Fetzima

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Fetzima (levomilnacipran ER) is among several treatment options my pdoc and I are currently considering (the others being Brintellix,Ketamine, and TMS). It's brand spanking new. The pharmacological stuff is mostly over my head, but i'm posting on the off chance that somebody has tried it, is about to try it, or knows something about it from an experiential perspective or have discussed it at length with your pdocs.  My pdoc didn't elaborate much on it specifically. i know there's a similar thread going on Brintellix from somebody else.

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There probably aren't many people taking it, but you could try looking up reviews of Savella, which is the most closely related drug to Fetzima.

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There probably aren't many people taking it, but you could try looking up reviews of Savella, which is the most closely related drug to Fetzima.

Thank you for the suggestion, Lark. Was not familiar with Savella. That gives me more to work with. 

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Hello, I just wanted to pop in and say that I just started taking Fetzima on Dec 24th.  I started at 20mg and am now on 40mg.  I had been taking Effexor and came off of it slowly to start the Fetzima.  For me, it has had its pros and cons.  I think it has been helping me feel a little more like myself, less sad/anxious/guilty, however, I believe it is making me VERY edgy.  I am a very calm laidback person, with a lot of patience.  I work with children, and I have a toddler of my own, I am a nurturing person.  But lately I have been mean, short, and testy.  It has given me much more energy, and this is coming from a person who had to take two naps a day, just to take care of my child and make dinner in the evenings.  So much so that I wake up at night feeling fully rested.  My appetite has also decreased, which is a good thing for me.  I actually found this community looking for more info on Fetzima - wish I could find more people who have taken it.  I hope this helps.  Let me know if  you have any questions.  

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Thanks for sharing your experience, carly. I think the energizing tendency may be part of why my pdoc has been considering it, as that's been a big issue with me, but I guess it's always a fine line between energized and edgy. Maybe given a few weeks that will get better for you, hopefully. I'm curious, have you tried a lot of stuff before this or did your doctor go straight for the the shiny new med?

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Your welcome, glad to help - I know there isn't a lot of info out there.  Oh I have tried several things through the years, some have worked better than others: Effexor, Cymbalta, Lexapro, Prozac, Wellbutrin.  I had some hesitancy going for the new med but I was in bad enough shape that I was willing to try anything.  So far the pros outweigh the cons enough to keep taking it for now.  As far as the energizing tendency - I was VERY low energy and the Fetzima has really helped.  Maybe something to consider?  Whichever med you decide, I wish you luck!  And if you decide to go with the Fetzima and want someone to talk to about it, I'm here!

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Thanks, and welcome to Crazyboards. There are a lot of good people here. I hope you find it helpful.

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I just started taking Fetzima after being on Savella since last April.  Savella was making me constantly nauseated and gave me horrendous headaches.  So doc had me start taking 40 mg of Fetzima for a week and just started taking 80 mg yesterday.  I have been severely nauseated plus unlike the other couple of people here, I've been just completely zapped.  I just want to sleep!!!!  I have been 'edgy' and have had tremors as well.  I do have mild epilepsy, which doesn't help, along with the fibromyalgia, kidney problems, high blood pressure and am low on B12 and dangerously low on vitamin D.  All which I got added to my list of pill regimens.  

i

The doctor did say that the Savella could be part of the reason why my blood pressure has skyrocketed lately.  That was part of the reason why he put me on the Fetzima.  Right now, I'm not real impressed with this drug.  Seems like my pain level has increased also.  Might have to go back to the Savella if this stuff doesn't kick in and start working soon.  I know with the Savella, I was godawful sick the first two weeks.  About gave up on it so trying to be positive about this new drug.  But from the limited information that I can find on it, it doesn't appear to be very good at all.  Even Clinical Phase III trials said it was no better than the placebo.  So will update when I go back to the doctor at the beginning of February.  

 

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else that has been using this drug.  

