Cymbalta Ruined My Life: Unveiling Personal Experiences and Struggles

Imagine taking Cymbalta with the hopes of getting relief from pain, sadness, or anxiety, but instead, it causes more issues. Many folks experienced that. 

So, why are people saying that Cymbalta ruined their life?

Many people have faced troubling withdrawal symptoms when stopping Cymbalta, like ‘brain zaps’ or electric shock-like feelings. Additionally, some experienced severe side effects, including mood swings, intense dreams, hearing things that weren’t there, stomach cramps, sexual difficulties, and even thoughts of self-harm. These adverse effects led to significant distress and affected their overall well-being.

This article explores stories of people who believe Cymbalta harmed them. We’ll discuss their difficulties, the medicine’s downsides, and how to reduce the risks.


Cymbalta, also known as duloxetine, is a medication used to help with various conditions related to nerves and mood. It comes in a delayed-release capsule form and got FDA approval back in 2004.

Cymbalta Tablet


It’s prescribed by doctors to treat several conditions, which include:

How Cymbalta Works 

Cymbalta is part of a class of medications known as SSNRIs (selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). It’s designed to bring balance to certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. 

Cymbalta essentially helps keep chemicals active in the brain for longеr, which can alleviate symptoms of the conditions it’s prescribed for.

What Are The Downsides Of Cymbalta?

Side Effects

Side Effects of Cymbalta include: 

  • feeling nauseous
  • Having a dry mouth
  • dealing with constipation
  • experiencing diarrhea
  • feeling tired or fatigued
  • having trouble sleeping or changes in sleep patterns
  • feeling drowsy
  • loss of appetite
  • dizziness or feeling lightheaded
  • Potential weight changes (gain or loss)
  • sexual side effects (problems with libido, orgasm, or erectile function)
  • increased blood pressure.
  • shaking or trembling
  • blurred vision
  • excessive sweating
  • feeling anxious or nervous
  • restlessness
  • flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, and body aches
Downsides Of Cymbalta


Thoughts of Self-Harm  

Cymbalta, like other similar medicines, might make some people, especially younger adults under 24, have thoughts about hurting themselves. It’s essential to keep an eye on your mood, especially when you start taking it.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms of Cymbalta include:

  • headache
  • feeling dizzy or like the room is spinning (vertigo)
  • Shock-like sensations in the head or other body areas
  • ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • feeling sick and possibly vomiting
  • experiencing diarrhea 
  • sweating more than usual
  • feeling tired
  • becoming easily irritated
  • restlessness or fidgeting
  • muscle cramps
  • tremors (shaking)
  • fast heart rate or palpitations
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • having unusual or vivid dreams
  • increased anxiety

These symptoms may start within hours or days after stopping Cymbalta.

Serotonin Syndromе

If you take Cymbalta along with other mеdicinеs that also increase a chemical called serotonin, it could lead to a condition called sеrotonin syndromе

This might make you fееl agitatеd, sее things that aren’t there, your heart might bеat too fast, you could fееl rеally hot, your musclеs might gеt stiff, and you might gеt sick to your stomach. It’s important to tell your doctor about all the medicines you’re taking.

Could Mess with Blood Pressure

Cymbalta might change your blood prеssurе. Sometimes it might make it lowеr, еspеcially when you stand up quickly, which might incrеasе thе chancеs of falling. But in somе pеoplе, it could makе it go highеr too.

Blееding Risk

There’s a chance that Cymbalta might make you more likely to bleed. So if you’re taking othеr medicines that also raise thе risk of blееding, likе aspirin, you nееd to be cautious.

Low Sodium Lеvеls

Cymbalta might cause your body to have less sodium in the blood. This could lead to hеadachеs, confusion, wеaknеss, and even seizures—Pеoplе who are older or taking certain medicines nееd tо bе extra careful.

Livеr and Sugar Troublе

For some pеoplе, Cymbalta might affect thе livеr and makе diabеtеs hardеr to manage. Also, it might be risky if you have severe liver problems.

