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Cymbalta (duloxetine) is an SNRI (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) which has been used since the 1990s in patients with depression or anxiety. It is additionally used to manage symptoms in:
Because the conditions it treats are usually chronic, Cymbalta is typically used long-term, for months or years.
Treatment will vary, of course, depending on the condition as well as an individual's age, health, and other factors. Children may require smaller doses than adults, which should be determined by a doctor. There are some general guidelines for all cases, however:
In otherwise healthy adults, dosage and administration is fairly straightforward:
Most patients are started on a smaller half-dose for the first week of treatment. For instance, if 60 mg per day is prescribed, only 30 mg per day is taken the first 7 days. This allows the body to more gradually adjust to treatment, reducing the severity of side effects. Similarly, when treatment ends, doses should be gradually tapered off over several weeks.
Improvements are often noticed within one or two weeks of treatment, but Cymbalta's full effects are usually not realized until after three or four weeks. If treatment is disrupted, symptoms will likely gradually return over several weeks.
Before Taking Cymbalta
Certain preexisting conditions greatly increase the risk of severe side effects. Discuss risks with a doctor before using Cymbalta if you have:
Use should be avoided if taking MOAIs, other SNRIs, and powerful stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamine or methamphetamine. There is a chance Cymbalta will interact with other prescription or non-prescription drugs as well; check with a pharmacist if unsure of safety.
Cymbalta should not be used while breast-feeding; it is known to pass through breast milk. Its safety in pregnancy is disputed; parents should discuss risks versus benefits with a trusted doctor or pharmacist before use.
In otherwise healthy adults, side effects are typically mild and may disappear completely as treatment continues:
The above side effects are generally not cause for concern unless severe enough to interfere with daily activities. A doctor may be able to suggest treatments to address specific side effects. All side effects will likely reverse completely within a few weeks of the cessation of treatment.
A more rare SNRI side effect, particularly in patients under 24 years of age, is an increase in depression, which may lead to suicidal thoughts. Be alert for symptoms of increasing depression for the duration of treatment.
Alcohol consumption, even in moderation, may increase the severity of side effects and increases risk of liver damage.
No current Rx required
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.
diagnosed 8 years ago as depressive bipolar, i refuse now to go a day without it. it took some time, but once my system got used to it, it has saved me from depths of hell i never want to fall into again! it is extremely important to take it every day, even if you feel it's not working. and once you realize it's working, don't stop taking it; i bottomed out really bad when i tried this. like all medications, it won't work for everyone; but if you are suffering from chronic depression it is a very good medicine. i take 60mg EVERY DAY!!!