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  Oct 10, 2018

What are SSRIs?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressants that are used in the treatment of clinical depression. These agents are also useful in several other mental health conditions such as anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder and some phobias such as social phobia and agoraphobia (fear of open spaces).

Examples of SSRIs

Some examples of commonly used SSRIs include:

  • Fluoxetine (prozac)
  • Sertraline
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Paroxetine
  • Citalopram
  • Escitalopram

Mechanism of action

SSRIs increase the serotonin level in the brain by preventing it's reuptake by the presynaptic neurons, meaning the hormone instead remains available to bind to postsynaptic neurons and exert its mood enhancing effects. Many experts believe that low serotonin levels are a cause depression.

Increased serotonin levels due to SSRI therapy has proved beneficial in the treatment of individuals with depression. SSRIs are currently the mainstay of treatment for depression and are preferred over other classes of medications such as tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine-oxidase inhibitors because they are more effective and cause fewer side effects.

Side effec