How it works
Duloxetine is in a class of medication called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It is used to treat depression, generalized anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, and other conditions. Duloxetine works by increasing the amounts of serotonin and norepinephrine, natural substances in the brain that help maintain mental balance.
Duloxetine is a non-controlled medication, which means that it is not classified as having euphoric or addictive properties. There are no cravings, no hazardous behaviors, and no examples of prolonged addictive behavior associated with it.
Duloxetine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you. Remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication and can increase the risk of serious side effects from duloxetine.
How it should be used
It may take 2 to 4 weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of duloxetine. Continue to take duloxetine even if you feel well.
Do not stop taking duloxetine without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking duloxetine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; anxiety; dizziness; tiredness; headache; pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet; irritability; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; sweating; and nightmares. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.
What to do if you forget a dose
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Duloxetine may cause side effects. However, they tend to go away after an adaptation period. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- decreased appetite
- dry mouth
- increased urination
- difficulty urinating
- sweating or night sweats
- muscle pain or cramps
- changes in sexual desire or ability
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience either of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING or SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS sections, call your doctor immediately:
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- swelling of the abdomen
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- dark colored urine
- loss of appetite
- extreme tiredness or weakness
- flu-like symptoms
- fever, sweating, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, and severe muscle stiffness
- blisters or peeling skin
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Duloxetine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
In case of emergency or overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
The information about this medication is not intended to replace medical counseling. Please consult your pharmacist and/or health provider for more comprehensive information. You can also find the Medication Guide containing the manufacturer’s patient information approved by the FDA here.
Last Revised on 05/15/2020