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weight gain

SSRIs Side Effects

💊 Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work by inhibiting 5-HT reuptake by the presynaptic cleft, thus increasing serotonin levels in the synapse.⁠ It is commonly used to treat depression, a condition thought to be linked to low levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. ⁠

⭐ As you can see, this mnemonic is similar to the mnemonic on the side effects of SNRIs. Since they both block serotonin reuptake, they exhibit very similar side effect profiles except SNRIs can also impact blood pressure (increase or decrease) due to the norepinephrine reuptake inhibition. SSRIs do not affect blood pressure. ⁠

In addition, SSRIs can cause weight gain in adults on long-term therapy, while SNRIs cause less of this long-term weight gain and are more associated with weight loss. ⁠

Valproate Side Effects

💊 Valproic acid is used in seizures, bipolar disorder, and migraine prophylaxis. It works by increasing the availability of gamma (y)-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter. ⁠

🖇️ Divalproex sodium is a compound of sodium valproate and valproic acid. Divalproex dissociates to valproate in the GI tract. ⁠

🖇️ Use special caution with the combination of valproic acid and lamotrigine due to the risk of serious rash called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. ⁠