Cymbalta, SNRI’s and the Horrific Withdrawal

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Cymbalta and the Horrific Withdrawal

What your Pharmaceutically Trained Doctor Will Not Tell You

Cymbalta is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). Cymbalta (Pro) Generic name: duloxetine. It is used to treat depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic musculoskeletal pain, and neuropathic pain. Fibromyalgia is curable, so be sure to read to the bottom and see our other articles on the cure to autoimmune diseases. We will discuss the details of the cure later. We wanted to put that out there upfront, so you understand that there is hope if that is why you take Cymbalta, but first, let’s dive into the plethora of substantial reasons why this medication should be pulled off of the market.

In rare cases, patients have suffered severe — and sometimes fatal — side effects, including liver damage, abnormal bleeding, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Suddenly stopping the drug may lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, such as electric shock sensations known as brain zaps, among many other life-altering adverse side effects.

If you are here because you are considering taking these drugs, please be very well aware that the Discontinuation Syndrome that occurs with these drugs may have permanent symptoms, and some are life-altering; the same is seen in all SNRI’s and SSRI’s.

The withdrawal symptoms are a group of symptoms that occur after discontinuing Cymbalta or an SNRI or SSRI medication, called Discontinuation Syndrome.

This syndrome can make your life a living hell according to the testimony of many people. What they report is no where near what pharma reports in thier study. You know the one that they backed and conducted themselves to get it approved.

SNRI’s also goes by many other brand names. SNRIs include desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), venlafaxine (Effexor), venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR), milnacipran (Savella), and levomilnacipran (Fetzima). SSRI’s include

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Selfemra, Sarafem)
  • Fluvoxamine (Faverin, Luvox, Luvox CR)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Viibryd (Vilazodone)

Discontinuation Syndrome can happen with both SSRI’s and SNRI’s

SNRI’s also goes by many other brand names including:

  1. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
  2. Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  3. Milnacipran (Savella)2
  4. Venlafaxine (Effexor, Effexor XR )

Discontinuation has also been reported in Gabapentin (Neurontin)

SSRI’s include

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Selfemra, Sarafem)
  • Fluvoxamine (Faverin, Luvox, Luvox CR)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Viibryd (Vilazodone)

We want to speak with more people who have had a horror story with SNRI’s. We are filming a documentary and doing a segment on this topic. We will also write about your experience here. We would like to have first-hand details of what the doctors told you about taking this drug, what you knew about it, what the pharmacist said if you asked, and your overall experience with what happened when you stopped taking the medication. We can keep your identification protected if you like.

There have been many Cymbalta lawsuits against the manufacturer Eli Lilly. They state that Eli Lilly misled the public by downplaying the drug’s risks and overstating its benefits. They say that the company committed fraud when they lied about the prevalence of withdrawal syndrome prevalence while also seriously downplaying these potential complications. They allege that Eli Lilly did not adequately warn patients and doctors of the risks of using Cymbalta.

Doctors are supposed to be versed in the black box warnings and side effects. It is rare that a doctor ever pulls out the package insert and discusses the possibility of the potentially life-altering debilitating side effects and the Discontinuation Syndrome associated with this drug. We feel doctors should rely on something other than the salesperson who works on commission to educate the doctor about the medicine, but they do. Even then, they must discuss and learn about the potentially life-altering effects. In our other articles, you can read how the salespeople hide the side effects from the doctors in an attempt to increase sales.  The doctors should take some this responsibility in the lack of educating patients about the severe consequences that may occur.

Some lawsuits go as far as using the language “defective drug.” We believe that many drugs are toxic, but we would agree to the term defective. We could apply this to an abundance of other medications.

If we have not yet convinced you not to consider using this drug, you can go to a Group on Facebook that currently has over 20,000 members; the operators of this site have documented a way to slowly wean off this drug.  They call it the SLOW TAPER METHOD. They seem entirely experienced in the details of the withdrawal process. We were surprised to see their guidelines and a list of herbs and supplements to avoid detoxing this horrific chemical out of the body. It seems our favorite supplements for anxiety and depressants are not suitable during withdrawal because they, too, have effects on serotonin levels. This group is well-versed in something that the industry should also study.

