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Lord have mercy . . .

6 years ago, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Prior to the diagnosis, I had been a regular, but relatively light smoker. Of course, I quit smoking when my cancer was diagnosed. I had been a non-problem (casual) drinker for 30 years prior to the diagnosis.

At the time I was diagnosed (and as my wife and I have discussed these issues a lot since my encounter with Cymbalta), we had had a six-pack of beer in our refrigerator for more than a year (in case a guest wanted one). That's the level of my drinking, prior to Cymbalta.

After organ removal and horrid chemo, I developed neuropathy. My physician prescribed Cymbalta to treat the neuropathy.

Then, all hell broke loose.

I went from nothing to a case of beer or a quart of hard liquor, PER DAY. I could drink steadily for 24 hours straight. I drank the wine we had purchased for cooking.

I couldn't stop, but even worse, I didn't want to stop. Worse yet, as it is with many people, I began smoking again, but "only when I drank" (which was constantly).

I never felt the alcohol. I believed that I was just "celebrating my survival," and that my drinking was not affecting my behavior or relationships.

I was totally out of control.

This situation persisted for close to 3 years.

When she had finally had enough, my wife contacted my physician and told them about my drinking, and that something was really wrong. My doctor dropped me.

Flat out dropped me as a patient.

The person who prescribed Cymbalta FOR OFF-LABEL USE, dropped me because I had become a rabid alcoholic.

I immediately researched compulsive drinking/alcohol cravings and Cymbalta (one of two drugs I was on at the time), on the internet, and, lo and behold, I found this comment thread and others like it.

My next doctor scoffed at the idea that Cymbalta had led to my condition.

Okaaaayyyy . . . so this was just me deciding to go crazy on alcohol.


I cold turkied the Cymbalta, and gradually (over another 2+ years), the compulsive drinking went away.

Currently, I could probably tolerate 3 drinks, if I even wanted to do that, but I'd need a long nap, immediately. No cravings, no compulsion, no tolerance.

As a result of my experience I have also learned that the medical/pharmaceutical industry protects itself better than they serve their patients.

I can't wait until there's incontrovertible proof that Cymbalta, in some cases, can cause what I would call 'Sudden Onset Alcoholism'.

Patient Beware.



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WOW ! I just stubbled across this and after reading all of your comments I am sitting here wondering why my Dr put me on Cymbalta if when I went and saw her and told her I drank every single night why on earth would she put me on this medication? NOT TO MENTION also at the same time prescribing me TOPAMAX as well to help me quit drinking ?? I am baffled and really don't know what to think right now. Can someone tell me why a Dr would prescribe me these two medications if I told the Dr that I drank every day ? Thanks !