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I just started taking Fetzima after being on Savella since last April.  Savella was making me constantly nauseated and gave me horrendous headaches.  So doc had me start taking 40 mg of Fetzima for a week and just started taking 80 mg yesterday.  I have been severely nauseated plus unlike the other couple of people here, I've been just completely zapped.  I just want to sleep!!!!  I have been 'edgy' and have had tremors as well.  I do have mild epilepsy, which doesn't help, along with the fibromyalgia, kidney problems, high blood pressure and am low on B12 and dangerously low on vitamin D.  All which I got added to my list of pill regimens.  

i

The doctor did say that the Savella could be part of the reason why my blood pressure has skyrocketed lately.  That was part of the reason why he put me on the Fetzima.  Right now, I'm not real impressed with this drug.  Seems like my pain level has increased also.  Might have to go back to the Savella if this stuff doesn't kick in and start working soon.  I know with the Savella, I was godawful sick the first two weeks.  About gave up on it so trying to be positive about this new drug.  But from the limited information that I can find on it, it doesn't appear to be very good at all.  Even Clinical Phase III trials said it was no better than the placebo.  So will update when I go back to the doctor at the beginning of February.  

 

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else that has been using this drug.  

 

 

Hi Suzy.  Sorry to hear you are having trouble with the Fetzima.  I just started taking it recently myself, and I'm on the fence.  I started out on 20 mg and was doing pretty good, now am on 40mg and am VERY edgy like you said.  I have trouble sleeping (and I could sleep anytime, any place before).  I just want something to latch on and work so badly though that I am willing to give it a try and see.  I have a dr appt next week so we'll see what she says.  Am kind of hoping she will dial me back to 20 mg.  Keep me posted on how you're doing - Im interested to hear from others who are taking it.   

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Just started Fetzima today...ought to be interesting to see if it works. Definitely, can't find much on it. I only stumbled across this forum due to a web search.

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Just started Fetzima today...ought to be interesting to see if it works. Definitely, can't find much on it. I only stumbled across this forum due to a web search.

That's how I found this forum too.  I couldn't find much on it either when I started taking it.  I have been struggling lately but I don't know if that is the Fetzima or just life.  Have a dr appt tomorrow so we will see.  I hope it works for you though!  Good luck!

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Hello everyone, I'm on my sixth day of Fetzima. Since it's a brand new drug, I thought it might be a good idea to compare notes with some other people.

 

For several years I've been on Bupropion 150 mg (2x/day) and Citalopram (40 mg at first, then 20 mg) (1x/day) for depression. That combo seemed to work well for a long time, but lately I've been having more and more "down" days. So my doc thinks the Citalopram may be "pooping out." So we are trying replacing it with Fetzima 40 mg.

 

Even after six days, I'm already noticing hints that it's improving my mood and energy. However, I am also experiencing very unpleasant nausea, which I hope will get better over time.

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I'll be starting Fetzima tomorrow!  Will be checking in and keeping everyone posted.  I'm switching it for Cymbalta, from which I'll be tapering off.  Wow.  Been a long time since I've been on the ol' crazyboards!  Hello, everyone!  Let's hope for a miracle, or at least some vitality and life force?

Edited by dojoloach

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Just got weaned off Pristiq and on to Fetzima. First day and am on 80 mg. Feel more alive but a little edgy (a little xanex helped) No Nausea since the first day of the wean off. Anxious to hear about other peoples experience. I've been fightting this for 2 years and have been on every drug. All gave me extreme anxiety. Pristiq was a little better for that but after 6 months no improvement on the depression. Also hoping for a miracle

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Just got weaned off Pristiq and on to Fetzima. First day and am on 80 mg. Feel more alive but a little edgy (a little xanex helped) No Nausea since the first day of the wean off. Anxious to hear about other peoples experience. I've been fightting this for 2 years and have been on every drug. All gave me extreme anxiety. Pristiq was a little better for that but after 6 months no improvement on the depression. Also hoping for a miracle

I hope you see good results from this. Having been on the med-go-round myself for years, I can understand your frustration. Keep us posted on how it's going when you have time. And welcome to Crazyboards.

