Like many medicines, Cymbalta works to treat more than one condition. Cymbalta has been approved by the FDA for both the treatment of depression and the management of pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Cymbalta (an SSNRI) targets two chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine, that are believed to play a role in how the brain and body affect mood and pain.
Buy Cymbalta without a Prior Prescription and SAVE!
Cymbalta Drug Info
Duloxetine (du-LOX-uh-teen ) is used to treat mental depression. It is also used for pain caused by nerve damage associated with diabetes.
Duloxetine belongs to a group of medicines known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). These medicines are thought to work by increasing the activity of chemicals called serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
- Oral Delayed-release capsules (U.S.)
In deciding to use a medicine, the potential side effects must be weighed against the good. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For duloxetine, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to duloxetine. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy—Cymbalta has not been studied in pregnant women. Duloxetine should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the baby. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant (especially if it is the third trimester) or if you may become pregnant.
Breast-feeding—Duloxetine passes into the milk of rats. It is unknown if human milk can carry this medication. Because the effects of this medicine in nursing babies is not known and because of the risks, duloxetine is not recommended if you are breast-feeding.
Children—Cymbalta must be used with caution in children with depression. Studies have shown occurrences of children thinking about suicide or attempting suicide in clinical trials for this medicine. More study is needed to be sure duloxetine is safe and effective in children
Older adults—This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults. However, elderly patients are more likely to be sensitive than younger adults to the effects of duloxetine.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, an altered dose may be in order. When you are taking duloxetine, it is especially important that your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any of the following:
- Antidepressants (fluoxetine [e.g., Prozac], paroxetine [e.g., Paxil])—Taking certain medicines for depression with duloxetine may increase your chance for side effects.
- Antiarrhythmics (flecainide [e.g., Tambocor], propafenone [e.g., Rythmol], Quinidine [e.g., Quinaglute, Quinidex])—Taking certain medicines for an uneven heartbeat together with duloxetine may increase the chance of getting serious side effects.
- Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor activity (isocarboxazid [e.g., Marplan], phenelzine [e.g., Nardil], procarbazine [e.g., Matulane], selegiline [e.g., Eldepryl], tranylcypromine [e.g., Parnate])— Do not take duloxetine while you are taking or within 2 weeks of taking an MAO inhibitor, or you may develop serious side effects. At least 14 days should be allowed between stopping treatment with one medicine (duloxetine or the MAO inhibitor) and starting treatment with the other
- Phenothiazines (e.g., Compazine, Phenergan, Thorazine)—Taking phenothiazines together with duloxetine may increase the risk of side effects.
- Tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline [e.g., Elavil], desipramine [e.g., Norpramin], imipramine [e.g., Tofranil], nortriptyline [e.g., Aventyl])—Taking certain tricyclic antidepressants together with duloxetine may increase the risk of side effects.
- Thioridazine (e.g., Mellaril)—Taking thioridazine with duloxetine may cause serious heart problems.
Other medical problems — The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of duloxetine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
How should I take Cymbalta?
- Bipolar disorder (mood disorder with alternating episodes of mania and depression) or risk of—May make condition worse. Your doctor will check you for this condition.
- Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)—May increase your blood sugar.
- Kidney disease, severe, or
Liver disease, severe—Higher blood levels of duloxetine may occur, increasing the liklihood that side effects will appear.
- Mania (history of)—The condition may be activated.
- Narrow-angle Glaucoma—May increase your chance of getting blurred vision.
- Seizures (history of)—The risk of seizures may be increased.
Take Cymbalta exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each dose with water.
Cymbalta capsules should be swallowed whole and should not be chewed or crushed, nor should the contents be sprinkled on food or mixed with liquids.
Duloxetine can be consumed during or inbetween meals.
Try to take duloxetine at the same time each day.
Do not stop taking Cymbalta without first talking to your doctor. It may take several weeks before you start feeling better.
It is important to take duloxetine regularly to get the most benefit.
Your doctor may want to perform tests or schedule appointments to monitor your treatment with duloxetine.
Store duloxetine at room temperature any extreme conditions.
If you miss a dose of Cymbalta, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
To store this medicine:
Keep out of the reach of children.
- Store away from heat and direct light.
- Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
- Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.
Precautions While Using Cymbalta
It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits, to allow for changes in your dose and to help reduce any side effects.
Duloxetine has not been shown to add to the effects of alcohol. However, use of alcohol is not recommended in patients who are taking duloxetine.
Duloxetine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you or your caregiver notice any of these adverse effects, tell your doctor right away.
Four weeks of Cymbalta may be required before your symptoms improve. It is important to continue duloxetine after symptoms of depression are relieved.
Do not suddenly stop taking your duloxetine. If you have been instructed to stop taking duloxetine, ask you healthcare professional how to slowly decrease the dose. This is to decrease the chance of having discontinuation symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, headache, vomiting, irritability, nightmares, prickling or tingling feelings.
Do not take duloxetine if you have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (furazolidone, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline, tranylcypromine) in the past 2 weeks. Do not start taking an MAO inhibitor within 5 days of stopping duloxetine. If you do, you may develop confusion, agitation, restlessness, stomach or intestinal symptoms, sudden high body temperature, extremely high blood pressure, severe convulsions, or the serotonin syndrome.
For diabetic patients:
- This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests or if you have any questions, check with your doctor.
Cymbalta may cause some people to become drowsy or have blurred vision. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or able to see clearly.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects.
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.
- More Common
- Cough; diarrhea; difficulty having a bowel movement (stool); dizziness ; dry mouth; fever; frequent urination; headache; lack or loss of strength; loss of appetite ; muscle aches; nausea; sleepiness or unusual drowsiness; sleeplessness ; sore throat; stuffy or runny nose; sweating increased; trouble sleeping; unable to sleep; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; weight loss
- Less common
- Abnormal orgasm; acid or sour stomach ; belching; change or problem with discharge of semen; decreased interest in sexual intercourse; difficulty in moving; erectile dysfunction; fear; feeling of warmth redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest; heartburn; inability to have or keep an erection; indigestion; joint pain; longer than usual time to ejaculation of semen; loose stools; loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance; muscle aching or cramping; muscle pains or stiffness; nervousness; shakiness in legs, arms, hands, feet; stomach discomfort upset or pain; sudden sweating; swollen joints; trembling or shaking of hands or feet; vision blurred
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.