Frequently Asked Questions
Get answers to common questions about Savella and fibromyalgia.
- What is Savella?
- What are some of the features of Savella?
- What else can I do to manage my symptoms while taking Savella?
- What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Savella?
- How should I take Savella?
- What should I do if I need to stop taking Savella?
- What are the most common side effects of Savella?
What is Savella?
Savella is a prescription medication for the management of fibromyalgia. In clinical studies that compared Savella to placebo, patients who took Savella said:
- They felt less pain and
- their fibromyalgia overall was improved and
- their physical function was improved
What are some of the benefits of Savella?
Savella's efficacy was tested in 4 studies. Nearly 4,000 adult patients participated in the studies; all of them met the American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia. These criteria include having a history of widespread pain for at least 3 months and having pain present at 11 or more of 18 specific tender points. Learn more about the benefits of Savella.
What else can I do to manage my symptoms while taking Savella?
Among the ways to relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia is to get regular exercise. Some other ways to minimize symptoms include eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting enough sleep. Learn more about managing fibromyalgia.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Savella?
Before starting Savella, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including if you have:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure), heart rhythm problems, fast heart rate, or other heart diseases
- Liver problems or a history of substantial alcohol use
- Kidney problems or difficulty passing urine, including painful urination
- Current or past manic episodes or seizure disorders
- Bleeding disorders
Also, to avoid a potentially serious or life-threatening condition, tell your healthcare provider if you are taking, or are planning to take, any prescription or over-the-counter medications, including:
- Medication prescribed for a psychiatric or neurological condition including other selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), certain migraine or headache medications (triptans), or tryptophan
- NSAID pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or naproxen), aspirin, warfarin, or other blood thinners
Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant during therapy, or breastfeeding. Learn more about taking Savella
How should I take Savella?
Always take Savella as prescribed by your doctor. Your healthcare provider may increase your dose gradually during the first week until you reach the recommended 100 mg/day dose. You should take Savella by mouth twice daily, with or without food. Keep in mind that you may find taking Savella more tolerable if you take it with a meal. Learn more about taking Savella
What should I do if I need to stop taking Savella?
To avoid potential withdrawal symptoms, never reduce your dose or stop taking Savella on your own. Always talk to your healthcare professional first.
- As with other medications in its class (SNRIs and SSRIs), stopping Savella too quickly could result in withdrawal symptoms.
- Rather than stopping abruptly, your healthcare professional will help you reduce your dose gradually.
- Savella is not a narcotic medication and does not cause addiction. Additionally, studies have shown that Savella has a very low potential for abuse.
What are the most common side effects of Savella?
The most common side effect associated with Savella treatment is nausea. In clinical trials, patients experiencing nausea described it as mild to moderate. Approximately 6% of those taking Savella discontinued due to nausea vs 0.6% for those taking a sugar pill (placebo).
Other common side effects of Savella were headache, constipation, dizziness, insomnia, hot flush, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), vomiting, palpitations, increased heart rate, dry mouth, and hypertension. This is not a complete list of side effects. Please ask your healthcare provider about possible risks and side effects and see the Important Safety Information about Savella.
In clinical trials, Savella was not shown to be associated with weight gain or weight loss. Patients in clinical trials who took Savella had an average weight loss of 1.76 lbs compared to patients in the placebo group who lost an average of .44 lbs.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a common, chronic medical condition that affects an estimated 6-12 million people in the United States. Despite its prevalence, nearly 70% of all fibromyalgia cases remain undiagnosed. Although fibromyalgia affects both men and women of all ages, it is most common among women (80-90% of cases) between the ages of 20 and 55. There are a range of symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, including chronic, widespread pain and tenderness lasting more than 3 months.
What causes fibromyalgia?
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. Existing evidence shows that fibromyalgia is not caused by muscle inflammation. Many experts believe that fibromyalgia is associated with changes in the processing of pain signals in the brain and spinal cord. So for someone living with fibromyalgia, sensitivity to pain is heightened due to this change in pain processing. Learn more about the causes of fibromyalgia.
Who does fibromyalgia affect?
Fibromyalgia affects 6-12 million people in the United States alone. And although fibromyalgia affects both men and women of all ages, it is most common among women (80-90% of cases) between the ages of 20 and 55. Learn more about fibromyalgia.