Friday, September 4, 2009

Adjusting to Savella... well, hopefully I will.

I've been on this new medication for almost two full weeks now. Based on the setup of the titration pack, I should have been up to 100 mg after the first week. To that I say, hell no. I'm sensitive to new drugs, particularly to those that act on neurotransmitters. (For those of you just joining in, Savella is an SNRI.) My doc gave me two packs, to get me through a month, and I'm using them as gradually as I can calculate. Here's my schedule:

Day 1: one 12.5 mg pill in the evening
Days 2 and 3: 12.5 mg pills morning and evening
Days 4 through 6: 12.5 mg pill morning, 25 mg pill evening
Days 7 through 9: 25 mg pills morning and evening
Days 10 through 14: 25 mg pill morning, 50 mg pill evening
Days 15 and 16: 37.5 mgs in morning, 50 mg pill in evening
then to 50/50, which should be the top dosage.

A little crazy you say? Well maybe. But I'll tell you, if I was doing it any other way I don't know that I'd still be functioning. As it is I'm feeling the drug acutely. How do I know it's the pills and not just my normal crap? Well, because this isn't my first trip down the neurotransmitter brick road. The hot-but-cold, the crawling scalp, the I need to close my eyes RIGHT NOW fatigue - I know these feelings. They appeared the day after my first dose, and they've increased with each increased dose but then subsided, like a tide. So while I'm confident of their provenance, I'm also hopeful that my body will adjust - that they are not a permanent feature of my heavily medicated life.

I'm currently on day 12 - for the past two nights I've taken a full fledged pill. And oh my. Last night after work and then therapy, I fell asleep at 10pm on the couch. There was no more awake to be had. Today, my office closed early, and my god was I thrilled. Sweet relief for my aching brain. I've been home for a bit over an hour, and bed is calling my name for a late afternoon nap.

I knew that this would be a difficult adjustment. And really it hasn't been as bad as it could be. I'm anxious of what a full 100 mg dose will bring, but I can only hope that my slow approach will cushion the blow. I keep trying to remind myself that these side effects are still nowhere as debilitating as the pain that keeps me tethered to bed, and that this is all for the greater (long term) good. So here's hoping it does some.


  1. Good luck, hon! That's so strange that you mention those particular side-effects because I am on no meds at all right now and am having exactly the ones you listed, the hot-cold, crawling scalp, exhaustion. Weird.

    Hopefully the approach is helping!

  2. Oof - I hope you don't just have the flu! That's more or less what it feels like, when you're just starting to get a virus.

  3. I took Savella in May with the starter pack. I did not feel well, but cannot remember how I felt exactly since it was last May and I have a hard time remembering yesterday. I don't know if I was coming down with something at that time or if it was Savella. My doctor prescribed it again yesterday but I am worried after reading what you wrote. I don't want to be tired all the time, however, I am so sick of being in pain all the time-I am sure my husband is tired of me complaining about the pain. So I am going to give it another shot. Hopefully I will feel better this time around. Good luck to you, though! I hope Savella works out for you in the long run! Please update if you start feeling better and less tired. I am interested in hearing what other's have to say about this medication.

  4. Hello new reader! Yes - I should do an update post about how I'm actually doing on the medication! Just today, in fact, I was noticing that not only am I back to the level of pain I was at before things got really bad a couple of months ago (which is progress in my eyes), but it also seems to be helping with my depression / social anxiety / agoraphobic issues. So, for the moment at least, I think it's helping! I hope the upward trend continues, and I hope that it helps you.

    As for your husband - tell him to make you a nice cup of herbal tea and rub your back! :)

  5. Savella -

    Didn't work for me. Read bad dry mouth. Day 20 - 100 mg a day now - Feel like I have the flu and stuffy nose/cough (All as soon as I began Savella - No one else in my family is sick and I have no fever). Major migraines. No weight loss - in fact I had less food craving on Cymbalta. On the Savella I have cravings for sweets - something I have never had in my life before! I'm a potato chip gal!

    The only reason I came off Cymbalta was the fact that my tryglycerides/cholesterol took a big hike. I went for a blood test today to see if that hike is still there despite going off the Cymbalta.

    Are there any drugs that work for us????

    Mary C. Charest