Cymbalta Is My Nightmare Come True

i just had to add my nightmare experience with cymbalta maybe it will keep someone else from going on this evil drug. i have been on cymbalta for 3 yrs now. i changed from celexa to cymbalta because i felt celexa had many negative side effects. my psychiatrist decided to start me on cymbalta because of its supposed lack of side effects. ha!!! what a bunch of b.s. that was. i started out on 20mg of cymbalta. it kicked my ***....i had stomach problems, horrible nausea, constipation, i was tired during the day but couldnt sleep at night. i would wake up at 3 am and just be totally wide awake like i didn't sleep at all. i also had symptoms of a urinary tract infection....had to pee but nothing would come out and the burning. ugh!!! my dr. assured me it was just temporary and in a week i would be fine. she also convinced me i should immediately increase my dose to 40mg b/c it was probably my anxiety manifesting itself. i have generalized anxiety disorder. after i increased to 40mg side effects increased to actually throwing up in the am and total lack of a sex drive. when i started this drug i was newly married. my poor husband did not understand what was going on....but we TRUSTED the dr. and i stayed on 40mg for about a yr. when i had an anxiety attack around the holidays in 2007 my dr. insisted i up my dosage to 60mg. the side effects AGAIN. plus my sex drive was like negative at this point. i could not be affectionate with my spouse physically at all. i also seemed to get this kind of numb feeling. other people's emotions annoyed me....it was weird. so again we TRUSTED my dr. and i stayed on the 60mg and got through the immediate side effects. i was still left with the zero sex drive though. so, i stayed on the 60mg for 2yrs. my husband and i want to start a family and decided to talk to the dr about switching meds to those approved by my obgyn. i began the whole cycle of withdrawl. this has got to be what it feels like if you are a true hardcore drug addict. the side effects are terrible. i am miserable!!!!! the 1st wk i went from 60mg to 40mg. i basically could not function. i had such terrible headaches....basically like migraines. i cannot tolerate lound sounds, bright lights, even smelling food makes me ill. i cannot sleep. my body aches all over like i have the flu. i alternate from being cold to sweating so much i have to change my clothes. and the mood swings are terrible. one minute i am fine the next i feel like i am going to punch my husband in the face. it is horrible!!!!! i also have this weird dizzy feeling. i feel like things are not real. i keep asking my husband if i am awake or is this a dream. if i turn my head or eyes to the side too fast i get this weird head feeling like electric shock to my brain. i cannot describe it. it's terrible i had the feeling while driving and it sent me into panic attack. i also hear like a rush of sound when the electric shock happens. it is strange. i am now down to 20mg from the 40mg i was on last week. the headaches get worse. my stomach is now sick, i need to stay near the bathroom. i cannot sleep at all tonight. i came downstairs to research the length of withdrawl and came across this site. i have a dr's appt at 10 today with the stupid dr. that started me on this devil pill. i cannot wait to give her a piece of my mind. i mean she is supposed to help me not harm me....shouldn't she know the withdrawl symptoms??? and i just cannot get that stupid cymbalta commercial out of my head- depression hurts....yeah well CYMBALTA HURTS WORSE!!!!!!!!!!

