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Spoke to soon about Cymbalta

asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi all,
I am disapointed to report that I may have spoke to soon about how much netter I was. In the 3 weeks I've been taking Cymbalta numerous unpleasant side effects seem to have developed. Just to name a few, perfuse sweating,racing thoughts, insomnia, binge eating, obsesiveness, anger, and agression.

Don't get me wrong, I have good times during the day and I am definately more active at times, but wow, the price is high right now. I know it's early, but not sure I can make the whole trip to see if and when this problems subside.

Pain is still a constant of course and after several rounds of injections over months with very short term relief I sent my surgeon a fax asking for an appointment to discuss another surgery we had talked about before that has a 50% chance of improving my pain level.

I may just try going off Cymbalta and see if I fair better without these antidepressants which haven't worked well for me since I have had to be constantly on pain meds. I'll still have my klonopin daily and ativan for breakthrough anxiety, perhaps that will be enough.

Sorry I don't have better news to report, really had high hopes on this one and I'm sure my song is getting a little too familiar by now.

Take care all


  • I used Cymbalta for quite some time a few years ago. It seemed to work nicely then I started having problems with urine retention and worst of all the most horrific nightmares I have ever experienced. The nightmares were so bad that when I would wake up, I couldn't shake the images or emotions out.

    Hang in there, there are many options and sometimes we just have to work our way through them until we find the right one.

  • Hi Al,

    You are still early in treatment and maybe the side effects will wan but in most cases a pill is a pill is a pill after a long time. :( I have been on cymbalta over the years and the insomnia is why I went off of it. I still deal with that anyway. I have also had some real nightmares but not sure if it was from that or my other meds at the time. I am just back on cymbalta again for about the same time as you and have yet to notice if it is the cymbalta or the meds and no work that is helping ever so slightly. I am just thankful that for the moment my pain is a little better again. I am still pre surgery to for now.

    Hope you see better days ahead.

  • Al,

    Be careful coming off Cymbalta it is not easily done. You haven't been on it a very long time so maybe it will be easier for you to come down from. I used cymbalta for a very long time and like C had the night mares and then ended with urine retention so got off of it. Because I have known bladder issues, it is not a med the doctors will prescribe for me any longer. I forget if you have tried a nerve med like lyrica? Just keep working with the doctors there are other meds out there.
  • Absolutely helped with my moodswings/ depression It is supposed to make you a little drowsy so I take it at night but it does nohing to help get me drowsy and help me fall asleep and stay asleep
  • asignor908 said:
    I'm sure my song is getting a little too familiar by now.
    When it comes to our empathy and your need to share your feelings, your song will never be too familiar, 'cause we care about ya. I'm sorry the drug doesn't seem to agree with you, but as the others have said, maybe you should give it a little more time, and as someone else posted, there are other options if this ends up not working. In any event, you shouldn't abruptly discontinue it - that could create more problems (talk to your doctor if you feel you can't go on with it.) Hang in there. Love 'n >:D< >:D< >:D< , Ess
  • I can relate, when I lay down and close my eyes it seems like my brain wants to keep going, racing sort of. I find that aggrivation as it makes getting to sleep harder. My doctor gave me ativan for anxiety and to calm my mind to help with that.

    AL S
  • Hi Gracie, thanks for the post. I have nightmares and flashbacks anyway as I am a disabled vet with PTSD pretty severe case of it too. I found it just seems to make my nightmares more vivid and more frequent.

    My biggest complaint is still the very uncomfortable sweats I get at the same time each day between 5 to 7 pm. I take my Cymbalta in the morning so not sure why this happens. I am so blessed, my psychiatrist is pure gold and I went today and I told her about a couple of post on Cymbalta saying that these folks had better luck with a smaller dose 2 x a day. So she ordered a new scrip for 20mgs 2x a day for me. I am so blessed because I don't have any co-pays on drugs and because I have a doc that cares.
    AL S
  • Thanks Tam, I am working with the doc, and as I said in the post above I am excited about the new dosage of 20mgs 2x a day instead of the higher dose in the morning. I really have hope it may help the 5-7pm daily sweat furnace I have had to deal with.

    God Bless my doctor and all of you guys.

    The people on this forum are really wonderful,


    AL S
  • Hi rascal,
    I am glad it is helping you, and as I said in the above post, it is helping me as well with my mood but like you not with pain.

    I will be changing my dosage from 1 larger dosage in the morning to 20mgs 2x a day and I think that may work better for me.


    AL S
  • Hi Ess,
    I agree with you, I was a little frustrated (but not depressed) about the side effects I am having. Not being depressed is huge for me because it was literally killing me for almost 3 long LONG years of very severe depression that I felt could not be helped. I had given up and was praying for God to take me. Mental pain is every bit as tough as physical pain.

    So I am going to stick with it on my new dosage which will change it from one pill in the morning to 2 20mgs capsules taken 1 in AM and the other at 5 to 6PM when I have been getting those horrible and painful sweat attacks. I have high hope.

    Thanks and take care

    AL S
  • Hi Al,

    I agree- Pain is Pain.

    Severe unrelenting pain of any sort can bring you to your knees.

    I'm glad you have a good doctor and try to remember there is always something else you can try.


