Cymbalta and Alcohol

Cymbalta can increase the effects of alcohol, such as increasing the symptoms of depression or affecting motor skills. Therefore, some healthcare providers recommend that people should not combine Cymbalta and alcohol. However, if people choose to drink while taking Cymbalta, healthcare providers recommend that they drink in moderation -- and only after they understand the effects Cymbalta will have on their body.

Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Cymbalta?

Sometimes people are warned to avoid alcohol while taking Cymbalta® (duloxetine hydrochloride). This is because alcohol and medicines like Cymbalta affect similar chemicals in the brain. So the concern is that Cymbalta will increase the effects of alcohol -- whether this means increasing the symptoms of depression or affecting motor skills.
Practically, when many healthcare providers are asked whether it is okay to drink alcohol on Cymbalta, they recommend that if a person chooses to drink, they only drink light to moderate amounts, and only after they understand the effects that Cymbalta and other medicines they are taking have on their body.

Cymbalta and Alcohol: What Is Moderate Drinking?

When healthcare providers recommend moderate alcohol drinking, they mean one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Because the alcohol content in drinks varies, what counts as one drink also varies. When healthcare providers talk about one alcoholic drink, they are referring to one of the following examples:
  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1 ½ ounces of 80-proof whiskey, or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.

Using Caution Consuming Alcohol With Cymbalta

If a person decides to drink alcohol in moderation while taking Cymbalta, it is recommended that they do not drink alcohol at the same time they take their Cymbalta dosage. Also, a person should learn the effects of Cymbalta on their body before they begin drinking. Cymbalta may affect some individual's ability to perform certain functions, such as driving a car or operating machinery. Be sure to avoid drinking too much alcohol, as drinking large amounts of alcohol while taking Cymbalta can increase your risk of liver problems.
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