Fetzima is a prescription drug that is used to treat major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression. The drug works by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain (serotonin and norepinephrine). It comes in the form of a capsule that is taken once daily. Possible side effects include nausea, constipation, and excessive sweating.
What Is Fetzima?
Fetzima™ (levomilnacipran) is a prescription medication approved to treat major depressive disorder, also simply referred to as clinical depression. It belongs to a class of medicines known as antidepressants.
Fetzima is made by Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc., under license from Pierre Fabre Medicament.
How Does Fetzima Work?
Fetzima belongs to a class of medicines called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). SNRIs work by increasing levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine. These are neurotransmitters -- chemical messengers used by nerve cells to send messages to one another. An imbalance of these brain chemicals is thought to be at least partially related to the symptoms of depression.
Neurons, or nerve cells, have tiny spaces between them. Transmitting neurons release chemicals such as serotonin or norepinephrine into that space as a way of sending a message to a receiving neuron. After the receiving neuron receives the message, the transmitting neuron can absorb the chemical to use it again later. This is called reuptake.
Fetzima works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. By blocking the transmitting neuron from absorbing serotonin and norepinephrine, the drug increases the amount available in the space between the nerve cells.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Fetzima [package insert]. St. Louis, MO: Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;2013 July.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 19, 2014.
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