Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressants used in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and some personality disorders. They are also prescribed for premature ejaculation problems. These drugs are supposed to increase an individual’s serotonin levels by increasing serotonin neurotransmitters.
Adverse Side Effects
General side effects are mostly present during the first 1-4 weeks while the body adapts to the drug (with the exception of sexual side effects, which tend to occur later in treatment). In fact, it often takes 6-8 weeks for the drug to begin reaching its full potential (the slow onset is considered a downside to treatment with SSRIs). Almost all SSRIs are known to cause one or more of these symptoms:
- anhedonia (Loss of the capacity to experience pleasure)
- drowsiness or somnolence
- clenching of teeth
- extremely vivid and strange dreams
- changes in appetite
- weight loss/gain (measured by a change in bodyweight of 7 pounds)
- may result in a double risk of bone fractures and injuries
- changes in sexual behaviour (sexual dysfunction)
- increased feelings of depression and anxiety (which may sometimes provoke panic attacks)
- autonomic dysfunction including orthostatic hypotension, increased or reduced sweating
- akathisia (a compelling need to be in constant motion)
- liver or renal impairment
- suicidal ideation (thoughts of suicide)
- cardiovascular problems
- photosensitivity (increased risk of sunburn) (Use protective clothing, such as long sleeves and hats, and sunscreen to decrease the risk of sunburn.)
Since it is evident that most everyone experiences one or more of the above and other side effects, not listed, an individual is then prescribed a host of other medications to combat the side effects, if it wasn’t bad enough being drugged with the SSRI alone. Most often sexual side effects are handled by prescribing a stimulant drug or other inhibitor or agonist (molecule improver), resulting in a walking zombie and/or crazed person.
SSRIs are addictive as discontinuing their use is known to produce both somatic and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Since Physical Dependence is a reality, discontinuation should be discussed with a medical practitioner before beginning treatment with this class of drugs.
Suicidality and Aggression
Similarly to other antidepressants, SSRIs can cause suicidality in children. Analyses of the risks of SSRIs by governing bodies in the United States and United Kingdom have produced warnings about suicidality and aggression when the medications are used with children and adolescents.
SSRIs and Pregnancy
The FDA issued a warning on July 19, 2006 stating nursing mothers on SSRIs must discuss treatment with their physicians.
When taken by pregnant women, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) cross the placenta and have the potential to affect newborns. Sertraline and paroxetine have been associated with congenital malformations. Some evidence suggests that SSRIs are associated with neonatal complications such as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN).
Neonatal abstinence syndrome
Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a withdrawal syndrome in newborn babies. It has been documented in SSRI treatment. By November 2003, a total of 93 cases of SSRI use associated with either neonatal convulsions or withdrawal syndrome had been reported. Subsequently, the authors of a Lancet study concluded that doctors should avoid or cautiously manage the prescribing of these drugs to pregnant women with psychiatric disorders
Permanent Neuropsychological Changes
Since the early 80’s scientists have used a technique called neonatal clomipramine to produce animals used in depression research. If rats are given the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine when they are 8-21 days old they will develop behavioural changes in adulthood which resembles depression in humans.
Persistent pulmonary hypertension
Persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) is a serious and life-threatening, but rare, lung condition that occurs soon after birth of the newborn. newborn babies with PPHN have high pressure in their lung blood vessels and are not able to get enough oxygen into their bloodstream.
Interaction with Carbohydrate Metabolism
Serotonin is also involved in regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. There are very few studies covering its effects on carbohydrates.
Case reports of SSRI poisoning have indicated that severe toxicity can occur and deaths have been reported following massive single ingestions,
Since SSRIs are based on increasing the neurotransmitters and there is no test to measure neurotransmitters, it is assumed that someone has been lying to us all. How can one say that there is a deficiency in these transmitters if they cannot be measured? Therefore, one has to evaluate for themselves what they these drugs actually do to an individual before taking them.
In order to further evaluate SSRIs read over 2500 SSRI stories at http://www.ssristories.com.
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