1 What is Cymbalta?

Brand: Cymbalta and Irenka

Generic: Duloxetine

Brand name:

Cymbalta and Irenka.

Duloxetine, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI), is indicated for patients with anxiety and depression.

It has also been found to be effective in treating pain secondary to diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It is indicated for people with fibromyalgia and chronic muscle and bone pain as well.

It is believed that its therapeutic effects, which again are pain relief and anti-depression, are brought about by the increased serotonergic and noradrenergic activity.

You can only purchase duloxetine with a physician’s order. It comes in a regular capsule or a delayed-release capsule.

2 What to Know Before Using

Discuss the pros and cons involved in using this medication before starting treatment. Usually, there are several factors you need to consider.

Oral duloxetine should not be given to patients who have had allergic reactions to similar medications. You must inform your doctor if you have had such reactions.

You also need to tell him or her about food, animal, dye, and other drug allergies. Studies on children aging 7 years and older have found that there aren’t age-related factors that could influence its effects.

However, studies on those younger than 7 years old have not been conducted. For geriatric patients, duloxetine must be used with caution because this age group is more sensitive to its effects.

They are also prone to falls. Not enough research has been done regarding the effects of duloxetine on pregnant women. The same goes for nursing mothers.

So duloxetine needs to be used with caution in these populations. The benefits must clearly outweigh the risks. c also interacts with other medications.

You should not use it if you are also taking isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, metoclopramide, procarbazine, phenelzine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, thioridazine, and tranylcypromine.

Dose and frequency adjustment may be necessary when concomitantly taking acenocoumarol, phenprocoumon, and warfarin.

Concomitant use of the following medications is not normally recommended but can be necessary:

  • abciximab
  • aceclofenac
  • aspirin
  • bufexamac
  • bupropion
  • cifenline
  • clopidogrel
  • cyclobenzaprine
  • desvenlafaxine
  • dexibuprofen
  • diflunisal
  • dolasetron
  • doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome
  • eliglustat
  • epoprostenol
  • etoricoxib
  • fepradinol
  • flufenamic acid
  • frovatriptan
  • iloprost
  • ketoprofenm
  • levomilnacipran
  • lornoxicam
  • mefenamic acid
  • mirtazapine
  • naproxen
  • oxaprozin
  • parecoxib
  • pranoprofen
  • proquazone
  • salsalate
  • sulfinpyrazone
  • sumatriptan
  • tenoxicam
  • tirofiban
  • tolfenamic acid
  • vilazodone
  • ziprasidone
  • zolmitriptan

Avoid smoking because tobacco can decrease duloxetine’s effects.

This medication can also exacerbate the following medical conditions:

3 Proper Usage

You should follow your doctor’s instructions on the dosage, timing, and frequency of this medication. Finish the whole duration of treatment and do not abruptly stop taking oral duloxetine.

Read the medication guide that is included in the packet and follow the instructions there as well. For delayed-release capsules, you need to swallow it whole.

Chewing, breaking or crushing it is not recommended. The therapeutic effects of duloxetine may take weeks to manifest, so don’t stop taking it without prior consultation with your physician.

The dosage and timing, as well as duration of treatment, depend on how severe your condition is. That’s why it’s important that you follow the specific instructions given by your doctor.

You should not share your medications with other people. In the treatment of anxiety, adults should take 60 mg once daily. The same amount is prescribed for adult patients with chronic muscle pain.

In the treatment of depression, adults should get 40 to 60 mg per day. Adult patients who have fibromyalgia and diabetic peripheral neuropathy are also given 60 mg once daily.

Take a missed dose immediately. However, do not take it if it’s almost time for the next one.

Keep your medications in a safe place where children can’t reach it. Also, do not expose it to temperature extremes.

4 Precautions to Take

Your doctor will need to monitor your condition. For him/her to do that, you need to go to your regular follow-ups. You also need to take certain precautions while on oral duloxetine treatment.

If you have taken linezolid, isocarboxazid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, selegiline , or tranylcypromine in the last 2 weeks, do not take duloxetine. Wait for 5 days before taking duloxetine.

You may experience agitation, confusion, restlessness, stomach symptoms, sudden high body temperature, severe convulsions, or extremely high blood pressure if you take your medication sooner.

Duloxetine can reactivate mania. Call your doctor right away if you become easily agitated, irritable, and/or display abnormal behaviors.

Do the same if you or your loved one starts having trouble sleeping, increased depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts, and reckless behavior.

Watch out for signs of liver damage like general tiredness and weakness, dark urine, light-colored stools, upper right stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, or yellow eyes and skin.

Duloxetine can also increase blood pressure and sugar levels. It causes hyponatremia as well. Do not drive or operate machines if this medication makes you feel dizzy.

5 Potential Side Effects

There are other side effects that you should be vigilant of. Though the incidence of the following symptoms is not known.

You should call your doctor immediately if you have:

  • abdominal pain,
  • peeling of the skin,
  • blurred vision,
  • clay-colored stools,
  • confusion,
  • decreased urine output,
  • difficulty swallowing,
  • eye pain,
  • hives,
  • increased thirst,
  • red skin lesions with a purple center,
  • swelling of the face and limbs,
  • unpleasant breath odor,
  • vomiting of blood,
  • yellow eyes and skin.

Get medical attention if you exhibit signs of overdose, which include:

  • agitation
  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • overactive reflexes
  • poor coordination
  • shivering
  • restlessness
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness,sweating
  • talking or acting with excitement you cannot control
  • trembling or shaking
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting

Call your doctor if you have side effects that are not listed here.

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