Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Cymbalta

(Duloxetine)

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Improves mood and relieves certain kinds of pain.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our bottom line

Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, and may help with chronic pain. More likely than other antidepressants to cause problems if you drink or have high blood pressure.

Upsides

  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates for depression.
  • Can relieve some types of chronic pain. Might be particularly good at pain relief for people who are also depressed.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
What do people say?
411 reviews

Downsides

  • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
  • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.

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What to expect when you take Cymbalta (Duloxetine) for Depression

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
  • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
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Side effects for Cymbalta (Duloxetine)

From clinical trials of Cymbalta / Depression or anxiety  ( 8100)

  • NauseaNausea23% for Cymbalta vs.8% for placebo
  • Dry mouthDry mouth14% for Cymbalta vs.6% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache14% for Cymbalta vs.14% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness9% for Cymbalta vs.5% for placebo
  • ConstipationConstipation9% for Cymbalta vs.4% for placebo
  • DiarrheaDiarrhea9% for Cymbalta vs.6% for placebo
  • Sleep difficultySleep difficulty9% for Cymbalta vs.5% for placebo
  • DrowsinessDrowsiness9% for Cymbalta vs.3% for placebo
  • FatiguedFatigued9% for Cymbalta vs.5% for placebo
  • Decreased appetiteDecreased appetite6% for Cymbalta vs.2% for placebo

Risks and Warnings for Cymbalta (Duloxetine)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Age 24 years or younger

    Cymbalta (Duloxetine) may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Watch for worsening depression or any unusual changes in mood or behavior, especially during the first few months of treatment or when the dose changes. Report anything concerning to a doctor immediately. Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is not approved for use in children younger than age 18.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Cymbalta (Duloxetine)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Take with food in morning. Caused a bit of nausea at first but this dissipated within the first two weeks.
  • I started taking it with breakfast in the morning, however, one year in I started experiencing severe nausea​ to the point of throwing up in a Chick-fil-A.I talked to my doctor and decided to take it before bed. This has helped and I haven't been sick yet.
  • Take with meal
Kidneys and liver
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
  • it helped with my pain and depression but hurt my kidneys and i stayed short of breath
Sex
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Cymbalta (Duloxetine) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
  • Works great! Took Sciatica daily pain away pretty much. No sex drive!
  • this worked very well for depression gained a little weight and the worse thing was gave me joint and muscle pain and no sex drive at all some sleepless nights
  • it has sexual side effects
Sleep
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Stopping Cymbalta (Duloxetine) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
  • I take it at night to avoid drowsiness and it helps with pain during sleep.
  • i gained almost 50lbs while taking this over 18months. it made me extremely drowsy and tired all the time.
  • Does not help with depression or neuropathy Headaches and pain worse and suicudal tendencies at times that I have not acted on Tired but can't sleep side and back pain
Weight
  • Works great for me. I take it before bed. I take it for anxiety, not depression, and my anxiety is totally gone after 5 weeks of taking it. I have gained a little bit of weight, but I'm not sure if the medicine is to blame or not. It's only a little bit of weight anyways and I don't feel anxious about it :)
  • this worked very well for depression gained a little weight and the worse thing was gave me joint and muscle pain and no sex drive at all some sleepless nights
  • Very bad constipation (for which my bowels still have not really recovered from and have been off it for 4 yrs), sweating (which went away after the 1st year), weight gain (25-30 lbs). Took it for depression, anxiety and pain control due to fibromyalgia. It did work. The first several times I forgot a dose or was late taking it I experienced the "zinger" shock-like feelings.