The medication Fetzima belongs to the class of drugs known as antidepressants (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors). It is used to relieve symptoms of depression such as feeling sad, loss of interest, significant change in weight, change in sleeping habits, difficulty concentrating, feeling tired or suicidal thoughts. It is thought to work by affecting the naturally occurring chemicals in the brain called as serotonin and norepinephrine. Fetzima should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. It can be taken with or without food. The capsules should be swallowed whole. Do not open, chew or crush the capsules. Never increase or decrease the dose of this medication without consulting your doctor. Do not stop taking Fetzima without talking to your doctor. Stopping Fetzima suddenly may cause serious symptoms including anxiety, irritability, high or low mood, feeling restless or sleepy, headache, sweating, nausea, dizziness, electric shock-like sensations, tremor, confusion. It is not recommended to be used in children below 18 years of age.
Fetzima is available from Canada manufactured by Allergan. The active ingredient in Fetzima is levomilnacipran. It is available as an extended-release capsule in the dosage of 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg. The generic form of Fetzima is not available.
Stop taking Fetzima and call your doctor at once if you have one of these serious side effects:
• Allergic reactions
• Fast heartbeat
• Inability to urinate
• Increase in blood pressure
• jerking of the muscles, hallucinations, fast heartbeat)
• Low platelet count
• Low sodium level in blood
• Mania or hypomania
• New or worsened behaviour or emotional problems
• Serotonin syndrome (confusion, restlessness, sweating, shaking, shivering, high fever)
Less serious side effects nausea, rapid or irregular heartbeat, erectile dysfunction, sweating, insomnia, constipation and vomiting. If you experience symptoms of severe high blood pressure such as headache (particularly in the back of the head/neck when waking up), a stronger, and possibly more rapid, heartbeat, palpitations, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision or chest pain, contact your doctor immediately. Please call your doctor if you have any further concerns or questions.
Fetzima can affect the ability to drive and use machines. Do not drive or use heavy machinery until you know how Fetzima affects you. Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. Do not take the medication if you are allergic to levomilnacipran or any other ingredients in this medication, take Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI), had recent heart attack or heart failure, have racing heart rate or high blood pressure that cannot be controlled, or have a history of stroke. Before taking Fetzima, inform your doctor if you had a recent bone fracture, have high blood pressure, heart problems, seizures, kidney problems, urinary or bleeding disorders, low sodium levels in blood, have a family history of mania or bipolar disorder, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Fetzima may interact with drugs such as other antidepressants, lithium, linezolid, sibutramine, tryptophan, triptans, St. John’s Wort, blood thinners like warfarin, acetylsalicylic acid (e.g., Aspirin) and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen), certain medicines used to treat pain, such as fentanyl, tramadol, tapentadol, meperidine, methadone, pentazocine, certain medicines used to treat cough like dextromethorphan.