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SSRI's - Side Effects & Pathways

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What are the side effects of the SSRI's? What pathways in the CNS explain why they occur?

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Solution Summary

This solution discusses the side effects of the Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI's). It also discusses the pathways in the Central Nervous System (CNS) that explains why they occur.

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1. What are the side effects of the SSRI's? What pathways in the CNS explain why they occur (see red highlighted information below)?

I have found an excellent fact sheet with this information, which addresses the side effects and the pathways very thoroughly. It has empirical evidence for each of the side effects with the articles linked for easy access at the end. Indeed this is an excellent resource. It also has the side effect for the SSNRIs. I hope this helps and take care.
SSRI & SSNRI Antidepressants Side Effects
"Who does Not Know the Truth, is simply a Fool...
Yet who Knows the Truth and Calls it a Lie, is a Criminal."
- In "Galileo Galilei" by Berthold Brecht (1898-1956)

Take notice that also non SSRI antidepressants (and even Ritalin) may interact (primary or secondary) with the serotonergic (or serotoninergic) system in the brain. Every medication -especially SSRI antidepressants- boosting serotonin activity in the brain, has potential to induce the very dangerous and potentially fatal hyperserotonergic state of the Serotonin Syndrome.

SSRI & SSNRI Antidepressants side-effects, neurological damage
Selective Serotonin / Nor-Epinehrine Re-Uptake Inhibitors
Go to Introduction Antidepressants Negative personality, perception & physical changes
Go to Antidepressant Casualties in the Media Aggression, Homicide, Suicide & Self-Harm
Go to Recent Media Articles (SSRI) Antidepressants Pharmaceutical & FDA Fraud in 2004

1. Tardive Dyskinesia/Dystonia, Parkinsonism & Akathisia
SSRI & SSNRI antidepressants induced side-effects (Iatrogenic Extrapyramidal Symptoms) are
recognized to be similar to Neuroleptic (anti-psychotic) induced side-effects. These side-effects are known as Tardive Dyskinesia/Dystonia (severe body movement disorder, mostly permanent), Parkinsonism (a sign of future Parkinson's disease) and Akathisia (a Neurological driven severe mania/agitation that can lead to suicidality, suicide attempts, self-harm & suicide). It is well documented in the medical literature that these neuroleptic induced side-effects refer to damage at dopaminergic neurons in the "motor system" of the
"Basal Ganglia", a structure deep in the "Limbic System" of the brain. 1, 2, 3, 4, http://www.emedicine.com/EMERG/topic338.htm (scroll down)
2. Serotonin Syndrome
The Serotonin Syndrome is a potentially lethal condition caused by excessive serotonergic activity. It is a very dangerous and a potentially fatal side effect of the serotonergic enhancing drugs such as SSRI & SSNRI antidepressants and is diagnosed by the presence of at least 3 of 10 symptoms: mental status changes (confusion, hypomania), agitation, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, diaphoresis, shivering, tremor, diarrhea, incoordination, and fever. This "hyperserotonergic" toxic condition requires heightened clinical awareness in order to prevent, recognize, and treat the condition promptly. Promptness is vital because, as we just mentioned, the serotonin syndrome can be fatal and death from this side effect can come very rapidly. The Serotonin syndrome is brought on by excessive levels of serotonin and is difficult to distinguish from the "Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome" because the symptoms are so similar. The "Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome" is a serious condition brought on by the use of neuroleptic drugs (anti-psychotics).
Source: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? by Dr Ann Blake Tracy http://members.aol.com/atracyphd/syndrome.htm
Source: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Antidepressant induced neurological and/or physical toxicity (body and/or brain damage) either as a result of prolonged inhibition of P450-2D6 liver-enzymes, or as a result of impairing serotonin metabolism, can take on many forms as described below. A few examples are: Hyperserotonemia, such as the lifethreatening condition the Serotonin Syndrome, Epileptiform Discharges, Epileptic Seizures and/or Epilepsy, Hypoglycaemia/Hyperglycemia (Low/Elevated Blood Sugar Imbalance), Stroke/Hemorrhagic Syndromes, Frontal Lobe Syndrome, Tardive Dyskinesia/Dystonia, Parkinsonism, Akathisia, Mania, etc...

