New to Cymbalta and the Side Effects I am having...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dc1980, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. dc1980

    dc1980 New Member

    Good Morning Everyone,

    I was diagnosed in June 05 with FM, CFS, Depression, and Back Issues (Bulging Disks, Cysts in Disk) plus I have so many more problems I can't think straight this morning. I even have lesions on my brain.

    When I first had this DD, I was put on Effexor ER for depression and it really seemed to help with the depression of this DD, losing my job, losing myself, I had 5 family deaths in 6 months.

    Well about 4-5 months ago, I stopped taking the Effexor ER because I didn't feel depressed anymore and I had been fine without them until about a couple of weeks ago. I went to my PCP and told them what was going on - crying spells for no reason, having problems going out of the house just wanting to be by myself, finding it hard to take a shower and get dressed etc. I have these problems anyway it has just been magnified x 10.

    My PCP suggested I take Cymbalta, I told her that My mother took it after her back surgery and for depression, so I knew a little bit about the drug. My PCP said it was also good for nerve pain, and if it did not work we would revaluate in Sept.

    Here is the problems I have been having since 8.08.08 when I started taking the Cymbalta.... severe insomnia, retaining water, seeing double only at times, constipation, craving of sugars (chocolate like a mad person), just not like myself I am feeling weird, like I am in a room by myself even when I am with others, it is kind of like a rumbling back ground noise like a ringing in my ears.

    Just today, I kinda feel half way normal.

    For those who take or have taken Cymbalta I have a few questions. Anyone who has taken Cymbalta, did have any side effects whether severe or mild? Anyone currently taking Cymbalta, areyou having any odd things such as feelings, cravings or losing your train of thought happen to you? Anyone gain weight? Lose weight? If you can think of anything I haven’t mentioned please feel free ?

    I appreciate your time for reading this long post; I had to put my thinking cap on to type this where it made sense.

    Thank you,

    [This Message was Edited on 08/19/2008]
  2. frosty77

    frosty77 New Member

    All the SSRI's and SNRI's have many side effects which seem to effect each individual person differently. I've been on both Effexor and Cymbalta and basically had the same side effects for each - I've gained weight and have intense cravings for sugars and carbs.

    The first few weeks on each, I had racing thoughts. Very common side effects for both are dizziness, nausea, headache, apathy, insomnia, memory loss, agitation, brain zaps. Blurred vision is common with Cymbalta. Please check for a full list of side effects.

    I think it also takes a few weeks for your body to adjust to a new med. And some side effects never go away - I've had cravings for sugar/carbs for years now and keep gaining weight.

  3. kitteejo

    kitteejo Member

    I've been on Cymbalta for about a month now. Lucky for me I have the symptom of loss of appetite. I've lost 13 lbs.

    I take mine in the AM because at night it won't let me sleep. I do get a little sleepy at around 3 PM but I fight taking a nap so I can try to get a better nights sleep. I know someone who takes it around 5 PM so it helps her sleep better.

    None of the sleep meds that I have been on work for me. Waiting for Medco RX to mail me a new one, Roserum. Will see if that works.

    Depression still sneaks in once in awhile but that will always be the way for me.

    I was on Prozac for over twenty years so this is a nice change for me. I can actually have some emotions now. My eyes even teared up for me. Could never cry on Prozac.

    I seem to get a little boost of energy right after I take it but it doesn't last long.

    I'm on 60mg.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/19/2008]
  4. cfsgeorge

    cfsgeorge New Member

    My first doc knew nothing about CFS and thought it was all in my head when the blood test came back normal. So he put me on cymbalta. I asked him "why a SSRI?" he said, "it'll make you feel great! go out with your friends and have fun. i'll see you in 2 months."

    i took 20mg of cymbalta for 1month whereby it made me a "zombie". On top of the exhaustion from CFS, cymbalta completely flared up my brain fog, anxiety, insomnia and my short term memory was gone. It made my cognitive symptoms much much worse. The only thing positive was that i felt like i had "refreshing" sleep for once even though i barely slept on it.

    I am a health professional and it is my professional opinion that SSRI's(ecstacy/mdma by prescription) are very dangerous drugs not to be taken unless there are lab tests to prove you have a serotonin deficientcy(btw: there are no lab tests).If you say neurotransmitters are affected by CFS, than prove it first before using CFS patients as lab rats. You wouldn't take thyroxine, testosterone, hgh, cholesterol meds, BP meds, cortisol, etc without proper blood tests to show a deficientcy. So don't mess with your brain's neurotransmitters as they are all interconnected and can be permanently changed/damaged with daily use of these meds. Don't come out of CFS only to have a mental illness to deal with afterwards.

    Bottom line is CFS/ME is a physical disease not a mental disease. You wouldn't treat someone with cancer, heart disease, MS, diabetus, AIDS, or other chronic physical diseases with SSRI's. SSRI's should only be used as a last resort for patients diagnosed with severe chronic mental depression w/o a physical cause or other medical explanation. It should not be used for sleep, pain, or because you're "sad" from a physical disease or traumatic life events(divorce, loss of job, death in family, etc.)
  5. dragon06

    dragon06 New Member

    I don't take Cymbalta myself but my MIL does. She has had no problems with it. However I understand that Cymbalta is one of those meds that can take a few weeks to get into your system to really work properly and that you can have side effects during this time.

    If you are concerned then I would call your doctor and explain the side effects you are having and see whether they want you to stick it out a couple more weeks to see what happens or to see if they want to take you off it.
  6. shan1078

    shan1078 New Member

    I have been on/off different antidepressants for about 11 years now. One thing that I know for sure is that the side effects should subside if you can make it the full 2 weeks (14days).

