Duloxetine is a drug made by the Eli Lily company. It is sold under the trade name of Cymbalta. According to a summary published in the journal "Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics," duloxetine may be useful in several medical conditions. These disorders include depression, anxiety and pain. Cymbalta is a safe and effective medication. Yet it can change both sleep quality and sleep quantity. The effects of duloxetine on sleep depend upon the population tested.
A 2004 study in "Psychopharmacology" shows that 60 or 80 mg of duloxetine taken for a week increased the length of time it takes for a person to reach rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep. Both doses also decreased the amount of REM sleep, a stage of sleep that has positive effects on alertness, mood and memory.
Cymbalta is typically prescribed to treat major depressive disorder. A 2007 report in "European Neuropsychopharmacology" indicates that a few weeks of duloxetine use decreases feelings of depression. Depression is often associated with excessive REM sleep, therefore medications such as Cymbalta that suppress REM sleep typically improve depressive symptoms.
Duloxetine has also been approved for use in generalized anxiety disorder. A 2008 experiment in "Depression and Anxiety" tested the effects of several weeks of treatment with amounts ranging from 60 to 120mg. The drug reduced anxiety and increased life quality. Yet many people stopped taking Cymbalta because of side effects, one of the most common of which was excessive sleepiness. This effect may be related to the large doses used.
Cymbalta is proving useful in pain disorders such as fibromyalgia, migraine and other conditions. Diabetic patients often have damage to the nerves leading to the brain and spinal cord. This damage causes considerable pain which is difficult to manage. A 2009 analysis in the "Journal of Pain and Symptom Management" reveals that 60mg of duloxetine taken daily for a few months decreased pain. The treatment also increased sleep quality. Reduction in pain and enhancement of sleep were shown to be related. These results suggest that chronic pain causes sleep interference, and that Cymbalta is effective for both problems.
- "Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics"; Duloxetine in the treatment of major psychiatric and neuropathic disorders; N. Muller et al.; April 2008
- "Psychopharmacology"; Comparative effects of duloxetine and desipramine on sleep EEG in healthy subjects; S. Chalon et al.; February 2005
- "European Neuropsychopharmacology"; Duloxetine increases stage 3 sleep and suppresses rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in patients with major depression; M. Kluge et al.; July 2007
- "Depression and Anxiety"; Efficacy and safety of duloxetine in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: a flexible-dose, progressive-titration, placebo-controlled trial; M. Rynn et al.; 2008
- "Journal of Pain and Symptom Management"; Does pain mediate the pain interference with sleep problem in chronic pain? Findings from studies for management of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain with duloxetine; D. A. Fishbain et al.; December 2008