Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride) is used to treat depression and neuropathic pain in people with MS. It belongs to a group of medications called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRI). It makes serotonin and norepinephrine increase, which are natural substances occurring in the body that positively affect communication between nerve cells and/or restore chemical balance in the brain.
Cymbalta comes as a delayed-release capsule to be taken orally. It is usually taken once or twice daily for depression, and once daily for anxiety and neuropathic pain. Cymbalta can be taken with or without food, but should be taken at the same time every day.
Cymbalta may take 1 to 4 weeks (or maybe more) before giving a full benefit and should not be discontinued suddenly, as it may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, dizziness, tiredness, headache, pain in the hands and feet, irritability, and sleep disorders.
Some of the most common cymbalta side effects are vision changes, dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, tired feeling, loss of appetite or increased sweating.
Duloxetine hydrochloride has a black box warning (information that appears on a prescription drug’s label and is designed to call attention to serious or life-threatening risks) regarding an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in people with major depressive and other psychiatric disorders, especially during the first months of treatment or following changes in dosage.
A generic version of Cymbalta has already been approved by the FDA, however this does not mean that it will be available, possibly due to patents or exclusivity.
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