What should seniors know before using Savella?

Before taking Savella (milnacipran), seniors should know why it is being prescribed, what it does and the possible benefits or risks of taking it. Savella is prescribed to treat fibromyalgia. It belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Savella works by increasing the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine, which regulate mood and stop pain signals.

Seniors should know that Savella is as effective in older people as in younger ones. However, seniors have a greater risk of developing a serious side effect known as hyponatremia, in which the amount of salt in the body is too low. This can lead to symptoms including brain swelling, confusion or memory problems, hallucinations and seizures.

Seniors with certain medical conditions, such as problems with the kidneys, liver or heart, bleeding problems, high blood pressure or narrow-angle glaucoma, may have a higher risk for side effects from Savella. Give your doctor a complete history of your mental and physical health before taking Savella. You should also tell your doctor about all your medications (prescription and nonprescription), supplements and herbal remedies in order to prevent possible interactions with Savella. Do not start any medication or supplement while you are taking Savella without talking to your doctor first.

As with other SNRIs, Savella may increase the risk of suicide in children, adolescents and young adults. However, it appears to actually reduce this risk in people over 65.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.