Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of medications that are commonly used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. They work by increasing the amount of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, in the brain by blocking its reuptake by neurons. Here are some common terms related to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors:
- Antidepressants: SSRIs are a type of antidepressant medication that are used to treat depression.
- Anxiety Disorders: SSRIs are also used to treat anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
- Serotonin: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is involved in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep.
- Reuptake: Reuptake is the process by which neurotransmitters are taken back up into the neuron after they have been released into the synaptic cleft.
- Side Effects: Like all medications, SSRIs can cause side effects. Common side effects include nausea, headache, dizziness, and sexual dysfunction.
- Tapering: When discontinuing an SSRI, it is important to taper the medication slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
- Treatment-Resistant Depression: Treatment-resistant depression is a term used to describe depression that does not respond to conventional treatments, such as antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. In some cases, SSRIs may be used in combination with other medications to treat treatment-resistant depression.
- Overdose: Taking too much of an SSRI can cause an overdose, which can be life-threatening. Symptoms of an SSRI overdose may include confusion, hallucinations, seizures, and coma.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are generally safe and effective for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. However, it is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to monitor for any side effects and to adjust the medication as needed. It is also important to follow instructions for taking the medication and to avoid abruptly stopping the medication without first consulting with a healthcare provider.