Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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General Principles


This class of drugs includes fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, citalopram, and escitalopram. These drugs have a much better safety profile than the earlier drugs marketed for the management of depressive disorders and, as such, have largely supplanted MAOIs and TCAs in the treatment of depression.


These drugs enhance serotonergic activity by preventing its reuptake into the presynaptic terminal of the neuron, which may partially explain their antidepressant effects. Unlike other antidepressants, SSRIs have limited effects on other receptors and therefore tend to be less toxic in overdose.

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