What does reuptake inhibitor mean?
SSRIs work by affecting serotonin levels in the brain. Reuptake inhibition means it stops the reabsorption by the nerve cells, so they stay in the system for longer. It helps if you imagine it like a big vacuum cleaner taking away all the serotonin, and SSRIs stop the vacuum cleaner so serotonin has more time to pass messages between nerve cells.
Do low serotonin levels cause depression?
Side effects of SSRIs
SSRIs can take up to 2 to 6 weeks for the benefits to start showing up. Some side effects are normal in the beginning but they should go away after a few weeks. 1 Side effects could include dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea, and loss of libido.
The positive effect of SSRIs, similarly to other medications depends greatly on the individual’s chemistry and the dosage. When titrating a medication, it always should be a goal to find the dosage where the benefits outweigh the side effects.
Not everyone will benefit from taking SSRIs, and they should be used with caution, so always consult with a doctor, even if you think you need to stop taking them. Coming off medication is not always as simple as not taking it the next day, and a doctor should inform you about a safe procedure.
Names of SSRIs
There are many brand names for SSRIs, and it depends on the country you live.2 Some examples:
- Sertraline (brand name Zoloft, Lustral)
- Citalopram (brand name Cipramil, Celexa)
- Escitalopram (brand name Cipralex, Lexapro)
- Fluoxetine (brand name Prozac, Oxatin)