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Cymbalta (Duloxetine) Withdrawal Symptoms + My Personal Experience

Cymbalta (Duloxetine) was officially approved by the FDA in 2004 as a new treatment for major depression. It is classified as an SNRI antidepressant which means it inhibits the reuptake of serotonin as well as norepinephrine. This medication was also devised to target more of the physical symptoms associated with depression and was approved by the FDA to treat nerve pain in diabetics. A few years later it was approved to treat anxiety disorders, fibromyalgia, musculoskeletal pain (in arthritis and lower back pain).

This means that many people have turned to this drug for relief in their specific condition. This drug has become highly popularized due to the fact that it was approved to treat so many different conditions. It has also been promoted like crazy on TV and throughout various types of social media. The promotions lead doctors as well as patients to believe that it is essentially a breakthrough drug in the world of depression and pain. Anyone who has experience taking it knows the true potency of the drug Cymbalta.

Many people end up finding that Cymbalta is not a good medication for their condition and/or just isn’t working as well as research suggests. This means that many people end up having to go through a withdrawal period. The withdrawal process associated with Cymbalta can be both physically and psychologically debilitating. Since the drug targets both physical pain and depression, you may experience physical as well as powerful psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Factors that influence Cymbalta withdrawal include

There are many different factors that will play a role in determining the degree of withdrawal difficulty for Cymbalta. The amount of time you took the medication (e.g. weeks, months, years), the amount you were taking, your personal physiology, as well as how quickly you tapered off of it are all going to play a role. When I came off of this medication, I had withdrawal symptoms so severe that they triggered a nervous breakdown.

1. Time Span

How long were you taking Cymbalta? The longer you were taking this medication, the tougher withdrawal will be. When your brain becomes reliant upon a drug for everyday functioning and processes – especially for a long period of time, withdrawal is going to be tough. The shorter the period of time you were on this medication, the easier it will likely be to come off of this drug.

2. Dosage (20 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg)

Cymbalta comes in capsules containing either 20 mg, 30 mg, or 60 mg of the Duloxetine formula. People may take up to 120 mg per day for major depression – which is a pretty significant dose. If you are on a high dose, you will need to conduct a gradual taper off of this medication unless you are prepared to fight some major withdrawal demons. Based on my experience, even the 30 mg was extremely powerful. We are dealing with a powerful drug here and the higher the dose you are taking, the tougher the withdrawal.

3. Individual Physiology

Individual physiology plays a huge role in determining symptoms. Certain people experience minimal to zero symptoms when they quit this medication. Back when I was first on this drug, most people were telling me that they barely experienced any symptoms or that the withdrawal only lasted a couple weeks. Being only 16, I thought that my withdrawal would be quick too, but it turned out to last months (almost a year) – not a few weeks. Age as well as physiology may play a role – especially if you are taking this medication and still have a developing brain. I also withdrew from the 30 mg cold turkey.

4. Cold turkey vs. tapering

It is highly recommended to taper off of any antidepressant, especially that of Cymbalta. The worst part aspect of the tapering process is when most people make the leap from 20 mg to 0 mg. This medication is designed to have “beads” inside of capsules – making withdrawal increasingly difficult. Once you have “weaned” your way down to 20 mg, I would highly recommend actually opening the capsules and reducing the amount of beads that you take over a period of weeks until you are down to nothing.

That said, the beads can be tricky because you need to be careful not to crush the beads.  Crushing the beads in any way can result in problematic absorption, leading to adverse effects.  If you are using this method, talk to a psychiatrist or pharmacist for further instruction.  I strongly advise against quitting “cold turkey” unless you think it’s necessary.

Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below are some of the more common symptoms associated with the withdrawal process. Keep in mind that you may not experience all of the symptoms listed. This is a general guideline for people to reference. The withdrawal process affects everyone differently in terms of symptoms and severity.

  • Anger: Coming off of this medication may make you extremely angry and frustrated. You may be prone to anger spells and have a difficult time controlling your anger. Some people end up experiencing full blown “rage” at times as well.
  • Anxiety: This medication is developed to treat anxiety. Since it has an impact on both serotonin and norepinephrine, when you come off of it, you may have to deal with pretty extreme anxiety. Everything may make you nervous including going to school, work-related functions, your relationship, etc. Do your best to cope with this anxiety in whatever healthy way you can.
  • Appetite changes: I experienced significant reduction in appetite, in part due to the extreme anxiety I experienced coming off of it. Some people may experience increased appetite as well. This drug can have weird affects on people’s eating habits and hunger levels.
  • Brain damage: There is no link that this drug “causes brain damage” but I am here to tell you that it may feel as though you have been victim of brain damage after taking it. Based on the symptoms that you may experience, it may seem as if your brain has been damaged in some way. Realize that this will eventually improve over time and your functioning will return to normal.
  • Brain zaps: Fortunately I didn’t experience any “brain zaps” but many people report little sensations of electrical shocks through their head when quitting Cymbalta. I experienced these zaps coming off of Paxil, so I know that they are no picnic.
  • Concentration problems: Your doctor may tell you that withdrawal isn’t associated with any cognitive problems like lack of focus or concentration. That’s because these symptoms go unreported and aren’t well studied. It is very possible to be unable to focus on any tasks when coming off of this drug. You need to suck it up and try your best – realizing that things will eventually improve.
  • Crying spells: The emotional pain associated with coming off of this medication can be so powerful that you want to sit in a corner and cry. You may cry your eyes out many times during the withdrawal process.
  • Depersonalization: One of the most challenging aspects of withdrawal is feeling like you are someone other than yourself. It may feel as though your soul has been completely sucked out and you have no life. You feel like someone has taken over your body and brain and your authentic self is gone forever. This can be very uncomfortable and causes many people to panic. It is a result of a serotonin imbalance which causes high stress – this leads to feeling depersonalized.
  • Depression: The depression that you experience when withdrawing from Cymbalta may be the most severe depression that you ever go through in your life. It may suck your soul and you may feel as if you have no hope to carry on through life. Take things one day at a time and do whatever you can to maintain faith that you will get better. I am proof that you can recover, and my withdrawal lasted over a year.
  • Dizziness: Some people experience extreme dizziness for long periods of time during withdrawal. This is a common symptom during withdrawal from all types of antidepressant medications. In some cases, people also experience “vertigo.”
  • Fatigue: The fatigue you may experience during Cymbalta withdrawal may be so severe, that you may think you are developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – or at least I did. I could barely drag myself out of bed each day and felt like I was in a haze of tiredness, depression, and eternal sadness. It may be difficult to realize, but this symptom is from your drug withdrawal.
  • Flu-like symptoms: Many people report flu-like symptoms when coming off of Cymbalta. The combination of sweats, aches, pains, and nausea can be eerily similar to the actual flu. Keep in mind that this will eventually subside.
  • Headaches: Some people end up having to deal with pretty intense headaches throughout the withdrawal. If they become too extreme, consider a slower taper and/or over-the-counter headache relief.
  • Hopelessness: You may feel completely hopeless in regards to your future especially if you experienced no success on Cymbalta or other antidepressants. Realize that this feeling is exacerbated by the withdrawal process and that you will eventually return to having some hope again.
  • Hostility: Certain people become very hostile when coming off of antidepressants – this one is no different. Don’t be surprised if someone starts acting mean, distant, and possibly violent during the process.
  • Hypersensitivity: Some people experience a hypersensitivity to loud sounds and bright sights. This is thought to be a result of high stress and low serotonin. For me this lasted many months before I was able to “desensitize” my brain to these triggers.
  • Insomnia: You may be unable to fall asleep at a normal time each night. Instead you may experience thoughts of depression and anxiety that keep you awake. This is a result of your brain trying to re-establish normal levels of serotonin and norepinephrine.
  • Irritability: It may be difficult to function in society without feeling irritated and/or irritable during the withdrawal. Your neurotransmitters are thrown out of homeostasis and your brain is trying to fix itself.
  • Lightheadedness: In addition to feeling dizzy, you may also feel lightheaded or “faint.” Understand that this will lessen with time.
  • Memory problems: You may feel as though your memory has been permanently damaged or altered. You are correct to a certain extent, however, your memory should return to normal after enough time passes. My memory felt fried (both long term and short term), but returned to normal functioning after about a year. Don’t get mad at yourself about your memory – do what you can to work with it and realize that it will get better.
  • Nausea: During the withdrawal process, you may feel nauseated a lot. In some cases this may make you want to throw up. I felt extreme nausea when I came off of Cymbalta to the point where I thought I was going to throw up my lunch for about 2 weeks straight.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Many people experience intense suicidal thoughts when coming off of antidepressants. This medication helps inhibit the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine – when you stop it, you are going to have decreased levels. This can make people more prone to thoughts of suicide. For me the suicidal thoughts were so intense that I damn near had to be hospitalized.
  • Sweating: It is very common to experience sweats throughout the day and especially at night when you withdraw from this drug. You may wake up soaked in sweat in the middle of the night. Realize that this is all part of the withdrawal process – this is how your body detoxifies itself.
  • Tingling sensations: Some people report feeling tingling across their skin and extremities when they quit Cymbalta. The tingling sensations are usually a result of your body trying to function without the drug.
  • Tremors: You may experience muscle spasms and/or tremors when you stop taking this medication.
  • Vision changes: Some people notice various visual effects when they quit Cymbalta. For me I noticed some changes in vision and for awhile I actually thought that my vision was becoming worse. In reality I was just seeing “floaters” or shapes that float in the field of vision – they are not harmful.

My personal experience with Cymbalta withdrawal

Cymbalta was the single toughest antidepressant that I’ve ever withdrawn from and I have been on most of the notable ones. Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, etc. Although my withdrawal from Paxil was hell, the withdrawal from Cymbalta was like hell 2.0 – a whole different kind of hell. I experienced depression, anxiety, and suicidal thinking, but the most debilitating symptom of the withdrawal was the depersonalization – I felt as though my brain was numb and my entire soul had been eaten by this drug.

The withdrawal seemed to never end, and in my estimation, it took about 6 months before I felt even halfway normal again. I was trapped in an eternal state of anxiety, depression, and depersonalization and saw absolutely no way out. My psychologist and psychiatrist thought that I was exhibiting premorbid schizophrenia – all as a result of the withdrawal symptoms.

It has been almost 8 years since I’ve taken this medication and I never went on to developing schizophrenia – it was the withdrawal symptoms that were driving me crazy. Funny thing is before I went on this medication, I thought it was going to be the “holy grail” and eradicate my depression because it was a “new drug.” I learned from that experience that “new” does not mean “better” – in some cases it can mean “worse.” In all honesty I do not believe I would have made it through this withdrawal without family, friends, and online support.

People do not understand how powerful this withdrawal process really is unless they’ve taken the medication. For me it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through in my entire life. I honestly don’t know how I made it through, but by some miracle I was able to keep fighting. It is literally like being locked in a cage and having minimal control over your brain for an extended period of time.

Cymbalta Withdrawal Timeline & Duration: How long does it last?

There is no clear cut answer to the duration of withdrawal. If you tapered off of the drug to the lowest possible dose (e.g. by counting beads), then you will likely heal quicker than someone who is thrown off guard by a sudden “cold turkey” withdrawal. Although the drug may be out of your body within a day (half life of 12 hours), this doesn’t mean that you won’t feel the effects of withdrawal once it is cleared.

I personally would give the withdrawal process 90 days before re-evaluating symptoms. When I first came off of this medication, it took a lot longer than suggested before I started feeling normal. Since I wasn’t feeling “normal” within a few weeks, this caused me to freak out and think that something else was wrong with me – even though it was just the effects of quitting a powerful medication that I had been on.

Most people do not count beads and conduct a gradual taper, therefore they jump from 20 mg to nothing – and this is a pretty significant jump. If you quit this medication from an even higher dose than 20 mg such as 30 mg or 60 mg – you may experience some very debilitating symptoms. Although this drug is approved for a variety of conditions and is considered “safe” by the FDA – realize that you know your body better than anyone else.

I honestly felt as though this medication caused permanent brain damage that I was never going to get over. In reality I think it may have been the withdrawal or me freaking out that I still felt drugged up even though I had been off of the medication for months. Make sure you work closely with your doctor, get support, and do your best to tough through the process. For me Cymbalta was a drug from hell and a nightmare – fortunately some have easier withdrawals than others. If you are going through withdrawal or have successfully withdrawn from this medication, feel free to share your experience with others.

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{ 142 comments… add one }
  • Michele Smith September 11, 2014, 1:27 pm

    I have been so terrible from this medication since I had to quit taking it. I thought I was going to die, even passed out and had to have to go to the hospital overnight to have my heart checked. I was on Cymbalta for about 10 years and have been scared to even leave the house. I have body aches, headaches, and just feel like life is over. It has been two weeks since I have tapered off and I still feel like crap. Help!
    Michele

  • screech September 13, 2014, 6:45 pm

    I’ve been tapering for 3 months from 90. It was going okay. Now, after 4 of taking none. I feel insane and incompetent. I can’t focus well enough to even go out for groceries. What’s worse is that I’m too agitated by people to get help, and I just feel worse being incompetent and stupid if front of them, especially if they react, or start guessing advice. I just read your article and took 1/2 of one capsule, but I don’t want to “start up” again, or prolong the time it takes to get off of this Junk. How do I wait this out? I don’t feel unsafe by myself and have a couple of days to hole up and blur some movies together. I feel like I’m dissolving ice.

    • Sam October 19, 2016, 10:30 am

      I really feel for you, you are going through a tough time. You are not incompetent or stupid & people really can be irritating so don’t stress on that one. Do you have family or friends who can support you? Be easy on yourself, the world is a tough place.

  • dc November 6, 2014, 8:06 am

    I took it for 3 years at 120 a day. Have withdrawn over 3 months as it stopped working for pain or depression and I badly need to change drugs. I have had hot and cold sweats, nightmares,exhaustion, crying and panic but worst of all the 30lbs I put on with it will not shift! Now I am nominally off it but for the last week I have had extreme nausea (pills to stop the pukes are vital) and dizziness after every meal. My blood is all over the place and anemia is a constant battle. My how I loathe this drug!

    • Melanie August 25, 2015, 9:30 am

      From what my doctor has said it sounds as though 3 months would be far too quick to reduce from 120. I’m reducing from 90 and when I asked her about it she said OK, but we’ve only reduced from 90 to 60 and she told me that I would need to stay on 60 for some considerable time before any further reduction.

      • Betsy June 9, 2016, 7:40 pm

        You have a decent doctor! I am on a withdrawal forum and have people on there all the time whose doctors told them to taper much faster than that, with horrible results, of course! The forum recommends 10% off of the previous month’s dosage per month!

        I am doing this slow taper, and it will take a very long time, but having been on Effexor for 12 years, it’s just the way it has to be. I went off too fast two years ago and suffered protracted withdrawal for 10 months before reinstating!

