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Weaning off Cymbalta: What Doctors Don't Tell You

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What Happens When You Stop Taking Cymbalta?

If you're taking Cymbalta for depression, and are thinking of stopping your dosage, please read about my experience first.

Cymbalta worked wonders during my bout with depression. After one year of taking it, things got a lot better for me and I was able to cope better with stressful situations. My doctor and I planned to have me taper off the drug. His plan was to have me take the 60 milligram capsules every other day for about three or four doses, and then reduce to 30 milligrams. As things "got better," he said I should take the 30 milligram doses in larger intervals (every two days, every three days, etc.) until I could completely stop taking it. He said there is really no protocol on how to wean off the Cymbalta. "Each person is different," he said, and it all depends on how your body reacts to the reduction in dosage.

This is what happened to me.

Withdrawal After Stopping Cymbalta

I am now on my third week post-Cymbalta and I've basically been in a living hell. I've experienced severe headaches, disorientation, constant nausea, and flu-like symptoms (vomiting, fever, chills, sore throat, and diarrhea). I've had to talk to my employer about it because I have missed too many days of work, which has been embarrassing for me.

My husband decided to do a lot of research on what other people experience when tapering off Cymbalta. There are actually many websites on the Internet with people complaining about the same problems I've been having! Particularly, the Cymbalta Withdrawal Forums, where we read stories and got advice from folks who've lived the same nightmare.

How to Feel Better When Going off Cymbalta

The bad news is that people have varying withdrawal symptoms for differing lengths of time. However, some people have been successful at the tapering-off process and have enthusiastically shared their experiences. Two huge tips that seem to work for some people are the following:

  1. Getting a low-dose prescription for Prozac, which is also an SSRI but has a longer half-life than Cymbalta. Prozac also has very minor withdrawal symptoms when stopped completely.
  2. Do not wean off Cymbalta by taking it every other day. Cymbalta only has a half-life of 12 hours, which means if you skip a day your body basically goes into shock from lack of the drug. Instead, gradually reduce the dosage but continue to take it daily. This can be quite difficult because Cymbalta only comes in 60, 30, and 20 milligram time-released capsules. Please browse through the Cymbalta Withdrawal Forums for more information about other folks who've been through this.

Replacing Cymbalta with Prozac worked for me, and in about a month I was able to wean off anti-depressants all together. If you are a Cymbalta user, considering taking it, or know someone who is taking it please make sure you are aware of the potential withdrawal symptoms.


Charles Taylor on November 22, 2016:

Have gone from 60 to 30 to 20 mg. My Dr did not tell me about the withdrawal issues and i have went through almost everything except brain zaps. Anxiety and anger are the worst so far and it got so bad he wanted to increaxe my dosage. I opted for an increase in my mirtaxapine and he agreed. So far much better. Hope it works when i go cold turkey in 25 days.

Joe on November 01, 2015:

Been on Prozac for two months now and anxiety is way down. Don't feel great but at least the horrors are not with me now.

RTalloni on June 29, 2015:

I started looking at this topic due to a useful post from "Dr. Manny" on violence and antidepressants: I still do not know whether Roof had a prescription or used the drugs illegally, but I remembered reading of "unexplainable" violent crimes committed by otherwise decent people. (To be clear, I am not saying that Roof's crime was unexplainable or excusable on any level.)

Anyway, when I came across this hub I was glad to see another person sharing their horrific experiences with the drug(s) and thought I would read through all the comments because they were so consistently similar. Wow. That will not happen today. What a lot of trouble people have had--it's heartbreaking.

After agonizingly watching a relative give herself to antidepressants and all the unbelievable-in-this-case ensuing consequences I've done a lot of thinking about this topic and continue to support posts that at least give everyone a heads up about the side-effects that too many doctors avoid talking to patients and/or their families about.

Again, glad to see this opportunity for people to examine the issues. As one commenter put it, "It helps to know I'm not alone."

To see reports on the connections just search "violent crime antidepressants" to get more info than you'll have time to read.

Joe on May 09, 2015:

Is this the end? I tied Cymbalta again for two weeks and abruptly stopped. Almost died but made it. I did this with Wellbutrin also last year. These drugs made my anxiety worse. Wife says turn to God. I am still anxious. If it works for you whether it be god, drugs, meditation, yoga, just do it.

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Unhappy As No Clam on April 04, 2015:

Almost 10 years ago, I went through an ordeal where I was unreasonably put into a mental hospital following a VERY invasive spinal surgery, and because they claimed I was "suicidal" (wasn't though) and because I happened to be a minor at the time, I had no say. I knew that I had to cooperate with them & placate them while I was there, but was pretty pissed off when they basically forced me to go on Cymbalta. I say force, because I knew if I did not comply, they would keep me longer. Even though I explained my reasons & they were very logical & reasonable ones. Mostly I did not want chemicals in my system, especially on top of the massive amounts of pain killers I was on for the surgery (this was literally immediately after the surgery, as in I was taken to the mental hospital directly from the other hospital). They didn't really listen or care.

Anyways, long story short & hopping to a while later, I'd been home for a little while, probably a few weeks or so. Can't remember. Decided to just stop taking it because I was completely & utterly unaware of any resulting hell I would suffer from abruptly stopping. Oh, did I mention that the "doctor" didn't bother to give me all that much information about this horrible drug? Yeah, well, I'll tell you this.... I think any doctor who prescribes that medication should lose his/her license unless it is 100% absolutely necessary for the patient to take it. Especially if a single one of those doctors receives ANY compensation for pushing the medications onto patients. By that I mean how drug companies tend to give special bonuses & incentives to doctors who promote their specific drugs. Those people not only should lose their license for something so PLAINLY evil & wrong & untrustworthy, but they should go to jail & subsequently be forced to take said medications for an undetermined period of time, then abruptly stop. If that's not enough, we could hope maybe someone just beats them up daily. I think any less would be an injustice. These people do not deserve to be called doctors. Doctors want to help people, to cure what ails people. They are not drug dealers who push extremely dangerous, horrible drugs on people under the lie of them being "medicine". Last time I checked, medicine helped people. They didn't kill them or destroy them, unless they were fighting something extremely fatal like cancer. I just can't respect any jerkoff who pretends to be a healer & instead does this.

Pisces on January 23, 2015:

before I take any drug I go to people's Because they know all the side effects. Lots of dangerous drugs including over the counter ones like Benadryl. Tremendous amount of information. They are not big fans of big pharma but they know their stuff.

Joe on July 27, 2014:

Have not taken anything in 6 months now. If I can make it without taking anything I will, If not I will probably die,

SPD1 on June 17, 2014:

Paxil withdrawal was beyond dangerous! Skipping my details, I've only been on cymbalta 21 days at 60mg. I've read enough and refuse to go into another trap! I have become completely lathargic and cant motivate to do anything, not convinced it was required to begin with but assured it had to withdrawals, right. I had started back on Prozac after years of no depression meds because I 'knew' Prozac & feared Paxil like concerns from anything else. Short of: I'm finished w/it at only 21 days. I have 20mg Prozac, given short dosing time cold turkey, reduce and thus stretch out time in my system or Prozac for a period and walk away?

Joe on June 14, 2014:

I don't give or take unsolicited advice. I would not rush into taking a bunch of supplements.

maybe you need to consult a higher power.

imdisgusted on June 10, 2014:

To Lauren, I would lay off those supplements. If you look on your prescription bottles, it warns against "herbal products" and these, even in the form of herbal tea, can cause side effects and reap havoc in your body. Also your doses are very high, be Very Careful. If you must, do it with the approval of your doctor.

