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Fetzima generically known as levomilnacipran, is an antidepressant medication used to treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in adults. Levomilnacipran belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which work by restoring the balance of certain natural substances in the brain.
Levomilnacipran can help to improve your mood, sleep, and appetite and may help restore your interest in daily living. It is not for use for the management of fibromyalgia, and its efficacy and safety have not been established for that use.
Uses and Dosage
Fetzima is prescribed in capsule form to be taken orally. It is generally recommended to take the capsule once daily, with or without food, as directed by your doctor. To prevent adverse effects, swallow the extended-release capsule whole and with a glass of water. Chewing or dividing the capsule is not recommended, as it could cause the active ingredients to be released too quickly.
Follow your doctor's instructions and take Fetzima regularly as prescribed. A dosing schedule can be helpful to ensure you do not miss a dose. Do not alter your dosage without consulting your doctor, as it is determined individually based on your medical conditions, response to therapy, and other medications you may be taking.
Abruptly stopping or increasing the frequency of taking Fetzima should be avoided, as it may lead to withdrawal symptoms including headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your dosage or usage of this medication.
Common Side Effects of Fetzima (Levomilnacipran):
- Dry mouth
- Increased heart rate
Serious Side Effects of Fetzima (Levomilnacipran):
- Easy bruising and bleeding
- Eye pain
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Painful urination
- Pounding heartbeat
- Problem initiating the flow of urine
- Signs of gastrointestinal bleeding (vomit that contains blood, black or bloody stool, dizziness)
- Signs of low level of sodium or hyponatremia (nausea, mental or mood changes, drowsiness)
- Sudden weight gain
- Symptoms of serotonin syndrome (unexplained fever, restlessness, loss of coordination, fast heartbeat, hallucinations, twitching muscles)
- Vision changes
- Widened pupils
Form and strength
Fetzima (Levomilnacipran) is available in the following forms and strength:
- 20 mg
- 40 mg
- 80 mg
- Fetzima may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior, especially in people under the age of 24. Close monitoring is recommended.
- Fetzima may cause serotonin syndrome when used with other drugs that enhance serotonin transmission. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include agitation, hallucinations, coma, and even death.
- Fetzima may increase blood pressure and heart rate, which requires careful monitoring in patients with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease.
- Fetzima may interact with other medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking before starting Fetzima.
- Fetzima should not be abruptly discontinued as it can cause withdrawal symptoms such as agitation, insomnia, irritability, and confusion.
- Fetzima can also cause hyponatremia (low sodium levels in the blood), especially in elderly patients or those taking diuretics.
- Fetzima may impair cognitive and motor skills, so patients should exercise caution when driving or operating machinery.
- Fetzima should be used with caution in patients with a history of seizure disorder, as it may lower the seizure threshold.
- Fetzima can also cause liver damage, although this is rare.
- Fetzima should be used with caution in patients with a history of urinary retention or narrow-angle glaucoma.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does it take to see the effects of Fetzima?
It can take up to several weeks to see the full effects of Fetzima.
Can Fetzima cause weight loss?
Research has shown that Fetzima can cause weight loss in some patients, although the incidence is relatively low, and the amount of weight loss may not be significant.
Can Fetzima be used for anxiety?
Fetzima is not FDA-approved for the treatment of anxiety, but some healthcare providers may prescribe it off-label for this purpose.
Can Fetzima be used in children?
Fetzima has not been studied in children, so it is not recommended for use in individuals under the age of 18.
Are there any contraindications to taking Fetzima?
Fetzima is contraindicated in individuals with a known hypersensitivity to levomilnacipran, as well as in individuals who are taking MAO inhibitors or who have taken them within the past 14 days.
Can Fetzima be taken during pregnancy?
Fetzima has not been studied in pregnant women, and the potential benefits and risks of the medication during pregnancy should be discussed with a healthcare provider.
It's important to purchase Fetzima from verified Canadian pharmacy.