A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) is used to treat certain brain conditions, such as depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. These types of disorders can be caused when a certain chemical in the brain called serotonin becomes unbalanced. These medications work by allowing more serotonin to remain in the brain for a longer time. Potential side effects include dizziness, nausea, and insomnia.
What Is an SSRI?SSRI stands for "selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor." These are prescription medications used for a number of brain conditions.
What Are These Drugs Used For?SSRI antidepressants were initially used for depression. However, many of them are now approved for additional uses. Approved uses include treatment of the following conditions:
- Depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression)
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Social anxiety disorder
- Menopausal hot flashes.
Not all SSRIs are approved for all of these uses (see Comparisons of SSRI Antidepressants for more information). For instance, only one of the SSRIs is approved to treat bulimia.