Lauren on May 30, 2014:

Ok so I cut cold turkey 4 days ago. I had major crying spells, anger, mad depression, nightmares along with those horrific brain/body zaps. Here's what I've done and this has saved my life tremendously!!!!! HGH dopa 400, GABA 750 mg, flax steel oil 1000mg, ultimate woman vitamin, ginseng complex, fish oil 1400mg, B-complex 50, evening primrose 1000mg, St. John's wort, vitamin d 3 10,000 IU, Happy Pills by SAMe, B12, 5-HTP, ginko biloba 120 mg....I taken a Xanax as needed when I'm emotional. I know this seems like too much but it's all supplements and today I feel back to my old self. I will never taken cymbalta again and just want my life back. Try going to a vitamin shop and they can tell you what supplements will help to increase your serotonin levels. Good luck!!!!

Joe on May 15, 2014:

I hear what everyone is saying but why did everybody start to take it? Pain, depression, anxiety. Depression is hard work. I don't have answers, I have waves of emotions every day. Still no psychiatrist visit. (not for lack of trying, 3 Docs contacted and no one sees new patients) Are we looking for help that is not there? Are any drugs part of the answer? I don't know and neither does anyone else. I still never experienced the brain zaps.

There are no easy answers and sometimes the answer changes, such is life.

Marc on April 30, 2014:

I got this evil drug as replacement for venlafaxine (effexor). Effexor allegedly helps with depression in 80% patients. For me it didn't. I couldn't tolerate the high dosage (over 150mg) so I was on 37.5mg, as I was unable to quit this drug that didn't help me.

After four years I got a bad episode of major depression. My doc prescribed CYMBALTA 60mg to replace the low dose venlafaxine.

The drug helped to calm down my panic anxiety, but for unbearable cost. Going off Effexor 'awarded' me with anorgasmia (inablity to reach orgasm) and CYMBALTA caused my blood pressure go over the roof - to point that I actually felt painful pressure in my head. It took away my will power, made me super lazy and tired, and killed my libido completely. Now doc told me to quit and get back on Effexor. I hate the fact I have to get bad of Effexor which i hate too - but compared to Cymbalta it's a happy island. So I will temporarily take it.

I feel deceived and harmed. I agreed to Cymbalta cause I felt very very depressed. I wouldn't agreed to another SNRI with clear state of mind. (while Effexor in doses over 75 is norephinegenic to serotogenic 1:30, Cymbalta is 1:30, which makes it 3 times stronger on norepinephrine inhibition (equivance rate is 60mg cymbalta = 150 venlafaxine). I guess NSRI doesn't mix with my SSRI's well. I thought my doc is aware of interaction, but apparently, it's up to my experience to tell, that is, horrible.

I can't believe I'm going to withdrawal from this poison. I make no plans for the upcoming weeks. I'm expecting nightmares, brain zaps, agitation, but most importantly depression and anxiety - which is, the reason why I even come to see the doc.

After 17 years of treatment I am losing faith in this trial-and-error "science".

caligirl69 on April 24, 2014:

My experience with Cymbalta: I started taking it 5 months ago because my Psychiatrist recommended it due to acute depression over my Son being killed in accident. I started noticing side effects that I didn't like, 1st was I wanted to drink alcohol and actually craved it which is so not me. I'm usually the designated driver. 2nd was that I couldn't stop eating sugary foods to the point regular foods no longer sounded good to me and wasn't worth the calories to eat because nothing satisfied me until I ate something sugary, so I gained 25 pounds on Cymbalta in 5 months. 3rd is I realized one day I wasn't having very many emotions, I couldn't remember the last time I laughed, everything seemed a little dumbed down & I had absolutely no motivation to do anything or see anyone. So anyhow I started on 60mg and then decided to wean myself down to 30mg because I didn't like all these side effects I was having. I started feeling better after about a week of feeling very emotional and not sleeping & having heachaches, but at least I was feeling "something". I started doing research online about the withdrawals and see this is highly addictive, people described it worse than them coming off Heroine, that's crazy. It made me realize I don't want this poison in my body anymore, who knows what kind of damage it's doing if it's this addictive. I decided on my own to take 30mgs every other day for about 1.5 weeks which seems fine at first, then I stopped all together about 5 days ago. Wow now I know what "brain zaps" are, I get them all the time, like 10 every hour, even if I just move my eyes. I get jolts of electricity through my body (like when you get a rush of adrenaline from being scared). If they didn't last 1-2 seconds then I would be worried about falling. I'm having crazy weird vivid dreams (and I'm not normally a dreamer), and even though I'm tired at night, once I get into bed, I can't sleep for more than a few hours at a time. I do find some positive in this. I feel like I'm thinking a little more clearly in between my brain zaps, my alcohol craving totally went away, I started craving real food like hamburgers and salad, not just sweets anymore, and I have happy and sad emotions. I'm starting to feel like "me" again. Just waiting for the side effects to go away. Man this is no joke this drug, I can't believe they aren't required to tell patients of how addicting it is, and I wasn't even on it as long as most of the people out there.

underland on April 13, 2014:

You folk have all gone before me and no doubt many will come after..... About to begin journey of rediscovering myself as over the years, using Cymbalta for Depression and Fybromyalgia, tiny pieces of self have disappeared. No longer enjoy exercise,interaction,sexlife,love,topical conversation,coking,reading,gardening. Should have read all this sooner. Thank you to all above contributors for advice and hope to beat this evil that seems worse than our original evils we were hoping to attend to....Wishing us all life! Passion,love! The ups and downs are normal. Better to feel than be a "bot" as my daughters call them.Best wishes to all....

Kathryn on April 01, 2014:

I started talking Cymbalta back in November 13. It was amazing for stopping the heavy back pressure and leg pains. Three weeks ago I had back surgery and decided to go off the cymbalta because the surgery should have corrected the need of this pill. So I stopped it cold turkey. Wow what a roller coaster. I am glad I found this site. I have never had any bad experiencing stopping any medications before. I started searching the internet about the side effects after experiencing the vertigo in the face and lips. (This scared me the most) I have also had the dizzy spells, blurred vision, loss of appetite (which I thought was related to all the morphine) and WAY TOO EMOTIONAL (which was the second BIG trigger). If someone said boo I would fall apart. It has been 3 weeks off and I am hoping to tame these emotions soon. I undergo neck surgery tomorrow. Luckily I have not experienced any of the other symptoms, but I also take Trazadone, Zanaflex and currently Norco, which may subside some of the others. Thank you so much everyone for your experiences. Hopefully we all get through this!

Joe on February 28, 2014:

Back down to 30 mg. Still have not seen a psychiatrist, i called one 2 months ago and they have not taken me as a patient and I have insurance.

Reluctant to choose a different one who I don't know a thing about.\\

How youse guys doin?

terrified on January 29, 2014:

I have been on Cymbalta for 7 year. Yesterday when I went to my chiropractor he informed me that Cymbalta is very addicting. I came home and started my research. Now I think I have a-lot of symptoms from being on this drug. After read these post I am terrified to detox. But know I have to do this. God please help me.

imdisgusted on January 16, 2014:

normally i would not share such personal info. publicly but if this can help someone else suffering as i have/am, i am willing to do it. i have been totally off cymbalta for approx. 1 month (not sure of exact day). i have read that it can take up to 3 months to fully get it out of your system. the initial symptoms are gone, much less - extreme nausea, extreme headache, not sleeping and/or vivid nightmares when i did sleep. however now i am crying at the drop of a hat, very emotional, suffering severe leg/muscle pain, possibly similar to RLS (restless leg snydrome), and angry, sometimes hostile feelings. NOT suicidal, but alot of despair, anxiety and fearfulness. my therapist still supports me staying of any other type of drug until the 3 months are up at least. i was on the antidepressants for years and years, so it could be reasonable that the W/D symptoms are not going to disappear overnight. i do cry and scream into my pillow nearly daily. i take NO alcohol or illegal drugs. i do recommend the actual weaning method i used (above), with as much time in between as you need in lowering the doses. i have done extreme, thorough reading on this subject and will attach a link that my be helpful to some of you. i pray the worst is over and that the emotional stability i hope for will come. i do take xanax for my anxiety, that is all. also use heat paks, heating pad, cold paks, hot baths, etc. i will report back around April with an update. here is a link, Good luck and God bless. P.S. - also i am having mouth sores/irritation that could or could not be related, jaw tension and working with dentist on the matters.

