Can You Take Cymbalta And Gabapentin Together?
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not there is an interaction between Cymbalta and gabapentin.
Can I continue taking gabapentin if I’ve been prescribed Cymbalta?
Answered by Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff
Last updated May 03, 2022
- The risk of a serious drug interaction between gabapentin and Cymbalta is very low. These drugs are commonly prescribed together.
Hello and thank you for reaching out to us!
For most individuals, it is safe to take gabapentin and Cymbalta (duloxetine) together. In fact, they are commonly used in combination to treat certain conditions, like neuropathy (nerve-type pain).
There are some precautions, that I list below, but generally, they are of low risk. Nevertheless, as everyone's medical situation is unique, be sure to reach out to your doctor or pharmacist.
Cymbala With Gabapentin
As mentioned, Cymbalta and gabapentin are commonly prescribed together and the risk of a serious interaction is very low for most people.
Some 'drug interaction checkers' will list the following risks, however:
- Risk of low sodium levels
- Risk of decreased anti-convulsant activity
Low sodium levels, also referred to as 'hyponatremia', is a listed side effect of Cymbalta, but it is uncommon.
Studies show that most cases have occurred in the very elderly, those taking diuretic drugs, or already have issues with electrolyte balance.
In regard to anticonvulsant activity, Cymbalta, and drugs like it (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) have very rarely been reported to cause seizures but this typically has only happens in cases where someone is already suffering from seizures or stops the drug abruptly after being on it for a long period of time.
Overall, again, the risk of any serious drug interaction is low and these drugs are commonly prescribed together.
Both Cymbalta and gabapentin are commonly prescribed for neuropathic (i.e. nerve) pain, and both are effective.
Studies show that combining these drugs has been shown to be more effective than either alone.
Pregabalin (generic for Lyrica), a drug very similar to gabapentin, has been particularly well studied with gabapentin. One such study reported:
Combining pregabalin and duloxetine for fibromyalgia improves multiple clinical outcomes vs monotherapy
If gabapentin (or Lyrica) and Cymbalta are combined, the most common side effect experienced is drowsiness, so, something to be aware of.
You mention in your question that you were previously on gabapentin, and were recently prescribed Cymbalta.
Unless your prescriber specifically mentioned stopping taking gabapentin, it is important to not make any changes until you speak with them.
More likely than not, you are likely supposed to be on both.
Thanks again for your question! I hope this answer helped!
- Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
- 12492 views
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