Go to: Newborn Babies (Neonatal) Neurological Damage & Withdrawal Side-Effects
Go to: General Physical & Mental Side-Effects
Go to: Body Movement Disorders (Dystonia) & Parkinsonism (future Parkinson's disease)
Go to: Akathisia, Mania, Restlessness & Restless Legs Syndrome
Go to: Serotonin Syndrome, Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
Go to: Blood/Organ Diseases, Stroke, Hemorrhage, TIA, Tumours & Bleedings
Go to: Hepato Toxicity (Liver Damage)
Go to: Cardiovascular Toxicity (Heart Damage) & Neurological Toxicity (Brain Damage)
Go to: Epileptiform Activity, Epilepsy, Seizures, REM Sleep/Memory/EEG Problems, Sleepwalking

Go to: Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar, Diabetes)
Go to: Urinary Incontinence, Dermatologic (Skin) Problems, Ocular (Eyes) Disturbances
Go to: Pain & Numbness, Swellings, Sexual (Organ) Problems, Hormonal Imbalances
Go to: Hyponatremia & Syndrome of Inappropriate Secretion of Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH)
Go to: (Suicide Overdose)-Toxicity & Death
Go to: Suicide, Suicidality, Suicide Attempts & Self-Harm
Go to: Mental State, Perceptual, Emotional & Psychological Changes
Go to: Mental & Physical Side-Effects of Withdrawal/Discontinuation
Go to: Other Observations & Complications: Case Reports, Reviews & Studies

2004 09/00 Case/Study Neonatal toxicity: Fluoxetine concentrations in cord & maternal serum

2004 08/09 WARNING Health Canada: Potential Neurological Adverse Effects of SSRI's on Newborns

2004 08/00 Case/Study Using an SSRI during pregnancy has Damaging Teratogenic Effects on the Fetus

2004 06/00 Case/Review Baby SSRI (withdrawal) side-effects: agitation, breathing & suction problems

2004 02/00 Case/Study SSRI's during pregnancy: Foetal Brain Damage (Neurobehavioral Disruptions)

2003 11/00 Case/Review Neonatal (baby) Large Intraventricular Haemorrhage with maternal use of Paxil

2003 08/00 Case/Review Baby SSRI (withdrawal) effects: hypoglycaemia, bradycardia, tachycardia, jaundice

2003 07/00 Case/Review Increased risk for neonatal problems after exposure to SSRI's in late pregnancy

2003 07/14 Case/Review SSRI's During Pregnancy May Cause Neurologic Symptoms in Newborns

2003 07/12 Case/Review Withdrawal symptoms in New Born Baby after exposure to Effexor during pregnancy

2003 04/16 Case/Review Neonatal (baby) Convulsions & Subarachnoid Hemorrhage after exposure to Paxil

2001 09/00 Case/Review Neonatal Paxil withdrawal syndrome or actually serotonin syndrome?

2001 03/00 Case/Review New Born BABY SSRI withdrawal syndrome lasting up to one month after birth

2001 03/00 Case/Review New Born BABY Withdrawal Syndrome after exposure to SSRI's Celexa, Paxil, Prozac

2000 10/11 Case/Review Prozac Toxicity in preterm infant: marked motor automatism & skin manifestations

1999 11/00 Case/Study Breastfeeding while taking Prozac associated with reduced growth infants

1997 11/00 Case/Review SSRI's, Breast Milk and Withdrawal Symptoms in Newborn Babies


2004 09/14 FDA US Antidepressant "BLACK BOX WARNING" On Suicidality Risk Recommended

2004 06/03 Health Canada Stronger warnings for SSRI's & other anti-depressants

2004 03/00 Case/Review Severe adverse drug reactions of (SSRI/SSNRI) antidepressants

2004 ...

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