imdisgusted on December 12, 2013:

i might as well add my 2 cents. i went from 90 mg. to 60 mg with no problem. when i went from 60 mg to 50, 50 to 40 and 40 to 30 was an entirely other story. i was violently sick with nausea and severe headaches that were debilitating. no brain zaps thankfully. i then did something different, determined to get off this poison. i emptied 30 mg capsules into an empty pill box at approximately 1/2 dose, making it 15 mgs for 7 days. i did not bother trying to count the beads, i went by how even the doses looked. also i had people pray for me specifically for those problems. i just finished the week and had no problems. i am now emptying 20 mg capsules into equivalents of 5 mgs for one more week and then be done. i tried diluting them in OJ but they clumped so i just dump the beads directly onto my tongue and drink something. i will post again if i have any problems, but if not consider all has gone well. good luck to all trying to get off this poison.

sa on November 26, 2013:

Thank you for all this help, I was misdiognosed with depression when in fact l have Bipolar and black dog said l am bipolar 2 and private phychiatrist said l am bipolar 1- get it together- is what l thought-after going to black dog they saw me once and that was all it took to say no you havnt got depression you have bipolar-was diognosed prev after spending 1,000 on seeing another well to do doctor who said l have depression- my symptons never changed but all three docs opinion did-so to hell with them all-l have now been told l need to go of cymbalta and get on lithium,since being on cymbalta l have no imagination now have an irregular heart beat ,dropped from 60 to 30mg and taking it every second day- no more shit into my body ,have changed diet and excersise this is the best medicine and laughter-good luck -

Linda Albers from Reston, Virginia on September 24, 2013:

I have been on Cymbalta for about 5 years. I am currently taking 120 mgs nightly. Cymbalta has been a miracle drug for me. However, it is so expensive, even with insurance, I can't afford to be on it any longer. I have fibromyalgia, have osteoarthritis in my hands, back and neck with disk problems, I'm a Type 2 insulin dependant Diabetic, and have suffered from Agoraphobia with panic attacks for 30 years. I am also on Tramadol and Flexeril for pain. Since taking the Cymbalta, I am a changed woman as far as the agoraphobia. I am able to go just about anywhere I want, even took a trip to Florida to see my granddaughter when she was born, went to see my inlaws that I have never seen their house, and was able to see my granddaughter graduate from high school in North Carolina. These things were precious to me, as I had not been able to see my children's homes before Cymbalta. My panic attacks are completely gone now and I wish I had found it sooner. The only real side effect that I have is I am tired all the time, but I also have hypothryoidsm and take meds for that too. I had to retire from my awesome job in 2007 because of my fibro pain. I am now on Medicare for disability. I have met my prescription benefit max and have to pay for the Cymbalta out of pocket. Even with insurance, it costs me $95 a month. My family doctor and my rhematologist both have been giving me samples so that I can continue with the 120 mg dosage. I have decided to cut back to 60 mgs a day just so I can be covered for the entire year in 2014. I read all I could on weaning off of this high dosage and was almost scared to even try it. I got some 30 mg samples from the doctor and started taking 90 mgs last week. So far, I have not had ANY side affects whatsoever. No dizziness, no nausea, brain zaps or any of the horrible things I've read about. I plan to drop the 90 down to 60 in the next 3 weeks. I was given even of the 30's to last a month and my doctor suggested I wait that long to go to the 60 mg. I am not as tired and don't have to take such long naps in the afternoon. I go to bed earlier but that's a good thing. I hope to lose some weight on the lower dose as well. I hope that all of you trying to get off of this medication has lots of luck and few symptoms so that you can be free to try something else that works but doesn't have the side affects.

Joe on September 15, 2013:

Judy, Best to you. If I was a prayer i would pray for you. My anxiety is so f***ing bad. Especially weekends. I have no psych doc right now and am contemplating seeing one. Cymbalta doesn't seem to be helping the anxiety. i have not felt comfortable in 9 months. Enjoy the football if you can. My Pirates have given me one of my few distractions. I used to love a lot of sports and music but it takes everything not to completely fall apart. I still have hope but...... Hopefully someone loves you Judy and you love someone. It makes a difference.

Judy on September 08, 2013:

I have read this entire blog. I've followed people's journeys. It is so nice to learn from others. Joe, your story really got to me. Thank you for baring your soul and being clear and honest about deciding to back on the cymbalta. Kind of sucks to have to choose which kind of hell to live in.

I've have an extensive pysch history along with medical problems esp fibromyalgia. Adding cymbalta to my other psych meds put me over the top to finally not think of suicide and death wishes every min. Won't go into long details. I'm not recommending anything for anyone. Not even encouraging someone to try anything. Personally i feel to get relief we have to be in the right place at the right time with the right healers.

My life was really unmanabable last sept, that i up and liquidated my apt, friends, and almost family to live in arizona with a friend. Trust me, it wasn't good after her mother, who had a stroke moved in with us. I went to a chiropractor who uses the Palmer method for adjustments. He did this toggle adjustment and my energy flowed the first day. I could even hear in my left ear. After four months of adjustments and her mother's subsequent problems, i got my act together, left az and returned to wisconsin.

My head was on straight. I moved to a new apt building and so on. The cymbalta was constant before and after AZ. The change was the chiro adjustments. I felt and feel whatever he did fixed the problem not symptoms. So it stands to reason, if i'm no longer incapcitated by depression why not go off the cymbalta, which i cant afford anyway.

After discussing it with my psychiatrist we started to wean down the cymbalta. Dr ben was my doc before i went to az too. I was on 120mg. It's taken three months and last monday i stopped the med. i thought i was having a free ride. My brain thinking has cleared. Like someone else said, i had the moment of clarity to see the conditions of my apt. I've been able to do something about the mess.

Like Joe, my fibro symptoms have flared up. What good is being awke and alert off the cymbalta if my body physically can't do anything with the exta energy. I had decided that being off the cymbalta was more important than having pain. I could be macho. It's been almost a week since the last pill and just today i am having every withdrawl symptom that's been listed. Took a while to sort everything out. I was down to 30mg/day. About two hr ago i took 60mgs. It doesn't make logical sense that the symptoms should flare up.

But they have. I'm able to walk now. The brain and body freezes or shivers are lessening. I may need to be open to keeping on low dose of cymbalta. Maybe being in a little lower ambition and so on AND less pain and fibro fog is the trade off and staying on the cymbalta. The expense, my general want to be off meds period may have to give way to rational thinking.

There was a woman up the list who blew up at her wonderful grandson because he didn't want to eat dinner. She was devastated. This past week i've been thinking that my cat would be better off without me or me without her. Scary. I didnt see that coming either. Thank you for sharing that story too, nana. My cat, sunshine is very, very grateful. She is a rescue too.

Obviously i just found this hub today. I'm glad i read it to the end. Not sure if it is still active. Thanks to you i have a name for the brain shivers. That falling on the floor isn't because i'm clumbsy and need to exercise more. That wanting my cat to go to heaven is a sign of irrational thinking. That it is ok to rethink my position and not stay in black and white mentality. That Omegas can help...not sure why that was a new revalation, but it was, and i have it in the house. What is odd is that i've gained 15# in a month while weaning down.

Be that as it may, football season is here. I love watching strength and agility plus the Green Bay Packers win. Thanks for all of your stories. I'll be calling dr ben and my psychologist tomorrow. Hope that you are feeling better. Hope i do too.

lisa on July 09, 2013:

I dont have regular health insurance at the moment, so I dont have just one doctor that im under thr care of. I decided once and for all that I couldnt be on cymbalta any longer. I decided to go into the clinic and see if the doctor there could help me get off. I was taking 60 mg, so she told me to do 30 mg for 14 days. I was fine until the 15th day. I started getting all the withdrawal symptoms people talk about here. I have a refill of about 30 days worth of 30 mg of cymbalta and need suggestions on how to taper off . I started taking out 10 pellets from the capsule, and taking that. Each day I was going to decrease 10 more . So today I took out 20 pellets from the 30 mg capsule. Could I take out 30 pellets tomorrow, and keep decreasing until im at zero pellets? Im so worried and it seems any doctor I talk to doesnt have much advice or understand the withdrawals that we experience. Any advice would be appreciated. I am also wondering if decreasing by 10 each day is safe, and, or is it better to decrease by week?

