Drugs – Duloxetine (Cymbalta): Depression & Pain Relief


This detailed leaflet talks about anxiety, depression and pain in M.E. and how they can be managed. It features the drug duloxetine and reviews the evidence for its use as a symptom-relieving medication.


What is Duloxetine?

“Duloxetine (trade name = Cymbalta) is a drug that has several uses. It is
normally used to treat more severe cases of depression.

“But it is also sometimes used to treat a generalised anxiety disorder and for stress incontinence. It can also be helpful for pain relief.

How does Duloxetine help with pain?

“As with other types of antidepressant medication – low dose  amitriptyline for example – duloxetine has been shown to help some people with pain, including both neuropathic/nerve pain and fibromyalgic pain…

“Where there is evidence that a drug can be a safe and  effective option in FM, as is the case with duloxetine, it could also be of value for some people with M.E.

“Like gabapentin and lyrica, duloxetine is therefore an option for pain management that your doctor may decide to consider…”

Telephone Helpline

The ME Association telephone helpline – ME Connect – is available every day of the year, during the hours of 10am-12noon, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm. Please phone: 0344 576 5326 if you have any questions or would simply like to talk to someone who is there to listen.

Please note this leaflet is a download. You can read it on-screen and save to your computer, phone or other device and can attach it to any email you might need to send. But you will need access to a printer if you wish it printed.


0344 576 5326

Available every day of the week between these times: 10am - 12noon, 2pm - 4pm and 7pm - 9pm.

Calls cost the same as other standard landline numbers (starting 01 or 02). If you have a call package for your landline or mobile phone then calls will normally come out of your inclusive minutes.