Frequently Asked Questions about Cymbalta for Depression
It's normal to be a bit apprehensive about taking a medicine for depression. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, be sure to talk to your doctor. In the meantime, you can also find answers to some frequently asked questions about Cymbalta below. Cymbalta is available only by prescription.
"Life is like riding a bicycle: in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving." – Albert Einstein
Remember to be patient. Depression symptoms don't improve overnight. All parts of your treatment plan — such as medicine, talk therapy, and exercise — take time to work.
- How is Cymbalta believed to work?
- When may Cymbalta begin to work?
- Who should NOT take Cymbalta?
- What other important information should I discuss with my healthcare provider?
- How should I take Cymbalta?
- What are the most common side effects of Cymbalta?
- What happens if I stop taking Cymbalta?
- Can children take Cymbalta?
1. How is Cymbalta believed to work?
Although the exact way that Cymbalta works in people is unknown, it is believed to be related to an increase in the activity of serotonin and norepinephrine, which are two naturally occurring substances in the brain.
2. When may Cymbalta begin to work?
Everyone is different, so results can vary from person to person. Giving the medication time to work is the key to treatment with Cymbalta. It is important to continue to take the medication as directed by your healthcare provider. Do not stop or make changes to your dose without talking with your healthcare provider first.
3. Who should NOT take Cymbalta?
Cymbalta is not right for everyone. To determine if Cymbalta is right for you, your healthcare provider must know about your medical history, all of your other medical conditions and all of the medicines you take. You should not take Cymbalta if:
- you're currently taking or have recently taken a kind of medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), including the antibiotic linezolid
- you have uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma (eye pain due to increased eye pressure)
- you're taking Mellaril® (thioridazine)
4. What other important information should I discuss with my healthcare provider?
Before starting Cymbalta, tell your healthcare provider:
- about all your medical conditions, including
- kidney or liver problems, heart problems, or high blood pressure
- glaucoma or diabetes (Cymbalta may worsen diabetes or a type of glaucoma)
- seizures/convulsions, mania, or if you have bipolar disorder
- if you have ever had or been told you have bleeding problems, low sodium levels in your blood, or delayed stomach emptying
- about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines and supplements you take or plan to take, including
- a type of antidepressant called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI)
- a medication called Mellaril® (thioridazine)
- antibiotics or medicines for migraine, mood, or psychotic disorders to avoid a potentially life-threatening condition when taken with Cymbalta
- aspirin, NSAID pain relievers, or blood thinners, because they may increase risk of bleeding
- about your alcohol use (you should not take Cymbalta if you drink heavily)
- if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during therapy or are breast-feeding
If you have any questions, talk to your healthcare provider before taking Cymbalta.
Learn more about Cymbalta by reading the Medication Guide and Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning about antidepressants and risk of suicide.
5. How should I take Cymbalta?
Take Cymbalta exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not open, break, or chew the capsule; it must be swallowed whole. Cymbalta can be taken with or without food. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your regularly scheduled dose. Do not take more than the daily amount of Cymbalta that has been prescribed for you. Remember to refill your prescription before you run out of Cymbalta. Talk with your doctor before stopping Cymbalta or changing your dose.
Don’t stop taking Cymbalta or reduce your dose without talking to your healthcare provider first. Stopping Cymbalta suddenly or reducing your dose may result in symptoms including dizziness, headache, or nausea. This is not a complete list. Your healthcare provider may want to decrease the dose slowly.
6. What are the most common side effects of Cymbalta?
In clinical studies, the most common side effect of Cymbalta was nausea. Other common side effects included dry mouth, sleepiness, fatigue, constipation, dizziness, decreased appetite, and increased sweating.
This is not a complete list. If you have questions or develop any side effects, talk with your doctor.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of Prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
7. What happens if I stop taking Cymbalta?
Don’t stop taking Cymbalta or reduce your dose without talking to your healthcare provider first. Stopping Cymbalta suddenly or reducing your dose may result in symptoms including dizziness, headache, or nausea (this is not a complete list). Your healthcare provider may want to decrease the dose slowly.
8. Can children take Cymbalta?
Cymbalta is not approved for use in children under 18.