What should I know before taking serotonin reuptake inhibitors?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

If you take an SRI, you should avoid alcohol.

It is not known if all SRIs are safe or effective for children and teens under 18 years of age.

If you have pain or difficulty urinating, milnacipran may not be a good option for you, especially if you have an enlarged prostate or prostatitis.

If you have a history of manic episodes, an SRI may not be a good option for you.

If you have cardiovascular disease or have recently had a heart attack, an SRI may not be a good option for you.

If you have diabetes, duloxetine and fluoxetine can worsen blood sugar control.

If you have angle-closure glaucoma, impaired liver function, or have had seizures, an SRI may not be a good option for you.

SRIs can increase blood pressure and heart rate.

If your kidney function is impaired, an SRI may not be a good option for you. If your kidney function is severely impaired, you should not take duloxetine.

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or may be pregnant, note that the health of your baby may be at risk if you take paroxetine in the first trimester. Other SRIs may not be good options for you. It is not known if they are safe for pregnant women.

You should not take fluoxetine, paroxetine, or venlafaxine if you are breastfeeding,. Other SRIs are passed into breast milk and may not be good options for you. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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