Joe on July 04, 2013:

I have had a few good days but today was a relapse. I have GAD and depression. GAD causes stomach issues. I just need help and will take meds if it helps. I have had 3 major bouts of anxiety in 1997, 2006, and this year.

Cymbalta had the least side affects. Will report back.

NoLikey on June 29, 2013:


Now that you're back on it, have you improved?

Would like to know, as I quit all meds 5 mo. ago and it left me so depressed that I've been considering going back on as well...

Joe on June 18, 2013:

Back on Cymbalta........ my goodness gracious.

Jillian on June 05, 2013:

Try taking a more holistic approach.

I've been messing around with mental illness, psychiatry, and psychotropic drugs for 10 years. I agree that there is no clear way of getting off these medicines. Everyone is different. But, tapering off in a [prolonged] every other day or decrease in milligrams is just about as good as it is going to get.

Make sure to keep hydrated, be cautious of what foods you are putting in your body, and get some exercise. Pharmaceutical drugs are temporary fixes - NOT - solutions. You have to understand that there is a lot of business and marketing being promoted by "BIG-PHARMA". A lot of it is over-exaggeration. How many of you have worked in retail and seen the same type of marketing?

What I am saying is - the mind is so powerful. You can change it. But you have to be willing to put in the hard work that takes into "retraining your mind". This is something doctors DO NOT tell you.

Pharmaceuticals do not create long term solutions - they only create customers. That is the cold hard truth.

There are no tests for serotonin. So how does a doctor know if truly your serotonin levels are off? They don't.

Good luck.

joe on June 02, 2013:

Deep anxiety and depression is back. insurance changes in a month. Can't do anything until then. Wish we could help each other.

R.E. on April 19, 2013:

I found an easy method to come off of Cymbalta.

R.E. on April 19, 2013:

I found an easy method to come off of Cymbalta.

SRD14 on February 22, 2013:

I was on 60mg of Cymbalta for 4 years due to depression/anxiety problems. I began having migraines about 2 years ago. My neurologist wanted to me to first get off all meds so we might could eliminate my meds being the cause of my chronic migraines. He wrote me out a 2 month plan... Take 40mg (2-20's) for 2 weeks, take 30mg for 2 weeks, take 20 mg for 2 weeks, then take a 20mg every other day for two weeks. This whole process has been pure hell for me and my family! I took my last pill 2weeks ago. I had 2 days last week with the brain zaps, nauseous, freezing, crying none stop, basically felt like death. Once I got to feeling better I hoped that maybe that was my last time to go through that. But I was wrong, again this week. I am on my 2nd day of having all these side effects. My brain zaps are so intense I can not function. I have tried the Omega3 and do not see that it has helped any. I have to miss work at least 1-2 days a week because of all this. I don't know what else to do!!! When I am having these symptoms, I feel I have no control over my body! I am such an emotional basket case. I need advice!!! It is not fair to my family or my job. I just want to feel normal again!! I need help!

Anon on January 07, 2013:

It helps to know I'm not alone.

Being a confident young man (read: arrogant as f-) I decided to just stop taking Cymbalta since my life has become quite pleasant and I didn't feel it necessary anymore.

Great idea me.

I've been having intense 'brain shivers' as you put it, as well as pretty nasty dizziness for the last day or so.

jen on January 04, 2013:

I took it for extreme pain a couple times. Last time I had some difficulty with the withdrawal- very, very dizzy and landed in the hospital once with dizziness. Eventually the withdrawal went away. It is hard to say whether it affected my sleep positively or negatively- net net, it did help with pain, though. I was considering going back on it, but have been avoiding it for fear of the withdrawal. The first time it was effective for extreme pain. The second time-- not as much. I am trying to treat my pain with holistic means, but if you are desperate and out of other options, it may be worth a try. I, too, fear side effects and distrust big pharma's reporting of side effects (for good reason), but only the people who have a negative view will wind up on this blog generally and it is hard to gauge the number of people it has really been a net benefit for.

Joe on December 31, 2012:

Most of this shit is bogus. We talk about extending mental health help for violent people. So bogus, there is no effective network for most. This whole field is really just guessing, placebos, might work, might stop working, consult your doctor, what BS!!!!!!! Good comment on the difficulty of seeing a mental health professional, and most of the time they are more screwed up than their patients.

It is all a guessing game. Good luck.

lucy0100 on December 31, 2012:

Just got out of inpatient care for taking cymbalta. I was taking 90mg for over 5 months and started having suicidal thoughts. My pcp thought I needed to go into a treatment facility to get med change quickly. When I was in group, there was a lady who was on cymbalta and had asthma. She was taking a large amount of steroids when she got in her head to take some pills to go to sleep. Her pcp thinks it was related. That also happened to me. I had bronchitus and had taken some predisone and then started down this dark path. Doctors just let that go over their heads, because I was on depression meds for a reason, so that couldn't have anything to do with it. So they decrease me 30mg a day and added 100mg of pristiq. Any thoughts At this point I was to get off everything and see how I do with some cognitive therapy.

Msinewick on November 28, 2012:

I was put on cymbalta 7 years ago. I started on 30mg and over the years eventually ended up on 120mg.

I had a complete mental breakdown and was put in a crisis stabilization unit for a week. They told me they couldn't believe my doctors had me on such a high dose for so long. Which was making me act even more crazy and felt completely out of control. The psychiatrist told me that the cymbalta was giving me way too much energy to my brain which was making me irritable and having so many mood swings. She started weening me off the cymbalta and put me on Zoloft as well.

This has been the worst 2 months of my life. The center sent me merrily on my way with no guidance of what was going to happen but to try to force me to go to an outpatient program.

My pcp said its out of her expertise. And you basically have to be the president of the United States to get seen by a psychiatrist regularly.

I have also had horrible brain Zaps and it happens all over my body. I get dizzy and disoriented. I don't even know where I am half the time. I'm nauseous all day long and have the chills constantly.

I have no guidance and its scaring me because I'm home alone all day and am afraid something is going to happen to me.

I'm so angry and frustrated with the lack of appropriate care for mental health patients. It's ridiculous.

Leslie on November 13, 2012:

Soo happy to have found this sight! I'm happy to see that I am not crazy & what I am going through, going off of this medicine is not going to be me forever. I have been on it roughly 4 years & decided it was time to go off. After gradually cutting back, a lot slower than what my doctor recommended, I am now no longer on it. It has been 5 days & horrible. I wish I had known how to count the little things to cut back slower. I started to notice when I was doing every other day, 30mg, I was more irritable on those days. So I decided that I was done. To help with side effects, I have been taking flaxseed, Virgin coconut oil, cod liver, & neuro-feedback. I know they have all helped, but symptoms are still there. :(

Joe on October 02, 2012:

Only trouble now, is sex. I am now over 50, want it but women don't. When i was on meds, no sex drive.

Donna on October 01, 2012:


I know what hell everyone is going through trying to get off the drug. I had to do it and figured out myself the best way. It sounds strange but it worked for me and the only dizziness I experienced was after I stopped taking it - the dizziness lasted a day and half. Try the following:

1 Week - 60 MG pills

2nd Week - 2 - 30 Mg Pills (it will equal the 60mg pill dose)

3rd week - 1 - 30 mg pill

4th week - stop the pill

Again, everyone is different, but this worked for me. Your doctor should be able to give you a sample of the 30mg pills if you are on the 60mg.

Good luck - I really hope this helps.

