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Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Similar Antidepressants

Antidepressants encompass several drug classes and are used to treat individuals with depression, anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and psychiatric conditions, as well as those with chronic pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways and symptoms of menopause Menopause Menopause is a physiologic process in women characterized by the permanent cessation of menstruation that occurs after the loss of ovarian activity. Menopause can only be diagnosed retrospectively, after 12 months without menstrual bleeding. Menopause. Antidepressants include selective serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and many other drugs in a class of their own. Antidepressants are indicated as the 1st-line treatment for anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder disorders and major depressive disorder Major depressive disorder Major depressive disorder (MDD), commonly called depression, is a unipolar mood disorder characterized by persistent low mood and loss of interest in association with somatic symptoms for a duration of ≥ 2 weeks. Major depressive disorder has the highest lifetime prevalence among all psychiatric disorders. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and are contraindicated in cases of current or recent use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors Monoamine oxidase inhibitors Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of antidepressants that inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO), thereby increasing the amount of monoamine neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). The increase of these neurotransmitters can help in alleviating the symptoms of depression. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors. Therapeutic response to antidepressants takes 2–4 weeks and complete benefit is not seen until up to 8 weeks, which is attributed to downstream cellular responses necessary for eliciting a physiologic response. In general, serotonin-affecting antidepressants are well tolerated, but caution must be taken while prescribing them in combination with other drugs that inhibit or induce the same hepatic cytochrome P450 Cytochrome P450 A superfamily of hundreds of closely related hemeproteins found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (mixed function oxygenases). In animals, these p450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (biotransformation). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into cyp gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the cyp1, cyp2, and cyp3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism. Drug-induced Liver Injury enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body's constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes to prevent increased levels of both drugs. An overdose can be life-threatening. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of SSRI/SNRI overdose to enable prompt treatment in an emergency setting.

Last updated: Oct 20, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Chemistry and Pharmacodynamics

Mechanisms of action

  • Selective serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs):
    • Vary considerably in their chemical structures
    • Have similar mechanisms of action, which result in increased synaptic serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS (also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine 5-hydroxytryptamine A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS ( 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS))
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) have a similar mechanism of action to SSRIs:
    • Chemical structures of duloxetine, milnacipran, and venlafaxine are dissimilar.
    • Desvenlafaxine and venlafaxine are bicyclic phenylethylamines with a similar structure.
    • Duloxetine is a naphthalene derivative.
  • Serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS antagonist and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs): trazodone and nefazodone
    • Inhibit reuptake of serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS by blocking the 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS2A receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors (antagonist)
    • Induce significant changes in the 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS presynaptic receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors adrenoreceptors
    • Block histamine (H₁) and α-1 adrenergic receptors Adrenergic receptors Cell-surface proteins that bind epinephrine and/or norepinephrine with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes. The two major classes of adrenergic receptors, alpha and beta, were originally discriminated based on their cellular actions but now are distinguished by their relative affinity for characteristic synthetic ligands. Adrenergic receptors may also be classified according to the subtypes of g-proteins with which they bind; this scheme does not respect the alpha-beta distinction. Autonomic Nervous System: Anatomy
  • 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS1A receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors partial agonist: vilazodone
    • Inhibits CNS neuron serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS uptake
    • No significant effect on the reuptake of norepinephrine Norepinephrine Precursor of epinephrine that is secreted by the adrenal medulla and is a widespread central and autonomic neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is the principal transmitter of most postganglionic sympathetic fibers, and of the diffuse projection system in the brain that arises from the locus ceruleus. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS (NE) or dopamine Dopamine One of the catecholamine neurotransmitters in the brain. It is derived from tyrosine and is the precursor to norepinephrine and epinephrine. Dopamine is a major transmitter in the extrapyramidal system of the brain, and important in regulating movement. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS
  • Serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS modulator and stimulator (SMS): vortioxetine
    • Inhibits serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS reuptake
    • Has agonist activity at the 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS1A receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors and antagonist activity at the 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS3 receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors
Mechanisms antidepressants

Mechanisms of antidepressants:
The basic mechanisms of action of commonly prescribed antidepressants are listed. These medications include monoamine oxidase Oxidase Neisseria (MAO) inhibitors, the α-2 antagonist mirtazapine, the selective serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine, the serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS antagonist and reuptake inhibitor trazodone, the tricyclic antidepressant desipramine Desipramine A tricyclic dibenzazepine compound that potentiates neurotransmission. Desipramine selectively blocks reuptake of norepinephrine from the neural synapse, and also appears to impair serotonin transport. This compound also possesses minor anticholinergic activity, through its affinity to muscarinic receptors. Tricyclic Antidepressants, and the tetracyclic drug maprotiline Maprotiline A bridged-ring tetracyclic antidepressant that is both mechanistically and functionally similar to the tricyclic antidepressants, including side effects associated with its use. Tricyclic Antidepressants.

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Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • SSRIs:
    • “Selective”: have affinity for the serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors and very little affinity for other receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors
    • Many types of pre- and postsynaptic serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors exist (e.g., 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C).
    • SSRIs decrease the action of the presynaptic serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS reuptake pump Pump ACES and RUSH: Resuscitation Ultrasound Protocols by 60%–80% → increased 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS levels in the synaptic cleft Synaptic cleft Synapses and Neurotransmission
    • Increased levels of serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS are not sufficient to treat depression. The beneficial effect on mood takes several weeks and occurs due to:
      • Increased production of neuroprotective proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis
      • Treatment with an SSRI for weeks modifies the serotonergic receptors Serotonergic Receptors First-Generation Antipsychotics.
  • SNRIs:
    • Vary in their affinity for the serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS and NE transporters → ↑ NE and 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS levels in the synaptic cleft Synaptic cleft Synapses and Neurotransmission
    • The degree to which serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS and NE reuptake is inhibited depends on the dose and drug.
  • SARIs:
    • Relatively targeted at the 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS2A and 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS2C receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors
    • 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS2A and 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS2C are G-protein-mediated receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors located in the neocortex Neocortex The largest portion of the cerebral cortex in which the neurons are arranged in six layers in the mammalian brain: molecular, external granular, external pyramidal, internal granular, internal pyramidal and multiform layers. Cerebral Cortex: Anatomy → antidepressant action
    • Also block H₁  receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors
  • Physiologic effects:
    • Physical symptoms may improve in the 1st 1–2 weeks (energy, sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep, appetite).
    • Affective symptoms improve after physical symptoms (mood, concentration, self-esteem).

