What is Duloxetine used for?
Known by their brand names Cymbalta and Irenka, Duloxetine is a prescription medication used for the treatment of depression (major depressive disorders) as an antidepressant and anxiety (generalised anxiety disorder), as well as for pain management associated with diabetes (diabetic peripheral neuropathy) due to nerve damage, and chronic pain conditions affecting the muscles and bones, such as fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid arthritis or chronic back pain.
The medication is classified as a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI) and effectively works by balancing the production of serotonin and norepinephrine (chemicals) in the brain. The balance helps to treat more severe symptoms of depression and anxiety (not recommended for ‘the blues’), as well as inhibit pain signals from nerves in the body to the brain.
Duloxetine is typically prescribed in delayed-release capsule form, taken orally. The medication can help to improve sleep, problems with appetite, mood or energy levels, as well as alleviate issues of restlessness. It is also beneficial for alleviating pain caused by various medical conditions.
The medication is available as a generic drug in some strengths, but not in all. If opting for a generic version, which is usually more cost effective, it is advisable to consult your doctor for the best option to include on your prescription.