God will get me through this. I wish you all well and if you aren’t taking Cymbalta I would say don’t start, look for other options.

    • Donna Marie says

      Shari, I just weaned myself off of Cymbalta. It took me five months. I am no free of that zombie making drug. I started by tapering to every other day for two weeks, then every every four days for another weeks and so on. I got to once a week, for two weeks. I totally stopped on July 5th, 17′. I have no major withdrawn symptoms except once in awhile when I wake up in the morning, I feel a very light brain zap. After my coffee and a small breakfast it goes away. When I tried cold turkey I thought the world was ending, and the symptoms were horrid. Zaps, drumming in my ears as I walked, neausea, headache, sleeplessness, vomiting, unable to sit up, tremors, night sweats, loss of appetite, and so on. I hope it gets easier for you, i know the feeling of being unable to function without it. You just want to lay down and die. Try weaning, rather than killing yourself cold turkey. It worked for me.

      • I have been taking 60 mg of Cymbalta for about 2 years now and I’ve decided to get off of it. Three days ago I cut from 60 mg to 30. I’m wondering how long I should stay on the 30 and when I should go to every other day then every two days Etc. I’m experiencing headaches and kind of a blah feeling, but after reading what others have gone through I’ve decided I definitely want to continue this journey and get off of this medicine.

        • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

          You need to work with your doctor on this. From what I’ve read, it generally takes several weeks to wean off Cymbalta.

    • Peggy Young says

      I too am suffering from cymbalta withdrawal after being off the drug for three days and on it for more than 10 years. I’m in the hospital with elevated liver enzymes and Cymbalta was stopped because it affects the liver. I’ve chosen to reduce th qmount or medicine in the capsules for a few months until I am completely off it. I will get off.

  9. Heather Dykes says

    I was on Cymbalta for over 10 years for fibromyalgia and anxiety. Unlike a lot of patients I tappered off Cymbalta for the 2nd time and it took me 2 1/2 years to completely come off. I was taking 60mg once a day. The label says may cause withdrawals when abruptly stopping this medication… That is bull crap! I had severe withdrawals even doing my tapper that slow. I knew I was going to beat this and had to go super slow to be able to function and contain my withdrawals to a minimum. There were times I could not get out of bed, could not drive and ended up quitting my job. This September I will have been off Cymbalta for 2 years and I will tell you Im much better but Im still not where I need to be. I can tell my brain is healing, Im able to think on my own and process words that make sense but I still suffer. Good luck to all of you and stay connected with a support group that can help encourage you and walk you through this valley. I joined a facebook support group that was amazing called Cymbalta hurts More!

  10. I was on Cymbalta (approx 7 yrs) to treat my depression. I’ve been off Cymbalta for 8 months and the withdrawals the first month were horrendous! I weaned off Cymbalta on my own but when my psychiatrist retired, I ran out of the medication before finding another doctor, so I decided to just stay off the meds. I assumed the withdrawals would last a couple of months. But I realize now, (that I looked up the withdrawals length), I am still having withdrawals. Constant days of feeling dizzy, foggy memory, confusion, loss of balance, forgetfulness, sensitive vision (squinting a lot), head pressure, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, some nights/days I sleep too much (up to 12 hours) and others I can’t sleep at all (but I lose sleep more often than sleep more), abrupt mood swings, migraines (lasting days), and strong (and constant) heartburns. These are just what I can recall for now. In the very beginning of my withdrawals, I had the weirdest and most uncomfortable side effect in my mouth. I had a very dried mouth, blisters on my tongue and on the mouth walls/cheeks, numbness, but yet very sensitive to spices. This lasted almost two weeks and it was my dentist who, after a check up, told me that most likely it was Cymbalta side effects.
    I wish I would have known all this before taking Cymbalta. The withdrawals are too strong and too often and are affecting me in every aspect of my life.

  11. Try cannabis oil. There are no side effects. I am suffering like all of you. I think it is helping me slowly. The symptoms are not as strong.

    • HI TRYING to figure out canabis oil….someone said take cannabis oil..went to the seller they gave me CBD oil tincture…when i called them they said no you should have cannabis oil not CBD oil tincture i will send you a sample of what you should have…what did they givew you fran

  12. Kim Barrett says

    I have taken cymbalta for 10 years for fibromyalgia and lupus. Yes it worked well but withdrawal symptoms are a bitch. I had the flu and couldn’t keep it down. The brain zaps and dizziness made me think I had a brain tumor or something.The next time was when the pharmacy told me it was now 300$ instead of 50$ . I told them to shove it. Apparently serotonin helps you be nice too! Of course life was awful until the pharmacy got their head out of their butt and came down to 50$ and I started it. Biochemically speaking cymbalta is a serotonin uptake inhibitor, meaning it increases the serotonin in your brain. Most over the counter drugs only increase serotonin in your blood, not in your brain because it doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier. Useless and dangerous. L-Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin and does cross the blood brain barrier. I was miserable and gave it a try, 1000 mg twice a day( after waiting about a week after my last dose of cymbalta ) for 2 weeks and I felt better. No more brain zaps or dizziness. It’s been 3 weeks now and I feel fine? Except of course for the pain I was taking it for. But that’s a whole different issue. I’d rather be in pain!

    • Kim Barrett says

      Ps I’m not a doctor, just did a lot of research when I started my third experience in Cymbalta withdrawals.

    • Rebecca Fox says

      So you suggest the l tryptophan once you have completely stopped the cymbalta? And not while weaning off..correct?
      I’ve been on cymbalta since 2006 and I want to be free of it once and for all. I am weaning off with a doctor. I am also supplementing l theanine every morning with the lower dose which helps some of the bad effects. I’m just so incredibly tired with absolutely no relief.

      • You may not have all the symptoms or severity that others have experienced. I’ve taken 60 mg once daily for around 17 years. I read the withdrawal stories and was afraid to wean off the medication. I am between jobs and don’t have insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions so have to stop (along with stopping estrogen and progesterone). I cut down to 30 mg for a couple of weeks and have been almost a week now without any Cymbalta I still take 150 mg Wellbutrin which I’ve taken for 17 years as well. I plan to get off that too. So far, fatigue is my biggest issue. I had some horrible nightmares but that’s passed. Other sources de effects are mild so far (skin tingling, dizziness). Someone online suggested b complex vitamins, magnesium and fish oil, all of which I’m now taking. I was given Cymbalta for peri menopause all those years ago. I would never have started had I known more about the drug. My doctor never seemed concerned.

