Posted 02 August 2011 - 08:48 PM
I've been off Cymbalta since January but was reading this thread and thought I would tell my story. I don't even remember when I started taking Cymbalta but it seems like it was in 2004 or 2005. I am a diabetic and I kept telling my endo that I was suffering from a strange pressure under my right breast. He asked me some questions and then, without any tests, decided that it was diabetic neuropathy and that Cymbalta would fix everything. No discussion about side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Just fill this RX and take 60mg per day.
I was lucky with most of the side effects that some suffer. The only thing that bothered me was that Cymbalta KILLED my sex drive but my doctor said he wanted me to stay on it for the time being. He said that my sex drive would improve in time but one of his nurses actually told me that for some people taking these anti depressants, it never gets better.
I did improve a bit over time but could barely perform. But by then, Cymbalta was changing the way I thought and I didn't really care about sex anymore. It started out with a physical problem and turned out to be an emotional one. Anyway, I continued to take the drug for years and one Christmas in 2008, I took my last 60 Mg dose on a Thursday. I tried to refill on Friday but my RX had expred and due to a long holiday weekend, I couldn't get it refilled until the following Monday. I won't bother going through all the symptoms I had over the next 3 days because we all know what they are. I didn't even know what was making me feel so bad until Sunday when I started looking online that I finally put things together. All I know is that by Monday when I went to the pharmacy, I was screaming for a dose of Cymbalta, just like a damn junkie. And just like an addict, the symptoms dissapeared within an hour after getting my fix.
I chewed my doctor out good the next time I saw him but even then he denied that Cymbalta was addictive and that what I had was some mild symptoms because my body had built up a tolerance. The symptoms were not mild and if my body had a tolerance then Cymbalta is addictive. Anyway, that experience scared me bad and I never tried to quite again for some time.
In the fall of 2010, my insurance company declared some changes. I was getting all my prescriptions online mail order with a 3 months supply. The copay was usually small. The insurance company was changing it's pricing structure and Cymbalta would now cost me $160 for a 3 months supply starting in 2011. I started thinking about how much I really needed this drug. It had ruined my sex life, as I've already said. And although I wasn't taking it for depression, I seemed to be constantly depressed anyway. And most of all, I just felt numb and uncaring about almost everything.
To make things short, through Nov 2010 and Jan 2011, I weaned off this drug and my doctor even tried to help by giving me Prozac and setting up a weaning schedule. It was far better then the cold turkey route but I was always sad, anxious, angry, and just never felt good. Then I hurt my back and was prescibed some pain pills that lessened the Cymbalta withdrawal but made my mind fuzzy and made me feel sick. Between the pain pills, Cymbalta withdrawal, and hurt back I missed too much time from work and was fired in late January. I was very angry.
Angry with my employer who never tried to understand what I was going through, angry with my doctors for prescibing drugs to get addicted to, and angry with myself for letting msyelf get to the point I was in. My anger has faded over the months but I still feel like I have been wronged. I lost a job that I had held for almost 20 years which has basically ruined my life. Even if I can never be compensated for what I have lost, I hope that something can be done to help others from going through what I, and thousands of others, have gone through.