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Anyone experience irritability/anger on Savella?
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Anyone experience irritability/anger on Savella?

I am on day 11 of the Savella titration pack.  I took Lexapro for many years prior to this for anxiety.  I was told to stop the Lex immediately upon beginning the Savella.  Savella was prescribed because I was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  I have a question about side effects I am experiencing.

First let me say this.  The Savella has helped the extreme fatigue & pain from Fibro tremendously, in only a short amount of time!

I was having chronic daily migraines on the right side with the Fibro until my first dose of Savella and literally the headache vanished by the next day.  Crazy, because we've tried many medications to get the headache to cease without success.  I have been headache free until yesterday, day 10, and I had a migraine.  It has continued today.  Is it possible that the increase in dosage of Savella is causing the headache to return?  Maybe the 50 mg twice a day is too much?  I'm wondering if the seratonin is causing it.  I would assume it's finally having an affect on seratonin since my dose has been increased, whereas with the low dose it was probably having only a small, if any, effect.  Hmm, maybe the Lex (seratonin) was inducing my headaches?

Also, the lexapro made me numb when it came to my feelings (but that's ALL it did for me).  I suppose it allowed me to supress many things that have happened to me over the years.  Well, stopping the lex and beginning the Savella, that is no longer the case.  I am irritable & angry!  Is this triggering an underlying condition that I am unaware of or it is a side effect that may go away with continued Savella treatment?  I suppose it could also be withdrawal from the Lex.  I do not know at this point!!

I have an appointment in a week with my Neurologist next Monday to review how I've been feeling on the Savella.  Then I have an appointment with a Psy. the following Monday to discuss all of this in greater detail to see what is going on.  I've never been to a Psy. before, but I figured there would be no one better to discuss the meds/side effects with.

I welcome any and all comments.  I'm hoping someone has been through a similar scenario and can shed some light for me before my appointment next week.  Thanks!
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21 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
  I don't know about the side effects of Savella, however it is said that a lot of people with fibro like to be everything to everyone.  They  want to be liked.  They go above and beyond for others, but disregard their one needs and tend to be very hard on themselves.  They also supress their anger and can be over-acheivers.
  That being said, being angry is probably a good thing.  There is nothing wrong with feeling and expressing it.  It may be what you have been needing to do for a long time!  You are right about seeing a Psychiatrist.  They know the psych meds much better than a family doc.  They can combine the meds and know the interactions that others can't because that is the only focus they have.  
  Glad the pain is better.  I am going to check into switching to savella myself.  Let me know how you are doing.      ~Karen
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your comments!  What you said makes perfect sense.  I will bring this up when I visit the Psychiatrist.  I want to FEEL whole again, and at this point, after being on Lexapro for many years and being numb, being a victim to Fibromyalgia & now being off Lexapro and on Savella, I'm not quite sure what "normal" is anymore.  I hope what I'm feeling is normal and maybe something I just need to hash out in possible counseling (which I've never done before) and ultimately the Savella will do the trick for me.

I had to call my Neurologist today because my headache returned (day 11 on Savella titration pack) and my heart was racing pretty bad.  I stopped at a drug store to check my blood pressure and it was high (normal is around 100/60 for me) and my heart rate was 98.  My Neurologist (God bless him and the other docs that don't work with you through side effects...grrr) said I have 2 options.  Drop down to the lower dose (25 mg twice a day) and see if the side effects go away or stop the med completely.  I chose to drop back down to 25 mg twice a day because I haven't felt as well on the 50 mg twice a day since I started it on 3 days ago.  But his nurse called me back and gave me the two options.  So what if I had decided to discontinue the med?  I'd be without anything at all until my appointment next week.  Gotta love 'em!
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207972_tn?1230427719
Hi, mwp921,
I'm on savella also.  I used to have migraines all the time while I was taking Prozac (serotonin) generic.  The headaches stopped when I stopped the prozac.  I am also off gluten totally, so that could also be part of it, not sure.

As far as Savella and irritability:  yes I also have that!  But the benefits of Savella for the fibro are SO great, I am trying to work it out.
Wondering it you recently stopped the Lexapro without tapering off it; seems like I go through withdrawal when i quit any antidepressants.
Liz
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943930_tn?1246841906
Irritability and anger are a couple of the side effects of Savella.  Although I didn't have that, I had all the other side effects and then some.  I don't want to say much because it does work for some folks.  I had gotten up to two 50mg a day, but I took my last Savella last Monday.  I am back on my former meds, but it has taken me this past week to get it out of my system.  I am disappointed because I was really hoping Savella would do the trick for me.  Let your doctors know about the anger.  Just remember, it's not you; it's the medicine.  
Joyce
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Avatar_n_tn
I also started with the trail kit but when i starting taking 50 mgs i started have problems. Rash,heavy chest angry. I called doctor and she told me to stop med i sit and cried because it was helping with the pain and the over all feelings!