heathermichelle79 heathermichelle79
26-30, F
18 Responses Sep 1, 2009

Hey there heathermichelle79. I'm glad I came across this posting. First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to put your thoughts and experiences out there. When I was a child (about 3 years old) I had my adenoids removed. Unfortunately, at that time I lived in the former Soviet Union and their methodology for performing surgical procedures especially on children was completely unethical and moronic. Long story short, they tied me down and performed the surgery while i was awake. They didn't use anesthetics. Fast forward 13 years to when I'm 16 and all of a sudden i feel like I'm always choking and suffocating. Finally, 7 years later which is about a few weeks ago, my shrink and I revealed that i have all th is anxiety mainly because of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. Think of it as a little boy being raped. Anyways, for over 7 years now I've had SOOO much difficulty eating food its just ridiculous. I told my shrink I wanted meds and we sat down to talk with a psychiatrist and he prescribed me Cymbalta. I took the 1st pill 2 days ago at 7pm, as reccommended by my doc and I felt nasuea but thought nothing of it. I couldn't sleep that night, I was tired but couldn't fall asleep. I woke up the next day with nasuea, couldn't eat anything because i had completely lost what was left of my appetite. The first day I had headache the entire day. i felt as if I was in a daze. Then, the second day. I was looking forward to take the med so that I can control my anxiety. Well, I swallowed the pill and 5 minutes later...BAM I had this panic attack. Everything feels unreal. Again, the nausea got worse, headache got worse. Now, here I am typing this message. It is morning time and the last pill I took was the night before at 7pm. I feel in a daze, I feel this weird dizziness. I am SOO drowsy. I'm really scared to take the 3rd pill tonight, and to make matters worse my doc gave me 7 days supply of 30mg and 21 days supply of 60mg. If i DO continue taking the pill I'm TERRIFIED to jump straight to the 60mg. I think i'll loose my mind and dive into a panic attack and won't be able to go to work. I'm a 23 year old male btw. So once again, thank you for posting this message because now i am going to contact my shrink and tell him I'm not going to take any more of this med. I just feel sick right now. Let me know how you've been doing these past few weeks. I'm very curious. O ya i forgot to mention the random hot flashes I get. Also, I have difficulty concentrating.

for a while there i was thinking i was th only one with this wierd buzzing in my head whenever i run out of cym.It cost me over $300 a month because i dont have ins.so when i run out from time to time i get really sick...im looking for a sucsess story from sum1 who got off cym. without all the withdrawal sideaffects...please help!!!

Sully1980, I can't help you with that, but what I can help you with is some reassurance. I am no doctor, but I did graduate with a B.S in Neurobiology so I can tell you a little about how the drug affects your brain and that you have nothing to worry about because you'll go back to normal. <br />
Your brain cells communicate by sending chemical messages. Cell “A” releases a chemical that binds onto Cell “B” and makes Cell “B” do whatever it’s supposed to do depending on the chemical that was used. People with depression and anxiety are believed to have brain cells that quickly re-uptake the chemicals they release, mainly serotonin and nor epinephrine. Cymbalta is a serotonin and nor epinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It blocks those brain cells from re-uptaking the chemical it has just released. In effect, it allows the chemical to linger longer in between your brain cells, to make sure the surrounding cells get the message. Now, when you take Cymbalta, especially for a long time, what happens is you have more serotonin and nor epinephrine in between your brain cells, so naturally, your brain cells produce less receptors for those chemicals to bind to. Your cells do this to reach homeostasis again. Don’t worry about why it does it, just know that it does. Now this is the important part, when you stop taking Cymbalta or ANY other brain med similar to Cymbalta/Prozac etc, there is withdrawal because of this; Cymbalta no longer blocks the receptors responsible for re-ingesting Seratonin and Norepinephran and all of a sudden you have less of those chemicals lingering around. It pretty much goes back to the way it was before. The cell releases serotonin, and re-uptakes it shortly after. However, the receicving cell now has FAR less receptors which are used to communicate with the serotonin chemicals. So before, you were panicking or depressed because not enough serotonin got from Cell “A” to Cell “B”, NOW, there isn’t enough of serotonin getting from “A” to “B” AND there aren’t enough receptors to receive them so it’s MUCH worse than before. <br />
The good news: Your brain cells will make more of those receptors once you stop Cymbalta, again, to reach homeostasis. So, you will go back to feeling normal, or at least what your definition of normal really is. <br />
To ease the withdrawal, slowly taper off. DO NOT all of a sudden stop. <br />
Bottom line is slowly come off and youll go back to the way you were. I promise.

Sully, I may have missed you from February. Ask your doctor for samples. There are plenty of samples out there because it is a relatively new drug promotion.

Lilly has a patient assistance program. I have been on it. Im glad eventually we can go back to being normal but being ON Cymbalta caused all the symptoms these people have listed and more which I listed in my blog. I wish I can switch to a different SSRI as Cymbalta causes me severe gastrointestinal, IBS-C, urinary problems, digestive problems and severe pain from an enlarged colon pressing on nerves inside my right side. All these have been tested and all come back normal that's why the doctor and I determined it IS the Cymbalta. Trying to come off it weaning and all, makes me HOMICIDAL not suicidal and all those withdrawal symptoms I've experienced too and after 2 months being off it, I ended up crashing with depression as if it was like before I went on Cymbalta. How in the hell are we supposed to get our cells back to normal and how long should it really take??? Especially if we're crashing with or without this medication??? - Kim

AMEN to you brave people for coming forward with info. It almost ruined my life and I am still living with the mess left behind in my stomach!

how are you doing now?

