My Hell Withdrawal From Cymbalta

It is day 22 since my last cymbalta pill. I sound like a drug addict and this was given to me by a licensed doctor approved by the FDA for a condition that I was told I had. It started almost 2 years ago. Pain. Everywhere. Insomnia. Blurry vision, headaches, extreme debilitating fatigue. Looking back it doesn't seem like it was that bad compared to what I am going through now. I went to specialists, 12 to be exact. Blood tests, MRIs, hearing, vision tests. All came back normal. It is amazing how many doctors will write you off because they can not find something that doesn't come up in their standard testing protocol. I had one doctor tell me to take aderal for fatigue and see a therapist for the pain. I began to think I was crazy, they made me think I was crazy.

I started doing my own research since none of the doctors seem to understand or even look outside the box. I found a condition called fibromyalgia, I thought maybe I had this. I found a doctor that was experienced in this condition and he agreed. The treatments began... So many drugs... I would try one and have a horrific side effect, another did the same thing. He finally said "I know cymbalta will help." It did, or so I thought. I gradually increased the dose up to 60mg and I was managing. Definitely not near 100% but better than I had been in a long time. About a month in, the symptoms began again. Well this time I decided it was time to try a new approach. I was sick of being on narcotics and balancing side effects with benefits, I was 27 years old, I wanted to live my life.

I found a doctor who balances eastern and western medicine, approaches things with a holistic approach. The practice has a goal... Find the root of the problem and start there. Who would have ever thought a doctor, an MD, would want to find the root of the problem. I will not go off on a tangent about how money and pharmaceutical companies run our health care system and how covering up the problem/symptom is the key, but you get my point.

This doctor, my doctor, changed my life. She did blood tests the labs had trouble finding the code for, but she found answers... Answers. Such a simple word, and at this point foreign to me. She found a mycoplasma infection, high Epstein Barr levels, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, depleted vitamin d levels, and clearly the other doctors had ignored my slightly elevated white blood cell count. I had a few options, antibiotics or holistic herbal treatment, or a combination. I did a lot of research and decided to go with herbal, I could always add in antibiotics later if needed. I was still on the cymbalta, she did not want me to go off of that, little did I know why, but now it all makes sense.

Let's fast forward. It has been 4 months, I don't remember the last time I had pain, my energy levels are getting back to normal, I sleep better at night, things are looking up. Don't get me wrong, it was a tough road, pain and fatigue, but looking back it could have been a lot worse. Clinically it looks like I am beating these "bugs." The next step is to get off of the last prescription I am on, cymbalta. I began to wean down, not too bad getting to the point of 20mg a day which is the lowest dose.

Now I should mention, I am a type A personality, I am stubborn and determined. I hardly took off a day from work during this entire ordeal, but I think that is what has kept me going in some ways. Trying to distract myself, keep myself challenged, by all means difficult and most people understandably would have the need for bed rest. I think different people have different needs in terms of recovery for anything in life.

Ok. Cymbalta withdrawal. Evil. Hell. There is no other way to describe it. You can't skip to every other day because you will just go back and forth from withdrawal. I read a lot of people's stories, people counting the little beads inside the pill and gradually weaning those down. I was afraid to do that, since there is a warning if you ingest the little beads they can essentially burn a hole in your stomach. Some people suggested taking 3 weeks off of work to withdrawal, others stayed on it purely because they could not handle withdrawaling from it.

The best way I read to describe it is a combination of heroine withdrawal and first trimester pregnancy. The worse of the worse, why in the world would the FDA approve such a drug???

My symptoms: fever, chills, hot/cold never balanced, dizzy, vertigo, brain zaps, heart palpitations, hot flashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, shakes, memory loss, lack of concentration, lack of emotion, mood swings, disgust

So back to now, day 22... My lack of emotion, hormonal imbalance for me is the worst thing. I have read stories of homicidal and suicidal thoughts and I am truely grateful I am not one of those. I am mean, irritable. I have to warn people that I am a ***** right now, not a very good way to show a first impression. I am trying really hard to feel like I am human, but I have lost something. I am not depressed, I feel desensitized. I have anger worse than I ever had before. I am able to control it, but find myself having to step away from situations. I don't find puppies or kittens cute anymore, I can't even seem to kiss my boyfriend. I am just disgusted with everything. I am able to carry on conversations, do my job, but I have turned into a cold hearted *****. The brain zaps and fuzzy brain are still there but am I ever going to feel a real connection with someone again? Who knows.

Before writing this I broke down, frustrated by my lack of wanting to connect with someone. I just cried, I can't seem to figure this one out. I keep telling myself one day at a time, but its getting harder. I have read some people years later still living like this, how will I ever have a family? A life? My life has changed drastically and my doctor has helped me tremendously but with cymbalta nobody can help you...
Mak84 Mak84
6 Responses Feb 4, 2013

It is now July 8, 2015. Would you kindly tell of you progress since the discontinuance from the "drug from hell" (cymbalta) ?
I completely believe that the pharmasudical companies have made billions off of people because, the basically get them unawarely "hooked". By hooked I mean, the withdrawal syndrome compared by my doctor, is equivalent to Herion withdrawal. Easily, pure HELL!!
Im extreamly interested in knowing how you are now, some time since your journey (like me) began "This Journey Through HELL". :(

I did the bead count, opened the pill took out one bead and closed pill. Did this for many weeks, every Saturday took one bead out until this past Saturday no more beads. It's 5 days now .... very high fever last night now 102. Spasms in calves, shakes cold, dizzy brain feels mushy. Can't think feel sick wheezing, coughing, crying on and off like a sudden burst of tears and don't even know why....Memory loss, I almost took the wrong medication last night because I couldn't think.... so dizzy extreme pain in back....

