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Curious - Do you take Cymbalta along with Lyrica or Neurontin?

Reformed1RReformed1 Posts: 257
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Pain Medications
My doctor is suggesting that I try Cymbalta, but I'm reluctant to add yet another med! I seem to recall that some people take Cymbalta along with Lyrica. I think Lyrica is helping a little with pain, but I have already put on more than 5 pounds within the first 2 weeks of taking it (I think it's mostly water) and I am constantly groggy.

I'm wondering how many people take Cymbalta in addition to Lyrica or Neurontin? and why take both?



  • Hi Dave,
    My PM dr had me on both Cymbalta and I tried both Lyrica and Neurontin. Cymbalta is a antidepressant which is supposed to help with nerve pain while I believe Lyrica and Neurontin are strictly for nerve pain. I too started putting on weight with the Lyrica and when I went off that and tried Neurontin still was putting on weight. Side effect of the medication for sure. But many feel these meds are great for nerve pain. I started to swell in legs, ankles and feet and the pain from that was just not worth it so I got off both Lyrica and Neurontin for the same reasons. Just so you know in case its an issue Neurontin is much cheaper than Lyrica.
    I had been on Zoloft for depression for quite some time as my husband is disabled and had been through so many operations I just really got depressed and scared. Then when I was injured my PM dr switched me from Zoloft to Cymbalta. It is kind of difficult to tell if it is helping with the pain as I have pain 24/7 even with the medications I take. Also, Cymbalta is not a cheap medication. There is no generic. I have heard alot of good things about Cymbalta and at this point would be afraid to stop taking it. So if you are having alot of nerve pain that is probably why your dr is suggesting taking both. However, I read your paycheck is reduced and don't know if your insurance covers your meds so might be something you check out before trying the Cymbalta as I said there is no generic.
    I do hope you can find something that will help with your pain. Of course I am only giving you my opinion as I am in no way qualified to give medical advice. If you have any other questions please feel free to PM me anytime. Good luck to you.
  • I appreciate the tip on the cost of the prescription. I looked it up and my insurance does cover it. The other thing I'm waiting for is the result of a genetic test called CYP2D6 test (part of the Cytochrome P450 test) which provides an indication as to the likelihood of not being able to tolerate a medication. My daughter has RSD and her PM doc wanted her to try Cymbalta. She was acting very strangely and so they ordered this test. It turns out that her body cannot tolerate ANY anti-depressants. Since it is a genetic thing, I figured that I am also at risk since she may have received those genetic traits from me (but hopefully from my wife so that I can get treated).

    Sorry for rambling on. I appreciate you sharing your experiences. I realize that there is no silver bullet out there. Since my pain is still unresolved, I will move forward with the Cymbalta if the genetic test says it is "okay".

    Thanks again,
  • Cymbalta + Topamax, since Lyrica caused too much weight gain. I am actually taking 120 mg of Cymbalta.
  • Cymbalta for nerve pain and the tingling in my leg. Then my Dr. wanted me to take Lyrica also for the sharp shooting pains I was having in my neck due to C7 nerve impinging. I was on Lyrica for 2 years before and I don't like the side effects of feet swelling I couldn't even get my shoes on so I stopped taking Lyrica and now like HBMom take 120mg of Cymbalta daily. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I have had it with the nausea and aches, but the worst part is that I gained about 10 pounds in two weeks. My hands, feet, legs, arms, face, and mid-section are so swollen that I barely recognize my body. I can barely get my clothes on, either, despite being careful about what I eat.

    That's two down - Neurontin and Lyrica. I think Cymbalta is next. Worst case, I think I would take Neurontin over Lyrica, but I really don't think that either of them work for me. So far, my best treatment besides PT and narcotics, is laying back in a recliner (fully reclined). What kind of life is that?? Well, it might sound great on the surface, but I'm still too young for that (unless I start knitting, I guess?). I would start reading, but I keep falling asleep and losing my place...

    Take Care,
  • Dave I've been on Neurontin for most of the past year (on, off, on again). If I remember right it took several weeks to feel the full effect. I'm just wondering if 2 weeks is a little quick to make the switch. Also I had to increase the dose over a few weeks. Has your doctor considered increasing instead of switching?
  • Yes, I specifically asked about increasing Lyrica and she said "no, not with these side effects". She told me that if the nausea and swelling continue, that I should wean off of it. I do want to try Cymbalta anyhow to see if it helps and to see if I can tolerate it. If it ends up being a problem, I may go back on Neurontin because I do think it helped a little.

