Does Cymbalta cause edema? (+3 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Cymbalta causes edema. We will also explore relevant studies linking the use of Cymbalta to edema, as well as factors that may increase the risk of Cymbalta-induced edema. Additionally, we will discuss the alternatives to Cymbalta if it causes edema.

Does Cymbalta cause edema?

Cymbalta may cause edema in some individuals. However, it is a rare side effect of this medication and may not occur in all individuals who take Cymbalta. The risk of Cymbalta-induced edema is increased in the presence of certain risk factors, such as underlying health conditions and concurrent medications.

Cymbalta is an antidepressant medication used in the management of various symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain. Its mechanism of action involves interfering with the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, contributing to the elevation of mood and regulation of behavior in individuals with underlying mental disorders (1).

While Cymbalta is generally considered a safe medication with a lower risk of serious side effects, it’s important to be aware that, in some individuals, it may cause edema.

What does research suggest?

According to research, Cymbalta may cause edema in patients; however, it is not a very common side effect of this medication. In a research study, cerebral edema was diagnosed in a patient who was taking 30 mg of Cymbalta daily for the management of symptoms of depression. After using Cymbalta for a few weeks, the patient developed severe hyponatremia and subsequent cerebral edema (2).

 Another study reported a case where a patient died of severe pulmonary edema after using Cymbalta for the treatment of an underlying mental disorder. The same research suggested that this side effect occurs rarely, with a lower incidence of less than 1% (3).

What factors can increase the risk of Cymblata-induced edema? 

Various factors may increase the risk of edema while taking Cymbalta. These factors may include the following:

Individual sensitivity to Cymbalta: Individuals vary in their sensitivity to medications, including Cymbalta, and increased sensitivity can elevate the risk of experiencing rare side effects associated with the medication including edema. 

Concurrent use of medications: The concurrent use of medications, especially those known to increase the risk of edema, such as prednisone, amlodipine, or pioglitazone, may increase the likelihood of experiencing this side effect when used with Cymbalta. 

Underlying medical conditions: Individuals with underlying medical conditions, such as certain heart failure, cirrhosis, or lymphedema, are at a higher risk of experiencing the side effects of edema with Cymbalta. These medical disorders are generally associated with an increased tendency to develop edema.

What to do if Cymbalta causes edema?

If you experience any unusual symptoms after using Cymbalta, you should consult your healthcare provider. Discuss your symptoms and overall health condition with your doctor. They will assess your condition and determine the actual cause of your symptoms.

If your healthcare provider diagnoses edema associated with the use of Cymbalta, they may recommend some changes to your treatment plan. These changes may involve the reduction of the dosage of Cymbalta or discontinuation of the medication based on the severity of symptoms.

However, the decision to discontinue mediation shouldn’t be made without consulting your healthcare provider, as the sudden discontinuation of this medication may lead to withdrawal effects that may further worsen your symptoms.

What are the alternatives to Cymbalta if it causes edema?  

In some cases where the decision to discontinue Cymbalta is made, healthcare providers may recommend an alternative to Cymbalta for managing the underlying health condition for which Cymbalta was prescribed.

These alternatives are selected based on their therapeutic efficacy and safety. The alternatives to Cymbalta that are less likely to cause edema or related side effects may include (4):

  • Fluvoxamine
  • Sertraline
  • Bupropion
  • Fluoxetine
  • Paroxetine 

However, it is important to note that while these medications may have a lower incidence of causing edema, they can cause other side effects that should be considered before starting these medications. Monitoring of antidepressant medications is required to ensure the safety and efficacy of the treatment.

In my opinion, the incidence of edema with the use of Cymbalta is low, and it does not cause this side effect in all individuals who take this medication. However, you should always remain vigilant of your side effects when using this medication, as the early detection of side effects may reduce the worsening of your health condition.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Dhaliwal JS, Spurling BC, Molla M. Duloxetine. [Updated 2023 May 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


Şahan E, Parlakkaya Yıldız FB. Duloxetine Induced Hyponatremia. Turk Psikiyatri Derg. 2019 Winter;30(4):287-289. English, Turkish. PMID: 32594491.


Norman TR, Olver JS. Duloxetine in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2008 Dec;4(6):1169-80. doi: 10.2147/ndt.s2820. PMID: 19337457; PMCID: PMC2646646.


Ravi PB, Ravishankar GM, Andrade C. Bilateral peripheral edema as a rare adverse effect of escitalopram. Indian J Psychiatry. 2014 Jan;56(1):97. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.124735. PMID: 24574569; PMCID: PMC3927257.

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