Joe on September 30, 2012:

It has been a month. Am I done with this crap for good?

warmheart22 on September 26, 2012:

ween slowly taking 10 beads out of 30 mg capsule a day for a week, if ok keep taking out 10 more each week. If not slower...worked for me side effects...did the authorized way and hell broke loose trust me slow works


Joe on September 22, 2012:

I think I am done with that crap. hopefully the rest of my life.

Joe on September 19, 2012:

almost two weeks and doing well. Hope it continues.

rufustl on September 15, 2012:

day seven , and i want to kill the doctor who put me on this sh$t, they should tell you all this stuff before they put you on it . i am sooo mean to my husband i would not want to be with me if i was him , im very short tempered and wanting to cry or fight all the time NOT GOOD! any suggestions PLEASE

Joe on September 12, 2012:

Actually thought a woman was flirting with me and laughed a good deal today. Are anti-depressants just a necessary evil or better than suicide?

Long term=no good?

Joe on September 11, 2012:

Only real lingering symptom is light headedness. Need to check blood pressure as that is a symptom of LOW blood pressure.

rufustl on September 11, 2012:

im on day 4 cold turkey , it feels like i'm in lala land i don't like it . i'm afraid to drive to the grocery store , or leave my house in fear of getting dizzy and having a reck. in 4 days it feels like i do not have blotting in my stomach and face.i want to sleep all the time can't hardly keep my eyes open .other than that i feel great LOL can't wait to be off this crap !!!

Joe on September 09, 2012:

What is a head zap?

sunshine38 on September 09, 2012:

Tomorrow will be a month and AMEN that hell is over!! I am feeling like myself more head zaps, I can sleep, more energy, I have feelings again and it is awesome. CYMBALTA sucks period. Please do not take this crap it is horrible and if you are on it get off!! The withdraws were seriously the worst thing I have ever experienced and thought I was going crazy at the same time. It will get better ONLY with time. I have been taking tons of vitamins, fish oil, drinking tons of water, started Herbalife (which my freind works for and I told him ALL my symptoms and he made me a care package full of different vitamins and herbs to help me out), he sent me a 21 day detox to clean all the chemicals out of my body. Hope that anyone else going through this SHIT realizes you will get better I know it does not feel like it but it takes time. I am fortunate that I work for myself from home because there is NO way I could have gone to work and functioned. Good luck Everyone!! Please if you need to ask a question or chat about this feel free to ask I know I felt completely helpless and alone but your not!!

Joe on September 08, 2012:

All this is just a guessing game isn;t it? Doctors, others, yourself.....

Joe on September 08, 2012:

Night sickness and light headedness. Wild dream about having a conversation with a 13 year old girl about depression.

Day 6 comes to end.

Joe on September 06, 2012:

Day 4 - Insomnia for two days now. Need sleep.

Joe on September 05, 2012:

Day 3 of cold turkey. Feel more sexual. Will update.

Foggy92012 on August 26, 2012:

Day 6 off totally . Only seem to have vivid dreams and fewer waking, sweating nightmares now. Able to work and function ok. Feeling pretty good and exercising again. Loving laughing hysterically and tearing up at sad tv. Good luck to others. That was scary and horrible at its worst!

sunshine38 on August 21, 2012:

Day 11 I think the worst is over!!!!!!!!!!!! Getting some energy back and been sleeping still thanks to benedryl and Klopapin!!!! Still have some brain zaps/shocks but no where near as intense as they were. My head is becoming less foggy and able to think a little more clearly. Thank GOD....that was truly the worst experience I have ever had and never been that sick or felt that crazy in my whole 38 years. Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Hang in there everyone it does get better it just takes time to get that horrible mess out. I am not saying I am back to normal but it is sure better than it was. Good luck to everyone and I will keep posting every couple of days to let people know how long it took me to feel completely normal again because that was the answer I was looking for but I know it is different for everyone.

Foggy92012 on August 21, 2012:

I am glad to read that sunshine38 is getting better. I went down to 15 mg for 2 days and now have not had any Cymbalta since Monday morning. I do not plan to have anymore now. I took a Temazepam to help sleep last night and no nightmares..slept for seven hours straight. Yipee :) Had today off work -too foggy headed. I have also had ringing in ears and just this evening have had weird sensation in throat/ neck ( left side) like some sort of muscle . I am staying away from others in the house as I fear I am too irritable for my poor family. I can't deal with all the noises and can't concentrate much or keep my train of thought well when talking. Appetite ok and I haven't had the brain zaps , thank goodness .." touch wood" . They sound awful. I am really hoping that because i was only on this for 5 months and only ever went to taking 60mg then it won't be too hard for me to go through this .

Ratkity on August 20, 2012:

Felt all the above plus some auditory haullcinations. Klonapin helped with the symptoms (self medicated). I went from 120mg of cymbalta to zero in 5 days. OMG, never do that. That was on the advice of pyschopharmocologist MD. After I told him I wanted to punch him out, he basically, fired me for being difficult. I told him he wasn't worth the assault change anyhow and I couldn't focus enough to drive to his office. Geesh, I didn't threaten him with a gun or anything. I'm a 49 yo woman and he's a fit cyclist. What a jerk. I hope someone with $ sues him for incompetence. His only response was to call 911 or go back on cymbalta. Really? I've used all my annual leave getting off this crap. Now he has the balls to fire me.

sunshine38 on August 19, 2012:

Okay it is day 9 now and it is getting better but still having the brain zaps/shocks a lot. Been taking Benadryl to sleep and it has helped so much...I actually have slept the past 2 nights without nightmares but still weird dreams. My body feels exhausted though and I do not have much energy at all. I am crossing my fingers the worst part is over because it truly was a living hell. My extreme crying binges have lessened along with the extreme sweating and everything else that was going on. Just looking for the light at the end of this tunnel. Stay strong everyone we will all get through this and feel so much better!!!

Foggy92012 on August 18, 2012:

I want to stop taking Cymbalta but I am getting very worried after reading this. I have dropped from 60 to 30 for a week. I am having the most frightening night mares, sweats, funny pain sensation in heart ( maybe like heartburn but I have never really had it so I dont know. ) Foggy head , aches and pains and ringing in ears seem to be worsening. I am absolutely shattered but probably from lack of sleep. I purchased omega 3 today so I will be taking that. The worse thing is after my horrific night last night... ( my husband said ,when I woke him in my panic from the nightmares and weird sensations , that he thought I sounded like Someone who was having a bad drug "trip" ??) ...I went to the doctors today and I was told to just stop taking it. I told doctor of my fear of having more severe withdrawal symptoms. Doc said it will all be out of your system in a few days. Basically I guess I was told to just go cold turkey from 30 to zero. I f I am going to get awful symptoms anyway, doing it slowly, shoulds I just prepare for a few days of hell and get on with it and hope it will all be out of my system in the next week or so and I will be back to my "normal- albeit " moody" self?

sunshine38 on August 17, 2012:

I am so thankful for finding this site!!!! I thought I was going crazy. I have been on antidepressants for about 5 years. I am coming off 60mg of Cymbalta cold turkey and feel like living hell. Having the horrible brain zaps, headaches, chills, sweats, extreme crying, nightmares, sick to my stomach, throwing up, tingling in arms and fingertips, it feels like my head is going to explode. This is day 7 and I just want to know how long is this going to go on. I can not function at all like this, my brain is fuzzy and can not get words out or think of the word I want to say. I have been taking vitamins and fish oil and drinking lots of vitamin water but it does not seem to be helping. I am furious that they give out this drug with all these crazy side effects it should be ILLEGAL. I pray for the day this hell is over. Thank you again for this site so I do not feel so alone and crazy anymore. Good luck to everyone going through this because I know how bad it is but it sure does make me feel better knowing I am not alone. This drug should be taken off the market period. They give it to you to make you feel better but do not tell you that coming off of it is going to make you feel crazier than you were to begin with. This drug has ruined the past couple years of my life and I just want my life back.

