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Old 07-14-2008, 12:51 PM   #1
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Cymbalta for nerve pain - making feet worse - is this common?

I have problems with my feet. I have already had four neuroma surgeries and still have pain. My foot doctor sent me to a neurologist to see if he could help me. I passed all the nerve test but since a lot of my burning pain symptoms point to nerve iritation, he decided that I should try Cymbalta to see if it works.

I will be on for it for six week. He told me if I don't see drastic improvement with my feet by then, then my pain is probably not associated with the nerves. I'm suppose to start with 30mg and then after two weeks, increase to 60mg.

Friday was my first night using it. It put me right to sleep, which was ok. I'm not crazy about some of the other side effects though. It makes me feel drained and my body feels "heavy". The nauseaous I was warned about but feeling drained and heavy, I was not. I feel like it calms me down, when I dont' want to be calmed down.

Anybody who has taken it, does the side effects go away after your body gets use to it?

Last edited by Murph77; 07-16-2008 at 05:00 AM.

 
Old 07-14-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

I have to say your doctor is wrong in saying that if Cymbalta didn't take the pain away then it isn't nerve pain. More often than not Cymbalta doesn't work for nerve pain nor does another drug they use called Lyrica. As far as the side effects you are having they may go away after a couple weeks but if they don't then you have to decide if that's how you want to feel all the time. Everyone is different in the way it affects them. but to tell you that if it doesn't take the pain away is just wrong...very few are helped with cymbalta and the problem is still nerve pain. Good luck.

 
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:16 PM   #3
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

AnnD, do you know of another drug that works on nerve pain? Curious what else is out there.

If the side effects don't go away, I guess it would depend on how good it works on the pain, if I could live with it or not.

 
Old 07-14-2008, 01:17 PM   #4
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

Hi Murph - I had some of those side effects but by the six week point they were gone - it has really helped me with nerve damage I have from a mastectomy - it has not really done anything for my back pain but the help from the chest pain is great - I also have some depression from situational things and it has helped with that - after being in pain for so many years I think it tires you out and this will help - my heaviness went away and I got some energy from it - I am on 60mg and it took six weeks on the 60 mg dosage for me to feel the effects - it came on rather suddenly, one day I woke up easily rather than dragging out of bed and within three days time I was feeling great - I hope it does the same for you
hugs Aver

 
Old 07-14-2008, 07:20 PM   #5
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

I have nerve pain and unfortunately cymbalta at 90 mg. a day did not work. When I get back from my vacation my doc is going to try one of the nerve meds.

 
Old 07-15-2008, 04:47 AM   #6
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

123dietdrpepper,

Did you fail any of the nerve tests that they gave you? They put me through a series of test, including a skin biopsy, and passed every one of them. One of them gave him question that maybe but nothing came back saying I definitely had any nerve damage. But we are trying this drug because my symptoms point to nerve iritation at least. I'm hoping they don't try to put me on several different drugs, only to find out it is not the nerves.

Anyone know of other nerve drugs that are used that doesn't try to "calm" you down? i hate that side effect that slows you down.

Last edited by Murph77; 07-15-2008 at 04:48 AM.

 
Old 07-15-2008, 04:47 AM   #7
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

I took Cymbalta for 3-4 months for nerve pain. For me it worked pretty well, but eventually it caused my BP and pluse rate to increase to totally unacceptable levels and I had to go off it. I did have a lack of appetite the first month or so, but it went away pretty quickly. Cymbalta did not make me sleepy - I had to take it in the morning or I wouldn't be able to sleep. Had it not been for the BP/Pulse issues I would still be taking it.

If you do not get relief from it, it does not necessairly mean you do not have nerve pain. Sometimes you have to try several to find one that works for you. Everybody is different and works for one person may not work at all for someone else.

Tigg.

 
Old 07-15-2008, 07:53 AM   #8
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

UPDATED

I have started to take Cymbalta since Friday and my feet are only getting worse and it has to be caused by the drug. I'm not doing anything to warrant this pain. Is it common for the places that usually hurt to get worse before better? Here is the post I posted from today.

