I had a bad reaction to Prozac many years ago. I was told by my doc that I cannot tolerate ssri's. I was prescribed Cymbalta yesterday(snri) and was wondering what the difference between the drug classes was?
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)
Of the three neurotransmitters, SSRI's operate on serotonin. The body naturally decreases serotonin. SSRI's "inhibit" (slow or stop) this "re-uptake" (re-absorption) process.
Serotonin-Norepinephine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI)
SNRI's act on two of the neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine. Like the SSRI, the SNRI also affects the body's "re-uptake", of serotonin. In addition, SNRI's decrease the re-uptake of the second neurotransmitter, norepinephrine.
SSRI or SNRI?
Serotonin is thought to be the "mood" neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is believed to be involved with "energy and alertness." Because SNRI's act on norepinephrine, in addition to serotonin, some believe these are more effective in treating depression, although individual patients respond differently to medication, and some feel the side effects of SNRIs are worse than those of SSRIs.
masso416t9 was right on..but to elaborate further..for Effexor..it is like three drugs in one in low doses..affects the reuptake of serontonin like an SSRi only works as an SNRi or whatever they call them now at doses about 150mg and affects the reuptake of dopamine at still higher doses..so apparently, and in my experience a low dose of Effexor is useful for generalized and social anxiety, and panic attacks..higher doses for depression
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