What is Cymbalta?
Cymbalta is a prescription medicine used to treat a certain type of depression called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Cymbalta belongs to a class of medicines known as SNRIs (or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors).
Cymbalta is also used to treat or manage:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain (DPNP)
- Fibromyalgia (FM)
- Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain
What is the most important information I should know about Cymbalta?
- Cymbalta and other antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, or young adults within the first few months of treatment or when the dose is changed.
- Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts or actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) bipolar illness (also called manic-depressive illness).
- How can I watch for and try to prevent suicidal thoughts and actions?
- Pay close attention to any changes in mood, behavior, actions, thoughts, or feelings, especially sudden changes. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed.
- Call your healthcare provider right away to report new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings.
- Keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider as scheduled. Call your healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms or feelings, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you. In an emergency, call 911.
- attempts to commit suicide
- acting on dangerous impulses
- acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
- thoughts about suicide or dying
- new or worse depression
- new or worse anxiety
- panic attacks
- feeling very agitated or restless
- new or worse irritability
- trouble sleeping
- an extreme increase in activity or talking (mania)
- other unusual changes in behavior or mood
What else do I need to know about antidepressant medicines?
- Never stop an antidepressant medicine without first talking to a healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause other symptoms.
- Antidepressants are medicines used to treat depression and other illnesses. It is important to discuss all the risks of treating depression and also the risks of not treating it. Patients should discuss all treatment choices with your healthcare provider, not just the use of antidepressants.
- Antidepressant medicines have other side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider about the side effects of the medicine prescribed for you or your family member.
- Antidepressant medicines can interact with other medicines. Know all of the medicines that you or your family member takes. Keep a list of all medicines to show your healthcare provider. Do not start new medicines without first checking with your healthcare provider.
Talk to your healthcare provider about:
- all risks and benefits of treatment with antidepressant medicines
- all treatment choices for depression or other serious mental illness
Who should not take Cymbalta?
Do not take Cymbalta if you:
- take a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI). Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if you take an MAOI, including the antibiotic linezolid or intravenous methylene blue.
- Do not take an MAOI within 5 days of stopping Cymbalta unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
- Do not start Cymbalta if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
People who take Cymbalta close in time to an MAOI may have a serious problem called Serotonin Syndrome. (see “What are the possible side effects of Cymbalta?” below)
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Cymbalta?
Before starting Cymbalta, tell your healthcare provider if you:
- have heart problems or high blood pressure
- have diabetes (Cymbalta treatment makes it harder for some people with diabetes to control their blood sugar)
- have liver problems
- have kidney problems
- have glaucoma
- have or had seizures or convulsions
- have bipolar disorder or mania
- have low sodium levels in your blood
- have delayed stomach emptying
- have or had bleeding problems
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Cymbalta may harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risk to your unborn baby if you take Cymbalta during pregnancy.
- Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant or think you are pregnant during treatment with Cymbalta.
- If you become pregnant while taking Cymbalta, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the Cymbalta Pregnancy Registry. You can register by calling 1-866-814-6975 or by visiting www.cymbaltapregnancyregistry.com. The purpose of this registry is to monitor the pregnancy outcomes in women who have been treated with Cymbalta at any time during pregnancy.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Cymbalta passes into your breast milk and may harm your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby while taking Cymbalta.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Cymbalta and some medicines may interact with each other, may not work as well, or may cause serious side effects.
Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take:
- triptans used to treat migraine headache
- medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, buspirone, SSRIs, SNRIs or MAOIs
- tramadol and fentanyl
- the antibiotics ciprofloxacin, enoxacin
- medicine to treat irregular heart rate (like propafenone, flecainide, quinidine)
- the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) (like ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin).
- over-the-counter supplements such as tryptophan or St. John’s Wort
- thioridazine (Mellaril). Mellaril together with Cymbalta can cause serious heart rhythm problems or sudden death.
Ask your healthcare provider for a list of these medicines if you are not sure.
Do not take Cymbalta with any other medicine that contain duloxetine.
How should I take Cymbalta?
- Take Cymbalta exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Your healthcare provider may need to change the dose of Cymbalta until it is the right dose for you.
- Swallow Cymbalta whole. Do not chew or crush Cymbalta.
