Cymbalta Drug interactions

by on May 9, 2012

If Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is taken with other medications or alcohol, it can result in drug interactions which may be fatal if left untreated. Some of the interactions have been reported to increase a patient’s risk of developing QT prolongation, which is a highly dangerous form of heart arrhythmia. Patients need to ensure that they advise their doctor about any medications that they are using prior to taking Cymbalta in order to help prevent the occurrence of drug interactions.

Not all medications will interact with Cymbalta. The following types of medication have been most commonly reported to cause drug interactions when used with Cymbalta:

  • Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Cipro, Noroxin and Floxin
  • Arrhythmia medications like Tambocor and Rythmol
  • Blood thinning medications such as Plavix, Pradaxa, Warfarin, Aspirin, Xigris, Persantine, Angiomax and Integrilin
  • Miscellaneous antidepressant medications like Wellbutrin SR, Serzone, Trazodone, Oleptro, Remeron, Zyban and Aplenzin
  • Anti-epileptic drugs like Lyrica (pregabalin)
  • Benzodiazepines like Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan (lorazepam)
  • St John’s Wort
  • Lamisil
  • Abilify
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • Medications containing quinine
  • Sleep Medications like Ambien
  • Nexium and Prilosec (Omeprazole)
  • Triptan medications such as Amerge, Sumavel, Imitrex, Frova, Relpax and Zomig
  • SNRI and SSRI antidepressants like Lexapro, Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac and Paxil
  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as Pamelor, Norpramin and Silenor
  • Monoamine Oxidase inhibitors like Nardil, Parnate, Zelapar and Marplan
  • Blood pressure medications like lisinopril, Avapro (irbesartan)
  • Non-steroidal anti Inflammatories (NSAID’s) such as Aspirin, Voltaren, Cataflam, Mobic, Celebrex and Lodine
  • Phenothiazine medications like Prolixin, Mellaril and Chlorpromazine

Because it is impossible to list every medication that may interact with Cymbalta, it is important for patients to advise their doctors about all medications they are currently using if Cymbalta is prescribed for them to use.

Taking Cymbalta in conjunction with Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, St John’s Wort or Lamisil may increase the levels of Cymbalta in the blood which can lead to a greater risk of side effects and interactions developing. When used with Linezolid medications, Cymbalta can lead to the patient developing serotonin syndrome which causes symptoms of dizziness, fever, fast heartbeat, muscle spasms, diarrhea and hallucinations. If the patient experiences any of these symptoms, they need to contact their doctor immediately. Cymbalta can also enhance the effects of blood-thinning medications which can lead to internal bleeding in extreme circumstances.

What to Discuss with your Doctor

It is important for the patient to inform their doctor if they are currently using allergy medications that contain antihistamine or any other ingredients which may cause drowsiness, as the Cymbalta itself can also lead to the patient feeling drowsy. Patients who are using medications containing codeine or aspirin should exercise caution and speak to their doctor before going on to a course of Cymbalta, because it may enhance the side effects of these medications. If a patient wants to stop using Cymbalta, they need to discuss this with their doctor prior to stopping use because serious withdrawal symptoms such as severe migraines, disorientation, vomiting and flu-like symptoms can occur.

Patients should always ensure that they use their medication responsibly. If they experience any Cymbalta drug interactions or reactions, they contact their doctor immediately. This will help prevent the possibility of permanent organ damage or death occurring.