Quote:
Slowly my feet have been getting worse. Monday morning my feet burn a little more than usual but I ignore it. Yesterday morning, I woke up and my feet are burning more than previous day. Did nothing the day before to warrant this. Then in the afternoon, my sneakers were a tad bit tighter. (I did go out and sit in my car yesterday for lunch for a half of an hour but I have done this countless of times and never had any problems. Also it wasn't that hot in there. Just a little stuffy) After realizing they were tight, I got up to walk and my left foot (the worst of the two) started to burn on the bottom of my foot.

Last night, I'm sitting on my recliner with no shoes and the bottom of my left foot is burning. I did nothing special yesterday so there is no reason that I can think of to cause it burn. It seldom burns like this and if it does, it is after I have used it a lot. When I'm in bed, it was still burning, and the right foot (foot not at bad off) was burning also. Last time my feet have hurt in bed was two years ago after the last surgery.

This morning I wake up and my left ankle is a little stiff. This has never happened before. Both of my feet are burning. I'm also getting dull stabs of pain in my feet which never happen. I thought I felt a little tingling but not sure because I never have that either (only have heard of it). Is it common to take Cymbalta and have worse pain before getting better?

My doctor is out today and so is his receptionist. I'm suppose to be picking up my prescription for Cymbalta tonight which will cost me around $40. I started the medicine on Friday and the pharmacy had just given me a few to last me until my doctor could convince the insurance company to cover the medicine. I have one more pill for tonight. I wish the doctor was in today.

======================================== ================
Original Post

People have been saying that if this medicine doesn't work, then it doesn't mean I don't have a nerve problem. What I'm curious to know is how did they find out that they did indead have nerve problems?

I ask this because all the nerve test I have taken game back normal and the thought of trying ten different drugs, trying to find one to work makes me want to scream because what if it isn't the nerves. Taking one drug to see if it works is one thing, but spending months trying all different ones, not knowing if any of these drugs will really work because we are not positive it really is the nerves, is too much for me. I'm trying the medicine because he says my symptoms point to nerve iritation.

A little about my background. I had surgery to remove neuromas out of my feet. I'm told they that these benign tumors are connected to the nerves in my foot. I had a total of four surgeries, two on the left and two on the right. The second surgeries because the tumors grew back. Then my doctor told me another one was growing in my left foot again. I have tried acupuncture and ART. I have also had shockwave treatment. I have had some relief in the right foot but it bothers me. The left foot bothers me a lot. This has been happening for over four years now.

So recently I have changed doctors. He is not even sure if my pain is neuroma related or not. He said that maybe something is wrong with my nerves. An ultrasound was done and I'm told there is not another neuroma in my left foot, even though it makes that clicking noise. The techinican who did that ultrasound also had no clue where to look to find the tumor either. I told him to follow the scar on my foot, only later realizing that my scar had faded almost to nothing and the lights were dimmed. I can't help but having doubts that the ultrasound is correct until I see some films.

My symptoms are that my feet burn. Walking for more than fifteen to twenty minutes (sometimes less) and I have burning feeling on the bottom of my feet. It is in the ball area and the middle of my foot. The left is worse than the right. Standing up for fifteen minutes or so, my feet burn. Sitting in the car, driving, my left foot strangly burns. Sometimes sitting during the day, my left foot burns. Right foot hurts when I drive too much.

Last edited by Murph77; 07-16-2008 at 07:16 AM.

 
Old 07-15-2008, 08:14 AM   #9
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

Some of the drugs that are used for nerve related pain that are available are: Nuerontin (an old standbyu.) Topomax(which is also used as a weight control medicine), Lyrica, Cymbalta. All of them come with their own related side effects. I gained 18 lbs with Lyrica. Most of these drugs were first used for other purposes -several were seizure meds, but have been found to also help with neve pain.

