How it works
Cymbalta belongs to a group of drugs called SSNRIs. It works by increasing the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
Guidelines for usage
Follow the dosage instructions provided by your doctor or as mentioned in the instruction booklet/product label.
Always use only as prescribed. Never exceed the dosage.
Cymbalta may be used with or without food.
Doctors recommend that you swallow the whole tablet/capsules with a glass of water unless it is specified that it can be broken or chewed.
NOTE: Use only if prescribed to you and intended for your use. Do not share with others.
It is common for people to forget their dosage times and miss doses.
Do not panic if you have missed a dose.
Instead, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the scheduled time. Do not double up or take more than what the doctor has prescribed.
How & where do I store Cymbalta?
The medicine label contains detailed instructions regarding safe storage of the medication. Most medicines are best stored at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Some medications may require to be refrigerated. Please check the product label.
Keep it away from the reach of children. Ensure that it is not exposed to direct sunlight or moisture.
Ask your pharmacist about safely disposing off medication that is past expiry date.
Overdose Related Information
If you accidentally consume more medication than what was prescribed, then contact an emergency healthcare center immediately.
Safety Information/ Warning Precautions
Discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider before you start using any new medication.
Ensure that you mention the following:
Any prior serious ailment, lifestyle disease or surgery
All the prescription drugs, OTC health supplements, herbal supplements that you are using currently
Your alcohol intake and whether you smoke or not
Any history of a known allergic reaction to prescription drugs or food
If you or a family member has a history of bipolar disorder (manic-depression), other mental or mood problems, suicidal thoughts or attempts, or alcohol or substance abuse
If you have a history of seizures, heart problems (eg, heart failure, irregular heartbeat), recent heart attack, high blood pressure, kidney problems, diabetes, stomach or bowel problems (eg, slowed emptying), or increased eye pressure (eg, glaucoma)
If you are dehydrated, have low blood sodium levels, or drink alcohol.
This will allow your healthcare provider to prescribe the apt dosage of the medication for you.
To be avoided
You must avoid using Cymbalta if it you are allergic to any ingredient in it or if you have conditions like
Uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma
You have liver problems or severe kidney problems, or are having dialysis
You are taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days
You are taking a quinolone antibiotic (e.g., ciprofloxacin), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) (e.g., fluoxetine, fluvoxamine), a SNRI (e.g., venlafaxine), thioridazine, or tryptophan.
Cymbalta is known to cause drowsiness or dizziness. Your vision may be blurred and your judgement affected if you consume alcohol with this medication. So, avoid using alcohol while using Cymbalta.
These effects may also get aggravated due to hot weather or fever or severe exercise. So, be cautious when you stand up after a long time from a sitting or lying position. If you feel giddy then lie down immediately and seek medical help.
Possible Drug & Food Interactions
Certain prescription drugs or health supplements or even food items are known to interact with the effects of medications. The delayed release capsules of Cymbalta are known to have possible interactions with the following medications.
5-HT1 receptor agonists (eg, sumatriptan), linezolid, lithium, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), quinidine, rasagiline, SNRIs (eg, venlafaxine), SSRIs (eg, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine), St. John's wort, tramadol, or tryptophan, Diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), Cimetidine, medicines for high blood pressure, or quinolone antibiotics (eg, ciprofloxacin), Certain antiarrhythmics (eg, flecainide, propafenone), phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine, thioridazine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline).
Cymbalta can trigger suicidal thoughts or actions especially in young adults, children and teenagers. The chances of this occuring are higher in people suffering from bipolar disorder. So patients taking Cymbalta must be monitored closely. Even the slight change in their mood or behavior like depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks must reported to the doctor.
Elderly people are more likely to experience side effects while using Cymbalta. If the side effects are bothersome, then seek medical help.
It is not clear whether Cymbalta is safe for use by children below years of age. So, if the patient is under this age, then speak to your doctor regarding the possible risks.
Important Information for Pregnant Women
Cymbalta is categorized under FDA category C.
Discuss the potential risks with your healthcare provider before using the medication.
Certain medications may be found in breast milk so speak to your child’s doctor to rule out any possibilities of risk.
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Report the following side effects to your doctor only if they become bothersome or do not stop on their own
Blurred vision; constipation; decreased sexual desire or ability; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; increased sweating; loss of appetite; muscle aches; nausea; sore throat; tiredness; trouble sleeping; vomiting.
The following side effects require immediate medical attention. So report these to your doctor immediately.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bizarre behavior; confusion; excessive sweating; dark urine; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever or chills; hallucinations; loss of coordination; new or worsening agitation, anxiety, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, restlessness, or inability to sit still; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; severe or persistent trouble sleeping; suicidal thoughts or attempts; tremor; trouble urinating; unusual or severe mental or mood changes; worsening of depression; yellowing of the skin or eyes.