Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors -- more commonly known as SSRIs -- are prescribed for a number of brain conditions, including depression, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
Six SSRIs are currently available:
- Citalopram (Celexa®)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro®)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®, Selfemra™)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox®, Luvox CR®)
- Paroxetine (Paxil®, Paxil CR®, Pexeva®)
- Sertraline (Zoloft®).
These medications work by balancing the levels of a certain chemical in the brain (serotonin) and allowing it to remain in the brain for a longer time. SSRIs are taken by mouth, usually once a day. Because withdrawal symptoms can occur when these antidepressants are stopped too suddenly, your healthcare provider will slowly wean you off your SSRI if you are going to stop treatment.
(To learn more about these antidepressants, click SSRIs. Topics discussed in this full-length article include dosing tips, potential side effects, and safety issues to keep in mind.)