Drug Class: Antidepressant, SSNRI

Table of Contents


Cymbalta (Duloxetine hydrochloride) is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI). Cymbalta is used to treat depression. This medicine is also used for nerve pain (peripheral neuropathy) in diabetic patients. Your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat other conditions, including fibromyalgia and generalized anxiety disorder.

Duloxetine may improve energy level, mood, sleep, and appetite, as well as decrease nervousness.

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

It works by helping change certain chemicals in the brain, which professionals refer to as “neurotransmitters.” It is not yet well-understood why changing these neurochemicals results in symptom relief for the conditions this drug is commonly prescribed for.

How to Take It

Follow the directions printed on your prescription label. Ask you doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about how to take this medicine. Cymbalta should be taken by mouth. This medicine should be swallowed whole and should not be chewed or crushed, nor should the contents be sprinkled on food or mixed with liquids. All of these might affect the enteric coating. Do not quickly stop this medicine without talking to your doctor.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • restlessness
  • increased sweating
  • sexual problems
  • drowsiness
  • constipation
  • vomiting
  • tension
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • insomnia

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • blindness
  • dark urine
  • tightness in the chest
  • increased thirst
  • vomiting of blood
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • light-colored stools

Warnings & Precautions

  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Duloxetine, or if you have any other allergies.
  • DO NOT stop taking this medicine without first talking to your doctor.
  • Alcoholic beverages can increase the effects of this medicine and should be avoided.
  • This medicine may cause drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Before taking this medicine, notify your doctor if you have: history of alcohol abuse, high blood pressure, narrow-angled glaucoma, kidney problems, personal or family history of suicide attempts, or bleeding problems.
  • The side effects of this drug may be particularly impactful to children. Weight loss and loss of appetite can be a side effect. Monitor weight and height in children taking this medication.
  • Be cautious when driving or performing other hazardous activities.
  • Duloxetine can affect blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar levels regularly while on this medication.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Before taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes supplements and herbal products.

Dosage & Missed Dose

Cymbalta is available in delayed-release capsules, and is usually taken 1 or 2 times per day. It may be taken with or without food. The typical dose for depression is 40 – 60 milligrams.

Do not open or crush the capsules. They should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy. Neonates exposed to SSRIs or SNRIs late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization. (1) Nursing is not recommended while taking this medicine.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a604030.html for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.