  13. Amy Christensen says

    I have been off Cymbalta for about 2 weeks now. I was prescribed it for Dercum’s Disease which is a very painful adipose tissue disorder. It helped a little, but I hated the side effects. It muted anything pleasurable. I had no sex drive and couldn’t orgasm. I decided to get off of it so my Dr prescribed something else. The first day off, I thought I had food poisoning. Vomiting and diarrhea. Then horrible dizziness and what I now know as brain zaps. Shortness of breathe, heart palpatations, nose bleeds and now vaginal bleeding. I am so sad and angry. I have never felt this out of control. I can’t sleep, eat, or walk. My husband and kids are terrified because I’m not me. I’ve had a complete personality change. I’m rage and scream, and can’t tolerate noise. I’m so depressed, I cry constantly, I want to die. This isn’t me. This has never been me! I have never felt I’ve ever need to be hospitalized for mental issues until now.
    I would of NEVER taken Cymbalta had I known. I don’t know how long this will last. I’m scared for me, my kids, my husband and my marriage. I pray constantly for relief. I don’t know if I should go to the er or just ride it out. Is this life threatening? How can this be legal? How can the doctor not of told me? Does this feeling ever go away?

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Amy, I’m obviously not a doctor but you might want to talk with your doctor about temporarily going back on Cymbalta, get yourself stabilized and then try to wean off very, very, very slowly. When you resume taking Cymbalta, your symptoms will disappear very quickly. These symptoms can get rather severe in some people. I know of at least one case where someone committed suicide, so it’s a serious thing. If you’re on Facebook, I would suggest joining the Cymbalta Hurts Worse group. They have a protocol to help people wean off over a period of weeks/months. Most doctors do not know the issues with Cymbalta withdrawal. This is a perfect opportunity to educate your doctor. The Eli Lilly study showing the issue w/ withdrawal is linked in the article. Might be good to print that study and take it to him so he doesn’t keep making this mistake w/ patients.

    • Hello I’m also been on Cymbalta for sometime now and I also have now been off for serial months and I too am going though withdraws and I have experience the same problems but I did not tell my doc that I was going off of the meds. I was taking it for fibromyalgia and depression and I too am go though all of the changes I cry at a drop of a hat. I’m always feeling confused I have headaches all the time I have chest pain all the time muscle spasms all the time my elbows and wrist and knees pop out of socket and it hurts all the time but the dizziness is the worst and the headaches. I also have IBS systems and dry skin a rash on legs arms and feet that I have never had before. I also grave for salty things and chocolate which I cant eat. I more thing I have also again weight as well its a sad thing to be going though this but this to shell pass I am not going to like consume me god has a plan to see me though…GOD IS GOOD!!!!

  14. Rebecca Faberlle says

    Hi, about a month ago I was feeling sick to my stomach, nauseous and dizzy. Driving home I passed out, thankfully I was able to pull over before fainting. Ended up in the hospital dehydrated. I have noticed feeling dizzy every time I forget to take Cymbalta and after reading your blog I wonder if it is a side effect.I will talk to my doctor and see what she recommends. I’m sick and tired of feeling sick (due to medications or not). I have stopped complaining because I feel that people judge me so I suffer in silence 🙁

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      I have heard of some people experiencing those symptoms if they are late taking their regular dose of Cymbalta.

  15. Hi I was just taken off cymbalta to start Lyrica and for the last 2 days I have been so dizzy. Today I can’t stand for 2 mins. I feel like I am on a boat with sea sickness. I have been on the couch all day. As well I have pain in every fiber of my body…..worse than I remember. Now I was told start taking 50mg of Lyrica. I feel like a lab rat!!!

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      You’re going through withdrawals! It’s dangerous to quit Cymbalta cold turkey. You need to have your doctor wean you off of it. Most doctors don’t know that 50% of patients experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop Cymbalta. Generally, people who have these symptoms have to go back on Cymbalta and wean off over a period of several weeks/months. There is a Facebook group called Cymbalta Hurts Worse that might be helpful for you. They have a protocol to help people get off of Cymbalta. It basically involves breaking open the capsules and reducing the number of beads over a period of several weeks. I know it sounds tedious but it’s the best way people have found to get off of the drug w/o going through withdrawal symptoms.

  16. I started Cymbalta and starting having all these symptoms immediatly. I am still taking it. I stand up and get extremely dizzy, shaky, and sometimes completely black out and fall. I have fallen several times and have almost broken my knees, back and shoulder. I also have had grand mal seizures which have been blamed on a seizure disorder although I have been seizure free for 30 years. Has anyone else experienced these symptoms while taking Cymbalta and before withdrawing? I want to get off but now am scared it will get worse.

  17. My boyfriend is in the hospital. They took him off of cymbalta and he can’t remember anything he DT even now he is in the hospital he shakes all the time. Is it withdraws.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      I don’t know, but you definitely need to make his doctors aware that he was just taken off Cymbalta. Based on Eli Lilly’s own studies, 50% of people who stop Cymbalta experience withdrawal symptoms. They may want to put him back on Cymbalta to see if his symptoms dissipate.

  18. I am in a Rural area. I had to drive 75 miles to find a psychiatrist. I had been put on Meds due to a bad reaction to morphine in the Hospital. The Psychiatrist I went to in Dallas first started my treatment. After I got over the bad reaction to the Hospital Meds, I asked him to take me off antidepressants. He said, “I was still suffering from Depression and stress” Which I think at that time was minor. While I usually research all kinds of things due to curiosity. I didn’t research antidepressants. I thought well, if it Ain’t broke do fix it. And I trusted the doctors. Sometime later I was given Cymbalta. I think I had been on it for 7 or 8 years. I also thought (at the time) it was helpful for some neck damage I received in a car wreck. When I moved to the area I’m in now. I had a hard time finding a Doctor because they are all overbooked. I suffered from low sodium a side effect of cymbalta. The Doctor took me from 120 mg’s to 60mgs to nothing in 2 weeks time. I have gone thru horrible side effects since. Depersonalization, depression, anxiety, headaches, brain zaps, fatigue. The Depersonalization is the worst. It feels as though your soul has been sucked out of your body, and you are looking at life from the outside looking in. You basically don’t feel like yourself. I have read some encouraging things on the web. But, one thing I have read, that keeps me hopeful, is that this process can take over a year. I to am very upset that I was not told about the withdrawal and side effects of antidepressants. I wish I had never set foot in a Psychiatrist office. The two Psychiatrist I have seen since this happened, disregarded everything I told them. And then tried to prescribe more antidepressants. I know they are wrong because all this started within two days of being off cymbalta. I would work with someone who could help me feel better and eventually get of this stuff. But, I am having a real hard time in this rural area finding anyone who will listen or who cares. Most doctors just want to put you on something else and keep you on the Merry-go-round of antidepressants! I don’t have the money to go to Dallas or Houston and get a hotel while I’m treated. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I believe Cymbalta should be taken off the market and Eli Lilly held responsible for withholding information!