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Hi Crazyboarders!  My first post.  Decided to get on here since I am on my umpteenth antidepressant - Fetzima this run.  I'm about a week in and liken the effects to Viibryd, which probably makes sense since Forest Labs makes both.  Anyway, no diarrhea 10 times a day like I had with Viibryd, definitely energized, vivid, weird dreams - same as Viibryd and a little bit of manic episodes - laughing, crying, etc.  I do find that my focus is better.  I do accounting on the side so that is good now that it is tax time and today I rearranged my living room and cleaning the bathroom down to the grout the other day, so definitely some positive side effects.  Focus is good and energy is good but have to counterbalance some of that nervous energy with Xanax and a bit of Carmenere wine.  Still too early to tell but I really don't like the jitteriness and the dreams.  Like all of you, I just want to feel like me, again, but happier.  It is expensive - more than $200 for a months supply.  I went from the Viibryd to generic Lexapro and wasn't that bad off but still had some of those dark days where you have to try really hard to find a reason to go on.  Shrink added Wellbutrin to the mix again and then this last visit was a change from Lexapro to Fetzima.  Got some free samples to get a good idea of what it will do for me.  I backed off to 20mg when I thought I was having manic episodes but no 20's left in the starter pack so I am back up to 40mg today.  I am having some zapping and initially had some metal pipe banging going on, which was a new one.  I hate having to take this stuff that messes with my chemicals so noticeably but, at this point, I must.  A rather weak and failed suicide attempt while on Lexapro.  Didn't tell the shrink.  I asked him if he could just give me something that makes me feel good but I guess that doesn't exist and along with drugs we depressed people need to work on outlook and thought control.  I go back over things again and again and life doesn't change because of that.  Spring is coming so being a gardener of sorts, I am looking forward to a new rose bush.  Guess we need something to look forward to.  I do anyway.  Well, just wanted to throw my experience with Fetzima out there.  Wishing you all a relaxing and carefree night.

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I started taking Fetzima 8 days ago; 20 mg for 2 days, 40 mg for 5 days & then 80 mg today.  The first 2 days, I felt an improvement in mood & energy.  My sleeping became worse when I started taking it.  I was waking up every 2 hours, but after the 3rd night I started sleeping better.  I have always had problems with sleeping and have been taking sleep meds for a long time.  I am hoping that Fetzima will eventually help improve my sleeping.  I felt a little shaky when I first starting taking this med, but that has improved as well.  Over all, I feel that this med works fast and that the side effects are passing.  I am happy with it so far and hope that it will soon help me feel like getting out of the house more often.  I had become a home body with no desire to do anything. I did notice that my hair is not falling out as much, and that my stomach problems are improving.  I had my thyroid tested before taking this med & my thyroid is normal.  My GI doc was the one to recommend taking an antidepressant to help with my stomach problems when I mentioned that I was depressed.  She said you won't clear up your stomach problems if you are depressed.  

 

I will keep you posted on any changes.  Hope this helps.

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I thought I would add my experience with Fetzima since like all of you, I haven't been able to find much of anything about the meds on the internet.

 

I started taking Fetzima a lil over a week ago. I was on Zoloft for 3 months and got taken off it because I had daily (terrible) hives from it. I put up with the hives for as long as I could. Other than the hives, I loved Zoloft. So, that sucked.

 

The first 4 days I was taking Zoloft and 20mg of Fetzima. Then went to only Fetzima 40mg daily.

 

I've been experiencing hives still (in fact it's almost as though my breakouts have become more extreme when they happen). I've been dizzy daily, except it has gotten progressively worse as days go by. I stopped taking Fetzima Thursday (four days ago). And today my vision feels lagged/blurry, I'm still nauseous, hives with change of body temperature, dizzy throughout the day while I'm standing or if I have a sudden movement of my head, and slight tremors. To sum it up, I feel awful all day since I stopped taking it Thursday. I stopped taking it after the worst case of hives that day, extreme dizziness (was unable to drive) and nausea.

