Medications that are known to deliver desired outcomes with high efficacy, sometimes come with the burden of unwanted outcomes. This may make it difficult for patients, disrupting routines at times. One such medication is Cymbalta, commonly used to treat multiple conditions. A question frequently discussed among patients is how to sleep while taking Cymbalta? Here is a practical set of tips on how to free oneself from the effects of insomnia, while on the medication. Following subsections offer in-depth details, including the possible side effects of the drug. This will help patients and caregivers take suitable remedial measures to mitigate or prevent the onset of undesirable outcomes.

What kind of drug is Cymbalta?

Brand name for Duloxetine, Cymbalta belongs to the category of serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. In use since approval almost two decades ago, it is prescribed for treating Major Depressive Disorder, apart from other conditions such as general anxiety, and neuropathic pain. It is also used for treating conditions such as osteoarthritis and incontinence attributed to stress.  The drug is also being studied to determine its effectiveness in mitigating pain experienced by patients diagnosed with cancer, and pain during surgical procedures. Fibromyalgia and chronic musculoskeletal pain are the other conditions that are treated with Cymbalta. The drug is also used off label for managing peripheral neuropathy attributed to chemotherapy.

How does Cymbalta work?

To understand the relation between Cymbalta and insomnia or other effects, it is important to know more about the mechanism of action of Cymbalta. The medication inhibits reabsorption of neuronal serotonin and norepinephrine – two chemicals in the brain. In addition to this, it is also known to prevent the reabsorption of dopamine.  The action of duloxetine in the spinal cord helps in pain mitigation. This is linked to the increased levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the spinal cord, and which reduces the pain due to the activation of certain adrenergic receptors. Pain stimuli transmitted to the brain is the reason for the sensation of pain; by inhibiting this transmission, the brain does not receive the stimuli.

Other effects of the drug are still a part of studies, and this includes the actual manner in which the medication helps treat depression and anxiety. However, it is assumed that serotonin and norepinephrine work in areas that are linked to mood disorders, and this helps regulate or improve the conditions.

How to sleep while taking Cymbalta?

With the background information about the drug, it is now time to address the question on the minds of a large number of patients. Cymbalta is known to have an impact on sleep, with patients sometimes having to contend with overall fatigue or drowsy feelings during the day. The last symptom, unfortunately has a cyclical effect and this could worsen insomnia in patients. For instance, an individual who feels drowsy during the day, is more likely to sleep during the day or take short naps. This will then have an effect on the patient’s regular sleep cycle during the night. Additionally, the individual may also end up consuming drinks that are laden with caffeine, in an effort to stay awake, and this may then lead to a cascading effect, resulting in sleeplessness during the night. So here are simple tips that can be practiced to ensure that sleep is not affected when on the drug.

#1 Identify tell-tale symptoms of effects

Effects of the drug are either accompanied or preceded by certain tell-tale symptoms, and it helps to monitor the symptoms on time. For instance, any change in mood, or sleep patterns in the first few weeks of taking the drug are to be observed and reported to the doctor. This will help in changing medications if the effects are regarded as serious or adverse.

#2 Melatonin supplements

Melatonin supplements will greatly help to fall asleep without any major or adverse side effects. This is essentially supplementing a natural hormone available in the body. This will help the individual to fall asleep and enjoy sound sleep. A word of caution, though; it is necessary to seek the consent or approval of a specialist before trying out OTC sleeping aids. The use of prescription medication to help individuals fall asleep, will involve a proper evaluation; however, OTC products are taken without consultation, and it is important to seek advice.

#3 Avoid smoking and consuming beverages

Individuals who smoke are to resist the urge to smoke closer to bedtime.  Although it may be good decision to kick the habit altogether, the next best option is to give as much of a gap as possible before the last smoke and bedtime. Similarly, it is important to avoid beverages when on the medication. If avoiding beverages totally may be difficult, it is important to give a long gap between the last cup of beverage and bedtime.

#4 Avoid activities that increase blood pressure levels and heart beat rate

Workouts are a good way to be healthy, and also to fall asleep easily. However, it is necessary to give a good gap between workouts and bedtime. This is because of the elevated blood pressure levels and heart beat rate, that could have an impact on sleep. Similarly, any other activity that boosts the blood pressure levels or heart beat rate is to be avoided just before bedtime. This will give the individual a better chance at falling asleep naturally, and enjoy sound sleep.

Commonly reported side effects of Cymbalta

It is now time to look at the commonly reported undesirable outcomes of Cymbalta, as this will help individuals cope better. Individuals are known to experience overall fatigue and drowsiness when on the drug. Feelings of nausea are also likely to be experienced by patients on Cymbalta. Other unwanted effects include dry mouth, and possible loss of weight. This is often linked to sudden loss of appetite when on Cymbalta. The individual is also likely to experience profuse sweating for no apparent reason. Other effects that may be experienced include a possible impact on sexual performance or libido. The patient may experience elevated levels of anxiety or nervousness and this could affect routines.

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