Eyеs And Mood

If you havе a cеrtain еyе condition callеd narrow-anglе glaucoma, Cymbalta might not be thе bеst choicе for you. Also, if you have bipolar disordеr, it could make you fееl too energetic or moody.

Interactions and Allеrgiеs

Cymbalta can mix up with other medicines you’re taking, mainly if they are processed by specific еnzymеs in your body. Some pеoplе have even had severe reactions to it.

How Cymbalta Ruined My Life

How Cymbalta Ruined My Life? 

From people’s reviews on Cymbalta, we can say that many have experienced a glimmer of hope through Cymbalta’s effects. On the other hand, many have borne the weight of despair as withdrawal symptoms and unforeseen side effects shattered their lives.

When people stop taking Cymbalta, they often experience troubling withdrawal symptoms. Some describe these as ‘brain zaps,’ like feeling electric shocks in the brain. Besides the withdrawal symptoms, there’s an even scarier problem related to Cymbalta. 

The issue of young individuals experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide appears to have gained significant attention. 

This matter is of such gravity that the FDA has instituted a mandate requiring all antidepressants, including Cymbalta, to feature a cautionary statement regarding this heightened risk.

Real Stories: What People Who Took Cymbalta Have To Say?

Now I am sharing some of the Cymbalta reviews and customer complaints. Reading these you will get to know how Cymbalta ruined others lives.

Angeline’s Story: From Hope to Feeling Awful

Angeline wanted relief from a painful condition called fibromyalgia. At first, Cymbalta helped her feel better. But after three weeks, things changed dramatically. She started having severe stomach cramps, feeling sick, terrible headaches, and even her mind felt confused. 

She also felt down and scared. Even after she stopped taking Cymbalta, she sometimes felt sick and dizzy.

Dealing With Unwanted Side Effects


Dealing With Unwanted Side Effects

A man shared his experience of suffering from many harmful side effects. The worst one was being unable to perform sexually, and he also couldn’t sleep well, had ringing in his ears, and always felt like he needed to pee. These problems made him feel sad, and he even started drinking alcohol to cope.

Scary Dreams And Hearing Things

A woman who hoped Cymbalta would help her with pain had a bad experience. She started having strong and non-stop dreams that kept her from sleeping well. She also heard things that weren’t there, like radio voices. This messed with her sense of what was real.

Terrible Feelings from Just One Dose

After taking Cymbalta only once, a person felt awful. They had wild thoughts and scary nightmares that felt as real as being awake, and their body hurt a lot, too, with their hearts racing, stomachs hurting, and feeling like they might throw up.

This made them really sad, and they thought dealing with their original health problem was better than what Cymbalta caused.

From Help With Pain To Feeling Really Bad

Curry’s life took a sad turn when she hoped Cymbalta would help her pain. Instead, she started having mood swings, feeling really down, and getting angry for no reason. 

Her work suffered, and she felt alone. When she tried to stop taking the medicine, she faced side effects like dizziness, feeling sick, and inability to control her emotions. Cymbalta went from being something good to something terrible in her life.

Scary Fainting Episodes


Scary Fainting Episodes

Mary’s experience was strange because she fainted while on Cymbalta. She got terrified for her safety and wanted to stop taking it. Her story shows how important it is to know about possible side effects, and she looked forward to feeling better once she could stop the medicine.

A Closer Look At The Study Findings On Cymbalta

Major Depression

They looked at Cymbalta in eight main studies involving 2,544 patients with major depression. In six of these studies, which tracked symptom changes over six months, Cymbalta was compared to a placebo. 

It turned out that Cymbalta was more effective than the placebo in four studies, especially when using the approved dose.

Neuropathic Pain

Regarding neuropathic pain, Cymbalta was tested against a placebo in studies with 809 diabetic adults. These studies lasted 12 weeks and measured pain intensity changes each week. 

