Cymbalta and Pregnancy - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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I'm Pregnant > Cymbalta and Pregnancy
mrsfesta's Avatar mrsfesta 09:29 AM 05-09-2012



I am 4 months pregnant and was on Cymbalta for over a year now. I spoke to my Dr. when I found out I was pregnant and we decided to wean me off of the drug slowly. I was on 60mg a day before the pregnancy.  He then put me on 40mg for a week, then 20mg for two weeks, then 20mg every other day for another like 2 weeks. I've been having depression/anxiety symptoms recently and I'm unsure what I should do. I'm looking into taking another drug or trying to tough it out. I was doing really well on the Cymbalta so I'm very upset that I'm back to this awful place.  Its weird that your Dr. dosent' know the issues with the drug and preganacy. I would seek out a new Dr. if I were you.  I read alot online about the drugs you can take during pregnancy, some other like Prozac and Zoloft are safer. 


Hope this helps


Cristina, NJ

mrsfesta's Avatar mrsfesta 09:33 AM 05-09-2012

It's so good to hear about someone like me. I weaned off the Cymbalta but now again have the anxiety/depression.  I may have to consider getting back on but I'm so scared for birth defects. This is my second child with my first I did not have anxiety only depression so I weaned off Prozac before I was even pregnant to this was a non issue for me then.  Thanks for sharing.

pregnantx3's Avatar pregnantx3 12:13 PM 05-10-2012

Just as an update on my post a few months back...I had my third child (second pregnancy on Cymbalta) in early January. She's now 4 months old and absolutely perfect.  Hitting every milestone perfect, started rolling over at 3 months (early) smiling, cooing, only cries when she's wet or hungry, etc... She's great. My son, who is 3 and a half, was my first "Cymbalta" pregnancy and he's tall for his age, sociable, absolutely great. Has hit all milestones early. Knows all his abc's, colors, etc...


So again, my experience has been great with Cymbalta and pregnancies.


I will throw in one caveat...after this third pregnancy, I was walking through SEVERE post partum depression (even while still on Cymbalta 60mg). Some women in my life encouraged me to go talk to someone. I did and was completely honest with her (even explaining how I felt GUILTY about being so down, since I had an almost perfect baby). She put me on a low dose (2mg) of ABILIFY added to my cymbalta. Within one week, my depression was lifted. I do not plan on being on abilify long (I've heard it has strange side effects long-term, and it messes with your blood sugar) but it has tremendously helped my PPD. I am also not breastfeeding, so meds were an option for me. I have a friend who had a terrible response to abilify, but it has worked for me.


Talk to someone and your doctor about what's best for you and baby, that's what matters most.

Strawbs's Avatar Strawbs 09:33 PM 05-10-2012
Thanks for your updat Pregnantx3. I'm so glad you have another beautiful healthy bub. I'm 10 weeks pregnant at the moment & have been put back on Cymbalta (only 2wks) after a horrific 11days on Zoloft. I am soooo anxious about harming my baby, so much so that I have found myself wondering if I should continue with this pregnancy! Now this is something I have wanted for a long time, I weaned off Cymbalta over 4 months so I could do it med free but it hasn't worked out that way. I need to be on meds & after my dilemma with the Zoloft I cannot risk changing meds again. So again thank you for sharing your story it really gives me hope.
I'm in Australia, where are you from?
Did you get PPD after your 2nd when on Cymbalta?
I'm terrified of getting PPD as I am struggling to get out of that dark whole at the moment. I also worry hat I will be constantly looking for signs of damage in my child once it's here. I have 2 other children bu was med free for both pregnancies.
I really don't know what to do & I know being only week 2 back on my meds I don't have a completely clear head yet.
Any advice would be great, thanks
alicewyf's Avatar alicewyf 08:03 AM 05-11-2012

I've been wanting to post here for a while. I was on Cymbalta when I unexpectedly got pregnant and I totally was not ready at that point to wean off of it. I ended up staying at 60mg until about 24-26 (when I felt more mentally stable) weeks, then weaning slowly down from 60mg to 30mg, then to 20mg, then completely off. I did have withdrawal symptoms from 60 to 30, no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever from 30 to 20, and then had them again when I stopped taking it entirely. They lasted about two weeks after my last dose and I still get episodes of the "brain spinnies" occasionally, almost a month after getting off of it completely. I am 35 weeks today.


