Increased alcohol use on Cymbalta — (Steady Health)

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Steady Health

By  dbillie   | 157 posts.

First 10 of the 157 posted, these are typical:

Guest over a year ago
I am 44 yr old male. Going crazy trying to get off Cymbalta, Till about 4 years ago, I thought I was bullet proof, lived in a bad marriage, lost a child, divorce…That’s how I ended up here, I have been put on Lexapro, then lots of BP pills, then Tramadol, Hydrocodone for bad knee joints, then they switched me off Lexapro to Cymbalta,  the stoned feeling was better than depression but I had no motivation anymore. I quit my job of 22 years.  Last week doc that checks my thyroid condition said to save you some money lets take you off Cymbalta and put you on 300mg of generic Welbutrin today. The 1st day I had SO MUCH ENERGY. I thought, wow I am human again, 2nd day I thought I had the stomach flu and third day I cried a little, paced a lot, wished I was dead, stayed in the bathroom and worried my 2nd wife to death. That night I took Cymbalta again, to heck with the generic Welbutrin. Wanted to see if anyone has been able to stop taking Cymbalta and how you did it. Please write back if you can, Thanks Bill
sfrkby  over a year ago

I have been taking Cymbalta for 3 years. Prior to taking this med, I could have a few beers or a glass of wine and be finished for the night. Within the last few years, I had progressed to the point of drinking when I wake up in the morning. I have been in the doctor’s office being labeled an alcoholic, being told to go to AA meetings. What an id**t I am! Did I not think to question the meds I am on, that I didn’t have this pattern before I started taking this depression sh*t! I am currently titrating myself off the Cymbalta, and-guess what- have no desire to drink anymore. I would also advise people using this medication that it will help with their depression, but also mask any ability to feel elation, which also adds to the depressive state. Change jobs, mates, exercise, or find a hobby, before resorting to this medication, please.

Guest over a year ago

I am so glad I found this site. My husband started taking Cymbalta about 2 yrs ago. He has constant pain from a condition called chiari malformation. He has always liked to drink, but normally it was under control, and he did not drink and drive.  His drinking now is so out of control, that after 20 yrs of marriage, I am considering leaving him. He does not remember anything the next day, and when he is drinking, he acts so stupid I cannot stand to be around him. He drinks everyday, and the weekends are a free for all. I have warned him, and he has slowed some, but it’s like he cannot control it, even though I told him I will leave and he knows he cannot live without me. I do everything for him, he’s never even paid a bill! I started thinking when did all of this start? And I came up with the time he started Cymbalta! He never thinks he is drunk. That’s what drives me crazy!! Then he will lay on the couch the entire next day. This is also out of character for him. I don’t know how much more I can take! I even bought a breathalyzer machine to convince him when he is drunk, but even after blowing a .23 he says he is NOT drunk and the machine does not work right! I will try to convince him that he needs to get off the Cymbalta, which should not be hard, because he hates taking pills, and wait and see if the drinking gets any better. Before Cymbalta, even if he got drunk, he did not act the way he does now. There have also been a lot of embarrasing moments that I won’t get into. Thank you for being so open, this has really helped me.

Guest     over a year ago

Finding these postings has restored my sanity and happiness! Over the past 1 1/2 -2 years I have gradually increased Cymbalta to 90mg per day, combined with 450mg Welbutrin in an effort to combat depression.  Over the past year(ish) my alcohol consumption changed from Pina Coladas on beach vacations or summertime parties into what I can only describle as an insatiable craving. It got so frightening that I began regularly attending AA meetings. When I searched alcohol & Cymbalta to research possible liver damage, I was amazed and beyond grateful to learn that it was the Cymbalta causing my “Alcoholism!” With the approval of my psychiatrist, I went off Cymbalta cold turkey and, thankfully, only experienced periodic “brain floatiness” and diahrea for about 2-3 weeks. This was a small price to pay and ANYTHING is better than believing that alcoholism was my future! I have tested the cause and effect out by having a drink without Cymbalta and I am almost back to myself–preferring a delicious dessert to an alcoholic drink any day of the week! It is so wonderful to know that there was a reason for the out of control drinking and I just  hope that this information is made available to anyone being prescribed Cymbalta. While I do believe that antidepressants can change, and, even save, a person’s life in many instances, any medication that causes such devastating side effects such as “faux” alcoholism does more harm than good. Good luck to everyone dealing with this issue–and remember that the good news seems to be–lose the Cymbalta and you lose the problem drinking.  Anyway, that is how it worked for me!
Guest    over a year ago                

