Highlighting uses, dosage, how to take and discontinue


Cymbalta’s Side Effects, Warnings, etc. >>

Brand & Generic Names; Drug Classes

US brand name: Cymbalta
Generic name: duloxetine

Drug Class(es)

Primary drug class: Antidepressants
Additional drug class(es): Headache & Neuropathic Pain Medications, Anxiolytics / Anti-anxiety Medications, Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors

Approved & Off-Label Uses (Indications)

Cymbalta’s US FDA Approved Treatment(s)

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Fibromyalgia, Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain (DPNP) , Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain (CMSP)

Uses Approved Overseas but not in the US

Stress urinary incontinence in women in the EU under the trade name Yentreve.

Off-Label Uses of Cymbalta

Stress urinary incontinence in women, and possibly for men as well. ADD/ADHD. Smoking cessation. Migraines and other headaches .

When & If Cymbalta Will Work

Cymbalta’s Usual Onset of Action (when it starts working)

For Psychiatric Conditions (AKA brain cooties)

Between three days and a month, with an average of around two weeks.

For Pain

For DPNP & CMSP - like TCAs and any other med with a positive effect on norepinephrine, you could start feeling some relief anywhere from a couple of days to two-three weeks.

For fibromyalgia - how long does it take for anything to start working on fibro1?

Likelihood of Working

Depression & Anxiety Spectrum Disorders

As with most SNRIs, your chances are pretty damn good that Cymbalta will work for depression and anxiety spectrum disorders. They’re not the solution for everyone, but they all have a decent response rate, they are far less likely to poop-out than SSRIs, and Cymbalta is no different.


For DPNP & CMSP The odds are decent. It’s about as good as a TCA, with fewer side effects, which basically makes it a first-choice coin-toss.

For fibromyalgia - who the fuck knows. Even opioids may as well be placebos for a lot of people, and those folks are the Crazymeds’ demographic. And meds tend to poop-out (tachyphylaxis) a lot. I’ll get back to you if I can find some numbers I can trust.

Taking and Discontinuing

How to Take Cymbalta

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Per the PI sheet Eli Lilly Recommends:
For adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): start at 40 to 60 mg , taken either in one or two doses a day . The target dosage is 60mg a day, with a maximum of 120mg a day.
For adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): start at 60 mg once a day , with a maximum of 120mg.

Crazymeds’ Suggestions

For MDD & GAD we suggest starting at 20mg a day, and increasing by 20mg a day as required. We also suggest taking Cymbalta twice a day due to its short half-life, but since you can take it only once a day at 20mg, if you need to increase your dosage you’ll know soon enough which works better for you.

While theoretically a once-a-day, delayed-release product, so is Depakote ER. And you only need to take regular Keppra twice a day. From all the evidence I’ve collected I’ve learned that you sometimes often need to take some meds more frequently than what the PI sheet states. And, please, discuss that with your doctor and pharmacist. The only real side effect to taking two 30 mg capsules instead of one 60 mg is how much it costs. Your doctor will probably be OK with it. You insurance company might have a different idea.

How to Stop Taking Cymbalta (discontinuation / withdrawal)

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

What recommendations?

2.4 Discontinuing Cymbalta
Symptoms associated with discontinuation of Cymbalta and other SSRIs and SNRIs have been reported. A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]. --the PI sheet And that’s it.

Crazymeds’ Suggestions

Very slowly. Reduce your dosage by 10–20 mg a day each week. If 20mg per day every week is too fast, try to get some samples from your doctor2 so you can step down by 10mg per day until you hit 20mg. Cymbalta comes in 20, 30 and 60 mg capsules. Now do the math. Once you’re at 20mg you have to stop taking it after one or two weeks at that dosage. If the discontinuation symptoms don’t go away, ask your doctor for a Prozac prescription.

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Cymbalta’s Side Effects, Warnings, etc. >>

Pages and Forum Topics Google Thinks are Relevant to Your Mental Health

1 Sometime between one day and never is the usual estimate for any drug to start working on fibromyalgia. It's pretty obvious I lived with someone who hasn't had much luck treating her fibro isn't it?

2 I honestly don't know if Cymbalta samples are still a thing.

Last modified on Wed, 04 May, 2016 at 17:03:03 by JerodPoorePage Author Date created April 05, 2011, at 15:24:23
“Cymbalta (duloxetine): Uses and Using” by Jerod Poore is copyright © 2011 Jerod Poore Published online 2011/04/05

Cymbalta, and all other drug names on this page and used throughout the site, are the trademarks of someone else.

will probably have the name of the manufacturer and trademark owner (they’re not always the same company) at or near the very bottom. Or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing. It may of changed hands by the time you finished reading this article.

Page design and explanatory material by Jerod Poore, copyright © 2003 - 2016. All rights reserved. See the full copyright notice for full copyright details.
Don’t automatically believe everything you read on teh Intergoogles. No warranty is expressed or implied in this information. Consult one or more doctors and/or pharmacists before taking, or changing how you take any neurological and/or psychiatric medication. Your mileage may vary. What happened to us won’t necessarily happen to you. For more details see the Crazymeds big-ass disclaimer.

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