I've been diagnosed with GAD and OCD. So that's what I'm dealing with naturally (mainly with good diet and lots of EPA supplements, and Rescue Remedy) at this point. So far I've been encouragingly fine, though I do have a lot of trouble sleeping due to racing thoughts. Luckily I haven't had any anxiety attacks or irrational thoughts or worries, so I consider myself a success so far! I got off of the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms in my baby when he's born and I am open to getting back on another psych med postpartum if necessary. I did breastfeed my daughter for 25 months and she never had formula, so giving that a good attempt is extremely important to me. So hopefully I'll be able to try a drug safer for breastfeeding if I feel I need it. I encourage you mothers who are at risk for PPD to do some research regarding progesterone supplementation for treating PPD. Here is a good website on the subject:


I am extremely lucky that my OB is trained in this methodology and that this will be my first line of defense against PPD should it rear its ugly head! It is nice to know I won't immediately be going back on the psych meds, but that we'll be trying this first. :)


Glad to read about normal babies following a Cymbalta pregnancy. :) I've been a little worried about the risks of autism, especially since I'm having a boy, but I do know that the studies that claim these kinds of side effects were studying SSRIs and not SNRIs. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

thefragile7393's Avatar thefragile7393 08:06 AM 05-14-2012
I am not on cymbalta but a similar med. I tried to wean off with my first but the withdrawls mixed with pregnancy hormones sent me into a tailspin for almost all second trimester. i ended up having to go back on my original dose. I called out of canada and got so much great info. ds was born with no issues. At 6 he is very normal.

I was able to go down a dose with my dd but no more then that. No issues with her either. Sometimes the benefits outweigh the is a very hard decision.

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2
Nikki Hayes's Avatar Nikki Hayes 12:46 PM 08-13-2012

I found this researching. Thought maybe those of you who have had babies while on cymbalta and those who are now pregnant could check it out. It sounds like it's a why for Eli Lily to research the effects so they know more about it.

Thank you to all who posted! It helped greatly. Now I have more information for when and if we have our second and I'm still on cymbalta.

Nikki Hayes's Avatar Nikki Hayes 12:46 PM 08-13-2012
leahcameron's Avatar leahcameron 10:07 AM 08-17-2012

I just found out I was pregnant and had only been on Cymbalta for a little over a month. I was taking it for joint pain.  My Ob doctor told me to come off of Cymbalta and I have been off for about a week.  Let me tell you all something from personal experience.  I have lived the last week in H-E-L-L.  I feel so sorry for anyone who has had to come off of this drug.  And what really ticks me off is that my doctor didn't bother to tell me to expect these withdrawal symptoms  It is torture.  Besides the fact that I am pregnant and those hormones are crazy enough, I felt like I was going to die.  I have a 6 year old and a 4 year old and my husband and I are self employed, so my life is already a struggle.  I am either crying or mad at the world and I haven't been able to function.  I don't think I should be driving.  I feel like I am in a fog or something.  It is really hard to describe.  I will never go back on any drug, unless it is necessary, but don't get me wrong, I understand for those who need it.  You honestly have to do what you think is best.  I am just telling everyone of my experience.  I honestly didn't think I was going to make it, but it has been almost a week and I am feeling a little better. I hope that each day I continue to get better. Can't wait until I feel back to my oldself again.  good luck to anyone who is going through this.   . 

