Can milnacipran help reduce fibromyalgia fatigue?

Answer From Kevin C. Fleming, M.D.

In addition to relieving fibromyalgia pain, milnacipran (Savella) may help reduce the fatigue common in people who have fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that features:

  • Widespread pain lasting at least three months
  • Presence of other symptoms such as fatigue, waking up tired and trouble thinking
  • No other underlying condition that might be causing the symptoms

An antidepressant, milnacipran is one of three drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat fibromyalgia. While relief of fibromyalgia pain can help people feel less fatigued, milnacipran appears to have an additional effect on fatigue — separate from that associated with pain relief.

Other treatments that may reduce fibromyalgia fatigue include better sleep hygiene, exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy.


Kevin C. Fleming, M.D.

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Aug. 18, 2020 See more Expert Answers

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