One of the most common class of drugs prescribed for those with fibromyalgia is serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) antidepressants. Milnacipran, sold under the brand name Savella, is a SNRI drug approved by FDA to treat fibromyalgia.
What Are SNRI?
SNRIs are powerful drugs that act mainly on the neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and serotonin, in your brain. Our body normally produces these chemicals which will then travel into the brain and absorbed in the neurons. Proper functioning of these chemicals is vital to the brain. It helps the brain in certain processes, such as sleep, attention, memory, etc.
These two chemicals are important to our emotions and perceptions. Sometimes, the brain is unable to absorb these chemicals well. This could be because the body cannot produce sufficient amounts. Hence leading to problems with the brain functions.
However, administering SNRI will not enable the body to produce more neurotransmitters. Instead, the drug increases activity of serotonin and norepinephrine by enabling the neurotransmitters to travel from neurons to neurons.
How Does Milnacipran for Fibromyalgia Work?
Milnacipran, sold under the brand Savella, is the 3rd drug approved by FDA to treat fibromyalgia. Interestingly enough, the main use of the antidepressant is not for treating depression, which SNRI is commonly prescribed for.
Instead, it has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and fatigue and improving cognitive function. Nevertheless, fibromyalgia patients who also suffer from depression can also benefit from the antidepressant activity of the drug.
According to studies, 50 percent of those who took milnacipran showed promising results. This is significantly better than the 1 in every 10 successes from Lyrica’s pregabalin. Hence, milnacipran for fibromyalgia is considered an effective drug for treating its symptoms.
Side Effects of Milnacipran for fibromyalgia
The most frequently observed side effect of Milnacipran is nausea. In addition, other side effects ranging from light to moderate severity include:
- feeling dizzy
- sleeping difficulties
- excessive perspiration
- irregular heartbeat
- dry mouth
- high blood pressure
If you are considering taking milnacipran for fibromyalgia, make sure you consult your doctor before doing so. Existing medical conditions or current medications that you are on can make milnacipran unsuitable for you.