Maybe one day they will find something that we all can take and it help without all the side effects!
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553995_tn?1332022440
I just got off Savella. It helped with depression but not my FM. I got up to 50 in the morining and 25 PM and sweats started, insomnia, hypertension, ringing ears, sore throat, nausea.
Check your blood pressure because these SNRI's are notorious for raising BP which can give you headaches.

www.drugs.com  is an excellent site for info on drugs. Down at the bottom of the page are more detailed links of each drug....concise, professional, drug interactions, side effects.
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908504_tn?1269107499
I am afraid to try any new drugs and my doctor said not to take anything that is not 20 years old. I took Cymbalta and the side effects and then the horrible weaning off almost killed me. As far as I can tell by reading the posts the new drugs have so many side effects that it is just not worth the risk.
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Avatar_f_tn
I also have a package of Savella to begin.  Usually, anything that messes with serotonin levels in me I react backwards to but I'm going to give this one a try.  I tried Cymbalta and like someone mentioned, the side effects were horrible.  I am hoping I can tolerate this one.  Some things I've tried make me really grouchy and unable to sleep or worse.   Your anger and irritability may be a side effect.  
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997735_tn?1250019778
Let me begin by saying I am NOT a medical professional, so I'm NOT advising nor am I promoting anything here, I'm just replying to a post, and sharing my story.

OH, YES, to the ANGER!!!  Savella, for me, was Satan in a pill and "hell" for me and everyone I love most and spend the most time with.  By day 6 of the titration pack I was FURIOUS, RAGING, "going postal"!  I knew this was NOT "ME" and the only thing that had changed was putting me on Savlella and taking me off Pristiq, which was wonderful for my PMDD mood swings and was also supposed to be helping with the FMS.  All I can say about Savella, for me, was it's a good thing I was in so much pain, not the president of a country, currently not at war, and had no weapons at my disposal.  I'm trying to be humorous about it, now, but that stuff was poison to my brain!  I couldn't live like THAT for another minute!  So, I took myself off it and put myself back on Pristiq.  My mood is a zillion percent better.  However, the pain I'm in is completely off the scale and totally debilitating.  I'm on Soma and Lortab and they only just take the edge off.  Compared to my physical activities of 2 1/2 years ago, i.e. swimming, a work-out-a-holic, rock climbing, etc. I would now consider myself a cripple.  My pain is from the bottom of my rib cage in my back, up my spine, into my neck and stops, I guess, at the very top of my spine.  I had great hopes that this was the "miracle-magic-bullet" that was going to save me, but it almost killed me and how I acted during those six days, well, I wish they never happened.  But, fortunately, my husband and son are very understanding and stood by me.  I have an MRI scheduled this week and don't know if I can stand lying on my back for that long.   My Rheumatologist is also checking me for the big "C" (cancer) markers.  My pain level is bewildering even him and I just love my doctor!  I know he will keep at it until we get something that works, just no way to know how long that will be.

Other symptoms I experienced from the very first dose of Savella was the sweating, my blood pressure went way up, (I had my blood pressure completely under control with my working out and weight loss) as well as my at-rest heart rate being extremely elevated, insomnia, extremely sore throat and constant ringing in my ears.  That has all stopped since I stopped taking it.

Something else I was very concerned about with Savella was the risk of liver damage.  My brother, who is eleven years my senior had a liver transplant about 8 years ago.  That's something I would never willingly cause myself - liver damage.

When I was on Cymbalta and Lyrica I wound up in the ER with unbearable pain!  Same place I explained earlier, although this also included my LOWER back, just a bit over a year ago.  The ER doctors were baffled as to the cause of my pain and so was I.  They did so many tests and what came back that was ALARMING was that my liver enzymes were TWENTY TIMES HIGHER than the highest NORMAL count.  They took me off everything, except morphine for my pain, admitted me, which turned into a 4-night and day hospital stay until they could levelize my liver enzymes.  That is when my doctor switched me to Pristiq.  He's testing me every three months and so far, so good.  

