Can Cymbalta cause tingling? (5 tips)

This article will explore tingling as a potential side effect of taking the medication Cymbalta. It will also discuss the mechanisms behind how tingling can be linked to Cymbalta and highlight relevant research findings.

The article will mention the factors that may influence the occurrence of Cymbalta-related tingling. Additionally, it will provide suggestions on what to do if tingling occurs while taking Cymbalta.

Can Cymbalta cause tingling?

Cymbalta may cause tingling in some patients, although this side effect is considered rare. Several clinical studies and patient reports suggest that tingling or numbness can occur as an adverse effect of antidepressants, but it is not common for Cymbalta to specifically cause these sensations.

Tingling sensations are more likely to occur during the discontinuation or withdrawal of Cymbalta. However, it is important to note that not everyone who takes Cymbalta or stops using it will experience tingling, and if they do, the severity can vary.

If anyone experiences tingling or any other side effects while taking Cymbalta, it is important to inform their doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will be able to evaluate the symptoms and determine the most appropriate course of action.

How can Cymbalta cause tingling?

While it is not common for Cynbalta to cause tingling, its sudden withdrawal can. Cymbalta is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Serotonin and norepinephrine play a role in regulating pain perception and nerve function.

Over time, the nerves and receptors in the body adjust to these increased levels and become dependent on them to maintain normal functioning.

If Cymbalta is suddenly discontinued, the body is left with lower levels of these neurotransmitters than it has become accustomed to. This can lead to abnormal nerve firing and signaling, which may result in sensations of paraesthesia and tingling.

Additionally, changes in neurotransmitter levels can also affect the way the brain processes sensory information, leading to abnormal sensitivity and abnormal sensations.

Other antidepressants that may similarly cause sensations like tingling or numbness include Effexor, Prozac, Citalopram, and bupropion

What does research suggest?

In one study, researchers examined duloxetine’s withdrawal symptoms [1].

They discovered that the occurrence of paraesthesia, which includes sensations like tingling, as a side effect upon discontinuation was significantly more common in patients who discontinued duloxetine (specifically, 14 individuals) compared to those who stopped taking a placebo (only 1 patient) [1].

Duloxetine is known for its effectiveness in treating peripheral neuropathies, such as numbness, tingling, or abnormal sensations.

Research has shown that serotonin has both pro-nociceptive and anti-nociceptive actions, meaning it plays a role in promoting and inhibiting pain signals in the central pain pathways originating from the brainstem [2].

On the other hand, norepinephrine primarily has pain-inhibiting (or anti-nociceptive) effects. Since duloxetine increases the levels of both of these neurotransmitters, it enhances their functions in the spinal pathways, resulting in the inhibition of abnormal neuropathic sensations such as tingling [2].

What factors influence Cymbalta-induced tingling?

Several factors can influence the occurrence of tingling while taking Cymbalta. It is important to note that individual experiences may vary, and not everyone will experience tingling. 

  • Higher doses may increase the risk of experiencing tingling sensations compared to lower doses.
  • Each person’s body may respond differently to the medication. Some individuals may be more susceptible to tingling sensations while taking Cymbalta.
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, magnesium deficiency, neuropathy from alcohol use disorder, encephalitis, and lupus, increase the likelihood of experiencing tingling while taking Cymbalta.


  • The concurrent use of other medications alongside Cymbalta can contribute to tingling.

What other medications may increase tingling?

Drugs that can increase the risk of experiencing tingling while taking Cymbalta are demonstrated below [3]:

  • Levodopa may lead to the deposition of homocysteine and other metabolites of vitamin B12, thereby causing peripheral neuropathies including tingling.
  • Vinca alkaloids can impair neurotransmission through nerve axons, which may predispose individuals to abnormal sensations like tingling.
  • Amiodarone can disrupt the myelin sheath protecting the nerves, leading to sensory problems.
  • Statins can interfere with energy utilization by nerves, possibly resulting in disturbed sensations like tingling.
  • Certain immunosuppressants, such as leflunomide, interferons, and biologicals, can also induce tingling sensations.
  • Some antibacterial medications, like isoniazid and metronidazole, can also cause this side effect. They achieve this by disrupting vitamin B synthesis and promoting the degradation of axons, respectively.

What to do if Cymbalta causes tingling?

Tingling is more likely to occur as a result of the sudden withdrawal of Cymbalta. It is important to safely discontinue the medication to avoid withdrawal symptoms like tingling. This can be done by tapering down the dose gradually under the supervision of a doctor.

If one experiences tingling as a side effect of Cymbalta, however, relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation may be helpful. Moreover, topical local treatment can reduce the tingling. You can try applying heat or ice packs to the tingling area.

In addition, avoiding alcohol and illicit drugs is advisable, as these substances can damage the nerves responsible for sensation over time. You should also ensure getting enough sleep and managing stress levels to optimize the health of your nervous system.

If these strategies are not effective in managing tingling, your doctor may recommend certain medications that may help. For instance, antidepressants such as SSRIs, other SNRIs like venlafaxine, or tricyclic antidepressants can manage duloxetine-related tingling [3].

Gabapentin and pregabalin can also help. Your doctor may also suggest using topical treatments such as lidocaine patches [3].

Certain vitamins, minerals, and supplements are also important to protect your nerves and strengthen them. The most important ones include gamma-linolenic acid, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), magnesium, acetyl-L-carnitine, and vitamin B12 [3].


In conclusion, based on my research, tingling sensations are more likely to occur during the withdrawal of Cymbalta. However, it is important to note that not everyone who takes Cymbalta or stops using it will experience tingling, and if they do, the severity can vary.

In my perspective, various factors can influence the occurrence of tingling while taking Cymbalta, including dosage, abrupt discontinuation, individual response to the medication, and certain medical conditions. Concurrent use of other medications alongside Cymbalta may also contribute to tingling.

If Cymbalta causes tingling, I recommend consulting with a healthcare professional. Furthermore, to avoid experiencing tingling as a withdrawal symptom, it is advisable to gradually reduce the dose of the medication under the supervision of a doctor. 

I believe that relaxation techniques, applying heat or ice packs, and lifestyle measures like avoiding alcohol and managing stress levels may help manage tingling. The doctor may also recommend other medications, supplements, or topical treatments to alleviate symptoms.

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Perahia DG, Kajdasz DK, Desaiah D, Haddad PM. Symptoms following abrupt discontinuation of duloxetine treatment in patients with major depressive disorder. J Affect Disord. 2005 Dec;89(1-3):207-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2005.09.003. Epub 2005 Nov 2. PMID: 16266753.


Lunn MP, Hughes RA, Wiffen PJ. Duloxetine for treating painful neuropathy or chronic pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Oct 7;(4):CD007115. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007115.pub2. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;1:CD007115. PMID: 19821395.


Jones MR, Urits I, Wolf J, Corrigan D, Colburn L, Peterson E, Williamson A, Viswanath O. Drug-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: A Narrative Review. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2020;15(1):38-48. doi: 10.2174/1574884714666190121154813. PMID: 30666914; PMCID: PMC7365998.

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