The results showed that Cymbalta performed better than the placebo in reducing pain. Interestingly, pain reduction was noticeable from the first week and continued up to 12 weeks.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

Cymbalta was also studied for treating generalized anxiety disorder in five studies involving 2,337 patients. These studies compared Cymbalta to a placebo.

Four of these studies assessed the betterment of symptoms after nine to ten weeks of treatment. The findings indicated that Cymbalta was more effective than the placebo in treating this disorder and preventing symptoms from coming back.

Relapse Prevention

Two separate research studies involving 288 individuals who had been grappling with recurring depression for a maximum of five years were carried out. 

Researchers looked at how long it took for patients who responded to Cymbalta to experience a relapse. These studies found that it took longer for symptoms to return in patients taking Cymbalta than on a placebo. 

How To Safely Stop Taking Cymbalta


How To Safely Stop Taking Cymbalta And Deal With Its Side Effects Or Withdrawal Symptoms?

Follow these steps to help you through the process:

  • Always stick to the instructions your healthcare provider gives you. Take Cymbalta exactly as prescribed, and don’t take more than recommended.
  • If you have any worries or questions about Cymbalta, talk to your doctor. Open communication helps ensure you understand the medication and its effects.
  • Please don’t drink alcohol while on Cymbalta, as it can worsen the side effects.
  • Inform your doctor about any other medications or supplements you’re taking. Some interactions could occur.
  • When you decide to stop Cymbalta, don’t quit suddenly. Consult your doctor to develop a tapering plan. This involves gradually reducing the dose over several weeks to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
  • Taper off Cymbalta under your doctor’s supervision. They’ll consider factors like how long you’ve been taking it, your current dose, and your medical history to tailor the tapering process.
  • During tapering, you might experience withdrawal symptoms. Stick to the tapering plan your doctor provides. If symptoms are uncomfortable, adjustments can be made.
  • Over-the-counter medicines can treat symptoms like headaches, body aches, and nausea. Consult your doctor before taking new medications to avoid interactions.  
  • Lean on friends, family, and professionals for support. It’s important to express your feelings, especially if you are struggling with anxiety or depressive thoughts. 
  • Integrative remedies, like researched herbal options, might alleviate withdrawal symptoms. But always consult your doctor before trying them.
  • Taking care of yourself is essential. Regardless of your reasons for stopping Cymbalta, practice self-care to manage both mental health and any discomfort during the process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Cymbalta Withdrawal Permanent?

Cymbalta withdrawal is not permanent; most people go through the worst symptoms within the first 1 to 2 weeks after stopping thе medication. While symptoms can stay for several weeks or еvеn months in some cases, they generally resolve over time.

What Is The Controversy On Cymbalta? 

People who took the antidepressant Cymbalta made by Eli Lilly say they experienced strong physical and emotional problems when trying to stop the medicine. They’ve taken legal action against the company, trying to form a group lawsuit, but a court ruled against this, saying the drug’s withdrawal effects didn’t qualify for a class action.

Does Cymbalta affect your brain?

While scientific studies generally haven’t shown significant negative impacts on memory and brain function, some individuals taking Cymbalta have reported issues like difficulty concentrating and “brain zaps”.


To conclude, the stories of people Cymbalta ruined life show that Cymbalta has many harmful effects on people. Some feel better because of it, while others struggle with side effects and face withdrawal symptoms after stopping it. 

If you are thinking about taking Cymbalta or dealing with Its aftereffects, talk openly with your healthcare provider, this will make a smart choice for your health. 

Marzia Khan

Marzia Khan

Marzia Khan is the director of content and operations at RobustAlive. She contributes to content strategy and process management across product initiatives, RND, and the editorial. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Frontline, and the PBS. Before joining RobustAlive, she also co-authored award-winning research on health and wellness and participated in various initiatives to increase awareness about healthy living and chronic disease prevention. She acts as the co-editor for RobustAlive and brings an expansive network of connections to the table while managing activity execution where required.