 

I've researched and researched, even talked to a friend of mine who works in surgery and she wasn't sure what it could be besides perhaps allergic reaction. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to figure this out, because I'm at my wits end!

 

I don't have any agitation, but I have been having a very difficult time sleeping.

 

More to follow once I find anything out from professionals.

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I found this thread like most others here - trying to learn more about Fetzima. I have been on and off various antidepressants for the past 15 years (though not constantly on) and although most of them do the trick in the short term by taking me off the cliff’s edge I have never really been convinced they do much more for me after that.  So after a pretty long stint off everything, I started taking Effexor last year and was on it for the past 4 months or so, with much the same result.  

 

In January my Dr put me on Fetzima and I have now been on it for almost 2 weeks at 40mg. My initial verdict is that I love it. I feel like someone has finally woke me up from a deep sleep and I am finally my funny, chatty, chirpy self - a self that previously was only coaxed out after half a bottle of wine (yes, I know I know. Wonderful idea to mix wine and antidepressants).  I am more energized and focused and WANT to and CAN get stuff done instead of opting to play candy crush and hoping everything will just go away...or at least wait till tomorrow. I have young kids at home and no longer come home from work and wish everyone would just let me be/leave me alone.  I actually feel like I want to participate in life again rather than just be an observer.

 

Side effect wise I don't think I have really experienced any, though reading some of the posts above I agree that I have been a bit short tempered - but not exactly sure how much of it is a new thing.  I thought it was more coming off the Effexor (I did that first before starting Fatzima and generally felt like shit during that time).  Plus my youngest happens to be ADHD and extremely difficult to parent... that said, thinking about it objectively, I could agree that Fatzima may be adding some fuel here.  But I don't feel it is to a point that is beyond what I can manage (ie control myself before exploding).  The other great thing is that the sexual side effects that I had with Effexor have completely gone away, and I am back to my horny self again :)  Hey, I may have kids but I also have a lovely man at home and I'm only 37!! So my lack of interest - and then subsequent almost inability to orgasm - was a huge drag...again, it just wasn't me.

 

Inability to sleep? hmm...always had problems falling asleep so can't really tell.  But once I am out I am out.  Dreams? Maybe, but nothing unpleasant, just perhaps a little more vivid and more recallable in the morning. I actually kind of like it though...like going to sleep and at the same time getting to watch a movie which processes your day's thoughts and emotions in a visual way. Sometimes I actually end up with helpful conclusion.

 

So on the whole, I am extremely happy with this drug so far and am crossing everything that that does not change - or that the mafia (AKA "health insurance company") - doesn't burst my bubble once the trial packs finish...

 

I will post an update in a month or so and we will see what some more time brings...

 

Until then, good luck everyone!  Don't let the bastards get you down-whoever yours might be!

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This is my first post. I have had major depression all of my life, only recently in the past 5 years have I tried to control it with medication. I am a 43 year old female, married with 5 kids. I have been on several medications all with varying results. Most recently I had been on Cymbalta, and while it worked great for my chronic pain, it has done very little if anything for the depression. I started at 20 mg, only to "crash" about 4 weeks later. We upped my dose, and again I "crashed" about 4 weeks later. My doc then suggested I try Fetzima, I was hopeful. I started last Thursday with the 20 mg, took another 20 mg Friday and in the afternoon I got some of the worst head pain I have ever experienced. I was immediately nauseated due to the intense pain. I regularly get migraines, but this was NOTHING like that. I chalked it up to a migraine, and continued the dosing schedule with 40 mg on Saturday and 40 mg on Sunday. Sunday afternoon my heart was racing at 133 beats per minute, I was extremely agitated, I had diarrhea and vomiting, my husband rushed me to the ER and they diagnosed me with Serotonin Syndrome. I still have the MAJOR headache, but I cannot take my regular migraine medicine as it would definitely set off the serotonin syndrome again. The doc I see isnt even in until Thursday so the doc that was consulted put me back on Cymbalta. I hate changing meds cause I never know what is going to happen, and how "crazy" I might get. Just thought I would put in  my two cents about Fetzima.  

