Fetzima Drug Side Effects

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Fetzima (levomilnacipran) is an antidepressant drug which is FDA-approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder.

As with any prescription medication, there are certain side effects that you may experience while using Fetzima.

Most Common Side Effects

Among the side effects most often reported with Fetzima are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heart palpitations

This is only a partial list of possible side effects for this medication. You should ask your doctor or pharmacist if you require additional information.

More Serious Side Effects

Certain side effects, although they are quite rare, do require more serious consideration if they occur. You should seek out prompt medical assistance if you experience any of the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Abnormal bleeding or bruising
  • Visual problems
  • Difficulty with urination
  • Mania or hypomania - Symptoms include increased energy, sleep problems, racing thoughts, impulsive behavior, grandiose thoughts, elevated mood, irritability and rapid, excessive talking.
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Low sodium in the blood - Symptoms include headache; weakness; confusion; and problems with thinking, concentration or memory.
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions or worsening depression
  • Serotonin syndrome - Symptoms include agitation, hallucinations, changes in consciousness, coordination problems, twitching muscles, rapid heartbeat, high or low blood pressure, sweating or fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or muscle rigidity.
  • Severe allergic reaction - Symptoms include breathing difficulty; facial swelling; rash; hives or blisters.

What to Do If You Experience Side Effects

Generally, people who use Fetzima will not have severe side effects; and, any side effects that they do experience will disappear or lessen over time. However, if you are finding that you are having side effects which are hard to tolerate or they don't seem to be improving, it is recommended that you speak with your doctor. She can advise you about methods that you can use to better cope with or eliminate these symptoms. And, if you are still having problems dealing with them, she may be able to switch you to a different antidepressant that will present fewer problems for you.

If you experience any of the more severe side effects listed above, it is imperative that you seek out medical assistance in a timely manner in order to avoid damaging your health or possibly even dying.

Although your first impulse when you experience intolerable side effects may be to stop taking your medication, it is never a good idea to discontinue your antidepressant without first consulting with your doctor. Your depression may return or even become worse if you suddenly stop taking your antidepressant. In addition, you run the risk of experiencing what is known as discontinuation syndrome. Discontinuation syndrome includes a set of unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, headaches, strange neurological sensations and muscle aches. Your doctor will be able to best advise you about how to reduce or avoid these symptoms.

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Article Sources

  • "Levomilnacipran." AHFS Consumer Medication Information. Bethesda, MD : American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 2013. Revised: November 15, 2014.
  • Food and Drug Administration. Medication Guide: Fetzima.