        • Jenn August 22, 2016, 3:48 pm

          I was having reverse reactions from the medicine at 60 mg. Yes, it helped me for about the first year, but I started having worsening depression, as I do with all antidepressants after about 6 months usually. I’ve only taken them when I’ve had some kind of loss in my family usually. I was placed on Cymbalta however for nerve pain from a pinched nerve in my lumbar region. I told my Neurologist that I was having problems and wanted to stop this medication, and he did lower my dosage to 30 mg.

          I still didn’t feel like “me” anymore, so I decided to stop it cold turkey. I’ve had the uncontrollable crying, feels like it won’t stop, horrible brain zaps, feels like everything is in fast forward and stops all of a sudden, the sleeplessness again, and of course the helplessness feeling. Luckily, I have found that if I can stay busy by swimming, or walking that I don’t notice the bad effects.

          This drug has been hell for me while taking it, and I felt as if I had to stop it myself in order to get away from it alive, hopefully! I truly hope that it is helpful to some, but I have thought about killing myself taking it. I have a wonderful husband and two wonderful children that are helping me get through. I’m unable to take Lyrica and Neurontin as well, because I have had horrible reactions to those.

          Good luck to all, hold strong, we will eventually get through this nightmare surely! It can’t last forever!

          • Angela August 30, 2016, 5:20 pm

            I’m going through withdrawals as I’m writing this, I’ve really lost the plot today with the crying the pain and no one understanding. It’s really self inflicted as I stopped taking them myself 120mg a day, I’ve never in my life experienced anything like what’s happening now the real bad withdrawals started on Saturday and haven’t stopped. As you say cold turkey.

            I’m going to a crisis hospital or app (wait for it… 9:30 tonight) could be dead. Can you tell me did events come in spasms as sometimes I feel calm then all off a sudden it kicks of again esp the stomach cramps. I’m flying into rages as well told my husband to get out of my room. And now I feel totally off my head because I’ve admitted to suicide thoughts. It’s ok while you secretly store them away. Take care all.

  • Chris November 19, 2014, 10:57 am

    Been on combination of lyrics an cymbalta for 5 years for CFS. Now trying to reduce cymbalta from 60 to 30… It has been 3 weeks and very very tough. Flu symptoms, nerve pain in feet, calf muscles and fingers, consistent bad headaches, depression, exhaustion, dreaming often and vividly, sleeping very heavy. Any advice greatly received. -Chris

    • Melanie August 25, 2015, 9:34 am

      I reduced from 90 to 60 on 9th July and only realized yesterday that the reason I felt so ill and out of control, angry etc may be the Cymbalta. Having looked at the symptoms listed here I realized that this was the case as I have insomnia spend all night and frequent spells during the day where I am wet through with sweat, depressed, nerve pain in calf muscles, flu like symptoms, etc. I’ve had horrendous nightmares ever since I started taking Cymbalta, but unfortunately, as I’ve reduced by 30 about 6 weeks ago and am getting worse withdrawal symptoms than ever, you may need to be patient a little longer.

      • Laura October 3, 2015, 4:10 pm

        I’ve been on 30mg for the past 9 yrs. I want everybody out there to know that this has got to be the worst thing my mind body and soul has ever been through. I was lucky enough to find a life coach who taught me EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). I suggest everybody out there that is going through this try it. It was God sent for me. You have got to commit yourself. Please find the time and stick to it. I have been practicing now for the past few weeks and it really works. Let me know if there is anything else I can do. -Laura

  • Katherine December 19, 2014, 10:00 pm

    I have been withdrawing from cymbalta for 6 weeks now. I was on it for 6 or more years and my dose ended up at 120 mg a day. My first drop from 120 to 60 was a living hell. The brain zaps were horrible and I experienced about 80% of the symptoms listed above. I’m now down to 30 mg and about to start breaking open the capsule to reduce to 15 mg. I have found that bridging with Prozac has made things easier. As prozac is much easier to come off and I will only be using it for a short period of time I really recommend asking your doctor about it.

    I have also just overcome an 11 year ice addiction, that was hard, but I have found withdrawing from cymbalta was and is harder that kicking my ice addiction. I highly recommend tapering slowly and make sure you have your family and friends around for support. It is quite a horrific experience. Taking omega-3 really does help. There is no need to order from the website just go to your pharmacist and tell him/her what your experiencing and they can suggest vitamins and really do help.

    I’m only 26 and this has been a living nightmare. Tomorrow is day 1 of reduction to 15 mg. My worst fear is the akathisia (a syndrome characterized by unpleasant sensations of inner restlessness that manifests itself with an inability to sit still or remain motionless). I call it restless legs. It’s at its worst at night and I have to get up all through out the night and stretch my legs and walk around. It normally only lasts 4 nights each time I reduce but if you are experiencing the same and find it intolerable talk to your Dr as there are beta blockers than can help this.

    I hope some of what I have said has helped. It is really relieving to be able to share with people that are going through the same thing as I don’t think its possible for those around you to truly understand just how hard this process is. Good luck all and remember don’t give up, soon you will be in control of your own emotions again and feel real. I have been numbed from feeling things for years so in fact as hard as its been its also quite liberating to be able to feel emotions again. Although mine are not stable yet, I know that when this experience is over I will know who the real me is, and that is what is keeping me motivated.

    • Paula August 25, 2015, 10:41 am

      Katherine, I am withdrawing. You have had such a hard time of it. Keep your faith. I will pray for your recovery and everyone writing here! I’ve been on 120mg. For 5 years; prior to that Lyrica until side effects and then Cymbalta. I’m in third week tapering off and it’s been rough at different times, flu-like symptoms and headaches. I’m determined to get through with a lot of Faith. Hang in there Katherine?

    • Stacey October 26, 2015, 8:37 am

      I’m currently coming off 120mg of cymbalta and I just turned 17 and 3/4 exams start this week. Absolute hell…

      • Jessica November 8, 2015, 8:22 pm

        OMG, I started the tapering process two weeks ago. I’m doing this against my doctors advice. I’m tired of being drugged up on everything and given one medication to mask the side effects of the other. I was put on 60mg a year ago August. I was going through a bad period in my life. Prior to that I was on Latuda for what was thought to be bipolar disorder and the depression associated with it. I knew from day one that Latuda was not the right med.

        I became increasingly angry and ended up lashing out at everyone around me all the time. So when I was switched back to Lamictal for my mood stabilizer and put on Cymbalta for the depression and what was thought to be fibro because of the pain and fatigue I was experiencing all the time, I thought great. At least I got the Lamictal back and if this was going to help with the pain as well as the depression good. Then in the middle of that summer I missed two periods which by not having had sex for over four months as my partner of four years up and left in June I was pretty sure I wasn’t pregnant.

        So, I had to have a blood serum test done to make sure. Then I met with my PA and after learning that I had been on one for of birth control or another for almost 19 years she convinced me to go off the pill. I’m 39 and started having symptoms of menopause then my hair started falling out in clumps in February of this year so I talked with my PA about this and she said it’s probably a side affect of the Lamictal so I call my psychiatrist and he agreed and took me off the Lamictal. Then in April I met someone and instead of going back on the pill I decided to have the Esure procedure done.

        So, I go to the OBGYN and low and behold I have to go on the pill for two months before and three months after. At this time I was doing good mood wise, but also in February I was rear ended which triggered an old injury from a different accident. When the pain is getting worse I get referred to pain management. I get a new MI orphan my cervical spine and they find a significant protrusion between my c6 and c vertebrae and I go through a four month process of getting a cortisone injection and radio ablation done to deaden the nerves that go into my head and neck.

        So, while I’m at pain management they try Lyrica along with the Cymbalta. Big mistake, I get big time cognitive fog and nothing in the neurotic family worked before. I end up having an appointment with my psychiatrist and start telling him about the pain management process I was going through and how the guy I was dating was saying I was having mood swings and was really irritable and I was thinking here comes a mood stabilizer.

        No, he writes a letter to my pain management doctor stating that he felt I was not at risk of becoming an addict and the proper treatment for my pain would be a narcotic. So in August I get a narcotic along with off the pill again because the procedure worked. So, it’s now mid OctOber and I start to finally feel like my quality of life has returned. I haven’t been pain free in over 5 years.

        I’m starting to become active again, walking, being outdoors, doing things I haven’t been able to do and enjoying it. My boyfriend one day says to me, maybe you don’t need to be taking the Cymbalta and that got me thinking. So, I decided to taper myself off without letting my psychiatrist know. After all I know my body and he knows I know my body and I’ve stopped med school before without telling him and can usually call in to get my anxiety medication increased without an office visit.

        So, here I am on the beginning of week three of breaking open the 60mg capsules, I did fine tapering out 30 beads but when I went to 60 beads I haven’t been able leave my home for fear of shitting my pants. So that is the only major symptom I’ve experienced. That and some problems with my vision. But after reading and researching I’m thinking I may need to go slower. I’m worried about the depression and the hopelessness as well as the suicidal risks, and mood swings.

        All the things I was originally prescribed this medication for in the first place. Any suggestions would be appreciated, and oh by the way I can’t take omega3 as I have a deadly fish allergy. My plan was to be tapered off by mid February but should I be going slower?

        • Tia November 12, 2015, 9:45 pm

          Jessica, look up sacha inchi oil for your omegas. No fish involved. I have purchase a high quality one from Renegade Health. I know other health sites sell it as well. Good luck!

  • maria December 19, 2014, 11:24 pm

    I am currently tapering off Cymbalta. I went from 60 to 30 Mg and now I’ve been opening capsules and am down to 15 mg. I have been doing that for a few months now. This drug helped me a lot but has nasty withdrawal symptoms.

  • Pmh January 6, 2015, 6:27 am

    I am on day 6 of no Cymbalta, did it cold turkey from 60mg (a refill snafu/ Dr was out of town) This has been a friggen nightmare. I was on it for almost 5 years. Like you said, the worst feeling was psychological (I took it for chronic pain), the depersonalization. I was also in a rage for the last 3 days, hell I would have fought anyone if they looked at me wrong. Strangely enough, the physical feelings weren’t as severe, only for 2 days or so. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that one, as I suffer a lot with nerve pain. Anyways this has been an eye opener. The nurse called today after the Dr returned, and I told them I no longer wish to take it. Best of luck to anyone going through this.

    • Liz March 14, 2016, 3:26 pm

      This helped me, thank you.

    • Kelly May 21, 2016, 12:20 am

      This really helped me! Thank you for taking the time to write your story!

      • Amy June 30, 2016, 8:18 pm

        This story is the one I’m living now. Dr/refill/insurance timing issues added to the thought that maybe I don’t need it anyway anymore. CFS and degenerative disc disease leading to all over the body pain. Your comment is dated the most recent of any I’ve seen while searching many sites. Wondering if you’re also quitting cold-turkey, and how quitting in any form is working for you: what you’re experiencing, etc?

    • Meworsham July 12, 2016, 2:40 am

      I am on day 2 of cold turkey and it has been a really bad evening. Severe nausea with actual vomiting. I’m better when I lay down but as soon as I move around it is back full force. I’m frustrated already but determined to beat this. -Martha

  • Brooke McLymond January 6, 2015, 4:22 pm

    I have been on 120 mg for about 3 years due to chronic back/leg pain. I recently lost my insurance any my new insurance requires pre authorization. I paid out of pocket and weaned myself to 60 mg a day over the last month but I have been with none for over a week. I just called my Dr’s office sobbing. All I want to do is sleep so I don’t have to hear the awful noises in my head. When I am awake all I do is yell at my 10 year old. I don’t want to get off my couch, I am sweaty and shaky. If this is withdrawal, I DO NOT WANT BACK ON THIS!

    I heard people are suing over this. If anyone has contact information please share. I take narcotics regularly and have no problem going without them. Cymbalta never should have been approved by the FDA. My leg feels no better or worse than it did while on this medication. The only only difference is I feel like I need to go inpatient for mental health treatment at this point. Thank you. -Brooke McLymond

  • sher February 4, 2015, 12:44 pm

    Ditto to you all. I feel so much better knowing I’m not alone in this and just going crazy.

  • Caroline February 5, 2015, 9:53 am

    I was prescribed duloxetine 60mgs which I took once a day for 8 weeks for fibromyalgia. At first, it worked wonderfully, I was able to sleep longer and walk without stiffness and muscle pain. Suddenly one day I felt unwell and spent 6 days in hospital. My heart was racing, my breathing was fast, blood pressure was high, I was shaking and collapsing. The medics took me off duloxetine so on top of the severe side effects, I then experienced withdrawal symptoms.

    Nearly 6 days after stopping the duloxetine I had episodes of sudden extreme lack of energy, periods of loss of consciousness, and paralysis of varying muscle groups; this lasted 6 days and was so distressing and traumatic. My heart rate is still very fast at times for which I have been prescribed propranolol. It has now been over 7 weeks since stopping the duloxetine and although I am still experiencing withdrawal symptoms, I am now beginning to feel like myself again.

  • Bex February 8, 2015, 12:47 pm

    I have MS and was prescribed cymbalta for nerve pain. It helped with that but I slept all the time! With two kids, 2 and 5, it’s not good. I finished withdrawing 2-3 weeks ago. I am still having all the side effects listed above! Hell would be a welcome holiday!!! My head is awful, spinning and light so I can’t move it. And when I close my eyes it is sore and spinning. You can’t comprehend or explain just how awful this is!

  • Jazzy82 February 25, 2015, 6:21 am

    Wow.. I have been on 60 mg of Cymbalta for 2 years and have started tapering with taking one tablet every second day for the past 3 weeks. Last week I forgot to take it for 3 days in a row I had to be driven to the medical center from work because of the nausea, headaches, dizziness, loss of sensation, pins and needles in my hands and feet and general feeling tired for two days. I also cried when no one from work was around.

    I saw two doctors and neither where of much help. In fact both said that with tapering I SHOULD NOT be experiencing any withdrawal effects whatsoever! Clearly many doctors haven’t read enough information about coming off this drug. They both told me to taper off in 2 weeks by reducing every to second day, but I’m going to take 7-8 weeks at the very minimum to do it completely. I have now planned to take 3 weeks off work late March/early April whilst I continue to taper and also seeing my psychologist.

    My tapering plan is: 60mg every second day for 4 weeks, 30mg daily for a week, 30mg every second day for a week, 15mg every second day for a week to finish. I should have stopped completely by early April 2015. I will come back and let you know how I’ve gone.

  • Smobear February 26, 2015, 10:12 pm

    Been off of daily 60mg cold turkey for about a month and a half. I’m still getting symptoms from withdrawal such as: brain zaps, anger issues, feeling unlike myself, broken brain, etc. and it’s hurting my marriage :(

  • Rita b March 13, 2015, 1:15 am

    I have been weaning off from 60 mg for 6 weeks, down to 30 mg now. It needs to be repeated again and again. Do not let anyone tell you to wean off Cymbalta by taking it every OTHER day. The drug only stays in your system for 12 hrs, so skipping a day will already put you in WITHDRAWAL. I’m having some bad symptoms on 30 mg so I’m staying on it longer than 2 weeks. Omega 3 is smart to take. I was told to take Vit E with it as Omega will decrease it. Watch for low sodium levels in your blood. This drug really is the drug from HELL.!

