Cymbalta and alcohol
Cymbalta is a medicine approved for treating fibromyalgia, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and neuropathy pain. Cymbalta treats depression and anxiety by balancing serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. The off-label uses of this drug include treating chronic pain and stress incontinence. Cymbalta is a brand name and it contains the chemical substance duloxetine. Cymbalta comes under the category Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs). Cymbalta helps in blocking the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine, so that nerves in the brain get higher levels of these chemicals. Yet, it is not clear how Cymbalta relieves nerve pain. It is believed that Cymbalta helps blocking the nerve pain symbols in the brain or spinal cord.
When combining Cymbalta, namely duloxetine, and alcohol, this medicine can boost the effects which alcohol produces in your body and mind. It can increase the depression symptoms and it can also affect the motor skills. For these reasons, combining Cymbalta with alcohol is not recommended by healthcare providers. However, if you are very particular about drinking alcohol when you are on this medicine, healthcare providers suggest that you can drink little to moderate amounts of alcohol. This also should be done only after you thoroughly understand the side effects caused by Cymbalta in your body and mind.
Combining Cymbalta and alcohol is not recommended because, similar chemicals in the brain are affected by them. The main concern is that this medicine will boost the effects caused by alcohol. This means, depression symptoms or motor skills will be affected. Most of the medical experts are of the opinion that it is not advisable to drink alcohol when you have taken Cymbalta. They only suggest that light amounts or moderate amounts of alcohol can be consumed if at all it becomes inevitable, when taking Cymbalta. This moderate amount also you can drink only after understanding the effects of this drug and the other medicines that you are taking.
You should also know what moderate amount of alcohol means. When your doctor recommends moderate drinking, it means for men it is two drinks a day and for women it is one drink a day. The content of alcohol differs with drinks. The count also varies with drinks. When your doctor talks about one drink of alcohol, the amount of drink that you can take is meant as follows. For beer one drink is 12 ounces. For wine it is 5 ounces. For 80-proof whiskey it is 1" ounces. For 100-proof spirits it is 1 ounce.
There are also certain precautionary measures you have to follow when you combine Cymbalta and alcohol. When you decide to consume alcohol in moderate amounts when you are on Cymbalta, do not consume alcohol when you are taking your dose of Cymbalta. Also, you should have yourself educated on the side effects of Cymbalta on you, before you start drinking. Cymbalta can affect the ability in some individuals to do certain functions like driving or operating machinery. You should be very conscious while drinking and should not exceed the limit allowed for you. Do not drink large amounts of alcohol together with Cymbalta. This can lead to liver problems.
Talk to your doctor about alcohol and Cymbalta whenever you get an urge to drink large amounts of alcohol. The situation differs with persons. Your doctor knows about your health condition and also your situation well. Based on your needs and expectations your doctor and you can make a shared decision on alcohol plus Cymbalta. However, for people who drink large amounts of alcohol regularly, combining Cymbalta with it will not be recommended as the risk of liver problems goes up. Drinking large amounts of alcohol while taking Cymbalta can also cause your stomach to bleed, besides causing permanent damage to your liver.