Cymbalta Side Effects

Cymbalta also known as duloxetine is a drug used mainly for the treatment of depression, fibromyalgia, and anxiety disorders that has lasted for not less than six months. This medication belongs to a group of drugs called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. These drugs work by inhibiting the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine that is taken back into the nerve cells; reducing the reuptake of these neurotransmitters in the leads to the improvement of the patient’s mood and behavior. It also decreases the amount of dopamine that is taken back into the nerves, although not as much as it does serotonin and norepinephrine. It has also been shown that Cymbalta might have the potential to obstruct pain signals that might be passing through the brain.

Uses Of Cymbalta

Cymbalta is used for the treatment of conditions such as depression, anxiety cases of not less than six months, neuropathic pain, long-term musculoskeletal and fibromyalgia. It helps to ease the discomfort associated with diseases such as osteoarthritis.  Cymbalta has been recognized as the better alternative for the treatment of this osteoarthritis as compared to the first line medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs are efficient, however, they come with a lot of side effects, and are also contraindicated in some people, such as people suffering from peptic ulcer. Also, it has also been shown to be better than morphine, whose adverse effect is constipation.

  1. For the treatment of depression and depressive disorders: Cymbalta was approved for the management and treatment of depression in 2004, but was made available for purchase and use in 2013. Although it’s not a first line drug for the treatment of depression and depressive syndrome, mainly due to its many side effects. However, it still works, even though it might be tolerated by some patients. Some of the symptoms to notice when an individual has depression or depressive syndrome are
  2. Low mood- patients feel empty and hopeless. This can be noticed from their disposition towards life
  3. Lack of interest in social activities: Depressed people like to isolate themselves. They also withdraw themselves from any social activity or gathering.
  4. Severe cases of depression come with suicidal They believe that death is the only way to escape their ordeal
  5. For the treatment of anxiety disorders: Cymbalta is recognized as one of the first line medications for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder in Canada. It has been shown to be more effective than placebos used for anxiety treatment.
  6. For the treatment of diabetic neuropathies: Cymbalta is an approved medication for the treatment of diabetic neuropathies. The neuropathies associated with diabetes occur because of the high amount of glucose in the blood. This large amount of glucose damages the nerve fibers, especially the nerves in the leg and feet. Apart from this, diabetic patients also commonly experience pain, loss of sensation and problems in other parts of the body, such as in the urinary tract, in the abdomen, eyes and so on. According to statistics, about half of the patients that used the medication reported that the discomfort they had was reduced to half, after using Cymbalta.
  7. Fibromyalgia and long-term pain: Cymbalta has proven effective in the treatment of long-term pain and tiredness. In addition to this, this medication was approved by the American Food and drug administration regulatory body, for the treatment of fibromyalgia. It was also given the approval to be used for the treatment of pains associated with osteoarthritis and back pain.
  8. Urinary problems associated with stress: Cymbalta was approved as a medication for the treatment of stress-induced urinary incontinence in the United Kingdom. It was denied approval by the Food and drugs administration body of the United States, because of its side effects.


The drug manufacturer has listed some contraindications;

  1. Allergy: Patients that are hypersensitive to Cymbalta or any of its ingredient should avoid it.
  2. Cymbalta should not be used in combination with thioridazine: Thioridazine is an antipsychotic medication that is used in the management and treatment of mental disorders such as schizophrenia. This drug has been taken off the market in some countries because of its side effect, which is cardiac arrhythmia. This drug when combined with Cymbalta (a drug with a lot of side effects) is capable of causing a lot of damage to the patients.
  3. Cymbalta should not be used in combination with monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
  4. Patients should be careful when combining the drugs with central nervous system medications


Although Cymbalta has shown to be useful for the treatment of some conditions, there have been arguments and studies on whether its benefits outweigh its side effects. Below are some of the side effects of Cymbalta;

Side Effects Of Cymbalta

You should contact your physician, if you feel different, or notice some changes in your wellbeing. Some of the side effects of Cymbalta include general symptoms such as tiredness, nausea and sleep problems. Other general side effects are a headache and lightheadedness. This medication also increases the blood pressure of some patients. Patients must endeavor to check their blood pressure regularly, to notice any sudden change. Cymbalta could come with some severe side effects, such as involuntary contractions of the muscles, body tremor, urinary incontinence, liver function abnormalities, gastrointestinal problems, jaundice, vomiting and so on.

  1. Discontinuation syndrome: There have been cases of some serious reactions in the body, upon the stoppage of this medication, especially when sudden. Some of the reported symptoms include anxiety, paresthesia, low mood, headache, lightheadedness and sleep problems. The company that manufactures Cymbalta has advised that patients should not stop using the drug abruptly, but should rather gradually reduce the dosage, till they eventually stop.
  2. It could increase the risk of suicide: Generally, anti-depressant medications raise the risk of suicide, particularly in patients below the age of twenty-five. According to statistics, people on this medication are twice prone to committing suicide, as compared to people that are not using the drug.
  3. Other side effects: There are some rare side effects of Cymbalta. Some of them are the Stevens-Johnson syndrome, fainting, hyponatremia, anaphylaxis and so on.


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Duloxetine overdose. (2017). Reactions Weekly, 1642(1), pp.119-119.

FDA Approves Cymbalta for Fibromyalgia. (2008). Topics in Pain Management, 24(2), p.12.

The US Cymbalta [duloxetine] label will be updated with additional information on hepatotoxicity, (2005). Reactions Weekly, &NA;(1074), p.3.