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Cymbalta - what percentage of people on this medication gain weight?

This question has also been asked and answered here: Cymbalta and Weight Gain?

9 Answers

lady2882 4 Apr 2013

Weight gain is uncommon with cymbalta as it usually has the side effects of loss of appetite, diarrhea and nausea. 9 % of people taking it report a loss of appetite, and up to 2 % of people report weight loss compared to 1 % of people reporting a weight gain (Mayo clinic).
However, people who discontinue Cymbalta are at high risk of binge eating and weight gain (cymbalta withdrawal forums).
On a personal note, depending on why you are considering taking cymbalta, I would suggest some serious online research before starting to take it as it is a rather expensive medication that has not lived up to the expectations as outlined by the drug company.
Even youtube has some interesting videos from people who took it.
If you are going to try it for chronic or nerve pain - don't waste your time and health.
You can ask me private questions if you want, I am now cymbalta free.
Take care of you

Votes: +2
bestpup 4 Apr 2013

I agree with you 100% lady 2882. I myself also took cymbalta with the impression it was miracle chronic pain med. Despite taking it for a year, I must admit it did nothing to elevate my chronic lupus pain. And yes I too found it way to expensive. One must be there own judge and jury when it comes to new designer drugs. Your friend bestpup

warsop87 17 Aug 2013

I was just put on cymbalta for my depression/anxiety. I have had diarrhea and I have felt sick so far. What are the risks?

CalamitysBeau 28 Jan 2014

I've been on Cymbalta for years for anxiety/depression and FM. I can't afford the med & had to rely on samples. Now it's gone generic, but still very expensive. It has helped with anxiety and depression, but not for FM pain. I've tried many anti anxiety and depression meds. Many worked for awhile, but none worked for longer than a year. A few like Welbutrin and Topamax I couldn't tolerate. I want to come off Cymbalta SO BADLY because of the expense and weight gain! I get more exercise than the average person and should not be gaining weight. I eat in moderation. My doc doesn't want to take me off of it and put me on adipex (phentermine) to help with the weight issue.

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So I eat even less now because I'm not as hungry, but after several months, I still can't fit into my jeans! I'm so frustrated! I was on celexa and tramadol before and those worked very well for awhile and I even lost weight! Then, for some reason, those meds stopped working for me and I began having panic attacks again and got depressed. That's when I went on cymbalta, with a combo of some other meds.
All I want is to go back on the celexa/tramadol combo - and to have those work again. But I'm scared of having the depressive episode and anxiety attacks return. And I don't know how anyone can even come off cymbalta without losing their dang mind! I ran out once when doc was out of samples. Was ok until third day without cymbalta. Then started crying constantly, felt jittery, and totally off. Felt like I was going crazy. It was so scary. I just wish there was another way. I want my body back! I want my clothes to fit so I don't have to wear yoga pants all the time! I hate cymbalta (even though it helps me). And don't even get me started with the sexual side effects. Good grief!

Puffy5157 28 Dec 2014

Hi lady 2882,
Fully agree, Cymbalta does a poor job in help with Fibromyalgia . Old drug Elavil the best, BUT great weight gain, just walking past the refrig. Cymbalta , even now with a generic is very expensive ! All they did was raise the brand ne cost and charge the same for generic !

Jacky89 25 Mar 2015

What were your negative symptoms ... I'm on wellbutrin for depression and anxiety... and its not working ... a therapist recommended this medication ...

lady2882 25 Mar 2015

Cymbalta would be that last medication I would try for depression and anxiety. Its track record for anxiety isn't very good and if you have to stop taking it later you anxiety levels will be far worse than they are now.
As others have said common side effects of Cymbalta on doses over 30mg include serious weight gain, diabetes, lack of sex drive and ability, and numbing of emotions (you don't even feel happy) to name just a few.
There are other medications for depression and anxiety that can be tried first that have less serious side effects such as Zoloft, Lexepro, Celexa, Prozac, Paxil.
These are SSRI antidepressants whereas Cymbalta and Effexor are SNRI antidepressants and there are horror stories about having to stop SNRI antidepressants as CalamitysBeau says above your question.
Take care of you and research your meds before trying anything new

Jacky89 25 Mar 2015

Thank you... I was actually on Zoloft first made me gain 30 pounds n was switched to wellbutrin I'm taking 450 mg no weight gain but my symptoms have little to no change I'll keep researching other medications... Thank yoi

newmeplz 19 Feb 2017

How long did it take you to go off Cymbalta?

