Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 443–466

Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

  • C. Lindsay DeVane

DOI: 10.1023/A:1006934807375

Cite this article as:
DeVane, C.L. Cell Mol Neurobiol (1999) 19: 443. doi:10.1023/A:1006934807375


1. Five drugs with the predominant pharmacologic effect of inhibiting the neuronal reuptake of serotonin are available worldwide for clinical use. This class of psychoactive drugs, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), is comprised of fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, and citalopram.

2. The SSRIs appear to share similar pharmacodynamic properties which translate to efficacy in the treatment of depression and anxiety syndromes. The drugs are differentiated by their pharmacokinetic properties with regard to stereochemistry, metabolism, inhibition of cytochrome enzymes, and participation in drug–drug interactions. Studies focusing on the relationship of plasma drug concentration to therapeutic and adverse effects have not confirmed the value of plasma concentration monitoring.

3. This review summarizes the metabolism and relevant pharmacokinetic properties of the SSRIs.

selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors metabolism pharmacokinetics fluoxetine fluvoxamine paroxetine sertraline citalopram cytochrome P450 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Lindsay DeVane
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesMedical University of South CarolinaCharleston

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