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*Available for adults 18+ in all 48 continental US states. Not available in Alaska or Hawaii.

K Health memberships are not insurance and exclude ancillary services (e.g., labs, equipment, cost of medication, etc). Medical care is provided by K Health’s affiliated professional corporations. See Terms of Service.

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    Reaching out for help is hard, so we made it easier—we operate solely on text, and treat you remotely.

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    Licensed clinicians find what’ll work for you. The majority of people have felt better after 4 weeks.*

  • Affordable and upfront prices

    Life is complex. Pricing shouldn’t be. Treatment starts at $49/month and we can fill your meds for $12/month.

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*Based on a review of more than 8,800 K Health users who completed 3 months of treatment for anxiety or depression


What is Cymbalta?

Man holding up a bottle of medication and smiling

Cymbalta is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant medication that was approved by the FDA for patient use for the treatment of depression in 2004. In 2007 it was approved by the FDA for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. It can also be used to treat diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, chronic bone or muscle pain, and pain due to osteoarthritis.

Examples of other SNRI antidepressants include desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla), and venlafaxine (Effexor).

Off-label, Cymbalta is also used to treat chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and stress urinary incontinence in both men and women.

Do you need a prescription for Cymbalta?

Yes, Cymbalta and its generic form, duloxetine, are only available by prescription.

It’s important to speak with your medical provider when undergoing treatment with Cymbalta, another SNRI, or any antidepressant. Like most antidepressants, Cymbalta may not be right for everyone. Which is why it’s important to take the medication only while under consistent supervision of a medical professional.

When speaking with a licensed medical provider about whether or not Cymbalta is right for you, your provider will evaluate your medical history, discuss your symptoms, and, if appropriate, prescribe you the medication.

Keep in mind that if this is your first time taking antidepressant medication, your provider may recommend starting treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, before trying Cymbalta or another SNRI.

How does Cymbalta work?

Cymbalta works by inhibiting serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake, two neurotransmitters in the brain. By doing this, Cymbalta combines two therapeutic mechanisms that can be effective at treating depression and anxiety.

Both serotonin and norepinephrine help to deliver messages between nerve cells in your brain and other parts of the body. But having too much or too little of either neurotransmitter can cause physical and psychological symptoms, including depression.

In addition to inhibiting serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake, Cymbalta also enhances dopamine levels within the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Dopamine is believed to play an important role in bodily function, motivation, arousal, and how you experience joy and pleasure.

How long does it take for Cymbalta to work?

Like many antidepressants, it can take some time before the full effects of Cymbalta kick in, especially if it’s your first time using the medication.

In most cases, it can take between four and eight weeks for Cymbalta to improve your depression and anxiety and have a positive effect on your overall mood and outlook.

If you’ve been taking Cymbalta for at least 1-2 months but are not experiencing any benefits or improvement in mood, talk to your provider about changing your dosage or possibly discontinuing the medication. If you stop taking your medication abruptly, you can develop discontinuation syndrome, an uncomfortable set of withdrawal symptoms which can include irritability, anxiety, dizziness, upset stomach, excessive sweating, trouble balancing, sleep changes, tremors, and suicidal thoughts.

Is there a generic for Cymbalta?

Cymbalta is a brand-name prescription medication manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company.

It is also available as a generic prescription medication under the name duloxetine. Both the brand-name and generic forms of the medication are only available by prescription.

It’s important to keep in mind that in order to meet FDA standards, the generic form of any medication must be “bioequivalent” to the brand-name version of the drug. This means that it must have the same active ingredients at the same dosage, and be equally effective at treating the medical condition for which it is intended.

The primary difference between a generic medication and a brand-name medication is that the generic is often sold at a lower price.

Side effects

Cymbalta can cause side effects. The most common side effects include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Change in libido
  • Constipation
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Increased sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Tremor
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

Serious side effects are less common, but possible. Examples of serious side effects include:

  • Easy bruising
  • Feelings of lightheadedness or fainting
  • Hepatotoxicity (damage to the liver)
  • Hyponatremia (low concentration of sodium in the blood)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Mania
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Pounding heartbeats or fluttering in the chest
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Suicidality
  • Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)
  • Vision changes

If you experience any of these more severe side effects, seek care as soon as possible.


Cymbalta is usually taken in delayed-release capsule form because it is well absorbed in this form and can be taken orally with or without food. The recommended starting dose for Cymbalta for the treatment of depression is between 30-40 mg once per day.
When taking any medication, it’s important to follow the instructions on the label exactly as directly and to follow any instructions given by your pharmacist or provider.

Do not split, chew, or crush Cymbalta capsules. It’s also important not to open the delayed-release Cymbalta capsules and mix them with other liquids or foods.


Many medications can have an interaction with Cymbalta, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and other prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines as well vitamins and herbal products.

This is why it’s very important to talk to your provider about any drugs or supplements you’re currently taking to avoid possible drug interactions.

Examples of medications that can interact with Cymbalta include:

  • Adderall
  • Cimetidine
  • Diazepam
  • Lithium
  • MAO Inhibitors
  • Rizatriptan (Maxalt)
  • St. John’s wort
  • Sumatriptan (Imitrex)
  • Tramadol (Ultram)
  • Tryptophan


Medication costs can vary depending on the dosage recommended by your provider, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy from which you purchase your medication.

Keep in mind that shopping for Cymbalta online can help to keep costs low and it can be an easy and convenient way to get your prescription at the lowest price.

Is Cymbalta right for you?

If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, or chronic pain, Cymbalta may be right for you. Before starting any new medication, talk to a licensed medical provider about your options and whether Cymbalta or another antidepressant medication may be best for you and your symptoms.

Warning: Some patients may experience suicidal thoughts upon taking their first dosage of duloxetine. There is an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults taking antidepressants.

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