Pharmacokinetics

Secondary serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS reuptake inhibitors

  • Absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption:
    • Well-absorbed in the GI tract, not affected by food
    • Reach peak plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products levels in a few hours
  • Distribution:
    • Lipophilic
    • Widely distributed throughout the body (including the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification)
  • Metabolism:
    • Via cytochrome P450 Cytochrome P450 A superfamily of hundreds of closely related hemeproteins found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (mixed function oxygenases). In animals, these p450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (biotransformation). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into cyp gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the cyp1, cyp2, and cyp3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism. Drug-induced Liver Injury (CYP)2D6, CYP3A4 CYP3A4 Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers), and CYP2C19 pathways: significant for drug interactions
    • Half-lives vary from 21 hours (paroxetine) to 5 days (fluoxetine after long-term use).
    • Fluoxetine may be dosed every other day owing to its very long half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics.
    • All SSRIs except fluvoxamine produce pharmacologically active metabolites.
    • Fluoxetine is the only drug with an active metabolite that has antidepressant activity.
  • Excreted in the urine and feces

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors

  • Absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption:
    • Food decreases the rate but not the degree of absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption.
    • Taking with meals may reduce nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, which is generally the most common side effect of SNRIs.
  • Distribution:
    • Duloxetine is highly protein bound and primarily undergoes hepatic clearance.
    • Other SNRIs are not as highly protein bound as duloxetine. Renal excretion plays a significant role in their clearance.
  • Metabolism:
    • Significant interindividual differences in the clearance of SNRIs
    • Doses may vary substantially among individuals.
  • Excretion:
    • Partially metabolized by the kidneys Kidneys The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located retroperitoneally against the posterior wall of the abdomen on either side of the spine. As part of the urinary tract, the kidneys are responsible for blood filtration and excretion of water-soluble waste in the urine. Kidneys: Anatomy and excreted in the urine
    • Dosage Dosage Dosage Calculation adjustments may be required in individuals with CKD CKD Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is kidney impairment that lasts for ≥ 3 months, implying that it is irreversible. Hypertension and diabetes are the most common causes; however, there are a multitude of other etiologies. In the early to moderate stages, CKD is usually asymptomatic and is primarily diagnosed by laboratory abnormalities. Chronic Kidney Disease.

Serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS antagonist and reuptake inhibitor = trazodone (nefazodone is not currently available in the US)

Serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS modulator and stimulator = vortioxetine

  • Protein binding: 98%
  • Hepatic metabolism mainly via oxidation by CYP450 isoenzymes Isoenzymes Structurally related forms of an enzyme. Each isoenzyme has the same mechanism and classification, but differs in its chemical, physical, or immunological characteristics. Basics of Enzymes, primarily CYP2D6, and subsequent glucuronic acid conjugation Conjugation A parasexual process in bacteria; algae; fungi; and ciliate eukaryota for achieving exchange of chromosome material during fusion of two cells. In bacteria, this is a unidirectional transfer of genetic material; in protozoa it is a bi-directional exchange. In algae and fungi, it is a form of sexual reproduction, with the union of male and female gametes. Bacteriology to an inactive carboxylic acid metabolite
  • Long elimination Elimination The initial damage and destruction of tumor cells by innate and adaptive immunity. Completion of the phase means no cancer growth. Cancer Immunotherapy half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: approximately 66 hours (causes fewer withdrawal symptoms if doses are missed)
  • Excreted in the urine and feces

5-Hydroxytryptamine 5-hydroxytryptamine A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS1A receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors partial agonist = vilazodone

Classification and Indications

Antidepressant medications that affect serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS levels in the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification to treat depression, anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and other conditions are classified into several groups. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are SSRIs. Other important classes of antidepressants include monoamine oxidase inhibitors Monoamine oxidase inhibitors Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of antidepressants that inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO), thereby increasing the amount of monoamine neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). The increase of these neurotransmitters can help in alleviating the symptoms of depression. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors ( MAOIs MAOIs Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of antidepressants that inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO), thereby increasing the amount of monoamine neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). The increase of these neurotransmitters can help in alleviating the symptoms of depression. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors), tricyclic antidepressants Tricyclic antidepressants Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a class of medications used in the management of mood disorders, primarily depression. These agents, named after their 3-ring chemical structure, act via reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters (particularly norepinephrine and serotonin) in the brain. Tricyclic Antidepressants ( TCAs TCAs Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a class of medications used in the management of mood disorders, primarily depression. These agents, named after their 3-ring chemical structure, act via reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters (particularly norepinephrine and serotonin) in the brain. Tricyclic Antidepressants), and the NE/ dopamine Dopamine One of the catecholamine neurotransmitters in the brain. It is derived from tyrosine and is the precursor to norepinephrine and epinephrine. Dopamine is a major transmitter in the extrapyramidal system of the brain, and important in regulating movement. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS reuptake inhibitor (NDRI) bupropion Bupropion A propiophenone-derived antidepressant and antismoking agent that inhibits the uptake of dopamine. Other Antidepressants.

Classification

The brand names of commonly used medications are listed in parentheses for further understanding.

  • SSRIs:
    • Citalopram (Celexa)
    • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
    • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
    • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
    • Paroxetine (Paxil)
    • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • SNRIs:
    • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
    • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
    • Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
    • Milnacipran (Savella)
  • SARIs:
    • Trazodone (generic)
    • Nefazodone: not currently available in the US (August 2021), but may soon be made available
  • SMS: vortioxetine (Trintellix)

Indications

Antidepressants are used to treat several psychiatric conditions, and SSRIs/SNRIs/SARIs/SMS are most commonly used to treat major depressive disorder Major depressive disorder Major depressive disorder (MDD), commonly called depression, is a unipolar mood disorder characterized by persistent low mood and loss of interest in association with somatic symptoms for a duration of ≥ 2 weeks. Major depressive disorder has the highest lifetime prevalence among all psychiatric disorders. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) such as unipolar Unipolar Nervous System: Histology depression and anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder disorders, and also to treat chronic pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways.

