Serotonin is commonly called as the happiness causing hormone; the more it is, you are unlikely to experience mood shifts such as depression, anxieties or mood shifts. Drugs belonging to class of medications known as serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) drugs are known to boost the presence of essential brain chemicals. Needful level of these brain substances help stabilize your moods and also ensure overall mental wellbeing. Duloxetine is a drug that belongs to the SNRI genre of meds. Does intake of this drug cause loss of appetite? It is essential to know more on this.

Duloxetine is commonly used for the treatment of anxieties and depression. This drug brings about needful relief by regulating your sleep cycles, boosting your energy levels as well as reducing unwanted thoughts or dreams. It belongs to the SNRI genre of drugs; its key function is to restore the right level of brain substances such as norepinephrine, serotonin, etc.

Loss of appetite caused by the intake of duloxetine

One of the most commonly experienced side effects of taking duloxetine is a marked decrease in appetite level. Owing to this, you are also likely to witness reduction in body weight. Studies indicate that the active ingredients of this antidepressant may cause a few abdominal discomforts like nausea, vomiting as well as stomach upset. These reactions are largely attributed to loss of appetite and associated loss of body weight. Loss of weight is observed in the range of 2 to 4 lbs. But, not all people may witness a poor appetite level. Studies done among users show that only 1/10th of users experienced a loss in appetite level.

In a small percentage of users, duloxetine has caused gain in body weight. This is however a rare occurrence; this may show up in as low of 1% to 2% of users. This inexplicable increase in body weight may be due to other medical conditions. Upon experiencing weight gain, you are advised to take foods that are low in calorific value; a conscious eating practice is likely to arrest further gain of your body weight.

Other side effects of duloxetine

This SNRI drug may cause a few other adverse side effects. Most common among them are gastric conditions such as constipation or difficulties to pass stools, dizziness or being lightheaded, high levels of blood pressure (or episodes of hypertension), being excessively tired, a marked decrease in libido (or the urge to have sex), etc. Those who have prior thoughts of committing suicide or if any of your family member has committed suicide, you need to make your caregiving team aware of such incidents. Also, those who are living with panic, anxieties, being in an irritated state of mind or impulsiveness must tell their treating doctor about such mental conditions.

Overdose of duloxetine

Intake of duloxetine in larger doses may lead to an acute build-up of serotonin in your system. A marked increase in serotonin is potent enough to cause near-fatal or fatal outcomes. The signs are often unmistakable; these include erratic heartbeats, being extremely agitated or restless, loss of coordination or passing out. Upon witnessing one or more these adverse reactions, you are advised consult with your caregiver without much delay. Those who live in the US may call 911 or establish contact with helpline of food and drug administration (FDA) on an emergency mode. Those who reside in any of the Canadian provinces must call Health Canada or reach out to a poison control unit located closer to where you live.

Safe dosage of duloxetine

This drug is not an over the counter med. It is taken under the supervision / guidance of a qualified medical practitioner. The starting dosages are often maintained at 30 milligrams (mg) per day, administered as a single dose. Your caregiving team will observe how your body responds to this starting dose for the next 4 to 5 days. If your system does not react in an adverse manner, dosages are increased to 40 mg each day. You may need to note that it is harmful to stop taking duloxetine all of a sudden. A sudden discontinuation can trigger withdrawal symptoms; your doctor will hence taper off the last few dosages’ strength. Typical signs of withdrawal include drowsiness, abdominal problems such as nausea as well as migraines / acute spells of headache.

Intake of duloxetine – Other safety precautions

Dosage level of duloxetine depends on multiple factors like your body weight, age, presence of prior medical conditions, how your body reacts to the first few doses of this SNRI med. This med is to be swallowed by drinking a glassful of water. It is unsafe to bite, crush or chew the capsule. Those who have a regular habit of drinking must keep away from alcohol. Taking duloxetine with alcohol is likely to cause hepatic problems such as cirrhosis or swelling of the liver i.e., hepatitis.

It is important to share details about medications or treatment plan that you are currently pursuing. If you are taking blood thinners such as warfarin along with duloxetine, the risks of internal bleeding and bruising are fairly high. Similarly, intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, warfarin or aspirin is also likely to cause bruises and bleeding. Moreover, if your present medication plans has drugs such as quinolone based antibiotic drugs and / or cimetidine, these meds may restrict the efficacy of duloxetine. This SNRI med is known to affect the effective discharge of the residue of drugs like tricyclic antidepressants, antipsychotic meds, etc.

Last but not least, intake of other drugs which increase the availability of serotonin can work adversely with duloxetine. Co-administration of such drugs – mainly those belonging to the SSRI or SNRI class of meds –can lead to serotonin toxicity. So, tell your caregiving team if you are consuming other antidepressants such as fluoxetine, paroxetine (which are essentially selective serotonin reuptake inhibiting drugs) or fellow SNRIs like venlafaxine, etc.

In sum, duloxetine forms part of a genre called SNRI medications. Its main task is to ensure the availability of brain chemicals like serotonin, norepinephrine, etc. This drug is likely to cause a decrease in appetite levels. It is also widely considered to trigger abdominal problems such as nausea, stomach upset and / or vomiting. However, not all users experience a drop in appetite. But, if you are encountering loss of body weight, consult with your treating physician for needful alternatives.

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