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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

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SSRIs inhibit serotonin reuptake and are largely devoid of four other major pharmacological properties inherent to other antidepressants (e.g., TCAs)—namely, muscarinic receptor blockade, histamine type 1 (H1) receptor blockade, 1-adrenergic receptor blockade, and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition. This pharmacological selectivity has several advantages, including a reduction in dangerous side effects. SSRIs are unlikely to affect the seizure threshold or cardiac conduction, and are relatively safe in overdose. Despite their highly selective pharmacological activity, SSRIs have a broad spectrum of action. They are efficacious in the treatment of depression and of many other psychiatric disorders, including many major anxiety disorders.

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