Frequently Asked Questions About SSRIs



SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are among the most recommended prescribed medications. They have proven to alleviate moderate to severe symptoms of depression, yield lesser side effects compared to other forms of antidepressants, and are more relatively safe.

How They Work

SSRIs manage depression by surging serotonin levels within the brain. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters that transmit signals between neurons or brain chemicals. SSRIs work by blocking serotonin’s reuptake into the neurons, making more serotonin more available, thereby improving the transmission of impulses between neurons. These types of antidepressants are selective as they primarily affect serotonin and not the other neurotransmitters.

SSRIs can also be utilized to manage conditions aside from depression, including anxiety disorders.

Precautions and Side Effects

All SSRIs are believed to function in similar methods and generally can produce similar adverse effects, although some individuals may not have any. Several side effects may disappear following the initial weeks of treatment, but others may consult their doctor wanting to try another drug.

If you are unable to bear the effects of SSRI, you might be able to tolerate another drug of a different form because SSRIs vary in their strengths at obstructing serotonin absorption and in the way the body metabolizes the drug.

SSRIs’ possible adverse effects include but are not limited to headaches, dry mouth, insomnia, nausea or diarrhea, dizziness, sexual problems, nervousness or restlessness, or appetite changes, among others. Taking your medications with meals may decrease the risk of nausea. Additionally, as long as your medications do not disrupt your sleep patterns, you can decrease the effect of nausea by consuming it before going to bed.

Whether or not the antidepressant you are taking is the most suitable for you will depend on several concerns, such as the symptoms you experience and other medication or mental health illnesses that you have. Please consult your doctor about your particular SSRI’s typical side effects and learn more about it by reading the patient medication guide that is given to you when the doctor hands you your prescription.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are SSRIs effective for anxiety?

SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors were developed to manage depression, but they have also effectively treated several anxiety disorders. They have modernized the treatment of anxiety, substituting the long-term use of benzodiazepines. SSRIs can be used to treat phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD, among others. 

Which SSRI has the least side effects?  

The most tolerated SSRI is citalopram, followed by sertraline, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and paroxetine. Fluvoxamine and paroxetine have the most side effects and the highest prevalence rates due to their negative side effects during several clinical trials. 

Which SSRI is most effective?  

The anti-depressant Zoloft is one of the most highly potent SSRIs, even though others have reported diarrhea’s side effects. It is also the most commonly recommended antidepressant, owing to the almost 20% of a survey who claimed to have taken the medication.

Which SSRI is best for insomnia?

Doctors sometimes recommend SSRIs for insomnia. However, most of the SSRIs cause insomnia and even worsen sleep disruption, except for bupropion. It causes stimulation during the day and induces sleep during the nighttime. 

What is the mildest antidepressant?

SSRIs generally produce fewer side effects and are less likely to result in problems when taken in higher doses than other forms of antidepressants. Popular SSRIs known to be the mildest are the combination of Lexapro and Zoloft. 

Which is the newest antidepressant?

The Food and Drug Administration officially sanctioned a new medication for depression last March 5, a fresh breakthrough that has not happened for decades. Esketamine is a drug that is consumed through the nose. It is a derivative of ketamine, an anesthetic that became popular for its amazing antidepressant effects.

What are the top 5 antidepressants?

The top five antidepressants in the market today are Remeron (mirtazapine), Effexor (venlafaxine), Lexapro (escitalopram), Celexa (citalopram), and Zoloft (sertraline). They are known to be the most effective with the least side effects.

What is the best natural antidepressant?  

St. John’s Wort is the most popular natural supplement of all time and has been known to treat depression and mood disorders. Other commonly used natural antidepressants include omega-3 fatty acids and SAM-e. However, if you think that you are experiencing symptoms of depression, you must consult your doctor first before trying these natural antidepressants.

How can I increase serotonin levels naturally?

There are several ways to naturally increase your serotonin, one of which is consuming certain food types. You don’t get serotonin directly by eating the food, though, but you get tryptophan, an amino acid changed to serotonin in the brain. Other natural ways to increase your serotonin levels include exercise, supplements, regular exposure to bright light, and massage.

What vitamin is a natural antidepressant?

Vitamin B12 and folate are known to aid the brain in converting amino acids to powerful brain chemicals like serotonin. Individuals over 60, those with bodies that may not efficiently absorb B vitamins, and those who don’t get sufficient vitamin B in their food, and vegetarians will most likely benefit from these supplements. 

What vitamins help with anxiety?

The ashwagandha is an adaptogenic supplement that has been utilized in Ayurvedic medicine to help treat people with anxiety. Magnesium, vitamin D, L-Theanine, and Valerian root are also potent supplements that help manage anxiety.

What deficiency causes anxiety?

Some studies reveal that when a person has vitamin D deficiency, he may also develop anxiety disorders. For instance, a study done in 2015 reported that those who showed anxiety or depression symptoms incidentally had decreased calcidiol levels, which is a derivative of vitamin D’s breakdown in the body.



When deciding what antidepressant to take, your doctor considers your symptoms, other medications you’re taking, any health issues, and what medicines have worked for you previously.

It usually takes a few weeks or even longer before your antidepressant is completely effective and subside the first side effects. Your doctor may suggest some dose alterations or a different antidepressant. However, if you are patient enough, you and your doctor will finally find the perfect medication that works best for you.