Does Cymbalta contain gabapentin? (+3 differences)

In this article, we will discuss the composition of the formulation of Cymbalta. Additionally, we will explore the composition of Cymbalta and delve into the key differences between gabapentin and Cymbalta. This discussion will encompass their mechanisms of action, therapeutic uses, and potential adverse effects.

Does Cymbalta contain gabapentin?

 No, Cymbalta does not contain gabapentin. Both Cymbalta and gabapentin are different medications with their own unique characteristics. Cymbalta, a brand name for the medication duloxetine, is an antidepressant drug (1). On the other hand, gabapentin belongs to the class of antiepileptic medications (2).

What is the composition of Cymbalta formulation?

The typical formulation of Cymbalta contains an active ingredient and a range of inactive ingredients also known as excipients.

Active ingredients duloxetine hydrochloride
Inactive ingredients binders, fillers, disintegrants, diluents, bulking agents, lubricants, bulk foaming agents, and anti-adherents.

These inactive ingredients are essential in forming the final dosage form of duloxetine hydrochloride, allowing it to be easily administered by the patient in an optimum amount to provide therapeutic benefits for their underlying medical conditions.

What are the differences between Cymbalta and gabapentin? 

The major differences between Cymbalta and gabapentin include their mechanisms of action, therapeutic uses, and side effects. 

Mechanism of action

Cymbalta exerts its therapeutic effects by interfering with norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. Elevated levels of these neurotransmitters help in alleviating the symptoms of mental disorders including depression and anxiety. Cymbalta also helps reduce the associated feelings of sadness and irritability (1).

On the other hand, gabapentin works by influencing the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It enhances the activity of GABA, which is the inhibitory system responsible for controlling electrical activity in the brain (2).

Therapeutic uses

The common indications for Cymbalta may include the following (1):

  • anxiety
  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • fibromyalgia
  • depression
  • migraines
  • chronic back pain
  • neuropathic pain
  • panic disorders 
  • borderline personality disorder

On the other hand, gabapentin can be used in the management of the following medical conditions (3): 

  • partial onset seizures
  • convulsions
  • epilepsy
  • neuralgia
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic pain
  • restless legs syndrome
  • anxiety disorders
  • neuropathic pain 

It’s important to note that the use of this medication should be strictly guided by a healthcare professional, and individuals should always follow their prescribed dosage and instructions to avoid unwanted adverse effects.

Side effects

The side effects associated with the use of Cymbalta may include (1):

  • headaches
  • tiredness
  • vomiting
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • sleep disturbances
  • weight changes
  • appetite disturbances
  • sweating
  • irregular heartbeats
  • palpitations
  • hallucinations
  • serotonin syndrome
  • confusion
  • irritability
  • agitation
  • lightheadedness

On the other hand, the side effects that may occur in individuals who take gabapentin may include the following (3): 

  • dry mouth
  • weight gain
  • visual disturbances
  • mood changes
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • behavioral changes
  • agitation
  • dry mouth
  • angioedema
  • shortness of breath

Inform your healthcare provider about any unusual or severe symptoms that you may experience, to prevent the worsening of your condition.

Can you combine Cymbalta with gabapentin?

Yes, you can combine Cymbalta with gabapentin. However, this combination should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional to avoid unwanted adverse effects. A research study showed the effectiveness and safety of the Cymbalta and gabapentin combination for the management of neuropathic pain.

The research findings demonstrated that this combination is effective for use in patients with diabetes for the management of their neuropathic pain. However, in the same study, this combination resulted in adverse effects in 14% of patients who discontinued the medication (4).

In my opinion, while this combination can be used for the management of certain medical conditions, it is always recommended to consult with a doctor before combining these medications and inform them of all the medications that you are taking. This ensures personalized advice based on your health profile and helps prevent potential adverse effects

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


Taylor CP. Mechanisms of action of gabapentin. Rev Neurol (Paris). 1997;153 Suppl 1:S39-45. PMID: 9686247.


Yasaei R, Katta S, Saadabadi A. Gabapentin. [Updated 2022 Dec 19]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


Irving G, Tanenberg RJ, Raskin J, Risser RC, Malcolm S. Comparative safety and tolerability of duloxetine vs. pregabalin vs. duloxetine plus gabapentin in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain. Int J Clin Pract. 2014 Sep;68(9):1130-40. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12452. Epub 2014 May 18. PMID: 24837444.

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