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Selecting a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor: Clinically Important Distinguishing Features.

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University of Missouri-Kansas City Medical School; and Western Missouri Mental Health Center, Kansas City.


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely prescribed to treat depression. Although these drugs presumably have the same mechanism of action, they vary in several clinically important ways, including how long they remain in the body and the extent to which they interfere with the metabolism of other medications. This article reviews the pharmacologic differences among SSRIs and how these differences may affect various aspects of treatment, such as dosing, administration, and discontinuation. Understanding the distinct properties of SSRIs may help primary care physicians to design the most appropriate therapeutic plan for individual patients.

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