Cymbalta (duloxetine) is a commonly prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that is used in the management of clinical depression and anxiety disorder. When prescribed, patients are advised to take certain precautions and to make note of certain side-effects that may occur with administration of this drug. One such interaction that is of concern is between Cymbalta and alcohol. Alcohol is commonly consumed by individuals in varying amounts though patients with depression tend to consume a lot more in an attempt to overcome their symptoms. High alcohol intake may have an interaction with Cymbalta and here we shall discuss this aspect in a little more detail.
Cymbalta alcohol interaction
One of the side-effects of Cymbalta is on the function of the liver. Similarly, alcohol that is consumed in large quantities can also have a significant impact on the function of the liver. Combining Cymbalta with alcohol only potentiates the side-effects of both of these drugs and can have a detrimental effect on the patient’s health.
Common symptoms that are associated when alcohol is combined with duloxetine include pain and swelling in the joints, excessive fatigue, the development of a skin rash, nausea and vomiting, itching of the skin, yellowish discolouration of the eyes and darkening of the urine. The latter few symptoms are related to jaundice and are particularly worthwhile making a note of as this would warrant stopping duloxetine completely. The loss of cognitive function and an inability to think sensibly can also be an after effect of combining alcohol but Cymbalta.
Can you drink alcohol while taking Cymbalta?
The answer this question is to best avoid taking alcohol when taking Cymbalta. The interaction is potentially dangerous and unpredictable and can sometimes even be life threatening. However, there are varying schools of thought on this and some recommend that alcohol consumed in moderation i.e. no more than one small drink per day would may not necessarily have any effect on Cymbalta. However, this moderation must only be observed after the patient has been on Cymbalta for a fairly long duration of time. Furthermore, taking Cymbalta with alcohol rather than with water can cause unpredictable reactions. So if consuming alcohol is an absolute necessity, then making sure that alcohol and Cymbalta is consumed at different times of the day (with a few hours in between them) may prevent any interactions between the two and subsequent side-effects.
The interaction between Cymbalta and alcohol is potentially dangerous. While the actual effect cannot be predicted, it is important to bear in mind that the effects that do occur can be life threatening especially if alcohol is consumed in large quantities. It is strongly recommended that patients avoid consuming alcohol when taking Cymbalta but if they must do so, to take it in moderation. Prior to doing this, consulting a health care professional regarding the safety of alcohol and Cymbalta consumption is strongly advised.