SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are medications often prescribed for depression. SSRIs have a reputation for creating fewer side effects than other classes of depression medications. SSRIs prevent the reuptake of serotonin, which in turn increases serotonin activity.
There’s no one known cause for depression. However, one of the prevailing theories is that lowered levels of serotonin could be a factor in the development of the condition. This is why SSRIs are often used as a first option for treating depressive episodes.
SSRIs, while typically better tolerated than some other classes of depression medications, are not without side effects. Some of the most common SSRI side effects include:
Common SSRIs medications include:
In addition to depression, sometimes SSRIs are used to treat other conditions, including anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It’s important to note that in people younger than 25, the risk of adverse effects, notably suicidal ideation, from the use of SSRIs prompted the FDA to issue a black box warning for SSRIs. Furthermore, the literature indicates a lack of clear efficacy for the use of SSRIs in young people.
SSRI Withdrawal Symptoms
When you top taking SSRIs, you may experience withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe. It is estimated that 20% of SSRI users could experience
“antidepressant discontinuation syndrome.” These symptoms may start almost immediately after discontinuing the drug and can last from one week to one year.
The symptoms of SSRI withdrawal may include:
-Shock-like feelings sometimes called brain zaps