Contains the active ingredient duloxetine hydrochloride
Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
Read this leaflet carefully before taking your medicine.
This leaflet answers some of the common questions about duloxetine. It does not contain all the information that is known about duloxetine.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor and pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor will have weighed the risks of you taking this medicine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
What this medicine is used for
The name of your medicine is Duloxetine-DRLA. It contains the active ingredient duloxetine hydrochloride.
Duloxetine is used to treat major depressive disorder (depression) and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (excessive worry).
How it works
Duloxetine belongs to a group of medicines called Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs). SNRIs are believed to work by their action on serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain. Serotonin and noradrenaline are the chemical messengers responsible for controlling the psychological and painful physical symptoms of depression.
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
Your doctor may prescribe this medicine for another use. Ask your doctor if you want more information.
Use in children
Duloxetine is not recommended for use in children and adolescents under the age of 18 years.
Before you take this medicine
When you must not take it
Do not take this medicine if:
- You have an allergy to:
– any medicine containing duloxetine hydrochloride;
– any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
- You have liver disease
This could increase the chance of you having liver problems during treatment with
- You are taking another medicine for depression called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or have been taking a MAOI within the last 14 days.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure as to whether or not you are taking a MAOI.
If you do take duloxetine while you are taking a MAOI, you may experience shaking (tremor), shivering, muscle stiffness, fever, rapid pulse, rapid breathing or confusion.
- You are taking another medicine for depression called fluvoxamine.
Do not use after the use by (expiry) date printed on the pack. It may have no effect at all, or worse, an entirely unexpected effect if you take it after the expiry date.
Do not use this medicine if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
Do not use it to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to. Do not give this medicine to anyone else.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially if you have:
- a condition in which the pressure of fluid in the eye may be high (glaucoma)
- high blood pressure
- heart problems
- kidney problems as you may need to take a lower dose of duloxetine
- history of fits (seizures)
- bipolar disorder
If you have high blood pressure or heart problems your doctor may monitor your blood pressure.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved. If duloxetine is taken during pregnancy, you should be careful, particularly at the end of pregnancy. Transitory withdrawal symptoms have been reported rarely in the newborn after maternal use in the last 3 months of pregnancy.
Talk to your doctor about how much alcohol you drink. People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol should not take duloxetine. Drinking too much alcohol could increase the chance of you having liver problems during treatment with duloxetine.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start taking duloxetine.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and duloxetine may interfere with each other. These include:
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- (MAOIs), medicines used to treat some types of depression.
You should stop taking MAOIs at least two weeks before starting duloxetine.
You must stop taking duloxetine at least 5 days before you start taking a MAOI.
- other medicines used to treat depression, panic disorder, anxiety or obsessive illnesses, including tryptophan
- strong painkillers such as tramadol, pethidine
- a type of migraine treatment called ‘triptans’, such as sumatriptan or zolmitriptan
- medicines used to treat stress urinary incontinence such as tolteridone
- medicines used to treat heart problems such as flecainide or propafenone
- thioridazine, a medicine used to reat schizophrenia
- herbal medicines such as St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- warfarin, a medicine used to thin the blood (anticoagulant) or other medicines known to affect blood coagulation (NSAIDs, aspirin)
Do not start to take any other medicine unless prescribed or approved by your doctor. These medicines may be affected by duloxetine or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicines or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking this medicine.
How to take it
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the carton, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to take
The usual recommended dose of duloxetine in Major Depressive Disorder is one 60 mg capsule taken once daily.
The recommended dose of duloxetine in Generalised Anxiety Disorder is between 30 mg and 120 mg, taken once daily.
Your doctor may start you on a lower dose to help reduce side effects.
If you have severe kidney disease, the recommended starting dose of duloxetine is one 30 mg capsule taken once daily.
How to take it
Swallow the capsule whole with a full glass of water.
Do not open the capsules and crush the pellets inside because the medicine may not work as well.
Duloxetine may be taken with or without meals.
When to take it
Take your medicine at about the same time each day. Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
How long to take it
The length of treatment with duloxetine will depend on how quickly your symptoms improve.
Most medicines of this type take time to work so don’t be discouraged if you do not feel better right away.
Although you may notice an improvement, continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.
Make sure you have enough to last over weekends and holidays.
If you forget to take it
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed. This may increase the chance of you experiencing side effects.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints to help you remember.
If you take too much (overdose)
If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much of this medicine, immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (Tel: 13 11 26 in Australia) for advice. Alternatively go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
Symptoms of an overdose may include drowsiness, convulsions, and vomiting. Symptoms may also include some or all of the following: feeling confused, feeling restless, sweating, shaking, shivering, hallucinations, muscle jerks, and a fast heart beat.
While you are taking this medicine
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking duloxetine.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon or anaesthetist that you are taking this medicine.
If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
Keep all of your doctor’s appointments so that your progress can be checked. Your doctor may do some tests from time to time to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent unwanted side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if you have any suicidal thoughts or other mental/mood changes. Occasionally, the symptoms of depression or other psychiatric conditions may include thoughts of harming yourself or committing suicide. These symptoms may continue or get worse during the first one or two months of treatment, until the full antidepressant effect of the medicine becomes apparent This is more likely to occur in young adults under 25 years of age.
Contact your doctor or a mental health professional right away or go to the nearest hospital for treatment if you or someone you know is showing any of the following warning signs of suicide:
- worsening of your depression
- thoughts or talk of death or suicide
- thoughts or talk of self-harm or harm to others
- any recent attempts of self-harm
- increase in aggressive behaviour, irritability or any other unusual changes in behaviour or mood.
All mentions of suicide or violence must be taken seriously.
If you notice any of the following contact your doctor right away.
