Recently due to a huge
error by my insurance company I have not been able to get my medication for depression. I have been going through
complete withdrawal for the last week and let me tell you it is agonizingly horrible.
I have heard from many friends that I am in serious danger and this could possibly kill me. So I went looking online for some answers. Here is what I
I wrote an article on how much Cymbalta withdrawal symptons suck and
I was pretty shocked at the amount of comments that are being posted from people who were going through the same exact Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms.
The common theme is that no one was made aware of the Cymbalta withdrawal side effects upfront.
There was an article posted over at The Discovering Alcoholic’s website where he talked about Purdue Pharma’s misrepresentation of Oxycontin. The
top executives blatantly downplayed the dangers and the addictive properties of Oxycontin with one thing in mind…the almighty dollar. It got me
thinking about all of the comments being left on my Cymbalta withdrawal symptom post.
I understand that people aren’t throwing their entire lives away to get another pill of Cymbalta like what is sometimes done (myself included on
that) with Oxycontin, but there really is a similarity here. For Cymbalta to cause such severe withdrawal symptoms in people for such an extended
period of time there must be some real brain dependency going on here.
I was definitely not made aware of the withdrawal symptoms. Which have been going at full strength for a whole week now.
In a previous post I had explained that I was slowly weening off Cymbalta with my doctor’s guidance. This started with me reducing my daily dose
in half. I felt the effects of that in the form of Cymbalta withdrawal which included a weird buzzing in my brain that I have named brain shivers.
Within a couple of days my body got used to this lower dose I was feeling back to my self again. That was a little over a month ago. The time was here
for me to stop taking Cymbalta all together. Sure, I was a little nervous about the withdrawal symptoms but I decided to go along with the plan that
my doctor and I had come up with which meant to stop taking Cymbalta.
Well…this time the Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms are far more severe than the last. Not only am I getting the brain shivers way more frequently
throughout the day, I can tell that I am very short tempered and a little emotional. Since being emotional is not something I’m used to after being
on antidepressants for over 2 years…it’s pretty upsetting to me. Of course it’s upsetting, everything is upsetting to me right
Here are the current symptoms I have: depression, brain shivers, extremely emotional, increased appetite, apathy, random instances of rage, nausea,
urge to vomit, suicidal thoughts.
The brain shivers are the hardest to deal with in my opinion. Just because I cant stop them. It is quite distressing to sit here and have my head feel
like an earthquake zone every few seconds. They can get so bad I get nausea and feel the need to lay down.
Now let me reiterate something here. I am not
weening myself off of Cymbalta with my doctors help. I was forced to stop taking my medication
(which I was happy with) by my insurance companies stupidity. I cant afford to go out and buy 60 pills for 300$ without medical insurance. I was
taking 120mg a day, the highest dose you can take. So I went from highest dose to nothing.
It really sucks.
Here's some more information for you to digest.
Eli-Lilly, the makers of Cymbalta does not make the severe side effects of Cymbalta known to the public, nor the massive withdrawal
effects. Doctors are not informed of the withdrawal effects, and it is something that showed up in trials prior to being released, and severe issues
have been arising since, but Eli-Lilly does not make this readily available to the public.
Cymbalta can cause withdrawal symptoms, either when your body decides it wants more, or when it isn't taken exactly on time, or when you try to
discontinue it. Its something the drug company (Eli Lilly) doesn't make well known. Its part of a condition known as SSRI Withdrawal or
Discontinuation Syndrome. Also known online as "withdrawal hell". There are many websites that are bashing Cymbalta and people write in comments and
their tribulations with trying to come off the drug or having the withdrawal effects as side effects. Many people that try to go off it end up staying
on it because they cant tolerate the effects that can last months or up to a year.
During the clinical trials with Eli Lilly, a 19 year old girl commit suicide in their labs on day 4 of coming off the drug because she couldn't
handle the side effects. The drug company has patients screwed. Your body wants more, and if you don't give it more, you go into withdrawal...if you
try to go off it completely, you cant.
In monitoring my personal intake, I came to the conclusion that 18 - 20 hours after my dose, my body goes into withdrawals. I don't even make it to
24 hours. Cymbalta has a very short half life, meaning that your body may metabolize the drug before the next dosage and put your body into
In my personal experiences with Cymbalta... I must
take it on time or I feel the withdrawal within 2 to 4 hours of missing a pill.
More on the "Brain Shivers"
"Brain zaps" are said to defy description for whoever has not experienced them, but the most common themes are of a sudden "jolt," likened to
an electric shock, apparently occurring or originating in the brain itself, with associated disorientation for a few seconds. They are sometimes
accompanied by tinnitus and vertigo-like feelings. Immediately following this shock is a light-headedness that may last for up to ten seconds. The
sensation can be described for many as a flashbulb going off inside the head or brain, coupled with a sudden sensation of pressure within the ears
which is similar to the feeling of trying to relieve inner-ear pressure. Another anecdotal description of a "zap" is as though someone had opened up
the person's skull and dragged a static-y blanket across his or her exposed brain. Essentially, it is a wave-like electrical pulse that quickly
travels across the surface of (or through) the brain. Still another description is that it is like a bug zapper in stereo traveling back and forth
across the back of the head, accompanied by a taste of aluminum foil in the mouth. Moving one's eyes from side to side quickly has also been shown to
trigger these zaps and causing them to come in rapid succession. It is thought to be a form of neuro-epileptiform activity. As withdrawal time
increases, so does the frequency of the shocks, before they wane completely. At their peak, brain zaps have been associated with severe headaches.
They may last for a period of several weeks after the last dose and usually resolve completely within a month or two. However, anecdotal reports of
"zaps" from protracted withdrawal are known to last a year or
And the do all End all:
General Side Effects of Cymbalta
Sleepiness, weakness, sweating, diarrhea, urinary difficulties, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, insomnia, nausea, sexual difficulties, dizziness
Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders : anemia, leukopenia, increased whit blood cell count, lymphadenopathy, and thrombocytopenia.
Gastrointestinal Disorders : gastritis, blood in stool, colitis, dysphasia, esophageal stenosis acquired, gastric ulcer, gingivitis, irritable bowel
syndrome, and lower abdominal pain.
Psychiatric Disorders: initial insomnia, irritability, lethargy, nervousness, nightmare, restlessness, and sleep disorder, completed suicide, mania,
mood swings, pressure of speech, sluggishness, and suicide attempt.
Renal and Urinary Disorders: dysuria, micturition urgency, urinary hesitation, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, and urine flow decreased.
Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: night sweats, pruritus, and rash, acne, alopecia, cold sweat, ecchymosis, eczema, erythema, face edema,
increased tendency to bruise, and photosensitivity reaction.
Vascular Disorders: peripheral edema and phlebitis.
Let me make it known that my doctor told me of the possible side effects of Cymbalta and these were not on the list.
I do not know if I want to take this medication anymore...