Levomilnacipran: More of the Same?

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Prim Care Companion CNS Disord


Objective: The primary objective of this narrative review is to provide clinicians an in-depth analysis of the mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and efficacy of levomilnacipran. We propose that unlike selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or even their precursor serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), levomilnacipran demonstrates a potentially unique ability to alleviate the fatigue symptom cluster of major depressive disorder (MDD).

Data Sources: A literature review was completed in PubMed using the MeSH term levomilnacipran.

Study Selection: Inclusion criteria were English-language only, randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews published through March 2019. Analyses using product labels and anecdotal or uncontrolled reports of clinical applications were excluded. Only published data from short-term and long-term trials were analyzed. The search resulted in 73 articles. The evidence-based review comprises a total of 31 articles.

Data Synthesis: The data analyzed suggest that levomilnacipran has evidence in the treatment of MDD. More specifically, data suggest that levomilnacipran may be unique among SSRI and SNRI antidepressants in its ability to improve the fatigue symptom cluster in MDD.

Conclusions: Further investigations are warranted into levomilnacipran's potentially unique ability to alleviate the fatigue symptom cluster of MDD. Future head-to-head studies and studies that assess for clinically relevant improvements in fatigue are needed.

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