Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) or dual – uptake inhibitors represent one of the newest but important classes of antidepressants, which are commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders and depression therapeutic treatment. SNRIs were first launched in the international markets in 1993, when the U.S. FDA approved first of its kind Venlafaxine (Effexor) as an antidepressant, which would help treat numerous individuals suffering from varying anxiety disorders and/or depression.
However, SNRIs belong to that group of antidepressants, which are used as a second line treatment regimen for depression in addition to another antidepressants class called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). SNRIs work by blocking the re-absorption of two neurotransmitters in the brain, namely Norepinephrine and serotonin, thus, increasing the level of these two neurotransmitters in the nerve cells. This property of SNRIs helps elevate the mood of an individual suffering from depression or any type of anxiety disorder. No severe side effects have been observed to be associated with SNRIs usage; however, a few common side effects, such as nausea, dry mouth, excessive sweating and dizziness are generally associated with this class of antidepressants.
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Some of the major driving factors for the growth of this market include rising prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders globally, improved efficacy and reduced side effects of SNRIs available in the global market and rapidly increasing geriatric population. According to the WHO estimates, in 2012, more than 350 million people were found to be affected by depression worldwide. Similarly, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) estimated that, in 2012, around 14.8 million people in the U.S. were suffering from depression only.
Aged individuals are more prone to several depression and anxiety disorders; hence, high geriatric population in most of the developed economies and increasing age of people in developing nations will also contribute towards the growth of this market in future. Improved efficacy along with the reduction in the side effects due to SNRIs will further contribute towards the growth of this market. Some of the major drugs from this class that are available in the global market include Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), Duloxetine (Cymbalta), Levomilnacipran (Fetzima) and Venlafaxine (Effexor XR). However, the market for SNRIs may face challenges in future due to recent expirations of lot of SNRIs and a weak pipeline of drugs from this class of antidepressants, which will cause the introduction of a large number of generics in the global market.
Geographically, North America holds the leading position in the SNRIs market followed by Europe. Key factor responsible for their dominance in this market is high prevalence of anxiety disorders and depression in these regions, especially in the U.S. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2012, about 16 million adults aged 18 or above suffered from major depressive disorders in the U.S. Thus, large patient population suffering from depression and other disorders has helped the antidepressants market to grow significantly in the region. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that frequent episodes of major depression were the leading cause of suicide and disability among the U.S. citizens aged between 15 years and 44 years.
However, emerging economies of Asia Pacific, Middle East, LATAM and Africa regions would present huge opportunities for the growth of this market in future. Key factors responsible for the growth of this market in these regions include economic growth, increased disposable income and enhanced affordability of branded formulations in these regions. Moreover, a growing geriatric population more prone to psychiatric disorders such as depression, clinical anxiety, bipolar disorder and other psychological conditions along with the presence of a large population base in the region would consequently raise the uptake of SNRIs.
Some of the major players operating in this market are Eli Lilly and Company, Forest Laboratories, Inc. and Pfizer, Inc.
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