by on April 22, 2012
Brand Names:Cymbalta
Generic name:duloxetine
Pregnancy Category:C
Half-life:12 hours

What is Cymbalta?

Cymbalta is a brand name version of the generic medication known as duloxetine. Cymbalta is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI) which means that it is designed to balance the chemicals in the brain. An imbalance in the brain can result in depression and anxiety, so Cymbalta is primarily used to provide relief from these types of mental and mood disorders.

Manufactured by Eli Lilly, Cymbalta is prescribed to treat Fibromyalgia, depression, chronic musculoskeletal pain; pain associated with diabetic neuropathy (nerve pain in the body because of diabetes) and generalized anxiety disorder. It works by altering the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. Available as capsules, this medication is taken daily and is only available on prescription.

Cymbalta dosage varies accordingly with the symptoms that it is being used to treat. The maximum recommended dosage for Cymbalta (duloxetine) is 60 mg daily. This can be taken in a single dose, as 30 mg twice a day or in three daily doses of 20 mg pills.

Cymbalta Uses

Cymbalta is commonly used to treat depression and related disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder. It can sometimes take weeks for the effects of the drug to be noticeable. Cymbalta (duloxetine) works best when used in conjunction with therapy for patients suffering from severe depression.

cymbaltaCymbalta can also be used to treat a variety of pain disorders. Duloxetine has been used in the treatment of fibromyalgia, chronic musculoskeletal pain and peripheral diabetic neuropathy pain.

Depression is one of the most common conditions being experienced in the world today. Because Cymbalta affects the serotonin levels in the brain, it helps to prevent the patient from feeling depressed or experiencing any of the other symptoms of depression such as physical pain, sleep disorders, losing interest in things that you once enjoyed or having suicidal thoughts. Once the patient has been diagnosed with depression, their doctor may prescribe Cymbalta to them. Recommended doses for depression range between 20mg and 60 mg a day and it is important for the patient to follow the dosage instructions precisely and consult with their doctor before making any changes to their prescription.

Special Precautions to Note when Using Cymbalta

  • Because Cymbalta can affect certain pre-existing conditions, it is important for the patient to advise their doctor if they suffer from Glaucoma, Bipolar disorder, seizures, high or low blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney conditions, bladder conditions, diabetic gastro paresis, heart conditions or a history of suicidal thoughts.
  • Patients who have recently suffered from a heart attack should also advise their doctor before using Cymbalta.
  • Any allergies to food or medications should also be reported to a doctor before using this medication.
  • If the patient is using any other form of herbal or prescription medication, they should inform their doctor before starting to use Cymbalta.
  • If patients are currently using any MAO inhibitor drugs such as Furoxone, Nardil or Parnate, they should wait at least two weeks before starting to use Cymbalta in order to avoid experiencing any dangerous drug interactions.

Although not everyone suffers from side effects, patients have experienced muscle pain, sore throats, heartburn, blurred vision, tremors, and decreased sex drive, hot flashes, anxiety, coughing, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, insomnia, drowsiness, dry mouth, appetite loss, fatigue, sweating, constipation and vomiting while using Cymbalta. If any allergic reactions such as swelling of the throat or mouth occur or if they experience breathing difficulties while using this medication, they should seek immediate medical attention. Serious side effects which should be reported to a doctor include severe behavioral changes, confusion, hallucinations, coma, low blood sugar or difficulty in urinating.

Cymbalta should not be used in patients under the age of 18 without consulting a doctor. If a patient experiences any drug interactions or side effects while using this medication, it is important for them to advise their doctor as soon as possible so that alternative options or dosages can be discussed. Currently, there are no generic substitutes available for Cymbalta because of the fact that the medical patent on it only expires in 2013.