Does Cymbalta cause ringing in the ears? (+3 factors)

 In this article, we will explore whether Cymbalta can cause ringing in the ears. Additionally, we will explore the factors that may contribute to an increased risk of experiencing a ringing sensation in the ears while taking Cymbalta, and discuss potential management strategies for this side effect.

Does Cymbalta cause ringing in the ears?

No, Cymbalta does not cause ringing in the ears. Cymbalta may cause other side effects such as fatigue, headaches, nausea, and dizziness, however, there is no research evidence suggesting that it can cause ringing in the ear (tinnitus).

 Cymbalta is an antidepressant medication employed in the management of diverse central nervous system-related health issues. Its applications extend to treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Notably, Cymbalta is also effective in addressing chronic pain and fibromyalgia (1).

It is generally considered a safe medication with a lower incidence of severe side effects. It is also well tolerated in children as well as elderly patients.

What does research suggest?

Currently, existing research does not provide conclusive evidence indicating a potential association between the use of Cymbalta and the occurrence of ringing in the ears.

However, a research study suggests a positive correlation between the administration of Cymbalta and an improvement in tinnitus among patients with underlying neuropathic pain (2). Another research study introduces the perspective that the withdrawal of Cymbalta may cause ringing in the ears in some patients, although this occurrence is rare (3).

What factors may increase the risk of tinnitus while taking Cymbalta?

There are several factors that may increase the risk of tinnitus while taking Cymbalta. These factors may not be necessarily related to Cymbalta and may include:

Concurrent medications: The concurrent use of medications such as salicylates or certain antibiotics like aminoglycosides, may increase the risk of experiencing a ringing sensation in the ears while taking Cymbalta (4). These medications are frequently associated with tinnitus as a side effect.

Underlying medical problems: Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, including hearing loss, diabetes, and neurological disorders, may be more susceptible to the development of tinnitus when using Cymbalta. However, the relationship between these underlying health conditions and the occurrence of tinnitus is complex.

Individual factors: Individual factors such as old age, genetic predisposition, and a history of smoking, as well as emotional factors like stress and anxiety, can indeed increase the risk of or exacerbate ringing in the ear (tinnitus) while taking Cymbalta.

What to do if tinnitus occurs while taking Cymbalta? 

If you encounter ringing in the ears after using Cymbalta, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional. While this symptom may not necessarily be linked to the use of Cymbalta, your healthcare provider can assess and identify any potential risk factors contributing to your tinnitus while on the medication.

If there is a drug or disease interaction with Cymbalta that is causing or intensifying the ringing sensation in your ears, your healthcare provider may take appropriate measures to address and eliminate that risk factor.

In the case of drug interactions, your healthcare provider might recommend dosage adjustments or discontinuation of the medication, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

It is crucial, however, not to discontinue Cymbalta without the guidance and supervision of your medical professional, as abrupt withdrawal may lead to the worsening of your condition, potentially causing discontinuation syndrome.

What are the management tips for tinnitus?

While there is no specific medication designed exclusively for tinnitus treatment, various approaches can help minimize its occurrence. The choice of approach often depends on the underlying cause of tinnitus.

For instance, if tinnitus arises as a side effect of medication, such as aspirin, discontinuing the medication may be beneficial in reducing its occurrence. Similarly, if a medical condition like hearing loss is the root cause of the ringing sensation in the ears, hearing aids can enhance overall hearing and potentially alleviate the tinnitus.

Additionally, lifestyle modifications play a crucial role in managing tinnitus. These may include reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, as well as implementing stress management techniques.

It’s essential to recognize that the effectiveness of treatments varies among individuals. If you are experiencing symptoms of tinnitus, consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended to determine the most appropriate and personalized treatment plan for the specific situation.

To my knowledge, the use of Cymbalta is not associated with causing tinnitus as a side effect. This medication is considered safe for use in both children and elderly patients. However, it is crucial to always inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking to ensure the safety of your treatment by avoiding potential unwanted drug interactions.

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Dhaliwal JS, Spurling BC, Molla M. Duloxetine. 2023 May 29. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31747213.


De Marinis M, Santilli V. Tinnitus in postherpetic neuralgia. J Headache Pain. 2010 Feb;11(1):83-4. doi: 10.1007/s10194-009-0167-6. Epub 2009 Oct 23. PMID: 19851823; PMCID: PMC3452178.


Fornaro M, Martino M. Tinnitus psychopharmacology: A comprehensive review of its pathomechanisms and management. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2010 Jun 24;6:209-18. doi: 10.2147/ndt.s10361. PMID: 20628627; PMCID: PMC2898164.


Rizzi MD, Hirose K. Aminoglycoside ototoxicity. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Oct;15(5):352-7. doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e3282ef772d. PMID: 17823553.

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