  • Barbara March 15, 2015, 3:02 am

    I’ve been on it somewhere around 5 yrs I think. I started for back pain my doctor told me nothing worth being scared over being on it or going off other than I had to wean off. I took 60mg. daily then got worse back pain went to 60 mg 2X’s daily. If I felt good I took only night one then back on if worse. I never realized what I was having were side effects all these years because I always felt sick, asthma, pneumonia, flu, GERD, eye sight issues, body aches, vertigo, facial pain, restless legs, muscle spasms, etc.

    In 2014 I had pneumonia 3xs, 3 lung procedures, bladder surgery and just generally feeling bad. I was off cymbalta 60mg. But each hospital stay they put me back on it. Jan 2015 I stopped the 60 mg and decided to eat healthy, lots of veggies, salads, beans, water with lemon, and take 7000 daily of Vit D3, 50mg potassium and multivitamin. I was having all above symptoms but didn’t realize still that they were withdrawal symptoms as they were annoying but not servere. February 17th I saw my doctor and told him I was off 60mg. He didn’t seem concerned, but as I was suffering UTI, pelvic pain, and urinating every 1/2 to 1 hour.

    All day and night he was more interested in putting me on drugs to stop urinating and he said the meds to stop urinating would cause heart issues. When I got home I decided to quit the other 60mg cold turkey and not start the new drug. Three days later everything got worse plus crying, eye sight minimal, nausea, vomiting, anxious, memory loss, chest pain, jaw pain. My doctor wanted me back on 60 at least. I stuck it out and as I was on oxygen for breathing issues at night I used it all day and night. I really think that got me through it that week.

    The next week started bad chest pain, sudden bad headaches, and jaw pain. Admitted to hospital. Had angiogram done on heart and no blockages. Now home a week and headaches gone, still vertigo issues, no jaw pain and chest pain minimal. So for those going through withdrawals hang in there, it is bad but it does get better. You must think positive and be healthy with food and exercise, take vitamins and lots of fluids. JUST DON’T GO BACK ON THIS HORRIBLE DRUG NO MATTER WHAT!

    Get on your phones, your internet, spread the word everywhere and as often as possible that this is a horrible drug and don’t let a doctor tell you otherwise. Only us the patient, the guinea pigs, can stop this drug, stop the pharmaceutical companies from caring about money more than us. Remember that phrase WE THE PEOPLE well we can put a stop to the use of this drug if we ban together and say NO MORE!!!!

    • JC October 28, 2015, 10:28 pm

      Well said, let’s get this PHARMAFIA elite out of our way. They don’t even know how WE, THE PEOPLE, what we are going through. Talk about jobs, marriage, antisocial, mood swings etc,etc. plus every feeling we have thinking something is wrong with us and everything has to do with this withdrawal symptoms. Please, don’t get back on it, it will be over and you will feel better. Don’t let your Dr. persuade you, that’s their job, make money for the Pharmafia, otherwise, they would not have a job. Go figure who they work for. Glad to start feeling myself again, best of all, IT CAN BE DONE! Don’t go back, just ride it.

  • Cindy March 16, 2015, 6:03 pm

    Thank heaven I found this site with all these comments!!! I’m trying for the 3rd time to stop taking this EVIL drug. It’s wonderful to know I’m not crazy feeling all the horrible things I’ve felt trying to stop taking it. I have never experienced anything like this nor do I ever hope to again. I have fibromyalgia and have tried so many drugs.

    I’ve been taking this monster of a drug for about 10 yrs now. I usually can’t tolerate the withdrawal symptoms and give up. It is not helping my pain anymore so I need something else. I saw my Dr. last week and he gave me something different and said now you cant take this with the Cymbalta… I said crap I’ve tried to stop taking it but it has too many bad effects on me.

    To my amazement he said “yes it’s hard to get off of” I wanted to smack him. Seriously? Why in the name of all that is Holy do they even put someone on something like this? I feel bad on a good day, but the out of control, dizzy, head spinning, attitude changing, want to just sleep, all over hurting, want to just cry feeling is something they need to experience. This needs to come off the market and not be given to anyone!

    • Kiral August 28, 2015, 7:33 pm

      I have taken this awful drug for years! This is my second try to get off of it. The first time my doc gave me Geodon to add to it to get me through. I ended up in a coma! Yes. The doctor acted like he didn’t know you can’t take the two drugs together. So please be forewarned. Now I’m experiencing awful withdrawal symptoms. I feel like being dead is so much better than this. But my kids are more important than how I am feeling. I wish there is a better way to get past this than the dizziness, numbing of limbs, face, can’t eat, and the worst rage.

      • Mary July 14, 2016, 4:45 am

        Hi. Try taperong off slowly. It is a bit*h because you have to count those micro beads but it is the best way. Contact me if you wish. There is a great group on face book called. Cymbalta hurts worse. Mary

        • Linnea November 8, 2016, 7:13 pm

          I have researched tapering off of Cymbalta. Research tells us that one should drop 10% each month. Therefore, you should taper from 60 to 50 for the first month, 50 to 40 second month, then 40 to 30, 30 to 20, 20 to 10 counting beads and then stop with help of a low dose clonazepam. The use of the clonazepam may be necessary for sleep while titrating off this med.

          Please see a nutritionist and get on a healthy diet with vitamins and minerals and other recommended supplements. Walking three miles a day is great. Running or spinning is better. See a counselor who specializes in detox from SNRI meds during the 6 months of titration or tapering. This should reduce bad effects.

  • Birdwoman March 29, 2015, 11:39 am

    I was put on Cymbalta late in 2004 after hurricanes here destroyed my workplace and severely damaged my home and town. So I have been taking it for about 10 years. It was almost a miraculous cure for my depression and anxiety. But, over the years the dose had to be increased to keep the depression away. I wound up on the highest dose allowed, 120 mg a day and holding for about 3 years now. Depression has also been exacerbated by severe sciatica which started about 9 years ago.

    The pain has become more chronic, making me feel like just not getting out of bed. On ‘good leg days’ when the pain mysteriously disappears, I’m just full of energy trying to get as much done before the pain returns. But for a couple of months, the pain wouldn’t let up. And I was feeling totally apathetic about life and still spending a fortune on Cymbalta. So 6 days ago, I just stopped taking it. I figured whatever happened couldn’t be much worse. Well, the pain is no worse than it was. In fact, I have more energy to do certain exercises that reduce the pain.

    I’m going through the mood swings and crying episodes like some others described. But it’s an improvement over how I was feeling before. Let me put it this way. Before starting Cymbalta, I felt like a raw nerve. Shortly after starting it, I could function again, react in a normal healthy way to people and situations in life. It was kind of like having a fluffy blanket to insulate me from the cold and wind. Now that it’s going out of my system, I’m feeling feelings I haven’t felt in years.

    And I’m enjoying having feelings again. But I am afraid of what the future will bring. After reading the reports above, I feel so lucky not to be sick and hope that the misery others describe isn’t waiting for me in a few days or weeks. I’ll keep you posted.

  • Mermaid May 2, 2015, 10:52 pm

    Thank-goodness I found this site. I began taking this drug because I couldn’t tolerate another, VENLAFAXINE. I’m both relieved and feeling extremely sorry for some of those who have similar/worse symptoms than myself. I took it to overcome my suicidal feelings after an extremely abusive relationship. Now it feels like I’m back there again and until I read this thought that maybe I would never recover.

    Is life really worth living? The hopelessness has been a pervading emotion. I’m not sure I want the heightened emotions and find it difficult watching any television unless it’s comedy. Trying to do this with support only from a close friend and my cat, no parents, partner or children is extremely difficult but knowing that I’m not going mad and doomed to be like this forever is a huge relief!

    Also put on 3 stone in weight due to zero energy levels still. Just hope everyone is right and that we’re going to get back to our old selves. Does anyone know a support site where we can communicate more often not simply leaving a comment as here? Best wishes to everyone fighting a similar battle.

    • Kelly March 1, 2016, 4:32 am

      Hi Mermaid, just checking in with you. I hope you’re doing well.

    • Jose July 17, 2016, 8:08 pm

      Is life really worth living? Yes, for yourself, your friend and your cat… Hope you have found peace..

  • Martin P May 19, 2015, 1:06 pm

    It’s been 2 weeks I’m completely off Cymbalta after taking it for about 2 years. I’ve been weaning off progessively from 60mg over a 2 month period. The brain zaps, which was the most uncomfortable withdrawal symptom, have almost disappeared. However, since a bout 2-3 weeks, I’ve been having problems with my skin and I’m wondering if this can be a withdrawal symptom or if it’s completely unrelated : light to moderate skin rashes, pustulas in concentrated areas, skin sensitivity, small red zits, bigger white zits that appear when I scratch myself.

    It’s mostly noticeable around the wrist, back of hands, neck, armpits. I’ve used over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream for about 1 week and haven’t seen any change, in fact I feel it’s getting worse. Have anyone experienced something similar ? I was afraid there was mites / bedbugs in my apartment but my girlfriend has nothing and she is known to have very sensitive skin. Maybe it’s a combination of factors, (it’s the beginning of allergy season and I regularly go top the public swimming pool). Any hint would help. Thank you! -Martin

    • Jenny B. May 26, 2015, 2:22 am

      Martin, your skin reaction sounds a lot like a reaction my whole family had after using a jacuzzi/hot-tub at a cabin we rented. Your public swimming pool may have a bacteria causing the rash. We all had it in our family, all the “crooks” of arms, legs, groin – cleared up after a while. Try avoiding the pool for a week or so and see if it improves, might want to inform the pool admin. Best of luck!

      Weaning off Cymbalta – I agree, not every over other day, but cut amount in half for a week, then cut in half again. I ran out the first month I started taking Cymbalta, didn’t KNOW what was causing the extreme crying, and head to toe pain. Doctor and pharmacist were deficient in recognizing withdrawal from the Cymbalta, even when I told them I ran out and I was a wreck.

    • Kelly Jones June 22, 2015, 10:53 pm

      I’m about 10 days into withdrawal from 60mg and I have the skin issues you described. I also have it on the back of my hands and neck. I might not have have made the connection that this is withdrawal if I hadn’t read your comments. I’ve had the brain zaps, nausea, sleeplessness, crying, depression, fatigue, chest pain, etc, but I didn’t realize the skin thing was related. Just another thing with which to contend.

    • HappyDose June 24, 2015, 3:48 am

      Hey, Martin! What you just described sounded like my case. I do have extreme sensitive skin and allergic to sun lights. Usually my rash got better after taking allergy medicines. But this time, I am off cymbalta for 10 days now, my rash didn’t get better, instead, it became worse and worse no matter how many allergy pills I take every day. I take Claritin every 12 hours and benadryl at night time. thanks for sharing your experiences. I was confused why I got rash all over my body even I wore long sleeve shirts and pants.

    • Melanie August 25, 2015, 8:13 am

      Hi Martin, Since I’ve been on Cymbalta I need to take an antihistamine every day. If I run out or forget for a couple of days the itching drives me totally crazy – it usually starts with the palms of my hands, but then spreads to my head and all over my body. It’s terrible, but the daily tablet helps enormously – except for when I am genuinely bitten as I do have a bad reaction to bites from the various bugs that are around in summer.

      • Tab November 18, 2015, 12:34 pm

        I also got rashes. Mine were mostly on the tops of my fingers. I’d never had anything like it before. Nothing at all had changed except taking cymbalta. This could explain it, finally!

    • Nana January 31, 2016, 7:45 am

      I, too, have had a terrible rash around both knee and elbow regions. It’s maddening. It started when I stopped Cymbalta due to unpleasant side effects; i.e., extreme fatigue and needing to sleep virtually around the clock, as well as headaches and feeling like the living dead. It’s been about five weeks since I went off this drug cold turkey because my doc said since I had only been taking it for a month, I wouldn’t have withdrawal symptoms.

      The rash shows no sign of giving up on my arms. My legs are better. The arms started flaring shortly after the legs did, so I’m hoping it will soon be just a terrible memory. I am beginning to wonder why it would last this long. Surely the drug is out of my system. I have to admit the Cymbalta did help the spinal stenosis pain, but at what cost?

  • faye May 19, 2015, 5:15 pm

    Wow! Many thanks for all the info & advice! I have been taking duloxetine 120 mg/day for 6.5 years for nerve pain before & after 5 spinal fusions (I’m a 72 year old woman). Decided recently that I should ensure that I still needed to take this stuff. So started tapering off 1 (of the 6) beads a night (too fast, I think). I’m holding at 60 mg/day for now as I’m running a full 26.2 marathon next week. Though still nauseous so much of the time – ran a half marathon 2 days ago & had to fight the nausea throughout the race with minute amounts of promethazine (Phenergan). I think I may need to increase the duloxetine dose a bit & then start a slower withdrawal after next week’s race. This stuff is indeed ugly! Anyone have any suggestions on weaning off large doses?

  • Linda June 8, 2015, 2:43 am

    My husband has been told to stop taking Cymbalta. His doctor told him to just stop taking it cold turkey. Apparently doctors aren’t informed of the withdrawal symptoms. I am not a health care professional, but even I know most drugs for depression can’t be stopped suddenly. After reading this forum thoroughly, I decided the best course of action is to do the bead counting formula for quitting.

    My husband has been on 30mg for 10 weeks. I counted the beads in a capsule and the count was 300. Easy math to take him down 250 beads/25mg, 200 beads/20mg, etc. I decided to do each value for two weeks and be off totally in 10 weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m using gelatin capsules from a compounding pharmacy to contain the beads.

    • Brandie December 6, 2015, 11:48 pm

      How did the weaning process go as you listed above? Side effects? Withdrawal symptoms? Thanks for any info.

    • Lois February 3, 2016, 1:37 am

      I would like to try your process of counting the beads, but I am not sure what you mean about a gelatin capsule to contain them. Please explain. Also, do you them take the amount of beads on teaspoon? With a drink? Thanks for sharing.

  • Lorie June 16, 2015, 4:17 am

    I have been on Cymbalta for over 10 years. At first it was the answer to my prayers but as I now look back on the past 10 years I wonder if it was actually a curse. Since I started taking Cymbalta I have suffered from asthma, hypothryroidism, severe depression, extreme fatigue, extreme weight gain, heart failure, and now I am experiencing neuropathy in my legs.

    The pain was getting worse so they put my on Neurontin but after reading the side effects I decided to take myself off. Within a day my pain was better. After reading all of the post about the side effects and withdrawal symptoms of Cymbalta I believe that is what caused my neuropathy. I was very depressed so they increased by Cymbalta dosage to 120mg a day in April immediately I started having tingling and numbness in my legs.

