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Duloxetine is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression. Duloxetine is used to treat major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. It is also used to treat a chronic pain disorder called fibromyalgia, and to treat pain caused by nerve damage in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy). Duloxetine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
How to take
Take Duloxetine exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from the medication.
Try to take the medicine at the same time each day. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open a delayed-release capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking or opening the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. It may take 4 weeks or longer for your symptoms to improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Do not stop using Duloxetine without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant side effects if you stop taking this medication suddenly.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Duloxetine: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects while using Duloxetine:
- nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);painful or difficult urination; easy bruising or bleeding, nosebleeds; black, bloody, or tarry stools; very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, overactive reflexes;
- headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, confusion, hallucinations; or weakness, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing or breathing that stops.
Less serious Duloxetine side effects may include:
- dry mouth, blurred vision; drowsiness, dizziness, spinning sensation; mild nausea, constipation, gas;
- sleep problems (insomnia);joint or muscle pain;
- weight changes; or decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Duloxetine. Alcohol may increase the risk of damage to your liver.
Duloxetine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by Duloxetine.
Talk to your doctor before taking any medicine for pain, arthritis, fever, or swelling. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren), indomethacin, piroxicam (Feldene), nabumetone (Relafen), etodolac (Lodine), and others. Taking any of these drugs with Cymbalta may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.
Before taking Duloxetine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following medicines:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
cimetidine (Tagamet); a diuretic (water pill);
fluvoxamine (Luvox); linezolid (Zyvox); lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith); St. John's wort;
tramadol (Ultram); tryptophan (sometimes called L-tryptophan); an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro); almotriptan (Axert), frovatriptan (Frova), sumatriptan (Imitrex), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), or zolmitriptan (Zomig); or
any other antidepressant such as desipramine (Norpramin), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), paroxetine (Paxil), and others.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Store Duloxetine at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Cymbalta out of the reach of children and away from pets.
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