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Cymbalta (Duloxetine) Side Effects

Cymbalta is a trade name for duloxetine which is used in the treatment of various clinical conditions (depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia etc). As is the case with any medication prescribed to patients, duloxetine also has certain side-effects that can affect the patient. In this article, we shall briefly review some of the common side-effects that patients taking Cymbalta may experience.

Side effects of Cymbalta

Cymbalta can affect various systems when taken. Below are some of the commonly experienced side-effects with patients.

1. Central nervous system

Patients who take duloxetine can develop side-effects that affect the neurological system such as headaches, increased sleepiness, tremors, dizziness and altered sensation in the hands and feet. Many a times, patients may need to discontinue medication due to be side-effects. Sleep disturbances have been reported as well.

2. Gastrointestinal side-effects

Patients taking Cymbalta can experience nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, vomiting, high acidity and dry mouth.

3. Respiratory system

Duloxetine can cause inflammation of the nasopharyngeal passage and occasionally an upper respiratory tract infection. A small number of cases have reported cough is side-effect.

4. Skin side-effects

Patients taking Cymbalta have complained of excessive sweating along with itching of the skin. Sometimes, patients may experience inflammation of the skin as well along with outbreaks of acne and swelling of the face.

5. Sexual side-effects

Cymbalta sexual side-effects are few and can include erectile dysfunction and abnormal ejaculation in men. Cymbalta side-effects in women include reduced libido, and abnormal orgasm and bleeding from the vagina. Decreased libido can also be seen in men as well with other penile disorders.

6. Kidney side-effects

Patients taking Cymbalta have noticed an increase in the incidence of urinary tract infections and increased frequency of passing urine.

7. Psychiatric side-effects

Patients taking Cymbalta may experience agitation and anxiety as a side-effect. Some patients tend to become quite irritable and restless and as a result may not sleep very well. Complicated psychiatric conditions may occur which include a combination of mania, suicidal thoughts, anger and mood swings.

8. Cardiovascular side-effects

Cymbalta has a side-effect of increasing the blood pressure slightly in patients who take it. Some patients have also experienced an abnormal heart rhythm which is felt as palpitations.

9. Blood side-effects

A reduction in the total blood count along with a drop in the platelet count and increase in white cell count has been noticed in patients taking Cymbalta. However, this side-effect is rare.

10. Metabolic side-effects

There are some reported cases of a drop in the sodium levels in the blood following Cymbalta use. The rare cases are accompanied by a clinical syndrome known as syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (also called SIADH). This requires special treatment.

Cymbalta is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor that is used in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorder, amongst other conditions. While it does have a rather significant side-effect profile, is only prescribe and the benefits outweigh the risks of giving the drug. Side-effects are rare and must be kept an eye out for when patients are taking the drug.

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