Does Cymbalta-induced diarrhoea go away? 

Does Cymbalta-induced diarrhoea go away? 

Yes, Cymbalta-induced diarrhoea goes away within a few days. Diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal side effects are most commonly reported with Cymbalta and other antidepressants. 

This side effect is more common in people who are new to Cymbalta or antidepressants in general, and it begins to subside as your body adjusts to the medication. 

Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider if Cymbalta persistently upsets your stomach and keeps increasing your intestinal motility. 

The incidence of diarrhoea with Cymbalta

Diarrhoea is a relatively common side effect of Cymbalta (duloxetine). Research suggests that the incidence of diarrhoea with Cymbalta can range from around 10% to 20% of individuals taking the medication (1,2).

The exact mechanism behind this side effect is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the way Cymbalta affects certain neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically serotonin and norepinephrine.

Cymbalta is thought to increase the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the body, which can have an impact on the digestive system. These neurotransmitters play a role in regulating bowel function, and when their levels are altered by Cymbalta, it can result in changes in bowel movements, including diarrhoea.

What to do if Cymbalta causes diarrhoea? 

If Cymbalta causes diarrhoea, you can take OTC antidiarrheals to control the frequency of your watery stools. This early side effect is usually not a concerning one and it begins to go away soon after your body adjusts to the antidepressant. 

Medications like Imodium, Pepto-Bismol, etc are frequently used to control antidepressant-induced diarrhoea. You can also take Probiotics to promote your gut microflora. 

This can enhance your digestion and reduce the frequency of diarrhoeal stools. You should also drink plenty of water and fluids in general, as diarrhoea can make you dehydrated. 

You should also take electrolyte replenishers if you have severe diarrhoea and you’re going to the bathroom 6-8 times a day. Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider if your diarrhoea does not go away or if it makes you feel extremely sick overall. Persistent diarrhoea can lead to weight loss

Cymbalta, although it is a well-tolerated medication, may not be the best choice of antidepressant for every other individual. If it’s not one for you, your doctor will most likely switch you to another antidepressant. 

Home remedies for diarrhoea

When dealing with diarrhoea, there are several home remedies that may help alleviate symptoms and promote recovery. Remember to consult your healthcare provider for proper guidance, especially if the symptoms persist or worsen. Here are some simple home remedies you can try:

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, clear broth, herbal tea, or electrolyte solutions, to replace lost fluids and prevent dehydration.
  • BRAT diet: Eat bland, easily digestible foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These foods can help firm up the stool and provide gentle nutrition.
  • Probiotics: Consider consuming probiotic-rich foods or taking probiotic supplements to restore the balance of healthy gut bacteria. Yoghurt, kefir, and sauerkraut are examples of probiotic-rich foods.
  • Avoid irritants: Stay away from spicy, greasy, and fatty foods, as they can worsen diarrhoea. Also, limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration.
  • Ginger: Drink ginger tea or chew on a small piece of fresh ginger to help ease nausea and soothe the digestive system.
  • Peppermint: Sip on peppermint tea or try peppermint oil capsules (if tolerated) to potentially alleviate symptoms of diarrhoea and stomach discomfort.
  • Rest: Give your body adequate rest to recover and allow the digestive system to heal.

Remember, these remedies are not meant to replace medical advice. If your symptoms are severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is important to consult your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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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.


Wernicke JF, Gahimer J, Yalcin I, Wulster-Radcliffe M, Viktrup L. Safety and adverse event profile of duloxetine. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2005 Nov;4(6):987-93. doi: 10.1517/14740338.4.6.987. PMID: 16255658.

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