High Blood Pressure Savella

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MarciOK Says:

Your experience parralels mine. I transitioned from cymbalta to titration pack of savella in one day. Very rough withdrawal. Worked my way up to full dose of Savella in October. BP was rising at half dose, Dr. thought at full dose pain would be lessened and BP would fall. I have always had very low BP until 50s, now 53 BP had been in normal range until beginning savella. Now, since Dec. and full dose BP is in the abnormal range. PC said drop back on savella 2 weeks ago, so taking 3/4 dose. Still have ringing in ears high heart rate, headaches and BP was high, so seeing PC in 5 days. Savella seems to be the culprit.

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Shari Says:

Thanks for your reply. I am doing well on the Savella now with the exception of two side effects. Periods of sweating during the day and night and B.P. has risen. My M.D. is keeping me at 12.5 mg which I don't feel needs to be increased at this time. Most concerned about the B.P. and sweats. Will see M.D. in a couple of weeks for re-check.

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Bren Says:

Your experience concerns me a great deal. I was on Cymbalta for 6 months. Each month, my blood pressure increased, until it reached dangerous levels, 184/113. Like you, I had always had low blood pressure, in fact 120/70 was a high reading for me, unless I was in great pain ( i am 48). I was experiencing terrible constant headaches on the Cymbalta. For three days, I took 1/2 doses, then none for one day. My headache all but disappeared. I started the Savella at the 12.5 dosage, I was dizzy and the headache is coming back. Today is day two, and I have the same symptoms. If Cymbalta caused me to have high blood pressure, and that occurs in < than 1% of people, it seems as if the Savella is causing the same problem, and that it occurs in 5% of people. Is there anything else that I can try that does not have this side effect and does not cause sexual disfunction? I've been on Prozac, and while that is OK to help what's eaten by pain, it did not diminish neurological symptoms, and it was detrimental to my love life

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Shari Says:

Sorry to hear of your High Blood Pressure problems, it is scary. I am 64 and have been Hypertensive and on B.P. lowering medications since my late 30's. It being genetic. Many different medications and trials to finally find the right combinations which has kept me in the 'perfect' range for several years. Cymbalta never increased my B.P. It just caused so mamy other side effects and now know it was taking quality of life from me. I too suffer from no Libdo but that stems from breast cancer and taking druge to kill all estrogen in my body. Savella, even though has raised my B.P. and not in the dangerous range, is right now my lie saver. I feel great. Thus will see if the Dr. will continue to keep me on the 12.5 mg dosage. I still have a few bad 'sweats' during the day and night but that too is diminishing. I am just monitoring my B.P. and it has dropped some since I wrote my first comments. Good Luck!

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Bren Says:

Thanks for your input. I decided to quite the savella and not go on any replacement drug for now. Hopefully i will be able to do without. It is a tough go right now, but with time maybe my body will adjust. One less med would be great. If not, I think I will go back to Cymbalta at a lower dose. Savella did not seem to be for me, and as I do not have Fibromyalgia, Cymbalta is helpful for the neurological pain I do. Good health and Best wishes.

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Verwon Says:

It is hard to say which could be causing a raise in your blood pressure, since it could be either of these factors, stopping one med or adding a new one. It could even be a combination of both.

What does your doctor think and advise?

Savella contains the active ingredient Milnaciprin, it is an SNRI that is effective at reducing some forms of neurological pain.

Common side effects may include: nausea, drowsiness, dizziness and headache.

There is more information on the medication here:


Are there any questions or does anyone else have more information to add?

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Shari Says:

My B.P. has dropped some, just not as low as it used to be. Saw my Dr. this week. I am doing so well on the Savella at 12.5 mg we are staying at that level and increased a new B.P. medication to only 5 mg as I was on such a low dose of 2.5. The sweats have diminshed a great deal, unless I am active. I have lost over 10 pounds of water weight, massage therapist is amazed at how my body has changed - and who would know better since I see her once a week. Our goal is to go to once a month, which now looks feasible. I do have headaches, but then have had daily since a whip lash at age 13. Diagnosed as tension headaches from neck stiffness. The Cymbalta was terrible stuff and I would not recommend for anyone. Now that I am off, I have discovered how very much of my life and mental abilities it took from me. I hope this helps someone out there who is struggling with Fibro. My energy level has greatly increased and pain decreased. What more could I ask for?

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Bren Says:

I'm still not taking any SRNI meds. My doctor was okay with the change. I am not having all the side effects, however my pain level has increased. My blood pressure has decreased on 150/80 as 10 days ago, and I think it is lower yet now.
I may try Cymbalta at 10 mg does if the nuerological does not calm down. Thank you for all the feedback.

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Marciok Says:

Re-Posting submitted 1-16-10, I will give an update after I see this one makes it.