This group is incredibly supportive, highly educated, and can advise based on experiences where the pharma industry sweeps these people under the rug. This group truly cares and has solutions.

If you read the pharmaceutical companies’ studies, you will see many different results than you will see when discussing withdrawal symptoms with people who have had first-hand experiences. We believe there is deception here. This 2005 study says that the symptoms of discontinuation syndrome in 45% of the people resolved by the end of the study, but they do not tell you how long the study was. They state that 65% resolved all symptoms in a week. We have found a study that shows discontinuing antidepressants can have permanent or lasting side effects or last up to two years, but pharma won’t talk about that.

They also say the withdrawal effects in the studies were dizziness, nausea, headache, paresthesia (pins and needles), vomiting, irritability, and nightmares. Does not seem so horrible, right, if it’s all gone in a week? Wait for to you hear the first-hand experiences. This is not even close to what we have found. We found MS-type symptoms, major depressive disorder, insomnia, and a plethora of very severe issues that the study that the manufacturer did fail to report.

Yes, the pharmacuetucial manufacturers are responsible for all the testing to decide whether it is safe for the market. There is no deception possible here. Here is a story of pure deception by Mereck if you would like first-hand information on how they do it and get away with it. This story exposes how they falsified clinical trials back to our non-deceptive, completely honest Eli Lily trials.


Declaration of interest.  David Perahia, Daniel Kajdasz, and Durisala Desaiah are Eli Lilly and Company employees. Peter Haddad has received payment from Eli Lilly and Company and other pharmaceutical companies for attending advisory boards, lecturing and consultancy work.

Patient Online Report of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor-Induced Persistent Postwithdrawal Anxiety and Mood Disorders

You should follow the link and read this study first. Then, compare that study that followed real-life sufferers to the pharma-backed study.

Eli Lily is the manufacturer of Cymbalta. This is their Study. Symptoms following abrupt discontinuation of duloxetine treatment in patients with major depressive disorder

Lilly Research Centre, EMC Building, Erl Wood Manor, Sunninghill Road, Windlesham, Surrey, GU20 6PH, UK
The Gordon Hospital, London SW1, UK
Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Neuroscience and Psychiatry Unit, University of Manchester, UK


Discontinuation symptoms are common following antidepressant treatment. This report characterizes symptoms following duloxetine discontinuation.


Data were obtained from 9 clinical trials assessing the efficacy and safety of duloxetine in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).


In a pooled analysis of 6 short-term treatment trials, in which treatment was stopped abruptly, discontinuation-emergent adverse events (DEAEs) were reported by 44.3% and 22.9% of duloxetine- and placebo-treated patients, respectively (p<0.05). The mean number of symptoms among duloxetine-treated patients reporting at least 1 DEAE was 2.4. DEAEs reported significantly more frequently on abrupt discontinuation of duloxetine compared with placebo were dizziness (12.4%), nausea (5.9%), headache (5.3%), paresthesia (2.9%), vomiting (2.4%), irritability (2.4%), and nightmares (2.0%). Dizziness was also the most frequently reported DEAE in the analyses of 3 long-term duloxetine studies.

Across the short- and long-term data sets, 45.1% of DEAEs had resolved in the duloxetine-treated populations by the end of the respective studies. Most of these (65.0%) resolved within seven days. Most patients rated the severity of their symptoms as mild or moderate. A higher proportion of patients reporting DEAEs were seen with 120 mg/day duloxetine compared with lower doses. For doses between 40 and 120 mg/day of duloxetine, the proportion of patients reporting at least one DEAE differed significantly from placebo. Extended treatment with duloxetine beyond 8-9 weeks did not appear to be associated with an increased incidence or severity of DEAEs.


Abrupt discontinuation of duloxetine is associated with a DEAE profile similar to that seen with other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressants. It is recommended that, whenever possible, clinicians gradually reduce the dose no less than 2 weeks before discontinuation of duloxetine treatment.

LIMITATIONS: The main limitation is the use of spontaneously reported DEAEs ADLilly Research Centre, EMC Building, Erl Wood Manor, Sunninghill Road, Windlesham, Surrey, GU20 6PH, UK. PMID16266753

“The benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo may be minimal or nonexistent…”

The Journal of the American Medical Association

“Depression is a serious problem, but drugs are not the answer. In the long run, psychotherapy is both cheaper and more effective, even for very serious levels of depression. Physical exercise and self-help books based on CBT can also be useful, either alone or in combination.”

