Cymbalta is approved for treating depression, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, generalized anxiety disorder, and chronic musculoskeletal pain in adults. The medication treats depression and anxiety by keeping certain chemicals (serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain balanced. Cymbalta can also be used "off-label," such as for the treatment of stress incontinence.
What Is Cymbalta Used For?Cymbalta® (duloxetine hydrochloride) has been licensed to treat the following conditions:
- Depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression)
- Peripheral diabetic neuropathy pain
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Using Cymbalta for DepressionDepression is more than just "feeling sad." Common symptoms of depression include:
- Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not enough)
- Eating too much or too little (and weight gain or weight loss)
- Having little interest in things that you used to enjoy
- Physical pain
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Suicidal thoughts.
Cymbalta has been proven in large clinical trials to help adults with depression. However, keep in mind that many antidepressants (including Cymbalta) take several weeks to begin working. Sometimes, other people will notice an improvement in your depression symptoms before you do.
Often, the physical symptoms of depression (such as pain or changes in sleep) will improve first, sometimes within the first few weeks of treatment. It usually takes at least four to six weeks before significant changes in mood occur. It is important to give Cymbalta a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
Counseling and therapy (see Psychotherapy for Depression) are often used along with antidepressant medication to treat depression. Ask your healthcare provider if counseling or therapy would be good options for you (see Depression Treatment).