Articles, DRUGS

Duloxetine (cymbalta) – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

Depression is a demon that is not easy to chase away especially in the worst days when feelings of being social is washed down with the depression completely taking over your mind. Depression in the present day world can be from anything, starting with a middle school kid going through massive bullying or a middle aged man going through psychological changes. A recent study conducted actually stood up to the point where it said that depression anxiety and panic has increased manifold within the people in the present days as compared to the past but thankfully there are now advanced medications that can help you treat such defensive disorders with ease, one such advanced medicinal drug being duloxetine.

This is the generic name of the drug that goes under the brand name Cymbalta and is used for treating imbalance in the brain, depression and even signs of panic attacks too. Cymbalta is recognized as a SSNRI which is the acronym for selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Serotonin is a chemical inside our brain that bridges communication within the brain and is also the epitome of emotions and feelings inhibiting happiness, sadness and even the sexual desires. The norepinephrine too is a chemical binding, a hormone if so, that is released on the occasion of extreme stress. This medicinal drug actually regulates or alters the chemical composition in the brain regulating these hormones and chemicals and therefore in turn making changes in the emotional or psychological status of your mind.


Apart from depression, this medicine can be also be used to treat anxiety or panic situations. Since pain in the joints, muscles or bones are too somewhere connected by brain nerve cell, this medicinal drug can control pain too and can be used to treat chronic or acute back pain, joint swelling and arthritis.


Cymbalta is the brand name of the drug with the generic name being duloxetine which is a prescription drug for the people who are constantly stuck in a depression phase. Apart from depression, certain other psychological or nervous disorders too can be the playground for this drug that alters the chemical compositions of the hormones that produce these emotions and therefore can help you make changes in your system the best way possible. In this segment, we shall look into the details of how this drug actually benefits you.

  • Chemically treating you: the thing with duloxetine is that, this drug would gel and blend in with the chemical compositions that makes up the hormones which in turn would alter the emotions or the feelings being induced to your brain and thus this drug would chemically regulate your hormones, possibly by reducing the stress or the sadness level and increasing the happiness in you, a mild play of hormonal imbalance that can actually bring you out of your constant misery and depressed state. The same can be applied for anxiety or panic distresses.
  • Changes in behavior noticed: often there are certain behavioral changes that weigh down the mind especially during a psychological transition when a depressed mind would cause changes in the everyday routine. With the use of this drug you would soon notice how the behavior of the patient changes. He might even become more socially open or may come out of his box and actually mingle or take participation in things he usually would ignore.
  • Change in everyday activities: everyday activity as mentioned before gets affected when your mental stability is brought into question. This usually means the behavior or the sleep pattern or the appetite and such. One of the benefits of this medicine actually includes you going through a series of transitions like maybe getting your sleep schedule back or actually getting hungry after a long run of appetite loss. These can be looked at as signs of improvement.
  • Fibromyalgia pain cure: duloxetine uses its chemical alteration benefits to even alter the neurotransmitter that bridges the communication between the nerves and the brains. By doing so, it actually prevents fibromyalgia pain to lessen or vanish.
  • Analgesic in nature: analgesic in nature in this context means, cymbalta actually helps in painful situations like joint swelling or muscle cramps and stiffness and even arthritis or chronic back pain.
  • Diabetic neuropathy in line: sometimes the nerves due to high diabetic conditions within the body gets affected a whole great deal and it is in situations as such that the drug uses its benefits to cure the nervous disorders.


This is usually a strong drug and to avoid abuse or over use, you should strictly conform to what you doctor has to say about it. Based on your medical requirement, your age, weight and demographics, your doctor will prescribe to you the dosage unit and the way of consumption.
Usually you are strictly advised to intake the medicine orally with the help of a glass of water. Ask your doctor whether to intake the medicine before meals of after. Usually you are advised once a full dose a day or you can even branch out a dosage into two helpings with ample intervals in between for each dose to do its work. There are regular and extended release capsules, the dosage of which may regulate so be careful enough to take in full information from your pharmacist or your doctor regarding the intake.

You would usually get them in capsulated form. Make sure you never break or chew on to one of these capsules as they contain inactive ingredients which on breaking, chewing or splicing can cause detrimental side effects.  Always keep it simple with a glass of water and gulp it down whole. Do not even mix this is juices or food items for consumption purpose.


