Depression occurs frequently in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), and confers significant risk for additional morbidity and mortality. The cardiac effects of the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) have been well characterized. In contrast, the cardiac effects of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been less thoroughly investigated. The Medline database from 1986 to 1996 was searched for all reports of cardiac effects of SSRIs, and this literature is summarized. In addition, potential drug interactions, reports of side effects, and efficacy studies in the elderly are reviewed. Finally, recommendations are made considering the risk/benefit ratio.