What is Cymbalta used for?
CYMBALTA is the brand name of the generic drug duloxetine. It is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI) used in the treatment of depression. Cymbalta modulates certain brain chemicals and alleviates the symptoms of depression.
Cymbalta is used in the treatment of general anxiety disorder in children and adults. It is also used to treat major depressive disorders in adults.
Cymbalta has also found application in the treatment of a chronic pain disorder called fibromyalgia. Other uses of this medication include: the treatment of pain caused by osteoarthritis, low back pain and diabetic neuropathy which is a kind of pain caused by nerve damage in patients with diabetes.
This medication should not be used by patients with history of alcohol use and/or abuse because it may cause liver damage. It also has sedative side effects and so patients on Cymbalta should not operate machinery or drive. Cymbalta should only be administered to pregnant women only when it is absolutely necessary because it can harm the unborn baby and may lead to development of severe withdrawal symptoms that may lead to hospitalization.
Cymbalta is formulated as slow release enteric-coated tablets. The capsules come in different strengths which contains 20, 30, or 60 mg of duloxetine, the active ingredient.
The dose of Cymbalta prescribed will depend on the condition it is to be used for. The patient’s medical history, current health status and other medications they may be using are also taken into consideration by the doctor before a dose is prescribed.
The medication is usually given or taken once or twice daily and the maximum daily dose for all conditions is 60 mg daily. Cymbalta capsules should be swallowed whole. They should not be chewed, crushed or opened before use. The capsules are enteric-coated to protect against the acidic content of the stomach.
For the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder, Cymbalta is given as 20 mg twice daily up to 60 mg daily which is administered as 30 mg twice in a day or once daily.
The recommended Cymbalta dosage for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder is 60 mg once daily. For the elderly and for children who are 7 to 17 years old, the initial dose of Cymbalta given is usually 30 mg once a day for two.
For the Treatment of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain, chronic musculoskeletal pain and Fibromyalgia, Cymbalta is administered in doses of 60 mg once a day.
The use of Cymbalta should be avoided in patients with hepatic impairment and severe renal impairment. The drug should not be discontinued without proper medical advice even if the patient starts feeling better.
Certain adverse reactions can occur if Cymbalta is discontinued suddenly, if too many doses are not taken or if there is a reduction in the dose. These effects are usually more common in patients who have been on the drug for a long time. Such Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms include: nausea, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, aggression, irritability, vomiting, anxiety, nightmares, tingling sensations, vertigo, imbalanced gait, and increased depression. Cymbalta withdrawal can also affect libido and sexual activity.
These withdrawal symptoms can be avoided by slowly reducing the dose of Cymbalta administered, before stopping it finally.
CYMBALTA SIDE EFFECTS
The common side effects of Cymbalta include:
Nausea and vomiting
Heartburn and Constipation
Loss of appetite
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, contact your doctor and call for medical assistance.
Allergic reactions such as swelling of the face, lips or tongue, trouble breathing and appearance or a peeling rash.
Yellowing of the eyes or skin
Fever with sweating, confusion, racing heart, and muscle stiffness
Unusual bruising or bleeding
Cymbalta has been known to have effect on the weight of patients, and such effects could either be a weight gain or weight loss. A noticeable weight gain should be reported to your doctor even if there are no accompanying side effects. Generally, women observe higher weight gain than men who are on the same dose of Cymbalta. There are higher incidences of weight loss than weight gain for patients on Cymbalta and this may be as a result of the side effects (due to diarrhoea and loss of appetite).