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Cymbalta for pain control?

Has anyone been told by their rheumatologist to use Cymbalta for pain control? I was told this could be helpful for pain relief as well as depression. I took one 30mg pill (supposed to take for 1 week then up to 60mg per day is effective dose).

Negative side effects from medication

I felt so terrible, nauseous, blurred vision, terrible sensations in my ears, when noise (TV or wife talking in a normal tone) my ears felt like they closed off and I could not hear anything. I didn't take any more and it took over 24 hours for me to feel normal again. I am wondering if this is typical, I'm willing to put up with some discomfort if it works well for pain relief but I was not functional. Presently I take Humira (not working after 6 months) celebrex (helps the pain but hurts my gut even though I eat when I take it) and I use small doses of percocet when I'm not working. I also use CBD and medical marijuana to help with inflammation and pain control. I see my MD again in 2 weeks and plan to discuss, of course, just wondering what say you out there? 😀 Thanks for any suggestions/comments.

  1. Hello 😀 Like you, I was surprised a few years ago when my rheumy prescribed Prozac to help manage my pain. I had no idea that antidepressants/anxiety medications could be used to effectively treat chronic pain, but apparently it is a true. While I don't have experience with Cymbalta specifically, I have found that Prozac (even in small doses) does work for me. Here is an article that you might find interesting from the Mayo Clinic.

    However, if you think the side effects that you are experiencing as you adjust to the medicine aren't worth it then check with your doctor, there are other options. Best of luck! -Leanne, Team

    1. Hi Leanne, thank you so much for your input! I appreciate the article as well, I will read it shortly as I'm sure it will help me be more informed when I see my rheumy next week. Thank you for the encouragement, I'm hopeful between my own research and working with my doc that we can find a solution that works for me with minimal side effects.

    2. Agreed ! Please circle back after your appointment and let me know how you are doing. 😀 -Leanne

  2. My doctor did prescribe Cymbalta after Meloxicam started failing to control my pain. It took about three days to kick in but made a HUGE difference!

    1. Hello ! I know it has been a few years, but I wanted to circle back and see how you are doing and managing your PsA...? I ended up back on our original conversation because (interestingly enough) my Dr just switched me from Prozac to Cymbalta and of course, I was checking our site and reading thru others' experiences. Are you still using a similar medicine as part of your PsA pain management? Did you eventually find one that helped? How have you been? -Leanne, Team Member

      1. Hi Leanne,

        Thank you for checking in, I realized I neglected to keep you updated! I was not able to tolerate Cymbalta and have not tried another anti-depressant yet. My PsA is still not well controlled, I am about to start my 5th biologic (pending insurance approval) and remain hopeful this one will be THE one. I have struggled with digestive issues (nausea, weight loss and constipation) along with fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, jaw pain and mood instabilities among other issues over the years. The biologics I have tried have given some varying levels of relief but my doctor and I decided to change because either I was not getting enough relief or the side effects were too severe to warrant continuing the medications. I have learned to manage a much higher baseline level of pain/symptom severity than in the past since my disease is progressing, and have been using meditation and working with a holistic healer in addition to my allopathic tools and medications to allow me to manage my marriage, life, and a full-time job in the current extremely stressful times we live in. I am struggling, but not sure what I can do to speed up the trial and error process of finding a drug (or combination of drugs and therapies) that are effective. I continue to keep a positive outlook and am grateful for the health that I have and the life I am able to lead and appreciate so much kind people like you and this site who offer support throughout! Thank you and stay safe and well!

      2. It is interesting that so much of what you mention overlaps with my experiences as well. The trial and error process of biologics is tiresome and frustrating. I've always struggled with figuring out what degree of "success" I should expect from a medication. 20% improvement? 50%? You don't want to give up what you have for possibility of less, but that possibility of more/better always hangs out there, taunting you. I get it, I really do.
        I wasn't a big believer in the whole gut health is the root of everything inflammation theory, but after about 18 months now, I certainly think that is part of the puzzle. I did a strict AIP for 6 months, then expanded slightly for another 6 months, and only then did I really begin to see part of the puzzle. I had a lot of nausea, constipation, ect from the excess gluten and sugar in my diet. I wouldn't say I ate bad, but I was surprised at the difference it made.
        I really love the idea of a holistic healer and wish that more GP's and rheumatologists would look at the human body as a whole system of interconnected parts in a similar way.
        I was surprised to learn a few years ago that many anti-depressants (such as Prozac and Cymbalta) are prescribed to help manage chronic pain. I had several years of success with low dose Prozac, but like so many meds for PsA, it slowly became less and less effective. I've only had one dose of Cymbalta so far, but fingers gently crossed that it does the trick.
        Putting together the right cocktail of biologics, DMARD's, dietary changes, and pain management is an exhausting process but trying to stay positive and consistent can make a world of difference.
        Have you been happy with your experiences so far with the holistic healer? I'm sure many in our community would love to know more about it. Have you considered submitting your experiences through our story section? You can follow this link and I'm sure many will benefit from the insights you have to share. Thank you for being such a positive part of our community and I look forward to connecting with you more.
        -Leanne, Community Moderator

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