  19. I was only on Cymbalta two weeks before I began have problems. I was so fatigued, I literally felt as if I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other! Depression set in to where I was weepy all the time! I called my doctor and was told to stop taking it! No word mentioned on weaning myself off of it. I researched and discovered you need to wean off of it slowly. I was only taking the lowest dose to begin with! I would empty out the capsules a little every few days…didn’t actually count the beads! It took me over two months to get back to feeling normal…as normal as someone with fibro can feel! That was after only being on it that short time of two weeks! It may work for some people but I definitely wasn’t one of them! BTW Cymbalta was prescribed by a doctor who specializes in fibromyalgia!

  20. I am trying to get off cymbalya now. I feel hopeless. 20 mg is the lowest dose. I almost can’t function. Brain zaps are near constant. I’m unhappy and I have horrific mood swings that have been causing terrible fights with my new husband who just told me that as I am now, I’m unloveable. I don’t think I can do this. I came off of lexapro and was okay. But with this, I can’t.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Why isn’t your physician helping you w/ this … ???? I’m so sorry to hear how you’re struggling.

  21. Maria Los says

    Coming off Cymbalta has been living hell for me. I started taking cymbalta for both anxiety related to dealing with stressors related to our life changes after our son was diagnosed with leukemia, and chronic fibromyalgia. Cymbalta DID help with the fybromyalgia and was an insidious bandaid to the “anxiety.” I felt about the uncertainy about my son’s life. But what I didn’t realize is it also took away all other feelings of pleasure. It basically stopped me from having any passion about anything. This year I realized I hadn’t really played piano since I started the medication. I had been passionate about music my whole life prior, studied it in school,and then BAM, I could care less about it. I didn’t care to socialize anymore, I didn’t have any sex drive, but I wasn’t really making the association until I started weaning off and feelings started coming back. Anyway, this is beside the primary point I’m making…I decided to start weaning off cymbalta because as someone who has always had a good diet and exercised I was sick of the fact I continued to gain and gain and gain weight (I even did a 10 week no oil, no sugar vegan diet and didn’t lose any weight). Additionally, the constipation was making my prolapse issues worsen. I literally could go weeks without a bowel movement even with all types of laxatives. With the minor help of a mental health nurse practicioner I started to wean off. At first I was blown away by the positive results. No weight loss, but I started to notice positive mental health changes, like the entrance of minor emotion again. I weaned down to almost nothing over months quite painlessly. This is what shocks me the most about how violently I was rocked by removing cymbalta completely from my system. After finally weaning down to probably only about 15mg a day for about a month, I decided to go cold turkey. It’s been a month, and I’m still reeling. I’ve been an emotional wreck. I’ll be standing in line to get coffee, and suddenly be overtaken by the overwhelming urge to burst into tears. I’ll be unable to perform job tasks, I’m paranoid, comatose at work, I second guess everything everyone says to me, I’m worried I’m alienating my friends, co-workers, employees, everyone, I’m afraid to mention how I’m feeling to anyone because I’m worried it will backfire. I’m short with my kids, unable to take on short tasks, my sleep patterns/dreams have been absolutely insane. I’ve also experienced multiple dreams where I become paralyzed and cannot move, I was almost fired by our kids music teacher the other day because I totally lost it in our lesson – I’m absoulutely freaking nuts and I don’t see any end in sight. I’ll have hours where things seem to settle, I even had a couple individual days of respite and thought I was on the mend….and then BAM, I was back in rage zone again. The sad thing is…I also see moments of happiness, moments of clarity where I want to cry with happiness because I feel the happy emotions I missed for four years. I don’t want to go back on cymbalta because I’m so sad that I missed these moments of joy. I’m such a mess that the sensation and acknowledgement of these feelings then makes me sad!

    My nurse practitioner told me I’d want to take a “me” weekend when I weaned off….Nobody says take a “me” 6-8 weeks or more god forbid….. This is the problem. I’ve looked up support groups – All I’ve seen is one lone support group somewhere in Colorado. This really is a problem. If Eli Lily is going to prescribe something this powerful while it works in the body, they need to take all the data and provide a service to accommodate for the very powerful after-effects the medication has as it leaves the body.

    • Hi I just got prescribed Cymbalta today and took my first pill 5 hours ago.. I woke up about an hour ago after sleeping for four hours in the middle of the day(which is very rare for me). I have experience some weird feelings and a slight tunnel vision.. I understand your feelings as I took fluvoxamine (I’m not sure if thats the right spelling.. it was a long, long time ago) but it helped with suicidal thoughts and major depression… I loved it at first, then started to get bored without the peaks and troughs that I love, like laughing at jokes. I don’t think I want to continue taking this drug as I’ve read that 50% of people suffer terrible side effects after taking it.. I’m interested in what is happening with you now??

  22. Chelsea says

    I’m suffering from debilitating side effects from Cymbalta and I’m so angry that I was never informed of any risks associated with it other than “it may cause suicidal thoughts if discontinued abruptly”. My doctor has no clue about the withdrawal symptoms, saying that this must be a very, very rare case. He took me from 20mg (after I explained how sick I got just ONE day after attempting to get off of it) to zero and told me to just deal with it over the weekend and hopefully be better by Monday for work!! Seriously?! Isn’t there something that can be done about this? People suffering because of this and it’s not right. Are there any lawyers that are still taking cases for this?

  23. Veronica Worthy says

    I am on Cymbalta because it helps and because I can’t get off and live. That is the truth. I have tried slowly withdrawling from Cymbalta, very slowly, with no success. Nothing short of feeling like I am losing my mind happened when I attempted withdrawal. I was depressed, tired, had brainzaps, heavy mood swings, suicidal thoughts, complete detachment from all sense of self. It was on of the scariest experiences I have ever had. It is sad that I have to stay on this medication to function. But, even sadder that I don’t have a choice to change.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling to get off of Cymbalta, Veronica. From what I’ve read and researched, the people who have withdrawal symptoms who ultimately are able to get off of Cymbalta are taking a very, very, very slow approach to stopping. They are opening up the capsules and dumping out the tiny beads inside and then literally counting them. They gradually take fewer and fewer beads as the days/weeks go by, never reducing by more than 10% at any one time. Some people are taking several months to do this in order to minimize the effects as much as possible. If you are on Facebook, you may want to check out the Cymbalta Hurts Worse group. There are members there using this method.

