What are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)?

Updated: Feb 03, 2021
  • Author: Ali Torkamani, PhD; Chief Editor: Keith K Vaux, MD  more...
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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are typically used as antidepressants to treat clinical depression, and they may be used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating disorders, and, less often, stress-related disorders. SSRIs are often the first choice in the pharmacologic treatment of depression, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), affects approximately 5% of the U.S. population. [1] Nearly all SSRIs undergo hepatic oxidative metabolism before their elimination from the body; therefore, genetic differences in oxidative metabolism can significantly impact the levels of active drug circulating in a patient.

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