Generic Name: Duloxetine (doo LOX e teen)
Brand Name: Cymbalta, Irenka
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 17, 2019.
- Drugs like this one have raised the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions in children and young adults. The risk may be greater in people who have had these thoughts or actions in the past. All people who take duloxetine need to be watched closely. Call the doctor right away if signs like low mood (depression), nervousness, restlessness, grouchiness, panic attacks, or changes in mood or actions are new or worse. Call the doctor right away if any thoughts or actions of suicide occur.
Uses of Duloxetine:
- It is used to treat low mood (depression).
- It is used to treat anxiety.
- It is used to help painful nerve diseases and diabetic nerve problems.
- It is used to ease long-term pain problems.
- Some products are used to treat fibromyalgia. Talk with the doctor.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Duloxetine?
- If you have an allergy to duloxetine or any other part of duloxetine.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Kidney disease or liver disease.
- If you are taking thioridazine.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Ciprofloxacin or fluvoxamine.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Linezolid or methylene blue.
- If you have taken certain drugs used for low mood (depression) like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine or drugs used for Parkinson's disease like selegiline or rasagiline in the last 14 days. Taking duloxetine within 14 days of those drugs can cause very bad high blood pressure.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with duloxetine.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take duloxetine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Duloxetine?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take duloxetine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how duloxetine affects you.
- To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
- Low blood pressure, falls, and passing out have happened with duloxetine. Falls may lead to problems like broken bones and the need to go to the hospital. The chance of falling is raised with older people. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
- Check blood pressure and heart rate as the doctor has told you. Talk with the doctor.
- Have your eye pressure checked. Talk with your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking duloxetine.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- This medicine may raise the chance of bleeding. Sometimes, bleeding can be life-threatening. Talk with the doctor.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called serotonin syndrome may happen. The risk may be greater if you take duloxetine with drugs for depression, migraines, or certain other drugs. Call your doctor right away if you have agitation; change in balance; confusion; hallucinations; fever; fast or abnormal heartbeat; flushing; muscle twitching or stiffness; seizures; shivering or shaking; sweating a lot; very bad diarrhea, upset stomach, or throwing up; or very bad headache.
- Some people may have a higher chance of eye problems with duloxetine. Your doctor may want you to have an eye exam to see if you have a higher chance of these eye problems. Call your doctor right away if you have eye pain, change in eyesight, or swelling or redness in or around the eye.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take duloxetine.
- If you are 65 or older, use duloxetine with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with the doctor.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using duloxetine while you are pregnant.
- Taking duloxetine in the third trimester of pregnancy may lead to some health problems in the newborn. Talk with the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Duloxetine) best taken?
Use duloxetine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking duloxetine as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- Do not open the capsules.
- Do not stop taking duloxetine all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of side effects. If you need to stop duloxetine, you will want to slowly stop it as ordered by your doctor.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of low sodium levels like headache, trouble focusing, memory problems, feeling confused, weakness, seizures, or change in balance.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Memory problems or loss.
- Ringing in ears.
- Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
- A big weight gain or loss.
- Sex problems like lowered interest in sex or ejaculation problems.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with duloxetine. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
What are some other side effects of Duloxetine?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Dry mouth.
- Not able to sleep.
- Feeling sleepy.
- Not hungry.
- Sweating a lot.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Weight loss.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Duloxetine?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time duloxetine is refilled. If you have any questions about duloxetine, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about duloxetine
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- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
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- Drug class: serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
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