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Pain and Debilitating Conditions

Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are a class of antidepressant drugs used in pharmacologic pain management to treat chronic neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia, among others. Patients who are prescribed SNRIs typically notice an improvement in a number of symptoms, including depression, pain, and fatigue. However, medications found to be effective for one type of pain (chronic daily tension headaches) do not necessarily have efficacy in other types (diabetic neuropathy). For this reason, pain management physicians will need to evaluate your condition in depth and prescribe certain SNRIs and doses on an individual basis.

Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are a type of drug which acts as a reuptake inhibitor for the neurotransmitters norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline) by blocking the action of the norepinephrine transporter. Essentially, SNRIs increase adrenaline levels by inhibiting reabsorption (reuptake) into cells in the brain for enhanced neurotransmission – the sending of nerve impulses – to improve and elevate alertness and energy. These medications for pain management are known to have both antidepressant and analgesic qualities.

Side effects can include cough and sore throat, nausea, insomnia, constipation, weight loss, sexual dysfunction, and dilated pupils. These medications for pain can cause high blood pressure as well, so pain management physicians may recommend that patients have their blood pressure monitored frequently during treatment or therapy. Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors may be administered as first-line therapy or these agents may prove workable alternatives for other medications that have been unsuccessful in helping patients find pain relief and control.