    And if they don't I would talk to your dr. to make sure this is the right med for you. I myself have tried Cymbalta twice before. The side effects were too much for me to make it to the 2 week mark. However, I was given Cymbalta on top of my taking Wellbutrin. So, it probally magnified my side effects. I too felt a little strange. And my muscles were "jumping" all of the time.

    Have you tried Wellbutrin? It comes in several different doses now, and is also avaiable in extended release. I have FM/CFS along with some other problems, but Wellbutrin has been a big help. It helps with your energy, and also has a slight side effect of weight loss. I take mine in the morning, so I can sleep better at night. This too, my give you some strange side effects first. But for me, there were not as bad as the side effects of Cymbalta.

    I am not an expert or anything, but if the Cymabata dosen't work out to well, I think it's definately worth talking to your doctor about. I am taking Wellbutrin XR 300mg's, 1 every morning. Your doctor may start you out on a smaller dose at first to see how well you tollerate it. I've been on it now for 7 yrs., and don't think I could go without it.

    One quick note:
    For me the regular genric version of Wellbutrin (without the extended release) didn't work too well. Speaking from my personal experience. I think it's one of those meds where the brand can make a big difference. The name brand of the"regular" Wellbutrin was the only one that seemed to work. However, I now take the generic version of the extended release, which seems just as good as the brand. But, it's only about 20 dollars cheaper.

    Hope this helps,
  7. slimgirl319

    slimgirl319 New Member

    My doctor put me on Cymbalta when I started treatment - I didn't make it the full week because it was making me sick to my stomach-I felt off balance and I woke up the last night I took it totally lost and confused in my own kitchen wandering where I was and which way to go. I called the next day and was taken off of it.
  8. kitteejo

    kitteejo Member


    Some of us have had depression way before they got CFID or FM. Some of us got depressed after they got CFID or FM.

    If your not depressed you shouldn't need it.

    I've been depressed forever.

  9. cfsgeorge

    cfsgeorge New Member

    i understand where you're coming from. I am in no way saying that people suffering from depression prior to CFS should not be taking an anti-depressant. They should treat their depression the best way possible under the care of your physician.

    SSRI's should be used for severe chronic depression not for CFS/FM/Cancer/Aids/DM/COPD/Heart Disease/ETC who have no depression prior, during, or after an illness.

    More importantly, i'm saying that SSRI's should only be used as a last resort for primary depression not for symptomatic relief of secondary depression due to a primary illness/disease(CFS/FM/AIDS/COPD/ETC). The goal is to treat the primary disease or root cause. Using an anti-depressant for secondary depression(symptom) can cause primary depression(disease).
  10. vannafeelbettr

    vannafeelbettr New Member

    I feel like a zombie, notice clothes are much tighter (eating no more as usual) and have difficulty falling asleep at night, and staying awake during day. it has calmed my emotions, which is good and bad. Jury is still out for me.
  11. cfsgeorge

    cfsgeorge New Member

    When i say i felt like a "zombie", it literally made me so brainfogged, so forgetful, and so emotionless that i could no longer care or think for myself. i would wake up not knowing where i was, when did i last eat, when did i take a shower, etc. I had no "feelings" good or bad. i no longer cared nor remembered that i was ill. i just slept and slept. It just got worse every week i was on cymbalta esp the 3rd and 4th weeks when i became a "vegetable". I did not have all these cognitive problems before taking the cymbalta. Once stopped, these new cognitive symptoms remained with me but the severity decreased by 80%.

    A family member had to call the prescribing doc to tell him about these side-effects. If not for the call, i don't know what would have happened to me if i stayed on cymbalta for the 2 months as was the original plan. The very embarrassed doc referred me to a psychiatrist so that he could evaluate my mental status and to safely take me off the cymbalta.

    After realizing i did not and never had a mental illness, the psch took me off cymbalta. Other than that, the psychiatrist was completely useless as he said chronic fatigue is just a general term "we" use and that there is no such illness as chronic fatigue syndrome. yet, he couldn't diagnose me with anything else. instead, he prescribed me ritalin w/o addressing my insomnia which made everything worse again.

    So after 4 docs and their failed treatments, i've gotten much much worse than if i did nothing at all. Now, i have "full-blown" CFS. Looks like the best treatment for me is to just sleep, rest, and allow my own body to heal.

    Without knowing the cause or the disease process, there is no way you can effectively treat or cure a chronic illness IMPO. How can you treat AIDS without knowing the cause and targeting against the HIV? How can you treat cancer without knowing which cancerous cells to target? You can treat all the symptoms and secondary infections/illnesses of both AIDS and cancer but it will all be in vain without targeting the root cause which is HIV and the specific cancerous cells.

    What exactly are all the treatments targeting in CFS-the symptoms or the cause?
  12. mjwarchol

    mjwarchol New Member

    I was on it for a while. I have tried almost all the antidepressants with no luck. The Cymbalta did cause me to have sugar cravings which I normally don't have.

    I gained 40 pounds with it, even though my psychiatrist said it was a weight neutral drug. He said he had many patients gain weight with it. I went off of it 2 months ago. I still have not lost the weight and the depression is still very bad. Right now I am not on anything for depression.

    Sometimes some of the side effects go away after you take the meds a while. Best of luck.

    M J
  13. msnova74

    msnova74 New Member

    Keep in mind that I realize that we are all very different.

    I began cymbalta 2 weeks ago.

    The first several days were horrible. I was nauseous (even with the phenergren (SP?)).

    However, It is a miracle drug for me. My energy is up. And I have had my first 3 pain free days in 8 years!!!!!!

    I am very sensitive to meds. It seems like everytime we try a new med my body tries to reject it. My MD understands this and will give me something to counteract the side effects.


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