Now, I'm having a "flare up".  That's what they're calling this.  Maybe the cancer tests or the MRI will have some answers.  I'm hoping so, then at least they can properly treat me.  At this point, I just want answers.  

Our oldest son was married May 1.  We knew for 6-7 months in advance and I really wanted to get in phenomenal shape to fit into this gorgeous dress I picked out, without letting any seams out.  So, I got really busy with my personal trainer, lost weight, toned muscles and my husband and I started dance classes up to 4 nights/ week, so as of May 1 this year I was in the greatest shape of my life, at 45.  Most of the time I felt like I was twenty-something and a lot of people thought I was lying when they found out my age - that was wonderful, everyone thinking I was 10 years younger than I am.  But, after the wedding, I continued with my personal trainer and dancing and noticed that my "soreness" from the workouts was not "appropriate".  It lasted too long.  I know about the lactic acid build up from working out, etc. and this was not getting better.  I know it was like that BEFORE the wedding, I just ignored it, for the most part, had to get into that teeny dress, which I did, no problem!  After the wedding, with all of the events leading up to it, which seemed to be non-stop, and having more time on my hands, I started listening to my body.  I had to stop dancing which was heart-breaking!  My husband and I of 22 years were enjoying it SO MUCH!  Then I had to stop training altogether.  Then, this major "flare up" - I know it wasn't sudden, I'd just ignored it before the wedding.  Obviously, I got to the point where I could no longer ignore it.  Since May 1, I've stopped dancing, stopped working out, stopped most house work except laundry and dishes and sometimes I can't even lift the dishes (without grimacing in extreme pain)!  So, in three months, I've gone from super-woman to need help getting out of bed, to need help with all other household work, to NOT driving!!!  I'm LITERALLY a SHUT-IN.  My life stinks, right now.  So - that's me.  

Too much info, I'm sure and sorry for going on and on.  I just felt it's all relevant.  My husband and I try to find holistic approaches to everything, so now I'm seeing a massage therapist again, which used to help A LOT!  Now, after her focusing for an hour on just the area affected, described above, I feel like a champ for about six hours, then I begin to feel as if I've been beaten with a metal bat.  

So, I'm looking for other holistic approaches, i.e. acupuncture and Chinese herbs - read somewhere that this really helped someone with FMS.

For those of you out there that Savella helps, God Bless You, I'm so happy for you!  Just make sure you make your doctor check your liver enzymes frequently (every 3 months is recommended) and watch your blood pressure.   It's worth buying the electronic cuff to check it at home whenever you want to.  Well, I hope this info will help someone.  For all of you FMS sufferers, I wish you all the very best.  I pray for your pain management and physical well-being to improve and for the very best quality of life possible.  God Bless.  Take Care & Be Well ! ! !
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606078_tn?1247268153
  I also had to stop taking Savella. The side effects snuck up on me and they were horrible. I was so upset because this was the first time in 2 years that I felt human again. Since getting off of the Savella, my pain has come back 10 fold, fatigue is overwhelming, and I'm back to not being able to get out of bed without help in the mornings. I refuse to take any other "miracle pill" that the Rheumy throws at me. These damned pills are beating me down, and the side effects are too much. I'm back taking my Norco and muscle relaxers, at least I can cook dinner for my family and get around the house a little. I feel for you all who suffered from the side effects of this drug.

Angel
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1092445_tn?1257000006
I'm on day 5 and the jump from 12.5 to 25 yesterday made me very aggitated and irritable...GRUMPY!  

Has anyone stayed at the lower levels of Savella without upping to 100mg (50 twice a day)?  OR transitioned up more slowly?

Thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't know about staying on the lower dose, but I have been on the Savella at the max dose and it has been very benefical for me.

I try and stick it out through the titration pack and see if maybe the side effects that you are experiencing will lighten up.  Sometimes it takes awhile to adjust.

Hope things get better,
Karen
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Avatar_m_tn
I did notice an increase in anger and agitation after 3 days of the full dose (50 mg twice daily). I also became very jittery. I called my rheumatologist and asked to be lowered to 25 mg twice daily. Since I've been on the lower dose, all of the bad side effects have disappeared. I do get the occassional pains and have to take something else, but I have tolerated the lower dose and it has greatly improved my life.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have just started my second day of Savella. I have lots of energy but it lasts about 4 or 5 hours. The pain is barely noticable during that time but then I tend to get back to "normal". I was very productive this morning and did more in a few hours than i normally do in a week! The same yesterday when I took it.