    After a few weeks of the increased dose I went back to 60mg. I am starting to take magnesium today and tomorrow going to buy omega-3 vitamins and Epson lotion. I have lost my job, marriage, and basically myself to this drug I feel. Looking back my family told me I had changed I never put the two together until reading this forum. I’m nervous about the side effects but I want the old Lorie back, I just hope it’s not to late.

  • HappyDose June 24, 2015, 3:52 am

    This is my second week after stopping cymbalta. I didn’t know how I got through the first week. I took pain killers every 6 hours to reduce the intensity of the headache. Yeah, it looks like I had all the symptoms. One of the severe withdrawal symptom nobody mentioned is body shaking, frequent and severe Cataplexy. If you want to know what is Cataplexy, you can search online. I had mild cataplexy before taking cymbalta three years ago when I had big emotional change such as laugh, excitement, my head would drop and my legs would buckle.

    At most couple of times a week, that was all. However, man! This cymbalta withdrawal is like a hell 3.0. I keep shaking almost 24/7. Two days ago, when I was climbing up stairs at home, I had a collapse. I lost control of my body muscles from neck, arms to legs. The coffee I was holding spilled on the carpet which i couldn’t help. My body flopped, I fell down 7 stairs until my head bumped into wall.

    I was fully conscious all the time though. 3 days later, my right side of head still had a large painful bump on it due to the fall. It scared the hell out of me. Now, the biggest question for me is, will it permanently damage my brain? I can’t live without a good healthy brain. I will visit my Psychiatric doctor tomorrow and discuss an exit plan. I will update if I learn something new.

  • Jasmine June 29, 2015, 5:20 am

    I had been on Cymbalta for post natal depression for 18 months and came off in February. I had slowly started tapering off at Christmas with the help of my doctor and psychologist as we all agreed that I was well enough to come off this medication. I felt quite well for a couple of months but the last six weeks or so I have started having bad anxiety, trouble sleeping, crying spells and just feeling like I can’t cope.

    It is very up and down though, I feel like I am riding a roller coaster. Some days or parts of the day are better than others. I am scared sometimes that I am getting sick again, but after reading this I’m wondering if it is withdrawal? I also had severe side effects with every change of dose on this drug, at one point I was on 120mg. It just feels like this is never going to end.

    • Annie July 19, 2015, 6:52 pm

      Jasmine, Your story is one of the only one that resembles mine. I was on Cymbalta for 2 years and quit cold turkey while briefly pregnant. I experienced none of the withdrawal symptoms, in fact after a few weeks I felt great. That is until 2 months later. I developed a fever and what I thought was strep throat. All tests for strep came back negative. Now I know this was a reaction to stopping the Cymbalta. The infection was immediately followed by the worst depression along with cyclical suicidal thoughts for the first time in my life. Not knowing what to do, I got back on Cymbalta :( I hope you managed to stay off the medication and if you would, please update!

  • Colin July 12, 2015, 2:27 pm

    Hi there I just wanted to say thank you to the person that set up this blog with all the withdrawal info on this drug and to the rest of you thank you for sharing. When I typed this into my browser I didn’t think anything would come up. Been on 120mg a day for 3 years doc said stop give it 10 days and we will start you on a replacement, I have to say I’m shocked at what I read I am 45 and been on many depressant drugs over the years for chronic pain and depression.

    This is night 6 cold turkey and I can’t believe how hard this is I know if I still had my firearms certificates I would not be here by now I think that about sums up this withdrawal from this drug. I have definitely decided I ain’t starting a different antidepressant as I never have experienced such bad (all of the above) withdrawal symptoms ever, and here was me hopping I only had 3 nights withdrawal left LOL. I will try the omega 3 to see if it helps any and thank you all for sharing cheers and good luck to us all Colin.

  • chanelle July 14, 2015, 2:53 am

    I had a refill issue and was off cymbalta for a week and a half. I couldn’t figure out what the heck was wrong with me, as I felt like my brain was getting zapped every time I moved my head or eyes..or even blinked hard. Now I understand, it was withdrawls! Scary…especially since I’ve only been on this medication for 2 months. I am not ready to be off of this med, as it’s actually helping me, and its been a long process getting to this point. But I want to ask…I just started back on this today, so how long will these brain zaps go on? They are horrible!

  • nomore July 14, 2015, 9:48 pm

    I stopped taking cymbalta about a week ago. The first few days were OK, but the last couple of days I have experienced: a loss of energy, always sleeping or wanting to sleep, not wanting to be with people, not wanting to be touched, pressure inside my head, dizziness, crying spells, nausea, loss of appetite, memory loss, rage, suicidal thoughts, helplessness, feeling incompetent. I wish I never put this drug in my body in the first place. The withdrawal symptoms are absolutely awful. CYMBALTA SUCKS! Please do not take it!

    • Linda Dockins February 6, 2016, 3:21 am

      I totally agree. Cymbalta sucks. It should be taken off the market. My doctor had me on 60 mg. When I decided to get off of the drug due to weight gain and other side effects, my doc suggested tapering off from 30 mg daily for two weeks, then every other day for 2 weeks.

      She said there would be no withdrawal symptoms. She was so wrong. I have been through hell. Nausea, headaches, insomnia and a host of other symptoms. Some people say it takes months to recover. I hope they are wrong.

  • Amy czimer July 21, 2015, 7:16 am

    So I have been on cymbalta for 3-4 years now and also have chronic pain issues. Psych thought increasing to 90 mg might help but did not so I have been on 60 mg for majority of time… Recently decided it just hasn’t been helping and since my mom and sister have had good luck with Prozac I asked my Dr to switch me my last appt. I went down to 30 mg of cymbalta while starting with 10 mg Prozac. She told me to do for 2 weeks and then stop cymbalta and increase Prozac to 20 mg.

    Mind you I had just lost my job as well…first week I just was nauseous and got sick a couple times, loss of appetite, some mild headaches that went away using excedrin. Second week I started breaking out like crazy on my face, noticed me being more irritable, and now am in third week, 5th day of no cymbalta and I have slept for 3 out of those 5 days… I thought something was terribly wrong, I have been majorly depressed, I don’t want to do anything or get out of bed. It’s all I can do to walk the dog! Luckily I have a roommate.

    I too have been on all of the anti depressants out there for past 25 years…Paxil was also a bad withdrawal, but I was also younger and not on it for this long. I tried Prozac 25 years ago, and am hoping it will help this time. Don’t remember how it affected me the last time I was on it. I just hope I can get thru this period and get out of this funk I am in! I never knew how tired someone could be!

    Oh, I had just tried taking a 30 mg cymbalta before finding this post, thinking that might help get me through this, and all it did was make me get sick to my stomach! Hoping I can fall back asleep, as it is night time and I would rather sleep during the nite and not the day! Good luck and thanks!

  • Susah Haskell July 23, 2015, 6:22 pm

    In November of 2012 my boyfriend became very depressed at the illness and eventual death of his mother. Initially he began treatment with Paxil, prescribed by his PCP, until the involuntary movements of his extremities began with constant twitching. He was eventually seen in a mental health clinic In January where they weaned him off of Paxil and started him on Cymbalta with the plan to add Remeron down the road.

    On his last appointment at the mental health center in the middle of February he called me crying that they were changing his meds. I asked why they weren’t augmenting the Cymbalta with the Remeron as planned. Apparently the cost of the two meds were more then he was willing to pay (he had no insurance), despite my offer to help with the cost. He began to wean off of Cymbalta, and was to begin either Prozac or Pristiq.

    This was the end of February. In March I set him up with another Psychologist since he felt he was not getting anything from the counselor at the clinic. The day of the appointment I asked how it went and got very benign answers from him. Three days later my boyfriend of 11 yrs hung himself. It wasn’t until after that, that I was told the Psychologist recommended hospitalization, my boyfriend did not tell me this…nor did his family who unsuccessfully on their own without informing me attempted to get him into a hospital the day after the appointment.

    Why did he not tell me about the hospital…because I would have gotten him in there and he did not want that. I truly believe the withdrawal from that medication increased his depression and gave him suicide ideation that he was not relaying to others. It has been 2.5 yrs since his death that changed my life forever. To say I am depressed about the loss of him, the man I loved is an understatement. Am I on any medication for it…absolutely NOT.

    I have a degree in Psychology, I am in the field, I know what those medications do, and I witnessed what it did to him. I never wanted him on them, but he was insistent on finding external relief from his anquish. God only knows what he was going through and feeling as he weaned off of Cymbalta, he never told me. But I blame the medication for the loss of him…and I wonder how many other people lost the person they loved to suicide due to the use of anti-depressants.

  • Rebecca July 25, 2015, 2:49 am

    I had been on Cymbalta 60 MG for 12 years. About 6 weeks ago my pharmacist kept telling me that it was “on order” until about 5 days had gone by. I was feeling OK and thought I would just stop taking them since it had already been that long. I did OK until about 10 days off and I felt as if the bottom fell out. I started experiencing just about every symptom mentioned above…far worse than any reason I started it in the first place.

    I knew about some of the so called normal withdrawal symptoms but some I didn’t expect and I feel relieved that I can blame it on withdrawals and not that I’m mentally in worse shape that I ever imagined. I can be sitting, doing nothing, and look up to see someone or something moving and my stomach feels as if I were on a roller coaster… is thus vertigo? My vision is blurred sometimes, I can be talking and just forget the conversation, bright lights and loud sounds make my chest flutter and heart beat faster.

    I’m staying tired and don’t ever want to get out of bed. My skin is itchy and very sensitive…I cannot stand to be touched, that makes me feel pain shooting all through my body. I have been suffering withdrawals for about 6 weeks. I am a teacher and school starts back in 2 weeks for me. I’m not sure how I will be able to handle this. I started taking Vitamin B complex and krill oil 2 days ago. I am hoping that will help me some. I don’t want to go back on an antidepressants. I never want to feel this way again.

    • JC October 28, 2015, 10:03 pm

      Hi Rebecca, I was also on 60mg for 12 years. Its been 7 weeks cold turkey. I still get a lot of mood swings, foggy and cloudy brain etc. I’m starting to feel like myself and although the ride is awful, specially weeks 2-3, you are going to feel better. Promised. Keep yourself occupied. I did use some weed for the anxiety, boy did it helped. Also engaged in Tai chi and exercise.

      Remember, nothing lasts forever, tough ride but its just a ride, it has to be over someday. Day by day and by the time you look back you will be Glad and Proud and start getting those love, crying and happy feelings we used to have before this HORRIBLE drug took over them. Any help I can give everybody can count on me.

  • Amanda August 4, 2015, 2:47 am

    I feel like you are writing the beginning of my story. I have been 5 days cymbalta free and I feel like I am going crazy. My brain is zapping non-stop,I am sick to my stomach… It is probably just easier to say I am dying. Does this seriously last months? I don’t think I can stand this. I am afraid I will lose my job because of how I feel. Any suggestions on how to get this drug out of my system fast that are not listed?

  • Vbelle August 5, 2015, 6:10 am

    I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and started on Cymbalta 30mg and increased up to 150mg daily by my psychiatrist. I felt a whole lot better but I noticed that over time, my body started requiring more of the medicine as I started experiencing withdrawals symptoms before the next dose was due. I found out I was pregnant and decided to stop taking the drug due to the possibility of birth defects to the baby.

    I read that it is not recommended to stop cold turkey so I decided to wean myself off but started to experiment the worse withdrawal symptoms ever such as flu-like symptoms, major body aches and tingling especially on my lower extremities, a miscarriage and feelings of being electrocuted all over my body and brain. I stumble on something call black seed oil and read about its multi healing powers.

    It is 100% natural and I have been taking 1 teaspoon every 8 hours and it has been like a God sent it to me. It is helping with the withdrawal process by majorly cutting down the symptoms. I don’t know how long the withdrawal process is supposed to last, but after having a miscarriage I went from tapering fro 150mg to 120mg to none in a one week period, and although I’m still experiencing the withdrawal symptoms, they are mild with the help of the black seed oil.

    If interested, you can read about it online. Cymbalta is a terrible drug and I never get back on it! If you are suffering from the withdrawal symptoms, please try the black seed oil, it is natural and you have nothing to lose. Beware of some of the crazy expensive prices online. I purchased mine from a local Indian store at $10.00 for 120ml. Do not spend crazy money on it as it is not suppose to cost much. I hope you can benefit from it as I am.

    • Kimberly OHara March 25, 2016, 3:07 pm

      Thanks for sharing about the Black seed oil. I’m very sorry for the loss of your baby. God bless you.

  • Melanie August 25, 2015, 7:41 am

    After more than 2 years on Cymbalta, with more than a year at 90mg, I was starting to feel a bit more human so asked my doctor at the beginning of August if it was OK to reduce back down to 60mg daily. For the last few weeks I’ve not been able to understand why I felt so out of control until doing an Internet search last night. I’m suffering with lots of irritability, anger, depersonalisation, horrendous hot sweats, insomnia, tremors, muscle pain etc, but at least I now know that it’s the drug and not ‘me’! The doctor thinks I’ll continue to need the 60mg for some considerable time and already I’m not looking forward to the eventual withdrawal. Thanks for starting this website.

  • Pamela August 25, 2015, 1:18 pm

    This is an awful time….withdrawal was suppose to be a piece of cake tapering down to 20s then 20 every other day then off completely. Withdrawal is still bad and I was only on it for a little over a year. Emotionally, I feel right now the same as the day the Dr first prescribed it for me! Trying to work on our marriage and now I feel like day one when my husband first left over a year ago. Seems so unfair to us at this tender reconciliation point. I hope our marriage can endure my journey back to a normal me. I’m so thankful to read these posts and know “this to shall pass”. Prayers to all who are going through this.

  • Julie August 27, 2015, 2:54 am

    My situation is I was put on Cymbalta about 2 years ago for my fibromyalgia and I thought it was a good thing, it really seemed to help with my symptoms, but then it started to not work as well so I was upped to 60mg and started noticing that if I go a day without it, I’m okay, but day 2 I can count on a migraine and then the brain zaps start.

    Well I just switched jobs recently and am without insurance until the 1st. I ran out of my Cymbalta on Saturday and am going nuts right now. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in 3 nights, I have never had a problem with anxiety, (in fact I’m usually told I’m too calm). Well the past few days I’m going nuts with the anxious feelings to the point of having chest pain, the brain zaps and dizziness make me wish I could just close my eyes and sleep for a week (since the only time I don’t experience them is with my eyes closed).

    I have been snapping at everyone around me, which is the opposite of my normally calm and happy self, I literally want to just find someone and smack them for no reason. I feel like I’ve got the flu with body aches, chills, sweats, nausea and diarrhea, even a runny nose. I am a registered nurse so I need my brain to function, like I said I just switched to a different company so I can’t just take off work while my body goes through this.

    My memory is horrendous, I mean I’ve gotten used to my usual fibromyalgia brain fog, which Cymbalta seemed to help a lot, but now only 4 days into withdrawal and my memory is about 5 seconds long. I try my best to hide it and cope, but I’m worried I could forget something vital. As bad as it is, I’m thinking now that I should just call the doctor and tell him I want off the Cymbalta for good and to please try something else, but on the other hand after seeing people say they have suffered for months with the withdrawal I don’t know that I could handle that either.

