Milnacipram, marketed by Forest Pharmaceuticals and Cypress Bioscience Inc. as Savella, is a new selective Serotonin/Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor that increases brain levels of those neurotransmitters. Low brain levels of these esential chemicals is tohught to be related with fybromyalgia symptoms. Milnacipram is not used to treat depression but it works similar to how some antidepressants work. It is used to treat fibromyalgia because in clinical trials patients felt less pain and improved physical function. The most common side effect is nausea. Other common side effects are headache, constipation, dizziness, insomnia, hot flush, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), vomiting, palpitations, increased heart rate, dry mouth, and hypertension. Milnacipram is contraindicated while using MAO inhibitors (antidepressants) or in patients with uncontrolled glaucoma.
Suggested readings: J Rheumatol. 2009 Feb; 36 (2): 398-409. Drugs Today (Barc). 2008 Sep; 44 (9): 653-60