Cymbalta for Pain: Dosages and How Long Before It Works

A drug used to treat depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and diabetic neuropathy has been authorized by the FDA for a brand-new use– to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain, including pain caused by osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain.

What Is Cymbalta and How Does It Work?

The drug is sold under the brand Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride) and is manufactured by Eli Lilly and Co., a significant pharmaceutical company based in Indianapolis. Chronic low back pain is among the most common types of musculoskeletal pain, and finding an effective treatment can often be challenging.

The approved dose for chronic musculoskeletal pain is a 60-milligram capsule taken once a day, swallowed whole; it does not need to be timed with meals.

“Approximately three-quarters of the population experience chronic pain at a long time in their lives,” Janet Woodcock, MD, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Examination and Research, stated in a prepared statement.” This approval means that many of those individuals now have another treatment option.”

Clinical trials revealed that taking Cymbalta considerably minimized chronic pain, compared to a placebo. More than 29,000 patients used Cymbalta in scientific trials, including people with osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain.

The most typical side effects amongst Cymbalta users were queasiness, dry mouth, insomnia, sleepiness, constipation, tiredness, and dizziness. There were major side effects also, consisting of liver damage, hives, rashes, swelling in the face, pneumonia, depressed state of mind, and self-destructive thoughts and habits. These more serious side effects have happened in less than 1% of patients taking Cymbalta.

Considering that its approval in 2004, an approximated 30 million individuals have actually used Cymbalta.

Others about Cymbalta: the length of time does it require to work for pain?

  • I take Cymbalta and it does aid with my leg pain. I’m not sure for how long it was prior to it began to work as I’ve been on it for over a year. Some individuals have actually had side effects and your doctor will keep an eye on any side effects you have if any. It’s truly helped in reducing the pain and tingling and numbness in my leg though not totally.
  • I also take cymbalta for nerve pain in addition to depression. I’ve been on it 60mgs/day for several years for depression and my pain mgmt doc increased to 60mgs 2x/day to assist with the nerve pain. I still have the nerve pain as I have 2 damaged screws pressing on the S1 nerve which causes the sciatic pain down my legs so I can’t inform if the cymbalta is working. I think I will need to wait and see after surgery if it works. The screws will not be pressing on the nerves at that point however I might have the nerve pain for a bit cuz it’s been pushing on the nerve for nearly 2yrs.
cymbalta for pain dose

cymbalta: pain relief dose

Cymbalta Dosage for Major Depressive Condition

40-60 mg/day PO at first (in single daily dosage or divided q12hr for 1 week if patient has to get used to therapy).

Titrate dose in increments of 30 mg/day over 1 week as endured.

Target dosage: 60 mg/day PO (in single daily dosage or divided q12hr); not to go beyond 120 mg/day (safety of doses > 120 mg/day has actually not been assessed).

Cymbalta Dosage for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

60 mg/day PO at first (in single day-to-day dosage or divided q12hr); consider lowering dosage if tolerability is concern.

Target dosage: 60 mg/day PO; not to surpass 60 mg/day.

Cymbalta Dosage for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

60 mg/day PO at first (in single daily dose or divided q12hr); may be increased in increments of 30 mg/day if tolerability is issue.

Target dosage: 60 mg/day PO; not to exceed 120 mg/day.

Cymbalta Dosage for Fibromyalgia

30 mg/day PO at first for 1 week to permit therapy adjustment.

Target dose: 60 mg/day PO; not to exceed 60 mg/day; no fringe benefit shown by doses > 60 mig in medical trials.

Cymbalta Dosage for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain, consisting of discomfort from osteoarthritis and chronic lower back pain.

30 mg/day PO initially for 1 week to enable therapy adjustment.

Target dose: 60 mg/day PO; not to exceed 60 mg/day.


Cymbalta is a long acting drug that is primarily used to treat depression, though it can be used to treat pain, GAD and urinary incontinence also.

Last modified: August 8, 2016


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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