NDRI Drugs: Depression Medication - How They Work + Side Effects

NDRI Drugs: Depression Medication


NDRI stands for Norepinephrine-Dopamine Re-uptake Inhibitor.

NDRI drugs are similar to SSRIs and SNRIs, as in, they are said to “inhibit the re-uptake” of certain neurotransmitters (messenger molecules).    However, in this case, instead of Serotonin being inhibited, it’s Norepinephrine + Dopamine.  Hence the name, Norepinephrine-Dopamine Re-uptake Inhibitor (NDRI).

So, what does that mean in plain english?!

Well, this act of inhibiting the natural recycling process of Norepinephrine + Dopamine is said to increase the availability of these neurotransmitters (messenger molecules) within the brain, which is believed to alleviate the ‘symptoms’ of depression.

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  • Want to see the basic process of how “re-uptake inhibitors” are said to work to treat depression? Then, be sure to watch: How Do Antidepressants Work?

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NDRI Drugs List

Norepinephrine–dopamine re-uptake inhibitors (NDRIs) are used for clinical depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, smoking cessation and as anti-parkinson agents.

Here’s a list of some commonly prescribed NDRI drugs.

  • BupropionOpens in a new tab. – Wellbutrin – Zyban – Elontril – Budeprion – Aplenzin – Voxra – Forfivo – Prexaton – Quomem – Zyntabac – Carmubine
  • DexmethylphenidateOpens in a new tab. – Focalin – Attenade – Concerta (Lithuania)
  • MethylphenidateOpens in a new tab. – Concerta – Ritalin – Metadate CD – Medikinet – Matoride XL – Equasym – Medicebran – Daytrana – Difumenil – Biphentin – Aptensio XR – Methylin – Motiron – Quasym – Quillivant XR (NOTE: Known to act as a DNRI dopamine-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. In other words, it acts on dopamine more than norepinephrine).

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Most Common Side Effects of NDRI’s

NDRI’s may cause:

  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Feeling agitated, shaky or anxious
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Dizziness / Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased risk of suicidal thinking &/or suicidal behaviour
  • Cognitive &/or memory impairment
  • Lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern
  • Inability to feel pleasure in normally pleasurable activities
  • Emotional blunting
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain
  • Drowsiness
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of energy / fatigue
  • Decreased libido
  • Nervousness
  • Sleeping disturbance (insomnia)
  • Abnormal dreams or vision
  • Headaches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Bruising or bleeding easily
  • Movement troubles, such as; stiffness or shaking
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Abnormal physical weakness
  • Akathisia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Tremors or muscle twitches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Skin reactions / rashes
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium blood levels)
  • Cold / flu-like symptoms
  • Sinus, nose or upper respiratory infections
  • Manic switch (switching of mood into mania)
  • Increased risk of seizures
  • Increased risk of gastrointestinal (stomach/intestinal) bleeding
  • Increased risk of Serotonin Syndrome.

NB. Although there are no documented cases of Serotonin Syndrome following Bupropion/Wellbutrin/Zyban ingestion alone in the literature, the ability of Bupropion/Wellbutrin/Zyban to potentiate serotonin levels and lead to Serotonin Syndrome is known.[1Opens in a new tab.][2Opens in a new tab.]

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Antidepressant Warnings

Antidepressant drugs can interact with other medications, foods and natural supplements (for example; St Johns Wort) which may increase the risk of Serotonin Syndrome, so be sure to speak to your doctor or healthcare provider to ensure there’s no negative interactions.


If you would like to personally assess how your medications may interact with each other, then simply click here to use the FREE Drug Interactions CheckerOpens in a new tab.. This will inform you of any possible negative interactions of your medications.

NOTE: Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on the Drug Interactions page applies to your personal circumstances. Always check with your healthcare provider to determine if any adjustments to your medications are needed.

WARNING:  *** NEVER stop an antidepressant drug without first consulting your healthcare provider. Suddenly stopping an antidepressant drug can cause adverse effects.***

NOTE:  The content on this page is for general information purposes only.  This page is not intended to give advice regarding NDRI Antidepressants (NDRIs).

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20238197
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15602102

IMAGE CREDIT: Photo by Thought CatalogOpens in a new tab.

Marie O'Neil

As an Overcoming Depression Specialist, I get so frustrated with all the 'mental illness myths' and half-truths keeping people stuck in the downward spiral of depression. It doesn’t need to be that way! THERE IS A WAY OUT! If I can do it, so can you! You just need the right, time-tested tools and proven strategies to help you do it. And, that's what this website is all about. Giving you light in the darkest of times. To learn more about me simply click here.

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