Audrie Johnston's Avatar Audrie Johnston 04:12 PM 08-22-2012
I'm so glad to see people out there like me. I've always had debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. Cymbalta (and Xanax) is the ONLY med that ever worked for me. Now I've been off cymbalta for 4 months and doing great until I was late on my cycle last week. I thought I was ready for a family but the thought that I may b pregnant just totally freaked me out. Begin a 5 day long panic from wake to sleep. It's been the most horrible 5 days. Needless to say I started back on cymbalta but have been trying to evaluate what I'm so scared of. The thought of nausea/vomiting For 3+ months makes me anxious, wt gain makes me anxious, and don't even get me started on fears of labor. I've been trying to pray and trust God more and maybe this isn't the right time but I'm terrified of pregnancy. Panic attacks are such a horrible, hopeless, miserable feeling! There's no relief!
mrsfesta's Avatar mrsfesta 12:24 PM 08-23-2012

I can relate. I'm on my second pregnancy. I was on Cymbalta and loved it. It really helped but I'm now on Zoloft only since I began my pregnancy. my anxiety/deppression is still bad but has been worse. I cant' wait to have the baby so I can go back on my cymbalta. Don't be scared, it is hard but worth it to have a child but also listen to yourself an know you limitations.

Moon36's Avatar Moon36 08:51 PM 08-24-2012

Hi there I am new on here and really scared.  Im 36 and have been suffering from depression for the past 5 years.  I have been hospitalized and last year was put on Cymbalta.  I am currently on a dose of 120mg for my anxiety and my depression.  I just found out 2 days ago that I am pregnant.  I am terrified.  I wanted to stop cold turkey but one day without the meds and I felt awful.  I am scared and I don't know what to do.  My OB/GYN was no help because he said go see my psych Dr.  Of course my psych Dr.  retired and I have been followed by my primary care Dr. who is no help.  I need some support here I don't know what to do I want to wean off the meds but I am scared of the withdrawal.  I just pray that my baby is ok and there is no damage.  I am only 3 weeks along and I know its early but I fear for my little one.  Any advice out there???

jennandwalt's Avatar jennandwalt 04:48 PM 09-16-2012

Just read your reply to being on cymbalta and on your 3rd pregnancy, curious how your last pregnancy went? I am on cymbalta 60am and about 5 weeks pregnanant. Still researching and considering my options.

mrsfesta's Avatar mrsfesta 01:07 PM 09-17-2012

Definetly dont' stop the Cymbalta cold turkey. It's awful. Find a new Dr. then figure out what you can do. I've read of many people that kept using the Cymbalta for the whole pregnancy or who were weened off and put on something safer like Zoloft. Which is what I did. I was on 60mg of the Cymbalta then weened off slowly and went on Zoloft.

karabooboo's Avatar karabooboo 08:38 PM 09-22-2012

I have Fibro too and TTC soon thru ICI. Pdoc will prob start me on Cymbalta  now that Fibro diagnosis is positive.   Thanks for sharing!

Carolyn W's Avatar Carolyn W 08:49 PM 10-22-2012



Don't be so hard on yourself.  I, too, have suffered panic attacks for over 12 years now.  They came on like a freight train and even tough therapy helped, the antidepressents stopped them.  When I have them (which I rarely do on the meds), they completely disable me, anxiety, cold sweats, pounding heart, crying and shaking.   People who haven't experienced them have no idea.  I truly believe there's something in my brain that just does not allow me to process normal stress like others. 


I am 42 and have been on Cymbalta for years.  I was on Paxil first and both actually work for me.  I just found out I am 5 weeks pregnant and the stress of that, even though I'm on the meds, left me anxious, jittery, nauseous, but without any actual attacks.  This is a big thing in anyones life, but especially for those of us who don't process stress the same way others do!  So don't feel bad that this sent you into a tailspin.  It doesn't mean you aren't ready,  it means it's a stressful thing to find out and your body is dealing with it the best way that it can!

Shelley Largen 07:13 PM 11-09-2012



 I have severe fibromyalgia, dysthymic disorder, and general anxiety disorder.  Both my OB and family practitioners felt that I should stay on Cymbalta during pregnancy. They also felt that I should breast feed, as having the antibodies for the baby would be beneficial. I took it all through my pregnancy, and during 4-5 of the 10 months I breast fed. My son is now two and a half years old and we are not sure if he is autistic. He has significant developmental delays and sensory issues and is currently receiving speech, developmental, physical, and occupational therapies, each once a week. We are trying to begin the process of getting him tested for autism, as his therapists feel he most likely has a mild autism.

