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thylantyr 07-29-2008 10:51 AM

Cymbalta Withdrawal
Antidepressent medicine may be prescribed as a treatment for
neuropathy related pain symptoms, often the combination of
anti-depressent + anti-seizure medicine is an effective combination.

My friend tried many drugs to get pain relief and the
doctor prescribed Paxil, an anti-depressent. This drug
didn't work for pain relief, my friend was a zoned out
zombie for a week and the medicine removed. Shortly,
we asked the doctor to try Cymbalta instead due to some
positive feedback received as a nerve pain reliever.

Cymbalta is an antidepressent and the drug was well tolerated
and my friend took it for 1.5 years.

Recently, a breakthrough treatment was found, the water
therapy that for some reason, offers the biggest reward
to reduce pain. This opened up the door to optimize the
pain regimen consisting of time released morphine,
Lyrica, Vicodin, and Cymbalta.

Water therapy in the form of a home hot tub was very
rewarding, this allowed the intake of Viodin, not on a
regular schedule, 'but take it as you need it' type of
schedule, which I think is better. If you have pain relief
for a few hours, why take it? Take it later or don't take it,
depending on the pain level.

The next step is to see if Cymbalta really works. This drug
was only taken once daily at night, 30 mg dose, a small
dose. At first glance, this pill seems harmless, it's only
1 pill a day, low dose, does it really help with pain relief?

My friend went 'cold turkey' and stopped taking Cymbalta
to verify if the drug helps relieve pain. If not, why continue
to take more drugs that don't help ?

Unbeknownst to anyone, approx 36 hours after stopping
the drug, the ton of bricks hit the head, a huge headache
as if someone took an axe and drove it in the skull. There was
no warning, it hit hard.

After doing some homework on 'Cymbalta Withdrawal', I found
information that said it's typical to get punished when discontuning
any antidepressent medicine.

It's been ~1.5 weeks off Cymbalta and every day the headache remains,
twice during this period the pain is so high it's suicidal and the head
pain never goes away, this pain is worse than the original neuropathy pain.

So far, the neuropathy pain has not increased implying
that adding Cymbalta to the current regimen probably
doesn't offer any pain relieving reward, time will tell.

This is a good lesson for everyone who experiments with
medicine, always analyze the withdrawal of a medicine
in conjunction with the medicines side effects.

I'm optimistic, things will get better. ;)

jansonlygirl 07-29-2008 10:55 PM

Re: Cymbalta Withdrawal
I am going through the side effects of withdrawal from Cymbalta right now, I believe it has opened the portal to hell...
I am doing it with the help of my doc but I am miserable. Went down from 60 mgs to 30mgs for a month, now it is 30mgs every other day. On the off day I am so anxiety ridden I don't know what to do I am frozen until I can take the next dose, and headaches and dizziness as well. I don't feel like myself which I suppose is to be expected since i don't really know who "myself" is. I was put on this for situational depression, I had been on Prozac for years and thought it was not working for me anymore, so she put me on this wretched drug. I was fine until about a year ago and found I was becoming very lazy, very very tired and unmotivated. After much research I realized it was the Cymbalta, it literally took my life away, no desire to travel anymore, increased anxiety, tons of fear, not wanting to even go to the store for groceries!! Before this med I was walking 4 miles a day, now nothing... gained 15 lbs.
All in all Eli Lilly is evil in my opinion for not giving our docs more info on the side effects, or the withdrawal effects. I am going to go on 20mgs day now for a while and just keep slowly trying to wean off of this terrible med. I hope I can get to the light that I have heard is at the end of the tunnel. One last thing, I had confused being in peri-menopause and I was wrong, it was this med the whole time. My quality of life has been awful, I just want to be happy again, and I am never taking another anti-depressant, I will be happy to finally get to know the "real me".

thylantyr 07-30-2008 09:38 AM

Re: Cymbalta Withdrawal
I found many horror stories here;


I printed this out for my friend to read - perhaps knowing
that others are going through tough times can ease the mind slightly knowing that you aren't alone when trying
to get off the drug.

thylantyr 08-01-2008 06:23 PM

Re: Cymbalta Withdrawal
Today is a special day, it marks the 2nd week that my friend is off Cymbalta.

The good news and bad news.

Bad news first. There is no good news :jester:

The headache is pretty intense still. Lucky, my friend has a new spa
and water therapy 2x daily has helped with the sore muscles, the
second withdrawal symptom, but the headaches can actually get worse
in the spa if you stay in too long, double edge sword here.

Late this week, out of the blue, vomitting. Fine one second, la la la,
then a random barf...... This happend a few times this week. /strange

My friend has very early PMS symptoms that manifested a few days
ago, as if the body chemistry is all wacho.

I wonder how many monkeys died in the lab when tests were done on this
medicine ?


jansonlygirl 08-02-2008 11:02 AM

Re: Cymbalta Withdrawal
Arghhh, sorry to hear your friend is still not feeling right, you are a good friend for being so close :angel:

The light is at the end of the tunnel!

I have had many bad days of feeling super restless and highly anxious, my life is on hold until this gets better. Thank God for valium:) it gets me through the really rough spots. I have a loving family to help me, thank God.. Trying to work through this on a hourly basis is exhausting, I bet the lab monkeys committed suicide!

