A number of new medications are currently on the market to help combat depression. Cymbalta, generic name duloxetine, is one of the drugs that has been found to be successful in treating depression and conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, anxiety, fibromyalgia and pain associated with cancer. Cymbalta’s mechanism of action works directly on the body’s ability to absorb certain beneficial neurotransmitter chemicals that help to regulate mood and relieve the sensation of pain.
The Biochemistry of Depression
Neurotransmitters are chemicals naturally produced in the body that allow nerves to communicate with each other. They are important components in regulating mood, sensing pain and other physical reactions. Researchers have found that when these chemicals, primarily norepinephrine and serotonin, are not available in appropriate amounts in the body, mood disturbances and other problems can result. This information has led to the development of a number of medications designed to adjust the levels of these chemicals.
How Cymbalta Works
Like many medications, scientists do not know exactly how Cymbalta works. However, they do know some things about how medications affect body chemistry. Previous research has shown that many chemicals work as keys on cells, helping to unlock certain reactions. Medications can work to block some of these chemicals, so that physical reactions are either increased or decreased. Norepinephrine helps to activate the human “fight or flight” response. Serotonin is a chemical that regulates feelings of well-being, perception of pain and some physical functions. Cymbalta works by blocking the absorption of serotonin and norepinephrine in body cells. The result is increased levels of these chemicals in the brain, which allow it to better manage depressed moods and the perception of pain.
How Long Does Cymbalta Take To Work?
Producing the beneficial effects of Cymbalta depends on it being taken for at least three to four weeks in order for the level of the medication to reach critical levels in the bloodstream. Some patients may experience increased depression or suicidal feelings in the early days of taking the medication. This increased feeling of depression can also occur when the medication is stopped, which is why Cymbalta should always be taken under the close supervision of a physician.