Does Cymbalta affect eye pressure? (+3 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Cymbalta affects eye pressure. We will also discuss some research studies and what one should do if Cymbalta affects eye pressure.

Does Cymbalta affect eye pressure?

Yes, Cymbalta affects eye pressure. However, it is not a commonly reported side effect and the incidence is low.

Eye pressure which is also known as intraocular pressure (IOP), is like checking how much water pressure is inside your eye (1).

Nevertheless, like many other pharmaceuticals, Cymbalta is linked to various side effects, including its serotonergic and mild anticholinergic effects. Cymbalta-induced alpha-adrenergic, anticholinergic and serotonergic effects can potentially contribute to increased eye pressure in some patients, making it contra-indicated for individuals with pre-existing glaucoma.

Cymbalta is a serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor that inhibits serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake in the brain and peripheral system. It is used for the management of anxiety, depression and certain chronic pains (4).

Mydriasis is the most common effect produced by Cymbalta and other antidepressants such as Citalopram, Sertraline etc, in the eye, ultimately leading to the development of angle-closure glaucoma.

Therefore, it is essential to recognise that while not everyone who takes this medication will experience this side effect, caution is advised when using Cymbalta if you have a history of glaucoma.

What does research suggest?

The connection between Cymbalta and eye pressure has been noted in some studies and case reports.

One study indicated that a 46-year-old woman got glaucoma in both eyes after using Duloxetine for 15 days. Her eye pressures were very high, and her eye chambers were shallow (2).

Stopping Duloxetine, starting glaucoma treatment, and doing laser therapy fixed the problem. Duloxetine might cause glaucoma by enlarging the pupils and causing fluid build-up in the eye (2). 

Another study found that, after using Duloxetine there wasn’t a big difference in eye pressure and corneal thickness. However, after three months, there was a clear decrease in certain eye measurements like the angle and space in the front part of the eye (3).

The results showed that using Duloxetine for a short time does not cause big changes that would affect your health, even though it does show some measurable effects on certain parts of the front of the eye (3).

What factors can affect eye pressure while using Cymbalta? 

The following factors can affect eye pressure while taking Cymbalta. These are:

Individual sensitivity: Every individual is unique and has a unique genetic makeup due to a combination of genetics, environment and overall health, so their response to medications is also different, especially when it comes to medications which affect brain chemistry such as Cymbalta.

That is the reason some people experience increased eye pressure while using Cymbalta while others do not.

Medical conditions: Sometimes pre-existing eye conditions such as a history of glaucoma or other health issues can affect how the eyes respond to the medication. It is important to inform your doctor about your pre-existing health condition to ensure the safe use of Cymbalta.

Drug interactions: Some medications when taken in combination with Cymbalta can also affect eye pressure. Although Cymbalta does not directly affect eye pressure, certain medications if taken concurrently, could impact intraocular pressure.

It is important to inform your doctor about all medications and supplements you are taking to reduce the potential side effects.

Dosage and duration: The dosage of the medication also affects its effectiveness. People responding well to the lower doses may experience increased side effects after the dose escalation such as glaucoma or increased IOP. 

Long duration of medication use may also make individuals more prone to experiencing side effects including eye pressure or intraocular pressure (IOP).

It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional or an eye specialist if you have concerns about changes in eye pressure or any eye-related symptoms while using Cymbalta. They can provide personalized guidance and, if needed, perform specific eye examinations to evaluate and address any issues.

How is Cymbalta-induced eye pressure managed in a clinical setting?

the primary goal of managing Cymbalta-induced eye pressure is to decrease IOP, which can be achieved through the following approaches (5):

  • Mitotic medications such as Pilocarpine and anticholinesterase drugs such as Physostigmine are useful in promoting pupil constriction and managing angle glaucoma.
  • Beta-blocker medications such as Timolol may be useful in reducing aqueous humour production and intraocular pressure.
  • Carbonic anhydrase medications like Acetazolamide are also useful in decreasing aqueous humour and IOP. 

What to do if Cymbalta affects eye pressure?

To manage eye pressure while using Cymbalta, the following points should be considered:

Consulting a healthcare provider

It is imperative to discuss any potential side effects with a healthcare provider. They can evaluate the symptoms in the context of the individual’s overall health and medication regimen.

Your healthcare provider might adjust the dosage, switch to a different medication, or recommend additional tests to rule out the cause.

Monitor other potential causes 

External factors such as stress, fatigue or caffeine consumption can also affect eye pressure. Keeping a daily log of activities, food and beverage intake and stress levels can provide insights into whether IOP correlates with specific triggers.

Do not stop Cymbalta abruptly

Antidepressants like Cymbalta have known withdrawal symptoms when discontinued suddenly. If one wishes to stop or believes the medication is causing side effects, it is crucial to consult a healthcare provider. They can provide a tapering schedule to minimize potential withdrawal or side effects.

In my view and the knowledge available, Cymbalta can affect eye pressure in some individuals. However, responses can vary from person to person. If you experience increased eye pressure while on Cymbalta, it is crucial to discuss it with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance and treatment plans.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!


Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site