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Caffeine's Interaction With Cymbalta

author image Chris Daniels
Chris Daniels covers advances in nutrition and fitness online. Daniels has numerous certifications and degrees covering human health, nutritional requirements and sports performance. An avid cyclist, weightlifter and swimmer, Daniels has experienced the journey of fitness in the role of both an athlete and coach.
Caffeine's Interaction With Cymbalta
Two cups of coffee on a cafe table. Photo Credit: hrabar/iStock/Getty Images

Cymbalta is an prescription drug used in the management of depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. Caffeine, the most widely used stimulant in the world, may alter how your body breaks down Cymbalta. Both caffeine and Cymbalta alter the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Let your doctor know about your caffeine intake when she prescribes Cymbalta. Keeping your caffeine intake stable may prevent serious interactions with Cymbalta.

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Cymbalta increases the levels of two neurotransmitters in your brain: Serotonin and norepinephrine. Your doctor may prescribe Cymbalta for major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, chronic pain, diabetic neuropathy or a purpose not listed. Side effects of Cymbalta include dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, nausea and constipation. Seek medical help immediately if you experience severe nausea, dark urine, yellow skin, severe agitation, hallucination, fever, fast heat rate, tremors, unusual bleeding, difficulty urinating, severe headache or significant changes in mood or mental function while taking it.


Caffeine is a stimulant that works, primarily, by blocking the action of a neurotransmitter called adenosine. Adenosine inhibits the action of other neurotransmitter to keep their activity in check. It may be tempting to increase your intake of caffeine to counter drowsiness, a potential side effect of Cymbalta. However, high doses of caffeine an have signifiant effects when taken with Cymbalta.


Caffeine and cymbalta are broken down by the same enzymes in your liver: CYP450 1A2. High doses of caffeine may keep Cymbalta from being removed from your body, allowing high levels to build up. Caffeine may also change the effectiveness of Cymbalta's treatment of psychiatric disorders, by altering the balance of neurotransmitters. According to, taking high doses of caffeine together with Cymbalta raises the risk of a serious medical disorder where very high levels of serotonin in the brain cause dangeously high blood pressure and heart rate.

Managing the Interaction

Tell your doctor your daily caffeine intake from coffee, tea, sodas, over-the-counter medication and dietary supplements. When your doctor is determining the dosage of cymbalta, they will take your caffeine intake into account. Avoid suddenly increasing or decreasing your caffeine intake while on cymbalta. recommends that adults keep caffeine intake below 200 to 300 mg per day, or two to four cups of coffee.

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