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What is Savella?
Savella is used to treat pain caused by a condition called fibromyalgia that affects the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and supporting tissues.
Savella is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) that works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain (neurotransmitters).
How to use Savella
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using Savella and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take Savella by mouth with or without food, usually 2 times a day or as directed by your doctor. If you have nausea, it may help to take Savella with food.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may start you at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Do not increase your dose or take Savella more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased.
If Savella has been used regularly for a long time, withdrawal symptoms (such as mood swings, headache, tiredness, sleep changes, and brief feelings similar to electric shock) may occur if you suddenly stop using Savella. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Savella Side Effects
Nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, loss of appetite, dizziness, increased sweating, headache, or hot flashes (flushing) may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed Savella because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using Savella do not have serious side effects.
Savella may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fast/pounding heartbeat, changes in sexual ability, decreased interest in sex, painful/difficult urination, seizures, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain, black/bloody stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, easy bruising/bleeding.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: eye pain/swelling/redness, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night, blurred vision).
Savella may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.
A very serious allergic reaction to Savella is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking Savella, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to levoSavella; or if you have any other allergies. Savella may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using Savella, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, alcohol use, personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type), personal or family history of psychiatric disorders (such as bipolar/manic-depressive disorder), personal or family history of suicide attempts, high blood pressure, heart problems (such as chest pain, heart attack, fast/irregular heartbeat), seizure disorder, severe loss of body water (dehydration), stomach/intestinal ulcers, mineral imbalance (low level of sodium in the blood), painful/difficult urination (for example, due to enlarged prostate).
Savella may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Drinking alcohol can also increase your risk of liver problems.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be at greater risk for mineral imbalance (low level of sodium in the blood) while using Savella, especially if they are also taking "water pills" (diuretics) with Savella.
During pregnancy, Savella should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Babies born to mothers who have used Savella during the last 3 months of pregnancy may infrequently develop withdrawal symptoms such as feeding/breathing difficulties, seizures, muscle stiffness, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn, tell the doctor promptly.
Savella passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with Savella include: "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide), drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (such as "blood thinners" including warfarin/heparin, anti-platelet drugs including clopidogrel).
Taking MAO inhibitors with Savella may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with Savella. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before and at least 5 days after treatment with Savella. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking Savella.
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) that may increase your risk for bleeding if taken together with Savella. Low-dose aspirin should be continued if prescribed by your doctor for specific medical reasons such as heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams per day). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin. Examples include street drugs such as MDMA/"ecstasy," St. John's wort, certain antidepressants (including SSRIs such as fluoxetine/paroxetine, other SNRIs such as duloxetine/venlafaxine), tryptophan, among others. The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs.
Savella is very similar to levoSavella. Do not use medications containing levoSavella while using Savella.