Anyone taking Savella?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kjade, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. kjade

    kjade New Member

    My Dr. just gave me a prescription for Savella. I know it is the newest approved treatment for FM. I have taken many different anti-depressants over the years, and never had much luck with any of them. And I always had a terrible time coming off of them. Now I have read that Savella is not an anti-depressant, but works like one? Or is similar to an anti-depressant?

    I have done a lot of reading online about this drug, and it seems like about 1/2 of the people who have tired it love it, and the other 1/2 did not like it, and thought the side effects were horrible. I have also read it can cause heart pounding, anxiety and sleeplessness. This is what concerns me, because I have had panic disorder most of my adult life (although I really don't get panic attacks anymore) - I am just concerned that this med will cause me to have panic attacks and a lot of anxiety.

    I am always nervous about taking new meds, and would like some feedback on this one, if anyone is taking it or has tried it. I am currently taking Lyrica (this is the 4th time I have tried Lyrica and I am trying to stick with it this time). The Dr said it is ok to take Savella and Lyrica at the same time. I am just worried about side effects, and feeling like I am "drugged".

    Any advice?
  2. sportsmom628

    sportsmom628 New Member


    I understand your being leary about it, I like yourself have tried other antidepressants, and was very skeptical when my Doc handed me samples since nothing else seemed to working ie, wellbutrin, cymbalta, lyrica etc.
    But I started it a month ago thurs. the titration. 2.5 mg working your way upto 50 mg 2 x day. Well I was already having hot flashes, which got worse the 1st week, moods were crazy crying one minute angry the next but after awhile they seemed to of subsides somewhat. As far as palpitations ( I have none) and has not affected my sex drive I am a 41 yr old female. I was pretty worried about the side effects also, but my Doc reassured me that it would be ok, well he also started me on a very low dose of abilify 2.5 mg, (have to cut 5mg in 1/2), been on it for a week this past thurs.

    The savella seemed to help somewhat with the widespread pain and burning feelings, and now my moods I think due to abilify being added are getting way better, also have Manic Depressive Disorder and I had been in a full blown flare up of it for a yr that I could not get out of the rut, but seems do be looking up. Of course everyone tolerates meds differently but by my point of view I think you should try it, if you feel any bad side effects the 1st couple of days tell your Doc. it is worth a try I think. And it has also improved my sleep. I myself took my 1st dose at night (bad mistake) I was up all night, so I take my dose late morning so I don't have trouble sleeping. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

    Good Luck.
  3. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Thanks for replying! You made me a little less fearful about trying the savella. Like I said, I have not had much luck with anti-depressants, and I am very sensitive to meds. I don't know if it is psychological or what, but I usually end up getting all of the side effects that I read on the pharmacy brochure. So when I read that savella can cause major mood swings and feelings of depression or suicidal thougts, it worried me a lot.

    I have been reading more about it and have seen more positive feedback, which also gives me confidence. So I think I should give it a try.

    I did read today that you should not take with Ibuprofen. I told my Dr that I take Ibuprofen or Motrin for pain, and I still have an old script from my previous Dr for Vicuprofin(sp?) which is Vicodin and Ibuprofen, that I only take when pain is especially bad. He really didn't say anything about that. So I am you ever take Motrin or Ibuprofen for pain? I am concerned about that, because it is the only med that helps with my painful joints (even though they are not swollen or inflamed).

    But thanks again for sharing your experience with this really helped me.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/20/2009]
  4. sportsmom628

    sportsmom628 New Member

    I do take ibuprofen, which I'm not suppose to because of my stomach ulcers, but when pain in joints & swelling get bad from RA & osteoarthritis I have no choice only thing that helps, but recently in last week have been using it every day w/my Savella. What did the side effect say about the Ibuprofen I did not see that?

    Anyways I think just bcause you sound just like me I use to read the side effects and think oh my god im gonna have everyone. But I do have confidence in my Doc. so now I just read the major life threatening ones and go from there, after I have been on the med if something comes up that I didn't have before I started it, then I look it up.

    I think if you are willing 2 try it you should give it a shot, I had the sample packs too. The 1st week I was like no way, but I continued and my Doc said just to wait another month and see what happens, I do feel alot more better but he did also add abilify only 2.5mg last week due to my severe depression I could not get out of, and I do feel like a new person these past couple of days. I have not cried in 5 days, good mood, and actually feel like doing something. Even though I have to pace myself otherwise we know what happens, bed ridden for 3 or 4 days bcause I over did it. If you want to talk more let me know.

    Good Luck,
  5. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Thanks again Gina for your reply!

