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- What is milnacipran, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for milnacipran?
- Is milnacipran available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for milnacipran?
- What are the side effects of milnacipran?
- What is the dosage for milnacipran?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with milnacipran?
- Is milnacipran safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about milnacipran?
What is milnacipran, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Milnacipran is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) used for treating pain associated with fibromyalgia. It is similar to duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor), and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq). Milnacipran affects neurotransmitters, the chemicals that nerves within the brain make and release in order to communicate with one another. Neurotransmitters either travel across the space between nerves, attach to receptors on the surface of nearby nerves or they attach to receptors on the surface of the nerves that produced them. The neurotransmitters may be taken up by the nerve and released again (a process referred to as re-uptake).
Serotonin and norepinephrine are two neurotransmitters released by nerves in the brain. Milnacipran prevents the reuptake of serotonin and epinephrine by nerves after they have been released. Since uptake is an important mechanism for removing released neurotransmitters and terminating their actions on adjacent nerves, the reduced uptake caused by milnacipran increases the effect of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. The mechanism responsible for its effectiveness for treating fibromyalgia is not known but milnacipran action is thought to involve its effects on serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Milnacipran was approved by the FDA in January 2009.
What brand names are available for milnacipran?
Is milnacipran available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No
Do I need a prescription for milnacipran?
What are the side effects of milnacipran?
The most frequent side effects include:
- excessive sweating,
- increased heart rate,
- dry mouth, and
- high blood pressure.
Other side effects include:
- hypertensive crisis,
- abnormal bleeding,
- low blood sodium (hyponatremia), and
- withdrawal syndrome.
Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and adolescents with depression. Patients who are started on milnacipran or another antidepressant should be observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidal thinking and behavior, or unusual behavior.
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