Cymbalta Usage, Dosage, Side Effects and Interactions

Cymbalta is mainly used to treat depression, though it can be used to treat pain and urinary incontinence as well. Learn the dosage, side effects, etc.

Cymbalta is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) which is used to help balance these chemicals in the brain. In addition to assisting patients in managing mental disorders such as depression, the med can be used to stop pain signals in the brain to help manage conditions such as fibromyalgia. SNRIs can help manage your symptoms, but they cannot be used to help cure these conditions. You may need to adjust your medication throughout the course of your treatment to help ensure that your symptoms are still being treated at peak effectiveness. Do not make changes to your prescription without your doctor's instruction to do so.

Indications and Usage

Cymbalta is the brand name for the drug duloxetine, a drug that is used to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or depression, and may also be used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pain caused by diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.

It is given as a delayed-release capsule which it is to be taken orally twice a day. You may take this medication with or without food, but you should make a point of taking your doses with a meal if you find that you are suffering from nausea or vomiting. Try to take your prescription around the same time every day and do not split, chew or crush the pill when you take it to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of medication in your system at any given time.

 

Dosage

Adults treating musculoskeletal pain, diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain or fibromyalgia will be given 60 mg once a day. Those treating major depressive disorder will also be given 60 mg once a day. When treating a generalized anxiety disorder can be given 60-120 mg once a day as necessary.

 

Side Effects

Types of Side Effects

Symptoms

Common Side Effects

Nausea, dry mouth, headaches, drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, sweating and abdominal pain.

Uncommon Side Effects

Vomiting, sore throat, runny nose, decreased sex drive, upper respiratory tract infections, coughing, shakiness, muscle pain, sexual side effects, blurred vision, anxiety, weight loss, hot flashes, yawning, indigestion, muscle spasms, flu and abnormal dreams.

Serious Side Effects

Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, anxiety or panic attacks, hostility, aggressiveness, engaging in dangerous activities, restlessness, extreme elation, or any other changes in behavior.

Overdose

Agitation, fast heartbeat, hallucinating, fever, nausea, loss of coordination, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, drowsiness, lightheadedness, fainting, dizziness or unresponsiveness

 

Interactions

  • Medications which are known to interact negatively with Cymbalta include warfarin, cimetidine, diuretics, fluvoxamine, linezolid, lithium, St. John's wort, tramadol, tryptophan, antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, almotriptan, and other antidepressants. These drugs contain similar ingredients and can increase the effects of this medication. Talk with your doctor regarding any medications you are currently taking before you start using the med so that you can avoid such a reaction.
  • Talk to your doctor before you take any medications that are used to take down swelling, such as aspirin, naproxen, indomethacin and others. Taking these drugs in conjunction with the med can cause you to bruise or bleed more easily.
  • Do not drink alcohol when using the med. This can increase your risk of liver damage which can cause a permanent disorder in the body.
  • Those with liver or kidney disease may not be able to use it as this drug can make their condition worse. You may also need to avoid the med if you suffer from blood clotting disorders, seizures, glaucoma, bipolar disorder or suicidal thoughts as it may interact with the medications that you might be taking for these conditions. Talk with your doctor about appropriate dosing or if it is safe to take it if you suffer from any of these conditions.
  • There is no sufficient evidence regarding whether or not it is safe to use Cymbalta while pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk with your doctor about whether or not the benefits of this medication outweigh any potential risk. If you are using the med and become pregnant, talk with your doctor about whether or not you will need to adjust your dosing based on the natural hormonal changes that occur during this time.

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