Fibromyalgia Community
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177382 tn?1253041140


Has anyone taken cymbalta for FM? my dr wants me to try it was wondering about any experiences.  she was  not big on lyrica but would have given it to me to try if i wanted.  i usually take flexeril and ultram.  i'm a lil leary of an antidrepressent b/c i was on paxil and had suicidal issues with that.  thanx

22 Responses
Avatar universal
Cymbalta is currently being prescribed like crazy for fibromyalgia because it has been approved for the treatment of fibro. My doctor wrote me a prescription for it, but I have not tried it because I have panic-type symptoms on occasion.  I have read that it may not be good if you experience panic attacks, but if your issues are pain and depression without panic, it may help. Cymbalta works differently than paxil, so you may not experience the same issues.  I think everyone is "wired" differently, so it's difficult to know what exactly it will do without trying it. I have had the experience more than once of taking an antidepressant which is suppose to sedate me so I can sleep, actually make me more awake.  You just never know.  I wish I had a better answer for you because I know how frustrating and scary it is to try a new medication especially if you had bad experiences in the past.  If you decide to try it, make sure it's the lowest dose and sometimes I even cut a pill in half and then build up to a whole pill.

My Best,

177382 tn?1253041140
thank you Ree4tu.  yes i have anxiety attacks that why i was leary of taking it  hmmm  i think i'll hold off a bit.  tc  ~d
553995 tn?1332018840
Paxil is an SSRI - Cymbalta is a SNRI, I have been on both.  The serotonin aspects of both did not agree with me.  I did not have the devastating effects you did but physically I was ill from the serotonin actions of these two meds.  

Here is the description of the two and an alternative you may want to talk to your Dr. about.  

Paxil -Paroxetine is used to treat mental depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Paroxetine belongs to a group of medicines known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medicines are thought to work by increasing the activity of the chemical serotonin in the brain.

Cymbalta-Duloxetine is  used to treat a condition called fibromyalgia (muscle pain and stiffness) .

Duloxetine belongs to a group of medicines known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). These medicines are thought to work by increasing the activity of chemicals called serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.

Where both Paxil and Cymbalta work on Serotonin the Cymbalta works on Norepinephrine which is the chemical that helps with pain sensation in the body.  Since you had a problem with serotonin, just like I do, ask your doctor about Wellbutrin.  This medicine focuses on Norepinephrine and dopamine which is an energy chemical.

The only problem with Wellbutrin would be if you are bi polar.  This would not be good for you.  It would bring on a manic phase and the crash would be deadly.  Along with Wellbutrin you would also need a mood stabilizer.

tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline work very well on pain and sleep.  Low dose taken at night.
Baclofen is a muscle relaxer and pain reducer to look into.
Soma is also a muscle relaxer with some pain relief.

Lyrica is not always a good choice. If you have addiction issues or are on any meds that may lower your seizure threshold or have had seizures, it is not for you.  Take your doctors word but ask him/her about these other options.
Best wishes

Avatar universal
Just to back up what Phtartist said about tricyclic antidepressants.  I have read that the tricyclic antidepressant called doxepin may work better than amitriptyline.  It causes less side effects and is effective for sleep and pain. In higher doses, it can alleviate anxiety as well.

Amitriptyline only minimally helped for me for a very short time, then my body developed a tolerance to it. The doctor kept wanting to increase the dose, the problems with this is when the dose keeps being increased, the side effects start to outweigh the benefits.
I personally did not try the doxepin yet, but think I am going to give it a shot.  I know someone who takes a small dose of 50 mg and it helps her with sleep and pain.  The only side effect she noticed at a low dose is dizziness, but that passes once your body gets use to it.

I would only try Lyrica as a last resort.  The other older medications which work similar to Lyrica are Neurontin and Gabitril.  Some people can tolerate one better than another. They can help with pain, sleep and anxiety.

My Best,

606078 tn?1247264553
Hello all;
   I was happy to sign on and read this thread. I was going to ask the same question about Cymbalta, I have an appointment with my Rheumy Monday and I am going to ask her about Cymbalta. I've tried Nuerontin, and Lyrca, I had a terrible time with both. My Rheumy then switched me to Tramadol and that was like taking nothing. She now has me taking Ultram ER, Flexirl, Temazepam, Zoloft, blood pressure meds and Chelestrol meds. I also take Vitamins B12, E, D, Mag. and Maric acid. Whew!!
  The hurricane stressed me out so badly, I have been in a horrible flare. We went 6 days without power, water and phones. Thank goodness we have a generator, so many people didn't. I was unable to stray very far from the bed for several das, and then I forced myself to get up and sit on the deck for a while.
   Now if Monday would hurry and get here, my husband told me that if the pain started back up like it was a couple of days ago, he was taking me to the ER. And I agreed. I'll let you know about the Cymbalta after my appointment.

