What is Cymbalta?
Cymbalta belongs to the group of drugs known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant (SSNRI). The active ingredient of Cymbalta is duloxetine hydrochloride.
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Uses of Cymbalta
Cymbalta is used for the following diseases –
- Major Depressive Disorder – Efficacy was established in four short-term and one maintenance trial in adults.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain (Nerve pain)
- Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain
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How does Cymbalta work?
- Cymbalta works by restoring the balance of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
- Cymbalta increases the levels of serotonin and noradrenaline in the nervous system.
How to Take Cymbalta?
- The dosage and duration of Cymbalta should be taken as advised by the doctor. The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to therapy.
- Cymbalta may be taken with or without food but it is always advisable to take it at a fixed time.
- Cymbalta is available in form of a tablet. Cymbalta should be swallowed whole and should not be chewed or crushed.
Common Dosage for Cymbalta?
- Dosage is usually determined by your physician based on your condition.
- Cymbalta dose should be measured accurately and taken only once per day.
- The standard dose of Cymbalta is 60 mg per day and the initial dose is 30 mg daily.
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When to Avoid Cymbalta?
Cymbalta should be avoided or used with caution in:
- Patients with allergy to any of its components
- Patients suffering from liver disease and severe kidney disease
- Patients suffering from uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma
- Patients suffering from diabetes
- Patients suffering from heart problems (heart attack, heart failure, slow or irregular heart rate).
- Patients suffering from high blood pressure, seizure disorders, stomach problems
- Patients suffering from mania or who suffer from bipolar disorder
- Patients who have a history of bleeding disorders (tendency to develop bruises)
- Patients who are at risk of low sodium levels (for example if you are taking diuretics, especially if you are elderly)
- Patients who are taking or have taken within the last 14 days, another medicine known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI)
- Patients who are taking other medicines containing duloxetine
Side-effects of Cymbalta
Majority of the patients do not show any side effects. However, the most common side effects of Cymbalta may include:
- Excessive sleep
- Dry mouth
- Sexual dysfunction, difficulty in achieving orgasms
In addition, it may cause some other allergic or unwanted effects. In such cases, seek medical attention immediately.
Effects on organs?
- Kidney – Cymbalta should be used cautiously in patients with kidney disease. In severe cases, dose adjustment may also be needed. Consult your doctors if any unwanted symptoms are observed.
- Cymbalta should be used with caution in patients suffering from liver diseases. Dose adjustment is needed.
Reported Allergic Reactions?
Report to your doctor if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Signs of allergic reaction from Cymbalta include:
- Rashes/itching of the skin
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Loss of consciousness
Drug Interactions to Be careful About
Drug interactions refer to the effect of drugs on each other and on human body following ingestion. Large numbers of medicine have shown interaction with each other. It is advised that the patient must always inform the physician about all the medicines/over the counter products/vitamin supplements used, especially:
- herbal preparations containing St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- Medicinal products containing duloxetine
- MAOIs including moclobemide (an antidepressant) and linezolid (an antibiotic)
- Medicines that cause sleepiness: benzodiazepines, strong painkillers, antipsychotics, phenobarbital, and antihistamines.
- Triptans, tramadol, tryptophan,
- fluvoxamine – used to treat depression,
- SSRIs (such as paroxetine and fluoxetine)
- SNRIs (such as venlafaxine),
- tricyclic antidepressants (such as clomipramine, amitriptyline), pethidine
- Oral anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents
- ciprofloxacin or enoxacin – used to treat infections
Shows Effects / Results In
- The effect of Cymbalta in people suffering from depression or anxiety is usually seen within fourteen days of initial treatment, but it may take 2-4 weeks before you feel better.
- A complete dose prescribed by your doctor must be taken for a complete cessation of symptoms from your body.
Is Cymbalta addictive?
No. However self-medication and dependence on these medicines should be avoided.
Can I have Cymbalta with alcohol?
No. It may cause excessive drowsiness and calmness so alcohol should be avoided along with Cymbalta.
Any particular food item to be avoided?
Can I have Cymbalta when pregnant?
- Cymbalta should be avoided during pregnancy or used with caution as advised by the doctor.
- Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant for case specific recommendations.
Can I have Cymbalta when feeding a baby?
- There is evidence that Cymbalta passes into the breast milk and its use can have a side effect on lactating mother or baby.
- Always inform your doctor if you are breast-feeding your child and use the medicine as advised.
Can I drive after taking Cymbalta?
Cymbalta does not usually affect your ability to drive. However, if a person experiences side effects like dizziness, driving should be avoided.
What happens if I overdose on Cymbalta?
- It should not be administered in more than prescribed dose. Taking more medication or with increased frequency will not improve your symptoms earlier; rather it may cause serious side-effects.
- If anyone is suspected of an over-dosage, seek medical care immediately.
What happens if I take expired Cymbalta?
- Taking a single dose may not cause any major adverse effect. However, the potency of the medicine may well have been reduced. Please inform your physician regarding the same if expired medicines have been taken chronically for a longer duration.
- To be on the safer side, always check and never use an expired drug.
What happens if I miss a dose of Cymbalta?
- The medicine may not work well if you miss a dose because, for effective working of the drug, a certain amount of drug must be present in your body at all times.
- Always consume the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But, if it’s already time to take the second dose after that – do not take a double dose.
Storage Requirements for Cymbalta
- Storage at room temperature away from direct light and heat unless mentioned in the package insert
- Do not freeze the medicine.
- Keep medicines away from children and pets.
Pro Tips When Taking Cymbalta
- The dose of Cymbalta should be tapered gradually and should not be abruptly stopped.
- You must monitor your blood pressure regularly while taking Cymbalta.
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