Cymbalta is the brand-name of duloxetine. This is an antidepressant that the FDA has approved for treating depression, anxiety, and certain kinds of chronic pain. Due to how it interacts with the brain, it officially belongs to the SNRI (selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) class of antidepressants. So how long does Cymbalta stay in your system? Well, it depends. Keep reading to learn the various tests and detection times available for this medication.

How Long Does Cymbalta Stay In Your Body?

There are a number of different drug tests that can detect the presence of Cymbalta in the human body. Also known as drug screens, these drug tests have different detection periods. That being said, there are four kinds:

  • Urine
  • Hair
  • Blood
  • Saliva

Some patients are concerned that it can still show up in certain drug tests. This is because the stigma surrounding depression and mental health has not been eliminated entirely. However, it is not detectable on any standard drug test.

In order to understand how long the drug stays in your body, it’s also important to understand the concept of half-life. The half-life is how long it takes the body to break down half the amount. So, if the drug has a half-life of 24 hours, then it would take one day for its concentration to reach 50%. In some cases, this is also referred to as the elimination half-life.

That being said, Cymbalta has an average half-life of 12 hours, with a wider range of 8 to 17 hours. Furthermore, it takes about 2.5 days for 99% of the medication to completely leave the body. Additionally, 3 days after first taking the medication, the body will usually reach a steady-state. When your body has reached this steady-state, it means that the intake of the medication is equal to its elimination. In other words, the body has reached a state of balance.

How Long Does Cymbalta Stay in Your Urine?

It’s important to remember that Cymbalta is rarely used recreationally, so it will not appear on a standard drug test. Whoever is administering the drug test must specifically request detection of this drug and they must have a good reason to do so. However, if a urine test is used, then it can detect the medication for up to 5 days.

How Long Does Cymbalta Stay in Your Hair?

Also known as a hair follicle test, this drug test is almost never used to detect Cymbalta. In the rare cases that it is administered, it can detect the medication for up to 90 days after the last use. Hair follicle tests that detect drugs for up to 9 months do not typically test for Cymbalta, but may be possible by special request. This is the longest detection period of all available drug tests.  

How Long Does Cymbalta Stay in Your Blood?

This is the most common drug test for this medication. Much like urine tests, it has a detection period of up to 5 days.

How Long Does Cymbalta Stay in Your Saliva?

Saliva tests are mostly used by law enforcement to detect narcotics on the spot. Because Cymbalta is not usually abused, saliva tests are fairly rare.   

How Long Does Cymbalta Stay in Lab Tests?

There are a variety of factors that influence how long this drug will be present in your system, including:

  1. How old you are
  2. If you have any kind of liver or kidney disease
  3. Level of blood flow in your kidneys
  4. The ratio of muscle to fat in your body
  5. The pH of your urine
  6. How physically active you are

Any of these factors can influence the rate of elimination and it will vary from patient to patient.

Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms

Although Cymbalta is generally safe, patients may suffer from Cymbalta withdrawals if they suddenly stop taking it. In fact, this condition is formally known as Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome and it is fairly well documented. For example, this 2005 study concluded that 45% of patients experienced withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stopped taking the medication.

Furthermore, it is difficult to pinpoint just how long these withdrawal symptoms will last as it depends on a variety of factors. However, in most cases, Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms will begin when about 90% of the drug has been cleared from your system. This means that they can begin as soon as 1.5 to 2 days after the last dose.

That being said, these withdrawal symptoms include:

  1. Constipation or diarrhea
  2. Anxiety
  3. Burning sensation in the limbs
  4. Dizziness
  5. Headaches
  6. Nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain
  7. Insomnia or excessive sleepiness

If you are experiencing Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms, then you will likely have to wean yourself off under the supervision of a doctor.

Can You Be Addicted to Cymbalta?

Although it is a non-narcotic medication, it is sometimes abused. When compared to other drugs, however, this is exceedingly rare. Still, the fact that it influences the brain means that some users can feel a little bit of euphoria. Furthermore, the significant side effects associated with higher doses of Cymbalta are usually enough to keep patients from misusing it.

However, signs of abuse include: 

  1. Unclear speech
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Red, irritated eyes
  4. Erratic behavior (including loss of hygiene)
  5. Irrational thoughts
  6. Lying to doctors to get a prescription
  7. Lack of money

Additionally, if you use every day or can’t stop yourself from using, then it’s likely that you are suffering from addiction. This is a health condition that must be treated and success is more likely if you don’t try to treat yourself.

Instead, you should enter a rehab program so you don’t have to fight this battle alone. Call Rehab Adviser today to start your new, sober life!

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16266753
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2963463/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18043474
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17132255
  5. https://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1176/appi.neuropsych.12110265
  6. https://www.nature.com/articles/nrd1564
  7. https://mhc.cpnp.org/doi/full/10.9740/mhc.2015.11.277?journalCode=mhcl
  8. https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Duloxetine-(Cymbalta)
  9. https://www.jcdr.net/articles/PDF/1196/1619_6_4_11.pdf
  10. https://amhnationwide.com/9-months-hair-drug-test/

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