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Med Sci Monit. 2003 Nov;9(11):RA270-5.

The role of neurosteroids in the anxiolytic,antidepressive- and anticonvulsive effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, Medical University, Warsaw, Poland.


The introduction of SSRIs to the clinic was a turning point in the treatment of depression and related mental disorders. Nowadays, it is becoming more and more evident that SSRIs are equally effective in anxiety states and some types of epilepsy. However, the mechanism of their central action is not fully understood. They not only block the serotonin transporter, but also bind to different types of monoaminergic receptors (serotonergic, dopaminergic) and interact with the synthesis of neurosteroids, in this way modifying the excitability of the central nervous system. The aim of this review is to update information on the preclinical and clinical effects of SSRI, with special emphasis put on the probable role of neurosteroids and the GABAA receptor complex in the mechanism of their action.

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