      • I bring you all some hope. I have been coming of cymbalta for five months and I have seven more to go, it is possible. It just takes 12 months. Here is how I’m doing it. There is one brand of cymbalta that has tiny balls inside each capsule opposed to powder. 12 balls in fact. Every four weeks I take one ball from the capsule. And put the capsule back together. I do this every day and I make sure I take cymbalta at the same time every day. Prior to me coming of the medication I was on 60mg for three years. I was being treated for depression and anxiety. I get mild side effects for about 7-10 days. I’m tired moody and I can get treaty for no reason, then I’m okay until I reduce the medication again. The good news is it’s working, I know that I’m doing it slowly and giving my body the right amount of time to adjust each month before I reduce my dose. In seven months I’m going to be free of this medication which is exciting. I know it’s a long time to come of medication but it can be done. I was really worried reading all the negative press out there and thought I would be stuck in this stuff for ever, but I decided I would seek out a good support network , a good GP and a life without to much stress to make sure this could happen. And it is. I’m studying a post grad too so life can still be very demanding but I choose to remain hopeful. It is possible , just take it slowly.

  24. Cymbalta has been a life saver for me. It cut down my daily pain by about 3/4. I do notice if I miss a dose that I have extremely vivid dreams (which have been somewhat enjoyable). But I agree that it is up to patients to take charge and ask questions. Doctors can’t possibly know everything… and it is common knowledge that you need to wean off of anti-depressants. Anyway, go out there and grab what gives you the good life! We aren’t promised tomorrow – so make sure today is as good as possible! Hugs!

  25. Christine Napieralski says

    Hey everyone. I wanted to express my same concerns in regards to Cymbalta, as i am currently taking it along with other medications in order to help control my pain and chronic depression. But mainly, i wanted to share with you all some possibly helpful tips in moving forward with ANY kind of new or different therapy. I’ve been working in the pharmacy field as a technician for roughly 6 years, but have made the medical field as a whole my true passion in life. Basically, i can easily say ‘yep. Been there, done that’.

    When some people read the comments and ask why the patients didn’t educate themselves on the medications before they started taking it, or ask questions beforehand, the answer is simply this – generally, they don’t know where to start, or even know WHAT to ask. When we, as patients, go into our doctors’ offices looking for relief from any kind of physical or emotional pain imaginable, we naturally start to psych ourselves out when our doctors start telling us about our options and what he/she may think would benefit us the most. We sometimes can even think ‘well, my doctor wouldn’t have told me about this, unless they knew it had been successful for a lot of other patients in my condition.’ Basically, we trust them. We go to them for help, we do what they say.
    I could write all day about my opinions based on what i experience as a patient while, at the same time, working as a patient advocate, but i’ll try my best to stear clear.

    My best advice to everyone taking your time to read this comment, whether you’re a new patient, or have been a patient for many years – when it comes to medications that you’re currently taking, or newly prescribed, always be open to having a thorough consultation with a pharmacist about your medication. Even for those who receive meds via mailorder, there is always a pharmacist available to take patient questions. They are there to help you understand all of the medical terms on your ‘patient education sheets’ – which unfortunately don’t help you if you don’t understand what it all means. And with my stating the ‘don’t understand medical terms’, i want to be extremely clear that i do not mean that in any kind of derogatory or offensive manner. Before i truly studied healthcare and started working in the field, i almost never fully understood what the papers or any other articles were talking about. Also, i didn’t want to ask “dumb” questions. But please keep in mind – when it comes to your health and your life, there in no such thing as a dumb question! Also, if you choose to talk to your pharmacist, trust me, there is nothing you could ask them that they probably haven’t already heard many times before. They are there to ensure that you are in total understanding of expectations and peace of mind when it comes to any kind of unfamiliar treatment.

    One last thought to keep in mind – your doctors specialize in their particular fields. Yes, they know about medications and what they treat, but your pharmacist is an actual doctor of medications. Doctors are experts in the different kinds of medical conditions, and diagnosing according to particular symptoms. Pharmacists are the experts in medications. Many doctors actually go to a pharmacist with questions, and they work together in deciding what would be best for their patient.

    I want to thank you all for taking the time to read what i had to say. I hope this can be helpful to at least one person, and possibly some peace of mind as well. Stay strong, and God bless!! ♡♡♡

    • Kimberly says

      Wonderful Information Post Christine, I am on many different medications, with Lupus, Fibro, Hashimoto’s Spinal Disk Disease, and many more. When I was reading about Cymbalta it was most concerning. I take 120mg daily. I was just saying I need to find a Doctor to go over all my medication to see if it all Blends and is needed. After reading your wonderful post I will call and make a consolation appointment with them. Thanks for the great advice. Kimberly

    • Chelsea says

      Thank you for this comment. I agree with you… But I did have a consultation with a pharmacist and they didn’t tell me anything except that it may cause suicidal thoughts if you discontinue abruptly. I specifically asked about the side effects, too. That’s all I got. It’s very depressing to think I may never be the same again after all is said and done.

      • Christine Napieralski says

        Hi Chelsea! I am very sorry to hear your concerns and unfortunate ‘dismissal’ when you reached out to a pharmacist. Some can be very brash, and can almost make some people feel very undeserving of their time. If you have further questions or would like to speak in a more ‘one-on-one’ environment, please feel free to email me at Christine.Napieralski@yahoo.com. I know this probably isn’t the most secure way of exchanging information, especially since it’s right in the middle of a very public chat, but, at this point, I’ve had more than enough of having to watch my every step in the public eye, living in paranoia, and feeling like everyone’s watching for that one vulnerable person to fall, then attack by any means. If you choose to reach out via email, please know that I keep EVERYTHING as confidential as I expect the next person to be when it comes to any personal/detailed information. I can’t promise I will answer right away, but please know that I am here to chat if you need someone who finally understands how you might be feeling.
        Also, for anyone else who might be reading this, I have a quote I randomly found on the internet that is on the wall of my cubical at work that says “When life puts you in tough situations, don’t say ‘Why me?’. Say ‘Try me!’.” – and I read that every time I feel defeated with my pain, my lingering questions that go unanswered, etc. It helps me keep going, and reminds me that every difficult situation we go through is only temporary. God bless, and keep on taking baby steps!! 🙂 We’re all in this together!

    • you are so right…i was on metocloprimide for chemo treatments and my doc decided to put me on seratonin…..i went to the pharmacy and they said you cant take those two meds together…of course i believed my doc. and took the meds..(the pharmacist should not have let me buy it) and all the nerves in the right side of my face went for a month…i wish i would have listened to the pharmacist..!! when i told my doc this he got sort of angry and said well i have at least 15 patients who take both..i looked it up on the website he uses Treato and it said dont take these two together..now i always check with my pharmacist good old Dave……he also noticed my doc was giving me something new and told me it
      would interact with Domperidone i am now on instead of metocloprimide…now when i go to the DOcs i bring the priint out from the website he uses…….to him and show him that they are not compatible…check first before you take the drug to even be filled…now going through hardship trying to get better from taking gabepentin for 4 days…and really sick…had to stop suddenly and after only 4 doors bad side effects…….

