Brand name: Cymbalta
The lowest price for generic duloxetine (Cymbalta, Irenka) with SaveonMeds Discount Drug Card is $19.01 for a 30-day supply. This is over 87% off on the medicine’s average retail price of $150.70.
Duloxetine is used to treat a variety of pain-inducing conditions such as chronic back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia (widespread pain) and nerve pain in diabetic patients. Duloxetine belongs to a class of drugs known as serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) and helps in improving mood and energy level, and decreasing nervousness by restoring the balance of serotonin and norepinephrine natural substances in the brain of a person affected with depression. The medication is also used to treat depression in children who are at least 7 year old.
The medication may be prescribed by your doctor for the purposes not mentioned here.
Duloxetine is available as both a generic and a brand name drug. Brand Name(s): Cymbalta
Generic drugs usually cost less than the branded ones and in some cases, may not be available in all strengths and forms as their brand name versions.
How to take it
Duloxetine is to be taken orally one a day. If you have nausea, it will help to take the medication with food. Do not open, crush, chew or break a capsule, swallow it whole with a glassful of water.
Duloxetine comes as a capsule and delayed release capsule. For anxiety, the patient may be started with 60 mg of Duloxetine once a day. Some patients may be prescribed 30 mg a day initially and afterwards the medication may be built up to 60 mg a day. Maximum dosage of Duloxetine is usually 120 mg per day. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.
This is only typical and indicative dosage. Actual dosage and length of treatment for your specific case will be prescribed by your doctor as per your existing medical condition and age, and may be changed based on your response to the treatment. It is very important to follow your doctor’s dosing instructions exactly. Read the instructions carefully on your prescription label and if available, patient information leaflet provided by your pharmacist with the medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions. Do not use the medication in larger or smaller quantity or longer than recommended by the doctor.
It may take up to four weeks before the symptoms improve and your blood pressure will need to be checked often to monitor your progress.
What if I miss a dose?
To prevent the chances of missing a dose, take the medication at the same time each day so that you remember. If you forget your doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if you happen to miss a dose, skip the medication if it is almost time for the next dose. Do not overdose yourself to compensate for the missed dose, as taking extra medication without doctor’s advice can cause you severe side effects, and won’t treat you earlier or faster. Take the medication regularly to get the most benefit from it.
Precautions and side effects
Duloxetine comes with an FDA Black Box Warning that alerts the doctors and patients about its potentially dangerous effects.
Duloxetine may interact with certain other medications, supplements or herbs you are taking that may prevent it from working well. So, be sure to tell your doctor about all the prescription, non-prescription and herbal products you are taking, or the allergies that you have. To help you avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all your medications carefully. Use the medication only for the indication prescribed and Keep it away from the reach of children. Do not share your prescription with others. The medication can cause side effects although not everyone gets them.
Before taking Duloxetine, tell your doctor if you ever had liver or kidney disease, bleeding problem, seizures, slow digestion, maniac depression, drug addiction or suicidal thoughts.
Common side effects of Duloxetine include nausea, dry mouth, tiredness, drowsiness, increased sweating and constipation. Lightheadedness may occur especially when you first start the treatment or increase your dose. Other serious side effects of Duloxetine include easy bleeding and bruising, muscle cramps, hallucinations, loss of coordination, unusual agitation, difficulty urinating, vision changes, seizures and black or bloody stool. Taking Duloxetine during pregnancy may cause feeding problem in the newborn.
Some young patients may develop suicidal thoughts while on Duloxetine, so the family members and caregivers need to be alert of the mood changes in the patient and inform the doctor of any abnormal behavior.
Continue taking duloxetine even if you feel better, do not stop taking it suddenly as some symptoms such as dizziness, sleep changes, headache and mood swings may increase. Some patients may also have feeling similar to electric shock. Your doctor will help you with gradual tapering of the medication to minimize your risk of side effects and withdrawal symptoms.
This is not a complete list of the side effects and others may occur. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor. Remember that your doctor may prescribe this medication as they feel that the benefit to you is greater than the risk or side effects. Get medical help right away if the patient experiences severe side effects or you think there is a medical emergency.
Disclaimer: The information and content posted on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a replacement for medical advice. Always seek medical advice from a medical professional for diagnosis or treatment, including before embarking on and/or changing any prescription medication or for specific medical advice related to your medical history.