May selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) provide some benefit for the treatment of schizophrenia?

Massimiliano Buoli, Marta Serati, Valentina Ciappolino, A. Carlo Altamura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


ABSTRACT: Introduction: The treatment of some psychopathological dimensions of schizophrenia (e.g. negative and depressive symptoms) is still challenging for the modest efficacy of atypical antipsychotics. Among pharmacological alternatives, augmentative Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) to antipsychotics are frequently prescribed in clinical practice to improve negative/depressive symptoms of schizophrenia patients; however, the data about the efficacy of these molecules on negative, depressive and obsessive-compulsive symptoms of schizophrenia are contrasting. Areas Covered: Research using the main database sources has been conducted to obtain an overview of the use and efficacy of SSRIs in schizophrenia. Expert Opinion: Data are too scanty to draw definitive recommendations. In a preliminary way, it can be said that available data do not show effectiveness of SSRIs on depressive symptoms of schizophrenia. Regarding negative symptoms, studies are contrasting, but paroxetine appears to be the most effective compound among SSRIs. Despite limited data, SSRIs appear to be useful for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive symptoms of schizophrenia, particularly fluvoxamine. Close clinical and pharmacological monitoring is needed in case of concomitant administration of antipsychotics and antidepressants for potential serious side effects and influence on plasma drug dosages

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1375-1385
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2 2016


  • depression
  • negative symptoms
  • obsessive-compulsive symptoms
  • schizophrenia
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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