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Duloxetine: Side Effects, Uses, Interaction and Precautions

Duloxetine: Side Effects, Uses, Interaction and Precautions

GENERIC NAME— Duloxetine

DRUG CLASS— Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SSNRIs)

BRAND NAME(s)—Cymbalta, Irenka

What is Duloxetine?

Duloxetine is an antidepressant medication used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia and major depressive disorder.

Duloxetine is also used to treat nerve pain caused by diabetes, chronic muscle or joint pain. It is taken by mouth.

Duloxetine was approved for medical purpose in the United States and in the European Union in 2004. (1)

How to Use?

Use Duloxetine exactly as directed by your doctor. Follow all the instructions described on your prescription label. Do not take it in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take duloxetine with or without food. Store at room temperature.

Duloxetine Side Effects

Common Duloxetine side effects may include (2) (3)

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Increased sweating

Tell your doctor or health care provider if you have ever had (2)

  • Pounding heartbeats
  • A light—headed feeling
  • Easy bruising
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Vision changes
  • Difficulty urination
  • Erectile dysfunction or impotence
  • Sexual problems
  • Liver problems such as jaundice, right—sided upper stomach pain, dark urine or itching
  • Low levels of sodium in the body — headache, slurred speech, confusion, severe weakness, loss of coordination, vomiting or feeling unsteady
  • Manic episodes — increased energy, racing thoughts, risk—taking behavior, being agitated or talkative

Seek medical help if you have following symptoms —


Before taking Duloxetine, tell your doctor or health care provider if you are allergic to it or if you have a history of any other allergies.

Before using this medicine, tell your doctor about your medical history; especially of (1) (3)

It is not recommended to take this medicine during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. This medicine can also cause excessive bleeding during childbirth. Ask your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. (1)

It is not clear if this medicine passes into breast milk. Ask your doctor if you’re breast—feeding.


Some drugs may interact with this medicine. Tell your doctor about the medication you are currently taking. Do not stop, start or change the dose of any medicine without your doctor’s approval. Tell your doctor if you are using any other medications; such as (2) (4)

  • Warfarin
  • Viagra (sildenafil)
  • Sertraline
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • Some herbal products
  • Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)
  • Amitriptyline
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fish Oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)
  • Gabapentin
  • Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, cetirizine
  • Bupropion
  • Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine, carisoprodol
  • Citalopram
  • Alcohol, marijuana (cannabis)
  • Wellbutrin (bupropion)
  • Diazepam
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine)
  • Opioid pain or cough relievers such as codeine, hydrocodone
  • Drugs for sleep or anxiety such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem
  • Nonsteroidal anti—inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin, diclofenac, naproxen (Aleve), meloxicam, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), celecoxib (Celebrex), indomethacin

What Happens If Missed a Dose?

Take the medicine as soon as possible, but skip the missed dose if it is almost the time for your next dose. Do not take extra drug at the same time.

What Happens If I Take an Overdose?

Overdose symptoms may include dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, seizures, irregular heartbeat, fainting, or coma.

Seek emergency medical help or call the Poison Help line at 1—800—222—1222.


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