Paula77 on August 16, 2012:

Its been two months since I posted and started weaning off Cymbalta...

Did really well deducting 10 mg per week and didn't have to many issues.

UNTIL the last several weeks.. I guess its what everyone is calling the "brain zaps?" To me its more like a severe case of dizziness, or inner ear infection.. you go to turn and move a certain way and just "inside" lose your balance... so once or twice a week I'm still taking 10 mg. when it gets reallly bad. I figure I've been on this for approx. 6 yrs. so I think my brain it stills craving it... kinda like cigarettes. I feel 100 times better than I used to!!! I have my concentration, and memory back too!! Good luck to everyone!

Sean on August 12, 2012:

Coming off of 60 milligrams cymbalta. feel terrible. "Brain zaps" are the absolute worst. What exactly are they? The only other time I've experienced brain zaps was after taking mushrooms (usually for a few days after taking a larger amount). Does anyone know the connection? I can also attest to having terrible dreams all of the time. I've been exorcised (in my dreams), have had a little girl with a changing face mess with me, the works. Anyway, thought I'd contribute.

Shannon on July 30, 2012:

You're going through major withdrawls. I've been there with other anti-depressents. I got off the drug effexor, by weaning myself off. I know they say not to break open the capsule, but I did, and just took the pelets. I would split it in half, and then do that like I was supposed to, every other day and so on. I ended up not needing them anymore within two weeks. Try it

Amie on July 10, 2012:

I also stopped taking Cymbalta after two years because my husband and I are trying to have a child and was told that Cymbalta could cause birth defects. These last 2 months have been a living hell. I've experienced the brain zaps which is the worst. Severe mood swings and everything makes me very irritable. I'm am seriously contemplating on going back on it. The IDE effects from coming off of the drug is horrible. I was taking 120 mg daily for anxiety. Does the withdrawals ever go away??

Shaun on July 01, 2012:

I recently stopped using Cybmalta. I was taking 60mg a day. I quit cold turkey which probably wasn't a good idea. My symptoms were dizziness, brain shivers, nightmares and trouble sleeping. I started smoking canibis right before bed and it did wonders for me. I slept great and the nightmares went away. I'm on day 9 without cymbalta and I feel great! I feel like my body is back to normal.

Paula77 on June 14, 2012:

Ok, its been 7 days tomorrow! So far so good. Have seen conflicting thoughts on opening capsules and counting beads...

open, don't open, open, don't open... In one of the remarks above they gave a website to email for help. "The Road Back" program. They discourage just counting the "beads" BECAUSE not every bead in the capsule is medication!! Some of them are fillers and you won't get the same amount each time! So, I'm doing the dissolving method. Use a container that you know the exact fluid amount, break open the capsule and dump it in the water. They don't want to completely dissolve and it does take awhile. So, when I take my dose in the morning I set it up and leave the next days dose sit 24 hrs to dissolve. I work at an Environ. Lab and we have disposable plastic syringes so, that's what I'm using.

You can probably get something similar at a pharmacy.

Whatever you have that you know the exact ounces or ml.

Subtract 10% fluid each day.

I'm going from 60 mg. to 50 mg. for 7 days and then down 10 mg. every week there after. I have a glass beaker that holds

140 ml. (you can go to if you have something you need to convert. I've been taking out 14 ml. each day with a syringe. Tomorrow I'm going to 40 gr. which will be 28 ml taken out. I pour the amount left into a disp. water bottle and then fill it with more water or you can add what you want to try and disguise the taste, it is a little bitter to drink but, hey its worth it. So, far it hasn't been to bad. I tried to skip a dosage before and I can tell you it DID NOT WORK! Theres no way I could work and try to do that! Hopefully this helps for anyone researching... I'll post more as I get further into this to say how it goes..

wjsinga on June 13, 2012:

I am thinking about getting off Cymbalta but I am really afraid. When ever I miss or forget a dose I cry uncontrollably about everything. I was already "soft hearted" before I started the Cymbalta and cried real easy but just the thought of not taking it freaks me out. My Dr. also told me to skip every other day for a week then go to 30mg and a do the same then skip 2 days, then 3 days until I can stop taking altogether. But like a lot of people I work for a living and cannot afford to not go to work. I have a bi-polar boss and just the thought of him going off on me without my Cymbalta scares me to death. It happened once before and I cried for days everytime I thought about him screaming at me. I still don't know why he was screaming at me, smh,but he did and I had not taken Cymbalta in a couple of days and I don't ever want that to happen again. So I am torn on what to do, get off or stay on but I really don't like the person I have become on Cymbalta.

Paula77 on June 05, 2012:

Wow, am I glad I found this site!! At least I know now I haven't lost my mind... This is unbelievable what everyone is going thru. I'm getting ready to start my journey as well. Have an appt. with the Dr. tomorrow to get the ball rolling on getting off of this "crap". I started out years ago on Lexapro for anxiety and ended up on Cymbalta.

Funny thing is, I would like to hear from anyone else on this issue. When I started the Cymbalta it was all good, then issues started arising that the Dr. felt we needed to "up" the dosage. I started out on (I believe) 30 mg. and approx. a year later it was bumped up to 60 mg. Now, starting to feel the same things again... Dizziness, lighted headed, light fatigue.. and have NOT missed a dosage! This is the same thing that happened last time that caused my Dr. to up it to 60 mg.

Reading these comments it seems almost like the body is MAYBE craving more?? That is DEFINITELY not gonna happen! I have to work everyday and this REALLY scares me with the side effects. And my husband doesn't get it.

I can't explain to him what it feels like. I will definitely be using this site to help me thru!



Wayne on May 27, 2012:

3 weeks off it, and all is well! My legs get tingly pains now and then, but not worth putting up with this horrible drug. Still shocked how much it affected me to stop a 30mg dose. The stuipd maker of this drug needs to make a 60,30,20,10mg versions. that would make it way easier to ween off it.

Pumpkin5 on May 22, 2012:

I've been on 60mg of Cymbalta for about 6 months and it definitely did a wonder of good when I was in a really low place emotionally. However, things have since turned around and I'd like to begin the weaning off process. I made the mistake of trying the every other day approach, but by day 3 I am already feeling the extreme dizziness everyone has been talking about. My emotional state has already seemed quite erratic as well. I was completely resistant to being prescribed an antidepressant in the first place and am now in great fear that I could plunge back into a deep depression without the drug. Can anyone share their emotional experience shortly after weaning off the medication, please? Thank you so much.

Lindsay on May 18, 2012:

I can't remember how long I've been on Cymbalta but I would say ~2 years. I'm on my second day off the drug. I stopped taking it cold turkey because I was down to 2 pills and at the moment I don't have a psychiatrist because I haven't been able to find one since I was let go off my child psychiatrist because I am 19 years old now. Also, I just don't think this medicine is that great. I've been diagnosed with depression/anxiety since I was 9 and I've been on Zoloft and Prozac before. On Prozac I had very suicidal thoughts. I'm thinking about going back on Zoloft because I haven't been on it for many years and maybe it will work. What I'm worried about stopping cold turkey is that I will push away my boyfriend. Right now my symptoms are mostly kind of fuzzy head and really bad nausea. How long should these symptoms last? And is it possible that I will be a worse person since I stopped taking the drug? Like I will go crazy or something? Please reply with any help you can offer. Thank you...

Wayne on May 14, 2012:

Follow up. I am now off this awful drug. The 1st week was the worst. I'm pretty sure my putting it in water and drinking was only getting me a short dose, 1/4-1/2. By night, sever ringing ears, etc.

At the end of week one I also started strength training with a personal trainer. Never done before, but since I couldn't walk hardly, I didn't even this about Cymbalta withdrawals. I'm sure that really helped flush it out of my system.

I'm still having ringing ears a tad bit at night, but from the posts above, I expect it will get better in 1-2 months.

jeena on May 02, 2012:


Wayne on April 29, 2012:

I tried to go off of 30mg 6 months ago and after 2 days got horrible brains zaps and decided to wait till everything calmed down in my life before trying again.