Your duloxetine dosage will be prescribed to you by your doctor. It is important that you start with a initial base dose instead of jumping right into a heavy dose if not under emergency situations. Once the initial dose shows ineffectiveness, move onto a higher dosage but only on the doctor’s approval.

This drug is mainly used to treat depression and the basic dosage for this should be at 40mg which can either be consumed once a day or broken into half. Two duloxetine 20mg doses can be prescribed for the beginners that segregate the dosage into two halves with ample time in between each dosage for its full potential to show. If the result is not satisfactory, move the dosage to duloxetine 60mg. if we are taking about extended release capsules for the beginners, an adult dose can be measured at cymbatla 30mg per day for once a week this is a basic dose for excessive cases of depression and is applicable for regular doses as well.

For anxiety adult doses can start from 30mg and can even go up to 60. At all points the dosage should not exceed the 120mg limit. For a geriatric dose, keep the initial dose fixed at 30mg to avoid risks and side effects. The same can be said for pediatric doses too.

For analgesic causes, pain treatment through this medicine can be started from 60mg but the dose can be increased up to cymbalta 90mg on the doctor’s approval. At no point should any of the doses exceed the 120mg limitation, be it for whatever cause.


You may or may not be allergic to this drug but you will never know unless you actually use it. if side effects start showing up from the very first use, immediately stop using this medication. Also, if you are currently going through a allergy medication course, please consult your doctor regarding the usage of both this drug and the allergy medicines together. They may react and cause havoc.

If you are going in for surgery or is currently going through your pregnancy, do not use this medication as they may causes heart attack risks during surgery or can simply pass onto the baby through the mother’s breast milk.

Also while consuming this medicine do not chew, swallow or bite down on the capsule since the inactive ingredients might cause fatal consequences either on spot or in the future. this also increases the risk for overdosing and therefore it is simple enough to just gulp it down with a glass of water.


Alcohol or excessive nicotine in your system actually has an effect on your emotion quotient as they gel in with the chemical composition and makes their own little changes, the fogging of the mind due to alcohol abuse or even drug abuser therefore prevents the medication from working. In fact it may cause adverse side effects by mixing with them.

The same goes for other painkillers that you might be taking to get rid of the pain. also, if you are already going through a category of benzodiazepines, consult your doctor about the continuation of either one of these medication courses as they both adhere to the same purposes and may cause trouble.

Everyday medicines like aspirin, disprin and such should also be kept within restriction as these too are somewhat analgesic in nature.


Side effects pertain to each and every drug. It can either be a case of side effects due to introduction of foreign chemicals into your system for the first time or it can simply be due to the body’s incompatibility to match up with this prescription drug. Either way side effects are common with some being negligible while the others can be quite loud. Here is a list of some of the common side effects that might turn up during the course.

  • Abdominal and muscle pain: abdominal or muscular pain can be the earliest signs of side effects that you might feel. This can be categorized into the rare side effect section and on painful muscles and joint swellings, consult your doctor and immediately get ahead of the problem before it becomes worse.
  • Convulsion: often when your body is too used to a certain drug, suddenly stopping the course of the drug can be detrimental which is when your body feeling the lack of the drug can cause withdrawal symptoms like seizures or fits. To prevent this, slowly reduce the dose instead of leaving it all together.
  • Allergy symptoms: allergy symptoms may occur if the medicine is not suiting your body’s requirements. This can be in the form of swelling of neck, face or joints along with irritation in your skin with reddening rashes and blotches or hives or even over sensitivity of your skin. stop the dosage immediately or reduce the unit.
  • Urination problems: duloxetine side effects can also be in the form of difficulty while trying to pass urine. Urination may even cause slight burning sensation or fogginess. Change in the color of urine persists and if you feel dizziness along with this make sure you consult the doctor.
  • Eye issues: blurring of vision ay persist along with persistent tearing which should be refrained from. Eye issues would occur only on the event of overdosing.
  • Counter reaction to change in behavior: this drug causes change in behavior where your appetite loss and sleeping disorder may get rectified but the counter effect to it may be in the form of added hunger at irrelevant rates or maybe too much drowsiness which may even lead to day time sleeping.