Cymbalta is an antidepressant medication that doctors prescribe to patients to treat symptoms of depression and other various mental health disorders including anxiety. Cymbalta, like many antidepressants that doctors prescribe work to reduce the depressive and suicidal thoughts of the patients taking the medication.
Some physicians also prescribe Cymbalta to treat neuropathy in patients with diabetes. Doctors may also prescribe Cymbalta to patients who have fibromyalgia to treat the negative effects that fibromyalgia has on muscles, tendons, ligaments and supporting tissues.
Cymbalta works by restoring the balance of chemicals in the brain in an effort to improve a patient’s mood, sleep patterns, appetite, energy level and decrease nervousness. Cymbalta is also effective in treating pain due to nerve damage.
Cymbalta Warnings and Precautions
In some patients, particularly patients under the age of 25, depressive and suicidal thoughts get worse while taking the medication. This is true even if the doctor prescribes the medication for reasons other than depression or another mental or mood disorder. Symptoms of worsening depression may occur when a patient starts a new antidepressant when the dosage of an antidepressant changes.
Patients with severe kidney disease or liver disease should not take Cymbalta. It is important for patients with a family history of mental illness, particularly psychotic disorders, family history of suicide attempts, diabetes, glaucoma, kidney disease, stomach problems, extreme loss of body water, low sodium content in the blood, drug or alcohol abuse and liver disease.
Cymbalta may cause drowsiness or dizziness so patients should not operate heavy machinery or drive a motor vehicle until they know how they will react while taking Cymbalta. Patients should be careful and stand up slowly to avoid falling due to sudden dizziness that can occur when taking Cymbalta. Dizziness is more common when patients begin taking the medication.
Cymbalta may affect blood sugar levels so patients with diabetes should take special care to check their blood sugar levels as directed by their doctor. Doctors may need to adjust a patients diet and exercise level and their medications while they are taking Cymbalta.
Elderly patients taking Cymbalta may be more sensitive to the effects of the medication. Elderly patients may lose too much salt to be healthy while taking Cymbalta. This is in part to the frequent use of diuretics in elderly patients.
Women who are pregnant or who plan to be come pregnant should not take Cymbalta, as the effects on the unborn fetus are not completely understood. Women who are breastfeeding also should not take Cymbalta.
Cymbalta dosages vary from patient to patient. Doctors determine a patient’s dosage by evaluation a patient’s current situation and the patient’s response to treatment.
Cymbalta comes in a pill and is taken by mouth. Patients should not crush or split Cymbalta and they should also not mix Cymbalta with food or liquid.
Patients should continue to take Cymbalta even if they feel well. Patients taking Cymbalta should talk with their doctor before discontinuing the use of Cymbalta.
Cymbalta Side Effects
Common side effects of Cymbalta are nausea, dry mouth, loss of appetite, drowsiness, dizziness, blurry vision, increased sweating and yawning. Serious side effects of Cymbalta include fainting, mood swings, loss of interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, difficulty with urination, change in the amount of urine and weight loss. Other serious side effects that require immediate medical attention are stomach pain, black stool, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, easily bruising or bleeding, muscle cramps, weakness, dark urine, yellowing eyes or skin, tiredness and fast or pounding heartbeat.
Patients taking Cymbalta should tell their doctor or pharmacist about any medications they currently take that cause drowsiness, increase serotonin levels, treat high blood pressure or that can cause bleeding or bruising.
If a patient is taking fluvoxamine, sibutramine, thioridazine or tryptophan they should not take Cymbalta because of possible fatal interactions.
If an overdose of Cymbalta is suspected seek medical attention immediately.
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