Savella (Milnacipran)

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Savella is one brand name of the medicine also known by its generic name Milnacipran. This page displays only reviews left by users of Savella. Click here to see all reviews left for all forms of Milnacipran. You can also choose other review combinations.
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More about Milnacipran

What is/are Milnacipran?

Milnacipran (Ixel, Savella, Dalcipran, Toledomin) is a serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) used in the clinical treatment of fibromyalgia. It is not approved for the clinical treatment of major depressive disorder in the USA, but it is in other countries.

Medical uses


In a pooled analysis of 7 comparative trials with imipramine, milnacipran and imipramine were shown to have comparable efficacy while milnacipran was significantly better tolerated. A pooled analysis of studies comparing milnacipran and SSRIs concluded a superior efficacy for milnacipran with similar tolerability for milnacipran and SSRIs. A more recent meta-analysis of 6 studies involving more than 1,000 patients showed no distinction between milnacipran and SSRIs in efficacy or discontinuation rates, including discontinuation for side effects or lack of efficacy. A meta-analysis of a total of 16 randomized controlled trials with more than 2200 patients  concluded that there were no statistically significant differences in efficacy, acceptability and tolerability when comparing milnacipran with other antidepressant agents. However, compared with TCAs, significantly fewer patients taking milnacipran dropped out due to adverse events. As with other antidepressants, 1 to 3 weeks may elapse before significant antidepressant action becomes clinically evident.


During its development for fibromyalgia, milnacipran was evaluated utilizing a composite responder approach. To be considered as a responder for the composite ‘treatment of fibromyalgia’ endpoint, each patient had to show concurrent and clinically meaningful improvements in pain, physical function and global impression of disease status. A systematic review in 2012 showed moderate relief for a minority of people with fibromyalgia. Milnacipran was associated with increased adverse events and discontinuing use of the drug.

Adverse effects

The most frequently occurring adverse reactions (≥ 5% and greater than placebo) were nausea, headache, constipation, dizziness, insomnia, hot flush, hyperhidrosis, vomiting, palpitations, heart rate increase, dry mouth, and hypertension [FDA Savella prescribing information]. Milnacipran can have a significant impact on sexual functions, including both a decrease in sexual desire and ability. Milnacipran can cause pain and swelling of the testicles in men as well as blood in the urine and stools. The incidence of cardiovascular and anticholinergic side effects was significantly lower compared to TCAs as a controlled study with over 3,300 patients revealed. Elevation of liver enzymes without signs of symptomatic liver disease has been infrequent. Mood swing to mania has also been seen and dictates termination of treatment. In psychotic patients emergence of delirium has been noticed. Milnacipran has a low incidence of sedation but improves sleep (both duration and quality) in depressed patients. In agitated patients or those with suicidal thoughts additive sedative/anxiolytic treatment is usually indicated.


  •     MAOIs - hyperserotonergia (serotonin syndrome), potentially lethal hypertensive crisis
  •     5-HT1 receptor agonists - coronary vasoconstriction with risk of angina pectoris and myocardial infarction
  •     Epinephrine, Norepinephrine (also in local anesthesia) - hypertensive crisis and/or possible cardiac arrhythmia
  •     Clonidine - antihypertensive action of clonidine may be antagonized
  •     Digitalis - hemodynamic actions increased
  •     Alcohol - no interactions known; however, because milnacipran can cause mild elevation of liver enzymes, caution is recommended; the FDA advises against the concomitant use of alcohol and milnacipran.


Administration of milnacipran should be avoided in individuals with the following:

  •     Known hypersensitivity to milnacipran (absolute contraindication)
  •     Patients under 15 years of age (no sufficient clinical data)
  •     Concomitant treatment with irreversible MAO inhibitors (e.g. tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), >10 mg L-deprenyl (Selegiline)), digitalis glycosides or 5-HT1D-agonists (e.g. triptan migraine drugs) is an absolute contraindication.

Administration of milnacipran should be done with caution in individuals with the following:

  •     Concomitant treatment with parenteral epinephrine, norepinephrine, with clonidine and reversible MAO-A Inhibitors (moclobemide, toloxatone).
  •     Advanced renal disease (decreased dosage required)
  •     Hypertrophy of the prostate gland (possibly urination hesitancy induced), with hypertension and heart disease (tachycardia may be a problem) as well as with open angle glaucoma

Milnacipran should not be used during pregnancy because it may cross the placenta barrier and no clinical data exists on harmful effects in humans and animal studies. Milnacipran is contraindicated during lactation because it is excreted in the milk, and it is not known if it is harmful to the newborn.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Milnacipran, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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Medicine containing Milnacipran

This page uses publicly available data from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services; NLM is not responsible for the page and product and does not endorse or recommend this or any other product.

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