I am tired now and probably going to nap. I am only on 12.5 and tomorrow i will take it twice a day. I hope it works for me. Life with Fibro is hell on earth!

Fibrogirl
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Avatar_f_tn
I thought I was going crazy. Taking  Savella has made me so irritable that I am angry with everyone. There is a difference with getting something off your chest and just acting a complete fool.I have a good husband and I blew up at him. Frustration has been a live in friend, that I did invite.. Normally, I am a very happy person even with this pain of FM and sometimes CF, you know the list. So, I am going to get off Savella and continue to take what I normally have been taking. WHAT IS IT? None of your business. See where did that come from, smile.
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1092445_tn?1257000006
I posted last Fall when diagnosed with Fibro and my doc tried Savella -- I never titrated up past the 12.5 pills because of severe anger.  Shortly after I began taking N-Aceytl-L-Tyrosine along with my other vitamins I take due to long undiagnosed Celiac Disease.  I am one year gluten free and have been supplementing amino acids since Thanksgiving.  I am an entirely new person -- only slight fibro symptoms when I don't get proper sleep or forget to take my supplements.  A year ago I had maybe 3-4 good hours per day and could hardly walk the rest.  I now cycle to work and back, walk about 6 miles and am back to skiing nearly full days again.

Good Luck to all to find a solution to their Fibromyalgia!
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1607007_tn?1297952242
i have just started savella 8 days ago and its been awful. ive been a massive b*tch (not sure if i can say that on this forum) and had a ton of side effects, including worsened pain. my emotions are all over the place. all i want is to feel 'better' and i honestly dont see that happening. ive been dealing with fibro for 10 years now and at 17 i dont have a normally life. i can barely stand without crying and i have to suck it up and go to school, which i love, and it rarely happens. i honestly dont know what im doing anymore and i cant imagine a world where im pain free. i pray to God one day i will. i hope all of you begin to feel better, though its nice knowing others are going through what i am. i just want a normal life, maybe things will turn around but who knows. btw if anyone tries to take lyrica, not telling you what to do just explaining my experience, it severely increased my pain and made me have thoughts of suicide, so yeah. but it seems i am susceptible to drugs altering my mind. well hope everything turns out all right for all of you, its nice to get my feelings out.

-Aly
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,
I have been on Savella since the end of August and I have to say it has really helped me.  I can only take 50 mg. per day because I am so hyper sensitive to meds.  I have severe migraines and was getting them and really nauseous and dizzy when I upped the dose.  I do well most days with the 50 mg although recently I have been waking up again in the middle of the night.  I also have to take Nuvigil for narcolepsy because of the bad sleep cycle I was in I LOOOOOve the Nuvigil.  Again I am on a lower dose than normally given, plus I take topomax (topamax) for the migraines.  I just had to up that to 50 mg.  because the migraines have been so bad.  I would try to stay on a low dose if you can.
My whole problem with all of this stuff is why can't they figure out what is making it happen in the brain and fix it.  Like I know my hormones are causing the migraines but if I mess with them, something else will be off.  And they know the serotonin is off with the Fibro, so why can't they fix that somehow without all of these long term meds.  
I told my nero I want a functional MRI, he looked at me like I was nuts.  lol
I am just tired of being 35 and being in pain.  Good luck to all out there.
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Avatar_n_tn
My doctor recently put me on Savella, but he is putting me on a much more gradual increase plan than the titration pack. There is a good chance that the slower pace might be more tolerable than the pace the titration pack recommends. Just a thought. I was actually put ON Savella for migraine prevention and FM.
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Avatar_m_tn
I know that this comment is true about me. I do try to be everything to everyone. I try to be the perfect Mom, the perfect Wife, the perfect employee and often find that people are disappointed....
I say this only after having been on savella for several months. I recently though, skipped many doses (not even sure how many) I would guess I have been savella free for at least 1-2 months after taking consistently for several months because I was seeing dramatic improvements in my pain and only beill cause I was not sleeping due to a severe work load that was causing me not to sleep like I should.
I just recently started my savella again-due to sleep and mood issues-not because of the pain and am begining to wonder if my feeling" crazy" is because of withdrawl (withdrawal).
I did notice because of my husband and kids that my moods were very different. I became easily aggitated, very stressed out, and I am not sure if it was/is because of the stress or the meds but I feel kinda crazy right now and I hope taking my meds as I am suppose to will stop that.
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Avatar_m_tn
Mind letting me know how that worked for you? I was just given Savella off label for migraine prevention as well. I am wary about medications in general, especially taken daily...
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