To anyone who is thinking of taking this medication during pregnancy, I would not recommend it from my experiences - it is a great medication, it helped my fibromyalgia quite a bit. However, I am left with regret and lingering doubt that I was given bad advice -  I should not have taken this when I was pregnant. I will always wonder if my son's autism is my fault for taking this medication.

I will also say, if you choose to get off of it, make sure you taper down very slowly over time. The withdrawal side effects are absolutely horrible (made me feel like I was in manic phase of bipolar disorder - which i do not have! - no sleep, racing mind, hyperactivity, flu symptoms etc)


Good luck!

ERRN84's Avatar ERRN84 11:10 PM 11-12-2012
Keep me updated! [email protected] I would love to hear how it goes. I'm scared to death to pull the trigger!
brazilian's Avatar brazilian 07:17 AM 11-21-2012

Thank you very much for your post. I 'M four years now on cymbalta. I'm 8 bweeks pregnant. Tried to get out of cymbalta but my depression came back again. The doctor said I have to keep taking it! I fell very bad now , felling extremely guilty taking a medication that there is not much proof. Your experience is very helpfull for me. How did you deal with the guilty while pregnant, before knowing everything would be OK?

zakoh02's Avatar zakoh02 04:46 PM 11-21-2012

I have been on 120 mg. of Cymbalta for Bipolar Disorder for several years, but, with the help of my psychiatrist, am currently tapering due to pregnancy. After week 20, the baby would be at higher risk of Persistant Pulmonary Hypertension and secondary Congestive Heart Failure after delivery. These conditions may be fatal, or may cause severe medical impairment in the child. Although tapering from Cymbalta, as well as the symptoms of depression can be difficult, in consultation with my doctor, we decided that the risks of staying on Cymbalta for me outweigh the benefits.


This is out taper schedule from 120 mg, in case it is helpful for someone else (I am also tapering from other psych meds at the same time): 90mg daily for one week, then 60mg daily for 2 weeks, then 30mg daily for 3 weeks, then cymbalta 20mg daily for 4 weeks, then discontinue.  The lower the dosage, the longer you will be on it, and this should help avoid withdrawal symptoms. I was 4 weeks pregnant when I found out, so that schedule would have me weaned still at least a month prior to weak 20. I hope this is helpful. 

emmaglason27's Avatar emmaglason27 11:26 PM 11-27-2012

hi, im very interested in your question about whether to use cymbalta during pregnancy?  only that i read u wrote this in 2010 therefore by now your baby would be around 1 year old?  i am presently pregnant 8.5 weeks and am myself on cymbalta.  I wandered if u kept on cymbalta throughout your pregnancy and if u could give me any advice on this siuation? cheers

