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Cymbalta and Medical Marijuana

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Cymbalta and Medical Marijuana

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 05/17/2019 in Medical Marijuana

Updated on August 26, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Cymbalta is a drug used for several purposes, including anxiety, depression, and chronic pain—conditions that also appear on many state lists of approved uses for medical marijuana. Patients who have been prescribed Cymbalta may have questions that need to be answered, such as whether the drug can be taken alongside medical marijuana and whether medical cannabis can serve as a replacement for Cymbalta. This article will answer those questions.

Overview of Cymbalta

Cymbalta, also known as duloxetine, is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI). As the name implies, SSNRIs increase the serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Therefore, Cymbalta helps manage the chemicals in your brain that influence mood and pain levels.

It comes in the form of a capsule that you take with water or another drink. The standard capsule immediately releases the medicine, providing an immediate and strong benefit. On the other hand, the delayed release capsule slowly releases the medicine into your system, producing a milder effect that lasts longer.

Side effects of Cymbalta range from mild to severe. Common and minor side effects include aches, frequent urination, excessive sweating, sleep issues and weight loss. Rarer side effects include digestive issues and sexual problems.

In extreme cases, a patient can experience withdrawal symptoms you should immediately get emergency medical care for. Some have to do with muscle control, such as muscle spasms, tremors, coordination problems, overactive reflexes and loss of bladder control. Others relate to overstimulation, like agitation, restlessness, sleep issues and uncontrollable excitement.

If you use Cymbalta for depression, be aware it can worsen your depression symptoms, sometimes to the extent that you feel suicidal. If you deal with increased depression when you take it, contact your doctor right away.

Who Uses—and Shouldn’t Use—Cymbalta?

Cymbalta can be used to treat health issues such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Other chronic pain related to bones and muscles
  • Pain from nerve damage

Keep in mind that Cymbalta isn’t suited for every population. People who have certain health conditions, including diabetes, problems with urination, high blood pressure and liver disease, shouldn’t use it. And research hasn’t definitively concluded whether it can be safely taken by children, the elderly, pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions With Medical Marijuana

While marijuana and Cymbalta can be used for similar purposes, you should use caution if you take them together. Some of their side effects are also similar, which means they could be magnified if the two substances are taken together.

The problems that can occur when the two drugs interact tend to be related to cognitive and motor function. Cognitive side effects include concentration problems, confusion, impaired judgment and difficulty thinking. Motor side effects include impaired coordination and dizziness. These side effects can become even worse when you use alcohol.

Drugs.com classifies the interaction between Cymbalta and marijuana as moderate. According to the site’s guide, doctors should recommend the combination only in special circumstances. If you and your doctor decide that the benefits outweigh the risks and you try taking both together, closely monitor your symptoms and stay in touch with your physician.

Cannabis as a Replacement for Cymbalta

Marijuana has been shown to provide relief from a wide variety of conditions, including those for which doctors prescribe Cymbalta.

Marijuana may relieve depression symptoms, for example. Research has shown that patients who use medical marijuana experience less depression than patients who don’t use it.

Cannabis can ease anxiety as well. One of the major components of marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD), was found to reduce anxiety in clinical trial subjects. Since marijuana can also heighten anxiety, monitor your symptoms closely if you medicate with cannabis.

Chronic pain is one of the most common uses of medical marijuana. According to the National Pain Report, 62% of medical marijuana patients said that cannabis relieved their pain very effectively. Meanwhile, 10% of study participants thought Cymbalta was very effective.

Drugs.com classifies the interaction between Cymbalta and marijuana as moderate. According to the site’s guide, doctors should only recommend the combination in special circumstances.

Resources From Marijuana Doctors

Consider this blog post a primer on Cymbalta and marijuana. As always, medical professionals well-versed in cannabis medicine can answer the other questions you have. Start the search for a trained physician or medical dispensary near you.

Wondering if you can replace Cymbalta with medical marijuana or even if you can use them together? Read on to learn more!

Drug Interactions between cannabis and Cymbalta

This report displays the potential drug interactions for the following 2 drugs:

  • cannabis
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)

Interactions between your drugs

cannabis (Schedule I substance)

Applies to: cannabis and Cymbalta (duloxetine)

Using cannabis (Schedule I substance) together with DULoxetine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Drug and food interactions

cannabis (Schedule I substance)

Applies to: cannabis

Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of cannabis (Schedule I substance) such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with cannabis (Schedule I substance). Do not use more than the recommended dose of cannabis (Schedule I substance), and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.

DULoxetine

Applies to: Cymbalta (duloxetine)

DULoxetine may cause liver damage, and taking it with alcohol may increase that risk. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with DULoxetine. Call your doctor immediately if you have fever, chills, joint pain or swelling, excessive tiredness or weakness, unusual bleeding or bruising, skin rash or itching, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dark colored urine, or yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes, as these may be symptoms of liver damage. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Therapeutic duplication warnings

No warnings were found for your selected drugs.

Therapeutic duplication warnings are only returned when drugs within the same group exceed the recommended therapeutic duplication maximum.

See Also

  • Cannabis Drug Interactions
  • Cymbalta Drug Interactions
  • Cymbalta General Consumer Information
  • Drug Interactions Checker
Drug Interaction Classification
These classifications are only a guideline. The relevance of a particular drug interaction to a specific individual is difficult to determine. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting or stopping any medication.
Major Highly clinically significant. Avoid combinations; the risk of the interaction outweighs the benefit.
Moderate Moderately clinically significant. Usually avoid combinations; use it only under special circumstances.
Minor Minimally clinically significant. Minimize risk; assess risk and consider an alternative drug, take steps to circumvent the interaction risk and/or institute a monitoring plan.
Unknown No interaction information available.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some mixtures of medications can lead to serious and even fatal consequences.

A Moderate Drug Interaction exists between cannabis and Cymbalta. View detailed information regarding this drug interaction. ]]>