Paroxetine, sertraline, and fluvoxamine: New selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

S. R. Grimsley, M. W. Jann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

205 Scopus citations


The pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, adverse effects, drug interactions, efficacy, and dosage and administration of the new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors paroxetine, sertraline, and fluvoxamine are reviewed. Paroxetine, sertraline, and fluvoxamine all have large volumes of distribution and are highly bound to plasma proteins. In contrast to fluoxetine, these three drugs possess shorter elimination half-lives of approximately one day and are metabolized to clinically inactive compounds. Nausea was the most commonly reported adverse effect for all three agents. Other reported adverse effects are headache, sedation, dry mouth, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and constipation. Because of their favorable pharmacokinetic profiles, paroxetine, sertraline, and fluvoxaetine are less likely than fluoxamine to interact with other drugs. Paroxetine has been found to be superior to placebo and equivalent to amitriptyline, imipramine, clomipramine, and doxepin in treatment of depression. Sertraline has been found to be superior to placebo and equivalent to amitriptyline in treatment of depression. Fluvoxamine has been found to be superior to placebo and equivalent to imipramine, clomipramine, desipramine, mianserin, and maprotiline in the treatment of depression. Fluvoxamine and sertraline have been shown to be superior to placebo in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Clinical experience has demonstrated all three drugs to be effective in treatment of depression. They may be especially useful in elderly patients, in those who cannot tolerate alternative treatments, and in those who do not respond to adequate trials of other antidepressant therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)930-957
Number of pages28
JournalClinical Pharmacy
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1992


  • Antidepressants
  • Depression
  • Dosage
  • Drug administration
  • Drug interactions
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Paroxetine
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Sertraline hydrochloride
  • Toxicity


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