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My Experiences With Cymbalta And Extreme Fatigue

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I've been on duloxetine/cymbalta for anxiety and panic attacks caused by micromanaging at work (unfortunately this is acceptable at work, but that's life !)

 

I could clearly remember the first time I took cymbalta 30mg, everything seems ok until 2 hrs later it struck me whilst I was shopping, I felt heavy chested almost choking sensation it was very difficult to breath, I had to rush home and curl up in bed, I was then extremely relaxed so much so I couldn't really move and soon fell a sleep in the afternoon.  After 2 weeks my doctor up my medication to 60mg,  I felt really good almost a sense of euphoria, a medical high and cymbalta was the best thing that happened to me. I started to take cymbalta in the mornings as it was affecting my sleep if I took it a night due to the electrical zaps i get bit different from brain zaps.   A few months later (and a few more panic attacks) the panics attacks stopped or was not so severe,  I missed my medication at work and this is when everything good about cymbalta ended.  I missed a tablet 60 mg one day and my heart was beating so fast 130 bpm for 4 days non stop even when resting, although I didn't feel like I was unwell, I went to see my doctor and she quickly advise me to do a EGC scan and I nearly had to be admitted to hospital.  I then was told to go down to 30mg which was torture for 1 month due the withdrawal symptoms, and then asked to go back to 60mg.

Everything was ok, my emotions was very numb, I wasn't sad or happy just very dull.  During this time i had been seeing a psychologist and I was very confused about my emotions I had a big personality and cymbalta kind of took away my personality and I felt not myself.  I was sedated, feeling unintelligent, I wasn't speaking confidently, i would slur my words due to the mouth grinding side effect that comes with cymbalta. In fact I had a lot of side effects including blur vision, craving for lots of sugar, weight gain, mouth grinding, fatigue, diarrhea, stomach cramps, slight feeling like i'm about to faint, restless legs at night, brain zaps, thirsty, flu like symptoms, diabetes like symptoms, confusion, zoning out, rapid heart beats at times.  I also had constipation and the toliet would be full of blood almost everyday for a few months (this may not be a symptom but constipation stopped after cymbalta) .  These symptoms stuck with me through out the rest of time with cymbalta.  The only thing that got worst was fatigue, I would wake up every morning almost all the time at around 5am and I can easily get out of bed ok, but when I went back to sleep and my alarm went off at 9am I was so knocked out and drowsy that I couldn't move at all almost felt like I was tranquilized, I never felt so fatigue, and if I tried to wake up I couldn't stand up properly and most of the time I had to call work to take a day off.  This was happening to me about twice a week.  If I gave in and slept, I would sleep upto 15 to 17 hours and on weekends I would sleep most of the afternoon and I would also have no trouble sleeping at night as well.  When I do manage to drag myself to work I must confess that I need coffee, and I would have 1 to 2 cups a day which didn't effect my sleep at all.  I do have weird dreams, and have excessive sweats when i wake up in the morning, my bed sheets would be soaking wet, and I'm not sure if my excessive sugary diet was playing a factor in the amount of sweats. 

 

Fatigue got so bad that I would take alot of time off work as I was so knocked out, this is very different to being sleepy and can't wake up, this was seriously like being knocked out when your knocked out from bringe drinking without the spinning and nausea, I felt like i didn't want to move and if I did wake up I couldn't stand up straight and I couldn't really walk.

 

This led to HR question me at work for taking too much sick leave without certificate and it was so hard to explain and even though I have explained my condition already.  Work was pressuring me to come in on time and each time I had to explain that I was very fatigue and I believe this had to do with my medication.

 

I decided to withdraw from cymbalta, due to all the side effects directly or indirectly caused by cymbalta, I went cold turkey against my GP's orders to withdraw slowly and took time off.

 

To be honest it wasn't too bad in comparison to all the symptoms i had, there was alot of brain zaps and this continued for a month after the withdraw process.

 

During my withdrawal of Cymbalta/cold turkey, I had anxiety symptoms, felt grumpy, felt like i haven't slept properly, 1 or 2 weeks after my withdraw, during my shopping I would walk around the shopping with no clear direction of where I'm going, I would sweat alot suddenly my heart beat would be around 120 bpm or higher, my legs would suddenly feel wobbly and a sense of feeling unwell needing to lie down.  My emotions was like a rollercoaster, almost split personalities, I would feel very confident, feel like spending money and shopping then I would feel flat but defensive and assert myself strongly, then later there is another kind side of me which I spoke softly and very kind.  Slowly these polar sides of my personality is slowly balancing out, but it's a scary thought to think that what started out with panic attacks and anxiety end up like this.

 

I'm not sure if anyone had a similar situation as myself with cymbalta ?

