Cymbalta is the brand name for the drug duloxetine. It belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). SNRIs work by changing the balance of the chemical messengers serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain. This can lead to improved mood or pain relief.
Cymbalta is most often prescribed to treat depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and pain caused by diabetes-related nerve damage in the arms and legs. It’s also prescribed to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain and fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder.
Many people say their weight changes after they begin taking an SNRI like Cymbalta. This may be true. However,
According to Cymbalta’s prescribing information, people who took the drug actually showed decreased appetite more frequently than people who took a placebo. Additionally, results from a study published in
What’s true for one person on the antidepressant may not be true for you. Still, the odds are in your favor. According to a 2014 JAMA Psychiatry
While more evidence may be needed to decide Cymbalta’s effect on weight, there are some side effects that are known for sure. The most common side effects of Cymbalta include:
- dry mouth
- difficulty swallowing
- decreased vision or blurring
- loss of appetite
- excessive sweating
You may experience symptoms of withdrawal if you stop taking the medication. These symptoms may include:
- nervousness and irritability
- excessive sweating
While evidence seems to suggest that Cymbalta can affect your weight, just exactly how it does is unclear. If your doctor prescribes Cymbalta for you and you are concerned about changes in your weight, talk to them. Ask about lifestyle changes you could make to combat this potential side effect.
Your doctor may suggest you become more physically active to prevent or reduce weight gain. On the other hand, your doctor may recommend additional calories if you notice that you’re losing weight but your doctor think you shouldn’t be. A new meal plan could help combat your decreased appetite and prevent unintended weight loss.