How to use Duloxetine
If a doctor has prescribed this medication for use, it is very important to use exactly as directed. You will be strongly advised to take the exact dosage, at specific times and not to take the medication for a longer period of time than is ordered.
Your doctor will recommend that you familiarise yourself with the medication guide or instruction leaflet that comes with the medication. If you have any concerns or questions, it is advisable to consult your doctor for clarity.
Duloxetine is generally taken orally and must be swallowed whole, with or without the accompaniment of food. No capsule should be crushed, chewed or broken before swallowing. The capsule and its contents must remain intact and not opened and sprinkled on food or in liquid before being ingested. The medication is designed to be released slowly into the body. Releasing all of the drug into the body at once encourages the medication to get to work faster than it is meant to and thus leads to adverse effects.
Your doctor will also likely explain the effects of the medication. It is not likely that you will begin to feel beneficial effects immediately after starting treatment. It may take a few weeks for the medication to begin working effectively in the body. For this reason, your doctor will advise you to continue use as prescribed, even if it takes several weeks for you to feel any real effect.
It will also be recommended that you take the medication for a set period of time even if you begin to feel well. It is very important not to discontinue use without the express knowledge or recommendation of your doctor. Some medical conditions can worsen with sudden discontinuation. You can also experience certain drug side-effects or worsening symptoms.
Whatever physical changes (symptoms) you experience on this medication, it is strongly advisable to keep your doctor in the loop. He or she can effectively adjust your dosages to either gradually reduce or alleviate side-effects altogether. If the medication does not take effect or your feel considerably worse, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible so that treatment can be reassessed.
Proper use of this medication will involve:
- Correct dosages: The prescribed doses to be taken and how often differs from one patient to another. Your doctor will prescribe specific dosage instructions with your medical condition in mind. It can happen that your prescribed dose is different to that which is recommended on the medication guide. If this concerns you, speak with your doctor so that he or she can advise reasons why. It is not advisable to adjust your dosage on your own. The dosage amount prescribed also depends on the strength of the medication, your age, as well as the condition being treated. Lower doses (such as 30 milligrams a day or 20 milligrams twice a day) may be recommended at first and then increased as necessary. Duloxetine comes in strengths of 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg and 60 mg (milligrams). Dosages usually don’t exceed 120 mg (milligrams) a day.
- Missed dosages: It can happen that a dose is skipped or missed. If the realisation of missing a dose happens close to the time of the next dose, it is important to skip the missed dose and take the next one. You should not to double up the dose in order to ‘make up’ for the missed one. Double doses will lead to potentially serious side-effects. If it is not yet close to time for the next dose, take the missed dose as soon as possible, and continue as normal.
- Medication storage: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) is best stored in a closed, dry container or cupboard at room temperature, away from direct light, moisture or heat. This medication should not be frozen or be placed within reach of children or pets. It should also not be shared with anyone else. It is not recommended to keep any medication beyond the package expiry date. All expired or unused medication must be discarded if treatment with the drug is discontinued.