    I’m going to try to find that black seed oil mentioned. Is there anything else that helps with the withdrawal symptoms? I feel like a freakin drug addict having to admit I’m in withdrawal :(

    • Kimberly OHara March 25, 2016, 3:03 pm

      So sorry you’re having such a rough time. I’ve been going through the same thing this week. I ran out and had to go 3 days without Cymbalta. Absolutely horrible. I wish I had known all of this beforehand but when you’re suffering from chronic pain you’ll try anything. I too have the memory loss but only short term. I worry about you working with your memory loss. Please be careful.

  • Middy September 1, 2015, 4:41 am

    I did not realize that Cymbalta/Duloxetine had so many withdrawal symptoms when I started it. I have been weaning myself off due to insurance issues. My prayers to those who are suffering so. My dosage is down to 30mg every 3 days now-trying to keep calm knowing there are others having a more difficult time. No more pharmaceutical anti-depressants for me! I hope you all get through this…

  • Carol September 1, 2015, 12:32 pm

    Stopped taking Cymbalta 4 months ago. Was put on it for chronic pain. Taking it for over 5 years and when it stopped working for me I decided to stop taking it. I did the taper down procedure but it was still pure hell. I thought I would never feel better. Now that I feel the need for another antidepressant, I contacted my doctor and spoke with the receptionist, gave her the information for the doctor.

    She wanted details for the doctor and I was emphatic about NOT wanting to be prescribed Cymbalta again. No call yesterday. Called me at 8am this AM and you guessed it, the nurse said he wanted me to start the Cymbalta again, give it a few weeks and if it didn’t work then switch. After telling her I didn’t want to take it and what hell it was to stop, she insisted I try…

    I strongly expressed that it was not going to be an option for me she said she would talk to the Doctor and it would be Friday at the earliest I would hear back from them because they are starting a new computer system? Wow is all I can say. But NO WAY am I gonna just casually give it a shot…maybe time to get a new PCP!

  • Terri September 5, 2015, 11:01 pm

    I have been of Cymbalta for almost 2 weeks now. I had times where I ached a lot. Now I am constantly sneezing, have a sore throat, and am aching a lot. Have a loud ringing in my ears and crying spells. Has anyone gone through this?

  • Charlie September 13, 2015, 12:35 am

    My wife was started on Cymbalta for chronic knee pain and on if for about a year before having her knee replaced last September. Around the first of the year we started weaning her off the med with her PCP’s help. We tapered from the 60’s to the 30’s and then to the 20’s, every other day, every third day, then off.

    God, the withdrawal. She has now been off the meds for eight weeks and has had a migraine headache the entire time. Also has the GI disturbances, fatigue and other effects. Is there any hope other than waiting it out? She does not want to start other meds that will then have withdrawal symptoms coming off them. Please.

  • Gemma Lou September 23, 2015, 8:15 am

    It took me nearly a week before I realized all these crazy things I was experiencing were withdrawals?!
    • crying uncontrollably
    • hearing sprinklers in my head constantly
    • insomnia
    • feeling as though raindrops were falling on my arm in bed
    • the chills in my arms/my feet hot
    • loss of appetite
    This is one very scary and powerful drug. I thank God for my faith, as prayer has been keeping me sane. I just told my husband tonight – If I don’t feel better tomorrow, you’ll know I’m having a nervous breakdown.

    • Angie November 7, 2015, 7:11 pm

      I get that cold feeling in my feet. Also my edema is crazy when I go through withdrawals. I think we can all agree: “On it… good. Off it… very very bad.”

  • Lj September 29, 2015, 10:04 pm

    I tapered for almost a year down to one bead once a week! Was on 60mg for 7 years. It’s been 6 months since my last bead and was actually feeling better up until a month and a half ago, although the first couple months were hell!! I now have extreme anxiety, chest pains and depression. I have never had anxiety like this in my life!!! No longer have health coverage but saving money to go to Dr. and get on some other med.

  • Bel October 9, 2015, 11:10 am

    I am in my own little world of hell! Due to pregnancy I have had to come of Cymbalta very quickly. I dropped from 60 mg to 30mg for one week then cold turkey. It has been 7 days now and it’s hell. I feel like I’ve got the flu, every muscle hurts, I have constant nausea and diarrhea, let alone the sweats and chills. Then there are the massive bursts of anxiety that can hit me at any time and the fact I feel as if I’m going crazy at times and losing it even to the point were I feel so anxious/agitated it feels like I’m going to jump out of my skin.

    I’m trying so hard but this is so difficult. I work full time and already have 2 kids so as much as I’d like to just hide in a hole for the next month or two I can’t. I need some support from people that know how hard this is and what it actually feels like. My partner is fantastic and supportive but he will never really understand the hell I’m going through.

  • Vicky October 18, 2015, 10:01 pm

    I have really been struggling the past couple of weeks, but most especially the past few days. I ran out of Cymbalta a couple of weeks ago. I have had the pharmacy fax for a refill for times and I have left a message with my doctor. I’m exhausted, but can’t sleep. I’ve had a migraine for four days straight. Nothing will touch it. I’m sick to my stomach. I feel helpless, hopeless, irritable and depressed. I have ever symptom on the list.

  • SG October 28, 2015, 11:26 pm

    I have been on 60mg Cymbalta for about 10 years. It was very helpful and made me more functional after a long period of depression. I have been in therapy for about 3 years with a trauma specialist and I really do feel my brain chemistry has changed and my therapist agrees with me and there has been medical evidence that this is possible. I no longer see my my Psy.M.D., Chemical specialist and my regular doc who prescribes it for me has twice now told me to just take 60 every “other” day.

    No – that does not work so I am cutting down to about 30 a day on my own. I am feeling some physical effects but as long as the depression does not return I think I can handle it. The reason I am wanting to cut back or get off it is because I am having a hard time with energy and I think it is b/c there is too much serotonin now in my system. I am much happier since therapy and have made some substantial changes in my life and how I view things and I do think that now it is time to cut back on my SSRI.

    It was the epinephrine or norepinephrine that I think helped me to function better. The original Dr. that prescribed when I came to him being on Paxil and having very low energy said ” I wasn’t firing on all pistons and needed a kick” . It did just that. Funny that now the same symptoms that brought me to it to begin with are the ones I want to get rid of. I wish you all luck with your journeys on and/or off these medications. I know it really improved my life from day one and hope it is indeed true that I have changed my brain chemistry through this very hard but worth it work in therapy.

    See Dr. Bessel Van de Kolks work and books he is the father or stress/trauma therapy and it came out of the trench’s of the veterans hospitals and the frustration of the therapists there to make permanent, effective improvements with their patients.

  • Lynn November 6, 2015, 5:28 am

    I too have suffered severe withdrawal from cymbalta. It’s been 10 months since and it’s still a rollercoaster. I have tried moclobemide which was hell, tried paxil which was just as hell. I am now on 200mg sertraline with little improvement. Has anyone been on another AD that helped after cymbalta?

  • Lori November 13, 2015, 3:31 am

    I went on cymbalta 2 years. ago for chronic pain. It worked great but I gained 30 lbs. Went off cymbalta 8 weeks ago cold turkey because my liver enzymes were off the charts. The prescribing doctor never checked my liver enzymes and if he did it would never have gotten this bad. Withdrawal was awful and I am not completely d one ne with it but feeling much better. Right now my issue is the weight.

    Even after 8 weeks it is not coming off not even 1 lb. My self esteem is awful due to the weight gain. I am only 4 ft 11 inches and 30 lbs shows. To top it off I am going through menopause. If anyone can tell me about their issues with weight gain and if they were able to lose it I would appreciate it.

  • Krystyna November 24, 2015, 4:24 pm

    I took Cymbalta at 60mg for about three years and towards the end I upped my dosage to 90mg. It should be noted that I am a recovering addict, so I have been in treatment for substance abuse. Anyway, I had a relapse and didn’t take my medication for a few days before coming to my senses and getting some help (I was able to retake my sobriety). I had been debating coming off Cymbalta with my doctor for a while already and I was in withdrawal from substance abuse anyway so I figured I’d tough it out and cold turkey it.

    Honestly, it was extremely tough but I made it through the worst. My symptoms were anger, irritation, sweats, shivers, brain zaps, depression, crying spells, anxiety, tremors and suicidal thoughts. I pretty much felt like I should just end my life and constantly thought of ways to do so. Fortunately, the rational side told me that wouldn’t be the solution, of course! Everything was terrible and everyone was stupid for about 3 weeks.

    Before ceasing the medication I was not feeling much benefit to the drug. I would sweat bullets in below zero temperatures after a five min walk, my depression and anxiety had come back, I was numb to certain ‘nervous’ healthy emotions like romantic love or feeling the intensity of a great song you’ve always loved. Yeah, I felt good in some ways… when I first started taking it, the medicine hit me like a magic bullet, but it has exhausted its usefulness for me I feel. More side effects than living my life with a glow.

    I’m at about a month Cymbalta free now and I am feeling things I have not felt in ages. Music is better. My brain remembers how to make endorphins. I actually feel good again. In a nutshell: Cymbalta is no picnic to come off of cold turkey, but the results may be incredibly worth it for some like myself. Talk to your doctor first of course ;)

  • sandra November 26, 2015, 10:22 pm

    I went cold turkey over three weeks ago. I was taking 60 mg for about 2 years. I have so sick at my stomach the last week – brain zaps – now I know what that is. I have had sweats and at night. How long will it take? I will tell anyone – do not take this drug Cymbalta – it is horrible.

  • Monica Rose November 27, 2015, 12:16 pm

    This is how I went off Cymbalta. I’ve been ridiculed by a psychiatrist for it, but it worked, and I hope it helps others. I’d read about the horrible withdrawal problems, so I decided to go slow. Like, sloth-slow. I bought myself a little scale that measures down to mgs. I also bought a bag of empty gel capsules, and some little triangular bead trays.

    The first thing I did was dump a whole Cymbalta onto a tray, and found out just how much “stuff” there is in there. It’s not 30 mg.; it’s about 114 mg. That includes coatings and other inactive ingredients. I was really scared to be doing this, so I only took out three mg. I made up 42 capsules with 111 mg. of “stuff,” and took those for the next 6 weeks.

    For 6 months, I cut my dosage by 3 mg. After that, I got more confident, and cut it by 5 mg. Once, when I was kind of high and feeling really good, I cut it by 10 mg! What a daredevil I was! :-). I only ran into problems once, a couple of years ago. I was really, really sick with bronchitis, and it was time for me to make up more capsules. I was too sick to sit up, so I just stopped taking them.

    After a couple of days, I thought, wow, maybe I’m off the stuff for good, this is great! Then I started having weird things happen while I slept. I’d wake up and find myself sitting on the edge of my bed, trying to remember the name of somebody I hadn’t seen in years. So I made my next cut, and stuck with it. It took 4 years.

    Yes, that’s a crazy long time (you should pardon the expression), but it was worth it. (And of course it’s possible I was just lucky and wouldn’t have had any problems anyway. There’s no way to know.) If you’re a coward like me, this is the way to go.

  • Michelle November 29, 2015, 12:35 am

    I have been on Cymbalta for almost 11 years; I am 36 y/o and started taking it when I entered college. In 2007 (only about 6 months after I was on the drug) I became pregnant with my second child. Because it wasn’t planned I had to go off of the drug cold turkey. It was no picnic. I had a couple breakdowns and some pretty bad tremors, but because of the short time I was taking it I didn’t really experience many other side effects.

    However, I did notice that even when my moods leveled out I was still very easily irritable and angered…over stupid little things mostly. In 2012 I tried to wean myself off of the drug myself in order to become pregnant again. The withdrawals were so intense that time that I ended up checking myself into the hospital only after a week of being off of it. The side effects from the withdrawal were so bad that I didn’t want to cook for my family or take care of them in any manner…I locked myself up in my room for hours.

    That’s when I knew I had to go to the hospital. I was in the hospital for about a week, and of course they put me back on the Cymbalta and made me follow up with a mental health agency upon dismissal. In 2014 there was a lot going on. I was starting a graduate program, I was trying to get custody of my two great nieces, and amongst all that, I was given the opportunity to try for pregnancy again. So against my better judgment, and with the help of my psychiatrist this time, I once again weaned myself off of the Cymbalta.

    I only take the 30mg dosage, I have since 2006 with no increase in dosage because I had severe allergic reactions to the higher dosage. So my psychiatrist told me to start taking the 30mg every other day for a week, then skip two days for the next week, then start taking the 20mg dosage every other day for a week, then skip two days for another week, until I was completely off of them. Pure HELL!!!! The first couple of times I decided to go off of the drug I never experienced the “brain zaps”, but this time I got them will full force, and that was the withdrawal side effect that bothered me the most.

    Regardless of the agony of coming down from it, I still managed to relatively function in my graduate program and proceed with the custody case for my great nieces. However, towards the end of that first semester I was really starting to feel the stress of finals and court hearings and the pressure of wanting to have another child. I was starting to eat healthier, and exercise more, and take multivitamins…all to try to thwart some of the depressive symptoms…but it wasn’t enough to battle the hell my brain was going through.

    I lost the battle I was engaging in with the Cymbalta…it won once again by me THINKING that I needed it. So I started taking it again. It was a little too late for my graduate program though…I flunked out of it. After 10 years of taking the drug, and trying to be weaned off of it three times, I have noticed that my short-term memory is almost non-existent, and I feel that the person I was when I was an undergrad (confident, poised, intelligent, social) is no longer living here.

    I have become very socially impaired…to the point where I feel like I have the conversation skills comparative to that of a child’s. My relationships suffer greatly (my friendships & my romantic relationship) due to lack of communication, or the inadequacy of communication. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in December of 2014, and I still have not acquired a job, and that puts a lot of stress on me and my husband’s relationship because I feel that I just can’t work.

    Why? Because I feel that I am not able to interact with other people appropriately or even at all. I feel that this is what the Cymbalta has done to my. I heard of other people complaining about pains of the abdomen, kidneys, and joints. But the only other pains that I have had taking this drug are in my hands and in my right shoulder…but I just blame it on arthritis. I feel weak. I feel that I am not able to stop taking this medicine.

    There are so many negative reviews about it, but I just fear for my family’s well-being while I’m trying to go off of it. I am currently still seeing a therapist for my depression, but I stopped seeing my psychiatrist last year because she was trying me on different antidepressants before putting me back on the Cymbalta, and each of them had bothersome side effects on me, and she was telling me that it was just my mind physically manifesting those symptoms because I had “too much knowledge” of my condition and those medications.

    So I went back to my PCP for the Cymbalta. I just know that I don’t want to take this drug anymore, but sometimes I think that taking it is less damaging to me and my family than not taking it. But you and I both know that that is not the case.

