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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Savella

Generic Name: milnacipran (Pronunciation: mil NA si pran)

What is milnacipran (Savella)?

Milnacipran affects certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. An abnormality in these chemicals is thought to be related to fibromyalgia. Milnacipran is not used to treat depression but how it works in the body is similar to how some antidepressants work.

Milnacipran is used to treat a chronic pain disorder called fibromyalgia.

Milnacipran may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of milnacipran (Savella)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • painful or difficult urination;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, nosebleeds, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood;
  • severe weakness, seizure (convulsions);
  • chills or goose bumps, memory problems, trouble concentrating,
  • agitation, hallucinations, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting;
  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out;
  • high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats); or
  • stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;
  • swelling in your hands or feet;
  • constipation, upset stomach, bloating;
  • dry mouth;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • hot flashes, sweating;
  • weight changes; or
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about milnacipran (Savella)?

Do not take milnacipran together with thioridazine (Mellaril), or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). You must wait at least 14 days after stopping an MAOI before you can take milnacipran. After you stop taking milnacipran, you must wait at least 5 days before you start taking an MAOI.

You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking this medication, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage.

Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by milnacipran.

Milnacipran may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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