    I read about not taking Ibuprofen on the Savella website. Here:
    I am not sure if this will be a problem, I think they have to put that warning in there because of the potential stomach problems that can occur. I know Ibuprofen is rough on the stomach, but I have never had any issues with it.

    When I first started Lyrica, I had such a hard time with the side effects....I hated it. I have tried it 4 times now, and I am finally getting to the point where I can tolerate the side effects, but I stay at such a low dose, which my Dr says really shouldn't be helping me, but it does. I am less anxious and I sleep better, even on the low dose of Lyrica. So perhaps I will have the same luck with Savella, if I can stick it out. Who knows...maybe I won't even have the side effects??

    I have read that the biggest problem people have (in the beginning) is sweating, nausea, and anxiety. I have also read that those side effects generally go away once the body has adjusted to the med. I am going to wait until Monday (I don't know, I am weird about when I start new things...) and try it and I will let you know how it goes. I am hoping this works.

    Please keep in touch and let me know how it is going for you too.
  6. celeste1226

    celeste1226 New Member

    My last month my doc put me on Savella. I was on Cymbalta for about a year. I tried lyrica and cymbalta but it put me into a deep depression. so I was just on cymbalta and I thought it was working ok . I have fibro, osteoarthritis, deg disc disease, osteoperosis. so the pain is pretty harsh. and the fatigue from fibro is very intense. the cymbalta did ok. I mean it helped a little compared to nothing at all. Then september my doc stated to wean me off cymbalta to start taking savella. well I wound up in the hospital what the ER dr said it was a epilepic seizure. but my neuro and rhym docs both said it was a panic attack.. what happened was the pharmacy didnt give me the starter pack. which i was supposed to start on the 12.5 mg and work my way up. The pharmacy gave me the full 50mg dose. well I took the full 50 mg and my body went into a surge and I wound up in the hospital. My docs said because of the coming down off of cymbalta and the high dose of savella my body couldnt handle it and that is what happened not a seizure. my fibro doc suggested i continue only on savella. but start on the small dose and work my way up. He assured me that I would be fine. well since I truly trust my doc i took his advise. and yes the first 2 weeks were rough. the side effects were horrible. the sweating the anxiety and mood swings. but my doc assured me they would go away within a months time. well it has been 1 1/2 months and my body has finally adjusted to the savella and I actually feel almost normal. my fatigue has lessened and the body pain is tolerable.. So I would say give it a try and just wait out the side effects. i am like you if there is a side affect I will get it. and most of the time i get all the side effects. but so far savella is working. I will let you kno next month if it is still working.. LOL... anyway thanks for hearing me out..
  7. s8vdbygr8ce

    s8vdbygr8ce New Member

    why savella is so much different from the normal anti depressants. savella raises the serotonin level and the endorphin levels.serotonin natural pain relieving hormone and endorphis are natural mood elavators. the reg antidepressants usually just raises the serotonin and thats it.
    thats all the studying i have done on it.
  8. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Thanks for your story Celeste. Wow...I can't believe that happened to you!! That is awful! How scary too. But it sounds like this is now working pretty well for you after that nightmare.
    That is great that you trust your Dr and he worked with you to get to the right dose. thanks so much for sharing, and yes please let me know how you are doing. It sounds very positive. I am glad to read that.
  9. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Yes, I have read that it does boost serotonin and norepinephrine (I think I read that most anti-depressants raise serotonin only, not norepinephrine - I am not sure what the difference is, but I have read that the reason it is not prescribed for depression, even though it is similar to an anti-depressant, is because it boosts norepinephrine).

    Cymbalta is one med I have never tried. I have had SEVERAL Drs try to get me to try, it but I always had so many issues with anti-depressants, and I was worried about the side effects and the withdrawl if I stopped it. Thankfully, I don't suffer from clinical depression, so hopefully the Savella won't make me feel depressed (I have read that others feel more depressed at first on Savella).

    Thank you again guys for the feedback!!
  10. sportsmom628

    sportsmom628 New Member


    Well if you do try it, and who knows you might not have no side effects at all, but if you can hang in there for the first 5-7days the should subside, that's about the time mine did. I have been on it now for 7 weeks and I feel pretty good besides the bad back flare up I had this week. But I had a fibro flare up yesterday and let me tell you it was not as bad as before.

    Duh I had a brainfreeze there I remember seeing about the ibuprofen too when I wrote you my 1st post, cause I have the ulcers and acid reflux I remember my stomach hurting bad when I was taking it with the ibuprofen the 1st week and then I stopped taking the ibu. and the stomach pain subsides alot.

    Well Good Luck if you decide to start it on Monday and let me know how it goes.


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