General indications for antidepressant medications:

  • MDD:
    • SSRIs are usually the preferred 1st-line agents (except fluvoxamine).
    • Concomitant therapy with psychosocial/behavioral therapy should be considered.
  • Anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder disorders:
    • Generalized anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder disorder
    • Social anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder disorder
    • Panic disorder Panic disorder Panic disorder is a condition marked by recurrent and episodic panic attacks that occur abruptly and without a trigger. These episodes are time-limited and present with cardiorespiratory (palpitations, shortness of breath, choking), GI (nausea, abdominal distress), and neurologic (paresthesias, lightheadedness) symptoms. Panic Disorder
  • OCD OCD Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition characterized by obsessions (recurring and intrusive thoughts, urges, or images) and/or compulsions (repetitive actions the person is compelled to perform) that are time-consuming and associated with functional impairment. Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD): SSRIs and SNRIs are effective.
  • Chronic pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways:
    • Neuropathic pain Neuropathic pain Caused by lesion or disease affecting the nervous system (PNS or CNS). Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Chronic musculoskeletal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by widespread body pain, chronic fatigue, mood disturbance, and cognitive disturbance. It also presents with other comorbid symptoms such as migraine headaches, depression, sleep disturbance, and irritable bowel syndrome. Fibromyalgia:
      • Duloxetine
      • Milnacipran (Savella) indicated for fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by widespread body pain, chronic fatigue, mood disturbance, and cognitive disturbance. It also presents with other comorbid symptoms such as migraine headaches, depression, sleep disturbance, and irritable bowel syndrome. Fibromyalgia, not depression
  • Unique uses for some medications that may be preferred over other similar drugs:
    • Premature Premature Childbirth before 37 weeks of pregnancy (259 days from the first day of the mother’s last menstrual period, or 245 days after fertilization). Necrotizing Enterocolitis ejaculation: sertraline
    • Vasomotor symptoms of menopause Menopause Menopause is a physiologic process in women characterized by the permanent cessation of menstruation that occurs after the loss of ovarian activity. Menopause can only be diagnosed retrospectively, after 12 months without menstrual bleeding. Menopause: paroxetine, venlafaxine, escitalopram
    • Vulvodynia may respond to SNRIs.
    • Migraine Migraine Migraine headache is a primary headache disorder and is among the most prevalent disorders in the world. Migraine is characterized by episodic, moderate to severe headaches that may be associated with increased sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea and/or vomiting. Migraine Headache prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins in individuals without depression: escitalopram, venlafaxine
    • PTSD PTSD Posttraumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric illness characterized by overwhelming stress and anxiety experienced after exposure to a life-threatening event. Symptoms last more than 1 month and involve re-experiencing the event as flashbacks or nightmares, avoiding reminders of the event, irritability, hyperarousal, and poor memory and concentration. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): venlafaxine, paroxetine
    • Bulimia Bulimia Eating an excess amount of food in a short period of time, as seen in the disorder of bulimia nervosa. It is caused by an abnormal craving for food, or insatiable hunger also known as ‘ox hunger’. Bulimia Nervosa nervosa: fluoxetine
    • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) refers to a group of mood, somatic, and behavioral symptoms that follow a cyclical pattern experienced by some women prior to menstruation. Unlike premenstrual syndrome (PMS), PMDD is characterized by significant distress and/or functional impairment. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder ( PMDD PMDD Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) refers to a group of mood, somatic, and behavioral symptoms that follow a cyclical pattern experienced by some women prior to menstruation. Unlike premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pmdd is characterized by significant distress and/or functional impairment. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder): fluoxetine, sertraline
    • Insomnia Insomnia Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty in the initiation, maintenance, and consolidation of sleep, leading to impairment of function. Patients may exhibit symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep, disrupted sleep, trouble going back to sleep, early awakenings, and feeling tired upon waking. Insomnia: Trazodone is used more as a sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep aid than to treat depression.
    • Atomoxetine (Strattera) is used for ADHD ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that occurs in at least 2 different settings for more than 6 months. Although the patient has normal intelligence, the disease causes functional decline. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and narcolepsy Narcolepsy Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder marked by daytime sleepiness and associated with cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations, and sleep paralysis. There are 2 types of narcolepsy: type 1 is associated with cataplexy and type 2 has no association with cataplexy. Narcolepsy:
      • The exact mechanism of action is unknown; however, it selectively inhibits NE reuptake.
      • Not used for depression

Adverse Effects and Contraindications

None of the SSRIs significantly affect the α-adrenergic, histaminic, or cholinergic receptors Cholinergic receptors Cell surface proteins that bind acetylcholine with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Cholinergic receptors are divided into two major classes, muscarinic and nicotinic, based originally on their affinity for nicotine and muscarine. Each group is further subdivided based on pharmacology, location, mode of action, and/or molecular biology. Autonomic Nervous System: Anatomy, except for paroxetine, which has a weak antagonistic effect on the cholinergic receptors Cholinergic receptors Cell surface proteins that bind acetylcholine with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Cholinergic receptors are divided into two major classes, muscarinic and nicotinic, based originally on their affinity for nicotine and muscarine. Each group is further subdivided based on pharmacology, location, mode of action, and/or molecular biology. Autonomic Nervous System: Anatomy. The side effects of all SSRIs are due to their effects on the serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors.

Adverse effects

SSRIs:

