Cymbalta side effects

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Cymbalta side effects
Cymbalta side effects

Cymbalta (IUPAC name - duloxetine), a product of Eli Lilly, is an approved antidepressant used for the treatment of various kinds of depression related symptoms and the management of diabetic pains, stress urinary inconsistency and chronic fatigue syndrome.

General Side Effects

It is primarily a Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) which is a category of drugs used for treating depression and anxiety syndromes. Though potentially serious, Cymbalta side-effects occur infrequently. They are tolerable, and require very little treatment. Common side effects of Cymbalta are dizziness, nausea, dry mouth, sleepiness, constipation, decreased sex drive, decreased appetite and increased sweating. Cardiac and gastrointestinal disorders, liver problems and kidney/urinary trouble are also possible adverse reactions to Cymbalta.

Although approved as an antidepressant, Cymbalta is known to have adverse effects on its users, especially if he or she is a depressed teenager or young adult. The medical condition of the user is also a crucial factor for the prescription of Cymbalta. The side effects are primarily caused by unchecked consumption and ignoring health conditions like liver problems, glaucoma, diabetes, migraine, pregnancy (even if you are planning), or breastfeeding before starting consumption of Cymbalta.

Cymbalta doesn't go with...

As for checking consumption, one must be aware of one's medical history. Certain drug users are not suited to use Cymbalta. Those drugs are:

  • An antidepressant called MOAI (Monoamine oxidase inhibitor) - NO Cymbalta for users of this drug.
  • NSAID pain relievers, Aspirin, blood thinners - unchecked consumption of Cymbalta may cause bleeding.
  • CNS (central nervous system) acting drugs - given the primary CNS effects of duloxetine, it should be used with caution when it is taken in combination with or substituted for other centrally acting drugs, including those with a similar mechanism of action.
  • Mellaril (thioridazine).

Major Adverse Effects

For a Cymbalta user, the long term (or non-immediate) side effects that one should be careful of are primarily:
  • Insomnia - Up to about 16 percent of Cymbalta users have been reported to have insomnia. Most of them are advised to follow general good sleeping habits.
  • Weight Gain - About 2 percent of people taking Cymbalta for fibromyalgia (muscle pain, fatigue and multiple tender points) were reported to have experienced weight gain. However, it is more typical for people to lose a little weight while taking this drug.
  • Weight Loss - Probably owing to diarrhea, nausea and such side effects, weight loss is observed in some patients. Studies of Cymbalta have shown that 11 percent people taking Cymbalta reported loss of appetite. About 2 percent of consumers reported weight loss. On an average, Cymbalta users lost one to three kilograms while on treatment. However, it is possible for people to lose considerable body-weight while on Cymbalta. That may be a desirable side effect for some people, but excessive weight loss can bring about more sever problems.
  • Sexual Problems - A decreased sex drive was reported in 7 percent of the users, ejaculation problems for 5 percent of the male users and impotence. But the percentage with such problems for fibromyalgia patients was reported as low as 2 percent. Also, 2 percent of women using Cymbalta have reported with orgasm problems.

Patient Comments

A patient of anxious depression described his experience with the following: decreased libido and no chance of orgasm, dizziness, nauseous feeling, and 35 kilograms of gain in body weight. Angry about the doctor he also said how he had been told that Cymbalta is the medication with minimum effect on libido... and for sure, it will never affect body weight. Another patient, this one of depression and neuropathy experienced bad sweating times, frequent and severe muscle pain, sexual problems and a 60 kilogram weight gain. And yet, there are many who have been lucky enough not to have suffered even one side effect.


The biggest controversy surrounding Cymbalta is suicidal behavior being linked with Cymbalta, especially in cases of teenage depression and careless administration of the drug. The minimum age for a Cymbalta user is 18 years. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires all antidepressants, including duloxetine, to carry a warning that antidepressants may increase risk of suicide in persons below 25. This warning is based on data analyses conducted by two independent FDA expert groups that found a doubling of suicidal behavior in children and adolescents, and a considerable increase in such tendencies in the age group 18-24.


Cymbalta being a chemical antidepressant, most users try to wean themselves of it and try natural ways. It is being talked about amongst the user community as something that could be done away with. An alternative drug is a natural supplement with ingredients that can provide nutrition for neurotransmitters as well as stimulate serotonin production, which is something Cymbalta (and other SNRI's) are primarily meant to do.