Your doctor may do some blood tests to check your liver or tell you to stop taking your medicine. Signs of liver problems include:
- itchy skin
- dark urine
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- tenderness over the liver
- symptoms of the ‘flu’
These may be signs of serious liver damage.
Things you must not do
- Stop taking your medicine, or change the dosage, without first discussing it with your doctor.
If you stop taking it suddenly, your condition may worsen or you may have unwanted side effects. If possible, your doctor will gradually reduce the amount you take each day before stopping the medicine completely.
- Give this medicine to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours
- Take your medicine to treat any other condition unless your doctor or pharmacist tells you to
- Drive or operate machinery until you know how duloxetine affects you.
Duloxetine may cause dizziness or drowsiness in some people.
- Do not let yourself run out of duloxetine over weekends or holidays.
Things to be careful of
Be careful when drinking alcohol while you are taking this medicine. Drinking large amounts of alcohol during treatment with duloxetine can cause severe liver injury.
You should avoid ‘binge drinking’ or drinking excessively during treatment with duloxetine. Drinking alcohol with this medicine may also cause dizziness or drowsiness in some people. If you have any of these symptoms, do not drive, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking duloxetine or if you have any questions or concerns.
Duloxetine helps many people with depression, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects.
The following side effects are the more common side effects of duloxetine and are often mild and short-lived.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following:
- dry mouth, mouth ulcers, thirst, bad taste
- burping or belching, indigestion, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting,
- constipation, diarrhoea, wind (flatulence)
- bad breath
- loss of appetite, weight loss
- trouble sleeping
- dream abnormalities
- feeling tired or having no energy
- sexual problems
- blurred vision
- feeling anxious, agitated or restless
- confusion and attention problems
- tingling and numbness of hands, face, mouth and feet
- yawning or throat tightness
- difficulty urinating (passing water), urinating frequently or needing to urinate at night
- irregular heart beat
- hot and cold sweats
- sore ears, sore throat
- ringing in ears
- muscle pain, stiffness or twitching
- walking problems
- skin rash
- restless legs
These are the more common side effects of your medicine.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
- signs of a possible serious liver problem,
such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, feeling generally unwell, fever, itching, yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, dark urine
- high pressure in the eye (glaucoma)
- feeling tired, weak or confused and having achy, stiff or uncoordinated muscles. This may be because you have low sodium levels in the blood (hyponatraemia or syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone)
- abdominal pain, traces of blood in your stools, or if your stools are dark in colour. This may because you have increased bleeding, possibly in the gastric tract (gastrointestinal bleeding). You may also feel weakness, dizziness and experience nausea and/or vomiting
- seeing or hearing things (hallucinations)
- dizziness or fainting when you stand up, especially from a lying or sitting position
- uncontrollable movements
- if you have some or all of the following symptoms you may have something called serotonin syndrome: feeling confused, feeling restless, sweating, shaking, shivering, hallucinations, sudden jerks in your muscles or a fast heart beat
- stiff neck or jaw muscles (lockjaw)
- fits or seizures
- mood of excitement, over-activity and uninhibited behaviour.
- aggression or anger especially after starting or stopping taking this medicine
You may need urgent medical attention.
Other changes you may not aware of:
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
- itching, skin rash or hives
- shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
These are very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell. This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects not yet known.
If you think you are having an allergic reaction to duloxetine, do not take any more of this medicine and tell your doctor immediately or go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include some or all of the following:
- cough, shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing.
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or other parts of the body
- rash, itching or hives on the skin
- hayfever-like symptoms
Storage and disposal
Keep your medicine in its original packaging until it is time to take it. If you take your medicine out of its original packaging it may not keep well.
Keep your medicine in a cool dry place where the temperature will stay below 25°C.
Do not store your medicine, or any other medicine, in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep this medicine where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor or pharmacist tells you to stop taking this medicine or they have passed their expiry date, your pharmacist can dispose of the remaining medicine safely.
What Duloxetine-DRLA looks like
- Duloxetine-DRLA 30 mg capsules are white to off-white spherical enteric coated pellets filled in size ‘3’ hard gelatin capsules with opaque blue coloured cap and opaque white coloured body, imprinted ‘RDY609’ on cap and ‘30 mg’ on body with golden yellow ink.
- Duloxetine-DRLA 60 mg capsules are white to off-white spherical enteric coated pellets filled in size ‘1’ hard gelatin capsules with opaque blue coloured cap and opaque green coloured body, imprinted ‘RDY610’ on cap and ‘60 mg’ on body with white ink.
Duloxetine-DRLA is available in blister packs of 7, 10, 14 and 28 capsules.
Not all pack sizes may be available.
Each Duloxetine-DRLA capsule contains 30 mg or 60 mg of duloxetine hydrochloride as the active ingredient.
It also contains the following inactive ingredients:
- Sugar spheres (PI#12751)
- Purified talc
- Hypromellose phthalate
- Triethyl citrate
- Empty hard gelatin capsule shells cap & body-blue & white size 3 (PI#108087) and Tekprint SB-3002 Gold Ink (PI # 3426) – 30 mg capsules only
- Empty hard gelatin capsule shells cap & body- dark blue & green size 1 (PI#108080) and TekPrint SW-0012 White Ink (PI #13175) – 60 mgs only capsules
This medicine is gluten-free, tartrazine-free and free of other azo dyes.
Australian Registration Numbers
- Duloxetine-DRLA 30 mg capsules: AUST R 195618
- Duloxetine-DRLA 60 mg capsules: AUST R 195611
Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Australia Pty Ltd
Level 1, 181 Bay Street
Brighton, VIC 3186
This leaflet was prepared in July 2013.
Published by MIMS August 2014