Which medications in the drug class Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are used in the treatment of Dysthymic Disorder?

Updated: Oct 01, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

SSRIs potentiate the pharmacologic effects of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) in the central nervous system (CNS).

Citalopram (Celexa)

Citalopram is an SSRI used to treat depression. It is similar to fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine. A highly selective reuptake inhibitor of serotonin, citalopram has little effect on other neurotransmitters.

Fluvoxamine (Luvox CR)

Fluvoxamine is a potent selective inhibitor of neuronal serotonin reuptake. It does not significantly bind to alpha-adrenergic, histamine, or cholinergic receptors and thus has fewer adverse effects than do tricyclic antidepressants. Fluvoxamine was approved initially for OCD but is effective in dysthymia.

Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)

Paroxetine is a potent selective inhibitor of neuronal serotonin reuptake. It also has a weak effect on norepinephrine and dopamine neuronal reuptake. For maintenance therapy, adjust the dosage to maintain the patient on the lowest effective dosage, and reassess the patient periodically to determine the need for continued treatment, as is true for all SSRIs.

Fluoxetine (Prozac)

Fluoxetine, the best-studied drug, has a long half-life. It selectively inhibits presynaptic serotonin reuptake with minimal or no effect on the reuptake of norepinephrine or dopamine.

Sertraline (Zoloft)

Sertraline selectively inhibits presynaptic serotonin reuptake.

Escitalopram (Lexapro)

Escitalopram is an SSRI and an S-enantiomer of citalopram. It is used for the treatment of depression. The drug's mechanism of action is thought to be the potentiation of serotonergic activity in the CNS resulting from the inhibition of CNS neuronal reuptake of serotonin.

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