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Thank you all for Fetzima anecdotes. This med was thrown around as an idea by my pdoc at the last visit, so I am trying to find out as much as I can about it.

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I have been diagnosed with Major Depression, Chronic Fatigue and General Anxiety Disorder. 40 year old male, married and two boys, 8 and 3. Looking back I can see aspects of these in my life, but everything culminated about 10 months ago when I quit my job after working there more than 14 years. I started a new job and long story short, it kicked off a major breakdown which left me in my doctor's office crying incessantly. Up until then have been on Lexapro for around 10 years and been on several other meds off and on with undesirable affects. I had Xanax as a 'backup' and on Nuvigal as needed. After my breakdown. I went on a three week leave and then quit my job. Now a full-time college student. First semester didn't go well and after all of these years of depression, anxiety and feeling unrested no matter the amount of sleep my pdoc started me on Fetzima about four weeks ago. I am also being weaned off the Lexapro. I also forgot to mention that when I had my breakdown I was immediately taken off Xanax and put on Klonopin. The Klonopin was a life saver.

The Fetzima has already changed me. I no longer have 'sleep attacks' and the 'sleep haze' is gone. That doesn't mean I am still not tired a lot, but there is a big difference between being tired and feeling like you could pass out and sleep for 20 years. So, side effects. Whether it is the Fetzima or weaning off Lexapro, who knows, but I think it is mainly the Fetzima. Like others, nausea is present and still present. I had trouble with urination, but that is now gone. I get dizzy if involved with any fast movement, but not noticeable during my 'regular day'. I have been prone to be more easily agitated which hasn't helped an already shaky marriage. Constipation? Yes, yes, yes. I feel like I have typed too much already so I will end it there. First follow up appointment with pdoc on Tuesday.

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This is my first post. I too have been on at least twenty different ADs since 1993. Now I'm on this brand new Fetzima. But I'm not sure if I can continue as I cry a lot I feel very agitated I'm angry and short tempered with everyone I know. I am still feeling STUCK even though it's helped my energy level. I'm not motivated. All I do is sit and watch tv and Facebook and play games. I only get out of the house about three or four times a week. Has any one experienced bad side effects from this drug? Deciding whether I should continue on it. It also is costing me two hundred a month because insurance will only pay so much. I've been on so many I just don't know what to do. I need to see my doc and discuss this with him. I'm so tired of being a guinea pig. That's what I feel like.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Fetzima works on norepinephrine more than serotonon. Fetzima, Savella, Nortiptyline, cymbalta(which supposedly acts on serotonin and norepinephrine equally).....all very norepinephriney. Norepinephrine reuptake inhibition is some people's cup of tea......others dont do well at all. It helps alot of people with chronic pain, hence the reason savella was only offically approved for fibromyalgia and nortriptyline and cymbalta is prescribed alot to specifically treat pain. My experience with nortriptyline and cymbalta.........stimulating(sometimes to the point of being uncomfortable), sweaty, and edgy as f*ck. But they both worked pretty well after adjustment. I cant imagine Fetzima or Savella would be much different.

Edited by quiet storm

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Hey everyone. I thought I would jump in and talk about my experience with anti depressants as well. I have been on Citalopram for 12 years and it worked like a charm. I started taking it because of depression and severe PMS in my early 20's. I added straterra 1 year ago because of fatigue and lack of motivation. two months ago in just started feeling sick like a body ache and total and complete lack of energy. My doctor pulled me off of the citalopram because he thinks it just finally pooped out and stamped working. I have been on fetzima for three days now and am experiencing extreme body weakness...irritability and nauseausness in waves. I don't know if what I am feeling is due to withdrawals from citalopram or side effects from the fetzima. I am very confused and so tired of being sick and tiredm I am willing to give it two weeks to decide if I like it.

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