A warning to Fibromyalgia sufferers…

I needed a place to voice my frustration and concern over a common Fibromyalgia treatment. I haven’t visited this space in a ridiculously long time, and I won’t sit here and promise that I’ll be here on a regular basis. But here we go.

I’ve spent about a year and a half determined that I wanted a better medication, a stronger medication, a different medication for my battle with Fibromyalgia. I’m aggressive with my health and the treatment of my autoimmune diseases. ‘Good enough’ is usually just not good enough for me. So I’ve pushed my doctor, and I’ve demanded new options, and I don’t necessarily regret that for other aspects of my health. But for Fibromyalgia, it’s a different story.

As a bit of background, it’s common to treat nerve disorders like Fibromyalgia with anti-depressants. Specifically, serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. They target the same signals in your brain that talk to your nerves about pain levels. So naturally, I did my research and I tried a couple of the medications.

I’ve been on Duloxetine (or Cymbalta) for a little over a year now. I’ve gained a mess of weight, but I’ve been pain free with Fibromyalgia.

Regardless of being pain free, I’ve thought a long time about how I’m not thrilled about being on too many medications. I’ve wanted to get off the Duloxetine and Fibromyalgia medications, and basically deal with any pain I might get back as a result. So, about 5 days ago, I finally decided to quit Duloxetine. You aren’t supposed to quit cold turkey..I know that. But I couldn’t take it anymore and I just needed the meds out of my system and gone. I refuse to take one more of those pills.

After 4 days of feeling depressed, having crying bouts, brain fog, and zapped energy, I’ve finally found the correct research that talks about these withdrawal symptoms from this medication.

I’m willing to stick with it, I know these symptoms won’t last forever–but my anger comes from the lack of education any physician gives about how it feels to come off of this drug.

It’s frustrating that this drug could become a total crutch for some people. I know that I have a strong handle on myself, and that I can push and push and push through these symptoms for a couple weeks. But there are so many others not like me that feel hopeless and helpless by the withdrawal. It’s scary to me that a drug can do that to people when you thought it was helping for so long.

Needless to say, you couldn’t pay me to take this drug even one more time. And I look forward to feeling 100% after it is completely out of my system.

Shame on the drug companies, and shame on the physicians for the lack of education around this treatment.

A bit of advice y’all: take the Fibromyalgia pain–I’d rather have that then what I now know Duloxetine has done to my body.





3 Comments on “A warning to Fibromyalgia sufferers…

  1. I have come off cymbalta before with no problems.I went from 60 mg to 30 mg then every second day until I was finally Off them. I was off them for 3 yrs but had no choice but to go back on them as my pain is unbearable and my depression came back. Now I have had depression for years. The weight is interesting though as I have real trouble losing weight. I don’t think it’s better for people with chronic pain to come off meds and deal with pain, I think as I am in cruel pain this minute .I have tried everything alternative I have spent 10 thousand euros On fibro trying to get relief the alternative route.

  2. I read the book How to stop taking Cymbalta. The protocol worked for me. (Lots of fish oil and other things required.) My third time quitting that drug! Went really well. I swore “never again”!!

    But, my worst depression and FM flare ever drove me back to it this past February. I have decided it has a place when nothing else helps–but stay off it if that is possible for you.

    • Thanks for sharing Jan! Just like you I swore never to take it again, but I had the same flare of depression and fibro in March, and I’ve been on it ever since. You win some you lose some :). But it has been helping. I’m working on other options to see if I can come off of it.

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