gentle hugs
Avatar universal
You might look into this befor taking Cymbalta, or at least ask your Dr abt. it.  I recently read, not sure where, just the other day ---- one of the newly found side effects of Cymbalta is urine retention. I don't know details  but this info had just come out.
177382 tn?1253041140
Phtartist &  Ree4tu

Thank you so much for your info, i would like to take something for pain.  my panic attacks were from my dh driving, which i have eliminated. and i don't have any depression it there something you can take for pain and maybe something that helps dealing with the flairs and fibro fog?  tc  ~d
Avatar universal
Some people get relief from pain by combining natural herbs/supplements with prescription meds. or just by taking natural herbs/supplements alone. Natural herbs and supplements like willow bark, boswellia, cherry, ginger, MSM, fish oil, glucosamine, magnesium, sappan, and ribose can help with pain. There are some formulas which combine some of these so you don't have to take them indvidually, just search the internet. Always check with your doctor before taking a natural supplement because some may interact with certain prescription meds. Also the natural amino acid Sam-e seemed to improve brain fog for me and is being used for Fibro, but contraindicated for bi-polar disorder.

My Best,

553995 tn?1332018840
Fibro fog unfortunately is a by product of FM.  It will come and go.  There is a different reason for everyone why it flares up.  You have to find why yours does and try to adapt your lifestyle to either lessen the trigger or strenghten your defenses towards that trigger.

For pain I take Soma and Zydone.  Soma is a muscle relaxer which has some pain relieveing properties and Zydone is a low dose hydrocodone with low dose tylenol.  The problem with taking these is that I built up a tolerance and I either need more or I stop taking them until I can resume at the low amount that helps.

Ultram is a widely used pain receptor blocker.  I have many friends with FM and including myself, find it to work wonders.  
Ultram and Ultram xr have been approved for treatment in Fibromyalgia.

I think this is more the answer you were looking for.

"The Fibromyalgia Advocat"  a book by Devin Starlanyl is an excellent source of info for people with FM, I highly recommend it.  It will inform you about everything from A-Z including medicine for FM.

Avatar universal
I've had good luck with Cymbalta so far. Have been on 30 mg for three months and plan to try higher dose.  My pain has been better as has the depression and anxiety.  I think that the norepinephrine part is helping me to feel less, as my CFS dr. calls it, "wired but tired." Had some decreased appetite when I started the Cymbalta but that has gone away now.

I also take nortriptyline for sleep and pain and it works pretty well for me. Flexeril helps too but then I can't drive.  Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Tylenol with Codeine, Ultram haven't helped much with pain.

Good luck!

217229 tn?1192762404
I couldn't handle cymbalta and lyrica... It literally made my world tilt sideways...

I felt like I was crabwalking through molasses.

I was put on ULTRAM 200 in  the morning and ULTRAM 100 at night.

For the past 6 months as long as I keep up my med cycle - I can function - and I don't think about the pain.

I have lost weight - started exercising and have started living my life again.

BUT --- I've been through the wringer in the last 3 years - and would NEVER wish it on anyone.

I believe each person reacts differently to medications - so you have to check yourself and figure out what it is that is capable of working for YOU --- your chemistry and everything.

Much hope for you!

177382 tn?1253041140
i think i am going to go back on ultram b/c it worked for me. but i am allergic to the generic brand tramidol. pharmicist says its a filler they use in it, i can't tolerate but my copay with ultram is outrageous. just wondering if i can get a lower copay b/c of this.  thanks all ~d
Avatar universal
I don't have fibromyalgia my dad does, that is why I am reading this forum.  I do have a disease called CMT it is a neuromuscular disease.  I do have some depression as well not svere.  Anyway, my doctor rx me Cymbalta.  it was originally developed for people with neuropathic pain from diabetes.  I had terrible back pain, tingling in my toes that drove me crazy all night long, and pins and needles feelings in my lower legs and feet.  Cymbalta saved my life, I tried paxil it made me feel like I was in a daze i was not myself i could hear myself talking very slowly but it didn't seem like it was me talking.  It was weird.  As for the depression aspect it also helped tremendously.  I could finally sleep, my pain was gone, and I felt great.  It is true all drugs do different things to different people.  I tried neurontin as well and it made me feel similar to the paxil and didn't do anything.  I have had no side effects from Cymbalta.  I did not know Cymbalta was being rx for fibro i am going to tel my dad.  
553995 tn?1332018840
Cymbalta has been approved by the FDA for use as a treatment for FM.  

I'm on Wellbutrin for depression and Topamax for migraines.  Due to the FM I still have breakthrough neurological symptoms or should I say neuralgic pain in my neck head face and fibro pain throughout the rest of my body.  

I do believe Cymbalta will help with my symptoms.  My only concern is that I am on Wellbutrin already plus, I did not do well on Effexor which is another SNRI but a little different than Cymbalta.  It is the S for serotonin that I don't tolerate well.  I may if the action is different in Cymbalta.

I'm just looking to see if anyone has experience or knowledge with these drugs.