What a horrible drug, never thought about it when I started taking it for perferal neuropathy in my legs. I will say it worked much better than 600mg of gabapentin I was on. That drug caused me to be blaa, and didn't know it but lost my sense of smell.

Anyway I am going off again, this time cutting it down to 1/2 (cut it, dissolve in water, and drink 1./2 the glass) for 1 week, and 1/4 for a week, then cold turkey.

I expect this will work.

I decided this crap isn't worth making the shooting pains I get in my feet and legs less.

stella on April 22, 2012:

Wow this was great to find out. I am weaning off Cymbalta and actually on my last 2 30 mg pills taking every other day.I was put on this for back pain and anxiety. This past week I felt like I had the flu...aches chills, headaches and dirreaha and vomitting. I have an appt tomorrow morning to see my Dr. and discuss what now..I actually do not want to be on anything but maybe occasionally a m others little helper. I also gained at least 20 something pounds. Refused to go on scale. I have never had so much weight on me. I am hating myself right now. Hopefully going off this cymbalta and some exercise I will go back to myself. In the meantime I am very thankful for finding this hub.

kim on April 22, 2012:

Thank you everyone for all you shared. I have been trying to go off Cymbalta 60mg on my own (down to every second day) and what I call the "brain bzzzt" has been really bothering me. I am a nurse and guessed it was related to withdrawl but it's still pretty debilitating. Now that I'm sure it's from that I can just put up with it til it's over. My 'problem' with Cymbalta (prescribed for FM) is not that it doesn't work - it does. It's that I feel 'flat' on it. No more ups and downs. Maybe that's a good thing for some but I don't feel like me. No real interior life. So I want off. Thanks for helping everyone!

cookiesrg00d4u on April 10, 2012:

I was put on Cymbalta for depression. I have been taking it since February or March of 2012. I have noticed feeling zoned out and very very fatigued. So I did what any thirty-something would do... I drank an energy drink. I noticed that I began seeing spots like looking at a bright light within 10 minutes of consuming the energy drink. Then my fingers went numb. Then the whole left side of my body went numb. I got increasingly exhausted and finally had to leave work. It took eight hours to be seen by a doctor and by then, my symptoms had totally subsided. The doctor had little to say other than to get a complete physical and " drank an energy drink, huh?" So I guess that the combination of the energy drink with the medications had spiked my blood pressure to a dangerous level. The last time I remember feeling this sensation was when I experienced pre-eclampsia with my first born. The symptoms were identical. I have never felt so tired in my life nor foggy headed. I do not see any appreciable good changes to my mood and still think of an exit strategy. Yay! Now I get to experience the wonderful world of withdrawls!

Tania on April 08, 2012:

I've been on Cymbalta for 4yrs for depression and ran out of my script a week ago....I'm at the point now of severe dizziness and migraines not being able to keep any food down for 3 days long will I have to go through this? it took me 2 weeks to get used to this drug in the first place and my Dr congratulated me for hanging in there :o btw it's Easter and I can't get to a Dr atm :(

Tracy on April 04, 2012:

Thank you for this hub. I have been on Cymbalta for 6 months and ran out over the weekend. I went to my doc Monday morning and discussed going off this med. I am now 3 days without this drug and feel horrible! I am so glad I found this site to help me understand that what I am experiencing is "normal" when going off this drug. It is awful!!

Allison Wheeler on March 27, 2012:

I have been weaning my self off of Cymbalta for the last 3 weeks with much success. I open the capsules and pour out the beads inside. There are 200 beads in the 30 mg capsules. I started taking 10 beads out each day. I throw away the extra beads and then put the remaining beads back in the original capsule. I am down to 45 beads and for the first time I am experiencing a little dizziness. Not enough to make me want to stop. You can adjust how many beads you remove based on how you feel. I am going to try 5 for the next few days and see if I can fix the dizziness. It is a much slower progress then cutting your dosage in half. It a bit of a pain in the rump, but I feel this is a much better approach for me than cold turkey. I am a bit more weepy then I was, but Cymbalta made me feel numb so its kind of nice to feel emotion again. I was prescribe cymbalta for joint pain 8 months ago. I was still having pain and thought what is the point of taking something that doesn't do what I hoped. I decided to wean my self after I forgot to take it one day and was sick in bed all day even after I remembered to take it. I don't want to be dependent on a drug that powerful. Good luck to all of you. I am 4 days away from being Cymbalta free:)

Terri on March 17, 2012:


I have been taking Cymbalta for my fibro. I stopped taking my 30 mg of Cymbalta 'cold turkey' and the only side effect I've had was a little light headedness. My medication came in a capsule that you could open. I've stopped taking it because it isn't helping me anymore and I hate to take drugs. It's also incredibly expensive even with insurance. I would not recommend this drug. One only has to look at the side effects to see how dangerous it is. I want to do more research in dealing with my fibro naturally.

Inahaze on March 12, 2012:

I went on 60mg of Cymbalta for post partum depression. I was on it for about a year and decided I'd just stop taking it. Yikers! After the brain zaps, headaches, etc., I started taking it again like there was no tomorrow. I went back on for several months just to feel normal again. With my doctor's suggestion, I continued to take the 60 til they were gone. Then went down to 30 mg for a month. Then down to 20mg for 2 weeks...mind you, I was okay up until now which is me taking the 20mg every other day. Dizziness, flu like symptoms, tired all the time, just feeling awful! Uuugh. I'll keep you posted. I'm going to try to Omega and see how that goes.

Chris on March 11, 2012:

I am a college student and have been taking cymbalta for almost a year now. The drug cost about 35 dollars as a co pay so after I lost my job, it was difficult to pay for. So instead of completely stop taking it, I decided to take breaks from it on weekends because for some reason, the drug wore off after taking it for more than 5 days a week. One weekend, I decided to take a three days break from the drug. OH MY GOD, I started to get what felt like pressure inside my brain. I also started to get these trimmers in my head that made it hard to balance. Don't get me wrong, the drug works great and improves my social life 10fold. but don't go off 30 mg for more than 2 days without expected some side effects. probably way less for 60 mg. I've never taken 60 before.

Harleygirl54 on March 06, 2012:

Ok, here I sit, day 8 of withdrawing from the meds my so called medical professional gave me to help with depression caused by chronic pain. I have brain buzzing all day long, worse in the evening and when I turn my head left. I haven`t slept for more than an hour a night for 5 days and I am feeling murderous anger and some self harm, that I will not give in to. I am dizzy, I have fallen twice (don`t tell Dave) and I bounce between insane laughter and crying. This is not the hardass bitch I usually am and I don`t like it. The meds actually started to worsen my pain, so I decided to take my health into my own hands and withdraw from all of the poison that has added to my pain, depression and the loss of wages due to a huge amount of sick time. But, the worst was, I just about lost sight of me. The one that can laugh at silly jokes, smile with warmth and sincerity, have compassion for others because in reality I have a good life. This drug made me so self absorbed it was sickening. Well I am done, the effects of withdrawal are horrific and I have no idea how long they will last but I am determined not to become a slave to any chemical that just doesn`t belong in our world. I cannot imagine how many people have lost the people they love as a result of some `professional`saying, `here, take this, it will help.`Well it doesn`t fucking help, it masks the reality of a persons life. I takes away who they are and makes them into a self serving zombie. It should be banned it should be withdrawn from the pharmaceutical books, oh wait I forgot, don`t those pharmaceutical companes give this shit to Dr.s to hand out...why not find the cause and fix it people....!!! Okay, I am done my rant, however, think twice and research any drug your medical professional gives you before you fill that script. I don`t mean going to their websites because that is just mellow bullshit they tell you, go to the ones who know first hand and have experienced the good and the bad that comes with taking these drugs. Arm yourself with information and do NOT back down to some pro who in their arrogance think they know better. We know how we feel, we know the effects and we know when to stop the madness. Have a great day people

