Does Cymbalta help with vertigo? (+7 medications)

In this article, we will discuss whether Cymbalta can be used for the management of vertigo. We will also discuss the pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options for managing vertigo.

Does Cymbalta help with vertigo?

No, Cymbalta does not help vertigo. Instead, dizziness and vertigo are commonly reported side effects of Cymbalta.

Cymbalta is a brand name for an antidepressant medication known as duloxetine. It belongs to the class of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors that work by increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain. Cymbalta is generally a well-tolerated medication but it may cause some side effects in individuals.

Apart from vertigo and dizziness, other side effects associated with the use of Cymbalta may include, headache, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, drowsiness, and sleep disturbances. 

What does Cymbalta help with?

Cymbalta is mostly prescribed for the management of various medical conditions such as (1),

  • major depressive disorders
  • anxiety disorders
  • fibromyalgia  
  • joint pain
  • nerve pain
  • arthritis pain
  • chronic back pain

What does research suggest?

There is currently no conclusive research evidence directly linking Cymbalta to the management of vertigo; however, some studies suggest an association between Cymbalta use and the induction of vertigo.

In a research study, a significant number of patients receiving this medication reported experiencing dizziness and vertigo. While the mechanism behind this association is not fully understood, these findings indicate a higher incidence of vertigo symptoms among individuals using Cymbalta (2).

In another study, the occurrence of vertigo emerged as a documented side effect linked to the administration of Cymbalta for the treatment of pain associated with multiple sclerosis, spanning a duration of six weeks (3).

Which medications can be used to manage vertigo?

There are several medications that may be used for the management of vertigo, depending on the underlying cause and the specific symptoms. Some of these medications may include (4):

  • Betahistine
  • Dimenhydrinate
  • Diazepam
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Gabapentin
  • Clonazepam
  • Cinnarizine

It’s important to note that the choice of medication depends on the specific diagnosis, underlying cause of vertigo, and individual patient characteristics.

What are the non-pharmacological approaches to managing vertigo?

Non-pharmacological approaches that may be considered for managing vertigo may include:

  • Regular exercise emerges as a valuable strategy for addressing vertigo and related symptoms, providing a holistic approach to managing vertigo without relying on pharmaceutical interventions.
  •  Stress and anxiety can make vertigo worse. Try things like deep breathing or meditation to help you relax and reduce dizziness.
  • Getting enough sleep is essential to maintaining good health, and it can also have a good impact on alleviating dizziness and vertigo. 
  • Additionally, a diet low in salt and caffeine may be recommended, as these substances can contribute to fluid retention and affect the inner ear leading to vertigo.

These interventions are typically part of a comprehensive treatment plan that is customized to meet the individual’s specific requirements.

What are the alternatives to Cymbalta if it causes vertigo?

While Cymbalta does not help vertigo, it can cause it as a side effect. If Cymbalta induces severe and persistent vertigo, significantly impacting your quality of life, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative medications less likely to cause vertigo. These alternatives could encompass:

  • fluoxetine
  • fluvoxamine
  • sertraline
  • citalopram
  • escitalopram
  • mirtazapine

The selection of a suitable medication should be based on an individual’s underlying health conditions and overall health status. If the benefits of therapy with Cymbalta outweigh its associated risks, it may be recommended to continue with Cymbalta.

To my knowledge and experience, Cymbalta is not prescribed for the treatment of vertigo in clinical settings. However, individuals may report experiencing vertigo and dizziness, especially during the initial adjustment period or after abruptly discontinuing the medication.

If you are experiencing persistent vertigo symptoms, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation and appropriate guidance tailored to your specific situation.

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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:


Jacob J, Albert D, Heard K. Single-agent duloxetine ingestions. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2013 Apr;32(4):427-33. doi: 10.1177/0960327112462726. Epub 2012 Oct 30. PMID: 23111877.


Brown TR, Slee A. A randomized placebo-controlled trial of duloxetine for central pain in multiple sclerosis. Int J MS Care. 2015 Mar-Apr;17(2):83-9. doi: 10.7224/1537-2073.2014-001. PMID: 25892978; PMCID: PMC4399771.


Plescia F, Salvago P, Dispenza F, Messina G, Cannizzaro E, Martines F. Efficacy and Pharmacological Appropriateness of Cinnarizine and Dimenhydrinate in the Treatment of Vertigo and Related Symptoms. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Apr 30;18(9):4787. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18094787. PMID: 33946152; PMCID: PMC8125582.

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