Cymbalta

(duloxetine)

3.6/ 5 average rating with 496 reviewsforCymbalta
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Improves mood and relieves certain types of pain.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

Cymbalta (duloxetine) is good for treating depression, anxiety, and some forms of chronic pain, but it is more likely than other antidepressants to cause problems if you drink alcohol or have high blood pressure.

Quick facts about Cymbalta
  • Drug class: Mental health
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (duloxetine)

Upsides

  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) may help relieve nerve pain from diabetes and other forms of chronic pain.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) has several uses, which may be good for people with multiple conditions.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
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What to expect from Cymbalta, on one page

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People’s experience with Cymbalta

496reviews so far. What do you think?

Downsides

  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) may not be a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or have liver or kidney problems.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) can increase high blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, Cymbalta (duloxetine) can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people aged 24 and younger.
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What to expect from Cymbalta, on one page

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How it works

Cymbalta (duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.

Quick facts about Cymbalta
  • Drug class: Mental health
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (duloxetine)

Used for

  • Urinary incontinence (women)

Dosage forms

  • Pill
  • Extended release
People’s experience with Cymbalta

496reviews so far. What do you think?

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Cymbalta (duloxetine) for Anxiety

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Constipation
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Side effect rates for Cymbalta (duloxetine)

From 13755 clinical trials of Cymbalta when taken for null
  • Nausea
    23%23%
    8%8%
  • Headache
    14%14%
    12%12%
  • Dry mouth
    13%13%
    5%5%
  • Drowsiness
    10%10%
    3%3%
  • Fatigue
    9%9%
    5%5%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    9%9%
    5%5%
  • Constipation
    9%9%
    4%4%
  • Dizziness
    9%9%
    5%5%
  • Diarrhea
    9%9%
    6%6%
  • Decreased appetite
    7%7%
    2%2%
  • Excessive sweating
    6%6%
    1%1%
  • Abdominal pain
    5%5%
    4%4%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Cymbalta.

Cymbalta (duloxetine)
Placebo

People taking Cymbalta felt side effect more

People taking Cymbalta felt side effect less

No difference

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. Look out for worsening depression or any unusual changes in mood or behavior, especially during the first few months of treatment or when the dose changes. Let your doctor know immediately if you notice any of these things. 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

Pharmacist Q&A

Cymbalta (duloxetine) questions for

Frequently Asked Questions

This medication treats pain in people who have nerve damage caused by diabetes.

Who is this drug for?

This medication treats pain in people who have nerve damage caused by diabetes.

Common concerns from people taking Cymbalta (duloxetine)

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Price
  • Abrupt discontinuation of Cymbalta (duloxetine) may cause withdrawal symptoms. If you want stop to taking Cymbalta (duloxetine), talk to your doctor.
Interactions
  • Not worth it
    Big hassle
    Reviewed duloxetineon 10/24/2017Do your own research and you'll be surprised how these Meds interact with what you presently take.
    56
    Woman
    Two years or more
    Fibromyalgia
Alcohol
  • Avoid use of alcohol.
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 8/11/2017My doctor's didn't tell me you should try to limit alcohol when taking this because cymbalta can be hard on your liver. Luckily I read it online. It's just good to be cautious, you've only got one liver.
    32
    Woman
    A few months
    Anxiety
Food
  • Take with or without food, Swallow the capsule whole; do not crush or chew.
  • Not sure
    Some hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 8/25/2017Take with food!
    39
    Woman
    A year or so
    Depression
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 1/9/2017Take with food in morning. Caused a bit of nausea at first but this dissipated within the first two weeks.
    45
    Man
    Depression
  • Not sure
    Some hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 11/17/2016I 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.
    18
    Woman
    Chronic muscle and joint pain
Pain
  • Not worth it
    Big hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 4/22/2017I have been taking this drug for a week and the side effects are unbearable. Ironically it is increasing my pain and exacerbating my sciatica. The joint pain, muscle stiffness, and fatigue are unreal. I am primarily taking this for depression and anxiety but also with the thought that it would decrease my back pain.
    35
    Woman
    A couple weeks
    Depression
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed duloxetineon 2/10/2018Used to take 20mg until one doctor said I needed 60mg to control pain from Fibromialgia/arthritis. Results were phenomenal when I upped the dosage. Huge relief. Side effects only lasted a couple weeks.
    63
    Woman
    A year or so
    Would rather not say
  • Worth it
    Some hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 8/19/2017try it and stick to it. the pain relief was amazing.
    58
    Man
    Two years or more
    Fibromyalgia
Sex
  • Worth it
    Some hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 6/6/2017Adjustment period took 2-3 months (nausea, inability to orgasm, increased anxiety). But since it stabilized it's done wonders. Recommended if you're looking for a long-term medication.
    25
    Woman
    Two years or more
    Anxiety
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 8/3/2015prevents orgasm
    48
    Woman
    Two years or more
Sleep
  • Worth it
    Some hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 8/18/2017I found it made it quite difficult to sleep immediately after taking it, such that the first night I took it I couldn't sleep at all. Worked really good for waking me up in the morning though
    25
    Man
    A month or so
    Depression
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 7/31/2017I found it hard to sleep when I began taking it, so I switched from taking it in the evening to the morning and it made a huge difference.
    26
    Woman
    Two years or more
    Depression
  • Not worth it
    Big hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 4/26/2017If I had known I would have had to deal with extreme fatigue during the day to the point of not functioning, I would have never taken it to begin with. I would rather be alert and in pain than sleepy and no brain........
    53
    Woman
    Two years or more
    Fibromyalgia
Weight
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 7/30/2017As soon as I commenced taking this, the weight dropped off without dieting or exercise. This was absolutely wonderful. I have since gained 4kg during the past two years and that would be because I needed to increase dosage to 90mg which would now be increasing my appetite. I need to keep weight in check but is not difficult. The previous medication acted like an appetite stimulant which was the last thing I needed in my life.
    68
    Woman
    Two years or more
    Depression
  • Not sure
    Big hassle
    Reviewed Cymbaltaon 7/12/2017Doesn't seem to make you put on weight too badly, really helps with blocking random illogical suicidal thoughts, helps depression, but barely helped my anxiety, at times anxiety felt worse, occasionally caused aggressiveness. Chronic night sweats which. Similar to the effects of menopause. Changing dosages or being on too higher dosages disables your sex drive almost completely hard to maintain erection, difficult to reach orgasm for a few months. Brain fog and memory jaded.
    25
    Man
    Two years or more
    Anxiety
  • Worth it
    Some hassle
    Reviewed CymbaltaIs a good antidepressant but does cause some weight gain (15 pounds); however, I'd rather be a little over weight and happy than having horrible anxiety every day.
    37
    Woman
    Two years or more
    Anxiety