cymbalta and chronic migraine

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/17/2006 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Has Cymbalta alone helped anyone prevent ot get less migraines?  At what dosage?  What are the side effects you have?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 6/27/2006 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
i started cymbalta two weeks ago. i have severe migraines and tension headaches-everyday without fail! i was on 30 mg for a week while i got off amitriptyline, then up to 60mg. i have seen positive results-the pain is less severe and i have been able to deal a bit better with it. i am also in a better mood. (which helps when you are in pain everyday). it is all i take now aside from the triptans and butabital.
since i have taken neurontin and amitriptyline for so long-with no sleep problems, this medication is keeping me up. i cannot fall asleep and once i do i wake up soon after. today i am having some tingling in my hands (like i had on topamax). i hope these side effects will go away. the result of this drug has been good otherwise! i will call my dr in a week if these side effects continue-i would hate to get off it with the results i have had. nothing else has worked-i have tried them all!
i would reccomend trying it. hope this helps! good luck

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/28/2006 4:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for responding.  I have actually now stopped Cymbalta.  I had been on it for a few months, before I finally decided it was not working on my headaches.  That was a big disappointment.  I had also noted sleep issues and ended up taking it early in the morning.  Maybe you should try that.  For mood, I am on Lexapro.  It seems to work for me, although I am still depressed.  I have not been on it long enough.  For the headaches, I am now back to tricyclics.  The desipramine or something, I forget the name.  Been on it only a week and just reached 30 mg.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/1/2006 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I also take cymbalta and have the same problems. The thing is I never connected the two together.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/21/2007 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I hae suffered from migraines for several years. I tried cymbalta with horrible results. I had the WORSE headache and was bedridden for days. I stopped taking it without consulting my dr. and after it was finally out of my system, I was much better. I was truly suicidal due to the PAIN! Currenty, I am on Topamax for migraine prevention and every 3 months I take Botox injections for migraines. My insurance paid for the injections for 3 years, but now quit paying. The dr. codes it as cervical dystonia, or neck spasms, which many migraine sufferers have as well. Health insurance will pay for that and I pay $200 extra, still costly, but better than nothing. Good luck sister suffers.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 2/21/2007 3:40 PM (GMT -6)   

I had the botox injections in my neck and forehead. It did not work at all. In fact it hurt my neck so bad I couldn't move for days. I finally went to my chiropractor and she massaged me for a good half hour and then had my husband do the same that night. I went back for three days in a row until I was finally unknotted. What happened was my neck went into spasms and hurt so bad. I still had migraines too.

I am never depressed unless I am having a migraine. I don't know if it's the meds or the pain itself, but when I am pain free I am the happiest person I know. I am out and about, smiling, laughing, joking and cutting up. Enjoying life to the fullest. Today when I woke with one I just felt sad knowing how the rest of the day I was going to feel. And yep.. Sure enough. I've been down in the dumps, but hanging in there. The pain is still here but it's not bad. I am going to get outside and walk my dog in awhile. Since my head is no longer pounding the exercise will probably help. Need all those happy endorphins I can produce. :-)
Take care and I hope everyone is having a pain free day.


New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/26/2007 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Doctor just gave me Cymbalta 30 mgs. to start today, have been taking Topamax for 2 years for headaches works wonderful. The Cymbalta is for nerve damage. I take Topamax at night should I take Cymbalta with it also? Does it anyone else take them the same way. Pleas let me know I am a nervous about it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 8/2/2007 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey, does Cymbalta hurt anyone's stomach? I have been having a lot of stomach pains and my only guess is that it is the Cymbalta.


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/7/2007 11:40 AM (GMT -6)   

I've been on Cymbalta for 5 months for Occipital Neuralgia.  I still have a headache and different head pains (it hasn't left since Nov. 1) but it's usually very manageable now.  I can't imagine living without Cymbalta now!  My main side effect is not being able to sleep at night, but I take a muscle relaxer every night (Flexeril) and that allows me to sleep well, and also helps with the pain.

