Milnacipran for Fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal condition which symptoms include muscle and joint pain, as well as fatigue and a variety of other problems. Often time fibromyalgia can lead to depression; the continuous pain and exhaustion felt in the body can be crippling to your psychological health and your life. However, there are some prescription medications for this condition which have been shown to effectively treat certain aspects of fibromyalgia. Milnacipran, marketed Savella, is the latest FDA approved prescription medication for fibromyalgia.

What is Milnacipran?

Used outside the United States successfully as an antidepressant, milnacipran increases the supply of serotonin and norepinephrine, or chemical messengers, to the brain. In milnacipran, norepinephrine is given the larger boost. According to Dr. Ann Vincent, “By exerting a stronger effect on norepinephrine than on serotonin, milnacipran may scale back the brain’s exaggerated reaction to the neurochemicals associated with painful sensations.”

Does Milnacipran Work?

Studies show that milnacipran was significantly more successful in reducing pain and other physical symptoms in participants than a placebo. These participants had fibromyalgia, but not depression or anxiety. Milnacipran is still being tested to find if it is effective in improving sleep in fibromyalgia sufferers.

Why is Milnacipran Different?

Milnacipran and duloxetine, which does by the name Cymbalta, both fibromyalgia drugs are shown to increase the chemical messengers to the brain. However, Cymbalta for fibromyalgia does not give the larger boost of norepinephrine that milnacipran does. Because research has shown that pain receptors are hypersensitive in people with fibromyalgia, milnacipran gives the effect that Dr. Vincent described.

Source: WebMD, MayoClinic


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Fibromyalgia is a prevalent condition that affects many people in the United States. Approximately 3.7 million Americans have Fibromyalgia. That is 1 in every 73 people.

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