Milnacipran, a new serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor: an overview of its antidepressant activity and clinical tolerability

Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 1997 Mar;12(2):99-108. doi: 10.1097/00004850-199703000-00005.


Milnacipran (Ixel) is a new antidepressant with essentially equal potency for inhibiting the reuptake of both serotonin and noradrenaline, with no affinity for any neurotransmitter receptor studied. A review of the studies comparing milnacipran, placebo and active comparator antidepressants provides clear-cut evidence of its efficacy in both severe and moderate depression in hospitalized and community settings. Meta-analyses of the original data of controlled trials involving 1032 patients, comparing milnacipran with imipramine or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), show that milnacipran provides antidepressant efficacy similar to that of imipramine and significantly superior to that of the SSRIs. An analysis of a database of over 3300 patients shows that both the general and cardiovascular tolerability of milnacipran are superior to those of the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) with fewer cholinergic side-effects. The tolerability of milnacipran was comparable to that of the SSRIs, with a higher incidence of dysuria with milnacipran, and a higher frequency of nausea and anxiety with the SSRIs. Milnacipran is a new therapeutic option in depression, which offers a clinical efficacy in the range of the TCAs combined with a tolerability equivalent to that of the SSRIs.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Cyclopropanes / adverse effects
  • Cyclopropanes / therapeutic use*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Milnacipran
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
  • Cyclopropanes
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Milnacipran