Updated on June 08, 2015
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) – A Landmark in Neuro-pharmacology!!
If a pharmacologist (a person who specializes in the study of the medicines, that is, Pharmacology) has to name one of the finest medical marvels in the history of Neuro-pharmacology (Neuro-pharmacology is the study of the medicines that affect the nervous system), then the development of the class of medicines known as the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) is certainly the correct and the most rational answer. These medicines have rejuvenated the whole realm of therapeutic intervention for the Psychiatric disorders or Psychiatric Diseases (Psychiatric diseases or disorders are the diseases causing some sort of disturbances in the brain of a person, and thus, resulting in changes in behavior, emotions, thought process, comprehension, and other mental faculties of the affected person).
It is now very clearly acknowledged by the psychiatric community that serotonin (a neurotransmitter) really exerts a major influence in maintaining the Homeostasis (equilibrium or stability) in the Neural Circuitry (the inter-network of the brain cells or neurons) of our brains. The Mechanism of Action (MOA) of SSRIs – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) rectify the disordered neuronal biochemistry by blocking the serotonin reuptake pump or serotonin transporter protein (SERT). This results in the selective inhibition of the reuptake of serotonin in the brain neurons, and hence, increases the amount of serotonin in the space (synaptic cleft) between the brain’s neurons.
Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine, Citalopram, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, and Sertraline are the medicines that belong to the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) class.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs class of medicines has become the mainstay therapy for treating Depression, Anxiety Disorders such as the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD. Their potential in treating Psychoses has also been implicated. (Psychoses is plural of Psychosis, which is defined as a mental disorder characterized by the symptoms, such as, delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (hearing or seeing things which are not actually there), that indicate loss of contact or impaired contact with the reality.)