Duloxetine: Uses & Dosage

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Although it's most famously known for treating one condition, it's actually used in many different ones. It's duloxetine! Find out its uses and potential dosages in this lesson.


Is there such a thing as a wonder-drug that seems to cure everything? No. But on the surface duloxetine seems to come close as it is used a wide variety of conditions. Duloxetine is a medication this is more famously known by its brand name of Cymbalta.

Duloxetine is for improving mood and relieving pain. It works by blocking the brain from absorbing serotonin and norepinephrine, two naturally occurring biochemicals that have been shown to be involved in a wide variety of important physiological functions. The resulting increased serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain leads to a better mood and less pain. Therefore, duloxetine is classified as a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, or SNRI.

Let's go over duloxetine's uses and dosages.


There are many uses of duloxetine, including treating conditions like:

  • Depression, or major depressive disorder, a mood disorder that is far worse than just a brief feeling of sadness. Depression is characterized by persistent feelings end experiences of sadness, insomnia and changes in appetite and lots of other negative things that impact a person's day to day life.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder, excessive and persistent worry that disrupts a person's daily life.
  • Pain stemming from the way diabetes mellitus damages a person's nerves. Diabetes mellitus is the condition that leads to high levels of blood sugar.
  • Fibromyalgia, which is a disorder known for widespread muscle pain.
  • Chronic, or long lasting, musculoskeletal pain. In other words, if someone has persistent back pain or arthritis, then duloxetine might be used for pain relief in these scenarios.


The dosage for duloxetine will vary based on the condition it's being used for. Also, like most medications, its dosage will have to be adjusted if other disorders are present in the person such as liver or kidney dysfunction. This means you should never take the following informational examples of duloxetine dosages and just run with them. Always consult a doctor before starting, stopping or changing any medication.

Depression might have a dosage of 50 mg, by mouth, once a day, while generalized anxiety disorder could be treated with a dosage of 60 mg, by mouth, once a day at the outset.

A dosage of 60 mg, by mouth, once a day might be given initially for someone with pain stemming from diabetes-induced nerve damage. Lower dosages of 30 mg, by mouth, once a day might be tried for someone with fibromyalgia or chronic pain from arthritis or lower back pain.

Lesson Summary

Duloxetine is the generic name for Cymbalta, and is used to improve mood and lessen pain. This drug is a kind of selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, so it helps increase the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. As a result, duloxetine has been used to help manage:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account