Edited by lighter

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I am sorry about everything that you've experienced. My only side effect while being on Cymbalta is weight gain. My doctor tried to tell me that I was just eating more, but I hardly eat enough. :( I ate a bunch when I was depressed and never gained this much weight (all in my stomach).

 

Unfortunately, there has been a steady increase in my weight gain since I've been on Cymbalta. When I weaned myself off of it, the pounds slipped right off, but I had to go back on the medicine because of my depression. I haven't had luck with others. 

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I will be starting Cymbalta tomorrow, I hope the side effects aren't too bad and it actually works and doesn't make things worse as the previous meds we've tried.. 

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Just an update, I went to see my psychiatrist, and I explained the side effects cymbalta has given me.  So he told me most of the stuff I describe in my post when I was on cymbalta is not  caused by the medication but did not elaborate..  I wasn't happy.  So he asked me to take Lovan which is basically prozac.  I started slowly on 5mg dose and after 2 days of taking it I was bleeding in the toliet again, abnormal excessive bleeding even though i was not constipated. I continue to take lovan for a further 2 weeks and went on 10mg as per my doc order.  When I took it the next morning I nearly fainted and sweated so badly as I was so light headed, and I thought to my self this maybe be to do with all the excessive bleeding.   I email my Psychiatrist about the symptoms and he again ignored me and advise me that this is not a symptom of the medication.  I decided to stop my medication as it was also making me so fatigue, and guess what ??? the bleed stopped and has stop for 5 days now where it was everyday since I took lovan !!  when I stopped taking cymbalta the bleeding also stopped.   I have mix feelings about letting my doctor know that I have stopped as he doesn't seem to take seriously what I have to say.  I'm sure this must of contributed to my extreme fatigue when taking cymbalta.  I checked on the FTA website on cymbalta and prozac and found that they had acknowledge that there is a bleeding problem with these medications.  I feel that if I do tell my psychiatrist that I have stop my medication he will not allow me to go back to work which I need to support myself financially and if I do tell HR at work they will only listen to my doc's advise that I need to continue to take my medication.   I have panic attacks but I feel that I am treated like someone back in the old days at the psychiatric hospital crying wolf.   

Edited by lighter

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I am sorry about everything that you've experienced. My only side effect while being on Cymbalta is weight gain. My doctor tried to tell me that I was just eating more, but I hardly eat enough. :( I ate a bunch when I was depressed and never gained this much weight (all in my stomach).

 

Unfortunately, there has been a steady increase in my weight gain since I've been on Cymbalta. When I weaned myself off of it, the pounds slipped right off, but I had to go back on the medicine because of my depression. I haven't had luck with others. 

 

I don't know why more doctors don't pay more attention to this side effect of gaining weight mostly in the abdomen.  First of all, abdomenal fat is really unhealthy, and to me any medication that is causing fat to accumulate there is not a good medication.  I'm a skinny person and when on Cymbalta my waistline simply expanded as if my magic, I swear I wasn't eating anymore.  It also made me feel like my head was stuffed with cotton, not care about anything, and just sleep all the time.  All in all,  I think Cymbalta is a rather evil medication.  Just my opinion.  

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I am sorry about everything that you've experienced. My only side effect while being on Cymbalta is weight gain. My doctor tried to tell me that I was just eating more, but I hardly eat enough. :( I ate a bunch when I was depressed and never gained this much weight (all in my stomach).

 

Unfortunately, there has been a steady increase in my weight gain since I've been on Cymbalta. When I weaned myself off of it, the pounds slipped right off, but I had to go back on the medicine because of my depression. I haven't had luck with others. 

 

I don't know why more doctors don't pay more attention to this side effect of gaining weight mostly in the abdomen.  First of all, abdomenal fat is really unhealthy, and to me any medication that is causing fat to accumulate there is not a good medication.  I'm a skinny person and when on Cymbalta my waistline simply expanded as if my magic, I swear I wasn't eating anymore.  It also made me feel like my head was stuffed with cotton, not care about anything, and just sleep all the time.  All in all,  I think Cymbalta is a rather evil medication.  Just my opinion.  

 

 

Thanks for sharing your experience. I really want to get off of it (my new insurance charges more for it as well - I refuse to switch to generic, having been on brand for over 6 years and having read people's reactions). I am just afraid about depression returning. My doctor is like, "Let me prescribe Wellbutrin, and we'll see if that cancels out the weight gain." (since Wellbutrin is used as a weight loss drug in addition to antidepressant). I don't know anymore. :( 

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wow didn't have any idea that side effects can be so horrible. I dont know anythig about cymbalta, but  I can tell you that panic attacks cannot be treated only with medications! Pharmacotherapy must be combined with psychotherapy ..CBT Medicines are just adjust but not the main treatment.

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