Cymbalta Dosage: Starting, Maximum, And Missed Dose

Last Updated: June 10, 2020

Authored by Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

Cymbalta dosage varies depending on a number of factors like age and weight. The drug is used in varying doses to treat depression, anxiety, and diabetic related nerve pain. To be safe, the patients need to know these duloxetine dosage administrations for various conditions the drug is used to treat, including general dosage information.

Cymbalta Dosage: Administration And Strengths

Primarily, three methods can be used to determine duloxetine dosage, namely: Dimensional Analysis, Ratio Proportion, and Formula or Desired Over Have Method. The Cymbalta dosage range for conditions such as major depressive disorder is between 60mg per day as the minimum dose and 120mg per day as the maximum one. Although these doses vary from one patient to another, it is important for the patient to know what the side effects of Cymbalta are and generally how it works.

The Cymbalta capsules, which are the main dosage form, should be swallowed whole and not crushed or chewed. Furthermore, once patients decide to go off the medication, they are likely to experience duloxetine withdrawal symptoms and should consult a doctor prior to making such a decision.
Here are the main dosage forms and strengths:

  • 20mg opaque green capsule with “Lilly 3235 20mg” imprint
  • 30mg opaque white and blue capsules with “Lilly 3240 30mg” imprint
  • 60mg opaque green and blue capsules with “Lilly 3270 60mg” or “Lilly 3237 60mg” imprints

Cymbalta Dosage For Generalized Anxiety Disorder


For most adult patients, the maximum Cymbalta dosage for anxiety is a 60mg capsule taken once per day. However, for some, this amount may be too strong, and 30mg capsule may be administered once daily for one week. During this period, the users are going to adjust the medication before taking 60mg.
In some cases, duloxetine dose of 120mg per day is effective. At the same time, there is no evidence that anything stronger 60mg daily provides additional benefits. Despite his fact, if the doctor orders a higher dose of duloxetine, an increase should be gradual: plus 30mg per day.


For kids aged above 7 years old, any drug administration should be supervised by medical stuff. For 7-17-year-old children, the recommended Cymbalta dosage range for anxiety in children is between 30mg and 60mg.


The geriatric dose during the first two weeks is 30mg once daily before considering an increase to 60m/day. However, increasing Cymbalta dosage from 30mg to 60mg should be done under the supervision of a doctor.

Cymbalta Dosage For Major Depressive Disorder


The initial dose range is between 40mg to 60mg per day. This dosage range is enough to provide benefits, but the patients can titrate dose by 30 mg/day after one week. Still, the drug can be physically addictive, and it may result in a kind of Cymbalta euphoria if taken in larger doses. The maximum dose of Cymbalta for depression is 120mg/day; this should not be surpassed.


Similar to adult patients, elderly depressive patients can start with a Cymbalta dosage range of 40mg/day to 60mg/day during the first one week. The target dosage is 60mg/day, and once they have adjusted to the medication, this can be administered.

Duloxetine Dosage For Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

The recommended duloxetine dosing for neuropathic pain is 60mg once per day or 30mg taken once per 12 hours. However, for patients who are most likely to become tolerant of the drug, a lower starting dosage should be administered.
duloxetine dosage for neuropathic pain

Duloxetine Dosage For Fibromyalgia

During the first-week of duloxetine use, patients need to administer one 30mg capsule of duloxetine per day. Once the patient has adjusted to the medication, increase the dosage to 60mg per day. Just like taking Cymbalta during pregnancy, it is recommended that fibromyalgia patients take the drug as prescribed, and only if the benefits outweigh potential risks.

Dosage For Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain should start with a 30mg dosage to let the body adjust to the drug during the first week. After the first week or so, the dosage can be increased to 60mg/day. In this case, 60mg is the duloxetine max dose that the patients with musculoskeletal pain are supposed to benefit from.

Dosing In Special Populations

Hepatic Impairments

Patients with hepatic impairments such as chronic liver disease or cirrhosis are not recommended to use duloxetine in any dose. Furthermore, mixing the drug with alcohol is most likely to cause Cymbalta alcohol side effects and possibly liver damage.

Severe Renal Impairments

Patients with renal impairments should avoid using Cymbalta. Even the lowest dose of Cymbalta is not recommended, especially for those who have severe or end-stage renal disease.

Cymbalta Missed Dose

One of the dangers of habitually missing a dose is remission of the symptoms. Therefore it is advised to adhere to the dosing schedule. If a Cymbalta dose is missed, a patient needs to take the missed dose as soon as possible, unless it is close to the time of the next dose. In this case, a patient should skip duloxetine missed dose and take the next one at the regular time. The users should never double the next dose. This refers to generic Cymbalta as well.

Duloxetine LD50

There have not been performed any human studies on Cymbalta lethal dosage (or LD50). However, the experiment on rats has shown that 279mg/kg causes acute toxicity and death.

Following Cymbalta Dosage Instructions

There are different duloxetine doses for various conditions the drug treats. The patients should adhere to the dosing instructions given by a doctor. Any misuse can lead to undesirable symptoms, physical addiction, and even death. Those who struggle with any side effects of the medication need to consult at a drug rehabilitation center or any other facility specializing on the issue. There, the patients can get effective addiction treatment and recover fast.

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Published on: May 30th, 2019

Updated on: June 10th, 2020

About Author

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

After successful graduation from Boston University, MA, Sharon gained a Master’s degree in Public Health. Since then, Sharon devoted herself entirely to the medical niche. Sharon Levy is also a certified addiction recovery coach.


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  • joseph yerkes
    My neurologist has me taking 60mg twice daily, is this high? I am 70yrs old, weighing 142 lbs and been taking Cymbalta for over 5 yrs.