What is Duloxetine?

“According to the British Pain Society, Duloxetine, which is used to treat some types of persistent pain, is especially good for nerve pain, such as burning, shooting or stabbing pain; & for pain that keeps you awake at night [1]

Duloxetine is a well known pharmaceutical, which is in a class of medications called selective serotonin & norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It works by increasing the amounts of serotonin & norepinephrine – natural substances in the brain that help maintain mental balance & top the movement of pain signals in the brain” [2]. It has to be prescribed by a Pain Doctor or other appropriate medic, and with regard to ameliorating pain, it is used to treat:

• Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage, and the pain and tingling sensations associated with diabetes)
• Fibromyalgia (a long-term disorder that can cause muscle pain, stiffness, tenderness, tiredness, and insomnia)
• Chronic musculoskeletal pain (such as lower back pain and osteoarthritis pain) [2].

How is Duloxetine Taken?

Duloxetine is what is known as a delayed-release oral medication. – This means that in order to avoid the pharmaceutical being broken down by stomach acids when it reaches the stomach, the capsule only releases the medication once it arrives in the intestine. When a Pain Consultant prescribes Duloxetine for a patient who is suffering from ongoing muscle and/or bone pain, fibromyalgia, or diabetic neuropathy, then the dose is normally one capsule per day. (This should be taken with a glass of water at the same time of day, with or without food). The majority of patients take Duloxetine in the morning, however, you feel drowsy after taking it in the morning, you can experiment taking it in the evening [1,2]. Note: it is important to keep in regular touch with your Pain Doctor, in order for them to monitor your progress.

How Long Will Duloxetine Take to Work?

While it has to be said that every individual is different: “you may notice some initial benefit within one week, however it may take up to one month for a full effect. Moreover, your Pain Doctor may need to increase the dose to get the maximum effect. If you do not feel any improvement in your pain, do not suddenly stop taking the tablets, contact your Pain Specialist first” [1]. They will give you guidance as to what to do, and also discuss other conventional treatments, along with the latest innovative options, to successfully ameliorate your pain.


[1]. British Pain Society (2022). “Information for Adult Patients Prescribed Duloxetine.”

[2]. Medkline Plus (2022). “Duloxetine.”