Difference between SSRIs and SNRIs, which is better for Migraine?

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  • Full Question:

    Can you tell me please the difference between SSRIs and SNRIs and if one is better than the other for Migraine prevention? Thanks, Brooke.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Brooke;


    SSRI's are select serotonin reuptake inhibitors. As the name indicates, they act on the neurotransmitter serotonin. SNRI's are serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and they act on both serotonin and norepinephrine. At this time, there isn't a great deal of clinical trial data to back this up, but it's theorized that the SNRI's may be more effective for Migraine prevention because they act on both serotonin and norepinephrine rather than serotonin alone.

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    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated April 21, 2014.

Published On: April 28, 2014