Cymbalta is the name-brand version of the drug duloxetine, which is used to treat generalized anxiety disorder and depression, as well as to treat pain and tingling associated with certain diseases and conditions. Cymbalta may spur a variety of side effects, including weight loss or weight gain. To understand Cymbalta's effects, it helps to examine how the drug affects your body.
Cymbalta is classified as a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, or SNRI. The medication works by increasing the amount of serotonin -- or the "happiness hormone" -- in the brain, helping improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression. Cymbalta also releases norepinephrine, which stops the movement of pain signals in the brain, helping to reduce sensations of pain in the body. Cymbalta is used to treat pain caused by diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and ongoing bone or muscle pain such as lower back pain or osteoarthritis.
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Weight Loss With Cymbalta
A common side effect of Cymbalta is loss of appetite and weight loss. In addition to causing loss of appetite, taking Cymbalta may spur diarrhea and nausea, which can make patients eat less, therefore losing weight. According to eMedTV, clinical studies of Cymbalta have shown that up to 9 percent of people taking the medication reported a loss of appetite, and up to 2 percent of people reported weight loss. People lost about 1 to 3 lbs. while taking Cymbalta on average, according to eMedTV.
Weight Gain With Cymbalta
Weight gain is a less common side effect of taking Cymbalta. In studies conducted on Cymbalta, weight gain was reported by about 1 percent of people taking the medicine, according to eMedTV. If you experience weight gain while taking Cymbalta, you may have another medical condition causing the weight gain. Eating a low-calorie, nutritious diet can help counteract weight gain.
Your doctor may recommend starting on 30 mg of Cymbalta once a day for a week and then increasing your dosage. This will help you body adapt to the medication. Final dosage may range from 40 mg a day to 60 mg a day. If you experience weight changes or other side effects, contact your doctor immediately.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.