Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)


Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of medications that primarily work by blocking the reuptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, in the brain. This leads to increased levels of serotonin in the synaptic cleft, which helps alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Mechanism of Action

SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin by blocking the serotonin transporter (SERT) present on the presynaptic neurons. By preventing the reuptake of serotonin, SSRIs increase its concentration in the synaptic cleft. This allows for prolonged interaction between serotonin and postsynaptic receptors, thereby enhancing its mood-regulating effects.


SSRIs are commonly prescribed for the treatment of various mental health conditions such as:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Side Effects

Common side effects of SSRIs may include:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness


It is important to note that SSRIs should be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Some precautions to consider include:

  • Avoid abrupt discontinuation, as it may cause withdrawal symptoms
  • Inform your doctor about any other medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions
  • SSRIs may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts in some individuals, especially in children, adolescents, and young adults
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before using SSRIs