- Do not open the capsule and sprinkle on food or mix with liquids. Opening the capsule may affect how well Cymbalta works.
- Cymbalta may be taken with or without food.
- If you miss a dose of Cymbalta, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Cymbalta at the same time.
- If you take too much Cymbalta, call your healthcare provider or poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 right away, or get emergency treatment.
- When switching from another antidepressant to Cymbalta your healthcare provider may want to lower the dose of the initial antidepressant first to potentially avoid side effects.
What should I avoid while taking Cymbalta?
- Cymbalta can cause sleepiness or may affect your ability to make decisions, think clearly, or react quickly. You should not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Cymbalta affects you.
- Use of Cymbalta concomitantly with heavy alcohol intake may be associated with severe liver injury. Avoid heavy alcohol use while taking Cymbalta.
What are the possible side effects of Cymbalta?
Cymbalta may cause serious side effects, including: See “What is the most important information I should know about Cymbalta?” above.
Common possible side effects in people who take Cymbalta include:
1. Liver damage
Symptoms may include:
- right upper abdominal pain
- dark urine
- yellow skin or eyes
- enlarged liver
- increased liver enzymes
2. Changes in blood pressure and falls
Monitor your blood pressure before starting and throughout treatment. Cymbalta may:
- increase your blood pressure.
- decrease your blood pressure when standing and cause dizziness or fainting, mostly when first starting Cymbalta or when increasing the dose.
- increase risk of falls, especially in elderly.
3. Serotonin syndrome
This condition can be life-threatening and symptoms may include:
- agitation, hallucinations, coma or other changes in mental status
- coordination problems or muscle twitching (overactive reflexes)
- racing heartbeat, high or low blood pressure
- sweating or fever
- nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- muscle rigidity
4. Abnormal bleeding
Cymbalta and other antidepressant medicines may increase your risk of bleeding or bruising, especially if you take the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs, like ibuprofen or naproxen), or aspirin.
5. Severe skin reactions
Cymbalta may cause serious skin reactions that may require stopping its use. This may need to be treated in a hospital and may be life-threatening. Call your healthcare provider right away or get emergency help if you have skin blisters, peeling rash, sores in the mouth, hives or any other allergic reactions.
6. Discontinuation symptoms
Do not stop Cymbalta without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping Cymbalta too quickly or changing from another antidepressant too quickly may result in serious symptoms including:
- feeling tired or problems sleeping
- electric shock-like sensations
- vomiting or nausea
7. Manic episodes
- greatly increased energy
- severe trouble sleeping
- racing thoughts
- reckless behavior
- unusually grand ideas
- excessive happiness or irritability
- talking more or faster than usual
8. Visual problems
- eye pain
- changes in vision
- swelling or redness in or around the eye
Only some people are at risk for these problems. You may want to undergo an eye examination to see if you are at risk and receive preventative treatment if you are.
9. Seizures or convulsions
10. Low salt (sodium) levels in the blood
Elderly people may be at greater risk for this. Symptoms may include:
- weakness or feeling unsteady
- confusion, problems concentrating or thinking or memory problems
11. Problems with urination
Symptoms may include:
- decreased urine flow
- unable to pass any urine
The most common side effects of Cymbalta include:
- dry mouth
- loss of appetite
- increased sweating
Common possible side effects in children and adolescents who take Cymbalta include:
- decreased weight
Side effects in adults may also occur in children and adolescents who take Cymbalta. Children and adolescents should have height and weight monitored during treatment.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Cymbalta. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to 1-800-FDA-1088.
A total of 562 medications are known to interact with Cymbalta. Use the Interactions Checker Tool.
Common Interactions Checks
General information about the safe and effective use of Cymbalta
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use Cymbalta for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Cymbalta to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them.
This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about Cymbalta. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You may ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about Cymbalta that is written for healthcare professionals.
For more information, call 1-800-545-5979.
How should I store Cymbalta?
Store Cymbalta at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
Keep Cymbalta and all medicines out of the reach of children.
What are the ingredients in Cymbalta?
Active ingredient: duloxetine hydrochloride
Inactive ingredients: FD&C Blue No. 2, gelatin, hypromellose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate succinate, sodium lauryl sulfate, sucrose, sugar spheres, talc, titanium dioxide, and triethyl citrate. The 20 and 60 mg capsules also contain iron oxide yellow.