Savella Gets Good Marks for Treating Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Medication Update

 Findings from 2 large clinical trials found that milnacipran, which is marketed as Savella, effectively relieves multiple symptoms of fibromyalgia.

The results, which were presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, come from 2 clinical trials. One trial lasted 27 weeks, and the other lasted 15 weeks.

In the 27-week trial, approximately 900 patients received 100 mg of Savella, 200 mg of Savella, or a placebo each day. In the 15-week study, 1,200 patients received either 200 mg Savella or a placebo each day.
Pharmacist scanning prescription boxThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Savella to treat fibromyalgia.The researchers used a variety of pain measurement tests to determine how well Savella addressed the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Most notably, they relied on an electronic pain diary that participants updated multiple times a day, along with results from the visual analog scale (VAS). Using the VAS, patients rated their pain from 0 to 100. Other tests included the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, Brief Pain Inventory, and Patient Global Impression of Change rating.

In both studies, 52% of patients taking 100 mg of Savella and 56% of those taking 200 mg of Savella reported a reduction in pain. This is compared with 40% to 42% of the participants taking a placebo. Overall, the patients in the Savella group experienced better pain control, compared to the placebo group.

Learn More about Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder with multi-dimensional symptoms. It doesn't simply involve pain. Fatigue, migraines, and even depression may also accompany this condition. The results of this study are important, as the findings suggest that Savella addresses multiple facets of this complicated chronic pain disorder.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Savella to treat fibromyalgia in 2009. Savella belongs to a class of anti-depressants known as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These medications prevent the reuptake (re-absorption) of serotonin and norepinephrine into brain cells.

Serotonin and norepinephrine are neurotransmitters. SNRIs allow them to travel to and from neurons in the brain in healthy amounts; this maintains mental and emotional balance and reduce the amount of pain you feel.

For more information, you may also read our article on medications for fibromyalgia.

Updated on: 04/17/18
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