I know someone who died from Cymbalta.

I have been on cymbalta for many years I take 2 of 60 MG per day. I will tell you I have tried to get off this med without luck. I do not think this will ever change and it makes me very depressed to know I am so dependent on this terrible drug. Alot of people donot understand and cannot even imagine unless they have taken this medication. Good luck to everyone going thru this!! May God Help Us!!

I am a 44 year old female and have been on anti depressants for diagnosed PTSD (3 times in my life) for about 20 years, on and off, with my last one being Cymbalta, dosage at 120mg daily. At about a year in I started to have withdrawal symptoms BEFORE I even started decreasing dosage, my body just wanted more, more, more, and I couldn't do it anymore. Don't do what I did. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty... I just STOPPED cold turkey because I was having the symptoms of withdrawal BEFORE actual decrease. I hope it doesn't sound confusing, I'm sure there are millions of you out there who know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. I decided to white knuckle, bite the bullet, and you will have to talk to your doctor about what's best for you. I can honestly say I should have been in the nearest detox center for the first 4 days (at least) under major supervision. All the radiohead, shocks in the head and the hands, feeling like you are falling backwards....it all was so almost....the end of me. It has been about 4 weeks now, and the physical symptoms are all (almost) gone (they will come back sometimes when you get tired, I've realized), it's the emotional and pyschological side of the drug that will be very persistent and linger. It's your choice if you want to take SSRI's, and things change....I want to feel again so I went through the worst detox withdrawal because..........................................................<br />
<br />
I WANT TO FEEL HOW IT FEELS TO FEEL AGAIN. <br />
<br />
Most doctors I've had don't TELL YOU when they first prescribe it what it might do to you when you want to get off it....or they might tell you half the truth, or they might tell you after you've been taking it for awhile and start to ask questions about it....the commercials make me want to vomit how they push it on the masses as a cure all ...it's so the opposite, people. I have literally been pushed back in time emotionally to when I started this anti-depressant nightmare, about 20 years. But guess what? I can feel good and I can feel bad and I'm okay and I'm going to be okay and I want to raise my kids with having good feelings and bad feelings and teach them <br />
THAT JUST POPPING A PILL THAT A DOCTOR TELLS YOU WILL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER MIGHT NOT LET YOU FEEL AT ALL...<br />
I believed I was depressed because I was told I was depressed and I felt that I felt like what it feels like to be depressed....I wake up 20 years later and wonder how all these doctors KNEW medically what I needed and what the drug companies were telling them I needed. I'm really fortunate I lived thru cold turkey detox.....I'm going to be okay. Even though I am having trouble controlling my emotions, sleep patterns, eating patterns, etc, I know that I can learn again what good and bad feel like and live accordingly. I've gone back to a therapist to work on it (one who cannot prescribe meds). It's been almost a "primal" or "primitive" feeling with seeing things clearly, colors are beautiful and food tastes amazing, flowers smell wonderful and SEX is BACK in my life and I want to have it and I my lord, the sex drive that we are supposed to have and not suppress is incredible! My energy level is off the charts and weight loss has begun. Wanting to be healthy feels good...Lastly, the most amazing thing that has happened is hearing music again...really hearing it and how amazing it can make you feel...I was a dancer and cheerleader in my young life and lost the love of music and dance when the anti depressants came into my life. With ear buds on my ipod....then watching Lady Gaga and realizing how freaking talented that young woman is and how original she is and different her choreography is and how I literally haven't been moved emotionally by such a dance performance like the one in the new video called "marry the night" where she's looking like she's at a try-out and she feels out of place, she stretches out looking uncomfortably around the room, adjusts her sequined bustier and starts dancing with the the others....I saw myself 20 years ago and it was so powerful an emotion it overwhelmed me. Lady Gaga changed my life about two weeks ago, and I know that sounds crazy, but she MADE ME WANT TO DANCE AGAIN, she changed the way I saw my life, and the next day I danced again, and I danced, and danced, and cried, and danced, and realized I COULD STILL DANCE!!!!!!! Oh my god, I will never be able to fully explain how beautiful and emotional music sounds once you stop supressing your brain with a drug that really does the opposite of what it's supposed to do....let's get real and get the word out and save some people from the viciousness and apathetic drug called Cymbalta...people researching this drug, look at all these similiar stories about what it has done to millions of people and heed the warning. I wish you all out there in the world the best, stay strong, stand for peace and hope in mankind, question everything and know....you can DO ANYTHING and then maybe someday..... you can DO IT AGAIN! <br />
And as my favorite, old, gay Uncle Bill used to tell me; "BE GOOD, OR BE GOOD AT IT"....Thanks for listening. Karen