  26. Darlene Bilyeu says

    I have symptoms without trying to withdraw. I call these: (1) missed-dose symptoms – always. After just one missed dose, I experience hangover like symptoms, with dizziness, loss of coordination, nausea, etc. and (1) pre-dose symptoms – often. Hours before my next dose is due, I experience misses-dose symptoms, even though I have not missed a dose.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      I have heard others complain about this as well. It doesn’t bode well for when/if you ever have to quit taking it.

    • Heather A Vernillo says

      I was on Cymbalta and Lyrica for nerve pain after having kidney cancer. I’m 2 weeks off both meds and I’m sitting here wondering if I’m going insane. I have never had depression or anxiety. Never been treated for any mental health issues. I took these drugs to ease pain. I regret ever starting them. I can’t concentrate, sleep or eat. I have constant brain zaps where I actually lose vision. I’m afraid to leave the house. I’m scared. Having uncontrollably high blood pressure and palpitations. My chest hurts. My lips go numb. I get parastesias in my hands. I have abdominal cramping and frequent loose stools. I’m scared. Had these things been told to me I would not have taken Cymbalta. The benefits DO NOT outweigh the risks. Please keep me in mind to update about any class action lawsuits. Because of Cymbalta I can’t practice as an ARNP. I worked so hard to become an advanced practice nurse and Cymbalta has kept me from sitting for my licensure exam.

      • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

        Heather, is there a way to go back on the medications and then wean off more slowly? It sounds like you’re having withdrawals. Weaning off over a long period of time minimizes withdrawal symptoms. It’s not good for your body to be going through this.

      • Kelly Huper says

        I have been on 60 mg for 20 years. First diagnosed with depression and chronic pain. If I miss even 1 dose I have severe nightmares; often with killing; etc. involved. I have numerous “tics” and seizure activity. I swear (not normal at all), yell, scream, kick, hit, talk in strange voice that upsets dog and grandchildren at times, and more. Last night missed dose and took 5 hours later than normal and still had all of the above! Cymbalta symptoms. Wish I would have never started this med. Missing a real life and don’t know what to do; as feel stuck Still do feel chronic pain and lack of luster for life and feel cymbalta is becoming more of a cause than a solution.

  27. rebecca says

    I never actually experienced issues upon withdrawal because I developed all the symptoms as soon as I started taking the stuff. I had nausea, stomach upsets, feelings of being ‘out of body’ and brain zaps by the hundreds. I complained to my specialist as well as my GP on numerous occasions. No-one seemed to want to know. I was told to keep taking it and ride it out; that it would improve with time. I took it for around 18 months, and during a horse ride ( I bred and showed horses for a living so am not a beginner) I had a massive brain zap. I fell from the horse and ended up tangled in its back legs and was trampled. I had multiple fractures and have now had part of one elbow replaced, and the other arm is still plated from a shotgun fracture, and has compartment syndrome. My shoulders are damaged from being dislocated, and my back is giving a great deal of pain these days. It has been almost 2 years since the accident. I don’t recall the actual withdrawal from Cymbalta as I was that full of morphine and other opiates for such a long time, I didn’t notice!! The side effects whilst taking it are horrendous!! I am glad I was too drugged up to notice the withdrawals!

  28. I feel bad for the users who tried to wean off and had a bad experience. What I don’t understand is why some of the users do not educate themselves on the medicines before they take them and then say they were never told about the side effects. As a Fibromyagia sufferer myself I believe knowledge is power. We have to ask questions, read the pamphlets that come with the medicines we are prescribed and be our own advocates when it comes to our personal health.

    • Nancy S. says

      All medications have listed side effects. Sometime you weigh the options of your issue you are trying to get help for vs the side effects of the medication, especially when the side effects are “possible” so you hope you don’t experience them.

  29. Daryle L. Gregory says

    I stopped taking Cymbalta, cold turkey…..My Arthritis doctor had prescribed it for the fibro and arthritis. I was getting ‘brain zaps’ (thanks to other describing this. I did not know how to describe it) while I was taking it….My doctor has since just told me I don’t do well taking medications. So am taking vitamins instead. But the brain zaps were very disconcerting and so annoying to me. I have since wondered what long term effect it will have on my life. First it was Lyrica. I began getting hives and severe itching so had to quit that cold turkey as well. Was sick of over a week. I had a brain zap recently and thought it strange since its now been over 6 months since I stopped the Cymbalta. Will there be some testing or anything done to determine long term effects?

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      I have not heard of any testing or monitoring. At this point, Eli Lilly is not admitting any fault.

  30. Christine says

    I had the worst withdrawal symptoms almost to the point of suicidal. It was horrible no one should be prescribed this medicine.

  31. Liana Galbraith says

    After only being on Cymbalta for a few months, started having severe memory problems(worse than ever)…I took it for my fibro and mental health… And weaned off of it slowly.. After I stopped, I felt as if I were Sleeping Beauty. I slept for three days straight and thought I was ill. Not a good feeling at all! Scared the crap out of my husband.

  32. Stephanie cooper says

    I had 2 horrible experiences in 2011 and 2012 withdrawing from cymbalta. In both cases the same symptoms occurred…. I had the brain zaps and these where SOO horrible they made me dizzy and nauseated I had to lay down for several days. I was never told to titrate off the Meds and how to do that. I also had horrific leg and arm pain from my butt to my toes and shoulders to my hands. I could barely walk. My kids were worried about me. My eyes were also blurry and eyesight has deteriorated since using cymbalta. I used to have 20/20 vision.

  33. Amanda Oster says

    This doesnt suprise me! After my insurance wouldn’t cover my cymbalta, I found myself going through horrible horrible withdrawls. That was with tapering off! It was so bad that later when my insurance changed again what it would cover my Dr suggested Cymbalta since it had worked so well. My response was that until I was promised I would never ever have to go off of it again ever, I would never take it again no matter what! I couldn’t get out of bed between the major flare-up it cause, the headache, moodswings,depression, you name it, I am sure I went through it. It was hell!

  34. Maggie says

    I also can’t miss any pills, as I get really bad brain zaps. It scares me and I want to stop, but the fact that I get such a terrible reaction from missing one pill makes me extraordinarily nervous.

  35. Melissa says

    I had several of these withdrawal symptoms after coming off of Cymbalta. Anyone know how I would go about hiring an attorney? I am in Shelton, WA. But the majority of the time I was on Cymbalta, I lived in El Cajon, CA.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      There’s a link to one of the firms handling the lawsuits in the post. It doesn’t matter where you live.

  36. Tanith says

    Hi my name is Tanith I’m 40 & live in the UK. I have been on Cymbalta for a good 3-4 yrs now but was thinking of seeing my gp to swap to Savella. Been putting it off for a while as I only need to miss one day of my Cymbalta & I’m buzzing like a junkie, nausea, migraines etc start so I’m a bit reluctant to wean off them let alone stop abruptly. Having read this I’m even more concerned about coming off them……I’m need to do something as they aren’t right anymore & I don’t want to increase the dosage because they make me a zombie & I can’t function at all. I feel this drug is particularly strong even all its lowest dose when it comes to weaning/stopping them & we all treatment not warned of this before we start taking them.