It's a trial and eror until you find one that works for you. Topomax has been the best one for me so far. The side effects have diminished with time and it controls the never pain well. I had long term nerve damage in both legs. I have ongoing nerve pain left over from a broken back and two major surgeries...

 
Old 07-15-2008, 09:11 AM   #10
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

Murph: Have you ever heard of RSD (Reflex Sympathy Dystrophy)? It is a neurological disorder that has many of the symptoms that you describe. I have wondered recently if I have it myself and intend to ask my doctor about it at my next appointment. There are no difinitive tests for diagnosing RSD, and in the Type I RSD info on the RSD Association website it says that nerve tests often come up negative.

I don't know if all of your symptoms point to RSD, but there is a board here on Healthboards for this condition and I think it might be worth checking into. I think in situations of hard to diagnose pain, it is always a good idea to explore all kinds of different possibilities.

Just thought I'd throw that out there, since I know what it is like to have doctor after doctor look at you blankly and tell you they don't know what is wrong. I wish you the best. Please keep us posted, OK? Take care, CMP/MM

 
Old 07-15-2008, 11:10 AM   #11
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murph77 View Post
I have problems with my feet. I have already had four neuroma surgeries and still have pain. My foot doctor sent me to a neurologist to see if he could help me. I passed all the nerve test but since a lot of my burning pain symptoms point to nerve iritation, he decided that I should try Cymbalta to see if it works.

I will be on for it for six week. He told me if I don't see drastic improvement with my feet by then, then my pain is probably not associated with the nerves. I'm suppose to start with 30mg and then after two weeks, increase to 60mg.

Friday was my first night using it. It put me right to sleep, which was ok. I'm not crazy about some of the other side effects though. It makes me feel drained and my body feels "heavy". The nauseaous I was warned about but feeling drained and heavy, I was not. I feel like it calms me down, when I dont' want to be calmed down.

Anybody who has taken it, does the side effects go away after your body gets use to it?
Murph,

Cymbalta is specifically indicated for neuropathy from Diabetes II. And it can and does help with nerve pain from other causes as well. Like all other drugs, it doesn't help everyone.

I take it for depression and for pain, and my pain is musculoskeletal, meaning knee and back pain. I just had my dose raised from 30mg to 60mg per day. I tried 60mg a year ago but couldn't tolerate the side effects (sure wish I could remember what they were that bothered me). This time around I have noticed increased sweating, insomnia and light headedness. I can handle the insomnia by taking the whole dose in the AM, but I cannot tolerate the sweating and light headedness - and I'm really hoping they go away with time.

Regarding being a walking drug testing lab - sometimes this just goes with the territory. The nervous system is a wonder to behold, and trying to isolate nerve problems and their causes is real tricky. If you truly want resolution then you must be patient.

Best of Luck to you!

steve

 
Old 07-16-2008, 04:59 AM   #12
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - making feet worse- is this common?

Cmpgirl, I looked up RSD as you suggested yesterday and thankfully I don't have that. The only common part is the burning. I don't usually get any swelling, skin change, or any of the other side effects. Thanks for the thought, though!

Slowly my feet have been getting worse. Monday morning my feet burn a little more than usual but I ignore it. Yesterday morning, I woke up and my feet are burning more than previous day. Did nothing the day before to warrant this. Then in the afternoon, my sneakers were a tad bit tighter. (I did go out and sit in my car yesterday for lunch for a half of an hour but I have done this countless of times and never had any problems. Also it wasn't that hot in there. Just a little stuffy) After realizing they were tight, I got up to walk and my left foot (the worst of the two) started to burn on the bottom of my foot.

Last night, I'm sitting on my recliner with no shoes and the bottom of my left foot is burning. I did nothing special yesterday so there is no reason that I can think of to cause it burn. It seldom burns like this and if it does, it is after I have used it a lot. When I'm in bed, it was still burning, and the right foot (foot not at bad off) was burning also. Last time my feet have hurt in bed was two years ago after the last surgery.