I have one symptom that I haven't figured out yet - my nose sometimes gets ice cold and slightly numb.  This can happen even when the rest of me is hot.  I don't know if this is a result of the Cymbalta or the occipital nerve.  Anyone else have this?


New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/3/2009 9:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been using Cymbalta for a couple of months. I have used Topamax for several years along with Flouoxetine or at times other meds to try and control the pain. I have seen neurologists, an optho-neurologist along with my primary care doctor and have been on dozens of trial meds for my severe migraines, all of which caused unpleasant side effects.  The Flouoxetine I continued to take. When my primary care doctor recommended Cymbalta a couple of months ago. At first 30 mgs. a day and then 60 mgs.  I didn't have migraines for a months after I started the Cymbalta. Then I had them but the pain is much milder and more manageable.  I take Frova when the headaches come.  I wanted to share this with everyone.  I think it is worth a try for those of you who have tried a lot of medications and are thinking of Cymbalta. I have had no side effects and have been very pleased so far with this medication. 

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/29/2009 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   
hey, i was only on cymbalta for a week, i did not noticed a difference in my migraines. also i threw up every single day that i took the pill, and i was nauseous 24/7. i also experienced horrible sharp stomach pains, and insomnia. i took the pill in the morning, and yet i still couldnt seem to fall asleep, i was lucky if i could get to bed by 11AM, and even then i could only sleep for a few hours tops.

i was on Topamax for 6 weeks and it seemed to be working, well kinda working for my migraines, not a huge change, but i only had like 5 migraines a week instead of 6 or i was happy about that...

but JUST SO YOU KNOW topamax has a long term side effect, and thats why i had to stop taking it...after being on that kinda of pill for a couple years you will loose sounds stupid, but its true (writing essays/painting/drawing/grafic design...and anything that require careful, u wont be able to do those things) u wont notice the side effect until someone asks you to write them a short story, and u will blank out...i've sen it first hand on a relative...its scary so ask ur doctor about that to anyone on a topamax


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 9/12/2009 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I started Cymbalta about 3 months ago for fibromyalgia and I also have migraines - they have been really, really bad, worse than normal. Like some of you, I've never connected the two together. I'm seeing my doc on Monday for the migraines, and will ask if I can switch to Topamax with my other meds OK. I took Topamax for a couple years and had no problems on it, even lost some weight. Crossed fingers...

An Old Woman
New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/13/2009 3:46 AM (GMT -6)   
There's a great guide available for way cheaper, I've read it and I'd have to say they feature some interesting ideas in there. link removed.
No advertising allowed.  Please read the Forum Rules.

Post Edited By Moderator (LanieG) : 9/13/2009 11:23:05 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/15/2009 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   

I have suffered from horrible migraines for almost 2 years since I lost 2 pregnancies within a few months of each other.  I was getting them every other day - incredibly sensitive to light. 

I've tried everything except the botox shots.  Started keeping a journal of when and intensity.  Obvious they were hormone related & tied to my cycle.  Went to the 'best' migraine DR did frova, immitrex, topamax and many others.  Going through this for so long and my hormones being out of whack I found a psychiatrist who worked with me to get to the medications that worked best.


IMPORTANT: not only does Topamax have long term issues it can also null and void your birth control.   Since I had taken it for a year with the amount being bumped until I was at 200, a kind nurse finally told me about the B/C thing and I said forget it as it didn't bring any serious benefit.


My psych finally suggested that we try Cymbalta... I started at 15 or 30 for 2 weeks, then 60 for 3 weeks, then 90 from there.  OMG!!!  AMAZING DIFFERENCE.  I think the ramp up helped cause I didn't see any change until I got to 60.  It does not stop them entirely - however it does significantly reduce the intensity and frequency.  This month I have only had one and it only lasted for 4 hours - AMAZING.


Nice bonus - it's a light appetite suppressant so I've lost a few pounds over the months - changing nothing.  Meds are different for everyone but with the ramp-up, worth trying.


