My Experience with Side Effects of Cymbalta

by Marianne K.
(Boston, MA)

I have been taking Cymbalta for quite a while now and I started taking a MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) which, when taken together, can cause fatal drug interaction symptoms such as rapid increase in heartbeat, hyperthermia, rigidity, serious levels of aggitation / irritation and even cause you to go into a coma!


I was fortunate that my symptoms never got very serious because my primary care physician caught it in time. The reason being is that I went to him thinking that I was at risk of having a heart attack because I was feeling heart palpitations. He asked me about all the medications I was taking and his light bulb went off!

My doctor told me that, not only are you not suppose to take Cymbalta and MAOI's at the same time, but you can't take them within a couple of weeks on one another. This is so one can completely work out of your system before you start taking the other one!

Apparently, the same goes for other drugs that may affect the neurotrasmitters such as triptans, lithium, tramadol, and even St.John's Wort.

I feel so lucky that it wasn't worse. It may have been fatal if I didn't go to my doctor to get my symptoms checked out! Other than that, I have been feeling pretty nauseous which my doc tells me is a fairly common side effect. So, I'll have to figure out a way to put up / minimize this one! Ugh!

I'm happy to share my story and am curious to hear what others have experienced when taking Cymbalta!

What a great way to share knowledge!!

Comments for My Experience with Side Effects of Cymbalta

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 25, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Night time
by: Anonymous

I have been taking Cymbalta for 5 months now. It worked really well for my pain but I quickly began talking in my sleep. I would wake myself up talking out loud in full sentences. This would not just happen once per night but several times per night. Having such interrupted sleep, I became so tired through the day that it was hard for me to work. Curious if anyone else experienced this. Thanks

Mar 04, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
My Cymbalta Nightmare is finally over!
by: Jill From Alabama

I just wanted to check back in to give people hope that Cymbalta withdrawal can be beaten! You have to hang in there and try everything you read about and never give up!

It took me 5 months, but I finally feel back to normal again. I found that removing the following items from my diet also removed alot of my physical pain: red meat, sugar, white flour, caffeine, and alcohol.

I have yet to reintroduce many of those items back into my diet. I am only allowing myself a little bit of caffeine in the mornings now. As for the others, I find that I really don't miss them all that much after all this time.

But I'm pain-free and my energy levels are pretty much back to normal. And the excess weight I gained while on the Cymbalta is just dropping off, thanks to the fact that I have no vices left. Haha!

So, I just wanted to leave a hopeful message for everyone. If this helps even one person, then I will feel like what I went through meant something, you know?

Mar 03, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Cymbalta Withdrawal Experience
by: Linda B

I had been taking Cymbalta 60 mg daily with Tramadol and Wellbutrin since 2007. After gaining 30 lbs in 3 years I've decided to stop cold-turkey.

I do yoga 3x's a week and started weight watchers and I'm oil painting; a passion that set waiting for 30 years.

I stopped Cymbalta about 2 weeks ago. I'm experiencing static like a radio in my head 24/7 along with irritability, lethargy and controlled itching. I've scratched so much I've left under the screen blood lines on my skin.

My Fibromyalgia pain is returning with a vengeance. Yesterday and last night I've used the heating pad to help with the pain. The Tramadol isn't working as well so I'm also taking Aleve.

I have a constant headache and I'm so experiencing vertigo.

The pain is so severe that I am considering starting Cymbalta BUT I don't want to gain back the weight.

That's my 2-cents worth. I hope it helps (except for the re-starting Cymbalta part).

Nov 14, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Over all good...
by: Anonymous

I was prescribed cymbalta a few weeks ago. I was put on it due to chronic pain, which was causing depression.

My back pain has been reduced by 75-90% and with that my depression is gone, which was the point of the meds.

I am having some side effects, which brought me to this page. My side effects include some hot flashes, my appetite is suppressed (though I am not nauseous and my appetite isn't eliminated), and some tiredness which is also controllable.

However I am also experiencing problems having an orgasm now. This has never been a problem previously. I have gone from being multi-orgasmic to struggling to have an orgasm (about 50% of time not being able to achieve one). This is upsetting for me however I was previously in so much pain that having sex at all was becoming difficult...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The side effects you are experiencing is very common for this medication. And, yes, unfortunately less common side effects are a decreased libido. Although, it is most common with men.

Since you just started taking this, don't give up hope yet. It does take a few weeks for the med to stablilize in your system. Once you've stabilized it is highly likely that you will find orgasm much easier.

I am happy that you have found some relief in both your depression and your back pain! That is great news!

Thanks for stopping by! Visit and reach out anytime.

Dana

Nov 11, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Cymbalta Withdrawal Nightmare
by: Jill from Alabama

Thanks so much for your comments and support, Dana! It really means alot to me. It's definitely more than I received from my doctor's office. They seemed most concerned that I was going to sue them over their advice concerning weaning me off the Cymbalta, but that's another story!

I am completely Cymbalta-free, having weaned myself off the pills over a 3 week period. The withdrawal symptoms, however, continue.