  • Christina Smith December 26, 2015, 9:33 am

    Hello everyone! I’ve taken 90 mg generic of cymbalta for around 3+ years for fibro and back pain. It seems that the last year it isn’t working like it used to. I’m on my 3-4 day of quitting cold turkey. So far I’m experiencing terrible nausea at night, brain zaps, chest tightening, jaw clenching, leg cramps, fast heart rate, uncontrollable eye movement, stomach pains, irritability. I will honestly have to say the worst for me, out of all this, is the nausea (throwing up).

    I did have an unusual amount of energy today and felt better throughout the day… except for now which I can’t sleep an feel very nauseous. I’m going to try some techniques like meditation, trying to keep myself constantly busy to see if it helps with the other withdrawal symptoms throughout the day. I’m also going to start a journal to see what an how long this experience has been like. I might start a FB page with some of my entries. I’ll update FB info when I create it. Maybe this will help spread the word to other people BEFORE they start this medication.

  • Carsten December 27, 2015, 10:54 am

    Perfect description of Cymbalta. Pain patient for 10 years, we tried 30 mg for 35 days, 13 days into withdrawal. Worst medication I have ever tried. Got a blackout in my car … Even after 13 days off I will like crap. I feel like my brain, face and body has been soaking in Acetone, don’t know how else to describe it.

  • Jenn December 28, 2015, 12:40 am

    I am 26 years old and wanted to get off duloxetine (generic brand) because I plan to have children in the next two-three years and thinking ahead in my future. I have seen my doctor and one point I was taking 90mg and got very ill and ended up in the hospital and they cut me off cold turkey. I became even more I’ll and had awful thoughts. Anyways for the last year in a half I’ve been on 30mg (lowest) and been fine!

    As I brought of getting off this medicine for months to my doctor he always was opposed to it. I finally told him two weeks ago either u tell me what to do or I will stop myself. He is awful and I never plan to go back to him since I know now it was all for money. He told me to take it every other day for one or two weeks and then I’ll be good. I got a second opinion and they said that should be fine no symptoms. Well every doctor out there is wrong.

    Why don’t they try out the medicine and see what we have to go through. I just started an amazing job and today thankfully being Sunday I didn’t have to work, but I was in bed all day. I’m beyond dizzy, awful sweating and so sensitive to light and noises. Thankfully I have such an incredible boyfriend and family who have stood by my side but this is a horrible drug and I have been lied to by so many doctors that I do not trust anymore. I am on day 4 of no cymbalta and praying tomorrow is a better day.

    I can deal with most of the symptoms but the vertigo I feel is horrendous. I took Dramamine today and Advil it helped relive a bit. I’m praying this is the worst of it. I will not ever go back on this drug and the FDA will be hearing from me. This drug should be banned. No drug that controls you should even be legal. That makes actual drugs seem better even tho I do not do drugs. Praying this was the worst of it and each day from here on in will be better.

    I have to go to work tomorrow and pray I won’t feel like I did today. I read that it takes weeks or months to recover I don’t want to wait that long. I’m thankful to have people who are going through the same thing as me so that I have some comfort that it’s not just me. But I don’t wish this on anyone and if you are on this drug get off it.

  • Rachel January 5, 2016, 6:47 pm

    My brother has been withdrawing for months, and it’s been hard on the whole family. The withdrawal has given him what feels like everything listed about the side effects. I don’t know exactly how much he was taking previously, but the side effects are very extreme.

    He’s had anger, anxiety, crying spells, depersonalisation, depression, hopelessness, insomnia, irritability, suicidal thoughts (he said it feels lies there are outside forces trying to kill him), and memory problems. And that’s just from what I’ve heard about.

    Is there anything my parents or I can do as family members to help him through this?

  • peter January 16, 2016, 11:57 am

    I’ve started just 2 days ago reducing my cymbalta strength from 60mg to 45mg by opening the capsule and taking out the calculated number of balls. I tried going off this drug a bit over a year ago and gave up at the request of my daughter and other family members when I got so so low. Everything seemed hopeless and black.

    After reading these other cymbalta takers comments, I want to try and quit again. This looks like a case of the cure being worse than the illness. My Dr didn’t warn me about the side affects when taking it and withdrawing from it (e.g. sweating, irritation etc). Maybe he hadn’t read up on it sufficiently which is disappointing. I want to try being free of antidepressants. I’ve been on them for about 20 years starting with prozac, then zoloft, citalopram.

    I’ve always been suspicious they alter your mind in such a way that you get hooked and think you can’t go without them. Maybe I’m wrong but I want to try giving up on them and use exercise,yoga, and counselling with a psychologist to counter my blues. If there is anyone out there who can pass on some tips for coping with the withdrawal symptoms and come through the other side, please help with replies. Thanks.

  • Margaret Bowling January 19, 2016, 9:01 am

    I’m currently trying to wean myself off of this terrible drug. I have been on it for almost two years.I didn’t even want to start taking it, but, basely was talked into it because they said it would help with my depression and fibromyalgia. I can no longer afford it. Plus, after awhile I don’t think it really helped much at all. I didn’t want to increase dosage after reading in detail about it.

    My head is killing me at the moment. The other night it felt like my brain was shaking. Also, I can’t sleep, nausea, lack of appetite. I wish I would have listened to my gut feeling and never started taking it. I just pray I’ll get through this. Good luck to everyone else who is going through this nightmare.

  • Renee January 25, 2016, 7:39 pm

    I started using the “wean down” method a few weeks ago from 20 mg. I do get the brain zaps quite frequently and the nausea, but so far, none of the other symptoms. I’m not completely off of it, down to about 10 beads in each capsule daily, but after reading all of these posts, it scares me to death to be off of it completely. I am determined to do so and will continue on. Also, not having medical insurance currently, I have no choice but to discontinue the product. I wish you all the best!!

  • Lois February 3, 2016, 2:04 am

    I also gained 35lbs while taking Cymbalta, and had weighed 110lbs all my adult life… I am 56. Nothing about my eating had changed, and I exercise a lot. Has anyone gained weight? And if so, did you lose it when you came off cymbalta? Would love to hear.

    • Kate May 26, 2016, 8:02 pm

      Hi Lois, I found that Cymbaltia changed my metabolism. I’d always had a high metabolism and had been underweight in my teens and twenties but on this drug (and other antidepressants too) I battled to keep my weight down and was constantly gaining weight (as much as 3 stone at one time and counting) and then having to go on a strict diet to take it off again only to put it back on.

      This went on for 12 years and it never occurred to me it was a side effect of anti-depressants. I thought it was just a natural part of growing older or of having had a child – until the last 5 months when I have been off Cymbaltia and anti-depressant free for the first time in 12 years. I’ve got my old metabolism back now as not only am I no longer struggling to keep my weight down but I’m losing weight without trying to.

  • shelley February 4, 2016, 8:14 pm

    I am currently attempting to get off of Cymbalta. I did not find it so difficult to reduce my intake milligram-wise, until I hit the 20mg to nothing point where I am now. Since there is no 10mg dose, my doctor said to start taking 20mg every other day for a week and then I’d be done. Simple as pie. Well, I am here to tell you that it is absolutely not simple as pie.

    I am currently in my bed at noon with tears streaming down my eyes, in a house that is a complete mess, unable to function. I was not expecting this. Everything makes me cry. I am of no use to my children, who are fortunately grown, but still look to me for guidance. I am dizzy, feel faint, just want to bury myself in my blankets and sleep. Personal hygiene is a distant memory.

    I can barely get it together to make myself something to eat. And the tears will not stop. I feel angry at a medical system that so easy prescribes potent psychotropic medications to people just experiencing situational depression. I am by far in worse shape right now than I ever have been feeling depressed. This is absolutely debilitating. I cannot leave the house in this shape.

    I do not want to see or be seen by even my own children until the tears stop. I just want to be able to stop crying and get out of bed. I suggest people think long and hard about taking antidepressants. There are other ways to fight off feelings of depression, through lifestyle changes and the like. Don’t decide to take a psychotropic drug unless you have done thorough research and have tried every other alternative.

    Because this is not where you want to end up. I am especially discouraged to read from others that their withdrawal lasted for months. I am angry at never being forewarned by my doctor that there would be significant withdrawal symptoms from Cymbalta. I am angry enough to think of filing a lawsuit against Eli Lilly. I’m sure they are comforted by the fact that the withdrawal symptoms are so debilitating that the majority of people withdrawing from Cymbalta are not mentally or physically capable of getting a lawsuit together.

    However, I will not forget how I am feeling now, and when this is over and I can function once again, I plan to be very vocal about the evils of this drug, and warn all that I can not to take it. And if there is a lawsuit to join, I will join it. Did I mention that anger is also a symptom of Cymbalta withdrawal? If that anger causes others to want to lash out at Eli Lilly, then I will be happy once again, if only to see the massive lawsuits take hold.

    • Vicki November 20, 2016, 2:24 am

      Shelley, I read your entry from February 4, 2016 and am wondering how you are doing now. I related to your comments; most particularly the house being a complete mess, being unable to function, not being able to be provide guidance to your grown children, the struggle just to maintain personal hygiene, and feeling like your are completely debilitated. Thank you for your comments. They were very meaningful to me. Can you please post an update?

  • Scott February 6, 2016, 1:48 am

    I recently was prescribed a 30 mg dose for 8 weeks and then upped to 60 mg, which I have been taking for the past 6 months, for GAD. I have been able to skip doses for 2-3 days and not notice a difference, but today I missed my 4th day in a row and became the most irritable I have ever been. Mad at lines, traffic, forms I have to fill out for my new job…

    I normally consider myself to be quite patient, but I was just so annoyed by every little thing today. It’s interesting that I never heard about duloxetine withdrawal until I looked it up today! I’m seriously considering stopping this drug, although it has helped tremendously with my anxiety, I’m not entirely sure I want this building up in my system, as I have only been taking it for 8 months (and actually made one month’s prescription last two months).

    I’ve also wondered why I’ve been experiencing night sweats recently and now it makes sense. I haven’t had the brain saps, but have had the really odd feeling of what seems like quick bursts of increased pressure in my head and neck, along with just a small bit of tinnitus. I’m actually more annoyed at my MD for upping my dose and not informing me about this withdrawal syndrome…

    I feel like he got my body hooked on a substance. So far my symptoms haven’t been terrible, but I don’t want to feel like I did today (or worse) for an extended period of time :(.

  • Max February 9, 2016, 6:02 pm

    I have been on 60 mg of duloxetine and 2700 mg gabapentin for a few years now for diabetic neuropathy in my feet. I was having depression and wanting to just end it all. Thinking that it was the gabapentin, my doctor decided to slowly drop the amount of gabapentin. So I am now down to 600 twice a day and am still feeling lost and suicidal.

    About a week ago I took it upon myself to stop the duloxetine. I felt good for the first day and then no sleep without very graphic horrible dreams, feeling as of exhaustion, sweats, moody and extremely depressed. I unloaded the guns and separated the ammunition. After a week I had to take 60mg of duloxetine and an Ambien to get a nights sleep.

    I am still going to try and get off of this horrible drug but will have get a Dr’s help. Please get help if you want to get off of this drug. I would have never started taking this knowing what I know now. I will accept the severe foot pain over the loss of my sanity any day of the week.

  • Lisa February 21, 2016, 3:46 pm

    I took cymbalta for only a month for fibromyalgia pain. I had no positive results but horrible side effects: extreme fatigue, crazy vivid dreams, and severe feelings of sadness. My doctor told me to take it every other day for a week. That’s when the real trouble started. I thought I felt bad while on it.

    Going off it has been the most difficult experience in my life. Found myself curled up in the fetal position crying way too often. Went back to the doctor, who told me to go back on it every other day then after every two then after every three… I have been sicker than a dog, and we’ll be switching to the bead counting method.

  • SJ February 27, 2016, 3:03 pm

    I have Fibromyalgia (took over a year for a diagnosis) the doctor gave me Duloxetine 60mg for the pain in my legs and sleeplessness. I was only on them about 3 months and they destroyed my sleeping pattern completely, I was only getting about 2-3 hours a night on them. I told my doctor I wanted to come off them so he gave me a week’s supply of 30mg and I ran out of them 4 days a go.

    I felt fine the first day without them and slept quite well, the next day I suddenly became very dizzy with whooshing feelings inside my head, I haven’t been able to go out since as I feel dreadful, my older children have had to take and collect my younger daughter to/from school. The doctor did give me amitriptyline to replace the duloxetine but I don’t want to take them.

    I’m sick of all the tablets they’ve tried me on over the past 18 months as none have worked. I still have some of the 60mg tablets left and I’m considering doing what other people on here have done and take some of the beads from them hoping to wean my body off them better. If I feel this bad just after a few months on them then I really feel sorry for the people who have been on them for years.

  • karen March 8, 2016, 4:04 pm

    So glad I found this site and so grateful for all the comments. I was put on Duloxetine for chronic back pain because I had to stop Amitriptyline. I found I had to quickly increase the dose of Duloxetine to 120mg to combat the pain. Although I was sleeping much better without pain, I quickly became aware of muscular pains in my legs and arms and the feeling of bubbling in my muscles, severe leg cramps, fatigue and headaches.

    Within a month my back pain started to come back and I was given the all clear to restart Amitriptyline once I had stopped Duloxetine. I reduced the dose over a three month period with the blessing of my GP. I have now been off it for three weeks and feelings depersonalization, tearful, have angry outbursts, sweats,headaches and have had UTI symptoms for 2 weeks frequency and urinary incontinence, I was given antibiotics which seemed to work but my urine specimen came back clear?

    Another withdrawal effect maybe? Hopefully it won’t take too long for these symptoms to subside. I am so grateful to everyone’s comments at least I now know I’m not going mad or imagining things. On a positive note my back seems better since I stopped the awful Duloxetine, so hopefully won’t have to go on the amitriptyline either.

  • Heather March 14, 2016, 4:03 pm

    This is my second attempt to get off Cymbalta. I have been on it about 5 yrs at 60 mg. Tried to get off 2.5 yrs ago, and I wasn’t prepared for the HELL that began… so I just stayed on. The beginning of 2016 I started a nutrition program that CHANGED my life! So, I thought I could handle the withdraw better. It is better. But, still HELL! My husband looks at me like I am nuts most of the time, (not helpful). But, I am determined to get off this evil drug this time! Contact me if interested in nutrition.

  • Ursula Yulis March 23, 2016, 1:32 am

    I am 43 yrs old and been weaned off of taking 30 mg of cymbalta. I’m not sure when I started taken it (I need to ask my Dr.) Anyway, I was taking it due to joint pain. This is day 6 from the withdrawal and a couple of days ado I begin to feel the brain zap sensation. Needless to say that feeling is SO ANNOYING! I really feel it when I’m walking. I’m still sane, so I’m thanking GOD for that!

