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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI)

About this learning module

Continuing professional education

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (external link) of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom has approved this learning module for up to three credits. Participants should only record the number of hours spent working through the module.

If you are claiming CPD credits, for audit purposes we recommend that you:

  • retain any pages you print
  • retain any notes you make
  • write a reflective commentary on what you have learned and how this may help in your practice.

About this learning module

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) form the most widely prescribed class of antidepressants. This module identifies the most important hazards of SSRIs and informs on actions that health professionals should take in order to minimise and manage the risks.

This learning module is derived largely from summaries of product characteristics (which, in turn, are based on rigorous evaluation of submitted evidence). Supplementary sources such as guidelines from NICE are used to expand on advice on managing specific risks of SSRIs; however, general advice on the management of depression and other disorders is not covered.

You should consult other resources (including evidence-based national guidelines) for advice on selecting an intervention from the range of treatment options available, taking into account the severity of illness and other clinical circumstances.

We will update this learning module from time to time.

Who should complete this module

This training module is for medical, nursing and pharmaceutical professions. It is suitable for those nearing the end of their formal training or those who have recently completed such training. Also, health professionals will find the module a helpful refresher, for example, at the start of a posting in clinical psychiatry.

Learning objective

Used in conjunction with authoritative guidelines on disease management, this module will help you maximise the benefits of SSRI treatment.

You will be introduced to common adverse effects as well as rare but serious risks of SSRIs and learn how the risks can be minimised and managed.

Time required

Completing the module will take about two hours; answering the self-assessment questions will take about 30 minutes. You may need to re-read and review specific areas, particularly when answering the self-assessment questions.

This content was last updated 13 February 2015.