I have removed both sugar and caffeine from my diet. It wasn't too difficult, considering the fact that I barely ate anything those first 2-3 weeks. Haha. I was curious as to what supplements you were referring to in your response. I have added Magnesium and Fish Oil to my diet, as I heard they might help. I also started taking Benedryl at night, because I heard that might help as well. It helps me sleep, if nothing else. Haha.

I don't really think I'm depressed. I just get down sometimes when the pain is particularly bad. When I posted last, it was a really bad day, pain-wise.

I get over-whelmed at what I'm facing, at times. When my daughter was in rehab, we saw a movie about addicts, called "The High-Jacked Brain," in which they addressed how long it took an addict's brain to start producing endorphines on it's own again. As I'm sure you know, it takes a year! That's why the drug relapse rate is so high. I know my "drug" wasn't the same, but addiction is addiction and a year is a long time.

On good days, I just get angry. I see all these ads for Cymbalta on the tv and it makes me want to throw something!

I'm stubborn, so I know I'll get through this. But it really sucks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hey Jill! Yes, it is so sad to see that you are experiencing these withdrawal symptoms when it could have been completely avoided.

There are many things that you can consider to help you feel better. I have a page about herbal remedies for depression and natural remedies for depression that you can check out.

Other things that I strongly recommend to my clients are regular exercise (30 mins) at least 4 times per week. Also, meditation and yoga are awesome for helping you get grounded, shifting your energy and can work wonders!!

I am stubborn too! I find it is not a good trait to have sometimes! However, in this case, use it to your full advantage!

Hang in there, Jill! Feel free to reach out anytime!

Have a good weekend,

Dana

Nov 04, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Cymbalta Withdrawal Nightmare
by: Jill from Alabama

I was prescribed Cymbalta when I was having severe problems with my oldest daughter, who was into addicted to morphine at the time. That was 4 years ago. The doseage eventually built up to 120mg! I decided I wanted to be drug-free, against my doctor's wishes, but with my therapist's support. The doctor had me step down my meds by 30mg a week, which was way too quick! I have been in hell ever since. The first 3 weeks were filled with constant pain. I lost 5 lbs the first week. It's been about 2.5 months now. I have no energy. I go to work, come home and go to bed. I'm on my third or fourth go-round with flu-like symptoms. I'm not supposed to take anything for pain, because my liver functions were slightly elevated and my kidney functions were slightly depressed, but sometimes it gets so bad that I have to. I no longer have a life anymore. My poor husband has to do everything. I'm beginning to lose hope.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jill,

So sorry you are going through this. I can't believe your doctor weaned you off so quickly! Doing so, as you are experiencing, can cause really bad withdrawal symptoms. Are you completely off of it? If not, you might want to talk to your doctor about staying steady on a lower dose until you stabilize again.

If you are off of it completely, talk to your doctor (or get anothers doctor's opinion) about supplements or something else you can take to combat the symptoms you are having.

It also sounds as if you did fall back into a depression. There are other ways to treat depression naturally such as herbal remedies for depression and other natural remedies for depression.

If it is mild depression things such as 30 minutes of brisk exercise, and elimiating sugar from your diet can go a long way to helping you feel better.

I hope you feel better soon! Thanks for visiting! Come back any time!

Dana

Jul 24, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Causing fibromyalgia?
by: Anonymous

As a sophomore in high school, age 15, my therapist put me on cymbalta for my depression. She had me taking 90mg, which to me is strange seeing how it is not approved for children under 18 and that was a high dosage. I finally convinced her to take me off cymbalta so I could try to cope with my depression on my own, and to see how bad it still was. This was after 4 1/2 years, almost 5. I have been experiencing symptoms that I believe are fibromyalgia, and I am wondering if since cymbalta is used to treat fibromyalgia, if it could have messed my nerves and muscles up because of the young age I was. Could cymbalta have caused fibromyalgia?
I NEED ANSWERS! please and thanks!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No, Cymbalta can't cause fibromyalgia. When did you get off of the medication? I'm wondering if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms? If you do not get off of the medication gradually, the Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms could be quite severe.

Now that you are off of medications, how are you doing? Remember, you do not have to "cope" with depression. There are many strategies that you can use to treat your depression so that you don't have to live with it. Medication is certainly one method. However, in my opinion as a counselor, I don't think it should be used as the only method of treatment. Rather, it should be used in conjunction with other treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy, healthy diet, and exercise.

I wish you all the best. Thanks for posting! Feel free to come back anytime!

Dana

Jun 23, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Side Effects of Cymbalta: Withdrawal
by: Anonymous

I recently went off of Cymbalta and have had terrible side effects: nausea,increased anxiety,depression, crying at the drop of a hat, extreme perspiration,mood swings, feeling hopeless, neuropathy in my right leg, blood in stool, heart palpatations, buzzing in head just to name a few.

My main shrink put me on 90mg, which is contrary to what the manufacture of cymbalta say's that it shouldn't exceed 40mg. He also told me that i could quit cold turkey, and only experience "fle like symptoms.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wow, 90 mg is a very high dose. Did you go off of it slowly while reducing the dosage over time? My suspicion is that was not the case since your withdrawal symptoms were so serious. It is never recommended to stop taking an anti-depressant cold turkey.

I hope your symptoms have subsided and that you are feeling better! Thanks for sharing your experience.

Dana

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Side Effects of Cymbalta.