Duloxetine is used to treat depression and anxiety. It is also used to help relieve nerve pain (peripheral neuropathy) in people with diabetes or ongoing pain due to medical conditions such as arthritis or chronic back pain.
Duloxetine may improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy level, and decrease nervousness. It can also decrease pain due to certain medical conditions. Duloxetine is known as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). This medication works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain.
Nausea, dry mouth, constipation, loss of appetite, tiredness, drowsiness, or increased sweating may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor promptly.
Dizziness or lightheadedness may occur, especially when you first start or increase your dose of this drug. To reduce the risk of dizziness, lightheadedness, or falling, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: confusion, easy bruising/bleeding, decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, muscle cramps/weakness, shaking (tremor), difficulty urinating, signs of liver problems (such as nausea/vomiting that doesnt stop, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: black/bloody stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, seizure, eye pain/swelling/redness, widened pupils, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night, blurred vision).
This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing, skin blisters, mouth sores.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking duloxetine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: personal or family history of psychiatric disorders (such as bipolar/manic-depressive disorder), personal or family history of suicide attempts, bleeding problems, personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type), high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, seizure disorder, stomach problems (such as slow emptying of the stomach), use/abuse of alcohol.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
If you have diabetes, duloxetine may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially bleeding, dizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of coordination. Older adults are also more likely to develop a type of mineral imbalance (hyponatremia), especially if they are also taking "water pills" (diuretics) with this medication. Dizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of coordination can increase the risk of falling.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially loss of appetite and weight loss. Monitor weight and height in children who are taking this drug. See also Warning section.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. When this medication is taken during the last 30 days of pregnancy, the mother may be at an increased risk of bleeding at birth. This medication may also harm an unborn baby. Babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may rarely develop withdrawal symptoms such as feeding/breathing difficulties, seizures, muscle stiffness, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn, tell the doctor promptly.
Since untreated mental/mood problems (such as depression, anxiety) can be a serious condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor right away the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.
This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.