  37. Ellen Scudder says

    OMG I am these problems as we speak. Does anyone know how long it lasts?

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      For some people, it’s just a few days up to a couple of weeks. Others say they experience these symptoms for months. 🙁

  38. Linda Ozminkowski says

    Oh my gosh!! YES YES YES! I have tried to wean myself off Cymbalta several times but can’t take the withdrawal symptoms. They are horrible. I can’t drive after 2-3 days so I go back on it.

  39. Sounds a lot like vertigo. Another thing doctors can’t seem to help with.

  40. Barbara Silvestro says

    I’ve been taking duloxetine, the generic of Cymbalta for approximately five years. After going on disability and having to purchase insurance from the healthcare marketplace otherwise known as the affordable care act, I signed up for a plan with United healthcare. Although my doctor wrote my prescription for one pill every 12 hours the health plan stated they only paid for one pill a day. My pharmacy attempted to get an override but it never went through and I ran out of medication. What is a patient to do? I had to start taking one pill per day.
    Over the course of the next three weeks I experienced severe withdrawal from the drug. Headaches, nausea, irritability, and more. I saw my pain management physician just two days ago and told him that since I already was having withdrawal symptoms why would I attempt to go back up to the 60 mg twice a day and fight with the insurance company to get it – please write the prescription for only the one pill per day since that is all they would allow, plus all of my other medications were five dollars for generic and for some reason the duloxetine is $25 per month which is unaffordable anyway for someone like me. So I continue on the one pill per day and I continue experiencing withdrawal symptoms even going into week four.

    I’m not sure this medication ever helped me. But going off of it has definitely not been fun. Next month I’m hoping for him to cut the dose even further so that I can try to get off of it completely knowing full well that I will continue to experience horrible withdrawal symptoms and may continue to be sick in bed for weeks until I can be off of this medication completely.
    I would love to talk to an attorney, but did not know where to start.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Just FYI: There’s a link to one of the attorney firms handling the cases in the post.

  41. Christy says

    I have tried to quit 5 times. I have given up because the withdrawal symptoms are just too unbearable!

  42. It is also the doctors’ responsibility to know the withdrawal effects of the medicines they prescribe as well as the effects of the interactions of the medications their patients are taking that are prescribed by other physicians. Not only did I have withdrawal from Cymbalta, but also interaction effects with other medications. I had all the symptoms everyone else is describing, but also hallucinations. I’m not blaming the world for my problems. This is something my team of physicians should have been aware of. I don’t have a medical degree…they do.

  43. I had severe withdrawal symptoms after 24hours without my regularly scheduled 60 mg pill a day. Vertigo and anxiety as well as severe suicidal thoughts. My Dr had no clue but helped me wean off over a year after the experience lead me to her office on the 2nd day. That experience occurred because of a two day discrepancy in my insurance covering the medicine. This could’ve cost me my life. I sincerely pray others don’t have to go through what I did.

  44. Christina talty says

    Seriously?! Are you people just looking for a reason to sue? I’ve been taking Cymbalta as well as numerous other medications for fibromyalgia, chronic migraine, etc., for years. I’m currently weaning off medications so that I can have a baby. But no way am I stupid enough to just stop any of them! Any kind of pain medication, anti-depressant, anti-seizure, or central nervous system altering drug, the first thing you have to do is decrease doses gradually and then wean off. Only do one medication at a time, and give yourself an adjustment period between changes, a withdrawal period, if you will.

    To come off these medications without expecting your body to rebound is asinine and quite frankly, just plain dumb! Grow up, plan ahead before making medication changes and prepare for what’s coming. And quit suing the drug companies and making these drugs impossible for everyone to get.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but you should take the time to read the others’ comments on this post and my other Cymbalta posts where people share their experiences with going through withdrawal. Many times it’s not an issue of people not weaning or people just stopping cold turkey. Sometimes people don’t have access to their medications for various reasons. Many times the physicians aren’t weaning people off properly. It saddens me when people blame the patients for this when the patients look to their physicians for instructions and guidance. If the physicians aren’t properly educated about the drug’s risks, then how are they to be expected to educate their patients?

    • Thank you! That’s why I came on here. It takes time. Yes, while titrating off a medication, you may have unpleasant – – even miserable – – side effects. But if you really want to go off a drug, giving up after a few days is not doing yourself any good. You may just have to suck it up. Or ask your doctor for help with withdrawal symptoms. Before saying anything, I’ve been there.

      What infuriates me I is when people have negative side effects or a treatment that doesn’t work, so the immediate response is to call a lawyer. I ended up with Lupus as a result of my rheumatoid arthritis medication. People asked if I would sue and my response was, “Hell, no!” That medication gave me a life for two years. Because of Humira, I was able to finish school and live a life relatively normal to most women in their early 20’s. To take that away from other 25 year-olds who were able to dress themselves and not have to rely on their parents to help them wash their hair and financially support them because getting off the couch is so painful it’s impossible to drive while taking fentanyl and oxycodone, much less hold down a job.

      I’m sincerely sorry for any of you who suffered as a result of this medication. But calling an attorney because of difficulty with the drug is not right or fair to the thousands of people who are living lives not possible without it. Good luck to you all. I truly hope you find something that helps you.

  45. Kimberly says

    My doctor simply moved me down 10mg, from 30mg to 20mg for my fibromyalgia and I started hallucinating and having dizziness. She moved me back up and I have been fine since. Now I am scared to get off of it.

