Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are a class of medications commonly used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, and certain pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. They work by blocking the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters and improving mood and pain perception.
Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating mood, attention, and arousal, as well as the body’s response to stress. Like serotonin, levels of norepinephrine are often lower than normal in people with depression and anxiety disorders.
SNRIs are typically taken orally in capsule form and are usually taken once a day. It may take several weeks for the full effects of SNRIs to be felt, and it is important to continue taking the medication as prescribed even if you start to feel better.
Common side effects of SNRIs can include nausea, headache, insomnia, and dry mouth. More serious side effects can occur, although they are less common, and may include seizures, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. If you experience any of these side effects, it is important to seek medical attention right away.
SNRIs can interact with other medications, including other antidepressants, blood thinners, and certain pain medications, so it is important to tell your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you are taking before starting an SNRI. Additionally, SNRIs may interact with certain foods and beverages, such as alcohol and grapefruit juice, so it is important to discuss your diet with your healthcare provider.