Milnacipran: Uses, Side Effects

Milnacipran affects certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. An abnormality in these chemicals is thought to be related to fibromyalgia (a medical condition that causes chronic pain in the muscles and joints). Milnacipran is not used to treat depression but it works similarly to how some antidepressants work.

Milnacipran is used to treat the chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia.

Milnacipran may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not use milnacipran if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine. After you stop taking milnacipran, you must wait at least 5 days before you start taking an MAOI.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Milnacipran is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use milnacipran if you are allergic to it.

Do not use milnacipran if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others. After you stop taking milnacipran, you must wait at least 5 days before you start taking an MAOI.

To make sure milnacipran is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • glaucoma
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • heart disease, high blood pressure
  • seizures or epilepsy
  • bipolar disorder (manic depression)
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia

If you take a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) or drink alcohol, you should also be careful of taking this medication.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking milnacipran. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Taking this medicine during pregnancy may cause serious lung problems or other complications in the baby. However, you may have a relapse of your symptoms if you stop taking milnacipran. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Do not start or stop taking this medicine during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of milnacipran on the baby.

Milnacipran can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out
  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest
  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights
  • little or no urinating
  • seizure (convulsions)
  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds), or signs of stomach bleeding (bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood)
  • manic episodes–racing thoughts, increased energy, unusual risk-taking behavior, extreme happiness, being irritable or talkative
  • high levels of serotonin in the body–agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting
  • low levels of sodium in the body–headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady
  • liver problems–nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • dangerously high blood pressure–severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, nosebleed, anxiety, confusion, severe chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats

Some side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, constipation
  • dry mouth
  • increased sweating, flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling)
  • headache, dizziness
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • high blood pressure, pounding heartbeat

Keyword: milnacipran.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.