PMID: 2147922Dec 1, 1990

Clinical overview of serotonin reuptake inhibitors

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
K Rickels, E Schweizer


The clinical pharmacology, adverse event profiles, and clinical efficacy of several serotonin reuptake inhibitors are summarized and compared with those of the classic tricyclic antidepressants. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors discussed are sertraline, zimelidine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and paroxetine. While they do not differ from tricyclics in efficacy or onset of action, the serotonin reuptake inhibitors clearly have a different side effect potential. Unlike tricyclics, serotonin reuptake inhibitors provide effective antidepressant activity without sedating, anticholinergic, or cardiotoxic reactions. In comparison, tricyclics lower the seizure threshold, have anticholinergic and hypotensive effects, affect cardiac conduction, are dangerous in overdose, and may cause weight gain. The primary adverse events associated with serotonin reuptake inhibitors involve the gastrointestinal system, although side effects may be less frequent at lower dosage levels. It is important to choose antidepressant therapy on the basis of a patient's ability to tolerate the specific adverse reactions that may occur with a given agent. Although serotonin reuptake inhibitors have not replaced the tricyclics, they are a useful addition to the variety...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Tricyclic Antidepressive Agents
Fluoxetine Hydrochloride
Serotonin Antagonists
Paroxetine, trans-(+)-Isomer

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