Pharmacology Psych Meds Patho #4

Question

A patient is prescribed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Which side effect is most associated with increased serotonin from this medication?

Answers

  1. Shuffling gait
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because decreased dopamine causes shuffling gait. Parkinsons disease is a condition in which shuffling gait is a symptom that has decreased levels of dopamine.

  2. Impotence
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because SSRIs have various side effects, including sexual dysfunction or impotence. SSRIs help increase serotonin levels. This medication is utilized to help treat depression, anxiety, phobias, bulimia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Examples of SSRIs include citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline, and escitalopram. Sexual side effects are one of the most common reasons patients stop taking SSRIs.

  3. Increased vascular tone
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because increased vascular tone is most associated with increased norepinephrine, not increased serotonin. This is given in shock conditions when the blood pressure and heart rate is too low to perfuse the organs in the body.

  4. Lack of motivation
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because decreased dopamine, not increased serotonin, is associated with lack of motivation. Serotonin is associated with increasing mood, sleep, and memory. Side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, diarrhea or constipation, and sexual dysfunction (impotence).

Overview

When serotonin is increased through taking SSRIs, sexual dysfunction is a common side effect.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

The neurotransmitter, serotonin, when in adequate amounts in the brain, is associated with increasing mood, sleep, and memory. Medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), help increase serotonin levels. This medication is utilized to help treat depression, anxiety, phobias, bulimia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Examples of SSRIs include citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline, and escitalopram. Side effects associated with SSRIs dry mouth, dizziness, diarrhea or constipation, and sexual dysfunction (impotence).

Test Taking Tip

Be sure to get plenty of rest the night before an examination. Being rested will optimize your recall abilities.

Video Rationale