This morning I wake up and my left ankle is a little stiff. This has never happened before. Both of my feet are burning. I'm also getting dull stabs of pain in my feet which never happen. I thought I felt a little tingling but not sure because I never have that either (only have heard of it). Is it common to take Cymbalta and have worse pain before getting better?

My doctor is out today and so is his receptionist. I'm suppose to be picking up my prescription for Cymbalta tonight which will cost me around $40. I started the medicine on Friday and the pharmacy had just given me a few to last me until my doctor could convince the insurance company to cover the medicine. I have one more pill for tonight. I wish the doctor was in today.

 
Old 07-16-2008, 05:35 AM   #13
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - making feet worse- is this common?

Murph,

Cymbalta really helped me. It took several days for the side effects to go away, and a few weeks for it to work where I noticed a difference. From what I understand, nerve pain can be diagnosed simply by symptoms and what helps, or doesn't help the pain.

Burning is a very common "nerve" pain. There are different types of pain.

1. NOCICEPTIVE PAIN - Examples include sprains, bone fractures, burns, bumps, bruises, inflammation (from an infection or arthritic disorder), obstructions, and myofascial pain (which may indicate abnormal muscle stresses).

Nociceptors are the nerves which sense and respond to parts of the body which suffer from damage. They signal tissue irritation, impending injury, or actual injury. When activated, they transmit pain signals (via the peripheral nerves as well as the spinal cord) to the brain. The pain is typically well localized, constant, and often with an aching or throbbing quality. Visceral pain is the subtype of nociceptive pain that involves the internal organs. It tends to be episodic and poorly localized.

Nociceptive pain is usually time limited, meaning when the tissue damage heals, the pain typically resolves. (Arthritis is a notable exception in that it is not time limited.) Another characteristic of nociceptive pain is that it tends to respond well to treatment with opioids.

2. NEUROPATHIC PAIN - Examples include post herpetic (or post-shingles) neuralgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy / causalgia (nerve trauma), components of cancer pain, phantom limb pain, entrapment neuropathy (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome), and peripheral neuropathy (widespread nerve damage). Among the many causes of peripheral neuropathy, diabetes is the most common, but the condition can also be caused by chronic alcohol use, exposure to other toxins (including many chemotherapies), vitamin deficiencies, and a large variety of other medical conditions--it is not unusual for the cause of the condition to go undiagnosed.

Neuropathic pain is the result of an injury or malfunction in the peripheral or central nervous system. The pain is often triggered by an injury, but this injury may or may not involve actual damage to the nervous system. Nerves can be infiltrated or compressed by tumors, strangulated by scar tissue, or inflamed by infection. The pain frequently has burning, lancinating, or electric shock qualities. Persistent allodynia, pain resulting from a nonpainful stimulus such as a light touch, is also a common characteristic of neuropathic pain. The pain may persist for months or years beyond the apparent healing of any damaged tissues. In this setting, pain signals no longer represent an alarm about ongoing or impending injury, instead the alarm system itself is malfunctioning.

Neuropathic pain is frequently chronic, and tends to have a less robust response to treatment with opioids, but may respond well to other drugs such as anti-seizure and antidepressant medications. Usually, neuropathic problems are not fully reversible, but partial improvement is often possible with proper treatment

I hope this helps explain what you are dealing with, and why it can be difficult to treat. I wish you all the best, and I hope the Cymbalta does help you!

Your Friend,

Amanda

 
Old 07-17-2008, 10:09 AM   #14
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

As it turns out, I must have been alergic to the Cymbalta or something. I was told to stop it. Who knows what my doctor will decide to do next.

 
Old 07-17-2008, 10:23 AM   #15
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Re: Cymbalta for nerve pain - side effects

Murph, How long ago did you stop taking the Cymbalta? Was it yesterday or the day before? I was just wondering if you had noticed any lessening of your symptoms. Hope you are feeling better.

Hang in there and keep us posted, OK? Hugs, CMP/MM

 
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