Difference Between SSRIs and SNRIs (With Table)

SSRIs and SNRIs are both different types of anti-depressants. Anti-depressants are medications used to treat depressions, anxiety orders, chronic pain conditions, and addictions. There are different types of anti-depressants present to treat different levels of anxiety levels and depression. SSRIs and SNRIs are anti-depressants that act as neurotransmitters that carry nerve signals between neurons.

SSRIs vs SNRIs

The main difference between SSRIs and SNRIs is that SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin levels in the brain, while SNRIs inhibit the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine levels. Both the tablets are anti-depressants but SSRI is used as a first-level antidepressant to treat moderate depressive disorder while SNRI is used to treat major depressive disorders.

SSRI are anti-depressants drugs that are medications used to fight depression, anxiety orders, and other psychological conditions. It helps in improving mood. It limits the reabsorption of serotonin in a person’s body. The medication is used to treat social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorder, etc.

SNRIs are used to treat major depressive disorders like PTSD, Neuropathic pain, Etc. They are monoamine reuptake inhibitors. The dual inhibition of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake helps to treat wider symptoms. Some examples of SNRIs are Venlafaxine, Desvenlafaxine, etc.

Comparison Table Between SSRIs And SNRIs

Parameters of ComparisonSSRIsSNRIs
Full formSelective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
NeurotransmittersIt prevents the reuptake of Serotonin neurotransmitters.It prevents or limits the reuptake of Serotonin and Norepinephrine neurotransmitters.
Treatment of diseasesEating disorders, chronic pain, OCD, major depressive disorder, etc.PTSD, SAD, OCD, Neuropathic pain, etc.
Side-effectsRashes, Nose bleeds, Sexual dysfunction, and an increase in violent acts, are some of the common side effects.Constipation, Nausea, Physical weakness, etc are some of the common side effects.
Examples Some examples of SSRIs are Fluvoxamine, Vilazodone, Citalopram, etc.Some examples of SNRIs are Venlafaxine, Desvenlafaxine, etc.

What are SSRIs?

SSRIs stand for Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. SSRI are anti-depressants drugs that are medications used to fight depression, anxiety orders, and other psychological conditions. It is one of the most prescribed anti-depressants in many countries as it is the first-line treatment for severe depression. SSRIs help in improving mood and fight depression.

SSRIs limit the reuptake or reabsorption of serotonin in a person’s body. It prevents the neurotransmitter from being reabsorbed back into the nerve cell. Serotonin helps to regulate the mood in the body. When a person is depressed, serotonin is either too high or too low in a person’s body. It also regulates a person’s waking and sleeping routines.

Some of the illnesses in which SSRIs are given as anti-depressants are Major depressive disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorder, chronic pain, etc. This medication has some side effects as well such as sweating, rashes, nose bleeds, sexual dysfunction, and it can increase violent acts, etc. Seizures and allergic reactions can also happen however they are so rare. Also, SSRIs increase the risks of abortion in pregnancy therefore these medicines can only be taken under doctors’ guidance.

Some of the SSRIs are fluvoxamine, vilazodone, citalopram, sertraline, escitalopram etc. Some SSRIs are also used to decrease anger like sertraline.

What are SNRIs?

SNRIs stand for Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. SNRIs are anti-depressants as well. SNRIs are monoamine reuptake inhibitors, which means the drug reacts on one or more of three major neurotransmitters.

SNRIs elevate and prevent the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine. Serotonin and Norepinephrine are both neurotransmitters. Indeed, Norepinephrine functions as a hormone as well. These neurotransmitters regulate the mood of a person.

SNRIs are second-generation anti-depressants. These second-generation anti-depressants have taken over the first-generation anti-depressants. SNRIs increases the levels of norepinephrine, which eventually helps a person concentrate and reduces depression. They are taken in the form of tablets, mostly in the morning time as they can cause insomnia if taken at night time.

SNRIs are used to fight Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Social Anxiety Disorder, Neuropathic pain, chronic musculoskeletal pain, Fibromyalgia, etc. SNRIs have side effects as well such as constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth, physical weakness, etc. Indeed, these medications can be addictive as well. It can also cause side effects when the medication is withdrawal.

Some of the SNRIS are venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, levomilnacipran, duloxetine, etc. SNRIs treats a wider range of symptoms as dual inhibition of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake takes place and so it offers more advantage over other anti-depressant tablets.

Main Differences Between SSRIs And SNRIs

  1. SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin levels in the brain, while SNRIs inhibit the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine levels.
  2. SSRIs are less cost-effective while SNRIs are more cost-effective.
  3. SSRI is less preferred than SNRI as SNRI treats a wider range of symptoms.
  4. SSRI is more tolerant than SNRI
  5. SSRI is used to treat moderate to severe depression disorders while SNRI is used to treat major depressive disorders.
  6. SSRI is a third-generation anti-depressant while SNRI is a second-generation anti-depressant.
  7. Example of SSRIs is fluvoxamine, vilazodone, citalopram, sertraline, escitalopram, etc. Example of SNRIs is venlafaxine, levomilnacipran, duloxetine, etc.

Conclusion

SSRI and SNRI are both anti-depressant drugs. These medications are used to treat depression and disorders that happen due to depression and anxieties. SSRI prevents or limits the uptake of Serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter. It helps in improving the mood of the person. Although it can cause some severe side-effects too.

SSRI is used firstly as it is a low dosage. While SNRI is a high dosage. It limits the reuptake of two neurotransmitters, Serotonin, and Norepinephrine and therefore it is used to treat major disorders related to depression.

These drugs can be harmful and so they should only be taken under doctors’ guidance. The dosage is given according to the patient’s conditions as they have severe side effects. Indeed, this medication can cause severe damage to a person’s health. They are addictive as well, their addiction can cause severe damage to a person if he/she abruptly stops. The overdose can lead to death as well.

References

  1. https://europepmc.org/article/med/18668017
  2. https://www.psychiatrist.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/25789_snris-versus-ssris-mechanisms-action-treating-depression.pdf
  3. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/cns-spectrums/article/snris-pharmacology-clinical-efficacy-and-tolerability-in-comparison-with-other-classes-of-antidepressants/85CE6083A8FDE2FA95B5F44D304D987F
  4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2710.2009.01050.x
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