basile79's Avatar basile79 04:54 AM 12-26-2012
I'm from Australia.
I'm 33 currently pregnant with my 2nd child.
I've been diagnosed with depression n anxiety since I was 18yrs old. I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist and been on meds. Started off with aropax for depressions then after about 4 years was put on low dose of Xanax for my panic n anxiety disorder.
So basically most my life been on meds but changed to a fantastic on a new psych 11 years ago changed to many different meds to get better results.
About 4years ago my husband n I decided to have a child but we/I new b4 hand that it would be best for me n baby to research the medication part. And like the majority of you it was so hard to find someone who knew about meds n depression like a psych but also knew about pregnancy!!
I started with my psych and he only new basic info like GP's do wat category the meds fall in n he didn't know who to recommend me to. I wnt to my gp and she was so helpful n found me a few psychs that work the maternity field.
I set off n met a few but just didn't feel right till I found a professor who is a psych and works only in the pregnancy n post n pre pregnancy . She was also head doc for a mother baby unit that mothers can go to and stay with their babies in a private hospital to help with ppd etc.
Basically spoke to her n she revealed best meds for preg n also saw that there was no option for me to be without meds while pregnant the risks would be to high for me and baby if I was nothing.
So I was consulting with 2psychs and finally after trially all the safe meds finally found one that worked for me it was Luvox
So first pregnancy I was on Luvox (don't remember dosage) n Xanax .5mg
Was recommended the first 3months to limit as much Xanax as possible while babies brain n all important was forming then the last 2 trimesters the Xanax not a problem. Luvox fine first 2 trimesters but last trimester try n lower dose. 3rd trimester came n was on a higher dose then I started n was good for me to go down. I was told that with this med my child would go full term n prob be on low birth weight.
Well he was born day after due date and an average size boy with no issues. He is now 3.5 yrs old and no problems whatsoever!! I breastfeed for 3weeks but decided to stop for my own reasons was told meds weren't an issue passing through milk to baby.
Ok now I'm 32 weeks preg with my 2nd child and came back to see my psych that deals with pregnancy before deciding to fall pregnant n told her I was now on cymbalta cause Luvox stopped helping me once first preg was over n found that being on cymbalta 90mg n Xanax .5mg was helping me.
She said its a fairly new drug so not much information or case studies to tell us much but she weighed up wat I was on in the 1st pregnancy n how high my dose was it was the highest I could possibly go. And comparing it to the low dose of cymbalta I'm on now that the risks would be the same so decided to go ahead with cymbalta at 90mg.
Everything is going well except I'm currently in hospital being monitored cause I had a ctg monitoring scan and stability of baby's heart rate is great so is movements but there is no acceleration of the heart rate, even though baby is moving like crazy it's heart rate won't accelerate. I have had 3 ultrasounds done and anything that may cause that is not showing in scan the baby is well, no loss of blood loss or oxygen loss through placenta or umbilical cord. So my ob has been so confused that's why I'm still in hospital.
He is now assuming it had to be the cymbalta so started lowering it to 60mg n still monitoring.
I just wonder if there is anyone out there that has experienced this at all. I'm getting in contact with my psych tomorrow
To discuss further my ob. To find out if its ok to leave baby in no heart acceleration eventhough the scans show nothing wrong.
Also the reason I came in to hospital was cause I noticed that baby's movements had decreased but once put on those monitors baby was good but it look like that was all more stress related cause baby is moving well now it's just picked up the no acceleration of heart rate.
Our plan of attack before this curveball was with my psych was to See her at 39weeks then drop to 60mg then.
So my other concern is also being on lower dose for a longer period of time as well if there is any long term damage of having a baby with no accelerated heart rates. I'm having more monitoring done in the morning here in Australia but wanted to see if anyone has been through this st all
Sorry about the novel of my life story.
Just want to say for those mums that have to remain on meds don't feel selfish or guilty your looking after the child because if you can't cope and not doing well how is that good for the baby. Also you have women who choose to continue to drink alcohol or smoke which is personal opinion for everyone. My choice (wasn't much of one) was to continue to take a drug that I needed for myself that helps me which in the end helps the child. Also you have to weigh up the risks is it safer for you with or without n please if you can try n get opinions on meds from docs who know more about the meds n get them to consult with your OB (obsetritican )
Thx smile.gif
Lorena78's Avatar Lorena78 03:19 PM 03-12-2013


I know this is an old post, but I was wondering how everything turned out for you and your baby?

I am on the same boat, very frustrated as I cannot get an straight answer from my psychiatrist nor my OB. I am 17 weeks preganant, I have been on Cymbalta for over a year, when I found out I was pregnant they couldnt see me until my 8 weeks, the doctors say that i should wean off it. I have been off for the past 2 weeks but i have been having those weird electroshock on my my brain, fingertipes, tonge....and now my arms get numbed while I sleep!!

I contacted my psychiatrist today and he said i needed to go back to Cymbalta and take it every other day 30 mg, I did take 1 today but I not feeling this is a good decision. :(

Any suggestions??

Thank you!!

Zeelicious's Avatar Zeelicious 12:14 AM 03-26-2013
Hi I just found out I'm few wks pregnant & have been on Cymbalta 60mg for few months now for my depression & anxiety. I used to take Lexapro 20mg for few years but I didn't feel it was working so my GP switched to Cymbalta & I feel good.
I do get fuzzy (like a floaty slow movement at times) & if I suddenly move quick its like vertigo sensation. Most days I feel super.
Can't see my GP for a week so I asked pharmaceutical lady re safety of Cymbalta during pregnancy & she said it was a category B3 which is too unknown. Not sure what to do but I know I can't stop taking Cymbalta as after 2/3 days I'm over emotional n irritable n can't focus n feel ill with nausea n vertigo.
Enjoyed everyone's info on here.
Hope everyone is smiling smile.gif
TammySA's Avatar TammySA 06:07 PM 03-30-2013