  • GI:
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics
    • Diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea (most common with sertraline)
    • Xerostomia Xerostomia Decreased salivary flow. Sjögren’s Syndrome (dry mouth)
  • Diaphoresis
  • Sexual dysfunction Sexual dysfunction Physiological disturbances in normal sexual performance in either the male or the female. Sexual Physiology:
    • Anorgasmia in women or delayed orgasm in men (sertraline may be used as a treatment for premature Premature Childbirth before 37 weeks of pregnancy (259 days from the first day of the mother’s last menstrual period, or 245 days after fertilization). Necrotizing Enterocolitis ejaculation)
    • Decreased libido
    • Erectile dysfunction Erectile Dysfunction Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain a penile erection, resulting in difficulty to perform penetrative sexual intercourse. Local penile factors and systemic diseases, including diabetes, cardiac disease, and neurological disorders, can cause ED. Erectile Dysfunction
  • Weight changes: also may be due to depression itself
    • Weight gain may be seen with paroxetine.
    • Weight loss Weight loss Decrease in existing body weight. Bariatric Surgery may be seen with fluoxetine.
  • Neurologic:
  • Insomnia Insomnia Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty in the initiation, maintenance, and consolidation of sleep, leading to impairment of function. Patients may exhibit symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep, disrupted sleep, trouble going back to sleep, early awakenings, and feeling tired upon waking. Insomnia
  • Increased risk of bleeding due to inhibition of platelet serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS uptake (and drug interaction with clopidogrel Clopidogrel A ticlopidine analog and platelet purinergic p2y receptor antagonist that inhibits adenosine diphosphate-mediated platelet aggregation. It is used to prevent thromboembolism in patients with arterial occlusive diseases; myocardial infarction; stroke; or atrial fibrillation. Antiplatelet Drugs)
  • Hypoglycemic effects (and drug interactions with sulfonylureas Sulfonylureas Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim)
  • Hyponatremia Hyponatremia Hyponatremia is defined as a decreased serum sodium (sNa+) concentration less than 135 mmol/L. Serum sodium is the greatest contributor to plasma osmolality, which is very tightly controlled via antidiuretic hormone (ADH) release from the hypothalamus and by the thirst mechanism. Hyponatremia
  • Cardiovascular: Citalopram may cause QT prolongation.

SNRIs, vilazodone, and vortioxetine:

  • Similar side effects as SSRIs
  • SNRIs may cause a slight increase in blood pressure.

Trazodone (SARI):

  • GI:
    • Constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics
  • Xerostomia Xerostomia Decreased salivary flow. Sjögren’s Syndrome (dry mouth)
  • Neurologic/psychiatric:
  • Blurred vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam

Discontinuation syndrome:

  • Occurs more often in individuals taking higher doses
  • Commonly observed in drugs with shorter half-lives
  • Least risk with fluoxetine
  • Greatest risk with paroxetine and venlafaxine
  • Risk can be reduced by slowly tapering over several weeks.
  • Abruptly stopping SSRIs or SNRIs may cause:
    • Dizziness Dizziness An imprecise term which may refer to a sense of spatial disorientation, motion of the environment, or lightheadedness. Lateral Medullary Syndrome (Wallenberg Syndrome)
    • Fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia
    • Headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics
    • Insomnia Insomnia Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty in the initiation, maintenance, and consolidation of sleep, leading to impairment of function. Patients may exhibit symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep, disrupted sleep, trouble going back to sleep, early awakenings, and feeling tired upon waking. Insomnia
    • Irritability
    • Paresthesias Paresthesias Subjective cutaneous sensations (e.g., cold, warmth, tingling, pressure, etc.) that are experienced spontaneously in the absence of stimulation. Posterior Cord Syndrome: including a feeling of “electric-like” shocks

Serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS syndrome (a potentially life-threatening side effect):

  • Usually caused by > 1 medication affecting the serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors
  • Was 1st described as a reaction between SSRIs and MAOIs MAOIs Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of antidepressants that inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO), thereby increasing the amount of monoamine neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). The increase of these neurotransmitters can help in alleviating the symptoms of depression. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • Drug combinations with SSRIs/SNRIs/other serotonergic antidepressants:
    • To treat migraine Migraine Migraine headache is a primary headache disorder and is among the most prevalent disorders in the world. Migraine is characterized by episodic, moderate to severe headaches that may be associated with increased sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea and/or vomiting. Migraine Headache: triptans Triptans Triptans and ergot alkaloids are agents used mainly for the management of acute migraines. The therapeutic effect is induced by binding to serotonin receptors, which causes reduced vasoactive neuropeptide release, pain conduction, and intracranial vasoconstriction. Triptans and Ergot Alkaloids and ergots
    • Antidepressants: TCAs TCAs Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a class of medications used in the management of mood disorders, primarily depression. These agents, named after their 3-ring chemical structure, act via reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters (particularly norepinephrine and serotonin) in the brain. Tricyclic Antidepressants, MAOIs MAOIs Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of antidepressants that inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO), thereby increasing the amount of monoamine neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). The increase of these neurotransmitters can help in alleviating the symptoms of depression. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors, antipsychotics
    • Anticonvulsants: carbamazepine Carbamazepine A dibenzazepine that acts as a sodium channel blocker. It is used as an anticonvulsant for the treatment of grand mal and psychomotor or focal seizures. It may also be used in the management of bipolar disorder, and has analgesic properties. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs, valproic acid Valproic acid A fatty acid with anticonvulsant and anti-manic properties that is used in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. The mechanisms of its therapeutic actions are not well understood. It may act by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid levels in the brain or by altering the properties of voltage-gated sodium channels. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs
    • Antianxiety drug: buspirone
    • Opioid Opioid Compounds with activity like opiate alkaloids, acting at opioid receptors. Properties include induction of analgesia or narcosis. Constipation analgesics: tramadol Tramadol A narcotic analgesic proposed for severe pain. It may be habituating. Opioid Analgesics, methadone Methadone A synthetic opioid that is used as the hydrochloride. It is an opioid analgesic that is primarily a mu-opioid agonist. Opioid Analgesics, codeine Codeine An opioid analgesic related to morphine but with less potent analgesic properties and mild sedative effects. It also acts centrally to suppress cough. Opioid Analgesics
    • Over-the-counter cough medication: dextromethorphan
    • Herbal supplements for depression: St. John’s Wort, 5-HTP
    • Antibiotic: linezolid Linezolid An oxazolidinone and acetamide derived anti-bacterial agent and protein synthesis inhibitor that is used in the treatment of gram-positive bacterial infections of the skin and respiratory tract. Oxazolidinones
    • Muscle relaxant: cyclobenzaprine Cyclobenzaprine Spasmolytics
    • Street drugs:  cocaine Cocaine An alkaloid ester extracted from the leaves of plants including coca. It is a local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor and is clinically used for that purpose, particularly in the eye, ear, nose, and throat. It also has powerful central nervous system effects similar to the amphetamines and is a drug of abuse. Cocaine, like amphetamines, acts by multiple mechanisms on brain catecholaminergic neurons; the mechanism of its reinforcing effects is thought to involve inhibition of dopamine uptake. Local Anesthetics, methamphetamine Methamphetamine A central nervous system stimulant and sympathomimetic with actions and uses similar to dextroamphetamine. The smokable form is a drug of abuse and is referred to as crank, crystal, crystal meth, ice, and speed. Stimulants
  • Symptoms include CNS stimulation, cardiovascular stimulation, and GI stimulation:
    • Severe muscle rigidity Rigidity Continuous involuntary sustained muscle contraction which is often a manifestation of basal ganglia diseases. When an affected muscle is passively stretched, the degree of resistance remains constant regardless of the rate at which the muscle is stretched. This feature helps to distinguish rigidity from muscle spasticity. Megacolon
    • Mydriasis Mydriasis Dilation of pupils to greater than 6 mm combined with failure of the pupils to constrict when stimulated with light. This condition may occur due to injury of the pupillary fibers in the oculomotor nerve, in acute angle-closure glaucoma, and in adie syndrome. Glaucoma
    • Myoclonus Myoclonus Involuntary shock-like contractions, irregular in rhythm and amplitude, followed by relaxation, of a muscle or a group of muscles. This condition may be a feature of some central nervous system diseases; (e.g., epilepsy-myoclonic). Nocturnal myoclonus is the principal feature of the nocturnal myoclonus syndrome. Neurological Examination
    • Hyperreflexia
    • Hyperthermia
    • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
    • Tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children
    • Unstable blood pressure
    • Diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea

Mnemonic to recall serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS syndrome manifestations: “Madam’s tips”

  • M = mental status changes
  • A = agitation Agitation A feeling of restlessness associated with increased motor activity. This may occur as a manifestation of nervous system drug toxicity or other conditions. St. Louis Encephalitis Virus
  • D = diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea
  • A = ataxia Ataxia Impairment of the ability to perform smoothly coordinated voluntary movements. This condition may affect the limbs, trunk, eyes, pharynx, larynx, and other structures. Ataxia may result from impaired sensory or motor function. Sensory ataxia may result from posterior column injury or peripheral nerve diseases. Motor ataxia may be associated with cerebellar diseases; cerebral cortex diseases; thalamic diseases; basal ganglia diseases; injury to the red nucleus; and other conditions. Ataxia-telangiectasia
  • M = myoclonus Myoclonus Involuntary shock-like contractions, irregular in rhythm and amplitude, followed by relaxation, of a muscle or a group of muscles. This condition may be a feature of some central nervous system diseases; (e.g., epilepsy-myoclonic). Nocturnal myoclonus is the principal feature of the nocturnal myoclonus syndrome. Neurological Examination
  • S = shivering Shivering Involuntary contraction or twitching of the muscles. It is a physiologic method of heat production in man and other mammals. Body Temperature Regulation
  • T = tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children
  • I = increased reflexes
  • P = pyrexia
  • S = sweating

Drug interactions

  • Both drug factors and patient factors can contribute to the toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation of SSRIs/SNRIs in some individuals.
    • Drug factors: Some SSRIs and SNRIs are moderate-to-potent inhibitors of hepatic cytochrome P450 Cytochrome P450 A superfamily of hundreds of closely related hemeproteins found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (mixed function oxygenases). In animals, these p450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (biotransformation). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into cyp gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the cyp1, cyp2, and cyp3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism. Drug-induced Liver Injury → drug-drug interactions by altering blood levels of other medications that depend on these enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes for clearance or activation
    • Patient factors: Enzyme may function differently in individuals with significant variations in the CYP2D6 gene Gene A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. Basic Terms of Genetics.
      •  “Slow metabolizers”
      •  “Extensive metabolizers”
  • CYPs are hepatic enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes that metabolize several drugs:
    • Render the drug either more or less active
    • Combinations of drugs using the same metabolic pathway can cause serious adverse effects.
    • Examples of the CYP450 family of proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis used by antidepressants:
  • SSRI drug interactions with other drugs that are metabolized by CYP450 enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes:
    • Citalopram and escitalopram inhibit liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes much less than other SSRIs.
    • Fluoxetine and paroxetine are potent inhibitors of CYP2D6 causing ↑ 2D6 substrate Substrate A substance upon which the enzyme acts. Basics of Enzymes levels
    • Other CYP2D6 inhibitors that can interact with SSRIs and should be used with caution:
      • Antiarrhythmic agents: amiodarone Amiodarone An antianginal and class III antiarrhythmic drug. It increases the duration of ventricular and atrial muscle action by inhibiting potassium channels and voltage-gated sodium channels. There is a resulting decrease in heart rate and in vascular resistance. Pulmonary Fibrosis, quinidine Quinidine An optical isomer of quinine, extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree and similar plant species. This alkaloid dampens the excitability of cardiac and skeletal muscles by blocking sodium and potassium currents across cellular membranes. It prolongs cellular action potentials, and decreases automaticity. Quinidine also blocks muscarinic and alpha-adrenergic neurotransmission. Class 1 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Sodium Channel Blockers)
      • H₂ histamine receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors antagonist: ranitidine
      • Bupropion Bupropion A propiophenone-derived antidepressant and antismoking agent that inhibits the uptake of dopamine. Other Antidepressants (an antidepressant in its own class)
      • Cinacalcet Cinacalcet Calcimimetics (used for hyperparathyroidism Hyperparathyroidism Hyperparathyroidism is a condition associated with elevated blood levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH). Depending on the pathogenesis of this condition, hyperparathyroidism can be defined as primary, secondary or tertiary. Hyperparathyroidism)
    • Other CYP2D6 substrates (SSRIs can interact with other drugs and lead to increased drug levels and adverse effects):
      • β-blockers:
        • Used for hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension or cardiac conditions: propranolol Propranolol A widely used non-cardioselective beta-adrenergic antagonist. Propranolol has been used for myocardial infarction; arrhythmia; angina pectoris; hypertension; hyperthyroidism; migraine; pheochromocytoma; and anxiety but adverse effects instigate replacement by newer drugs. Antiadrenergic Drugs, metoprolol Metoprolol A selective adrenergic beta-1 blocking agent that is commonly used to treat angina pectoris; hypertension; and cardiac arrhythmias. Antiadrenergic Drugs, atenolol Atenolol A cardioselective beta-1 adrenergic blocker possessing properties and potency similar to propranolol, but without a negative inotropic effect. Class 2 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Beta Blockers), bisoprolol Bisoprolol A cardioselective beta-1 adrenergic blocker. It is effective in the management of hypertension and angina pectoris. Class 2 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Beta Blockers) 
        • Combination with SSRIs can ↑ drug levels and cause hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension
      • Tamoxifen Tamoxifen One of the selective estrogen receptor modulators with tissue-specific activities. Tamoxifen acts as an anti-estrogen (inhibiting agent) in the mammary tissue, but as an estrogen (stimulating agent) in cholesterol metabolism, bone density, and cell proliferation in the endometrium. Antiestrogens: used to treat breast cancer Breast cancer Breast cancer is a disease characterized by malignant transformation of the epithelial cells of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and 2nd most common cause of cancer-related death among women. Breast Cancer
      • Antinausea medications: ondansetron Ondansetron A competitive serotonin type 3 receptor antagonist. It is effective in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs, including cisplatin, and has reported anxiolytic and neuroleptic properties. Antiemetics, metoclopramide Metoclopramide A dopamine d2 antagonist that is used as an antiemetic. Antiemetics
      • Other antidepressants Other antidepressants Antidepressants encompass several classes of medications and are used to treat individuals with depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric conditions, as well as to manage chronic pain and menopausal symptoms. Other Antidepressants:
        • Tricyclic ( amitriptyline Amitriptyline Tricyclic antidepressant with anticholinergic and sedative properties. It appears to prevent the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin at nerve terminals, thus potentiating the action of these neurotransmitters. Amitriptyline also appears to antagonize cholinergic and alpha-1 adrenergic responses to bioactive amines. Tricyclic Antidepressants, imipramine Imipramine The prototypical tricyclic antidepressant. It has been used in major depression, dysthymia, bipolar depression, attention-deficit disorders, agoraphobia, and panic disorders. It has less sedative effect than some other members of this therapeutic group. Tricyclic Antidepressants, nortriptyline Nortriptyline A metabolite of amitriptyline that is also used as an antidepressant agent. Nortriptyline is used in major depression, dysthymia, and atypical depressions. Tricyclic Antidepressants)
        • Combination with SSRIs can ↑ drug levels and lead to serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS syndrome
      • Antipsychotics:
        • Aripiprazole Aripiprazole A piperazine and quinolone derivative that is used primarily as an antipsychotic agent. It is a partial agonist of serotonin receptor, 5-HT1a and dopamine D2 receptors, where it also functions as a postsynaptic antagonist, and an antagonist of serotonin receptor, 5-HT2a. It is used for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and as an adjunct therapy for the treatment of depression. Second-Generation Antipsychotics, haloperidol Haloperidol A phenyl-piperidinyl-butyrophenone that is used primarily to treat schizophrenia and other psychoses. It is also used in schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorders, ballism, and tourette syndrome (a drug of choice) and occasionally as adjunctive therapy in intellectual disability and the chorea of huntington disease. It is a potent antiemetic and is used in the treatment of intractable hiccups. First-Generation Antipsychotics, olanzapine Olanzapine A benzodiazepine derivative that binds serotonin receptors; muscarinic receptors; histamine h1 receptors; adrenergic alpha-1 receptors; and dopamine receptors. It is an antipsychotic agent used in the treatment of schizophrenia; bipolar disorder; and major depressive disorder; it may also reduce nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Second-Generation Antipsychotics, quetiapine Quetiapine A dibenzothiazepine and antipsychotic agent that targets the serotonin 5-HT2 receptor; histamine h1 receptor, adrenergic alpha1 and alpha2 receptors, as well as the dopamine d1 receptor and dopamine D2 receptor. It is used in the treatment of schizophrenia; bipolar disorder and depressive disorder. Second-Generation Antipsychotics, risperidone Risperidone A selective blocker of dopamine D2 receptors and serotonin 5-HT2 receptors that acts as an atypical antipsychotic agent. It has been shown to improve both positive and negative symptoms in the treatment of schizophrenia. Second-Generation Antipsychotics
        • Combination with SSRIs can ↑ drug levels and lead to serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS syndrome
      • 1st-generation antihistamines Antihistamines Antihistamines are drugs that target histamine receptors, particularly H1 and H2 receptors. H1 antagonists are competitive and reversible inhibitors of H1 receptors. First-generation antihistamines cross the blood-brain barrier and can cause sedation. Antihistamines/H₁-receptor antagonists: chlorpheniramine Chlorpheniramine A histamine h1 antagonist used in allergic reactions, hay fever, rhinitis, urticaria, and asthma. It has also been used in veterinary applications. One of the most widely used of the classical antihistaminics, it generally causes less drowsiness and sedation than promethazine. Antihistamines, diphenhydramine Diphenhydramine A histamine h1 antagonist used as an antiemetic, antitussive, for dermatoses and pruritus, for hypersensitivity reactions, as a hypnotic, an antiparkinson, and as an ingredient in common cold preparations. It has some undesired antimuscarinic and sedative effects. Antihistamines
      • Muscle relaxants: cyclobenzaprine Cyclobenzaprine Spasmolytics
      • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways medications/ opioid Opioid Compounds with activity like opiate alkaloids, acting at opioid receptors. Properties include induction of analgesia or narcosis. Constipation analgesics: codeine Codeine An opioid analgesic related to morphine but with less potent analgesic properties and mild sedative effects. It also acts centrally to suppress cough. Opioid Analgesics or tramadol Tramadol A narcotic analgesic proposed for severe pain. It may be habituating. Opioid Analgesics
  • CYP3A4 CYP3A4 Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers) substrates: SSRIs can interact with:
    • Some calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes channel blockers
    • Statins Statins Statins are competitive inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase in the liver. HMG-CoA reductase is the rate-limiting step in cholesterol synthesis. Inhibition results in lowered intrahepatocytic cholesterol formation, resulting in up-regulation of LDL receptors and, ultimately, lowering levels of serum LDL and triglycerides. Statins
    • Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines
    • Hypnotics: zopiclone and zolpidem
    • Macrolide antibiotics: clarithromycin Clarithromycin A semisynthetic macrolide antibiotic derived from erythromycin that is active against a variety of microorganisms. It can inhibit protein synthesis in bacteria by reversibly binding to the 50s ribosomal subunits. This inhibits the translocation of aminoacyl transfer-RNA and prevents peptide chain elongation. Macrolides and Ketolides and azithromycin Azithromycin A semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic structurally related to erythromycin. It has been used in the treatment of Mycobacterium avium intracellulare infections, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis. Macrolides and Ketolides
    • Psychiatric medications: haloperidol Haloperidol A phenyl-piperidinyl-butyrophenone that is used primarily to treat schizophrenia and other psychoses. It is also used in schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorders, ballism, and tourette syndrome (a drug of choice) and occasionally as adjunctive therapy in intellectual disability and the chorea of huntington disease. It is a potent antiemetic and is used in the treatment of intractable hiccups. First-Generation Antipsychotics, mirtazapine
    • Antivirals used in the management of HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs
  • CYP3A4 CYP3A4 Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers) inhibitors and inducers: SSRIs can also interact with:
    • Antifungals: ketoconazole Ketoconazole Broad spectrum antifungal agent used for long periods at high doses, especially in immunosuppressed patients. Azoles
    • Calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes channel blockers: specifically diltiazem Diltiazem A benzothiazepine derivative with vasodilating action due to its antagonism of the actions of calcium ion on membrane functions. Class 4 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Calcium Channel Blockers) and verapamil Verapamil A calcium channel blocker that is a class IV anti-arrhythmia agent. Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs
    • Grapefruit juice
    • Antivirals used in the management of HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs (note that they are also CYP34 substrates, as listed above)
    • Anticonvulsants: carbamazepine Carbamazepine A dibenzazepine that acts as a sodium channel blocker. It is used as an anticonvulsant for the treatment of grand mal and psychomotor or focal seizures. It may also be used in the management of bipolar disorder, and has analgesic properties. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs, phenytoin Phenytoin An anticonvulsant that is used to treat a wide variety of seizures. The mechanism of therapeutic action is not clear, although several cellular actions have been described including effects on ion channels, active transport, and general membrane stabilization. Phenytoin has been proposed for several other therapeutic uses, but its use has been limited by its many adverse effects and interactions with other drugs. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs, barbiturates Barbiturates A class of chemicals derived from barbituric acid or thiobarbituric acid. Many of these are gaba modulators used as hypnotics and sedatives, as anesthetics, or as anticonvulsants. Intravenous Anesthetics
    • Rifampin Rifampin A semisynthetic antibiotic produced from streptomyces mediterranei. It has a broad antibacterial spectrum, including activity against several forms of Mycobacterium. In susceptible organisms it inhibits dna-dependent RNA polymerase activity by forming a stable complex with the enzyme. It thus suppresses the initiation of RNA synthesis. Rifampin is bactericidal, and acts on both intracellular and extracellular organisms. Epiglottitis
    • St. John’s wort
  • CYP2C9 CYP2C9 A cytochrome p-450 subtype that has specificity for acidic xenobiotics. It oxidizes a broad range of important clinical drugs that fall under the categories of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents; hypoglycemic agents; anticoagulants; and diuretics. Anticoagulants pathway: fluoxetine can also interact with:
    • Antifungals: voriconazole Voriconazole A triazole antifungal agent that specifically inhibits sterol 14-alpha-demethylase and cytochrome p-450 cyp3a. Azoles
    • Some TCAs TCAs Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a class of medications used in the management of mood disorders, primarily depression. These agents, named after their 3-ring chemical structure, act via reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters (particularly norepinephrine and serotonin) in the brain. Tricyclic Antidepressants
    • Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines
    • Proton pump inhibitors Proton Pump Inhibitors Compounds that inhibit h(+)-k(+)-exchanging ATPase. They are used as anti-ulcer agents and sometimes in place of histamine h2 antagonists for gastroesophageal reflux. Gastric Acid Drugs: omeprazole Omeprazole A 4-methoxy-3, 5-dimethylpyridyl, 5-methoxybenzimidazole derivative of timoprazole that is used in the therapy of stomach ulcers and zollinger-ellison syndrome. The drug inhibits an h(+)-k(+)-exchanging ATPase which is found in gastric parietal cells. Gastric Acid Drugs
    • Sulfonylureas Sulfonylureas Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim: glipizide or glimepiride
  • Fluvoxamine (a different SSRI) is a potent CYP2C9 CYP2C9 A cytochrome p-450 subtype that has specificity for acidic xenobiotics. It oxidizes a broad range of important clinical drugs that fall under the categories of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents; hypoglycemic agents; anticoagulants; and diuretics. Anticoagulants inhibitor:
    • ↑ Levels of the antipsychotics clozapine Clozapine A tricyclic dibenzodiazepine, classified as an atypical antipsychotic agent. It binds several types of central nervous system receptors, and displays a unique pharmacological profile. Clozapine is a serotonin antagonist, with strong binding to 5-HT 2a/2c receptor subtype. It also displays strong affinity to several dopaminergic receptors, but shows only weak antagonism at the dopamine D2 receptor, a receptor commonly thought to modulate neuroleptic activity. Agranulocytosis is a major adverse effect associated with administration of this agent. Second-Generation Antipsychotics, thioridazine Thioridazine A phenothiazine antipsychotic used in the management of psychosis, including schizophrenia. First-Generation Antipsychotics, and olanzapine Olanzapine A benzodiazepine derivative that binds serotonin receptors; muscarinic receptors; histamine h1 receptors; adrenergic alpha-1 receptors; and dopamine receptors. It is an antipsychotic agent used in the treatment of schizophrenia; bipolar disorder; and major depressive disorder; it may also reduce nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Second-Generation Antipsychotics
    • Contraindicated with the hypnotic drug ramelteon (Rozerem), melatonin, and the muscle relaxant tizanidine Tizanidine Spasmolytics (Zanaflex) due to the risk of causing increased drug levels and CNS depression
  • SNRI drug interactions:
    • Duloxetine is a moderately potent inhibitor of CYP2D6 and may interact with other drugs:
      • Metoprolol Metoprolol A selective adrenergic beta-1 blocking agent that is commonly used to treat angina pectoris; hypertension; and cardiac arrhythmias. Antiadrenergic Drugs levels
      • Thioridazine Thioridazine A phenothiazine antipsychotic used in the management of psychosis, including schizophrenia. First-Generation Antipsychotics levels and risk of QT prolongation
    • Other SNRIs (venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, and milnacipran) do not have significant effects on CYP enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes.
  • SARI (trazodone) drug interactions:
    • Some sedatives or CNS depressants can cause increased sedation:
      • Opioids Opioids Opiates are drugs that are derived from the sap of the opium poppy. Opiates have been used since antiquity for the relief of acute severe pain. Opioids are synthetic opiates with properties that are substantially similar to those of opiates. Opioid Analgesics
      • Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines
      • Barbiturates Barbiturates A class of chemicals derived from barbituric acid or thiobarbituric acid. Many of these are gaba modulators used as hypnotics and sedatives, as anesthetics, or as anticonvulsants. Intravenous Anesthetics
      • Ethanol Ethanol A clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in alcoholic beverages. Ethanol Metabolism
    • Potent CYP2D6 inhibitors (paroxetine, tamsulosin Tamsulosin A sulfonamide derivative and adrenergic alpha-1 receptor antagonist that is used to relieve symptoms of urinary obstruction caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia. Antiadrenergic Drugs): ↑ trazodone levels
  • 5-HT 5-HT A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS1A receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors partial agonist (vilazodone) drug interactions:
    • Similar adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation as with SSRIs
    • Drug interactions: potent CYP3A4 CYP3A4 Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers) inhibitors ↑ vilazodone levels
      • Antibiotics: clarithromycin Clarithromycin A semisynthetic macrolide antibiotic derived from erythromycin that is active against a variety of microorganisms. It can inhibit protein synthesis in bacteria by reversibly binding to the 50s ribosomal subunits. This inhibits the translocation of aminoacyl transfer-RNA and prevents peptide chain elongation. Macrolides and Ketolides, azithromycin Azithromycin A semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic structurally related to erythromycin. It has been used in the treatment of Mycobacterium avium intracellulare infections, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis. Macrolides and Ketolides
      • Antifungals: itraconazole Itraconazole A triazole antifungal agent that inhibits cytochrome p-450-dependent enzymes required for ergosterol synthesis. Azoles, ketoconazole Ketoconazole Broad spectrum antifungal agent used for long periods at high doses, especially in immunosuppressed patients. Azoles
      • Antivirals: indinavir Indinavir A potent and specific HIV protease inhibitor that appears to have good oral bioavailability. Anti-HIV Drugs, nelfinavir Nelfinavir A potent HIV protease inhibitor. It is used in combination with other antiviral drugs in the treatment of HIV in both adults and children. Anti-HIV Drugs, ritonavir Ritonavir An HIV protease inhibitor that works by interfering with the reproductive cycle of HIV. It also inhibits cytochrome p-450 cyp3a. Anti-HIV Drugs, saquinavir Saquinavir An HIV protease inhibitor which acts as an analog of an HIV protease cleavage site. It is a highly specific inhibitor of HIV-1 and HIV-2 proteases, and also inhibits cytochrome p-450 cyp3a. Anti-HIV Drugs used in the management of HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs infection
      • Not all drugs within a class of medications inhibit CYP3A4 CYP3A4 Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers).
  • Vortioxetine drug interactions: Use with other CYP2D6 inhibitors can ↑ vortioxetine levels

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • All SSRIs are contraindicated in individuals currently taking MAOIs MAOIs Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of antidepressants that inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO), thereby increasing the amount of monoamine neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). The increase of these neurotransmitters can help in alleviating the symptoms of depression. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors to treat depression.
    • The combination may increase the risk of serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS syndrome.
    • Additive risks of CNS depression and psychomotor impairment
  • SSRIs/SNRIs/SARIs/SMS are not recommended for individuals with bipolar Bipolar Nervous System: Histology depression as these drugs may induce mania Mania A state of elevated excitement with over-activity sometimes accompanied with psychotic symptoms (e.g., psychomotor agitation, inflated self esteem and flight of ideas). It is often associated with mental disorders (e.g., cyclothymic disorder; and bipolar diseases). Bipolar Disorder (except for fluoxetine).
  • SNRIs:
    • Contraindicated with MAOIs MAOIs Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of antidepressants that inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO), thereby increasing the amount of monoamine neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). The increase of these neurotransmitters can help in alleviating the symptoms of depression. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
    • Duloxetine is contraindicated in individuals with narrow-angle glaucoma Glaucoma Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy characterized by typical visual field defects and optic nerve atrophy seen as optic disc cupping on examination. The acute form of glaucoma is a medical emergency. Glaucoma is often, but not always, caused by increased intraocular pressure (IOP). Glaucoma.

Overdose

Generally, an overdose of SSRI/SNRI/similar drugs can cause signs and symptoms of neuromuscular excitation and autonomic stimulation.

  • Signs:
  • Treatment:
    • Supportive care:
      • Discontinue serotonergic therapies.
      • Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines may be needed for severe agitation Agitation A feeling of restlessness associated with increased motor activity. This may occur as a manifestation of nervous system drug toxicity or other conditions. St. Louis Encephalitis Virus.
      • Intubation Intubation Peritonsillar Abscess may be required if there is a concern to protect the airway Airway ABCDE Assessment.
    • Cooling for individuals with hyperthermia
    • Individuals exhibiting refractory symptoms can be treated with cyproheptadine Cyproheptadine A serotonin antagonist and a histamine h1 blocker used as antipruritic, appetite stimulant, antiallergic, and for the post-gastrectomy dumping syndrome, etc. Serotonin Syndrome.
Clinical characteristics of serotonin syndrome

Clinical characteristics of serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS syndrome

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References

  1. O’Donnell, J.M., Bies, R.R., Shelton, R.C. (2018). Drug Therapy of Depression and Anxiety Disorders. In: Brunton LL, Hilal-Dandan R, Knollmann BC.(Eds.) Goodman & Gilman’s: The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics [Internet], 13th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. 
  2. Schatzberg, A.F., Nemeroff, C.B. (Eds.) (2017). The American Psychiatric Association Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology [Internet], 5e. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9781615371624 
  3. Stahl, S.M. (2013). Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications [Internet], 4th de. Cambridge University Press.
  4. Neurotransmitters and Neuromodulators. (2019). In: Nelson, L.S., et al. Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies [Internet], 11th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  5. Smink, F.R., van Hoeken, D., Hoek, H.W. (2013). Epidemiology, course, and outcome of eating disorders. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 26(6):543-8. https://doi.org/10.1097/yco.0b013e328365a24f
  6. American Geriatrics Society. (2019). 2019 Updated AGS Beers Criteria® for potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.15767
  7. Hirsch, M., Birnbaum, R.J. (2021). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: Pharmacology, administration, and side effects. UpToDate. Retrieved August 11, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors-pharmacology-Administration-and-side-effects

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