Milnacipran for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia

Health Psychol Res. 2021 Jul 10;9(1):25532. doi: 10.52965/001c.25532. eCollection 2021.


Purpose of review: This is a comprehensive review of the literature regarding the use of milnacipran in treating fibromyalgia. A chronic pain disorder with other system disturbances, fibromyalgia is often resistant to many therapeutic approaches. This review presents the background, evidence, and indications for using milnacipran as a treatment option for this condition.

Recent findings: The definition of fibromyalgia has evolved over many years as it is a relatively tricky syndrome to measure objectively. Today, it is characterized by chronic, widespread pain accompanied by alterations in sleep, mood, and other behavioral aspects. A variety of therapeutic regimens currently used to treat the syndrome as a singular approach are rarely effective.Milnacipran is one of three drugs currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia. It acts as a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, which results in decreased pain transmission. Milnacipran remains an effective treatment option for fibromyalgia in adults and needs to be further evaluated with existing therapeutic approaches.

Summary: Fibromyalgia is a broad-spectrum disorder primarily characterized by chronic pain coupled with disturbances in cognitive functioning and sleep. The progression of this syndrome is often debilitating and significantly affects the quality of life. Milnacipran is one of three FDA-approved drugs used to alleviate the symptom burden and is comparatively more therapeutic in specific domains of fibromyalgia. A more holistic approach is needed to treat fibromyalgia effectively and further research, including direct comparison studies, should be conducted to fully evaluate the usefulness of this drug.

Keywords: fibromyalgia; milnacipran; savella; ssri/snri.

Publication types

  • Review