Louis DeLuca 28 Aug 2013

I started taking cymbalta for depression in 2006 at the age of 45 and gained almost 100 pounds in less than 2 years. My waist increased by 8 inches. I developed type 2 diabetes and became increasingly more depressed. And although my eating habits didn't change and I could not understand why I got so heavy, i had no idea it was because of the cymbalta. It wasn't until I changed doctors and he made me aware, weaning me off cymbalta and onto prozac.

I'm happier now, but losing that weight is a long hard battle. Had I known then it would reek havoc in my life and on my body, I never would have started it. For 7 years I took 90mg (one 60 and one 30mg tablet, increased because I was still depressed). Now I walk with a cane, lost the cartilage in my knee and have difficulty getting around. I feel like an old man at 52.

Be careful with this drug. I wish you all the best.
Louis

Votes: +0
MrsManic 26 Sep 2013

They say 1% of people gain weight on Cymbalta which seems awfully slim to me (no pun intended lol). I spoke to my pharmacist AND physical trainer who both said everyone they know has gained on this med. I have personally gained 25 lbs and COUNTING! I just cannot seem to ever get full! I am even seeing a nutritionist who wants me to load up on fiber and protein but I crave carbs to help to fill me up. Now I'm on topamax to counteract cymbalta's appetite -inducing pangs. Has anyone else endured this?

Votes: +0
zak4208 19 Dec 2013

I started Cymbalta two months ago... took Effexor XR previously and stopped taking it for two years. After sinking in to a deep depression my Dr. indicated that he couldn't just put me back on Effexor XR... he should prescribe something stronger. I've been taking 60mg of Cymbalta for two months & I have gained more than 30 pounds... my diet has been improving... my blood work is awesome... my weight continues to increase each time I step on a scale... and my blood pressure has gone from 120/80 to 149/105... today I convinced my Dr. to switch me back to Effexor XR... I will keep you up to date... I am on a blood sugar medication that makes me feal saciated... and that has helped with the diet... not over eating! Good Luck! Happy Holidays! Zak

Panthers fan 27 Nov 2015

I noticed at the beginning of this year I gained 20 pounds in about six weeks I could not figure out how or where it came from I had not changed eating habits or exercise habits nothing changed I just realized after doing research tonight about Cymbalta with the girls that people have gained a lot of weight from the Strug when I went back to look to see when I started taking it it was six weeks before all this weight gain happened. This is a terrible drug the withdrawal is horrible trying to get off of this drug in the weight gain has made me even more depressed I do not recommend anyone taking this medication

kendallkw 10 Aug 2016

Cymbalta absolutely has a side effect of weight gain. I wasn't looking to go on meds but my doctor said I had anxiety and that this would help so I tried it. I went on it in October and by March had gained 60 pounds. MY EATING HABITS DID NOT CHANGE. In addition, I was now taking 2 hour naps. My doctor had the nerve to say that probably I was so happy and feeling so much better that I was eating more. He should lose his license. I absolutely believe that there are people who are more prone to weight gain on this drug. Cymbalta should be forced to say that weight gain is a side effect. I don't even think I was anxious before but I can tell you I am now. This weight is impossible to lose and this company should be sued. I was only on the lowest dosage possible, too. Thank you makers of Cymbalta for basically ruining my life and putting me at major health risk.

Cs5970 4 Sep 2016

I am constantly hungry and seems like I only crave sugar!

Wendy64 12 Nov 2016

Be really careful with topamax! I have anxiety so bad that sometimes I can't stand myself and I shake and get nauseated. I have been this way since a small child and I'm now 52. The topamax made me worse and I actually developed bronchitis and my heart rate was out of control. I was only on it for 1 month and I have been off it for 10 days and I'm still sick. Cymbalta does cause some weight but at this point - weight comes and goes but life doesn't. Best wish's.

jwburkettjr 23 Nov 2016

Not on Cymbalta but on Lyrica and Gabapentin. If one has nerve pain and needs one or the other of these meds, then it doesn't matter what we take, as weight gain will be inevitable, at least for some or most. I am considering Cymbalta because I've tried the other two, and I need something for the nerve pain in my feet. Is Cymbalta at least effective for nerve pain? Thanks!

Cajuntna 4 Jan 2017

I have been on cymbalta now for over 2 years and I have gained 40 pounds. I took it for depression for my son Missing, then I became more depress because I couldn't fit in any of my clothes! The ONLY thing I can guess is the Cymbalta. I would be careful. They say 1%, but what was the velocity of these averages taken on? Because this 1% is growing OR was this case study OLDand another needs to be conducted?

nuttynelly 17 Oct 2013

been on this drug 8 days gained a dress size ,at least. waist especially unrecognizable. crave carbs , constant hunger . I'm a runner and gym addict . I have not ran or trained due to lethargy .I'm coming off it .this gain so soon is horrendous , makin me depressed looking and feeling this way .

