Reboxetine is prescribed to treat depression. It may take a week or two after starting the tablets before you start to feel the benefit. Do not stop taking it, thinking it is not helping.
Discuss any troublesome side-effects with your doctor.
|Type of medicine||An antidepressant (a selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor)|
|Used for||Depression in adults|
Depression can develop for no apparent reason or it may be triggered by a life event such as a relationship problem, bereavement, or illness. Although it is not fully understood what causes depression, an imbalance of naturally occurring chemicals in your brain is thought to be a factor. Reboxetine works by regulating the levels of a chemical in the brain called noradrenaline; this eases the symptoms of depression in some people.
Before taking reboxetine
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking reboxetine it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have a heart condition or blood vessel problems.
- If you have any problems with the way your liver works or with the way your kidneys work.
- If you have epilepsy.
- If you have increased pressure in your eye (glaucoma).
- If you have bipolar disorder.
- If you have been experiencing difficulty passing urine or have prostate problems.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take reboxetine
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about reboxetine and it will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Take reboxetine exactly as your doctor tells you to. The usual dose is one (4 mg) tablet taken twice a day, although your doctor may prescribe a dose different to this.
- Try to take your doses at the same times of day each day, as this will help you to remember to take them. You can take reboxetine before or after meals. Have a drink of water to help you swallow the tablet.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If when you remember, it is nearly time for your next dose then leave out the missed dose and take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress and review your treatment.
- You may feel that reboxetine is not working for you straightaway. It can take a week or two after starting the treatment before the effect builds up, and several weeks before you feel the full benefit. Do not stop taking it after a week or so, thinking it is not helping.
- While you are depressed, you may have thoughts about harming yourself or ending your life. If this happens, you must tell your doctor about it straightaway.
- There are several types of antidepressants and they differ in their possible side-effects. If you find that reboxetine does not suit you then let your doctor know, as another may be found that will.
- Keep taking the tablets until your doctor tells you otherwise. Stopping suddenly can cause problems and your doctor may want you to reduce your dose gradually when this becomes necessary.
- You should expect that a normal course of treatment with reboxetine will last for around six months after your symptoms have eased.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with reboxetine. This is because some medicines (such as the herbal remedy St John's wort) can interfere with the effectiveness of reboxetine.
Can reboxetine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with reboxetine. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Very common reboxetine side-effects|
(these affect more than 1 in 10 people)
|What can I do if I experience this?|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water|
|Feeling sick||Eat simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods|
|Difficulty sleeping||If troublesome, speak with your doctor|
|Increased sweating||Keep as cool as you can by wearing light airy clothes|
|Common reboxetine side-effects|
(these affect less than 1 in 10 people)
|What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling dizzy||Do not drive or use tools or machines until you feel well again|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Rash, palpitations, difficulty focusing, lack of appetite,|
changes to the way things taste, difficulties passing urine,
difficulties with sexual function, chills, tingling feelings, feeling anxious, restless or agitated
|If any become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store reboxetine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Edronax® 4 mg Tablets; Pfizer Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2013.
- British National Formulary; 67th Edition (March 2014) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Adrian Bonsall