How Long Does Cymbalta Stay in Your System?

Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.


It is not particularly common for antidepressant drugs such as Cymbalta to be abused, but it does happen. Remember, any use of a drug that does not match the prescription is abuse

Usually, Cymbalta is not looked for by drug tests. However, if you are in a legal situation, this could change – especially if you are a known abuser of Cymbalta. 

Even if you are taking Cymbalta for medical purposes, it is important to know how long it lasts in your system. There are many types of drug tests that may be used to look for Cymbalta, and multiple factors can affect the duration of time that it stays in your body.

How Long Does Cymbalta Stay in Your Body?

Cymbalta’s body and brain effects begin within a couple hours of ingesting the drug and last for less than a day. But the drug can stick around in your body for a long time after its effects wear off. 

Anyone taking Cymbalta regularly who stops taking it is likely to have withdrawal symptoms, which can include dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Cymbalta withdrawal is part of what makes it difficult to quit using the drug.

When it comes to drug testing, how long Cymbalta is detectable by a lab test depends on:

  • What type of test is used.
  • Personal factors such as body type and drug use history.

Let’s go over the most common types of drug tests:

How Long Does Cymbalta Stay in Your Urine?

Cymbalta and its metabolites (the compounds your body produces to break down Cymbalta) may be found in urine for up to 5 days after the last time taken. Although urine testing is the most common form of drug screening, most tests won’t look for Cymbalta because it isn’t a commonly abused drug.

Urine testing might be used to check for Cymbalta if you are in legal trouble, or if you have a known addiction to the drug.

How Long Does Cymbalta Stay in Your Hair?

Hair tests are routinely able to detect past drug use for far longer than other tests. Most drugs remain detectable by hair testing for 90 days or longer after the last dosage. 

Although hair testing is able to detect drug use for a long time, it still is not very common. These tests give less accurate results than many others, and they cost more to administer. Plus, hair testing requires a freshly-plucked hair sample, which is an invasive process that makes things more complicated.

How Long Does Cymbalta Stay in Your Blood?

Cymbalta has a half-life of around 8-17 hours. This means that it takes about that long for half of the Cymbalta to be removed from a person’s bloodstream. Calculating how long a drug stays in the blood cannot be accurately achieved by multiplying the half-life by two. It usually takes 4 to 5 half-lives for a drug to be removed from the blood completely.

Based on this fact, Cymbalta should be detectable by blood tests for 2-3 days after it is taken. Blood tests give the most accurate results of any test type, so they are commonly used in law enforcement and legal contexts.

How Long Does Cymbalta Stay in Your Saliva?

It is very unlikely that you will be tested for Cymbalta with a saliva test. In general, saliva tests are able to detect drugs for a slightly shorter amount of time than urine tests are.

The only time saliva tests are commonly used is by police officers. Because these tests only require a cheek swab, they can be conducted virtually anywhere. Police officers sometimes use saliva tests if they suspect someone is high. Still, the chances of having this test check for Cymbalta are low.

Factors That Affect How Long Cymbalta Will Stay in Your System

Many factors come together to influence how long a drug like Cymbalta remains in your body. The test detection times above are not the same for everyone, because each person will process Cymbalta at a different rate. The speed at which a person is able to detox from Cymbalta will depend on:

Metabolism and Weight

Just as a fast metabolism helps you process food quicker, it can do so for drugs also. Younger, healthier people tend to have faster metabolisms. Also, remember that heavier people will usually need more Cymbalta to reach the same blood concentrations. 

Finally, consider that body fat is capable of storing Cymbalta molecules, meaning that more body fat could mean slower detox times.

Liver and Kidney Function

Good health can speed up drug processing times in numerous ways. A fast metabolism helps, but in order for Cymbalta to move through your system quickly, you will need to have a healthy liver and kidneys. 

These organs are key for sifting toxins as they pass through the body. If they are weakened or not fully healthy for some reason, such as old age, you can expect Cymbalta to hang around in your system for much longer.


Scientists still don’t completely understand how genetics can influence drug detox times, but they know that there is a connection. It appears that some people are simply born with the ability to move toxins through their body at a faster rate.

Specifics of Cymbalta Use

If you have been abusing Cymbalta, it could make the drug linger for longer in your body. Anyone who has a particularly high dose and frequency of use may experience a ‘build-up’ of Cymbalta in their body.

Once they stop taking the drug, their withdrawal period may last longer as their body continues to eliminate all of the Cymbalta that has built up.

Get Treatment for Cymbalta Abuse

Anyone who is worrying about whether Cymbalta will show up on drug tests may have bigger issues. While Cymbalta isn’t the most common drug of abuse, it can happen. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for people who are struggling with Cymbalta abuse.

You don’t have to tackle your drug abuse alone. With time and effort, you can heal from addiction. Call Bedrock Recovery Center to find out how we can help you overcome your Cymbalta abuse.

  1. Cymbalta. (2014, April 28).
  2. How Long Does Withdrawal From Cymbalta Last? (2019, August 15).
  3. PubChem. (n.d.). Duloxetine.

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

Prefer Texting?
We've got you covered.

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.

Sign up for text support

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.
Ready to make a change? Talk to a specialist now.
(617) 657-2877
icon-angle icon-bars icon-times