Painful joints is a common problem among adults – especially, older people. Osteoarthritis is a condition triggered by the degeneration of your joints. This conditions shows up in the form of stiffness of joints and / or pains. Other symptoms include inflammation and bone problems adjoining the joints. Timely treatment of such joint problems is highly recommended. Your treating doctor will prescribe pain killing drugs which often form part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This includes physical activities such as exercising of your joints. Drugs such as duloxetine are also used for treating osteoarthritis. But, how effective is this drug? You are advised to know needful details.

Pains can impair productivity levels and can bring down the quality of your life. Those triggered by infections are treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen. But, if you experiencing chronic pains in your joints, it may be due to a condition called osteoarthritis. This condition shows up when your joints witness degeneration. Of all people, the elderly are more vulnerable to joint pains. Apart from age, conditions such as obesity or being overweight may also add stress to your joints.

Upon witnessing chronic pains, it is highly recommended to consult with a qualified medical specialist. Your caregiver will check the levels of pains in the joints. Also, a careful examination of symptoms such as reddening of joints and / or inflammation is undertaken. Relatively milder pains are treated with drugs like tylenol, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc. Most of these drugs are also available as over the counter drugs. However, very acute pains may need drugs prescribed by your caregiving team. In one-off cases, wherein pains are unbearable and are frequent, surgery is a recommended option.

What is duloxetine and what is this drug used for?

Duloxetine is prescribed for the treatment of mental conditions such as depression, phobias and anxieties. As an extended use, this med is consumed to treat osteoarthritis, back pains and a few types of nerve pains. This drug belongs to a class of medications known as serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or in short, SNRI meds. The main function of its active ingredients is to maintain the proper balance of brain substances like norepinephrine, serotonin, etc.

This drug helps boost sleep and lifts your moods. As another positive development, your appetite level improves which in turn leads to a marked increase in your energy level. This is not an over the counter drug; so, its intake is always accompanied by the prescription of a qualified doctor. It can be taken either before or after food. However, those who experience nausea are advised to have it along with a meal. Never share your medicines with a family member or a friend who has the same type of pain. No two people may have a similar condition; moreover, your dosage plan depends on your age, weight, prior clinical problems, if any and the severity of the underlying ailment.

Use of duloxetine for the treatment of osteoarthritis

This SNRI drug is used as a second line treatment for joint conditions such as osteoarthritis. Its use is recommended for those could not obtain a complete relief from pain killers like acetaminophen and / or NSAIDs like ibuprofen. However, duloxetine is not administered for the treatment of inflammatory form of arthritis. The usual dose of this med is 60 milligrams (mg) per day. Your treating doctor may start the medication plan with comparatively lower dosage level of say, 30 mg as a single dose each day. If your body is responding well to this dose, after a span of 10 days or so, the dosages are increased to 60 mg in a gradual manner.
Those who smoke tobacco products may need a slightly higher dose of duloxetine. On the other hand, people living with kidney problems may need to take lesser dosage strengths. If your family’s medical history or your clinical track record includes hepatic conditions such as hepatitis or cirrhosis, your dosages are lowered down to suit an impaired liver function. Those who take alcohol regularly are advised to stay away from taking duloxetine. Hence, it becomes essential to share all needful details about your lifestyle with your treating doctor prior to starting the treatment plan.

It is widely believed that brain substances play a critical role in transmitting pain signals. Studies show that an increased presence of norepinephrine and serotonin can calm down pain-related messages. In this process, your body is likely to experience lesser levels of pain. The key ingredients are known to work swiftly; as a result, you are more likely to witness a marked decrease in joint pains in 6 to 8 days’ time.

Women who are pregnant and living with joint conditions like osteoarthritis need to tell about their pregnancy to the caregiving team. Your caregiver may assess the risks associated with the intake of this drug, and make a safer treatment plan. On the other hand, women who are planning to become pregnant must use appropriate birth control measures to avoid unplanned pregnancy while taking duloxetine. The key chemicals of this drug may enter into breastmilk; so, nursing or breastfeeding women must keep away from taking this med. Babies who fed on such milk may experience withdrawal symptoms such as sleepiness, feeding difficulties as well as crying incessantly. Talk to your treating physician if your newly born infant is encountering one or more of these symptoms.

Above all, care to remember that this drug is never discontinued all of a sudden. So, never discontinue your medication plan without the consent of your caregiver and / or pharmacist. Those who stopped taking this med abruptly witnessed erratic heartbeats, accelerated pulse rate, nausea and headache. Some also developed sleep based disorders. It is a safe practice to taper off the last few doses of this drug.

In sum, duloxetine is a second line med for the treatment of osteoarthritis. It is prescribed when pain killing drugs or NSAIDs like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc. do not offer a complete relief from pains. Your caregiver may initiate your treatment with a low dose of 30 mg within a 24-hour timeline. Upon sensing that your system has responded well i.e., without any side effects, dosage strength of duloxetine is enhanced to 60 mg. For more details about the use of duloxetine for treating osteoarthritis, you are advised to consult with your treating doctor and / or pharmacist.

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