Cymbalta FAQ

As a relatively new drug on the market, Cymbalta (duloxetine) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. Cymbalta works by blocking levels of absorption of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, both neurotransmitters that, when at the right level, play an important role in affecting mood. As a “dual-inhibitor” this drug is sometimes used over others to manage a wider range of conditions including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy. Cymbalta is seen as a safe, non-addictive drug when used as prescribed, however it has been shown to be habit-forming.

Normal use of Cymbalta comes along with a list of serious potential side effects such as worsening depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, hallucinations, and others. It takes nearly a month of use for the drug to start becoming effective. However, for some, the side effects seem too severe to wait that long and they decide to quit “cold turkey.” Cymbalta use needs to be tapered, so quitting suddenly can bring on a host of other side effects such as anxiety, imbalance sensation, extreme irritability, tingling in extremities, nausea and vomit, headache, generalized pain, nightmares and night sweats. Experiencing these effects in addition to those already encountered can lead the user to resume use of the drug because the withdrawal experience is so uncomfortable.