Switch from Cymbalta to Lyrica

I live a very active life, single mom of 2 kids (ages 9 and 2), working 2 jobs, both in the medical field. Just today my doctor switched me from cymbalta to lyrica. The cymbalta simply wasn't helping anymore after 2 years. I was having some of the more serious side effects, chronic stomach pain, easily bruising, and possible liver issues. Needless to say lots of blood work was done today and I'm preparing myself for the withdrawls from the cymbalta (horrible vertigo!). I know medications work different for everyone, however, I heard some pretty bad things about lyrica. Any thoughts on this drug? I'm also looking into massage therapy, if I can withstand it, and accupuncture.

I'm fairly new to the fibro world, although after much discussion with my doctor he feels I've suffered from it since age 19 if not younger. Only after my daughter was born did it kick into overdrive. I'm still attempting to find the right treatment for me. At this point nothing seems to help. I avoid stress as much as a single mom could, but at night it seems it all catches up with me. The horrible neck, shoulder and back pain leave me in tears. Just in the last few days has it started in my upper legs. I'm hobbling around at work at the pace of a sloth. I put on a smile just so I won't get the usual "what's wrong?", "are you ok?". My co-workers are pretty understanding, but the clinic I work in is extremely busy and requires me to be on my feet a lot. I take flexiril at night to help with the spasms, but lately that isn't even helping. Not being able to play with my kids has taken an emotional toll on me as well. My two year old is a very typical hyper toddler who wants mommy's undivided attention and preferably doing so on my left hip. She's too young to understand that it hurts mommy's arms to lift her. So I do the best I can and deal with the pain later. I hide a lot of it from my 9 year old son, but he's a smart little booger and can tell when I'm hurting pretty bad. He then takes over the "parent" role with his little sister. Absolutely breaks my heart. I've found out the hard way that with fibro also comes a lot of depression. I feel like I'm falling apart at the seams.


I have been taking Lyrica for awhile now. I also take another pain med along with it. Most days they help me to manage my pain pretty well to where I can at least function. I still cannot stand for any period of time or walk any distance even with my cane. I have very little issues with side effects from it. I take it and the other pain med every 4 hours. I have been pretty happy with it. My Dr,'s think I would be much worse if I didn't take it. I cannot imagine what that would be like!

Hi Shira,

I have taken Lyrica for years for Sciatica, and it's the only thing that touches this nerve pain. It does nothing for muscle, joint or bone pain, in my opinion, but is great for the nerve pain.

If you click on 'discussion' at top of page, and use the search engine at the top left, you can bring up everything ever posted about a topic, here is everything we have ever said about Lyrica here on site. Hope this helps


Holding and carrying children, carrying over loaded pocketbooks, diaper bags, baby carriers are so hard on our body. A good chiropractor can help so much. I know I am long over due for an adjustment, also sometimes my pelvic tilts, one leg gets longer than the other, and this is excruciating! He always reminds me that our body is 'one unit' and everything is connected.

So sorry to hear of the stomach and Liver problems. I had a dead gall bladder removed a few years back, it was the right size, no stones, every test had been done a few times, finally after 20 years of suffering, the last test showed it no longer functioned. It was adhered to the liver, and the surgeon had a hell of a time getting it. My liver tests were not good. My Chiropractor put me on Milk Thistle and it took over 6 months, but it healed it. He was careful to order me a high grade version and the results were very good. I should probably still take it at times for all the meds I am on.

I always eat something when I take a med, even if it's just a cracker or piece of cheese, helps to cut down on stomach problems. These may be things that you already know, but we always feel like there may be something we can share that helps!

Hopefully you have seen a Rheumatologist, had some x=rays that are up to date of the problem areas like your back and shoulder. My Rheum just took me off Valium at night and put me on Zanaflex for the spasms. Took it for the first time last night, it did help loosen me up a little.

This is a great group, full of very well informed, caring people, so you can always come here! My heart goes out to all of the young and the young with children! Find the very best Dr that you can, learn as much as you can about your family history, especially autoimmune illnesses.

Wishing you well, sending a big hug,


Hi Shira, I am so glad you have joined us !
You have a lot on your plate !! Working & being a single mom & having fibro… Wow !!
Lyrica can be taken with Cymbalta … They are totally different, you may know this ? I understand that you feel like its not working, but it may have made more sense to add the Lyrica and get adjusted to that first, I say this because the withdrawal from Cymbalta & the side effects from Lyrica may all just be to confusing ! Unless you do one at a time, I know that Lyrica has to be started very slow… And stopping Cymbalta should be weeks also, if not longer. I’m not a dr. But I would have wanted to replace the Cymbalta with another med in that classification, but of course if your liver is being effected that’s understandable why the dr, is hoping you get some relief from the Lyrica, while stoping the Cymbalta
I would say know the side effects of decreasing the Cymbalta as well as the initial side effects of the Lyrica, talk to your pharmacist about this… You may get great relief from the Lyrica … I hope so for you !!!
I tried to decrease my Savella because it felt like it was not helping anymore… What I found is that is was helping, my symptoms were just getting worse.
Boy can I empathize with your struggles !! I remember feeling the same way at work… I also worked in a busy medical setting, it’s so hard to hide the pain & fatigue, at least my kids were older so I could come home and go to bed.
You sound like an amazing mom, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have such young ones and have this pain… & have to work… God bless !
I pray this transition goes well for you & the Lyrica helps !

Hugs & blessings

My doctor is slowly decreasing the cymbalta and is adding the lyrica slowly as well. I'm blessed to have understanding co workers who can sense when I'm having a bad day, like today. After my doctor was poking and pushing all over my back, arms and legs, I feel like I've been ran over by a train. He's checking my CPK levels as well. With the warmer weather I thought the pain would decrease, it's actually gotten worse. The RUQ pain is what made him stop the cymbalta, after ruling out my gallbladder.

My full time job is in a busy GI clinic at a VA, part time job is as an advanced EMT for an ambulance company. It seem the patients get heavier everyday. I've done EMS for almost 13 years and always thought the pain was caused from lifting and tugging on patients all day long. Come to find out, I couldn't be more wrong. I love my jobs, esp EMS. It's all I've ever really known having done since I was 19. However, if I can't get the pain under control I may have to resign which leaves me feeling extremely sad. Most of my co workers in EMS don't know I have fibro and I'm not ready to tell them. I don't want them treating me any different or feeling they have to do the majority of the lifting because I can't. I'm stubborn as hell and refuse to let fibro get me down, but lately It's taken a toll on me phsycially and emotionally. It seems no one understands or they keep telling me "you're fine, you just don't want to do it". I'm far from lazy, but even the simple things are becoming too much the past few days. Just playing catch with the jumbo ball out back with my daughter is painful. But how do you tell a two year old that mommy just can't? So I grin and bare it until she goes to sleep. aaahhh sleep, I almost forget what that's llike anymore.

I have recently started Lyrica (and knock on wood-no side effects). I am on a small dose (25mg 3x day). I wasn't sure it was working until one day I didn't take all three doses...now I know it is working. I do take pain meds too, but hope that when the Lyrica dose is ajusted that i wont need as much of the pain meds.

I’m hoping not to have side effects. I don’t start it until next week. I feel like a walking pharmacy at times. Im trying to get as much information on fibro as I can from varies places. I’m fortunate enough to work in a specialty clinic with multiple doctors including a rheum doctor who has giving me “tips” on managing my pain.