I can't believe it cost so much in the US! I've been on it for 18 mths at $33 aud a month, but I stopped 3 days ago, this drug is bad and I want out!

I know this is an old post, but I too will comment/ please, please stay off of this drug. The withdrawal symptoms are awful!! The brain zaps, insomnia, feeling one the verge of gowing crazy, headaches, dizziness, etc...and I'm a week into quitting cold turkey-would not recommend but glad I quit. I am taking Xanax to help with symptoms, from what I've gathered it may be over a month- then I'll have to start the process of tapering from that. But the brain zaps from Cymbalta were more than I could handle without help! It's not fun! I pray for all in this situation.

I'll add-yes the Xanax is prescribed, and was originally prescribed to go along with some of the negative effects of the Cymbalta.

I am now at just over three months post cymbalta and the nightmare continues.<br />
My doctor also neglected to explain the side effects as well as the horrid "withdrawl" symptoms. I used quotes because I'm not sold that these are symptoms that will go away as withdrawl symptoms would eventually. I am wondering if the chemistry in my brain is permanently altered. A sort of brain damage if you will. <br />
I have gotten past the most severe physical symptoms but still have all over body zaps. The mental aspect is where my concerns really lie. I find problems with rage that I never had before. I have these seemingly random bouts of brain fog where I feel as though I cannot make thought connections in my head. Sometimes I cannot get the most simple statement out of my mouth. <br />
My sex drive is finally showing up in the most meager way (after at least 8 months of absolutely nothing)<br />
I'm mad at this drug<br />
I'm mad at the pharmaceutical company<br />
I'm mad at my doctor for not informing me<br />
I'm mad at myself for not researching it myself

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

I am so sorry for you. Not everyone knows doctors are paid to push drugs. The more people they can prescribe to the higher the kickback. Oh yeah, it's a real business this is. My advice to anyone: before you begin a new drug prescription do the research for yourself and find out if it is really safe, addictive, harmful side effects, etc. What a horrible lesson to learn that you are just a number (meal ticket) to your doctor. :-/

There is currently a class action law suit against Eli Lilly Co. Look it up, they have offices nation wide and you can join in.

I have been on Cymbalta for almost a yr. The symptoms were bad just getting used to it. I took it for fibromyalgia. I hated feeling foggy, I slept 10-12 hrs a day! I went cold turkey and am not taking it. My husband said I am like a post traumatic symptom survivor, kicking, screaming, crying, and in general agitated all night. I hate nights. But I am determined to get off it & never look back. I have headaches, nightmares, nausea, elec shock like incidents in my brain, dizziness, heart racing, sweating. I could write a best seller horror movie just retelling my dreams of tearing off of limbs, drowning, being drowned, shot, mutilated! I regret getting on it. I will figure out another way to manage the fybo pain. This Cymbalta is driving me crazy.

mhyman, PLEASE do careful research about Cymbalta withdrawal, you are NOT supposed to go off of it cold turkey but very, very slowly tapering off the dose. You can have major, major setbacks going cold turkey. Just a warning, just google it and spend a few hours reading about it before you continue, it can cause a lot of harm!

Thanks! I am off it 15 days now. It was hell. My doctor want to taper too but I was done with being drugged. It was hell on it too. I know it shouldn't be done that way and I do not recommend anyone doing it. I thank God I am out from under it. I still get nausea & dizzy spells. It will take a long still to get it all out of my system. Pharm companies need to be sure everyone knows how hard it is to get off it. All they hear is Cha Ching.$$$$$$$