How Do SNRI Antidepressants Work?

Reviewed on 9/22/2021

How do SNRI antidepressants work?

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressants are medications prescribed to treat depression and conditions such as fibromyalgia, which cause chronic widespread pain. SNRIs increase the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine and regulate their activity.

Serotonin and norepinephrine are chemicals (neurotransmitters) released by nerve cells (neurons) in the brain to transmit nerve signals. Serotonin and norepinephrine play important roles in mood regulation and pain modulation, and abnormality in their functioning can cause chronic pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety

SNRI antidepressants raise the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine by preventing their reabsorption (reuptake), a natural process in the brain. An increase in serotonin and norepinephrine levels improves mood and increases energy, and regulation of their activity alters pain perception and pain threshold.

How are SNRI antidepressants used?

SNRI antidepressants are oral tablets or capsules approved by the FDA for the treatment of the following conditions:

Off-label uses include:


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What are side effects of SNRI antidepressants?

Side effects of SNRI antidepressants may include the following:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of some SNRI antidepressant drugs?

Generic and brand names of SNRI antidepressant drugs include:


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