Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)


Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are commonly prescribed antidepressants. They can ease symptoms of moderate to severe depression, are relatively safe, and typically cause milder side effects than SSRIs do. They appear to be slightly more effective than SSRIs.

SNRIs are prescribed to treat:

  •  Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Chronic nerve pain
  • ADHD

The Mayo Clinic explains SNRIs ease depression by impacting chemical messengers, neurotransmitters, used to communicate between brain cells. Similar to other types of antidepressants, SNRIS work by causing changes in brain chemistry and how brain cells communicate in ways which regulate mood, to help relieve depression. SSRIs block the absorption or reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain.

Some examples are (brand name italicized):

  • Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Levomilnacipran (Fetzima)
  • Milnacipran (Savella)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)

Side Effects:


  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Male sexual dysfunction
  • Hypertension

Less Common:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Bruising or bleeding easily
  • Confusion
  • Movement problems, such as stiffness or shaking
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren't real (hallucinations)
  • Being unable to pass urine

Treatment & Resources