New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/16/2010 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey guys! I have been suferring from severe migraine headaches for 10 years, often 5-7 days a week, and have recently discovered all of these forums. I wanted to leave my own story and advice about things because I have found ways of controlling them, and to give everybody hope! I was able to get into medical school with these headaches - you guys can do anything if you put your mind to it! I also have some info on Cymbalta, which I recently started taking.

First off, let me tell you that I have learned from my neurologist that about 90 percent of migraines come from the neck. Therefore, if the neck is treated, often the migraines will go away. I had CT scan and X-Rays done, read as normal by ortho, but my pain management and neurologist doctors both neck abnormalities. Ironically enough, these abnormalities were more visible in X-Ray than CT Scan. My neurologist sent me to an excellent physical therapist (please go by recommendation - there are a lot of quacks out there) who I went to twice a week. I also started doing neck exercises in the morning and at night on a foam roll that stretches the back. Within weeks of doing these exercises daily, along with PT, there was an immense amount of relief.

I also noticed that I get migraines when there are large sugar fluctuations in my system. Therefore, I try not to go a long time when I'm eating, and I don't eat tons and tons of carbs unless it's a holiday. If you eat a lot of carbs, your sugar will spike, then fall, and that's a common cause of migraine.

Exercise also really helps. Even with a headache, if you go on a treadmill (or an elliptical), even very slowly, and do some very light weights with your neck supported, your muscles will strengthen and you will start feeling much better.

Now, on to medical treatments:

BEWARE OF TOPAMAX. It may help, but it causes severe memory loss in many people, some of which, after long term use, you may never regain. I started taking it when I was pre-med, and my science grades went from As to Cs. I couldn't understand anything I read, and eventually I couldn't even remember what TV show I had watched after turning off the TV. I got off of it and regained my memory, and never come near it anymore.

I also took Lamictal for about 2 or 3 years, it did very little for me but I stayed on it hoping it would work. Mostly, I noticed that when I worked out more my migraines lessened, but the Lamictal itself did very little.

I also got Botox injections - they did not help at all. Doctors get reimbursed big bucks for them, so that's why they recommend them. They are not very effective, which is why insurances don't pay most of the time. There have been very mixed, often negative study findings, although it has worked for some patients on a case to case basis.

I also have an anxiety disorder, very bad panic attacks. I had been on Lexapro for many years. Upon seeing a new psychiatrist, she, along with my other doctors, recommended Cymbalta. Why not kill two birds with one stone? I have been on Cymbalta for 3 months now. I recently increased my dose to 90mg. I definitely feel side effects, but it has eradicated a majority of my migraines. I feel the start of a migraine but it never comes on fully; I feel like a different person. Here are the side effects I experience: I cannot fully empty my bladder, and I have to pee a lot more often. It's really not that big of a deal, it just takes an extra minute of my day. I have random wakings in the middle of the night but those have gotten better and I sleep pretty well. I feel more fatigued then usual, which has been my most significant issue since I'm a pretty high energy person, but I drink a cup of coffee maybe twice a day and exercise and my energy level goes up. When I up my medication, I get weird fits of anger sometimes, but they seem to subside as my body gets used to the dose. Ultimately, what will determine whether Cymbalta will help you is (1) how your body responds to it, obviously but also (2) what your migraines are coming from. Since migraines are caused by nerve pain, and Cymbalta helps nerve pain, it will obviously help migraines. Very often that is the case, which is why it has been such an effective treatment. Apparently, 60 mg should be the optimal dose for migraines, as it causes the least side effects with the most medicinal effects. My dose is higher for my anxiety purposes (I take 90).

Last thing - neurologists often don't tell you this, but SEE A PAIN MANAGEMENT DOCTOR! They are brilliant, many of them, and deal with pain on a regular basis. They are familiar with far more medications than neurologists, but most importantly, they do procedures such as nerve blocks which can help you a great deal. I get nerve blocks in my occipital lobe and cervical spine, and they work wonders. They sound scarier than they are - they are injected with a local anesthetic so there is minimal pain, the procedure is relatively quick (15-30 minutes), and the results are amazing without having to take pills!

