Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of medications that are commonly used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, and other conditions related to mood and behavior. They work by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.

Serotonin is a chemical messenger in the brain that plays a role in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep. In people with depression and anxiety disorders, serotonin levels are often lower than normal. SSRIs work by blocking the reuptake of serotonin by nerve cells, allowing more serotonin to remain in the brain and improve mood.

SSRIs are considered to be safe and effective medications for treating depression and anxiety disorders. They are typically taken orally in tablet form, and are usually taken once a day. It may take several weeks for the full effects of SSRIs to be felt, and it is important to continue taking the medication as prescribed even if you start to feel better.

Common side effects of SSRIs can include nausea, diarrhea, headache, insomnia, and dry mouth. More serious side effects can occur, although they are less common, and may include seizures, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. If you experience any of these side effects, it is important to seek medical attention right away.

SSRIs can interact with other medications, including other antidepressants, blood thinners, and certain pain medications, so it is important to tell your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you are taking before starting an SSRI. Additionally, SSRIs may interact with certain foods and beverages, such as alcohol and grapefruit juice, so it is important to discuss your diet with your healthcare provider.

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