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Side Effects of Duloxetine (Cymbalta)


Description: Duloxetine (brand name Cymbalta) is a Serotonin/Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI) used to treat major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, chronic pain, diabetic neuropathy, and fibromyalgia. The medication is occasionally prescribed to treat stress urinary incontinence.

Serious Side Effects of Cymbalta

Serious reactions, according to the Cymbalta drug label as reported by the FDA (Oct 2010), serious adverse reactions include:

  • Suicide Ideation
  • Increased risk of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Orthostatic Hypotension
  • Syncope
  • Serotonin Syndrome
  • Abnormal Bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Pain due to Osteoarthritis
  • Hyponatremia
  • Common Side Effects of Cymbalta

    According to the Cymbalta drug label as reported by the FDA (Oct 2010), common side effects include:

  • Chronic Low Back Pain
  • Nausea
  • Dry Mouth
  • Constipation
  • Somnolence
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Agitation
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Less Common Side Effects of Cymbalta

    Rare side effects include:

  • Palpitations
  • Vision blurred
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weight Decreased
  • Tremor
  • Orgasm Abnormal
  • Abnormal Dreams
  • Yawning
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Hot Flashes
  • Understand Your Risk for Side Effects with the Rxight® Genetic Test

    Rxight® provides CLIA-certified pharmacogenetic testing – a simple, accurate way to test the activity of your liver enzymes. Rxight® is the most comprehensive pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing program available. When you are armed with the knowledge of how you personally metabolize drugs and other toxins in the liver, you and your doctor can make more fully informed medical decisions and avoid Cymbalta adverse effects. Hundreds of other clinically relevant medications are also tested across nearly 50 medication classes – providing you with a “medication blueprint” for life so that you and your prescriber can make the most informed decisions about your individualized medical treatment.

    How Does Pharmacogenetic Testing Work?

    Pharmacogenetic testing is the science of how inter-individual gene variants modulate the breakdown and processing of drugs in the body. Duloxetine, for example, blocks one called “CYP2D6” in the superfamily of liver enzymes, which vary considerably from person to person. For example, individuals who have a slow CYP2D6 metabolism are at increased risk of drug levels in the body that can reach toxic levels, causing various adverse reactions that can be serious. Conversely, fast metabolizers may not derive benefit at normal doses. Thus, with a genetic test, the patient can find out if they are a fast metabolizer and if they can handle that medication appropriately.


    Contributors to this Article:
    Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry

    Read more about Rxight® pharmacogenetic testing