Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride) belongs to a group of medications called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRI). It makes serotonin and norepinephrine increase, which are natural substances occurring in the body that positively affect communication between nerve cells and/or restore chemical balance in the brain.1

It is used to treat depression and neuropathic pain.2

Cymbalta is a delayed-release capsule to be taken orally. It is usually taken once or twice daily for depression, and once daily for anxiety and neuropathic pain. Cymbalta can be taken with or without food, but should be taken at the same time every day.

Cymbalta may take 1 to 4 weeks (or maybe more) before giving a full benefit and should not be discontinued suddenly, as it causes withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, dizziness, tiredness, headache, pain in the hands and feet, irritability, and sleep disorders. 3

Some of the most common cymbalta side effects are vision changes, dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, tired feeling, loss of appetite or increased sweating.1

Duloxetine hydrochloride has a black box warning (information that appears on a prescription drug’s label and is designed to call attention to serious or life-threatening risks4) regarding an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in people with major depressive and other psychiatric disorders, especially during the first months of treatment or following changes in dosage.5

A generic version of Cymbalta has already been approved by the FDA, however this does not mean that it will be available, possibly due to patents or exclusivity.6

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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  1. https://www.drugs.com/cymbalta.html
  2. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Treating-MS/Medications/Cymbalta
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a604030.html
  4. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM107976.pdf
  5. https://online.epocrates.com/drugs/374610/Cymbalta/Monograph
  6. https://www.drugs.com/availability/generic-cymbalta.html