  • How long and at what dose were you taking the Neurontin? When I first started taking it, I had some mild sedation but it passed after about two weeks. I then increased the dose and although I didn't notice any side effects with normal activity, I became very susceptible to sea-sickness. Being on a boat in rough water is second nature to me and so this caught me off guard. Fortunately it passed after a week. Since then I have been on Neurontin and it has been over 10 years.

    Prior to surgery, the Neurontin was also combined with a couple other decent anti-seizure meds which provided decent relief. Those were Carbamazepine (Tegretol), Lamotrigine (Lamictal) and Oxycarbazepine (Trileptal). At one point I was started on Cymbalta and I took it at 60mg twice a day for several months. It provided a bit of relief, but after a couple months I started having waking nightmares and urinary retention from it. I now take an SSRI instead of the SNRI (Cymbalta) and it seems to have helped finally establish a decent sleep pattern after many years of poor sleep.

    The big thing was that the docs never stopped trying to figure out what and in what combination would work best for me with the fewest side effects. It took time and patience along with the willingness to feel like someone's chemistry experiment for a while, but I feel it has all been worth it.

    Good luck to you,

  • I gave Neurontin a full two months at 900mg per day. In retrospect, I was sitting for so long every day (last month, I work 25 days straight without a break, including the entire 4th of July weekend, and each day was 12-14 hours. No med could keep up with that except for an escalating dose of narcotics.

    I've been back on partial disability for almost three weeks now and my pain has calmed down a bit. I gave Lyrica a solid two weeks. At first, I attributed the improvement to Lyrica, but as I'm weaning off of Lyrica, so far I don't see any set-back. Thus, I'm convinced that neither Neurontin nor Lyrica really made a positive difference for me. Lyrica clearly made me gain a lot of weight in a short time period.

    I am willing to be a guinea pig while on disability. I want to move the experiments along as fast as possible without compromising the tests. I think my body simply can't tolerate Lyrica. It doesn't surprise me because my daughter couldn't either (being treated for RSD).

    I have been able to cut back the narcotics by about 25%, but I know it's going to be hard to go any further without additional pain relief of some type.

    I am a little worried about water retention with Cymbalta, that seems to be a common side effect as it is with Lyrica. I may very well go back on Neurontin after all...

    I feel like a babbling idiot here... talking in circles?

    I have another round of SI injections and a Caudal epidural injection (epidural lysis of adhesions) on Wednesday, and I'm seeing my first true PM doctor tomorrow. I pray that he accepts my case-- my entire treatment plan!

  • Hi all,

    I have been taking lyrica 75mg twice a day-(lowest therapeutic dose) and cymbalta 60mg at night for 2.5 years. I do get a bit sleepy but i never have had bloating or weight gain. Adding the cymbalta significantly helped the pain. I still have pain but i am able to cope with it and do not want to increase the doses right now. I have read that u can take up to 120mg of cymbalta a day but the research states that it does not increase it's effect, only increases the side effects. Ask your health care professional about this for all that are on larger doses. These are valid and double blinded studies which are significant!!

    Take care
  • Dave, I am on 120 mg Cymbalta in the morning and 2400mg of Gabapentin throughout the day or 600mg 4 X a day.
  • Can't afford the Cymbalta but I'd like to try it. Currently taking Lyrica, have been doing so for awhile now. No weight gain...Weight loss, actually.

    I weighed 268 in October. Weighed in at 231 last week.
  • I Gained 40 lbs on Lyrica (stabilized now...coming down sllllooowwwwly). But I will take the weight over pain any day!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I gained 10 pounds in two weeks on Lyrica. It was also making my heart race. So, my doctor said to stop it. Before trying Cymbalta next, I had a genetic test done which indicated that I was not likely to be able to metabolize it. So, now, once again, I'm back on Neurontin. Ugh! By the way, the 10 pounds must have been water weight because it came off in about a week or so.
  • You might be on to something there Dave. In the beginning of taking Lyrica for me, I had 'thunder' legs! I could push my finger tip into my leg, let it go and had that 'dimple' for a few minutes! I still have a little of that in my lower legs, but faaaaarrr better than it was in the beginning! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • It's funny how everything is relative. When I was first on Neurontin and every doctor was asking me why I wasn't on Lyrica, I thought that I was doing something wrong. Neurontin made my groggy and nauseas and I wasn't clear that it was helping my pain. So... I stopped it and tried Lyrica. Within 2 weeks I didn't recognize myself (so bloated) and my pain didn't seem much better. Thus, I quickly weaned off of Lyrica.