wingzeronine on March 06, 2012:

but would anyone have any advice, as soon as i started taking this medication in early jan taking two 30mg in the morning. it became harder and harder for me to want to sleep on 60 mg. and it is very expensive. so in the middle of febuary i talked to my doctor he reminded me not to take it at night, and took me down to 30 mg a day to help with the insomnia. by this appointment i had missed 3 days, but i dont remember noticing any withdraw affects during this time. because he wanted to give me 60mg capsules and i didnt want to take them cause of trouble sleeping and made me seem to not want to do anything, less production at work, i would come home and not feel like doing anything cleaning or cooking, or even sleeping, its like i would randomly pass out for a few hours. so a week after that appointment i went cold turkey on the 25th of febuary. for 5 days after quiting it i felt great, my mood had improved, production at work was better and i slept great woke up on time for work more productive around the house. but then the first of march for three days straight i had these horrible headaches that were similar to cluster headaches that you get behind your eyes feels like someone is drilling through your temples and your neck aches like hell at the same time and the insomnia has come back. and now i am starting to feel like i have bi polar disorder. having feelings of anxiety, doing random things, bad temper, and whenever i do finally go to sleep i start to laugh uncontrollably for absolutely no reason. wow after writing this really does make me feel crazy, which i why i havent called my doctor who persribed cymbalta to me on the first appointment i met him and after a 15 min exam saying i have fibromyalga or called my neurologist who deals with my epilepsy.

wingzeronine on March 06, 2012:

i feel for anyone who has had to take this drug. for half of 2011 i had chronic back pain and towards the end of the year i tried to stop taking my seizures med epitol to see if it was the cause, preying i wouldnt have anymore seizures since i had been a long time, well watching my 3 month old baby at night and working during the night, i had 6 in one day at 4 am with my wife at work one month later still had the same horrible back pain so doctors said i had Fibromyalgia, slaped me on 60 mg a day, it did help my back pain to some point after 1 month, but then started the migraines and cluster headaches, so i reduced with permission of doc down to 30 a day. and couldnt sleep at night still and no relief from headaches, so i quit taking it 3 weeks ago, for the first 3-4 days without it i felt great, like a normal person and no attitude problems or back pain or trouble sleeping, after that short week i found it harder and hard to sleep. today 3 weeks i guess cold turkey compared to the way everyone else has cut down bead by bead. i find myself with an attitude and temper of a bipolar with a rapid cycling mixed state of hypomanic, manic and depressive seems like happening everyday. this drug is a trip. but i feel like i did last year which is the odd thing which makes me feel just like i did when in 2011 when i experienced anxiety attacks from stress then i was only on epitol. i would not advise any to take this medication and if they did only if you exhausted other treatments. i think i rather do street drugs than experiment the starting affects and the very serious withdraw affects of this medication.

Michelle on March 05, 2012:

I came off Cymbalta 60mg a month ago and had no problems at all I started by taking D,B and Omega 3 vitamins in prep for it then dropped to 30 then just stopped taking it and had maybe 2 days with headaches and that was it haven't had any problems other then some weight gain I put on maybe 15kgs more in the first fortnight after coming off Cymbalta so now my only problem is the weight loss.

Ed on February 24, 2012:

and this drug was passed by the FDA and yet safer drugs and treatments are not!! I guess the Doctors get a HUGE kick back!!

martha on February 24, 2012:

help...i have taken cymbalta for anxiety and depression for over 3 years (90mg). i am being weaned off and now taking zoloft. i have had issues with the withdrawals before when i missed a dose. i am feeling the typical nausea, diarrhea, and exhaustion and wanting to sleep all day and be awake all night. the new symptom i have never had is this pain in the middle of my chest and it feels pressure and i have to remind myself that i am not having a heart attack, that it's this stupid cymbalta this normal or should i go to the hospital??

Luana on February 22, 2012:

Hi,thank you so much for all your stories.First I apologize for my English. Finally after 2 years of denied that I have depression I broke down at the doctors office. She put me on Cymbalta 30 mg last August and now I am taking 60. I have to say that everything is true. I forgot the pills a few times and it was hell. I had insomnia and when I finally fell asleep I had terrible just feel that you are missing a bad feeling... Thank you for your comment..I realize I'm not crazy!

ronnie on February 21, 2012:

i been having aches like running an breathing cold air that gives me aches in legs an upper body an have cut my mg from 60- to30 mg of cymbalta is this a side effect

taniha24 on February 20, 2012:

I am so glad I found this site. I am having such a hard time. I have been on Cymbalta for almost 8 years. I have successfully weaned myself down to the 30mg dose but stuch there. I felt great after only about a week of withdrawl from the 60mg dose. My fiance and I are getting married in May and are planning on having another child. We had our daughter in 2007 and I was taking 60mg daily throughout the whole pregnancy. Now research is suggesting a link between anti-depressants, Cymbalta specifically, and birth defects. My daughter was born 2 full months premature, I had acute renal failure and a blood clot on my liver for no apparent reason. I blame Cymbalta. Now I want off it. I want it out of my body. But I cant seem to kick it. I feel nauseated, dizzy, tired, everything BUT depressed of moody! The only thing that makes me depressed is the fact that I cant seem to kick the habit!When my body got used to being on the 30mg dose, I felt like a person again. I had emotion and felt alive. For the last 7 and a half years I have been in this pretend euphoria and didn't care about anything. Nothing bothered me. I am a woman, I am a human, I NEED emotion in my life! But right now I need off this crap! I don't want to start taking another anti-depressant, I don't want to take anything. I am going to try some of these tips and hopefully make it through this soon!

Susanna on February 16, 2012:

I took Cymbalta for three weeks. During those three weeks I became suicidal and at one point, homicidal. I went into a deep depression, locked myself in my room wouldn't talk to anyone unless I was screaming at them. Absolutely nowhere near who I am as a human being.

This is a wicked drug.

Thank god my family realized it was the new med and forced me off of it. It's now been a month since I had my last dose and I'm just starting to feel I have my brain back. Never again.

Joe on February 15, 2012:

As a drug that pushes more serotonin into your brain, it would make sense that the brain gets upset when you take it away. Similar to what cocain users undergo during withdrawl. Try going off coffee or soda. People get headaches from that too. I understand the headaches are not equivelent to the shocks you all are mentioning and sympathize for sure. What i dont understand is why are people going off the drug? If you feel so good and can handle life once again, then isnt that a result of the drug doing its job? My wife was on this and it worked great. Her dr took her off it and every drug since seems to be useless in comparison to the cymbalta. Drugs like prozak, seraquil, and others that made her gain weight. So my questions is, if its working, why go off it? Are there long term affects of being on Cymbalta? Or can you take it your whole life if you need it? Thanks!

Jenn on February 14, 2012:

I had major back surgery this past August & while it went great, I now have associated hip pain that would keep me up @ night. My dr put me on Cymbalta & Lyrica. I took it up thru last week, but then ran out & the cost is a shocking $297 which I cannot afford. So I stopped. I had NO idea of the withdrawals, which I'm currently experiencing. I was awakened last Thurs by a severe headache @ 3am; it absolutely incompacitated me. I've had severe fatigue, jitters, diahrrea and those dang brain shivers. Thanks to all who were able to articulate that; I had a hard time describing it! I cannot sleep @ night. I've been a horrible witch and have a very short fuse. Will try omegas, but the benedryl has NOT helped. I REFUSE to go back on this pill, period. Will just fight thru it, so wish me well. Oh, and I've gained 20 lbs too since starting Cymbalta. I plan on switching Drs.

Tj on February 12, 2012:

I have been on cymbalta 60mg for over three years for depression

EVERWOT on February 12, 2012:


rotlaw DOT com SLASH cymbalta

everwot on February 11, 2012:


How angry am I?


try thinking about this hell compounded with the positive pregnancy test.

Now, what are the effects to the unborn child?


F**KERS anything for a buck right shyt cymbalta?



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