How Do Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) Work?

Depression - Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)?Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are mainly activating, mood-enhancing and anxiolytic. They usually have no calming or depressing effect.

SSRIs specifically block the return of serotonin to its cellular stores.

As a result, the messenger remains longer in the synaptic cleft and its effectiveness is increased. A lack of serotonin is associated with the onset of depression.

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SSRIs have been on the market since the 1980s. In contrast to the older antidepressants (e.g., tricyclics), they have a less pronounced side effect profile. Like most antidepressant groups, they take a few days to several weeks to get their full effect. SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants today.

SSRIs are also prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, impulse control disorders and other mental health problems.

This group of drugs include, among others:

  • fluoxetine
  • fluvoxamine
  • Citalopram
  • Escitalopram
  • paroxetine
  • sertraline

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Author:Dr. Hubertus Glaser