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  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) causes average weight loss of 1.1 lbs after two months

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Monday, July 25, 2005 9:56 am Email this article
    The antidepressant Cymbalta (duloxetine) caused an average weight loss of 1.1 pounds after approximately two month compared to a weight gain of 0.5 pounds in those given a placebo according to a new review from the Harvard Medical School of eight short-term studies in which the drug was given for depression. 0.5 lbs weight loss per month, not very effective

    Although these studies were not specifically designed for weight loss and the subjects were not necessarily trying to lose weight, the small amount of weight loss suggests to me that Cymbalta (duloxetine) alone is not very effective for weight loss.

    The weight loss is appears to be about 0.5 pounds per month.

    Weight loss medications such as Meridia (sibutramine), which many doctors do not consider to be all that effective, causes an average weight loss of at least 4 pounds during the first month in patients considered to be responders.

    Doses used: 40-120 mg per day

    The doses used were from 40 to 120 mg per day, which is usually divided into two doses per day.

    8 studies, 1916 patients

    There were a total of 1139 patients given Cymbalta (duloxetine) and 777 given a placebo.

    Nearly one-in-ten patients (9.7 percent) dropped out of the studies early because of adverse effects.

    The most common adverse events were nausea, dry mouth, constipation, insomnia, dizziness, fatigue, somnolence (sleepiness), increased sweating and decreased appetite.

    How does it work?

    Cymbalta (duloxetine) inhibits reuptake of both serotonin and noradrenaline as opposed to most other serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac (fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline) which mostly just inhibit reuptake of serotonin.

    Effexor works in similar way

    Effexor (venlafaxine) is another drug which inhibits retuptake of both serotonin and noradrenaline, although Effexor (venlafaxine) inhibits serotonin reuptake 5 times more potently than it does noradrenaline.

    I don’t know what this ratio is for Cymbalta (duloxetine).


    Hudson JI, Wohlreich M, Kajdasz D, Mallinckrodt CH, Watkin JG, Martynov O. Safety and tolerability of duloxetine in the treatment of major depressive disorder: analysis of pooled data from eight placebo-controlled clinical trials. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2005 Jul, 20(5):327-41.


    McLean Hospital
    Belmont, MA

    Department of Psychiatry
    Harvard Medical School
    Boston, MA, USA

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