SSRIs

Last Updated: February 18, 2021

Definition - What does SSRIs mean?

SSRIs refers to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a class of antidepressants designed to help treat depression, among other conditions, via blocking reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin from neurons, thus, preserving serotonin distribution between junctions in the neural pathways. The biochemical property of serotonin catalyzes the homeostatic processes associated with regulating emotional states, mediating circadian rhythm cycles, among other physiological variables where serotonin deficiency can undermine health.

WorkplaceTesting explains SSRIs

A physician will conduct a battery of blood tests to evaluate the serotonin levels in the bloodstream, factoring in medical history facts before prescribing the right SSRI against disproportionate serotonin to offset the difference. Charting progress helps doctors note fluctuating serotonin levels and concomitant side effects to determine if a dosage adjustment is needed or if an individual will benefit from a different SSRI. Although marginal side effects do exist, a consultation with a doctor can weigh the cost-to-benefit ratio of prescribing SSRIs to accommodate a patient’s health needs with symptoms that can include dry mouth, headaches, lethargy, and nausea.

The medical community holds conflicting views over the inherent characteristics attributed to serotonin in regulating mood stability; however, mounting evidence demonstrates SSRIs can help temper bouts of anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders (i.e., insomnia). One thing to note is that a combination of SSRIs and other prescriptions can lead to serotonin syndrome, a condition marked by various symptoms such as accelerated heart rate, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), hypertension (high blood pressure), and muscle rigidity. In the workplace, individuals experiencing depression can often exhibit fatigue spells, disinterest, cognitive impairments (i.e., inattention, lack of focus), mood swings, weight gain/loss, often carrying comorbid implications of anxiety and sleep disturbances that undercut productivity.

A serotonin deficit can interrupt otherwise normal metabolism, prompting individuals to consult their physician to run comparative analyses based on assorted findings against baseline range values, drawing on SSRIs to reverse a serotonin imbalance.

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