How To Sleep While Taking Cymbalta?

Sleep is one of the most important things we can do to our body, and not getting enough can cause irritability, fatigue, and lack of concentration, affecting us all day. Even more upsetting is when you spend all day tired, only to continue struggling to sleep at night.

For those who take Cymbalta, this difficulty sleeping can be one of the most common side effects, leaving many looking for ways to sleep while taking Cymbalta.

Table of Contents

What is Cymbalta?

Cymbalta is the brand name for duloxetine, a type of antidepressant medication that is approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), major depressive disorder (MDD), fibromyalgia, diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DBNP), and chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Side Effects of Cymbalta

Some of the common side effects of Cymbalta include:

  • nausea
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • increased sweating
  • decreased appetite
  • fatigue
  • feeling nervous
  • sleepy or having trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • restlessness

There are also some rarer side effects of Cymbalta that are more serious, and they include:

  • liver failure
  • orthostatic hypotension
  • increased heart rate
  • difficulty urinating
  • low sodium
  • angle-closure glaucoma
  • irregular menstrual cycle
  • serotonin syndrome
  • hypertensive crisis
  • pancreatitis

Does Cymbalta Affect Your Sleep?

One of the most common side effects reported by those who use Cymbalta is insomnia, which is an inability or difficulty with falling asleep. This can leave many people feeling fatigued the next day.

How Does Cymbalta Affect Your Sleep?

Insomnia can mean many different things related to your sleep, including difficulty falling asleep, problems staying asleep, waking up still tired, or waking up earlier than intended.

Not only can taking Cymbalta cause insomnia, but insomnia can also be a side effect of Cymbalta discontinuation and withdrawal.

How To Sleep While Taking Cymbalta?

The following tips can help you to sleep while taking Cymbalta.

Start With a Small Dose

If you start with too high of a dose of Cymbalta, your body might react negatively, with insomnia being one of the most common side effects.

However, by starting with a smaller dose, your body can gradually get used to taking Cymbalta. Your doctor can then increase your dose gradually until you get to the desired therapeutic amount.

Starting with a small dose also allows for side effects to appear gradually. If insomnia begins to affect you as your dose of Cymbalta increases, your doctor may decide to slow the rate of dose increase to help minimize side effects and give your body more time to adjust to the medication.

Reduce Your Dose

Insomnia and other sleep problems can be more common in higher doses of Cymbalta, so your doctor may recommend lowering your dose or discontinuing Cymbalta altogether. 

However, a benefit of reducing your dose versus stopping it is that you can remove the side effects while still seeing the benefits of the medication. If this is not possible, for example, if the dosage required to stop suffering from insomnia does not address your symptoms, it may be best to switch to a different medication.

It is crucial to complete any reduction in Cymbalta with a doctor, though, as reducing it too quickly, or stopping it entirely, may cause withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia.

Use Sleep Aids

If you are still struggling with insomnia, over the counter (OTC) sleep aids may help you get better and more consistent sleep.

One common supplement taken for sleep is melatonin, which is a hormone naturally produced by the body as it prepares to go to sleep. When taken in a 1-5 mg dose, melatonin is safe to take with Cymbalta.

However, other supplements may cause adverse reactions when taken while on Cymbalta, so always check with your doctor before taking anything new.

Create Healthy Sleep Habits

One of the best ways to improve your sleep is to look at your routine before going to bed and adjust it to help promote better sleep.

One of the first things you should do is try to sleep at the same time each night and wake up around the same time each morning. This helps to create a cycle that your body can more easily follow with its circadian rhythm.

Other healthy sleep habits involve what to avoid before bed. For example, it is recommended to avoid electronics the hour before bed, and caffeine, alcohol, and exercising a few hours before bed.

The room you sleep in should also be conducive to sleeping, so try keeping the room cool, dark, and quiet.

When To See a Doctor?

If you’re experiencing insomnia or any other side effects of Cymbalta that have lowered your quality of life, reach out to your doctor. If you are considering the discontinuation of Cymbalta, be sure to speak with your doctor first so that you can do so safely.

There are also some rare, but severe, symptoms that those who take Cymbalta may experience:

  • hives
  • severe dizziness
  • seizure
  • itching or swelling of the face, mouth, or throat
  • difficulty breathing

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medication attention.

Additionally, if your medication is not be working properly, it can produce side effects such as:

  • worsening mood
  • panic attacks
  • confusion
  • thoughts of suicide
  • impulsiveness
  • aggression

If you experience any of these side effects, reach out to your healthcare provider.

For those looking for a convenient way to discuss Cymbalta and its side effects, an online doctor such as those found in DrHouse can meet in just 15 minutes to discuss your symptoms and how they can be managed.

Key Takeaways

Cymbalta is an antidepressant approved to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), major depressive disorder (MDD), fibromyalgia, diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DBNP), and chronic musculoskeletal pain. However, one of its most common side effects is insomnia.

For those who have insomnia while taking Cymbalta, there are many actions that can be taken, including altering the Cymbalta dosage or improving your sleep hygiene.

If Cymbalta is causing insomnia, it is important to always discuss this with a healthcare provider before attempting to lower the dosage or discontinue the medication completely. Your doctor can help you address the unpleasant symptoms while ensuring the symptoms of the condition Cymbalta was prescribed for do not come back.

References

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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