SSRIs are frequently used to treat various forms of depression.
These drugs are used treat generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder and PTSD.
These drugs specifically inhibit the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin by the presynaptic cells. Because of this class of drug's mechanism of action, serotonin stays in the synaptic gap longer than it normally would, and may repeatedly stimulate the receptors of the post-synaptic cell. This class of medications typically requires 4-8 weeks of compliance before they have an effect.
Paroxetine is an SSRI which is indicated for treating social phobia. It is also indicated for use with panic attacks, depression, OCD and PTSD.
Sertraline is another SSRI which has numerous uses. It is often indicated for PTSD, and can be remembered by the image of a soldier saying "SIR!" This medication can also be used to treat anxiety disorders, depression, OCD and panic disorder.
Escitalopram has a wide variety of uses, and is indicated for cognitive recovery post-stroke. It can also be used for depression and anxiety treatment.
Fluoxetine is indicated for depression. This medication can also be used for OCD, bulimia and panic disorder.
SSRIs are known to cause sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction, anorgasmia and decreased libido.
Serotonin syndrome is a risk with patients taking SSRI medications, while concurrently taking TCAs, SNRIs, MAOIs (any medications increasing serotonin availability). Serotonin syndrome is a rapidly progressive, potentially life-threatening syndrome which can be caused by a drug interaction. It has a wide range of clinical findings, where patients may display hyperthermia, hypertension, myoclonus, mydriasis, overactive bowels and mental agitation.
Cyproheptadine is a medication used to treat serotonin syndrome. This drug acts as a serotonergic (5-HT2) receptor antagonist.
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