  46. Djadewolff says

    While I agree that Individuals should take charge of their health and research their medications I CANNOT accept the way pharma companies mislead physicians. Anyone ever see Patch Adams? Anyone ever been in labor & delivery with another woman? Ever watch a “team” of medical professionals speak in abbreviations and/or whispers so as NOT to “alarm” the patient or family? If you DO question physicians can become extremely touchy. In fact we ALL know that this withdrawal is “REAL” – no-body disputes that – right? I will bet you that any woman who complained about withdrawal symptoms to her MD was told that (withdrawal) side effects are rare, it must be something else that has changed- and not offered a med taper or any other assistance other than advice to tough it out and it will go away on its own. I know this because I am 56 years old and have Lupus and Fibromyalgia – my initial symptoms were either dismissed, or chalked up to “depression” – then came the phrase “I’m not saying it’s all in your head, or even that you are depressed- however one of the “side effects” of antidepressant medication is pain relief so I’m hoping this drug can help”. When I said that antidepressants actually MADE me depressed I was told that is impossible, since they TREAT depression. Then came all the TV ads whose fine print disclaimer state that “some” antidepressants can cause “new or worsening symptoms of depression, including suicidal thoughts.”. Only THEN would docs admit I was not making it up. In their defense Doctors are extremely busy- the pharmaceutical Sales reps take advantage of this and spend time building relationships with various docs and office managers. Doctors do NOT have time to keep abreast of every single new medication as they are released- no more than the manager of Barnes and Noble has time to read every book-magazine-cd- or video in their stores. Doctors rely on their reps to tell them the truth- doctors WANT to help, most of the time a prescription is all they can offer. Many people will police themselves- you also MUST realize that many of the women complaining about Cymbalta have taken many different antidepressant medications and this ONE drug is the only one that caused these severe symptoms. I’ve taken at least a dozen different meds in this class and since all of them depress me, make me gain weight (depressing in itself), give me nightmares, increase insomnia or make it impossible to get out of bed (or CARE if I get out of bed) I refuse to take them. But I still have pain- and for YEARS no physician would prescribe ANY pain medication unless I tried or took antidepressants as well. Once I was told by a confiding physician that the FDA is where the pressure originates to prescribe anything in order to avoid narcotics .
    I heard HORROR stories about Cymbalta long before any rumors of a lawsuit emerged. Especially about liver damage. I would NEVER take this drug.

  47. I had a horrible experience weening off 120 mgs of Cymbalta daily, to try Savella. Even at my Drs suggestion of weaning off slowly. It still wasn’t slow enough!!!! Be careful!!! Personally, I loved Savella, but after 2 years on it, my blood pressure went through the roof. Weaned off savella n now back on Cymbalta. But only 60 mgs now daily. And only because my Dr. insists I take it. Praying for something new. Lyrica was awful. Even combos of multiple fibro meds, didn’t work.

  48. Kim Carter says

    Very hard to withdraw. Anxiety, sleeplessness, severe depression, vertigo, brain fog. This experience has just taught me to be wary of ANY prescription drug. I now approach things with natural supplements and methods.

  49. Liz Mitchell says

    I have also been taking cymbalta my Dr also changed my meds, an told me to quit taking the cymbalta i did an ended with a EMS tide to the emergency room with severe dizziness couldn’t stand couldn’t move i was in bad shape an so they told me i had bad vertigo this was a mth ago im still having dizziness started taking cymbalta again the other meds didn’t help me…..ugggggg what do i do?

  50. Janet Logan says

    I “live blogged” my withdrawal experience back in November 2010. The short version is that I ended up going to the ER for treatment of the symptoms. My abrupt discontinuance was due to suicidality brought on by the use of Cymbalta.


  51. Susan Brouillette says

    I know this subject is Cymbalta which I have taken but my withdrawal nightmare was with Lyrica. Really bad experience. If I had even remotely considered doing social drugs, this experience would have convinced me not too!!!

    • I had the problem with Lyrica also. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, I couldn’t describe the pain and nausea. It was all I could do to stand up, let alone take my dog outside. I ended up calling 911 thinking I was having a heart attack. I told them about the Lyrica thinking they might give me some and they looked at me like an idiot and gave me a GI cocktail. I was off it for 7-8 days due to insurance needing authorization and a doc who let the papers sit on his desk. I honestly thought I was dying and I had know idea why. I had to ask around to see if it could cause my problem. I didn’t know I was in withdraw since I didn’t know it could happen. Terrible time in my life

  52. My husband lost his job and I couldn’t afford to get my Cymbalta. Oh man I thought I was going to die. I was dizzy, cranky and had night mares every night for weeks!! When I told doctor about it he said it wasn’t the Cymbalta cause he wouldn’t do that to me!! Bull it sure did. I am back on it now and scared to death to get off of it.

  53. Clifford says

    What about if you have been on Cymbalta 60mg for over 5 years — Do you fell episodes of depression, migraines, pain, fatigue and brain zaps while still taking the drug. Symptoms I currently feel almost every day.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      I would look at Cymbalta’s patient guide and review the side effects.

  54. Ive been on cymbalta for 2 yrs and if i miss doses or for instance, my refill ran out and it was a week before i cld see the doc for refill, i feel drunk and ive even noticed abnormal heart rythm tht makes me feel like ive forgotten to breath. The doc even ran a ekg to make sure everything was ok! I expect some type of withdrawals tho so i cant say tht im surprised.

  55. Barb Denney says

    I took it for 8 years. By the end, I was on a high dose. My doctor wanted me to continue it but it wasn’t working any longer. I weaned off of it but even with that, I was having brain zaps, neuro problems, and dizzy. The worst part, for me, was the emotional problems. I would go from blistering angry with the screaming and throwing things to the despondent hysterically crying and looking to suicide. This was not some garden-variety withdrawal symptom, this effected my life, my health, my sanity, and my relationships. I almost lost my husband to this stuff, if he wasn’t the saint he is, he would have walked out.

    I did contact the lawyers and get on the lawsuits because, damn it, I didn’t sign on to have the problems coming off this that I did. 1% my happy ass! But, I got dropped off of the suit because, even through all the trouble, I was never hospitalized for the symptoms! I am terrified of mental health institutions and will never go into one voluntarily. And coming off a medication should not dictate having to be put in a hospital.

    As for the comment above about the people who feel they have a lawsuit not accepting ownership for themselves, I call bovine guano on that one. I own the fact that I took the medications with the doctor’s word. I TRUSTED that the medication would do what the company making it said it would do. I had TRUSTED the PDR (which I do read, I have a medical background and am able to research) when it said it was very low percentage of withdrawal problems. What I got was something so far out of a 1% it was horrifying. So, I believe that the company lied to the public about it and that’s going to be borne out. I’m not going to be able to do anything about those lies, which is what the suit is about.

    Your own experience may differ from mine and that’s fine. I would not presume to think that you aren’t educated about your meds, aren’t willing to take responsibility, or trying to blame the world for your own problems if you were to have a different outcome than I would. I guess some people have to feel morally superior to justify their own decisions.

    • Kathy Newport says

      I have been off Cymbalta for only 4 days after taking for many years.. After reading your comment I realize I’m not going crazy… Braun zaps is a pared ever description for what I’m feeling.. Sleeping 14- 16 hrs a day .. Omg this is terrible. Nightmares, dizziness and nausea… I feel hopeless

  56. Elizabeth Lopez says

    I had horrendous withdrawals from Cymbalta as well and huge weight gain while on that medication. Withdrawals were so horrendous I couldn’t even work during that time. I wouldn’t suggest that medicine to anyone just due to the withdrawals when you stop using the medication.

