How many medications, therapies, and methods have you tried to help with effective, long-term solutions for your fibromyalgia pain management? Most of us still haven’t found the right thing. We may find a temporary “cure” or remedy. Or we try something that exacerbates another symptom. Not only do we have the frustration of fibro itself, but sometimes you just want to pull out your hair for struggling to find something that works. No wonder so many of us end up with severe depression.
It definitely doesn’t help that healthcare practitioners view fibromyalgia differently. While most physicians in America accept the reality of fibromyalgia, there are still plenty that downplay your pain levels. If you’re lucky to have a smarter healthcare professional in your life, you may find that they tend to prescribe antidepressants to help treat your fibromyalgia symptoms, including the depression that so frequently accompanies fibro in the first place. The reason they prescribe these so frequently to fibro patients in particular, is related to the way neurotransmitter systems within the body sometimes malfunction. When that happens, it frequently leads to health issues like anxiety, depression, and even fibromyalgia. Antidepressants remedy the neurotransmitter malfunction, which can be highly effective in helping you to cope with many of the symptoms fibromyalgia patients experience.
How Savella for Fibromyalgia Works
One common family of medications prescribed frequently to people diagnosed with these conditions are called SSNRIs, or more frequently, SNRIs, meaning “selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.”
So what does that have to do with fibromyalgia? Well, SNRIs are powerful drugs that act primarily upon the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin within the brain. Normally, these chemicals are produced within the body, travel to the brain, and are absorbed within the neurons. Their proper functioning is vital to the brain conducting many processes such as memory, attention, sleep, and many others. Do these sound like familiar issues, fibro patients?
In fact, these chemicals are extremely important to our emotions and perception as well. But sometimes the brain doesn’t absorb them. Maybe because they aren’t produced in ample quantities. Or maybe for some other reason. AT any rate, it leads to serious problems. Using SNRIs does not cause the body to make more neurotransmitters. Rather they actually bond with neurotransmitters in the brain and effectively “weigh” them down so that they stay there until the brain is forced to absorb them.
What About Savella for Fibromyalgia?
One SNRI that is frequently prescribed for the pain associated with fibromyalgia is Savella (Milnacipran). It is the third drug approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia. Oddly enough, Savella for fibromyalgia is not used as a treatment for depression like other SNRIs. Nevertheless, it has been effective in managing pain, improving cognitive function, fatigue, and depression. Various studies have shown that it seems to benefit around 50% of those who take it. That’s a far cry from the 1 in 10 success results that come from Lyrica. But the record for Savella for fibromyalgia of 1 out of 2 patients isn’t bad at all! It’s certainly worth a try if you’re open to pharmaceutical medications.
Of course, everyone is unique. My physiology is going to be different than yours. And so is my experience of pain and other fibro symptoms. By the same token, just because one person has negative results from a drug does not mean that all people will have that result. Again….it works for about 50%! Still, it’s very important to talk with your doctor before trying any new medication to determine what might work best for you. Tell her your concerns about the trial, but more importantly, tell your healthcare practitioner about every medication and supplement you are taking. Even herbal supplements can have harsh interactions with prescription drugs. You’ll need to be prepared to report the dosage of each as well, whether it’s in milligrams, I.U.s, or another form of measurement. Just be ready.
Side Effects of Savella for Fibromyalgia
Some of the most common side effects from savella for fibromyalgia may include, but are not limited to:
- Dry mouth
- High blood pressure
- Increased sweating
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Testicular pain
- Decreased libido
Believe it or not, Savella is generally considered to be very mild when it comes to the frequency of negative side effects. So if you’re on the fence about it due to possible side effects, it may be worth giving it a try, especially because fibromyalgia can be so difficult to treat. Combined with other medications or treatments, it could prove to be extremely beneficial.
Have you ever used Savella? Did it work for you? Have you found a different medication, remedy, or therapy that works better for you at addressing several fibromyalgia symptoms at once? Please share your story with us!