It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to allow for changes in your dose and to help prevent any unwanted effects.
It is important to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Your doctor may want you to join a pregnancy registry for patients taking this medicine.
You will need to have your blood pressure measured before starting this medicine and while you are using it. If you notice any change to your recommended blood pressure, call your doctor right away. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.
Duloxetine has not been shown to add to the effects of alcohol. However, use of alcohol is not recommended in patients who are taking duloxetine.
Duloxetine may cause some teenagers and young adults to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. Some people may have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. If you or your caregiver notice any of these unwanted effects, tell your doctor right away. Let the doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
This medicine can cause serious liver problems. If you experience symptoms such as dark urine, general tiredness and weakness, light-colored stools, nausea and vomiting, upper right stomach pain, or yellow eyes and skin, contact your doctor right away.
Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor. If you have been instructed to stop taking duloxetine, ask your doctor how to slowly decrease the dose. This will decrease your chance of having withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, headaches, vomiting, increased sweating, irritability, nightmares, or prickling or tingling feelings.
Do not take duloxetine if you have taken an monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (e.g., isocarboxazid [Marplan®], phenelzine [Nardil®], selegiline [Eldepryl®], or tranylcypromine [Parnate®]) in the past 2 weeks. Do not start taking an MAO inhibitor within 5 days of stopping duloxetine. If you do, you may develop confusion, agitation, restlessness, stomach or intestinal symptoms, sudden high body temperature, extremely high blood pressure, or severe convulsions.
Make sure your doctor knows about all the other medicines you are using. Duloxetine may cause serious conditions called serotonin syndrome or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)-like reactions if taken with certain medicines such as linezolid (Zyvox®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), tryptophan, St. John's wort, or some pain medicines (e.g., tramadol [Ultram®], sumatriptan [Imitrex®], zolmitriptan [Zomig®], or rizatriptan [Maxalt®]). Check with your doctor first before taking any other medicines.
Serious skin reactions can occur during treatment with this medicine, including erythema multiforme and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS). Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; red skin lesions; severe acne or skin rash; sores or ulcers on the skin; or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic and notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests, check with your doctor.
Duloxetine may cause some people to become drowsy or have blurred vision. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or able to see clearly. You may also feel lightheaded when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, so get up slowly. If these symptoms are bothering you or keeping you from doing your daily activities, tell your doctor right away.
This medicine may increase your risk for bleeding problems. Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking other medicines that thin the blood, such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents also called NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, or Motrin®) or warfarin (Coumadin®).
Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) may occur with this medicine. Stop using the medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have confusion, difficulty concentrating, headaches, memory problems, weakness, and unsteadiness.