All the best to you and your friend, my thoughts are with you both, keep me updated,

thylantyr 08-13-2008 11:31 AM

Re: Cymbalta Withdrawal
This coming Friday marks the 4th week that my friend is off Cymbalta.

Nothing new to report, the 24/7 head pain from
hell continues.

My friend started to take Ibuprofen daily over a week ago
and a few extra Vicodin in conjuction with the normal
scheduled pain meds for neuropathy pain in the feet: morphine, Lyrica, (and Vicodin).

So far, my friend thinks the Cymbalta, originally not
taken for depression, but to help reduce neuropathy pain,
doesn't help for neuropathy pain, hence the reason for
stopping the drug, but the withdrawal 'hell' was not communicated by
the doctor/hospital at the time it was given 1.5 years ago.

I think the pain meds for neuropathy (morphine, Lyrica, Vicodin) reduce the
Cymbalta withdrawal head pain from 'suicidal' in nature to 'hell' which is a nice
improvement, a suffering friend is better than a dead
one :( :rolleyes:

Daily routine:

1. Wake up in the morning to take meds for neuropathy
pain in the feet; morphine and Lyrica. But due to the
Cymbalta withdrawal, I think Vicodin is taken also, where
before it wasn't needed. The withdrawal pain exists in the
back of the head as if someone stabbed you with a big

2. Try to go back to sleep.

3. Wake up around noon - 1 pm. Same withdrawal pain.

4. Before work (part time swing shift job), take the second
scheduled neuropathy pain meds, this time (morphine, Lyrica, Vicodin).
The Cymbalta withdrawal pain exists.

5. 7pm - break time at work, the Cymbalta withdrawal
head pain is spreading, the whole head seems to be in

6. Home, after work, 10 pm. take the third scheduled neuropathy pain meds,
(morphine, Lyrica, Vicodin). The Cymbalta withdrawal pain exists.

As night progresses, the pain starts to get into 'hell mode',
bright lights cause more pain, my friend has to keep the
eyes closed, often my friend goes in the spa outside from about
11 pm to 2 am to get some pain relief in the feet and legs,
due to the neuropathy problem. Any lights outside have
to be turned off otherwise the pain magnifies. It's already
at it's peak, engulfing the whole head.

7. 3 am - it's time to try to go to bed, being so tired is
the mechanism for falling asleep only to be awaken maybe
once before 7 am where the pain meds must be taken again
and the hellish cycle repeats.

One day my friend slept in on the weekend, the first
batch of pain meds used for neuropathy were not taken.
When this occurs, the nightmare of the Cymbalta withdrawal is
only magnified for the whole day. My friend can't imagine how people
can cope with the withdrawal if they aren't taking any pain meds. After
doing some research online, guess what? Other people have a hell of
time dealing with this withdrawal, some people get back
on the drug so they don't kill themselves.

My opinion:
Based on these experiences and testimony from others,
this medicine isn't to be taken lightly. This legal drug seems to
be more evil than illegal drugs, often I wonder if the big drug
companies know that people will be become dependent on the drug
in spite that it may not help with the original illness. This drug is an
engineering accomplishment if you are in the business of making money.

On the other hand, I have another friend who was in
very bad shape, bed ridden for 2 years with depression
and the outlook wasn't good. Long story short, another
SNRI anti-depressent helped this person come back
but there is seasonal depression still, but at least he can
live on. These extreme cases require these drugs, but
it seems to me that doctors shouldn't be giving out
these crazy medicines like candy on halloween just because
the patient has a 'small problem'.

thylantyr 08-23-2008 02:04 AM

Re: Cymbalta Withdrawal
Today is week 5 of my friends Cymbalta withdrawal. Same problem as
previously posted, no progress.

My friend tried some over the counter medications in conjunction with
the current pain regimen pills to see if there is any reward.

Diphenhydramine - 100 mg [Benadryl, antihistamine]
Dextromethorphan - 60 mg - 120 mg [Cough medicine]
St. John's Wort - 600 mg - 1200 mg [Herb]

This was some generic detox recipe others used give or take. Taking
this didn't relieve any head pain. The only reward was a mild high
and feeling of sleep, which helped my friend go to sleep earlier than 4 am
every day - because the pain is so intense, can't fall asleep at a normal time.

I don't have any other ideas other than going back on the drug at reduced
amount to see if there is some relief, then taper off slowly over a long
period of time. I took one 30mg Cymbalta capsule and converted it into
three ~10mg doses. Worse case, a 10mg experiement can be tried for
a week to see what happens, but my friend is hestitant to try this regimen
in fear of going back on the medicine from hell. My friend is walking a fine
line, how long can the human body take this torture? :(

thylantyr 08-26-2008 03:01 PM

Re: Cymbalta Withdrawal
To name one positive.

I noticed my friend is less tired off Cymbalta.
This is nothing new to report, all drugs have side effects
and being tired is one of them.

The problem is when you stack medicines, each medicine
weighs down on you. Removing this medicine that was
determined to be ineffective for this problem has been
a positive as the side effects are gone, the big problem is
just withdrawal pains.

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