As we pass through the stages of life, one may have a stressful life event that can lead to depression and anxiety.
These mental health conditions are often treated using cymbalta (duloxetine). While cymbalta is an antidepressant drug, it has been reported to cause some withdrawal side effects such as brain zaps and suicidal thoughts. This led to the trend ‘cymbalta ruined my life’.
In this article, we will analyse the use of cymbalta, and why it causes some negative side effects.
Table of Contents
What is cymbalta (Duloxetine)?
Cymbalta is a prescription used to treat major depressive disorders, anxiety, and other conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic musculoskeletal pain.
It is a class of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). While Cymbalta has proven effective for many individuals, others claim it has caused severe side effects on their lives.
Is cymbalta dangerous?
Cymbalta is not dangerous. However, it may induce suicidal thoughts in some young people under 24 years.
Like other antidepressant drugs, Cymbalta usually comes with a warning label from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to contact your doctor if you have more suicidal thoughts after taking the drug so he can change it.
Outside of these rare suicidal thoughts, cymbalta does not have life-threatening side effects.
How does it work?
Cymbalta works by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. These transmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine helps to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and pain associated with certain conditions. Thus, returning the brain to a normal mood.
Some common side effects of Cymbalta use.
Like any other medication, Cymbalta may have some side effects ranging from mild to severe. Below are some of the mild side effects:
- Dry mouth
- Fatigue (lack of energy)
- Drowsy (feeling sleepy)
- Loss of appetite
- Sexual side effects
Mild side effects of most drugs usually go away after a few days or weeks. Talk to your doctor if the symptoms persist.
Severe side effects of taking cymbalta
In rare cases, taking duloxetine may lead to some bad side effects. These include:
Withdrawal symptoms: When you suddenly stop taking cymbalta, it may cause withdrawal effects such as dizziness, headache, irritability, brain zaps (electric shock sensations in the head), and others.
It is important you gradually reduce the dosage under the guidance of your doctor to reduce these effects.
Increased risk of suicide: Antidepressant drugs like cymbalta carry a small risk of increasing suicidal thoughts among youths under 24 years.
Patients under this age should be closely monitored for changes in mode or behavior, especially in the early stages of the treatment
Serotonin syndrome: Taking Cymbalta with other antidepressant medications that also increase serotonin levels can lead to a life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome.
Symptoms may include agitation, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, and increased body temperature. Prompt medical attention is necessary if these symptoms occur.
Patients should inform their doctor about other drugs they are taking to avoid potential interaction.
Sexual side effects
You may experience sexual side effects while taking cymbalta. These side effects are more common in males than females in recent studies.
Sexual side effects that are common in males taking cymbalta include:
- Erectile dysfunction (weak erection)
- Difficulty feeling sexually satisfied
Other side effects of taking cymbalta include
- High blood pressure
- Frequent bleeding
- Liver problems that may lead to liver failure
- Eye problems, such as
- Swelling around your eyes, vision changes, pain and redness of the eyes
- Allergic reaction
How cymbalta ruined my life: Henry’s experience / review on cymbalta
Henry wrote: My Journey with Cymbalta: Before and After
Cymbalta is an antidepressant medication usually prescribed to people with anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions. However, my personal experience with the drug was far from positive.
I was struggling with persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Seeking relief, my doctor prescribed cymbalta to me.
While I was hoping for an everlasting solution to my mental health struggles, there was a significant decline in my overall well-being.
Effects of cymbalta on my physical and mental health
Physically, cymbalta made me lose energy and motivation. I felt fatigued and constantly struggled to maintain focus.
I also have frequent headaches, dizziness, and gastrointestinal issues. These physical symptoms only added to my overall sense of discomfort and reduced quality of life.
Mentally, the effects were equally harmful. Rather than improving my mood and reducing my depressive symptoms, my mental health became worse.
I felt more anxious, irritable, and my ability to cope with daily stress vanished.
How Cymbalta affected your relationships
Though I was majorly depressed with social avoidance disorders before I started the medication, I do care about my family and my loving wife.
But after one month I started cymbalta, I can’t kiss my wife again without feeling like I want to vomit, nor can I scold and play with her like before.
My brother called me last week telling me about his wife that was very sick but I never cared. I don’t even care or speak with any of my family members again.
I feel like I don’t like everyone I used to love before. In fact, I have been having anger filled meltdowns with suicidal thoughts.
Tips to help you reduce the effects of cymbalta withdrawal.
To avoid withdrawal symptoms associated with cymbalta, these tips will assist you.
- Follow your doctor’s guidelines: Take medication the way your healthcare provider prescribed it. Don’t change your dose or stop taking the drug without your doctor’s consent.
- Begin with a low dose: Your doctor may likely start you with a low dose, and gradually increase it to reduce mood swings.
- Avoid alcohol: Drinking alcohol while taking cymbalta may increase the side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness and liver damage.
- Drink a lot of water and don’t allow your body to get dehydrated.
- Inform your doctor if you are taking if you are taking any other medication to avoid interaction
- Don’t stop taking cymbalta abruptly: If you want to stop the medication, inform your doctor so he will recommend a gradual taper off schedule to avoid withdrawal symptoms.