Cymbalta is sometimes prescribed off-label for patients who suffer from IBS.
And some patients swear that Cymbalta has cured them of their irritable bowel syndrome.
But what’s really going on here?
“Unfortunately, IBS is a chronic disorder for many patients,” begins Dr. Brian Lacy, MD, of Dartmouth Hitchcock Med Center, who specializes in functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and author of “Making Sense of IBS.”
Cymbalta Cannot Cure IBS Despite what Happy Patients Claim
“There is no medication currently available that can cure IBS,” says Dr. Lacy. “Cymbalta is approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression.
“Although no medical studies have evaluated Cymbalta (duloxetine) for the treatment of IBS, some health care providers use this medication off-label to improve symptoms of abdominal pain.
“Other medications are FDA approved for the treatment of IBS symptoms, and two in particular may help abdominal pain.”
Relief of symptoms, or symptom management, is not the same as a cure.
Dr. Lacy recommends for those suffering with constipation due to IBS a medication called LINZESS.
LINZESS may dramatically improve both constipation and abdominal pain,” he says.
Other patients suffer from diarrhea rather than constipation, and for those individuals, Dr. Lacy recommends Viberzi (eluxadoline).
“It may improve both symptoms. Both of these medications require a prescription, so please make sure that you discuss these with your health care provider to determine if one of these might improve your IBS symptoms.”
Dr. Lacy combines his love of science, medicine and people to uncover the causes of symptoms like stomach pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and regurgitation.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.