Fetzima is a prescription-only medication used in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. How Fetzima works exactly is not fully understood, however it is believed that the medication affects two chemicals in the brain; serotonin and norepinephrine.
By altering these chemicals the medication affects the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder.
Levomilnacipran is the main active ingredient in Fetzima. This is the ingredient that changes the serotonin and norepinephrine levels in a patient’s brain. The inactive ingredients include sugar spheres, ethylcellulose, talc, povidone, triethyl citrate, hypromellose, and titanium dioxide. There are additional inactive ingredients for the capsule casing; shellac glaze, black iron oxide, yellow iron oxide (only in the 20 mg and 40 mg capsules), and red iron oxide (only in the 80 mg and 120 mg capsules).
Fetzima comes in 4 different capsule sizes. The starting dose is usually 20 mg for the first two days then increased to 40 mg per day. Based on the patient’s response to the medication it may be increased to 80 mg or 120 mg per day, over the course of several days or weeks.
The most common side effects reported by patients during clinical studies were:
6% of men taking this medication experienced erectile dysfunction; while only 2% of woman reported any adverse sexual side effects. There may be other side effects associated with this medication not listed here.
Fetzima is designed to treat major depressive disorder in the long term. Patients are unable to stop taking Fetzima without first consulting their physician. Sudden cessation of this medication can cause further unwanted side effects.
Fetzima is a brand name prescription medication and can cost $255.76 for a 30-day prescription. Unless you have health insurance that pays for this type of medication, the prices may be out of many patients’ budgets. Fetzima does offer a savings program via their website. If a patient pays the first $25, Fetzima will pay the rest up to $50 on each prescription. They also offer a mail in rebate option.
Fetzima is a prescription medication; therefore it does not come with any guarantee. However you can report unwanted side effects or other issues to the FDA. The FDA has established a reporting service called MedWatch. Health care professionals and consumers can call to report any problems they believe may be related to the prescription medication they are using by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
Fetzima is a very expensive prescription medication that is not cost effective for many people.
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