  • That sounds like a good plan of two small doses a day. I hope you get your appointment with the Surgeon soon about your pain levels and considering surgery. Is your spine unstable or do you have nerve compression? I hope it will help to get the surgery done if your Dr. warrants it. Take care. 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
  • Charry,
    My upper spine was unstable so I had an ACDF on August 8, 2010 which went very well. They said the spinal cord was in danger and a minor fall or other sort of injury could leave me paralized. So they did it putting in a titanium plate and 6 screws covering 3 vertabrae. I was having severe left arm numbness as well which included the hand and that is pretty gone now.

    Tle mid and lower back is unstable, degenerative with nerve compression as they put it in medical terms, a mess ;).

    Of course I was told this surgery would only have a 50% chance of reducing the pain further, but it sounds crazy I know, but if there is a chance to reduce it then I'm leaning strongly toward going for it.

    The injections haven't helped much at all and very short duration like 3 days. I get another set of injections on 11-08 and then they want to try a temporary stimulator to see if that helps. If that fails surgery is up again. They wanted to try the conservative methods first. We'll see, but the tins unit gave me no relief so I am not to optimistic about the temp implant stimulator.

    Right now I'm just glad depression is better.

    Take care.

    AL S
  • For what it's worth my psychiatrist who was also gold recommended a book titled, "How to keep your medicines safe." It's a old book but the science still applies, they just wouldn't have some of the newer medications in it.

    I have a terrible time with most medications, especially anti-depressants, no matter what class they were in, I just couldn't handle them. I had too many bad side-effects.

    In a nutshell the book is based on the principle that 2 people can take the exact same dosage but have totally different blood plasma levels. The author and my shrink are both advocates for starting at the lowest possible dose. In my experience not many doctors think this way.

    I was surprised at some of the case studies in the book about people who could not find an anti-depressant for years that they could tolerate. But when the dose was adjusted much lower than the *recommended* dose by the manufacturer, they still received all the benefits without the bad side-effects.

    I would recommend that book for anyone taking medicines, and especially the elderly as they usually tolerate medicines less well than younger adults. I also liked using the book as a reference as it wasn't only about anti-depressants.

    PTSD is a sad fact for too many war vets quite understandably. Heck any trauma can result in PTSD. Didn't they do a study about all the people who experienced 9/11 on some level also have PTSD? At least they are doing research about it because it's so prevalent. But I digress.

    You and your doctor really may be on to something good with lowering the dose and I sure hope it helps you. I so agree that pain is pain.

  • Thank you and I sure hope so, ehile my depression is much better as you said other factors entered in to make miserable, but in a different way.

    AL S
  • I have been on Cymbalta for about 2 or so years now, and it works better then most pain medications for my nerve pain. It also helps with the depression anxiety. I saw someone wrote be careful coming off if you choose to do that, I so agree and know first hand that you will want to taper. I myself do not think I would ever give up my Cymbalta, I take mine in the morning 90 mg I pass out at night unbelievably easily , I think this has to do with the fentynal patch tho, I do have sweats but until I started the patch I did not so they are not from my cymbalta.
    My husband says that the Cymbalta gives me a I do not care attitude, maybe it does? Maybe I just do not care about the small things because obviously god has showed me that the small things do not matter, there is always something bigger that could mess you up.
    He was on me a while to decrease and get off it and I tried as soon as I dropped to 30 mg the pain was back with a vengeance, I forgot how bad it was and depression was so much more worse. I did not last long on a smaller dose.
    That is my story, I hope it works for you. I tried all the sister meds to it and had the weirdest side effects Neurontin turned me orange color, lol looked like I rubbed my self with that sunless tanning lotion, lyrica I hated made me feel crazy ...
    We are all different and when you find what will work for you , you never want to give it up lol :)
    Have a great great day
  • Hi Sheryl,
    I have decided to stay on Cymbalta to give it a good try. It has already helped with depression quite a bit. I,m just fighting pain and I've gained more weight recently from very strong urges to binge eat and eat constantly. I have to get some mental will to do a serious diet, the weight has made a bad situation so much worse.

    I appreciate your post and I do feel Cymbalta has something to offer me so I'm sticking with it and trying to fuchs on getting some of this weight off. It hurts worse to walk, or stable and I'm starting to feel unstable on my feet which is scary. I'm a thin man trapped in a fat mans body and I don't carry the weight well.

    Thanks for letting me cry on your s'houlder, I know what needs to be done, I just need to find the inner strength to do it. Please say a prayer for me because this is headed in the wrong direction and if I don't get it under control I dread to think about where I'll end up.

    AL S
  • My doc says it can take from a month to two to see the desired affect. I take 60 mg in the morning. I am feeling a little more upbeat and am hoping as you for the pain relief. Don't be too hard on yourself. Just try and eat healthy and do what you can when you feel up to it. I too can struggle with my weight. Hope your day will be kinder to you today.

  • Thanks Gracie,

    I think I am learning to be more patient. I don't know how I can forget so fast how bad off I was with my depression just a few short weeks ago. I am doing much better compared to that so thank God. I just keep hoping to do better, to want to enjoy life again, to go places and do something besides watch TV.

    I should be grateful that I'm up watching TV instead of spending 22 hours a day in bed trying to force myself to sleep my life away, so it is much better.

    It's only been 3 weeks and I just have to give it more time and hope that I keep improving. I think I got in the habit of being depressed and what I did then (sleep) so I have to change to better more productive habits.

    The back issues are worse with the added weight and of course that limits things too and stresses me about my weight.I will try to quit beating myself up though, it's not productive.

    Hope you have a great day,
    AL S
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