There is no generic for Cymbalta yet (Duloxetine), which is manufactured by Eli Lilly. Although sometimes the manufacturer has discounts and programs for people that can't afford the medication - you might want to check in to that. As soon as the patent expires, you will be able to find generics, although I'm not sure when that will be. As for why it works for your symptoms, there are several theories:
1) it is thought that Cymbalta (and drugs like it) affect nociceptors (nerve endings found in the skin throughout the body that detect pain). It is theorized that Cymbalta stops these receptors from sending messages to each other, thus dampening the pain signals.
2) chronic pain and depression go hand in hand. Even low level depression/anxiety can highten a person's experience of pain. Thus, an anti-depressant (which Cymbalta is) can help with mood, which in turn helps with the person's subjective experience of pain.
I hope this helps - if you have any more questions, please ask.
No problem Phyllis! The advances in medicine, especially in the SNRI category (Cymbalta, Effexor, etc) is absolutely amazing. What's interesting about Cymbalta and some others is that they also have antihistamine effects (less allergies) and they reduce the tingling and numbness some people experience in their extremities - both of which you described. Thus, it sounds like these really are miracle drugs for you! You know, I don't think there's anything wrong with being on these types of medications for as long as you want to if they help you to have a better quality of life. For instance, I would never advise someone to stop taking cholesterol medications or asthma treatments as they enhance the quality of the lives of those who take them. It's possible to live with both conditions unmedicated, but why? Chronic pain, fatigue, and (possibly) depression are exactly the same in my mind. When they go untreated, the patient feels worse and in the end those are the types of things that shorten our longevity and our happiness. Good for you for finding something that works and sticking with it. Those are the qualities of a person who wants to get the most out of life - not settle for what they feel they have to live with. You are an inspiration.
Take good care,