I am soooo sorry. And now a year later? How are you? :(

help.I am trying to get of cymbalta. it's been 7 days. but I took one pill 60 mg in the middle of those 7 days. at day 4 I reach Hell. brain zaps so bad and mind cannot relax. not getting restful sleep. please help. when will the brain zaps end? i am taking klonopin to help w anxiety and awful heart-pounding. i'm working from home to detox. this is awful. i was happy on cymbalta though, but gained 15 lbs.

I hate living...i'm not really alive...just a crying, despairing, freak...please tell me know to get off of this withdrawal after a month of not getting better...

The more stories I read the more fear I have! I don't have time to not be well I'm raising kids, but I also refuse to be on all these different drugs for the same reason because I have kids I'm 6 days in from 60 a day to 30 a day for a month, and I say the same thing what was the FDA thinking!! This could ruin my marriage all this anger and hostility towards my hubby is so strange! I feel nothing just like you and I don't like it!! God help us

I don't have time not to be well either. I'm so tired of the brain zaps. advil helps some. did this get better for you over time? please say yes! should I hang in there?

The withdrawal from cymbalta lasted almost 4 months for me, I'm currently not taking meds, and of course live everyday in pain, bad days outweigh the good, but I'm hanging on! That's all we can do as pain survivors! Heat therapy, and aquatics alleviate some of the pain, I wish you luck on your pain journey!!

I don't have time not to be well either. I'm so tired of the brain zaps. advil helps some. did this get better for you over time? please say yes! should I hang in there?

I was told not to come off CYmablta so many times , was put on by gyn female reason. Was on it for 7 years 60 mg down to 30 finely stay a 20 mg for a year slowly coming off. I suffer from vertigo for 28 year, I believe for Lyme . I've had the worst 4 years though this time trying to come off of CYMablta my doctor would stay not a good idea, I fell off a chair bad injury to my vg three year ago . At this time my mother was suffering I was her care giver with my sister. Hard so the doctor kept on saying don't come off yet. Over coming my fall , taking care of my mother now around the clock 24 hour day work if I could fine some to watch her I had a baby. Hard watching your mother die . My husband and children are my back bone they help in every way. Stress was high she'd go in to hospital come home and go in again . I just loved her way to much. she just wanted to die she was so upset she wasn't die ing dec 11 Xmas time she pasted in the hospital. Lyme last summer iv antbics then had a hystmotmy in novmber now to come of over CYMBALTA . The reason I was on it in the first place. I've been sober for 23 years not smoking for 5, I was ready. On went every two day one pill every three day one pill I waded it the zapping was unable. Went to the doctor said I really want off this med he ask me for the first time why I said insurance would not pay for it any more . We decide to put me on weburtin , went to pharmacist this is what hit me between my eye, it like come off heroin. That why I feel like **** and I'm not nuts. He gave me a slow program go four days another four days and after that start on welbutrin , I've been off CYMBALTA for month I've had a hard time of it headaches rash that been with me for a two weeks sweat make it worst that can remember any thing . Sinus infection Meg antibic , no energy sleeping not sleeping up all night and sleeping all day . I have the I don't cares. my husband love me for this make life bearable my children are hang in they have had enough they just want there mom back .I'm so mad at this drug company lily I .have join the class action , I've almost had a slip and gone back to drinking , not know that I was withdrawing for this drug just could not stop crying I feel so stupid for not investigating it and intusrting our mental doctors ,I'm lucky to have aa in my life to try to stay sane try to stay sober.I feel for people who are fight depression it a true disease that no one understand. On top of it they have to go though drugs and drug companies to fine the medicine that works . I have not been able to work I'm self employ . If I had a full time job I would have been fired 110 times . My season for work is about to start, just hope I able to do my best . Just reading that people are going through the same thing , make you feel like your not insane. To all suffering good for you getting off this bad drug!

I wonder how you are doing now...? I too am in AA, so I would appreciate your experience strength and hope... it looks like this post was from almost a year ago... I wonder how you feel today? I quit Cymbalta a little over a month ago... I went through ALL the horrific, hellish side effects, and now am experiencing major lethargy, nausea, dry heaves and my sleep is wacked; i wake up a few times at night, then early (4-5am), but I could sleep all day. I am reaching out to others- pretty much everyone knows my story. What a disgusting medication, and i will NEVER return to it... I am still so sick, and of course my head thinks 'what horrible disease or illness do I have?' I haven't heard much from people who have survived the process.... did you? thank you...

how is it after a month off? I am going as long as I can until the brain zaps are Hell, then I take a little bit of cymbalta, with some of the little beads in it. I'm so upset on day #4. advil seems to help some. taking benadryl at night to sleep. I still have to function at work, and am a mom. I was happy on cymbalta though and stable, but I just want to be off pharma. plus cymbalta is $227/month!!!! and that is WITH insurance. ugh. please help! my body is wacked.

And I you a year since you root. How are you? Much better I pray!!! :(