Fibromyalgia Community
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177382 tn?1253044740


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?1253044740
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?1332022440
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?1247268153
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?1253044740
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?1332022440
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?1192766004
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?1253044740
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
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