So guys, my hugest advice to you is to try to take as few medicines as possible - I had one renowned neurologist put me on Verapamil (a BP med) along with low doses and Nortyptalene (an old school antidepressent) which lowered my BP so much and caused me such a terrible headache that I was admitted to the hospital for 3 days from the ER and had to be on IV morphine, which was horrific. A great as-needed medication I take now is Depakote, if I'm having huge episodes of severe migraines, it usually stops them in 2 or 3 days. I also take Relpax as needed when I develop a migraine, along with either 2 Tylenol or 4 Advil. If you have stomach problems and can't take anti-inflammatories like Advil, there is a new mediaction called Vimovo that mixes Aleve (Naproxen) with a heartburn Zantac-like medicine. It works incredibly and doesn't hurt your stomach.

The first doctor who actually helped me significantly was the doctor who took me off all the medications, recommended diet and exercise, and physical therapy, and my pain management doc who recommended Cymbala and nerve blocks. Good luck and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! Hope this helps! :)

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/1/2012 10:40 PM (GMT -6)   
@Whee23: That was literally the most helpful post on migraine relief I have ever read. As a 20-year (and counting) migraine sufferer, thank you!

Have you tried Pristiq for migraine prevention?

Has anyone else?

Good luck, everyone! Feel good.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/20/2012 8:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Whee23, thank you for all your insight. I'm 44 and have been suffering from migraines since I was 16. And now both of my girls are sufferers as well. Thankfully my son has escaped them so far. You're right that the vast majority of them start in my neck. The rest start because of waiting too long to eat or because I'm out in the bright sunlight/heat for too long.

Your encouragement to exercise is one I've heard over and over from my husband. I lost 40 pounds through diet and HARD CORE exercise and was at 120 lbs about two years ago. But I am at a place where I loathe leaving my house. i've put on about 13 pounds and have lost all my muscle tone. I HATE the way i look and don't want to go to the grocery store, much less the gym. Plus, i have this fear of hurting my neck. I was doing PT but I even pooped out on that because I didn't want to leave the house.

I think a lot of that is that Cymbalta makes me SO sleepy. I've started taking it at night and that has helped but I still feel like I just want to sleep all day. or watch recorded TV. I'm either bored or depressed or both. I'm not sure.

One more thing, how long did you take Topomax and how much did you take? I know it makes me dumb. My memory is terrible. i've been taking 400 mg for about 8 years and anyone can pull anything over on me -- tell me i said something and I can't deny it even if I don't remember it.

Anyway, I hope you're still reading the forum and see this post.


New Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/28/2012 5:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been taking 60mg cymbalta and it has as started to "cause" headaches...

I'm A Keeper
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/14/2014 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
After trying many drugs over many years for almost DAILY severe migraines, Cymbalta is the only drug that has helped me without severe side affects, or has truly helped reduce the number of migraine days I have and the severity. I started on 30mg, then 50 and now 60mg. Each time I increased the amount, I initially got a bad headache for 2 days. After that, the results were wonderful. At 60mg my headaches are down to 4-5 a month, my appetite is lower so it is good for weight loss, it improves the mood that comes with having pain all the time. After other drugs gave me heart problem, memory and speech issues, no help for migraines, kidney stones....... I'm loving Cymbalta. Take it in the morning so that you can sleep well at night and take with food to prevent a belly ache.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7483
   Posted 12/15/2014 10:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum Keeper

Thanks for the imput, I too take the cymbalta for pain and depression.

Moderator - Depression
Be still and know there is Peace.

Kabir says: "Student tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath". from the poem Breath.
DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Monday, August 20, 2018 2:05 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,994,599 posts in 328,149 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 161288 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, asdgs.
191 Guest(s), 1 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details