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Duloxetine Medication Questions

Duloxetine is a generic label for Cymbalta and is used to treat depression and anxiety and may benefit people who suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic joint/muscle pain and diabetic neuropathy. To learn more about duloxetine and how it works, take a look below at the questions that have been answered by Experts.

What is important information patients should know about Duloxetine?

When taking duloxetine, there are certain medications that shouldn't be taken such as the following:
Thioridazine (Mellaril), or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).

If a person does use a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), there must be a 14 day waiting period between the last use of the MAOI and the first dose of duloxetine. Furthermore, if a person stops taking the duloxetine, they must wait five days before beginning the use of an MAOI.

If thoughts of suicide or suicidal actions occur it is important that a person be closely watched for the first few weeks of use. Some people may experience worsening behavior or thoughts. Having a strong support system such as friends or family may help monitor the person's behavior. Most doctors want the person to come in for routine visits for at least 12 weeks. These visits will allow the doctor to evaluate progress and discuss any concerns.

Side effects may include; anxiety, mood swings, irritability, panic attacks, agitation, aggression, inability to get a restful sleep, restlessness, suicidal thoughts, and mania. Also, medications such as other anti-depressants, cold medicine, muscle relaxers, seizure medication, and pain medication may heighten the affects of duloxetine and cause marked drowsiness and should be avoided.

This medication may cause a delay in thought process or reaction time and should be taken with care when operating a vehicle or performing a physical task.

What is the maximum dose of Duloxetine that can be taken with appetite suppressants?

There is a recommended daily dose of 60 mg. The maximum daily dose of duloxetine is any dose up to 120 mg. However this is generally determined and prescribed by a physician and isn't considered a common dose. Many appetite suppressants may actually increase the symptoms of depression. However the most common side effect of duloxetine is a lack of appetite. Many people may not notice a difference in appetite for several weeks. If the person doesn't see a change in their appetite, the doctor may suggest an appetite suppressant that would work well with this anti-depression medication.

What are the side effects if a pregnant woman suddenly stops taking Duloxetine?

A person who stops taking duloxetine may experience several unwanted side effects such as headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, irritability, nightmares and tingling sensations may occur. Most doctors prefer to gradually step a patient off of this medication by lowering the dose until it is safe to stop taking the medicine completely. The FDA has listed duloxetine as a category C drug. This means there are not enough conclusive studies to determine the full effects of this medication in pregnancy. While there are test studies on animals that show certain adverse effects in the fetus, long term studies on human effects are not adequate at this time.

Does Duloxetine cause headaches and high blood pressure?

People who take duloxetine may experience headaches. However, high blood pressure isn't a typical side effect of this medication. If a person has high blood pressure, a headache may also be caused by this. There are ways to reduce high blood pressure and headaches by reducing the amount of salt intake and increasing water intake. Smoking and alcohol may increase high blood pressure so it is best to avoid these triggers. If the person is overweight, losing weight may help lower blood pressure. Beginning a healthy diet that involves less fat and salt is one of the better approaches of reducing high blood pressure.

When a person is showing or experiencing signs of depression, a doctor will commonly prescribe duloxetine. When dealing with anti-depression medication, many questions and concerns may arise regarding side effects that accompany most anti-depressants. If a person has questions regarding duloxetine, the person should ask an Expert for medical clarity and suggestions for proper use.
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