Metabolic drug interactions with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 1998 Mar;22(2):325-33. doi: 10.1016/s0149-7634(97)00018-3.


The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants have become an important component of the therapeutic armamentarium in psychiatry and have attracted a great deal of public attention. Another interesting aspect of the SSRIs is their interaction with various isozymes of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) system which are responsible for metabolism of numerous drugs. This effect on the CYP isozymes has drawn attention to the importance of metabolic drug-drug interactions when dealing with drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders. Such interactions are of great relevance since psychiatry patients are frequently treated with multiple drugs and often these drugs undergo extensive biotransformation to metabolites which contribute to therapeutic and/or adverse effects. The present review deals with various aspects of metabolism mediated by CYP isozymes, particularly as they relate to pharmacokinetic interactions between the SSRIs and other drugs which are coadministered with them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Psychotropic Drugs / metabolism*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / pharmacology*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*


  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System