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Psychopharmacology and the Use of SSRIs

Updated on October 11, 2014

This hub analyzes the Psychopharmacology use of SSRIs in the most common psychological ailments.

Selective serotonin re‑uptake inhibitors, more frequently known as SSRIS, are a class of drugs which is normally used as a form of antidepressants for the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders.

One particular selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) has been prescribed to millions of patients, but has stirred controversy in the general and psychological community, fluoxetine hydrochloride, more commonly referred to as Prozac. Prozac was the first SSRI to be approved for use by the FDA in the United States; soon followed, Zoloft, Paxil, and Luvox (Mullen, 2006). According to the Mayo Clinic (2008), fluoxetine hydrochloride is also marketed in the United States as Rapiflux.

Fluoxetine hydrochloride is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and panic disorder (Mayo Clinic, 2008).

The dosage for a patient taking fluoxetine hydrochloride may differ from patient to patient, and for the specific condition, but the Mayo Clinic reports that practitioners usually follow a guideline (Mayo Clinic, 2008). For depression, most adults usually take 20 milligrams in the morning and children take 10-20 milligrams per day, also in the morning (Mayo Clinic, 2008).

For bulimia nervosa, adults usually take 60 milligrams in the morning, and practitioners generally do not give more than 80 milligrams of fluoxetine hydrochloride per day; for children, there is no recommended amount (Mayo Clinic, 2008).

For obsessive-compulsive disorder, adults usually take 20 milligrams a day, and generally do not exceed 80 milligrams of fluoxetine hydrochloride a day (Mayo Clinic, 2008). Children above the age of 7 who have been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder do not have a set recommended dosage, but their dosage should not exceed 60 milligrams per day; the dosage for children and 7 and under must be determined by the practitioner (Mayo Clinic, 2008).

Additionally, the Mayo Clinic (2008) states that the recommendation for a panic disorder in adults is generally 10 milligrams a day of fluoxetine hydrochloride, which should not exceed 60 milligrams a day of fluoxetine hydrochloride; for children, the dosage must be determined by their practitioner (Mayo Clinic, 2008).

Lastly, for premenstrual dysphoric disorder, adults are usually recommended 20 milligrams of fluoxetine hydrochloride a day for every day of the patient’s menstrual cycle, or for just 14 days; however, the practitioner should not exceed 80 milligrams per day of fluoxetine hydrochloride, and there is no set dosage for children with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (Mayo Clinic, 2008).


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    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 

      4 years ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      It's alarming how many medications patient have to consume for specific therapy treatments.

    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 

      4 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Much better! Usually, the HP editor will tell you if you have a pixilated image in the upper right corner under "goals" or whatever it's called.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Is that better? My iPhone couldn't see it pixilated, but my computer did, thanks!

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      No Goatfury, I appreciate your feedback, which one looks pixilated, it looks normal on my end, and I didn't get an alert, thanks.

    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 

      4 years ago from Richmond, VA

      I'd get rid of the pixilated image if at all possible. Feel free to delete this comment if you want!

    • dwelburn profile image


      4 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Maybe I should take some for my OCD; and I get mild depression too. Not sure about the side effects though, especially the drowsiness as I already have ME anyway.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks, Dr. Rangan!

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 

      4 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      informative hub, thanks


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