Last Monday, Jan. 11th I visited my PC about blood pressure and heart rate elevations since starting Savella. (See post 1/6/2010 for details regarding discontinuation of Cymbalta and starting Savella.) I called all of my other Doctors and obtained my BP and heart rate readings taken in the past two years. Most readings were taken monthly, as I had mentioned my readings before 40 had always been really low. Since both parents and siblings are treated for high BP, this was something that I always paid a great deal of attention to. I had noticed that after a hysterectomy at age 40 my readings were higher for me, but always in the normal or low normal range. This was even the case during 1 year of treatment with Cymbalta. It was very obvious that by the time I reached half dosage of 12.5 daily my readings were climbing. I discussed this with both a D.O. that I see for manual therapy and women’s wellness specialist that I saw in October at my annual exam. Both encouraged me to increase to the full daily dose of Savella. It was hoped that the pain relief that I would receive when stabilized on Savella would lower my blood pressure. I will digress to say that when I started Savella using the titration pack and reached the full dosage I did have mild nausea and some headache which persisted, I dropped back to half dosage and this improved. I was encouraged to gradually increase Savella to the full dose because of that experience. I very slowly increased to the full daily dose. Nausea was not an issue this time. What I did notice was my heart rate seemed high and I was prone to headaches. It was hard to fall asleep because of my heart rate. I was at the full dose for one month. Pain seemed lessened but I could tell when my BP was rising and sometimes would experience palpitations. At this time I called my PC and began dropping back to half dose again.
Anyone being treated for chronic pain has a multitude of factors and medication regimen, so I hesitate to say that my experience would be true for others. For instance to combat fatigue I take either Ritalin or Focalin. I was taking this and premarin prior to starting Savella with no increase in BP or rate. When I saw my PC, I was taking half dosage of Savella, although my BP was not as high as it was at a full dose it was still high. My options were take a mild BP med. or taper off of Savella. I am opting to taper off. I realize that this is going to be a true test of how much Savella did provide in pain relief. For those whom it has reduced pain to a 0-1 I am very happy and I am glad that I gave it a try. The greatest benefit was getting off of Cymbalta, I did not realize what an emotion stealer this med is until I was off of it. I feel like I missed a year of living as myself. Savella did help with energy and libido. (Libido was enhanced as I began the med. although this may just be the case of beginning to feel like myself again.)
Here is the greatest gain through this journey. There is hope, hope that things can improve. By researching and accessing credible studies, (Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins) and reading experiences of others on various forums I found a small population of people who were tested for vitamin D deficiency. Several who were found to be deficient when treated improved. I asked my doctor, was found to be deficient and I have started treatment for this. I would encourage anyone reading this to research vitamin D deficiency and see if this could be influencing your health. I will let you know how it goes as I decrease Savella.

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Bren Says:

I am not taking any SRNI meds still. However, my pain level has become problematic. It is interferring with my sleep, which inturn causes more pain. I see my doctor next week, and I think I will go on a low dose of Cymbalta. Hopefully, at a much reduced level my blood pressure will not increase, and I will have a reduction in pain. I will post the results.

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Marciok Says:

Please see my earlier posts, especially going directly from Cymbalta to titration pack of Savella. This was very difficult and I would not advise anyone to try and go from Cymbalta to anything without a very slow tapering off of Cymbalta first. Your blood pressure readings are very similar to what I experienced after beginning Savella, as I said the transition was scary, I think a great deal was withdrawal from Cymbalta. Once those symptoms subsided (including increased emotions, which I attribute now to the transition from emotions which were dulled by Cymbalta.) I did see a brief time of feeling more normal and decreased pain. This was when I was almost on a full dose. After reaching the full dose however the headaches and ear ringing outweighed the benefits for me. I did try to adjust to the full dose slowly but never had any decrease in BP to normal. My PCP offered a low dose of BP meds and continuation of Savella, I opted to go off of it and manage with pain meds only. Yesterday I went back after 3 weeks off of Savella and 8 weekly doses of 50,000 IU of vitamin D. I do not know the result of blood work yet, so I don’t know if D levels are normal now, but my BP was normal and better yet heart rate went from 90 back to 73.

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carolyn Says:

Cymbalta gave me hallucinations.
After off of it one year, the fibromyalgia pain was terrible, have had it 30 years. Savella was started and worked up to two 50 mg tablets per day. then i got hot flashes. tapered off, flashes stopped. pain increased. I started it again but within 3 days i was red and hot and yesterday had a mental episode where i thought i was falling, husband said he had to sit by me on the bed while i grabbed the covers tightly and didnt even know where i was, thought i was falling off a mountain. stopped savella abruptly today after phoning doc and will see him next week. has ANYONE had any mental episodes?

