Does Cymbalta cause jitteriness? (+3 tips)

In this article, we will discuss whether Cymbalta can cause jitteriness. We will also discuss some research studies and what one should do if these side effects occur.

Does Cymbalta cause jitteriness?

Cymbalta can make some people jittery, especially during the early course of their treatment. Jitteriness is not considered a common side effect, but it is important to note that Cymbalta is causing it if you have started using this antidepressant lately.

Jitteriness, also known as anxiety syndrome, is characterized by nervousness or restlessness which results in shaking of the body parts. People who are sensitive to the simulation of neurotransmitters are more susceptible to this side effect, or those who are generally anxious and unable to relax.

Cymbalta is an antidepressant used to treat mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety (1). Cymbalta can also affect your sleep architecture in different ways, which can trigger jitteriness in some people.

If you are a new user of Cymbalta and feel jittery you will get better within a few weeks as your body adjusts to the medication.

Why does Cymbalta cause jitteriness?

Cymbalta causes jitteriness as an early side effect because of the way it works. Cymbalta is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor which inhibits the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine, excitatory neurotransmitters associated with improving mood (1).

This increases the availability of these neurotransmitters in the brain and manages the symptoms associated with depression and other mental health conditions.

This increase in neurotransmitter level is not well tolerated by your body when you start taking Cymbalta for the very first time and you begin to feel jittery. Once your body adjusts to the medication, this side effect subsides.

What does research suggest?

There is limited research on jitteriness caused by Cymbalta, as the antidepressant is known to counteract such symptoms. However, Cymbalta and other antidepressants can cause jitteriness in the early course of treatment.

One study looked at using Duloxetine and Bupropion for hard-to-treat depression. They checked the records of 10 patients who had not fully improved with just Duloxetine and Bupropion. After trying both drugs separately, they combined them for at least 4 weeks (2).

The patient’s depression scores went down after using the combination but side effects like jitters, nausea, dry mouth etc were reported (2).

Antidepressants causing these jittery feelings may include drugs from different classes such as tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines, or a combination of two antidepressants (3).

According to another research study, it was found that a higher dose of antidepressant may cause jitteriness or anxiety syndrome within 6 weeks of treatment. The major risk factor associated with antidepressant-induced jitteriness is a higher dose (4).

Who is more susceptible to experiencing jitteriness while using Cymbalta?

The susceptible individuals who may experience jitteriness while using Cymbalta are patients who have a history of mood disorder, major depressive disorder, or bipolar disorder in their family.

Patients who are sensitive to antidepressants such as Cymbalta, Pristiq, Celexa etc are more prone to experiencing jitteriness because of their genetic makeup and physiological responses to the medication.

Additionally, patients taking Cymbalta at higher doses or those whose Cymbalta dose has been increased may also have more chances of jittery feelings. The age or sex of the patient is not associated with the incidence of antidepressant-induced jitteriness.

Some patients may experience jitteriness within the first week of starting antidepressants. According to a clinical trial, half of the participants of the study experienced jitteriness within the first three days of the antidepressant treatment (3).

What to do if Cymbalta cause jitters?

If you are experiencing jitters during the early course of your treatment with Cymbalta, don’t worry. This side effect will fade away on its own within a few days. However, if you continue to feel so after weeks and weeks of treatment with Cymbalta, it is best to consult your healthcare provider.

Sometimes, the initial antidepressant dose is a bit high for new users and higher doses can cause jitters. If that’s the case your doctor will reduce your dose to give you some time to adjust to a lower dose. Once your body adjusts to the lower dose, your doctor will gradually increase it till you reach an appropriate Cymbalta dose.

If your jitters persist or become too bothersome, discontinuing medication under your doctor’s guidance might be necessary. Once you stop taking Cymbalta, the jitters typically improve over time on their own.

Your doctor may sometimes prescribe another antidepressant with fewer early side effects.

Always remember not to stop taking Cymbalta abruptly as it can cause withdrawal symptoms leading to symptoms such as hallucination, agitation, dizziness, tremors etc (5).

In my opinion, Cymbalta may cause jitters, especially in sensitive individuals or when used at higher doses. However, jitteriness is not a common adverse effect of Cymbalta, but if you experience jitters, consult your healthcare provider. They may adjust the dose or switch you to an alternative antidepressant if necessary.

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