Cymbalta Side Effects And Warnings

Learn About Cymbalta and its Side Effects

Side Effects Of Cymbalta

What are the Side Effects of Cymbalta?

Millions of people worldwide suffer from some form of depression or anxiety. Over the past several years, a number of medications have been developed to help with anxiety and depression, among other uses. Although there are several choices, Cymbalta, also called Duloxetine, is now considered one of the best.

For people with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and nerve pain, there is an imbalance of two chemicals in the brain. Keep in mind that there are many different triggers for depression and anxiety, but the primary cause has to do with the abnormal production or levels of dopamine and serotonin.

  • Norepinephrine - This chemical is both a hormone and neurotransmitter. While its main role is as a neurotransmitter released from sympathetic neurons that has a direct effect on the heart, the hormone affects the brain. Termed the "stress hormone", when levels are low or production inadequate, an individual would not have an appropriate "fight or flight" response to stressors.
  • Serotonin - This too is a neurotransmitter found mainly in the central nervous system but also gastrointestinal tract and blood platelets. Most often, serotonin is referred to as the "feel good" chemical that helps regulate not only mood but also sleep and appetite.

Officially categorized as a "Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor" or SSNRI, this drug has proven beneficial to many people. This medication is also used on occasion to treat chronic pain, particularly associated with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and diabetic neuropathy.

Known Risk Factors

In addition to the side effects of Cymbalta, there are definite risk factors that an individual needs to discuss with the prescribing doctor prior to taking this medication. Some of these include the following:

  • Cymbalta should never be taken if an Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor or MAOI to include phenelzine, linezolid, isocarboxazid, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and rasagiline has been used anytime during the prior 14 days since this can create a serious drug interaction
  • Once a person stops taking Cymbalta, an MAO inhibitor should not be used for a minimum of five days
  • At no time while taking this medication should a person consume alcohol as it increases risk of liver damage
  • Sometimes, an individual will notice worsening or even new symptoms associated with depression or anxiety, which should be reported to the doctor immediately
  • Someone with an allergy to duloxetine should not take Cymbalta
  • Finally, anyone who matches one or more of the following needs to talk to the prescribing doctor prior to taking this particular medication. As with the risks listed above, Cymbalta can cause these conditions to worse, cause a drug interaction, or compromise the effectiveness of other prescribed medications taken.
    • Blood clotting disorder
    • High blood pressure
    • Glaucoma
    • Kidney or liver disease
    • Bipolar disorder
    • Epilepsy or seizures
    • Current treatment of methylene blue injection
    • History of suicidal thoughts/actions and/or drug abuse

One additional consideration is that pregnant women need to notify the doctor before taking Cymbalta. Although research and studies continue specific to any potential harm on an unborn fetus, there is not yet enough information to know the true effects of this specific drug.

Common and Uncommon Side Effects

As mentioned, Cymbalta has helped many people who struggle with depression and anxiety, as well as chronic pain but as with many drugs, unpleasant side effects do occur. Below we provided information on the side effects of Cymbalta, broken down into three categories to include Common, Infrequent, and Uncommon.

Keep in mind that that some people benefit greatly from Cymbalta and in fact, never experience problems or have very few issues. On the other hand, there are some individuals that simply cannot tolerate this medication.

Common Side Effects

  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Incomplete or infrequent bowel movements
  • Low Energy
  • Nausea
  • Poor Appetite

Infrequent Side Effects

  • Altered interest in sexual intercourse
  • Anxiousness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Chills
  • Feeling Faint
  • Gas
  • Head Pain
  • Inability to reach an erection and/or organism
  • Indigestion
  • Itching
  • Involuntary quivering
  • Muscle spasms
  • Restlessness
  • Sensation of spinning
  • Sluggishness
  • Temporary redness of the face and/or neck
  • Urination at night
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Yawning

Uncommon Side Effects

  • Abnormal liver function test
  • Abnormal walking gait
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Bad Breath
  • Bleeding of the stomach and/or intestines
  • Bruising
  • Burning stomach
  • Clotted blood in an organ, organ space, or organ tissue
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty or painful urination
  • Difficulty voiding the bladder
  • Discharge of milk in men and non-breastfeeding women
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Earache
  • Easily annoyed and angered
  • Erythema Multiforme
  • Excessive cheerfulness and/or activity
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Extrapyramidal Reaction
  • Extreme discomfort in the calves when lying down or sitting
  • General ill feeling
  • Heart attack
  • Heart pounding or throbbing
  • Hemorrhage
  • Hemorrhage beneath the skin
  • Hepatitis
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood sugar
  • Hives
  • Increased eye pressure
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Life-threatening allergic reaction
  • Liver failure
  • Lockjaw
  • Low sodium in the blood
  • Mood changes
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
  • Non-menstrual period bleeding
  • Nosebleeds
  • Numbness
  • Painful, red, and/or swollen mouth
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rash
  • Redness of the skin
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Seizures
  • Serotonin Syndrome
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
  • Stomach cramping
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Supraventricular Tachycardia (Rapid heart action)
  • Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone Secretion
  • Underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (due to problem with bile flow)

Most importantly, if any side effects of Cymbalta are experienced, regardless of the frequency or intensity, they need to be reported to the doctor immediately. At that point, a decision can be made to have an individual continue on the drug with a possible dosage change or perhaps be prescribed a different medication that would be deemed a better option.

While the list of common, infrequent, and uncommon Cymbalta side effects is long, it is important to understand that most of these are seldom experienced and even then, most people have only slight symptoms. Therefore, someone struggling with depression, anxiety, and pain could easily be a good candidate for this particular medication.

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