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Marciok Says:

Please see earlier posts, many people have found this website when they experieced almost the same effects. Transitioning without tapering from Cymbalta is very difficult. Be kind to yourself during this period. Your BP and heart rate on Savella should be monitored closely by your doctor. Savella allowed me to feel emotionally more like myself and I realized that on Cymbalta I was emotionally dulled, I did not realize this until I was off of it. Savella reduced pain well, but because of BP and high heart rate I chose between adding a BP med or just managing pain with pain killers. It is a trade off and only you can decide which works best for you. For some a very slow titration to the full dose of Savella works. Some do not have the BP issue and some regulate back to a normal BP. For me my BP did not return to normal until I was completely off of Savella and I reduced the dose very, very slowly. From any of these meds, lyrica, cymbalta and savella do not stop them abruptly. Hang in there.

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GoldnTrieverGal Says:

I was diagnosed with FMS approx. 10 yrs. ago. Up til recently, I would just suffer with it when it flared or take pain pills until I could function without them. Recently my dr. started me on the Savella titration pack. I built up to the max dose of 200 mgs a day. Aside from the constipation which was horrible and like nothing I'd ever had before in my 50 years...the other side effects were horrible. I too experienced the falling phenomena - literally, off the couch onto the floor. At work, I have occasionally fallen out of my chair in my office! Always a continual feeling of dizziness and/or unsteadiness. The unsteadiness and fear of falling became so bad that I am still afraid to get back on my treadmill or walk far without something to grab onto. The sweats also were terrible; literally, my shoulder-length hair would be soaking wet. My clothes would be soaking wet. I took to packing along extra unders when I'd go to work. The sweats caused serious rashes, similar to heat rash, under my arms, under my bra straps and around my waist where my waistband would be. I spent 3 days with a killer-headache when I finally broke down and called the dr. By that point, the heart palpitations were intolerable and combined with everything else, I was prepared to live on pain meds. before subjecting myself to anything else. I'm so saddened that the Savella didn't work; but I can't live my life with those side effects either. I wish everyone else well and congratulate those who can tolerate the drug.

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BadPixie Says:

Savella has been extremely helpful in lessening the pain associated with chronic myofascial pain syndrome, but the increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure were definitely unwelcome side effects. Recently I came across information that indicated that over 50% of takers suffered chronic hypertension even after discontinuing this drug, so that's definitely something to take into account, plus any potential for liver damage. After weighing all of the options, I'm weaning myself off and trying a healthier diet, trigger point therapy, stress control and other methods to control and heal instead of this drug. It's a shame it causes such serious side effects, because we definitely need something both effective and safe to give us relief, don't we?

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Anna Says:

I just started savella this week for nerve damage from a root canal two years ago. My blood pressure is normally around 98/64. This morning I took my own bp and the diastolic (bottom number) is 97 which is hypertensive in my books. Will it lessen? I hope so becaus eSavella is the last house on the block for me as I have tried everything from acupuntunce to narcotics. Nothing as worked.

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Mary Says:

I have been taking savella for a couple of months doing well with pain but when I went for a check up my blood preasue and heart rate was off the charts. I have had normal readings all my life. Told my Dr. and he added a blood presure pill. It works some but not perfect. I have headaches in the mornings that are really bad. I hope this helps. I am calling Dr after holidays for some advice. I just hope there is something to help this..Does anyone know if it goes down after one quits taking savella? Mary

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Sue Says:

I took Sevella for 7 weeks, beginning the first week of November, 2010. My blood pressure that is normally 117/75 is now 155/100 ( and sometimes higher!). My doctor pulled me off the Sevella 3 weeks ago and my pressure is still high and spikes. I also wonder how long it takes, if ever, for the blood pressure to go back down. I pray there is someone out there that can give me some hope! I am going to my doctor tomorrow and we are going to have a LONG talk. He did not tell me of this potential risk when he prescribed the medication.

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theophilus Says:

Blood pressure was 120/80. Started taking savella in a study of depression. Four weeks on 80 mg of the medicine and am less depressed. However, blood pressure is now 160/ 100, i freqiently have blurry vision, my feet often itch, my lips are dry, i ave hot flushes, and during urination I experience a burning. Beginning the fifth week on medicine which was reduced tio 40 mg. Will wait to see what happens?

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DanIsConcerned Says:

I had generally elevated BP for years, and have been taking Ramipril to regulate it. I was given Savella for RA-type symptoms (my blood tests came back negative for RA), where my daily dosage was 50 mg twice a day. It worked fine for my arthritis symptoms, but the side effects were terrible. I figured they would subside after a while, so I kept at it. After four weeks, I had my BP tested during a visit to another doctor, and it was 160/96. With all the side effects and the skyrocketing BP, I decided it wasn't worth it, and I called the RA doctor to get instructions to ween off of Savella. I'm reducing the dosage for a week, but my BP is still dangerously high. I hope it settles down after I'm weened off.

Reading some of the other posts, I see that most people are on dosages of 12.5 - 40 mg daily, and I was at over twice that amount! I'm really upset with the doctor, who knew I was already on medication for high BP.

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