Home > Medication > SSRI Related Antidepressants

SSRI Related Antidepressants

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 6 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Depression Depressive Illness Ssri Snri

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are an antidepressant class that affect the release of serotonin. SSRI related antidepressants also influence this brain chemical but do so alongside other mechanisms of action. SSRI related antidepressants include serotonin noradrenalin reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and other antidepressants that are more closely aligned with this class.

How Do SNRIs Help Depression?

SNRIs are an antidepressant class used to treat depression and some other mood disorders. They influence brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are serotonin and noradrenalin both of which are known to affect mood.

What Are The Side Effects?

Some of the side effects that you may experience with an SNRI are nausea, excessive sweating and problems sleeping. The effects are, in fact, common to many antidepressant drugs. Other side effects include:

  • Sexual problems
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Anxiety

SNRIs can also affect blood pressure and your doctor may choose to monitor your blood pressure if it is already elevated. In addition, SNRIs may affect cholesterol so regular testing may be required. As you continue using the drug, side effects often will subside and if they become too bothersome, you can speak with your doctor, who may reduce your dosage, recommend another drug or provide suggestions on how to make the side effects more tolerable.

Can Withdrawal Occur?

Similar to many antidepressants, it is not recommended that you abruptly stop taking the medication as withdrawal symptoms may occur. Your doctor will advise you regarding a slow and tapered dosage, which should help to subdue any uncomfortable symptoms.

Serotonin Syndrome

An uncommon but dangerous side effect of SNRIs is known as serotonin syndrome. This occurs as a result of excessively high levels of serotonin in the brain. It may also occur if a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) is taken alongside an SNRI, or if any supplement affecting serotonin levels is taken regularly. Symptoms suggesting serotonin syndrome are:

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hallucinations

If you do experience symptoms of serotonin syndrome, it is crucial that you obtain medical treatment promptly.

What SNRI Will My Doctor Prescribe?

Venlafaxine is one of the more commonly prescribed SNRIs. It mostly affects serotonin and noradrenalin but does also alter dopamine as well. Desipramine is more often considered a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) but as it does affect serotonin and noradrenalin, it is sometimes categorized as an SNRI. Other SNRIs that may be used are:

  • Nefazodone
  • Duloxetine
  • Desipramine
  • Milnacipran

How Do SNRIs Compare To SSRIs?

SNRIs are newer than SSRIs and are considered similarly effective in treating depression. Some studies have actually suggested that SNRIs are better tolerated and more successful for treating depression but your doctor will decide which specific antidepressant is appropriate for you.

Other SSRI Related Antidepressants

There are other antidepressants that are similar to SSRIs in their mechanism of action. One such antidepressant is bupropion, which influences dopamine and noradrenalin. Bupropion is considered as effective as SSRIs in treating depression and appears to have fewer side effects. The most common side effects of this drug are dry mouth, headaches and insomnia. Your doctor may prescribe an SSRI or a related antidepressant such as an SNRI to treat your depressive illness. These newer antidepressants do tend to have milder side effects and can be highly effective in relieving the symptoms of your depression. Hopefully, your treatment with an SSRI related antidepressant will improve your mood and leave you more hopeful and optimistic for a future without depression.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Sasha
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    Im 8 and half weeks pregnant. I am 38 and have a 9 and 11 year old. This wasnt planed. My husband wants me to get an abortion but…
    26 July 2017
  • Nells
    Re: How to Reduce the Risks of Depression Reoccurring
    I found these article extremely useful.I was able to identify with almost everything. I was also liked…
    21 July 2017
  • Matthew
    Re: How to Rebuild Your Life After a Breakdown
    I have just finished writing myself through a prolonged period of mental illness and think that I may have come…
    20 July 2017
  • Anon
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had a medical abortion today... I had the intention of keeping my pregnancy but something within me kept tugging on that thought…
    2 July 2017
  • kunjumol
    Re: Driving and Depression
    i am taking medicines for anti depression i am ok but i very nervey and memory level is not good anxiety and ,negativity the qualities…
    28 June 2017
  • less
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had also an abortion ten years ago i got depressed until now because my ex wanted to abort our baby and i am so scared with my…
    26 June 2017
  • debily
    Re: How To Assert Yourself
    Hyy, I'm a student pursuing my B.tech carrier,currently in the final year of it. criticism and comments arouse out of some of my foolish…
    17 June 2017
  • Mrs P
    Re: How to Rebuild Your Life After a Breakdown
    Returning To Work After Depression Have had several depressive incidents in the past, both reactive and through…
    9 June 2017
  • Mrs P
    Re: How To Assert Yourself
    Have had several depressive incidents in the past, both reactive and through steroid side effects. In each case, once on meds have…
    9 June 2017
  • Devistated
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had a medical abortion 3 weeks ago and the grief, upset, heartbreak is consuming me! I went through with it due to no support,…
    4 June 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the OvercomeDepression website. Please read our Disclaimer.