  57. I stopped taking cymbalta and lyrica in Oct 2012. I was on them for 1 year. They both worked really really well but I couldn’t handle the cost or the weight gain anymore so I quit. My doctor had me wean off of them but even then the side effects were horrible. They made me feel crazy and dizzy and the brain zaps were frightening. It took 2 months to get out of my system. I thought what I was experiencing would never end. I told my doctor what was going on and he basically just laughed at me and made me feel like it was all in my head. I always thought it was the lyrica that did that to me but after reading all of this I know for a fact it was the Cymbalta. I will never take cymbalta again and I always warn people to be careful and to know what they are getting themselves in to.

  58. Juliette says

    I just recently went off it and I was in such a bad way, my migraines that I almost never get now came rushing back not my normal ones but an overwhelming different kind of pain feeling like I’ll though up but never doing so for days, I get dizzy all the time but this dizziness I had was room turning and like I was on a moving floor! I would keep blacking out and forgetting what I was moving not like brain fog but just like I forgot I had even stood up or picked something up… Very scary! I was almost in hospital and would have been if it was not for my partner taking work off and me taking all my emergency pain and sleeping drugs I have for my extreme bad days… It felt like weeks went by but it was only about 9 days.. I’m now on 30mg and scared to go off the rest…
    For one of the only drugs to help us it’s not being marketed to dr very well for them to give us proper and real expectations! If I didn’t have my partner with me I could have been in a crazy little world of pain and wonderland feeling befor I remembered or had the ability to call for help.. Not eating and hardly drinking I could have been in a LOT more trouble then I was.

  59. Christi says

    My daughter ended up in the pediatric psych ward for 5 days because of missing 2 days of Lexapro …she was thirteen…it was crazy, she hallucinated and was psychotic…it was a nightmare….

  60. I stopped Cymbalta more than a year ago. My doctor told me I wouldn’t get any withdrawl since I was just taking 30mg (for Fibro). I didn’t believe him so I split it into lots of 5 mg pills at a compound pharmacy.

    I had withdrawl, bad withdrawl symptoms, but they came slow and went kind of slow. They were tolerable.

    But 1 month after that I started having horrible stomach pains, with that came the fatigue and my pain level increased sooo sooo much. That was more than a year ago, I’m still in that condition.
    Acording to a specialist (not the same physician who gave me cymbalta) I have ME/CFS along with Fibro.

    He didn’t say it was the Cymbalta who started, nor I’m sure about that, I just happen to know 2 more cases equal as me. (1 month after withdrawl BOOM)

    Anyone here? Any idea what happened to the body or how to restore it?

  61. Was only on Cymbalta for 13 days at 20mg. I stopped. Withdrawals: crying spells (day 1 only), gastric upset (the most horrible…..), fecal incontinence, and chronic diarrhea. Day 4 of No Cymbalta: Gastric upset and chronic diarrhea (6-8 pills of Immodium AD doesn’t help at all). When will this stop?!?!

  62. Brenda says

    I’ve just recently switched from Cymbalta to Prestiq…same thing- similar enough not to cause withdrawal effects. Not so. I expected to feel the vertigo and Fibromyalgia symptoms to increase while my body adjusted from one drug to the other…simple common-sense! Would I consider suing over it, no! People need to accept responsibility in educating themselves about their medications, illness etc. It’s very easy to sit back, whine and leave your responsibilities on the plates of others. These people sound more the type to blame the whole world for their problems, instead of accepting ownership for any themselves.

    • S Crenshaw says

      Amen ditto that!

    • TeaBea says

      THANK YOU…I’m so tired of people suing everyone for things they need to take responsibility of. These frivolous lawsuits cause the price of drugs to rise, as if they aren’t expensive enough!!! Everyone wants to get rich off others peoples dimes. SMH

      • Stephen says

        Thank you for what? Are you a sufferer who has been taking any of the drugs mentioned….Cymbalta, Lyrica? If you aren’t a sufferer then you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  63. Bonnie Boucek says

    I’ve been taking Cymbalta for over 5 years now. I found out the hard way when I ran out because the pharmacy was out and had to wait 4 days to get my refill. OMG! It was awful: dizzy spells, vomiting, stomach cramps that made one want to curl up and die, headaches, falling down while trying to walk, and I don’t remember what else. Unfortunately for me, I am allergic to Lyrica, Savella, and Neuraughten (sp?).

    This is the only one that helps with the nerve pain. If they take Cymbalta off the market, I don’t know what I’ll do for the pain it helps.

    NOW — we (my family, doctor, and I) make sure I don’t ever run out. EVER. 🙂

  64. Christine says

    Very hard withdrawal..with major flares and side effects.. After 5 days.. Had to go see a doctor who said..it’s normal and had to endure another 5-7 days of major side effects or go back to cymbalta.. No options were offered… Now, I’m free and would not recommend this product to anyone.. Never did any good for my fibromyalgia.. Even with 60mg…

    • Hi, I am wondering how long it takes for you to be normal again, I was winning myself from cymbalta very slowly, but by months 6 I still feel very bad, dizziness, stomach pain, vertigo, feeling like paralyzed, palpitations and reflux despite the fact don’t put me on Omeprazol, can you reply, Thanks. Lucy.

  65. S Crenshaw says

    I think most any medicine that you take for a long time will have withdrawals! I am sorry but I know that after taking a drug for so many years or months that you have to taper off of it. And it is a long process if you do it correctly! I don’t know it seems these days everyone is out to blame someone! Just my opinion that’s all!

    • Most medications do not, in fact, cause withdrawals if you stop them cold turkey or taper them. Doing so would probably hurt your health, but you wouldn’t suffer withdrawals.

      Here’s a short list: thyroid meds, beta blockers, salt pills to retain fluids, Tylenol, Advil, antibiotics, birth control pills, viagra, nexium, prilosec, prevacid, zantac, nasal sprays for allergies, all allergy meds, asthma meds, meds for diarrhea, bronchitis, cholesterol, eczema, incontinence, acne, constipation, hay fever, menopause, weight loss and on and on and on.

      And yeah, it is only your opinion and not based on any scientific face, but as everyone knows – opinions are like bungholes, everybody has one.

  66. Nancy Cordero says

    If I miss one pill I get brain zaps or lightning bolts threw my head

  67. Sophie Tramel says

    I had such an experience 13 years ago, when my doctor told me to “just stop taking it” regarding Paxil. I went to the emergency room, I thought I was having a stroke! Fortunately, I was okay, and the emergency room doctor told me that Paxil had the worst withdrawal symptoms of all meds, and very common ! The symptoms lasted for months!

    • Oh my gosh I didn’t know that. I had horrible “brain shudders” when getting off Padilla. It was painful! I never felt right on them anyway. I took matters into my own hands and ate healthier, focused on getting good sleep and told my boss that I needed work to be less stressful because I was feeling overwhelmed.
      It took a long time but I finally got depressant out of my system.

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