By Irfana
B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)
21 April 2022 -
Medically reviewed by
D. Pharm
Cymbalta and alcohol
Table of Contents

Cymbalta and Alcohol: A Brief

Cymbalta, known as duloxetine, is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). SNRIs help to increase the activity of the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.

Cymbalta treats many conditions, including anxiety, depression, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, fibromyalgia, chronic musculoskeletal pain. Purchase Cymbalta online from a reputable online internet pharmacy. 

Alcohol is a CNS depressant that slows down certain parts of the brain, resulting in reduced cognitive function. People suffering from anxiety or depression often indulge in the habit of consuming alcohol for its calming effects as a measure to cope with the illness.

A Study on Alcohol and its Relation to Depression:

AIM: To review the links between alcohol use disorders (AUD) and major depression (MD) and to assess the evidence for a causal relationship between the two illnesses.

Method: the study used data from previous studies on AUD and MD from 1980 to the present. Random-effects models were used to derive estimates of the pooled adjusted odds ratios (AOR) for the links between AUD and MD among studies reporting an AOR.

Findings: According to the study, the presence of one disorder doubled the risk of the second disorder, with pooled AORs ranging from 2.00 to 2.09. According to new findings, the most likely causal relationship between AUD and MD is that AUD raises the risk of MD rather than vice versa.

Conclusion: the study found a causal linkage between the use of alcohol and major depression. It states that increased alcohol use increases the risk of major depression.

Study on Efficacy of Cymbalta (Duloxetine):

A systematic review was done following the 2009 Preferred Reporting Items (PRISMA) recommendations and the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical (JBI) Appraisals standards. The systematic analysis includes 85 studies that looked at the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of duloxetine. The studies were separated into subgroups based on the clinical condition and analyzed separately. Thus, the assessed outcomes show the usefulness of duloxetine in treating these clinical diseases in 32 studies of MDD, 11 studies of GAD, 19 studies of NP, 9 studies of FMS, and 14 studies of SUI.

This systematic review confirms that duloxetine's dual mechanism enhances the treatment of comorbid clinical problems, and it verifies duloxetine's efficacy, safety, and tolerability in both short and long-term treatments.  (Bymaster, F.P., Beedle, E.E., Findlay, J., Gallagher, P.T., Krushinski, J.H., Mitchell, S., Robertson, D.W., Thompson, D.C., Wallace, L. and Wong, D.T., 2003.)

Is It Safe To Consume Alcohol and Cymbalta together?

Mixing anti-depressants and alcohol is not advisable. 

Cymbalta is a powerful anti-depressant. It has the potential to cause major harm to your health, especially when combined with other substances like alcohol.

Both alcohol and Cymbalta can cause liver damage and depression symptoms on their own. Combining them can amplify the adverse effects. (Iovieno, N., Tedeschini, E., Bentley, K.H., Evins, A.E. and Papakostas, G.I., 2011)

Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Cymbalta?

Liver damage:

Alcohol can harm your liver, especially if you consume too much of it. Cymbalta has the potential to damage the liver as well.

 Drinking alcohol while taking Cymbalta may raise this risk, especially if you drink heavily.

The signs of liver damage may include dark urine, jaundice, or icterus (which is a yellowing of the skin), itching, pain in the upper right abdomen.

Escalates depression symptoms:

Mixing alcohol along with Cymbalta increases the symptoms of depression. ‘

Although Cymbalta is a medication to treat depression and its symptoms, in some cases, Cymbalta can increase the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The symptoms include panic attacks, thoughts of suicide, irritability, sleep problems, unexplained mood changes.

Alcohol disrupts brain communication channels, affecting the brain's functions and causing mood and behavior changes.

Alcohol can harm sleep quality, escalating depression. It can also intensify your anxiety. 

It Is not advisable to consume alcohol over anti-depressants; however, Discuss with your doctor if you plan on drinking alcohol over Cymbalta. 

Cymbalta for Alcohol Withdrawal?

 Research done on Cymbalta suggests that the drug helps reduce anxiety-like behaviors and alcohol intake, which makes Cymbalta useful in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal. 

If you plan to stop your alcohol consumption, consult with your doctor to see if Cymbalta can be used for the treatment. (Akbar, M., Egli, M., Cho, Y.E., Song, B.J. and Noronha, A., 2018


  • Cymbalta is an anti-depressant medication 
  • Alcohol also possesses effects similar to depressants.
  • Mixing alcohol and Cymbalta is not advisable
  • Consuming alcohol with Cymbalta can increase depression and cause liver problems.
  • Studies suggest that Cymbalta can be helpful in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Consuming alcohol over Cymbalta also decreases the efficacy of the drug.

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