What Are The Side Effects Of Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?

Last Updated: December 18, 2019

Authored by Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

Cymbalta has a variety of both minor and severe adverse effects. While some patients can tolerate the most common side effects of duloxetine well, many others are forced to switch to a different drug. It is, therefore, important to learn what the side effects of taking Cymbalta are and discuss them with a doctor before the treatment begins.

Common Side Effects Of Cymbalta

The severity of duloxetine side effects and for how long they last depend on many individual factors. In an otherwise healthy person who uses duloxetine for depression treatment, the side effects are normally short-term. It is important to note that a special case is the influence of Cymbalta side effects on women’s health. This may include adverse symptoms of using duloxetine and breastfeeding and treatment during pregnancy.

Common side effects of Cymbalta include:

Long-Term Side Effects Of Duloxetine

Patients who have to use Cymbalta for months frequently wonder how long its side effects last. The antidepressant rarely results in any long-term symptoms. In certain cases, Cymbalta can cause weight gain and weakness that doesn’t go away.

Cymbalta long-term side effects might include:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Poor appetite and weight loss
  • Feeling less interested in sex
  • During the long-term use of Cymbalta for pain or other diseases, psychological dependence might occur

Cymbalta And Sleep

Those who wonder what the side effects of duloxetine are often have concerns about the influence of the medication on their sleep.

cymbalta sleep problems and insomnia

Does Duloxetine Cause Drowsiness?

One of the most common side effects of Cymbalta is drowsiness. This can be particularly hazardous at the beginning of the treatment when the person doesn’t know exactly how the drug affects them. Individuals should refrain from driving and performing other tasks that require quick reaction and intense concentration until they know their response to the drug. Other potentially negative impacts of duloxetine are yawning, fatigue, and sleepiness.

Does Cymbalta Cause Insomnia?

Duloxetine is known to cause nightmares and insomnia. There are also reports of night sweats caused by the drug. If the patients experience such effects, it is better to adjust the schedule of taking the medication.

Cymbalta And Suicidal Thoughts

The tendency to cause suicidal behaviors is one of the most dangerous side effects of Cymbalta. This property is not exclusive to this drug and is displayed by many antidepressants. Patients should be monitored closely during the first weeks of treatment.

Cymbalta And Hair Loss

One of the most surprising and frustrating duloxetine side effects is hair loss. Patients rarely expect it because it is not officially listed as a side effect of duloxetine. However, hair loss on the drug has been reported by many individuals. The symptom usually goes away after the dose is reduced. Talk to the doctor about adjusting the course of treatment if substantial hair loss is noticed.

does cymbalta cause hair loss

Cymbalta And Blood Pressure

Particular caution is advised to patients with hypertension since Cymbalta, and high blood pressure don’t go well together. Duloxetine might raise blood pressure and cause dizziness, especially in combination with other drugs. If a person is experiencing lightheadedness or blurred vision, they should contact a doctor as soon as possible and discuss alternatives to duloxetine.

Duloxetine And Liver Damage

The most well-known duloxetine side effect is its propensity to causing liver damage. The connection between Cymbalta and liver problems is a significant issue that poses a threat to many patients. The drug can cause fatty liver disease and liver injury. Even low Cymbalta doses can result in liver damage, especially in combination with other drugs.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

Problems with the digestive system are common side effects of antidepressants like duloxetine. The majority of them are not severe and don’t require treatment.

cymbalta nausea, diarrhea, and constipation

  • Cymbalta and nausea. 23% of patients have reported experiencing nausea while on duloxetine.
  • Cymbalta and diarrhea. Diarrhea is experienced by approximately 9% of patients. Contact a doctor if it lasts for more than two days.
  • Cymbalta and constipation. Constipation is another common side effect of the drug. It is present in 9% of patients.
  • Cymbalta and the loss of appetite. Approximately 7% of patients on the drug report decreased appetite.
  • Cymbalta and stomach pain. Upper right stomach pain can indicate serious liver problems. Contact a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Cymbalta and vomiting. Vomiting might occur as a withdrawal symptom or point to a larger problem.

How To Avoid Or Reduce Duloxetine Side Effects

Some patients cherish how the medication makes them feel and don’t want to switch to a different one, even after experiencing negative symptoms. In this case, it is necessary to learn how to reduce and manage Cymbalta side effects.

In addition, one shouldn’t drink on Cymbalta, and it is a good idea to avoid substances like caffeine that can increase anxiety, irritability, and agitation.

Duloxetine Side Effects And Medical Help

In the majority of cases, duloxetine HCl side effects don’t outweigh its benefits. Common symptoms are nausea, fatigue, and dry mouth. Long-term effects of Cymbalta mainly affect a person’s mental health. The side effects of the antidepressant usually go away on their own after a few days. If the negative symptoms persist or cause significant distress, contact a doctor immediately. Experiencing severe symptoms for a long period can be caused my medication misuse. In this case, it is critical to find proper substance treatment immediately.

Page Sources

  1. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=059d730b-4294-47e1-8399-4cb8c468cee8
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3773985/
  3. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/021427s049lbl.pdf

Published on: May 30th, 2019

Updated on: December 18th, 2019

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.


Leave a comment

  • Denise
    Will duloxetine make you lose hair
    • Donna
      I have been on cymbalta for 2 yrs and my hair has become so thin on the sides and top. I take 30 mg. Can it be the cymbalta.
  • Tamara Eriksmoen
    Would like more information on weaning off cymbalta.
  • Chestina
    I am on the lowest dose. 1 twice a day. I have been on the drug for a couple of years. I now am loosing hair and feeling weak and can’t get myself to do things I need to do. I started the drug for fibromyalgia and neuropathy. My diabetes 2 A1c is 6.0; but neuropathy getting worse. Migraines have increased to 20 a month, last 3 months. How do I get off?
  • Lindsay
    I’ve been taking Cymbalta for 6 months and my hair is falling out like crazy!!! Has this happened to anyone else?
    • Gail Johnson
      Yes. Mine is coming out like crazy. On it for 4 months 1 30 mg a day. Low dose
    • Vanessa
      Yes, mine to . I start to be more depressed when I notice that , I am scared and angry.
  • Ben
    Are there any antidepressants that dont mess with hair folicles…its more depressing watching hair fall out…ive stopped taking deluxotine and fluxotine because of it….depressed as hell…was feeling good…bud loosing hair…no way man…
    • Vanessa
      Absolutely right. NO more . Better depressed but with hair.
  • Nancy Santos
    Cymbalta is most likely the cause of my hair loss. My Doctor changed my dose to 90mg and when my hair started falling out I went down to 30. I’m now at 60mg and my hair is still falling out so bad that it is noticeable. I need off of this medicine.
  • marsha
    My hair is falling out like crazy!!!! I need to know how to wean off of this medication…. please help
  • Kathleen
    I have been on Cymbalta 60mb for many years and can’t get off of it. I experience fatigue and nightmares while on it. My Dr said I’ll be on it for life. When I try to lower the dose I feel terrible can’t stop crying and feel very anxious. What can I do?