  • Kimberly OHara March 25, 2016, 2:13 pm

    I am so glad I found this. I’ve been on Cymbalta 90 mg for many years. This week I ran out. I missed 2-3 doses. The first day was no big deal. But the past 2 days have been horrible!!! I would have never imagined that missing that little of a pill could make me feel like hell. I literally thought I was going crazy. Found this site this morning as I sat hugging myself to keep from coming unglued. Finally got my medicine about an hour ago (big mixup at Pharmacy was the delay).

    I wanted to knock my husband down to get the bottle of meds to take it. From reading your posts I don’t ever want to go off of it. Everyone on here has greatly suffered. You almost need to be in a hospital to go off of it. I want to thank you for sharing your stories on here as it helped me greatly. I pray that all who have posted on here are all well on their way from the horrible side effects of withdrawal. God Bless.

  • Des March 26, 2016, 7:43 pm

    Currently going thought the withdrawal symptoms and so far have had the following: brain zaps on and off, nausea, over emotional, loss of appetite and last but not least diarrhea which is absolutely killing me as this is happening 4-6 times a day. This drug helped me in my darkest times but never again will I put Cymbalta in my mouth ever again. I treated my depression with admitting there was a problem and using CBT and seeing a psychologist are key to long term success.

  • Sinead April 4, 2016, 11:21 pm

    On 120mg a day alongside 30mg sertraline. No effect on my depression and anxiety other than horrendous drenching night sweats. So doctor removes the sertraline. Still experiencing the night sweats so I’ve stopped the Duloxetine (Cymbalta) cold turkey over a week ago. I’ve gone from sleeping 12-14 hours a day to being an insomniac. The dizziness is incredibly debilitating. I considered tapering but I’d mentally just had enough of taking medication that had no positive effect.

    Doctor told me to stay on them even though they weren’t working, now I realize it is because of the long list of withdrawal symptoms and he’s hoping once a psychiatrist picks up my referral its their problem. It turns out anyway I’m most likely treatment-resistant so the sooner I rid my body of the chemicals the better good luck everyone.

  • Carrie April 9, 2016, 1:11 pm

    I wished I had read this before I desperately took Cymbalta. I have 90% of the symptoms of withdrawal. I only took it for 4 months and it is an evil drug. I would rather deal with neurological pain. The shakes and vomiting were the worse. I loved the sleep assistance and the dreams. That helped me work on stuff I have buried. Going to find more holistic ways during withdrawal. I quit cold turkey 6 days ago from 60mg nightly. The shakes have reduced, yet I have vomited for two days. Saltines and ginger ale rock. Peace be with all.

  • Gail April 12, 2016, 4:17 pm

    Hello everyone, and thanks for all of your comments. I have been on Cymbalta 120 mg for about two years. I developed serious anxiety and was binge eating, gained 35 lbs, so my doc changed me over to Paxil. She reduced the Cymbalta and started the Paxil at the same time. I don’t want to go without an antidepressant because when I try to live without them I become severely depressed.

    I’ve learned this through bitter experience. So she reduced the Cymbalta to 60 mg for a week, and yesterday was my first full day without any Cymbalta at all. I have had some symptoms: extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, one day of diarrhea, and edema. But the anxiety is gone, and my appetite is returning to normal. Today the edema is better in my hands and neck.

    I haven’t had the brain zaps that I noticed before if I missed a dose, which is nice. I feel lucky that I haven’t had a harder time of it. But I have to wonder if some of the severe depression that has been reported may be a combination of Cymbalta withdrawal and the return of the depression that led to needing it in the first place?

    And maybe some of us are more sensitive to the psychotropics than others? It’s a complicated problem. So far I haven’t had any problems with depression returning. I will update once I have been off of the Cymbalta for a longer period of time, though. Things could change this week.

  • Tracy April 13, 2016, 9:06 pm

    I’ve been on cymbalta for about 3 or 4 years. I have had these God awful withdrawals before when I had to get a refill and my insurance was requiring a prior auth and my doctor wasn’t getting it to go through. Anyways, I was thinking of tapering off just cuz I wonder if I still need it, but after reading all these posts, I’m really scared to stop taking it. I don’t know what to do.

  • Tony April 14, 2016, 7:51 pm

    My situation is that I started suffering anxiety attacks after injuring my back about 17 years ago. The fear of basically feeling a knife stuck in my lower back, and twisted, began a cycle of fear that has lasted this long. It isn’t always that bad, but it never seems to completely subside. I’ve recently tapered off Norco (normal dosage, no addiction issues) after taking it for several years.

    I am currently taking up to 1mg alprazolam per day with about 10mg duloxetine. I don’t seem to have the issues that some have reported, but I am also taking a very low dose. My advice is to pop open your capsule and literally count how many single “grains” of medication you are taking. It sounds crazy, but that is what I did to bring my dosage down to a level that would help without all the annoying side effects (the skin on my face was bright red, peeling, itchy, and felt like it was falling off.)

    Besides my sensitivity, the medication did seem to help. So two quick points (sorry this is so long winded.) First, I think the dosage for some people may be way too high. One should only take as much as needed, especially with something as strong as duloxetine. Second, if you are quitting, MAKE SURE YOU TAPER!

    This drug (like many) literally takes over for producing what your body isn’t doing very well naturally. If you quit cold turkey, your body doesn’t have the time to kick up its own production of brain chemicals. Do what I pointed out and crack open your capsules. Count how many grains there are (about 80 in a 30mg cap) and start to cut back, one grain at a time if needs be. Give your body a chance to catch up. Hope this helps.

  • J April 24, 2016, 3:21 pm

    Please help me. I had to quit pretty much cold turkey to do important medical testing and it feels like I’m dying. I was on 60mg for about a year (I was on Zoloft for a year before that) and I had to go immediately down to 20mg for 5 days and I will have to quit cold turkey tomorrow. I have had insane fits of rage and have broken many objects in my house.

    I do not feel like I am going to harm myself, but I need help. I don’t think I can continue feeling like this–I have to take my old dose but there is no way in hell I want to go through this withdrawal twice. Is there a center or something I can go to?

  • Jenni April 29, 2016, 11:10 pm

    I have read many many articles and comments like this and always said that if I ever managed to get off Cymbalta, I would share my news with others trying to get off this nightmare drug. I am now about 2 months since my last dose of Cymbalta. I had several attempts at getting off it as it didn’t work for me – tried tapering slowly and quickly, counting out the beads and cold turkey – had horrendous withdrawals each time – the most debilitating was severe nighttime panic attacks which then led to panic attacks on public transport.

    I was recommended a great psychiatrist and he prescribed Lovan (Prozac) to help me get off Cymbalta and it has worked. Now I just need to get over the Prozac withdrawals… but for me they are nowhere near as bad and are mostly physical rather than mental which I personally deal with better. Good luck everybody.

  • Karen May 13, 2016, 5:47 am

    I just want to comment because reading everyone else’s stories helped me. I took cymbalta 60mg for the past year for worsening anxiety and fibro pain. (I was on lexapro for 7 years prior to the cymbalta because of anxiety beginning around age 25). Anyway, the cymbalta helped at first but after just a few months I could tell I wasn’t myself. I was ruder than normal to my family etc. but stayed on it cause I felt I needed something for the anxiety and depression I was having.

    Well a year went by and I had begun to accept changes in my life that triggered the need for the cymbalta. Then a few weeks ago, found out we were pregnant with our second child. I tapered on my own by opening the caps and eyeballing about half the beads, put them on my tongue and saved the other half for the next day. Did that for 2 weeks. Not much side effect noticed. Then the next week, again eyeball technique.

    Only took a forth the beads. Did that only a week cause I was ready to get off this shit. So then I would eyeball taking about a sixth of what was in a cap. So then I started having dizzy symptoms after 2-3 days of that lowest dose, so then I just said… F this! If I’m gonna feel bad, I’m not going to drag it out. So that was 7 days and some hours ago. I’m not going to lie to you, first 3 days was hell…

    Severe dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. Then day 4 a bit better, day 5 was able to get out and walk 2 miles… Day 6 sore as hell from walk. I used to walk 3.5 miles a day but hadn’t walked in 4 months due to severe upper respiratory infection, piggy backed by weeks of severe 24 hour morning sickness. I have autoimmune disease similar to lupus. In fact they first diagnosed me with lupus. That’s a whole other story…

    Ok, so then for some reason day 7, I had a relapse. The dizziness and debilitating fatigue came back. Getting a shower and dressed was like running a marathon. But tonight began to ease up starting around 10pm. Anyway, I hope this doesn’t last much longer because my husband is getting the brunt of my bad mood behavior. I’m short with him mostly. Talking makes my head hurt worse. Also, no one else has mentioned sneezing.

    I sneezed all the time the first 5-6 days. I have kept my OB informed of my process because I also needed nausea med. He said most people can’t come off cymbalta, but to me I could not do that to an unborn child. My eyes are open wide to this world now, and I will NEVER take a psych drug ever again!!!! If my brain hurts this bad coming off it. Imagine what a baby would endure being on it.

    Also, I have not had any depression or anxiety for the most part. I am feeling more calm than I have in years. Also in the past few days feelings are returning, like happiness… And I feel like myself. Like who I used to be before these Meds… So I look forward to a few more weeks down the road when my brain has healed more.

    Good luck and God bless all who are in the throws of this withdrawal process. Don’t forget how strong you are! You can do this. The Lord above promises to help us in our time of need. Even when you are too sick to pray, He knows what you are suffering thru.

  • jk May 15, 2016, 5:14 pm

    I am starting cold turkey today to get off 60mg’s a day from the generic Cymbalta. I woke up Day 2 with a migraine from hell, so I took 800mg of Ibuprofen and it’s helping. I was RX’d Cymbalta for chronic pain having 2 herniated discs in my back and some mild anxiety.

    I have never felt bad while taking this drug in fact it may have helped balance things out a bit, but for pain I am not so sure it’s really helped. The reason I wish to get off this medication aside from cost, is I’m scared of what the heck is this drug doing to my brain over a long period of time.

    I am afraid of quitting this drug in the way I have because my job requires focus, professionalism, and quality assurance, so I will closely monitor my side effects. I am looking forward to being free of it.

    • jk May 17, 2016, 12:50 am

      Well I’m going on day 3 of cold turkey, I didn’t sleep well at all but functioned just fine at work. I am reading a lot of people’s reviews about how they are having a horrendous time withdrawing, I think a part of that is some people took Cymbalta for a serious psychological reason and symptoms are showing back up mixed in with withdrawal. So far I have experienced a migraine day 2 and a mild headache today but nothing more.

      • jk May 17, 2016, 5:17 am

        Ok, it’s still day 3 – 11PM I am having a dry cough that came out of nowhere as if I have a cold. I don’t know if this is a symptom but I have read something about people having flu-like symptoms.

        • jk May 18, 2016, 12:34 pm

          Day 4 -5 – Still have a dry cough though getting better. For 3 days now I have slept 6 hours and last night not a single bit of sleep – just gotta get through one more day of work. I feel like some of my anxiety that I haven’t seen in over a year is coming back though manageable. Luckily tomorrow I can sleep all day =P. Pro – Tip: to self; Don’t quit this kind of medication while working – weekends ftw!

          • jk May 21, 2016, 11:46 pm

            Day 5-7. I am still experiencing bad insomnia and now feeling pretty emotional like crybaby at the little stuff. I hope that goes away lol. I haven’t noticed any of my previous anxiety coming back at this time. The good is… I cannot believe how much energy I have, I used to nap all the time and I was tired all day long thinking I was just a lazy unmotivated person.

            I have not been napping at all during the day and I was outside today Saturday washing two cars and the front lawn. I feel like Cymbalta at 60mg a day was making very lethargic.

  • Emma May 17, 2016, 5:22 pm

    I have been tapering down from 120mg (which I was on for just over 5 years) to 30mg for a few months now. I had no withdrawal effects at all until I tried to reduce from 30mg downwards. Last week was hell. I’d spend pages writing about the withdrawal symptoms. Just let’s say I had just about every symptom going! So…I researched all the forums devoted to this awful drug and decided to take out 10 grains a week until I reduced my dose to nothing.

    Yesterday was day one of 30mg less 10 grains (FYI they are incredibly hard to separate and then put into gel capsules!). Today was day 2. I felt fine in the morning but around 2pm the withdrawals came back. I went to bed for a couple of hours then woke up with flu like symptoms and extreme fatigue still. I am now relegated to the sofa watching crime shows!

    I’m waiting for my husband to come home and make me dinner! Anyway, any suggestions to get through this hell would be greatly received! FYI, I’m also on 300 mg of quetiapine, 400mg of pregabalin (trying to taper off this nightmare stuff too – not now though!). Plus a whole lot of supplements, healthy food etc. HELP HELP HELP!!

  • Kate May 26, 2016, 7:03 pm

    I was on Cymbaltia for 4 years and came off it last year. The drug had stopped working 2 years previously and I had finally got well from Depression with therapy. So I reduced my dose from 120mg to zero over the course of six months. Within 2 weeks of taking the final dose I started experiencing terrible anxiety along with extreme mood swings. I’d swing from elation to depression in a matter of hours.

    After a few months the mood swings turned into a constant depression. It’s been 5 months since I took the last dose and the anxiety has finally gone but the depression remains. I’m so sick of it and don’t know whether to start taking another anti-depressant or whether to assume it’s duloxetine withdrawal and wait it out.

  • Fikret May 29, 2016, 5:50 pm

    Hello all, I was on cymbalta 60mg for over 9 years. Week ago I have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and went in to chemotherapy. My oncology doctor advised me to quit cymbalta since it may reduce effect of medicines that I am taking.

    It has been a week since I quit and believe me including side effects of chemotherapy my life is living hell. I am wondering how long would be the side effect of Cymbalta. I am also investigating link between cymbalta and pancreatic diseases. Please drop me an email at fzduvan[@]hotmail.com. Fikret

  • Cynthia June 10, 2016, 6:02 pm

    I have been on 60 mgs of Cymbalta for 7 years before that I was taking Effexor. Taking Cymbalta has some pretty bad side effects but I didn’t complain because of the fear of coming off of it. I have missed doses for 2 or so days and been tearful, headachy, and emotionally unstable.

    My doctor and I discussed tapering and I went from 60 to 40 then 40 to 30 etc. I found that skipping a dose by 24 to 30 hours before the jump down helped. For example, once I had been taking 40 mgs for 3 weeks I skipped my dosage. Once I started feeling the withdrawal I took the 30 mgs and my body accepted the lesser dosage easier. My period on 30 mgs was four weeks before moving to 20mgs.

    I have not made the jump from 20 to breaking open the pills to titrate down, but I intend on employing the same strategy. Coming off cymbalta, my side effects have reduced so much (it gave me nystagmus, tremors, and an oddly cold nose as well as other issues), I am looking forward to being off of it for good.

  • Nana June 11, 2016, 9:32 pm

    I’ve been on cymbalta for a while, was able to go from 60 to 30mg with no problem, however four days ago, I called my pharmacist to get a renewal and found that they were going to charge me $80 for a month’s supply. Well I have coverage and usually only pay $29. I had 2 caps left, so I figured it was enough til they sorted out the cost.

