Duloxetine (generic for Cymbalta®)

FDA Approved

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  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride

Generic For Cymbalta®

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How does Cabinet care for you?

  1. Seamless transfer process. Our pharmacist will coordinate with your current pharmacy or provider to transfer your prescription.

  2. Better for the planet. Our pharmacy will send your prescription refills in plastic-free, compostable pouches.

  3. Stress-free refills. Our care team will help manage your refills and prescription renewals, so you don't have to worry about running out of pills.

  4. Satisfaction guarantee. If your care needs aren't being met, our care team is here and eager to help! If you're not satisfied, we can transfer your prescription back to your old pharmacy at any time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Drug

Duloxetine is the generic equivalent of Cymbalta®.

By law, a generic drug must be the same as its brand name counterpart in terms of active ingredient, dosage, safety, effectiveness, strength, stability, and quality. A generic may, however, differ in its inactive ingredients (i.e. flavoring, fillers, and preservatives).

Duloxetine is FDA approved for the treatment of:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD) or depression

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

  • Diabetic neuropathy pain

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Chronic musculoskeletal pain

Amitriptyline may also be used off-label for nerve pain.

Duloxetine is an SNRI (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor). It works by blocking the brain’s absorption of norepinephrine and serotonin, “feed good” chemicals in your brain. The end result? An increased level of norepinephrine and serotonin in your brain, which is thought to improve mood and pain.

The most common side effects of duloxetine include:

  • Nausea

  • Dry mouth

  • Drowsiness, sleepiness

  • Fatigue

  • Constipation

  • Decreased appetitie

  • Sweating

  • Altered sex drive

  • Weight loss, weight gain

  • Small increases in heart rate

  • Loss of appetite

Side effects may improve over time as your body adjusts to the medicine.

This list doesn’t represent all possible side effects (or serious side effects) of duloxetine. If you’re experiencing any ongoing, bothersome side effect(s), tell your healthcare provider right away.

If you’d like to learn more, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has a helpful medication guide for duloxetine here.

Duloxetine (Cymbalta®) does come with serious warnings. These include:

  • Increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions*

  • Serotonin syndrome—a rare, but potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when there’s too much serotonin in the brain

  • Withdrawal symptoms—abrupt discontinuation of treatment can cause nausea, anxiety, confusion, and headache.

  • Liver problems, liver damage

  • Abnormal bleeding problems

  • Manic episodes or hypomania in patients with bipolar disorder

  • Seizures

  • High blood pressure or changes in blood pressure—must be monitored periodically

  • Severe skin reactions

  • Glaucoma

  • Increases in blood sugar

  • Risk of falls in older patients

If any of the above concern you, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about your perceived risk and other treatment options that exist.

*This warning is a boxed warning. A boxed warning is the most serious type of medication warning assigned by the FDA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Duloxetine may be taken with or without food. Take each capsule whole. Avoid crushing, chewing, or opening the capsule.

If you accidentally miss your dose of duloxetine, take the dose as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose (within 2 hours), skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Don't take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

During pregnancy: The safety of duloxetine use during pregnancy isn’t well established.

While breastfeeding: The safety of duloxetine in infants is unknown. Use of this drug while nursing isn’t recommended.

It’s important to treat mental health-related conditions when pregnant or nursing, as untreated depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses can harm both you and baby. Always let your provider know if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, so you can discuss the risks and benefits of taking Cymbalta (duloxetine).

It’s recommended to avoid or limit the use of alcohol when taking duloxetine. Liver failure has been reported in patients taking duloxetine and the risk is much higher for patients with substantial alcohol use.

Duloxetine can interact with some prescription medication and supplements. It’s always recommended to give both your doctor and pharmacy an updated list of everything you’re taking, so drug interactions can be identified.

Some medicines and supplements duloxetine can interact with include:

  • SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors): citalopram, sertraline, fluoxetine, paroxetine

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): selegiline, phenelzine, linezolid, methylene blue, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid

  • SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors): desvenlafaxine, venlafaxine, milnacipran

  • Triptans: sumatriptan, eletriptan, naratriptan

  • Arrhythmia medications: propafenone, flecainide

  • Alcohol

  • NSAIDs: aspirin, ibuprofen

  • Warfarin

  • Tramadol

  • Cimetidine

  • St. John’s Wort

  • Ciprofloxacin

This list doesn’t represent all the drugs that may not be safe to take with duloxetine. If you’re unsure whether a certain drug or supplement can be taken with duloxetine, seek medical advice from your doctor or pharmacist. The FDA also has a helpful medication guide for duloxetine here.

FAQs and Drug Facts Medically Reviewed by Joanna Tam, Healthcare and Content Manager

Disclaimer: The information on this page is a summary and is not intended to cover all available information about this medication. It does not cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects and is not a substitute for the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Consult your healthcare provider before starting or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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