Friday, March 06, 2009 jgrabarkie, Community Member, asks

Q: Has anyone been prescribed Cymbalta while dealing with RA?

I wonder if anyone has been prescribed Cymbalta while being treated for their rheumatoid disease?  My primary care physician has recommended it to me.  I wonder how it has affected the process for others.

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Answers (5)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
3/ 9/09 11:39am

Do you have fibromyalgia, as well as RA? Cymbalta is an antidepressant that can be used as part of your pain control program for a diabetic nerve pain, as well as fibromyalgia. You don't mention what your doctor said about why s/he prescribed this medication, but if you do not have nerve pain or fibromyalgia, it's likely that it's prescribed as an antidepressant.


Pain can make you incredibly depressed, which makes it very hard to cope with the disease and all that comes with it. Taking an antidepressant is a perfectly legitimate part of your pain control program - although it may not directly affect the pain, it can alleviate depression, which can positively affect your experience of the pain and its impact on your life. In other words, you can make it much easier to live well even though you are in pain.


Suzanne LaPointe, Community Member
3/ 6/09 10:30am

I have been treated for RA for over 10 years. I have been taking Cymbalta (60mg per day) for about a year and have recently had my dosage increased to 90mg per day. I have found that it has made a difference in my disposition and dealing with the depression that this disease brings with it. However I have noticed that if I don't stay on schedule with my dosage I do develop a mild headache. Good luck to you.

Tracey, Community Member
3/15/09 3:39pm

I was on Cymbalta for about a year hoping that it would help with the pain. I found that it really did not help for pain management. It is really an anti-depressant and this aspect may be helpful to you. After dealing with this pain for over 10 years now, I have not really found much usefulness in the anti-depressants or pain killers for that matter. I have seen a marked increase in inflamation and pain since starting menopause and have just started remicade after limited success with enbrel and humira. My advice is, try out the cymbalta and re-evaluate in six months. Keeping a journal of how you are feeling prior to starting the medication will help you compare how you are feeling is six months. Good Luck!



kyerwood3, Community Member
2/22/11 2:12pm

I recently began cymbalta.  I have RA, however, I have mostly aches not severe pain from it.  I do have muscle issues in my upper back and have degenerative disk disease which may add to the upper back pain.  When you are experiencing either depression (even mild), or anxiety, this can cause muscle pain so the antidepressants do help.  Also, I think some people have fibromyalgia symptoms along with their RA. 

KLady, Community Member
3/ 7/14 9:35pm

I have both fibromyalgia and RA.  I have had firbomyalgia for over fifteen years and RA for 7 years.  I have not found relief for RA.  I was recently prescribed Cymbalta by a new rheumatologist who is trying to flesh out my pain.  After a week, I feel less achy and have a more upbeat feeling.  I still have all the sharp pain of RA.  My herniated and torn lower back discs are till radiating and disrupting my sleep. So I will journal my relief and evaluate after some months.  



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By jgrabarkie, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/03/14, First Published: 03/06/09