Thank you
606078 tn?1247264553
Hi again;
   I had my Rheumy appointment yesterday and he upped my Ultram ER from 200mg a day to 400mg a day. I already feel a big difference as far as the overall aches and pains, and I actually had a good day today.
   I asked her about Cymbalta and she said not right now. She would have to change some of my meds out and she didn't want to take the chance in throwing me into a flare, so we agreed to try the 400mg of Ultram ER for now.
    She also told me that she had a Fibro patient that was on Cymbalta and that she was tolerating it just fine, so I'll just wait and see how I do with the upped Ultram.

gentle hugs
Avatar universal
Hi, I have been reading about the Cymbalta. I have a sister who is on Cymbalta and Neurotin for Fibro and peripheral neuropathy. I have been dxed with both problems as well as Sjogrens. After seeing what the drugs have done to my sister, (in our families minds anyway they have possibly made her bi-polar, psychotic as best) I began looking for another way to deal with these diseases. She is almost anti-social right now. It's been very difficult.

I took Neurotin and it caused eye pain and pressure in my head, I got off of it within about three days.

I found a book by a DC, Dr. Murphree "Beating and Treating Fibromyalgia and CFS". About two weeks ago I began implementing some of his vitamin and supplement suggestions, not from his store on line, just from our local GNC and I can tell you that, for me anyway, it has made a world of difference.

I have been able to walk a mile almost everyday. And I recently added some one lb weights to my mild work out. It is like a miracle for me!

So far I have not had to take a single Ultram for pain in two weeks. That is a first (in about 12 yrs!). I am not pain free at all but I am certainly a great deal better.

I suffer with leg pains and burning feet at night. I took the 500 mg of Magnesium on night instead of the Ultram, slept like a baby and woke up feeling great. My leg pains have calmed way down! and No head fog or stomach upset.

I have an appointment with the Rh dr next week and I am hoping she will be open to his approach of "integrated" treatment with some prescription drugs like pain killers or a possible sleep aid combined with the supplements.

I am very afraid of taking the powerful meds they want to put us on. One of my friends with Lupus has been on something for years and it has worn down her stomach lining. She is only in her 40's and having stomach bleeding almost constantly. Her situation combined with my sisters, has really scared my away from traditional meds.

If you're interested in his book, I got mine on half.com for about 2.00 plus shipping. It may not be for everyone, but it can't hurt you.


553995 tn?1332018840
That is great about the Magnesium! I keep forgetting about it.  I took it a while ago and did not notice much difference but have heard it work wonders for others.  

My doc did put me on Cymbalta 20 mg. and lowered my Wellbutrin to 150mg from 225.
The shoulder neck face migraine I have had for days is already less but my legs were restless all night.  Time will tell.
177382 tn?1253041140
thank you all for your comments. i had a hernia fixed a week ago and have not had a chance to talk to GP yet but i know i don't want an anti depressant.  your comments have been very helpful.  thankfully i have not had a flare yet this month and i usually get one around my cycle and some how i avoided it. i don't know what i did different. but i will talk to my dr and try and figure it all out. thanx again ~d
Avatar universal
I was taking Crestor & got to where I could barely walk. My family doc set up an appointment for me  to learn how to use a wheelchair.My heart doc said to me, "you are on Crestor aren`t you"? She told me it was known to cause walking problems. I canceled the wheelchair appointment. Telling my friend about it she said, her sister in-law ended up in a wheel chair, until she stopped taking Lipitor.Honey it sounds like your doc is loading you down with too much medicines.Try taking everything to your Pharmacy to go over everything with you, to see what you really need to be taking.I sure hope this helps you.
Avatar universal
I have been taking 60 mg of Cymbalta for about 2 weeks now and they say it takes about a month before you can feel the effects of it but I actually started feeling the effects after the second dose it has done wonders for me but I am also on gabapentin for neuropathy so the combination of both is really really working well for me. The only side effect that I have right now is I do not have an appetite whatsoever and it does cause some pretty bad diarrhea at first.
Avatar universal
I'm on 60 mg of cymbalta in the morning and 30 mg in the afternoon my Dr was going to give me zannys for my depression at first but decided to try cymbalta because its for depression and fibro systems its was helping at first for the fibro symtems but now its not I font know if its because it seems mine is flairing up more then before I was only on 60mg in the morning at first but found myself wore out by afternoon again I tried the lyrica (or how ever you spell it lol )  but right now nothing is helping most of the time I feel like I have my tounge on a 9 volt battery but 1000 times more intence all over my body at the same time it gets so intence that I can't hold still and it last for a while and I have no control of my arms or legs they twitch more on the right side
Avatar universal
I am on Cymbalta, have been for a couple years now. He recently upped it to 60mg. I have to take it at night, it makes me sleepy, but I do think it helps. I am also on Tramodol and Gabapentin.  I am on all of these pain meds, it would be nice if he would diagnose me with something. He said it could be Fibro, my rheumatologist says I do have osteoarthritis.  I keep testing positive for auto-immune, doesn't know which one.  Now he is trying to get me into a pain specialist.
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