Duloxetine is used to treat depression and anxiety. In addition, duloxetine is used to help relieve nerve pain (peripheral neuropathy) in people with diabetes or ongoing pain due to medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic back pain, or fibromyalgia (a condition that causes widespread 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.
Antidepressant medications are used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression and other mental/mood disorders. These medications can help prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts and provide other important benefits. However, a small number of people (especially people younger than 25) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. Therefore, it is very important to talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication (especially for people younger than 25), even if treatment is not for a mental/mood condition.
Tell the doctor right away if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Be especially watchful for these symptoms when a new antidepressant is started or when the dose is changed.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used for other painful nerve conditions (neuropathic pain) or binge eating disorder (BED).
How to Use This Medication
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using duloxetine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 1 or 2 times a day with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush or chew the capsule or mix the contents with food or liquid. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects.
The dosage is based on your age, medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
It is important to continue taking this medication as prescribed even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, mood swings, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, sleep changes, and brief feelings similar to electric shock. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased to reduce side effects. Report any new or worsening symptoms right away.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.