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Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2010 Oct;7(10):14-8.

SSRI-Induced Indifference.

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Dr. R. Sansone is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, and Director of Psychiatry Education at Kettering Medical Center in Kettering, Ohio.


In the existing literature, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure has been occasionally associated with both behavioral apathy and emotional blunting. While frequently described as separate entities, these two syndromes are mutually characterized by indifference and may be united under the single moniker, "selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor-induced indifference." Little is known about the epidemiology or etiology of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor-induced indifference and few empirical studies have been undertaken. However, this syndrome may be under-recognized by both clinicians and patients (i.e., low insight, particularly among children and adolescents), and is characterized by an insidious onset, dose-dependent effects (i.e., higher selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor doses are more likely to result in symptoms), and complete resolution of symptoms with the discontinuation of the offending drug. Treatment strategies may include a dose reduction of the offending selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, augmentation with a second drug, and/or discontinuation of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and subsequent treatment with a nonselective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant.


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI); adverse effects; apathy; emotional blunting; indifference; side effects

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