Votes: +0
maryellenpowers2014 20 Feb 2017

I was told Cymbalta is a weight neutral drug but I struggle believing that now. Over the past year I have gained over 70 lbs - much of that time while staying on a 1500 calorie diet. Unfortunately, I was also put on Gabapentin which I recently learned is related to Lyrica. My rheumatologist told me given my weight gain she would not put me on Lyrica because it definitely causes weight gain and not due to increasing your appetite but simply the drug itself causes cellular changes. I wish I had known about the relationship to Gabapentin before taking it because I am finally having some pain relief and only need Tylenol for breakthrough pain and hate giving this relief up!. Anyway, I do believe Cymbalta contributes to weight gain because I gained the most weight before going on the Gabapentin.
People think we are considering vanity over health, however, with fibromyalgia and the 5 autoimmune disorders we know I have, I NEED to keep my weight down. I cannot take another knee replacement and this added weight is putting undue stress on both of my knees.

Mehpsh0316 11 Mar 2017

I was on Prozac for years and switched to cymbalta 30mg in dec for chronic pain. I take neuro 200 mg at night. Stress kicked up in January and cymbalta was increased to 60 mg. My eating habits have not changed. I have gained 8 lbs in 2 months. This isn't a huge gain, but for someone who watches the scale, it's the beginning of a slippery slope. My work dress pants are tight. I can't afford to get new ones - don't want to either. These meds are the only changes I can attribute. I'm still in pain - the cymbalta is not working. Thoughts or suggestions?

lrogalsk 30 Apr 2017

My weight gain might seem like no big deal, but I am only 5'3" and the gain is 20% of my starting weight (from 105 to 126). I am glad that I gained, but would have liked it to stop at my usual, non depressed weight of 110-115 lbs. Like others, it seems to be a metabolism change as opposed to an eating calories change. I plan to talk to my psychiatrist since Cymbalta is not even considered a great drug to pair with Lamictal (I have bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety order).

rosey 33 16 Aug 2015

I have been on Cymbalta for 1 month and have put on 10 lbs. It has not helped my depression at all. I had lost a lot of weight from pain meds due to a hurniated disk so I could afford to put on 10. But if this keeps increasing I will not continue this medicine.

Votes: +0
Sphynx 16 Aug 2015

I gained weight on Paxil and Prozac, but lost weight while I was taking Cymbalta at 90mg.

Votes: +1
newmeplz 5 Oct 2016

I have been on Cymbalta for a month now and my appetite has decreased. Until just yesterday for some reason I couldn't get filled up? I even had a donut after I had already eaten my toast and yogurt. I hope this was only temporary

Votes: +0
SpringBaxter 15 Oct 2016

I had less hunger at first then became a bottomless pit 3-week in. I am 6 pounds up but can't seem to find something this helpful for back pain. Does Lexapro help without weight gain, anyone know?

Karendonald 19 Feb 2017

I have Fibromyalgia that doesn't stop without a constant use of pain meds. I was also very depressed and angry. I was put on Cymbalta by my doctor and he warned me about the side effects of nausea for the first two weeks. He said it would continue to build up in my system for about two months to get to full capacity. It saved my life, I was genially happy, not druged or just didn't care I felt like the me before my depression. I have used it for over 2 years now and have gained 40 pounds. I hate the extra weight and now am slowly going off of it. Hoping the pain doesn't come back or depression. Wish me luck!

Votes: +0
Lmc80 9 Dec 2017

I have been on Cymbalta for about a 1 year now (60mg). I am fairly active, my eating habits have not fluctuated much, in fact over the last 6 months, I have been eating less then ever. I also became a full time student so I do spend more time idle these days while studying. I have gained well over 30lbs while taking Cymbalta. I have been through rigorous exercise plans to shed the weight but to no avail. I generally watch what I eat and consider myself a healthy person. I began taking this drug for anxiety and depression. For the most part, it seems to work with some minor setbacks ever month or so, but all this weight lately has been adding to my depression. So, what's the point of taking a drug if it's going to add to your depression and anxiety in new ways?? I never had weight problems in my life until I started Cymbalta! Going to my doc today to ask about switching snri drugs.

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I'm scared of the side effects but honestly there's got to be something better on the market that doesn't cause such significant weight gain. I'll post to this thread after. I'm grateful I found these postings since everything else I read about Cymbalta signified a "weight loss". I sincerely thought it was just me, or something was wrong with my body! Thanks for sharing

Votes: +0
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