    I take letrozol for cancer, and this week gone, was put on Crestor for high cholesterol and found out that I am also prediabetic. Since I’d already spent almost a whole day without the cymbalta, I decided to take it the next day. Yesterday, I was told that I would once more be paying the lesser amount for these capsules. Well I haven’t taken cymbalta since four days, and today I am experiencing mild zaps and a bit of brain fog.

    I also started to drink apple cider vinegar with a bit of honey and warm water twice a day. As the day is progressing, the zaps are getting bigger and louder. So I am considering opening a capsule and taking maybe 15mg or 10mg, but since I am relatively calm, I will wait for a few hours and try to stay off the cymbalta. I had tried to stop cold turkey about a year ago, but only was able to reduce the dosage from 60 to the current 30 mg.

    I am hoping that the Crestor might help this time, so I will try to manage for today, and will post again tomorrow with an update. One more thing that I just realised may have some bearing on my situation. I started sewing again a couple of weeks ago, and I find that I am not dwelling overly about the zaps and other withdrawal symptoms.

    I am very grateful to have found this site today and hope for the best for all who find the need of blogging here. Thanks.

  • Dianne June 23, 2016, 6:46 pm

    I have tapered from 120 to 60 to 30 of Cymbalta and have been counting beads for about 235 days since then. I am down to 25 beads. I also tapered off of Abilify over 6 mths and finished about 3 weeks ago. I have hit a wall. I have been suicidal before (attempted it three times about 12 years ago). I have severe headaches, dizziness, chest pain, confusion and other symptoms.

    I am so depressed at the moment that I am once again suicidal. I don’t know if it’s withdrawal or lack of anti-depressants. My shrink wants me to go through ECT or at the very least go back on anti-depressants. I’m at a loss as to what do. I’m afraid of the side effects and withdrawal from anti-depressants and would prefer to not go back on them. I don’t know how you pushed through the depression!

    • Naomi July 6, 2016, 3:31 am

      Please use all the support of your family and friends to get through this difficult time. They may not understand completely, but love will get you through.

  • William July 1, 2016, 10:59 am

    I’m in my second week of cold turkey. I know it’s not wise but I’m furious at the fact that I have been owned by a drug. I am stubborn and refuse to get back on a lower dose so that I can taper off. Why was this drug approved if it’s so dangerous? Another case of big pharma shadiness?

    I hope it hasn’t destroyed my brain. I’m trying to graduate from college and then pass my board exams. The side effects seem to get subside at times but I find myself unable to concentrate or sit still. I am continuously at a point of near rage. I want my life back!

  • Stacey July 2, 2016, 9:17 pm

    Reading all these comments I feel so very sorry that your medical system and Dr’s are clearly failing you. If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms your doctor should have put you on a medication to piggy back so you aren’t experiencing these. Whenever patients are tapered off Cymbalta it is paired up with another medication to assist.

    Any psychiatrist would know this. It shows me just how many GP’s are prescribing antidepressants and who clearly are not following their patients well enough and just don’t have the knowledge of these kinds of meds to be utilizing them as their treatment strategies. Anyone who is on an antidepressant should be followed closely by a mental health professional. My advice would be to seek these specialists.

    • Barbara September 5, 2016, 2:36 am

      I am very interested in what to take before tapering off cymbalta, will you please tell me what to try? My Dr is not aware of anything that might help me with withdrawals – I tried once but wound up in the ER. Told to get back on cymbalta to stabilize and I am afraid to try again.

  • Maddie July 3, 2016, 5:49 pm

    I took 30 mgs of Cymbalta for over 10 years and increased to 60 mgs in the past year. In January, I decided to stop taking it and spent 3 months weaning myself off. I must say, even after trying to be forewarned about the effects of withdrawal, it still caught me by surprise. Thankfully, I know that during the hardest of times I must hold tightly to my Faith. Even with a foggy brain, prayer and meditation are possible if you keep leading yourself back to them.

    Almost immediately after being off the Cymbalta I felt like I couldn’t breathe while lying down. It’s a smothering feeling and happens often during the night. I bought a large wedge shaped memory-foam pillow to sleep on and that has helped with breathing. Underwent a sleep study last week to make sure it wasn’t sleep apnea and it wasn’t. I also have pain and numbness in my arms, hands and neck during the night and wake often to reposition my body.

    That and the nightmares. Went to Urgent Care two months ago thinking I might be having heart failure because of tightness in my chest and edema in my legs and feet. Also, a sudden weight gain around my middle that makes it uncomfortable to wear anything tight. I’m 62 and heart disease runs in my family, so I never thought to blame the medication withdrawal. But tests are okay there, too.

    The memory problems have been so bad I feel blessed that I am retired and don’t have to try and cope constantly with the stress of the outside world.
    I have struggled with my temper and feelings of paranoia, to the point of thinking that my doctor and his nurse were talking down about me outside the exam room. So, (in case it might help anyone) I think these new issues for me are symptoms of Cymbalta withdrawal:
    -Tightness in the chest and neck
    -Edema and discomfort/swelling of the abdomen
    -Orthopnea (difficulty breathing while lying down)
    -Anger and paranoia
    -Pain and numbness in hands and arms
    -Memory loss

    I have been so tired of the struggle I was considering going back on the Cymbalta!! Thanks for all of you that have taken to time to tell your stories and post comments of support for others. I read somewhere that it might take a month of healing for every year on this drug. I’ve been off for 3 months and it might be another year for me. But, thanks to this blog, I am NOT going back on Cymbalta.

    Best wishes and God bless everyone that fights this battle.

  • Naomi July 6, 2016, 3:29 am

    These comments are very helpful. I am planning to start tapering off Cymbalta tomorrow. I have been on 90mg since my miscarriage in March and was on 90mg for 4 years before falling pregnant. I managed to taper down to 60 during the 3 months I was pregnant, but after a silent miscarriage, depression set in. I actually blame Cymbalta for losing my baby. I want to try and fall pregnant again and I am determined to get this insidious drug out of my system once and for all.

  • Kathy July 19, 2016, 2:25 am

    I am 62 years old and I was on cymbalta 120 mg a day for about 10 years. I only tapered off for two weeks which probably was a mistake. I should have taken longer. I have been completely off the drug for about a month now and the withdrawal symptoms are unbelievable. I have gone from extreme anxiety to constant, uncontrollable crying. I’ve experienced anger and rage over little things.

    This is not my nature. When I am able to sleep I have terrifying nightmares. I am exhausted all the time. I have drenching, pouring sweats day and night. I have migraines almost every day. I can’t think straight. I’m terrified that I might have brain damage.

    Some of the symptoms are easing up and some are getting worse. I had hoped to feel much better by this time. I honestly don’t know how much longer I can take this. Thank goodness I am retired as it would have impossible to go to work like this. God bless my husband for being supportive.

    I have been reading these forums for weeks now and my heart goes out to everyone going through this hell. It helps to know I’m not alone but it also hurts to see so many people put in this position by greedy pharma companies and misinformed doctors. Cymbalta should be taken off the market.

  • Annie August 18, 2016, 1:16 am

    I am on Day 31 of weaning off of Cymbalta. I’ve gone from 60mg to 40mg, now on 20 mg. I have been on this drug for 7 years, and had I known the withdrawal symptoms I would face I would have NEVER agreed to take the medicine in the first place. I was prescribed it for nerve pain, and while it has been great in keeping my pain under control, I have found other means that are just as helpful, like physical therapy.

    I do ok the first few days with a dosage decrease but then all of the sudden it hits me and my body is like “hey, wait a minute!” The headaches are excruciating, the nausea is debilitating and constant, shaking, brain fogginess, dizziness, I feel like my equilibrium is off. I feel like what I imagine a drug addict feels like in withdrawal; no wonder they compare it to heroin.

    I am 25 years old and dragging myself out of bed and into work every day has been extremely difficult. I’m not one to complain, so many of my coworkers have no idea that I’m going through this, just a few close friends. I try to keep even just an ounce of positivity and keep looking ahead to the finish line when this will all be over. Thankfully my husband has been very supportive and encouraging.

    Reading on these forums lets me know that I’m not alone in this terrible process of withdrawing from Cymbalta. Let’s all keep plugging away, we will get through this!

  • Claudia August 19, 2016, 3:15 pm

    My PCP sent me to a psychiatrist for management of my meds four months ago. New psychiatrist immediately increased my Cymbalta from 60MG to 90MG! (Not sure why – and didn’t know to question it). One month later, he increased my Cymbalta to 120MG!! Made connection between Cymbalta and short-term memory problems, abdominal pains, hair loss, exhaustion, headaches, uncontrollable crying, excessive sleeping, and day and night sweats.

    At my request, we reduced dosage to 90MG, but after a week, I called my PCP and we began a tapering program which was probably way too aggressive. I took my last Cymbalta one month ago. I have been bed-ridden and sicker than a dog for over two months. I have no support from friends, family, or doctors because everyone thinks this is psychological – not physical.

    I have over 60 withdrawal symptoms and do not think I could have hung in here without other peoples’ experiences. Thank you.

  • Scott August 20, 2016, 3:48 am

    Thank you for sharing. I’m coming off Cymbalta 90 mg using taper off method. Personally, On a scale 1 to 10, I give withdrawal a 4. I get excessive sweating for no reason and anxiety shots. I’ve learned to cope and self relax but I do not like it at all.

  • tws September 2, 2016, 10:10 pm

    OMG thank you. Especially about feeling soulless and like you may be premorbid schizophrenic. I am 5 days off after tapering to 30 from 60. My doctor is sending me to psychiatrist. He wants me to start taking 20 but my symptoms are not as bad on a scale of 1-10 right now… 2-4 but I have experienced 10 the first time and was in the ER and up to 8-10 this time but could talk myself down. I have done my share of hallucinogens so at least I had that experience to know it was not ME but the drug/withdrawals. I don’t want to get back on. Thanks for you writing it was helpful TRYING TO PUSH THROUGH!!

  • Shaun September 5, 2016, 4:58 pm

    STRUGGLING. Hi I’m really feeling low & really can’t see why other than my depression has returned. I was on Duloxetine 30mg for around 8 years. A year ago I started to taper @ 5% reduction per week. I used jewelers scales to carefully manage the taper by weighing he beads as there were around 260 in a capsule.

    I really believe I did my best on the taper & felt no side effects at all. 5 weeks have now past since my last capsule containing a single bead. I really thought I had it licked, but now my mood swings, lethargy are back along with darkening thoughts. I am confused, surely the meds effect on me would have been long gone by now.

    I’m struggling with, do I stay off them & risk a deeper depression? or do I go back on them as advised by my doctor & my family. I felt fine by enlarge when on Duloxetine if not quite me, at least the dark cloud was gone & better than the suicidal feelings that accompanied the depression. Has anyone else seemingly got off this drug OK only to have long delayed withdrawal.

    I feel alone & need to take comfort to either continue this battle. If I can’t then I will need to start taking them again. Shaun.

  • Ashley September 8, 2016, 12:05 am

    I have been continually put on and off medications for the last two years with no break in between. When the psychiatrist and Doctor put me on it, it was two week and I decided “no more”. Instead of weaning (I’ve usually done ok quitting cold turkey on such a short time) I quit. I felt as if I was going to die.

    I was having anxiety so bad, I thought I was having a heart attack! I was weak, I had to stay in bed, I couldn’t sleep or really eat and I felt like throwing up all the time!! After a long holiday weekend of going threw this, my psychiatrist prescribed Prozac to help with the weening process. Today’s day one and although I’ve felt a little off its way better then cold turkey.

    (Was on 60mg 2 1/2 weeks, now I split the beads in half in some apple sauce and paired it with 40 mg of Prozac.) I’m hopeful. To anyone who’s going threw this terrible experience and you want off the med, but can’t handle the terrible hellish withdraw, ask you doctor for Prozac to help withdraw. My prayers are with you all!

  • Megan October 9, 2016, 10:39 am

    Hi all I think these sites are great to see others go through what your are gong through we are not alone. I have been on antidepressants for many years but cymbalta for two weeks and finally coming off them my doctor has recommended For 10 days every 2nd day 10 days every third day and for another 10 days every fourth day. The countdown begins. I can’t wait to be drug free. The side effects on these drugs are horrible. Insomnia. Headaches. Anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and list goes on. I’m praying to God for no relapse…. Anyone still on this forum???

  • Elizabeth Gross October 21, 2016, 8:27 pm

    I’m reading your article about Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms and want to add that I took Cymbalta for 2yrs to help combat my blood cancer symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms mentioned are what my daily life was like with ET (Essential Thrombocytosis a chronic progressive Leukemia in the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Disorders) pre-Cymbalta. Imagine living daily with those feelings!!

    Withdrawal for a few weeks to a month (which I’m currently going thru as I prepare for a new chemo medicine) is nothing if you compare it to that. Cymbalta has been a help to me, minimizing those ET symptoms. I encourage others to try it, even if the ending, for a bit, feels misearable. Be happy you don’t have to live with those feelings forever. -e @ourtaylorstory

  • Shannon November 17, 2016, 1:01 am

    I have been off for 5 months now and still don’t feel anywhere near normal. I feel like I have brain damage, I have struggled to hold a job, my personality is off-putting to say the least. My anxiety is through the roof. I can’t concentrate to even watch a 30 min t.v. show. I feel like my life is in a downward spiral for sure and have to keep telling myself that it will get better.

    I’m scared to get on any other medications after this experience so I struggle to get through each day with fibromyalgia pain. I’ve tried several natural therapies with no real relief. I’m sad this is what my life had become all from a drug that was supposed to help me.

  • Paige November 21, 2016, 4:44 am

    This has been so helpful to see, and also concerning. Side note, I had an issue tapering off of prednisone earlier this year with extreme withdrawal symptoms. It affected my work. Now, after 12 years of being on Effexor and Cymbalta, I have been crossed over to a mood stabilizer. It seems to be a good fit. Under a Doctor’s care I have tapered off the Cymbalta.

    On day 5, the symptoms are terrible. Extreme mood swings, uncontrollable crying, irritability to the point of rage almost, dizziness, lethargic, fatigue, vertigo, itching and it goes on. I am worried about returning to work tomorrow, as we have a sensitive situation going on that I don’t want to over react on. I am concerned this will LAST longer than to weeks as I have been told to expect. Glad to know I am not alone.

    Is there a point at which I should call my doctor and let him know my or any symptoms? Is there anything to do besides getting back on – not an option. Just wondering.

  • Abby December 5, 2016, 12:09 am

    I could never get off Cymbalta despite the weaning process. I, eventually, switched to Effexor because I was told it’s easier to get off of. When I decide I want to come off a different SNRI, I’ll request to be hospitalized. My closest friend is going through Cymbalta withdrawal right now and has read they have detox clinics for the drug now. Wonder if it’s from all the class action suits against Eli Lilly?

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