Exploring the Combination of Cymbalta and Wellbutrin: A Comprehensive Review

As a seasoned pharmacist, I’ve encountered numerous questions about the concomitant use of Cymbalta and Wellbutrin. Patients often seek clarity on whether these medications can be taken together, what potential effects this combination might have, and what to consider before starting this regimen. Let’s delve into this topic to provide a detailed overview.

Understanding Cymbalta and Wellbutrin

Cymbalta (duloxetine) is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) commonly prescribed for depression, anxiety, and neuropathic pain. Wellbutrin (bupropion), on the other hand, is a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI) and is used for depression and as an aid in smoking cessation.

Can You Take Cymbalta and Wellbutrin Together?

The Rationale for Combination Therapy

The combination of Cymbalta and Wellbutrin can be prescribed to enhance therapeutic effects or to alleviate certain side effects such as sexual dysfunction, which may be associated with SSRIs or SNRIs. Their differing mechanisms target various neurotransmitters, which can make the combination more effective for some patients.

Clinical Evidence

Clinical studies have suggested that combining an SNRI with an NDRI can be beneficial for patients who do not respond adequately to monotherapy. However, it is crucial to approach this combination with caution, as it may not be suitable for everyone.

Possible Benefits of Cymbalta and Wellbutrin Together

Patients on this combination therapy have reported improved mood, increased energy, and reduced anxiety. Additionally, Wellbutrin might mitigate the weight gain sometimes associated with Cymbalta.

Safety and Side Effects

Known Side Effects

When taken together, patients may experience side effects from both medications. These can include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and dry mouth. It’s essential for healthcare providers to monitor patients closely.

Drug Interactions

Cymbalta and Wellbutrin can interact with other medications, and this combination may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome, a rare but serious condition. Always inform your healthcare provider of all medications you’re taking.

Dosage and Administration

Healthcare providers typically start patients on the lowest possible doses and adjust based on response and tolerability. Never adjust your dose without consulting your doctor.

Personalizing Treatment

For Anxiety or Fibromyalgia

While Cymbalta is approved for generalized anxiety disorder and fibromyalgia, Wellbutrin is not. Yet, the combination may help when symptoms persist despite treatment with Cymbalta alone.

Weight Loss Considerations

Some patients may experience weight loss when taking Wellbutrin. This effect can be a consideration when it’s combined with Cymbalta.

Patient Considerations

Who Should Not Take This Combination?

Patients with certain conditions, such as seizures or eating disorders, should avoid Wellbutrin. Cymbalta is not recommended for those with uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma.

What to Ask Your Doctor

It’s crucial to discuss your medical history, potential benefits, possible side effects, and your treatment goals with your healthcare provider.

Reviews and Experiences

Patient reviews of this combination are mixed, with some reporting significant improvement in their symptoms, while others experience intolerable side effects. It’s a highly individualized experience.


The combination of Cymbalta and Wellbutrin can be an effective treatment for some patients with depression and other conditions. However, it requires careful consideration, close monitoring, and open communication with healthcare professionals to ensure safety and efficacy.

There are various forms of drugs available, such as tablets or liquids, and each may have a separate patient information leaflet (PIL) for different doses. It is important to refer to the PIL for the specific form and dose of the drug that you have been prescribed.

You can search for further information and PILs on websites such as: