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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / SSRIs


General Description
SSRIs are prescription medications used to inhibit serotonin reuptake and when used result in a potential increase in serotonin levels, which are found lacking, and used for treatment of depression, anxiety, obsessional and impulse control disorders.

SSRI medications are very effective for certain patients, they may also cause some unwanted reactions if not taken in the right way. It is very important to avoid certain foods, beverages, medicines, and supplements while you are being treated with SSRIs. It is important to consult your health care professional to obtain a list of which products you should avoid.

SSRI's were developed to find presription drugs that were as effective as the tricyclic antidepressants but with fewer safety and tolerability problems than with MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase inhibitors). While they are quite effective, they can be dangerous if combined with the wrong foods, drugs, or supplements and should not be combined with other MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), along with other drugs. Stimulant drugs such as pseudoephedrine, diuretics, certain over the counter drugs, and various herbs can also cause problems.

Some Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / SSRIs may include but not be limited to:
Drug Family Drug Name(s)
citalopram Celexa
fluoxetine Prozac
fluvoxamine Luvox
paroxetine Paxil, Seroxat
sertraline Zoloft


Herb and Supplement Interaction
The following is a partial list of herbs and supplements that may perform similar functions as SSRI's and therefore may have negative interactions with SSRI's. If you are taking SSRI's you should consult with your doctor before taking the following herbs or supplements. Ginkgo Biloba Benefits - Those taking SSRI drugs for depression who experienced sexual dysfunction may benefit from the addition of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) in the amount of 240 mg per day to effectively reverse the sexual dysfunction. Ginkgo has been reported to help men with some forms of erectile dysfunction.


Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / MAO Inhibitors

MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) were the first antidepressant medications invented that are generally available from a doctor’s prescription. While they are quite effective, they can be dangerous if combined with the wrong foods, drugs, or supplements.

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