Hi.I have been in your position before .My doctors kept me on cybalta for the first 3 months and then moved me onto zoloft for the remainder of my pregnancy and breastfeeding. Cymbalta is one of the newer drugs on the market so they don't really know what the possible risks of taking it while pregnant are .Four years later and I have a perfect 3 year old .If I were you I would slowly lower my cymbalta while simultaneously increasing the dosage of a safer ,older, more well researched drug under the instruction and care of a new better informed pych doc . I know it will be difficult and that you will need to monitor your moods closely but I was on double the recommended highest dose and know its doable with support .I am now pregnant again and have again had to change my meds again - my new doc didn't want me on zoloft - I can give you the name of the new med I am on ( to give to your doc as it's meant to be one of the safest ) but I am not sure if it will have the same name where you live.So basically what I am saying is that if it is possible try to move over to a new drug as soon as possible ( only as fast as you can handle the change without becoming depressed ) but don't stress too much about the possible effects of your usage so far as it is unlikely to have harmed your baby .Ps don't try wellbutrin as a replacement as recent research has linked it to neural tube and heart defects .

BeckiNY's Avatar BeckiNY 08:08 PM 05-28-2013
Omg... 7 weeks pregnant and trying to get off this stinking cymbalta. I hate it!!! Ugh. I am a high risk pregnancy and do not want to have any negative outcomes from cymbalta. I have been researching the amount of time of withdrawal symptoms, and am very discouraged. I went 3 days with out anything ... From a 30 mg dose.... Can't stand it any longer. I just spilled out half of a 30 mg capsule to see how that works. Sorry for the spouting.... Frustrated and saying that I will NEVER be on this medication again. The end. LOL.
JustJenny's Avatar JustJenny 02:12 PM 05-29-2013

Sunny- Since you are weaning off- have you ever tried Sam E for depression? It has worked wonders for me and per my Dr. is safe during pregnancy. It is a amino acid and has a lot of other benefits besides mood help. It shouldn't be used for anyone with bipolar or anxiety disorders tho' if that is part of your med history.  Here's a link for you:

Zeelicious's Avatar Zeelicious 06:12 PM 05-29-2013
Its taken me a while to come back here as I have had a heartbreaking time. At 4wks I ended at emergency with bleeding but follow up tests showed I was still pregnant so happily (yet carefully) I went on with life. At 7weeks they did an ultrasound & my cervix was empty yet I was still pregnant so the panic started about possible ectopic pregnancy. Not long afterwards I started bleeding badly & the excruciating pain that came with it ended me in emergency again. 3 days later I went home with a broken heart. My boyfriend wouldn't talk about it & withdrew from me. He broke it of a week after. Cymbalta is the only thing that kept me sane. I'm still a mother of my 2 boys so I have to keep going.
grgirl1's Avatar grgirl1 02:59 PM 08-09-2013

I am 38 and became pregnant in April.  In addition to the cymbalta, I was also taking xanax, ambien, and concerta.  THe OB/GYN office told me to stop everything immediately.  I did, and nearly had a nervous breakdown.  I couldn't sleep, concentrate or even stand up straight.  I called my primary care doctor who advised me to back on the cymbalta immediately...she later stated that I could have had a stroke from depriving my body of everything so quickly.  I ended up miscarrying and many think it's because of the shock I caused my body.  Do not ever quit anything cold turkey - see your doctor to weigh the pros and cons and wean yourself off.  Cymbalta is a very dangerous drug to just quit. 

cynthia mosher's Avatar cynthia mosher 04:40 PM 08-10-2013

grgirl1 - I totally agree. Going off a drug can have its own risks so you should always do so under your doctor's advice on how to proceed. 


To all of you who are pregnant - have you joined your Due Date Club here at Mothering? You can chat with other moms due the same month as you and get mutual support and sharing of experiences through your pregnancies. You'll find the Due Date Clubs here. Just find yours and click Join This Group to have instant access and posting privileges:

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