    Before jumping to Cymbalta, I had the genetic test done (Cytochrome P450 test) which indicated that I would have difficulty metabolizing Cymbalta.

    So... I'm back on 900mg of Neurontin daily. This time around, the nausea seems all but gone. I still feel groggy, but my insomnia is also gone. That's a huge benefit because previously I was waking up at 2:30 or 3:00 for the day, almost every day. Now, I'm sleeping until 5:30 or 6:00. What a difference!!

    I guess my main point is that once you've seen the other side of the fence, the grass really isn't much greener. I seem to be more willing to accept the Neurontin side effects.

    Take Care,
  • I hear ya there Dave! So true! :) I've never tried any other nerve meds, as this 'first attempt' is a success so far. The good thing is I can see from others on here that there are alternatives should Lyrica and I have issues one day. Too bad narcotics didn't work as well on the rest of it like Lyrica to my nerve pain. *sigh*

    Sleep. That was the first area that I noticed improvement on when I was put on Lyrica. Prior to it, my 'good nights' sleep was 5 or 6 one hour naps in a row! Now I sleep 3-4 hours, wake for a few minutes, back to sleep for a couple more. A big improvement! Glad to see you're back on the side of the fence that the grass is greener for ya! :) *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi Dave, I have been taking Lyrica for some time now for nerve pain. I have only been on Cymbalta for about 6 months. My kids were complaining about my temper so the Dr. gave me this Cymbalta. At first I was taking it in the mornings, and sometimes would sleep all day if I didn;t have anything to do. So I started taking it at night with the rest of my before bed meds. I sleep a little better at night and I don't have the sleeping problem in the morning like I did. It is one the meds that cost me more than the others there is no generic. Both Cymbalta and Lyrica are both of the meds that with co-pay is $23 for 30 pills so I have to get these filled at my local drug store. So far I have nt had any bad reactions to my meds. SLH
  • I was just put on Lyrica today, but I have been taking prozac since my car accident (and what started this whole mess). When I spoke w. my Dr. she talked about the link between depression and fibro/nerve pain. I assume it's b/c you feel like your dependant upon the meds, and pain is depressing anyways...??? I know that when I went on the prozac, I did gain some weight (no idea how much as I was also in my back brace and on all sorts of pain meds.. so what was from the prozac and what was from the other stuff ???), but by staying active and watching what I ate it did level off - and I was even able to lose some weight. We shall see now that Im still on the prozac and just started lyrica tonight.....
  • lyrica 300 mg, cymbalta 90, breakfast and lunch
  • I used to take lyrica and I don't recall the weight gain/retention and it did help with some of the nerve pain. Somehow, I weaned myself and got placed on topamax which I took for a year and lost weight with that one...it is a known side effect! I just got back on topamax about 3 weeks ago.

    I also tried Cymbalta when it came out and I had the issue of not being able to pee, so since that was way before narcotics and like one of the only two meds I was on at the time, I looked up the side effects and knew it must be from thaat. I had to go to my doctor to be cathed ( and had to cath myself for 3 more days until it wore off)...but my doctor then laughed and said, well it is an "off labeled" use for incontinence in the elderly", I wasn't laughing.

    My hubby tried cymbalta recently and had really bad nausea and felt like he was 'floating outside his body' and extreme tiredness. He stopped after the 2nd day. I don't think my hubby is depressed at all thoguh, I think his is situational anxiety...which he uses ativan for that so...

    Dave, hope you get the right meds for you!! What kind of work do you do?
  • Ok so when I went to an MS specialist for all my pain that I have in my life. My husband was trying to be able to c if anything else is wrong with me. Well, she took some blood tests & I am waiting to do an MRI on my neck. I am taking generic cymbalta. I am about to be taking 90mg soon as I respond to her. But she wants me to think about taking Lyrica & Cymbalta. I think I'll stick to cymbalta. I take morphine, oxycodone & Cymbalta for pain & depression. Thanks to this question that Dave has asked I am gonna stick to just the cymbalta. Thanks for the answer to his question % the answer.
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