Medically Approved

Improving mood and treating pain with Cymbalta

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Optum Perks Author

By Optum Perks Author

You've probably seen the commercials. Beautiful piano music plays and a montage of warm cinematography of people in various situations rolls while a woman's voice describes that depression hurts. But what is Cymbalta, and what does it do? Also known as duloxetine, brand name Cymbalta is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor used to treat depression. It is also used in the treatment of fibromyalgia, chronic muscle and joint pain and pain caused by diabetic nerve damage. Let's discuss some things you should know before taking Cymbalta.

How does Cymbalta work?

Cymbalta, or Duloxetine, controls the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. Serotonin controls mood, gastrointestinal function and pain perception, amongst other physical functions. Norepinephrine is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter, and aids in the "fight-or-flight" reaction while also setting our biological response to stress. This includes pain perception, mood, emotion, physical movement, blood pressure and cognitive thinking. This is why Cymbalta is used to treat both mood disorders and physical pain.

Important information to know before taking Cymbalta

Some people report having increased thoughts of suicide when they start taking an antidepressant, so keep in contact with your doctor and alert your loved ones of any significant mood swings or increased impulsive or anxious behavior. If you are seeking treatment for glaucoma or take thioridazine, do not take Cymbalta. Cymbalta can have an adverse reaction when taken within 14 days of using an MAO inhibitor, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, selegiline or tranylcypromine. People under 18, or those dealing with kidney disease, seizure disorders, clotting disorders, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder or drug abuse issues should communicate this with a doctor before starting a Cymbalta prescription. If you are pregnant, trying to have a child or nursing a child, discuss your options with your doctor.

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Cymbalta side effects

Some side effects of Cymbalta include feeling light-headed, having blurred or tunnel vision with eye pain or swelling, painful urination and liver problems. Another side effect is easy bruising or bleeding. Due to the effect Cymbalta has on serotonin, high levels can result in anxiety, hallucinations, high heart rate, high body temperature, digestive irritability and coordination issues. Sodium levels may drop, the nervous system may be affected, and the skin may redden. Allergic reactions to Cymbalta manifest as a skin rash or hives, breathing problems or swollen face, lips, tongue or throat. If any of these issues occur, stop taking Cymbalta and immediately contact your doctor.

Success stories

One Cymbalta user reported significant pain reduction in her treatment of degenerative disc disease within less than a week of starting her prescription. Another user was prescribed Cymbalta to treat nerve pain caused by Multiple Sclerosis, and reports that her mobility has increased and her pain level has decreased with no change for over two years. One user reported a great improvement in her treatment of an anxiety disorder, including better sleep and increased social interaction, after only two months with little to no side effects, as well as continued success even after taking Cymbalta for over four years.


For more information about Cymbalta and other prescription medications visit us at Optum Perks, where users can search, find and save on prescription meds like Cymbalta.