I have been on Cymbalta for four years and Prozac before that.  As an entertainer, I have always consumed more than my fair share of alcohol but it has never presented a problem (no DUIs. job loss, black outs, etc.).  My spouse will protest that I drink too much too frequently but I honestly cannot make a connection between Cymbalta and my drinking.
Guest   over a year ago

This is all freaking me out! I think I can stop alcohol! At least I have for 2 days now.  I started taking 40 mg daily of Cymbalta 1 month ago.
I feel all trembling inside myself. Is this normal? The first 2 weeks on Cymbalta I had LOADS of energy…. but already now I am depressed and want to sleep all day.
Help! Please!
Guest  over a year ago                

Damn! Cannot actually believe this subject is here and that I happened upon it.  Regular drinker for the past 20 years. Drinking w/o control now. On Cymbalta twice a day the last year. Drinking on Cymbalta = sloppy, uncontrollable drunk, and only wanting more and more with each episode. Lying to family and friends now (never did this b4) always depressed, wanting to rest or sleep.
I consume about a liter to a liter and a half per week. It’d likely be much more if I didn’t require a days rest in between bouts of drunkiness. I mix drink #1 at approx. 3:00PM each day. Gin w/ fitness water. By 8 or 9 PM, I cannot remember what I did or said 5 minutes before. I am bouncing from wall to wall in my house, blasting the music and refusing to do anything or listen to anyone unless it’s me.
Just quit smoking cigs. A 24 year long smoker and the last 2 years being 2 packs a day. Quit for almost 9 months now. Very freaking good…but suddenly I want a freaking cigeratte!!! Smoking cigars instead. Not much better I suppose!
Point being, I am drunk almost every night, feeling great for couple days straight, then needing a total days rest….like bed rest, mind you. Need to drink again soon after that.
I wish you all well!! G
Guest    over a year ago                

OMFG….I stumbled upon this like many of you.  Used to drink quite a bit about 10 years ago, but only moderately since then.  Have been on Cymbalta since January (60-90 mgs) and I can relate to many of your stories.
I noticed I was drinking so much during the week that I swore off alcohol and would only drink on the weekends.  I wouldn’t feel extremely drunk, but I’d wake up the next morning and realize how much I really drank.  O wouldn’t remember having sex with my bf, and he’d quote conversations we had that I could not remember at all.
I was beginning to think I was going crazy…or becoming an alcoholic.
I’m so relieved to know that Cymbalta is partly to blame.
Guest   over a year ago                

I dont think i have ever been more happy to find a site.  i have been on cymbalta since i was 18 and started off on 40 mg.  the same year i started college and saw no effect on my alcohol intake, except for the fact that i drank more because i was in college.  i had another depressive episode my sophomore year and had to leave school and they upped my dose to 60 mg-again, no problem, but it had no effect on my depression so it was upped to 90 this past year when another episode hit.  since i’ve been on it i have had the same reaction as all of you had–it takes a LOT longer to feel the effect of the alcohol and i can drink a LOT more…were talking anywhere from 8-13 drinks in a night which is usually 6-8 hours.  there was a period where literally everytime i went out, i blacked out and remembered absolutely nothing.  this first started when i was put on 90 mg…all the drinking would make me more depressed because my family and my friends were all thinking i was an alcoholic and had me questioning myself.  while i am on an adhd medication as well-strattera-i have put myself on a limit to a certain number of drinks at night.
second of all do NOT drink red bull and vodka.  if i have two of them i am blacked out for the night.  there is an interaction with the vodka, red bull, and cymbalta that causes the blackout.  and its scary that i have driven in the condition before, but i have, and thats disturbing to me.
third of all i only allow myself to go out 2 nights a week or less.
i just wanted to say THANK you to the person who first posted this question on the sight!  it just reassures the rest of us that were not crazy…
Timba   over a year ago                

I was so happy with the results of the Cymbalta with my depression.  I have been treated 3 times over the past 20 years and this has proven to be the best in terms of feeling better, back to my old self, much more energy etc,  My insurance has not agreed to cover it yet so I have been given many samples of it by my physician. But I too have noticed “the I can’t stop once I start drinking syndrome”.  I blacked out twice in the past month, embarrassing myself and my husband at a business dinner in Hawaii, then last Sunday, waking up with the biggest bruise on my bottom I ever saw and it’s very painful.  I have no idea what happened, it was at home and don’t want to ask. I have always enjoyed my wine or beer but not like this.  When I asked my physician about the side effects he didn’t mention this? I’m confused.