Irving Kirsch Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies at Harvard Medical School

Antidepressant Side Effects – Possible Side Effect While Taking the Drugs

Seratonin Syndrome:

  • Confusion
  • Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of muscle coordination or twitching muscles
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Heavy sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Agitation
  • Muscle twitching
  • Shivering
  • Very high fever
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness


If the sodium in your blood is too low, you have a condition called hyponatremia.

  • Nausea 
  • Fatigue
  • Headache 
  • Confusion
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Seizures
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramps 
  • Irritability

Anti-depressant Induced Mania

  • Excess energy
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Abnormal and excessive mood elevation.
  • Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired.
  • Increased agitation.
  • An exaggerated sense of well-being
  • An exaggerated self-confidence (euphoria)
  • Unusual talkativeness.
  • Racing thoughts.
  • Distractibility.


Current use of SSRIs or SNRIs was associated with a twofold increased risk of first-time seizures compared with non-use, while current use of TCAs (mostly low dose) was not associated with seizures. Treatment initiation in SSRI and SNRI users was associated with a higher risk of seizures than longer-term treatment.

Discontinuation Syndrome

A list of possible symptoms that can be permanent or last months to years.

The immediate withdrawal phase is known to have caused:

  • Headaches
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Feelings of ‘zaps.’ Electric zapping sensations described as ‘washing over the entire body’.

Be prepared for your doctor to not be aware of these symptoms, downplay them or deny that the withdrawal will be that bad.

The second phase began six weeks after the drug was discontinued. These post-withdrawal disorders rarely disappeared on their own. In many cases, reactions were so severe that the person returned to his previous drug treatment.

People also became so ill from withdrawal that it impaired their functioning to the point where they missed work.

Post-withdrawal disorders that lasted for years or became permanent. 

  • Persistent insomnia
  • Major depression
  • Bipolar illness
  • Tardive dyskinesias  – involuntary movements of the tongue, lips, face, trunk, and extremities (well documented to last years or indefinitely without a known cure)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Disturbed mood
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Poor stress tolerance
  • Impaired concentration
  • Impaired memory

There are still many places that you can go to discuss or find support while withdrawing from SSRIs. We have copied somethings verbatim, and we sincerely hope no one is offended. We have left out all names or anything that would identify the writer. Most of the quotes are older.

Our purpose is to make Discontinuation Syndrome a very well known topic and stop others from considering starting these toxic drugs.

We want to spread awareness as we investigate the FDA and how they have allowed this “poison” as so many refer to it, on the market. We are entirely confident we will find significant deception behind these drugs.

If we have used a quote that you wrote and would like us to remove it no matter your reason, we will immediately remove it. We have obtained information from places where people have written in a public forum.  We hope you have the perspective that your words will help someone else and save them from these horrors. We also hope you will contact us and tell us your story and permit us to use it. We have a signed release your must sign before we use anything you might say to us. We want your full permission, and we intend to make a change and harm no one.


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7 Bhanji NH, Chouinard G, Kolivakis T, Margolese HC: Persistent tar-dive rebound panic disorder, rebound anxiety and insomnia following paroxetine withdrawal: a review of rebound-withdrawal phenomena. Can J Clin Pharmacol 2006; 13:e69–74.

8 Fava GA, Bernardi M, Tomba E, Rafanelli C: Effects of gradual discon-tinuation of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in panic disorder with agoraphobia. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 2007; 10: 835–838.

9 Chouinard G, Chouinard VA: Atypical antipsychotics: CATIE study, drug-induced movement disorder and resulting iatrogenic psychiatric-like symptoms, supersensitivity rebound psychosis and withdrawal discontinuation syndromes. Psychother Psychosom 2008; 77: 69–77. 10 Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Hoog SL, Ascroft RC, Krebs WB: Selective se-rotonin reuptake inhibitor discontinuation syndrome: a randomized clinical trial. Biol Psychiatry 1998; 44: 77–87.