Oct 6th 2023
In the United States, levomilnacipran is marketed under the brand name Fetzima .
As an antidepressant medication, levomilnacipran is prescribed primarily for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Research has found that it is more effective than a placebo for short-term depression treatment. It has also been found to improve overall functioning and social life in individuals with depression .
While not FDA-approved for this purpose, levomilnacipran may sometimes be used to treat anxiety as well. SNRI drugs such as levomilnacipran have been demonstrated to have benefits for individuals with anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder .
Levomilnacipran belongs to a class of drugs called SNRIs. These medications work by blocking the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters involved in mood. When the reuptake of these neurotransmitters is blocked, they are available in larger concentrations to stimulate nerve cells. Levomilnacipran is more selective in the reuptake of norepinephrine compared to serotonin .
Levomilnacipran is a capsule that is taken by mouth. It is available in doses of 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg, and 120 mg. It is recommended that patients begin with a 20 mg dose taken once per day for two days. After that time, the dose can be increased to 40 mg. Depending on how well a patient tolerates the dose, as well as the effectiveness of a particular dose of levomilnacipran, doses can be increased in 40 mg increments every two days, up to a maximum dose of 120 mg taken once daily .
Levomilnacipran has a half-life of 12 hours. A half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of the initial amount of a drug to be eliminated from the system. The majority of a drug is eliminated from the body after 4 to 5 half-lives, meaning that it takes 48 to 60 hours for levomilnacipran to leave the system  .
If your doctor has prescribed levomilnacipran, it is because they believe the benefits of this medication will outweigh the risks for you. That being said, the medication can come with adverse effects. These are generally mild and will improve with time, but if side effects are severe or persistent, talk with your doctor.
The most common side effects associated with levomilnacipran include :
Serious, but rare side effects arising from levomilnacipran use include :
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience severe side effects from levomilnacipran.
Levomilnacipran should not be taken with certain medications, as it can cause interaction effects. While this list is not exhaustive, the following medications are known to cause potentially dangerous interaction effects when taken in combination with levomilnacipran  :
Your medication should be stored at room temperature. Excessive heat can cause damage to the medication, so it should not be stored in the bathroom . Keep levomilnacipran out of the reach of children and in its original container to avoid unintentional poisoning.
There are alternative antidepressant medications in the SNRI class, including duloxetine, venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, and milnacipran. If you do not experience symptom relief with levomilnacipran, your doctor may choose another medication in the SNRI class. You may need to try a few medications before you find one that works best for you .
Your doctor or healthcare provider will help you to determine the best medication for your situation.
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