Cymbalta is an antidepressant from the class of selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI) medications. It primarily affects the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. Cymbalta decreases the absorption of serotonin and norepinephrine thus increasing the serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain. The increases in these neurotransmitters help to diminish the experience of pain and discomfort, decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety. As is the case with several SSRIs, Cymbalta should not be taken with MAOI medications.
Cymbalta is used to treat major depressive and generalized anxiety disorder. It has also been used to treat chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, chronic back pain, and osteoarthritis. It is sometimes used to treat urinary incontinence. In a drug rehab facility, Cymbalta is often used in dual diagnosis treatment for depression, anxiety and addiction. It is an often prescribed pain pill that is included among those medications that are fall within the prescription pill addiction category
Abusing Cymbalta can result in the classic cycle of addiction including depression, anxiety, abstinence, increased use or substance abuse. The cycle can last years before some type of intervention stops the prescription pill addiction.
The proper dosage will depend upon the patient and the disorder being treated and may take 1 to 4 weeks or longer before the full benefits take effect. This medication must be taken as directed and never chewed, split open or crushed. Cymbalta should always be tapered down before stopping abruptly.
Cymbalta may cause side effects including:
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Interrupted thinking
- Changes in sexual desire
- Changes in sugar levels
- Increased depression
- Suicidal thoughts
- Flu-like symptoms
Notify your doctor if these side effects do not go away or are severe.
Less common but more serious side effects are:
- Difficulty breathing
- Stiff muscles
- Feeling of unsteadiness and poor coordination
- Fever or excessive sweating
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Increased depression or suicidal thoughts
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Increased energy
- Liver problems
- Changes in urine
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
It is not unusual for people to experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping the use of Cymbalta. Consult your doctor before stopping Cymbalta, as symptoms are decreased by slowly tapering off this medication. Proper supervision is necessary. Withdrawal symptoms typically subside in one to three weeks. They include:
- Increased sweating
- Upper right gastrointestinal pain
- Mood changes or anxiety
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Insomnia and tiredness
Cymbalta may cause agitation and other abnormal behavior in teens or young adults. Adults may have an abnormal burst of energy followed by risky behaviors.
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