Does Cymbalta cause face swelling? (3+ precautions)

This article will answer the question, “Does Cymbalta cause face swelling?”. We will also discuss factors that can lead to face swelling and some tips for managing it. 

Does Cymbalta cause face swelling? 

Yes, Cymbalta can cause face swelling. If you are allergic to the medication, you may experience swelling in the face within a few minutes. Hypersensitivity reaction to the drug causes activation of the immune system, which produces inflammatory reactions that can lead to pruritus (itching), oedema, skin rash, swelling, difficulty breathing, etc. 

If you experience any allergic reaction after taking Cymbalta, stop taking the drug and consult your physician or any healthcare facility ASAP for proper management to avoid the worsening of your condition. 

Swelling in the face can also be caused by other reasons, such as kidney/ liver injury, angioedema, cellulitis, food or drug allergies, the use of other medications that have a side effect of swelling, etc. If you are experiencing any side effects after taking Cymbalta, make sure you consult your physician for proper management. 

What does the research suggest? 

A case report of a 68-year-old male patient who was diagnosed with depression with symptoms of memory loss and aggression. He was treated with duloxetine 60mg per day, which was gradually increased up to 120mg. The patient developed periorbital angioedema with swollen lips soon after administration of duloxetine. The study then concluded that the patient was allergic to duloxetine and developed swelling in his face. (1)

In phase 4 clinical trials, among 141,667 people treated with duloxetine, 287 (0.2%) of the individuals experienced angioedema. The highest population who experienced angioedema were females of age 40-49 who took duloxetine for < 1 month. (2)

The use of antidepressants in some individuals is associated with face swelling, inflammation in the eye, rash, etc. Other causes of face swelling involve drug-drug interactions, underlying disorders, acute kidney injury, allergic reactions, etc. (2,3)

It is important to identify the cause of the problem before treating it. If you are experiencing swelling in your face or any other part of the body, make sure you consult a physician for proper management.  

What are the factors contributing to Cymbalta-induced face swelling? 

There are many factors which can lead to swelling in the face while taking Cymbalta, such as: 

  • Allergic reaction: Cymbalta can trigger an allergic reaction, which can cause swelling in the face
  • Angioedema: It is a condition which is characterised by swelling beneath the skin, around lips, eyes and tongue. This is in response to an allergy to a particular drug. 
  • Fluid retention: Cymbalta can sometimes affect the body’s ability to balance fluid, which can lead to the accumulation of fluids in various areas.
  • Underlying medical conditions: Pre-existing medical conditions, such as autoimmune disease, kidney damage, liver disease, etc., can cause facial swelling. 
  • Drug interactions: Drugs such as enalapril, lisinopril, some antibiotics, etc., can cause face swelling. 
  • Individual variability: Some individuals are sensitive or allergic to the drug; these individuals are more susceptible to the side effects caused by Cymbalta. 

How to use Cymbalta safely and effectively? 

The measures to use Cymbalta safely and effectively are as follows: 

  • If you experience swelling or rash after taking Cymbalta, it may indicate an allergy to the medication. Stop the medication and seek medical attention.
  • Store Cymbalta in a cool, dry place away from moisture, as it can degrade the drug and render it ineffective. 
  • Do not open the capsule, crush, or chew the drug before consuming Cymbalta.
  • If you are experiencing any side effects after consuming Cymbalta, make sure you consult your physician for proper management. 
  • Do not stop taking the medication or miss a dose, as it can lead to withdrawal symptoms and worsen your condition. 
  • Do not increase or decrease the dose of the drug without the guidance of your physician. 
  • Sometimes, food and medications can cause allergies, which will lead to swelling in the body. Know what you are allergic to. 
  • Consult your physician if you want to take any OTC medication. 

What are the alternatives if Cymbalta causes face swelling? 

The alternatives if Cymbalta causes face swellings are as follows: 

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline.
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI): venlafaxine, milnacipran, desvenlafaxine, levomilnacipran. 
  • Tricyclic antidepressants: amitriptyline, amoxapine, nortriptyline, imipramine. 
  • Atypical antidepressants: bupropion, mirtazapine, trazodone. 
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): isocarboxazid, selegiline. 

In my opinion, Cymbalta can cause face swelling. However, the effect of Cymbalta varies among individuals. Swelling in any part of the body can also be caused by other reasons, such as kidney failure, drug or food allergies, etc. Make sure you consult your physician and get a proper evaluation if you are experiencing swelling in your face more often. 

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Oliani, Daniela & Messina, Ester & Ciappolino, Valentina & Tarantola, Luca. (2013). A case of angioedema duloxetine-induced. 10.6092/2039-1404.126.1581. Available from: 


Cymbalta and Angioedema – a phase IV clinical study of FDA data [internet]. eHealthMe, 2023.  Available from: 


Gupta MA, Gupta AK. The use of antidepressant drugs in dermatology. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 2001 Nov;15(6):512-8. Available from: 


Herstowska M, Komorowska O, Cubała WJ, Jakuszkowiak-Wojten K, Gałuszko-Węgielnik M, Landowski J. Severe skin complications in patients treated with antidepressants: a literature review. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postępy Dermatologii i Alergologii. 2014 May;31(2):92-7. Available from:,7,22336,0,1.html  

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