Like many other chronic conditions, finding the right medication to deal with fibromyalgia has not been an easy task. Several drugs have however been approved for use in managing the disease. Among these is savella which was the third drug to get this approval after lyrica and cymbalta. The active ingredient in savella is known as milnacipran. This is capable of reducing the symptomatic pain associated with fibromyalgia and at the same time helping reduce fatigue.
Savella belongs to a group of medicines known as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) and acts like all other SNRI except that it is not used in treating depression like all others. It works by blocking the absorption of epinephrine and serotonin which are neurotransmitters or chemical messengers found in the brain. This means that less of these chemical messengers are taken up by the brain cells and more is found in the extra-cellular space for use in passing messages. This improves the communication from one part of the brain to another and this is associated with easing pain and reducing the fatigue associated with fibromyalgia as these neurotransmitters filter out the signals sent to the brain to give such communications. Though the exact mechanism by which savella works to achieve these effects in humans is not fully understood, the benefits are definitely reliable.
Savella is a prescription medication whose dose is increased with time. The initial dose is 12.5mgs per pay taken in two dosages and this is increased to 100mgs per day in a week’s time. This is the recommended daily dosage but it may be increased to 200mg a day depending on the response one shows towards the medication. The drug needs to be taken twice a day thanks to its short half life of 6 to 8hours. It is quickly absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract and is excreted via the kidneys in urine. Relief from the fibromyalgia symptoms can be expected in a week’s time.
Scientific studies that have been carried out have proven beyond reasonable doubt the usefulness of using savella for treating fibromyalgia. Many report that their pain decreases by at least 30%, the condition improves much and the physical functioning is improved as well.
Savella poses several side effects including weight loss which many find quite desirable. While on this medication, one is able to lose up to two pounds in a month. A common side effects many on the drug report is nausea which can be reduced by taking the drug with food and usually goes away after using the medicine for about two weeks. Other side effects may include constipation, dry mouth, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, vomiting, hot flushes, excessive sweating, insomnia and dizziness. Having the same action as that of anti-depressants, savella is likely to induce side effects associated with these type of drugs. The most common is suicidal thoughts seen especially in children, teens and young adults. If you or your loved one is on savella, be sure to note any behavior changes in advance before worse comes to worst. Any changes should be reported immediately and use of the medicine discontinued.