SSRI v SNRI treatment

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/18/2009 5:33 AM (GMT -6)   
My mum has had severe depression for around a week (she has a history of depression)
The last time she was depressed she was given an SNRI, she went on to have a manic episode and was treated as bipolar for a short time.

She has been fine for a few years now but recently underwent some stress at work. She became a little bit manic (nothing like she was before, but I noticed as we're very close!) that seemed to pass but has been followed by this deep depression.
She has been to the doctors and they have prescribed SSRI's this time so fingers crossed they do the job. (I have taken them before and they worked wonders for me although my depression was not as severe)

I guess my question is does anyone know if there is a likelyhood that the SNRI provoked the manic episode?
I also want to know the different way a SNRI works to a SSRI if anyone knows??

Thanks all :-)

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40395
   Posted 12/18/2009 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rtq,
All I basically know is that the ssni has to do with norepinephrine.  I take an ssni called pristiq.  I was on effexor which is one also, but the pristiq has more to do with the noreprinephrine reuptake. 
I guess that the ssri is a selective seretonin reuptake inhibitor.  Where the ssni is selective seretonin norepephrine inhibitor.  So the latter one deals with the norepephrine in our bodies.  Whether that would make your mother manic, I don't know.  I think it has to do more with adrenalin maybe???  I am not a professional, so it is my guess as good as yours.  But I know a little from experience.  Oh and they work on anxiety.  I do know that.  I think. lol...  um, I was on effexor for many years, and am switching to the pristiq because you don't have to take as much of it.   Plus effexor goes generic in June 2010 this year and pristiq is not.  So of course the docs wanted the switch.  lol...
I hope that your mom feels better.  I can tell that you are concerned about her.  Take care, keep in touch, there should be more repies that we can both learn from.
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18560
   Posted 12/18/2009 10:57 AM (GMT -6)   
definately work on anxiety. karen has given you some excellent info. i too was on effexor-to pristiq, now cymbalta, wich i feel warrants an increase. keep mum talkin with her doc. may take a little more time to kick in. keep well, all the best. my compassionate thoughts are with you. jamie

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/18/2009 11:56 AM (GMT -6)   

It is entirely possible that the snri brought on mania. Her doctors need to know she is possibly bipolar, and she should be closely monitored for mania. Bipolars usually do not take anti-depressants without a mood stabilizer, and even then only under the close watch of a doc, because they can cause mania. Is she seeing a psychiatrist? can she get a referral to one? Pdocs are usually more knowledgeable about these things than GPs.

Good luck,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40395
   Posted 12/18/2009 12:43 PM (GMT -6)   
That reminds me,

I take a mood stabilizer with mine too. Abilify, works good for me.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

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