Medically Reviewed by Harshi Dhingra, M.D.

Last Reviewed: Jun 21, 2022


What is Cymbalta (duloxetine) used for?

Cymbalta belongs to a group of prescription medications called SNRIs. It treats major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic (ongoing) musculoskeletal pain.

How does Cymbalta (duloxetine) work?

Serotonin and norepinephrine are chemicals in the brain that play important roles in mood regulation. Cymbalta is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It prevents the reuptake (absorption) of serotonin and norepinephrine by the brain cells. By making more of these mood-boosting chemicals available, Cymbalta relieves depression, anxiety, and pain symptoms. 

What are Cymbalta (duloxetine) doses?

Cymbalta is available as an oral capsule in 20 mg, 30 mg, and 60 mg doses. Doctors usually prescribe Cymbalta at a starting dose of 40 mg to 60 mg per day in adults. The starting dose of Cymbalta in children, adolescents, and elderly individuals may be lower. The maximum dose of this medication is 120 mg/day for depression and anxiety and 60 mg/day for neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose and increase the dose a week later.