Serotonin and suicidality: the impact of acute fluoxetine administration. I: Serotonin and suicide

Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 1994;31(4):271-9.


The general enhancement of central serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission following long-term administration of serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) appears to play an important role in these drugs' anti-depressant efficacy. Because suicide and/or aggression appear linked to diminished levels of brain 5-HT and its metabolites, it has been suggested that SSRIs may be particularly effective in reducing suicidality. Case reports of increased or new suicidal ideation following administration of fluoxetine and other SSRIs, however, raise questions about how these potential side effects may relate to the SSRI's acute effects on 5-HT transmission. Part I of this review examines fluoxetine's effects on suicidality and related behaviors and reviews the relationship of suicidality to serotonergic dysregulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Fluoxetine / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Serotonin / physiology*
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • Fluoxetine
  • Serotonin