Selective serotonine reuptake inhibitors prevents emotional lability in healthy subjects

M. Scoppetta, G. Di Gennaro, C. Scoppetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Many subjects with depression and with brain lesions can poorly control their emotions with fits of weeping and tearfulness; neurological patients present outbursts of laughter as well. This condition is called Emotional Lability (EL). The antidepressant drugs of the family of selective serotonine reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) improve EL within a few days in both depressive and neurological disorders. EL can be present in healthy subjects as well, in whom it is considered as normal, although often embarrassing. Methods: Two healthy subjects with EL, were treated with 20 mgs of Paroxetine or placebo for cycles of 5 days. Moreover the effect was observed of either Paroxetine or Fluoxetine on the emotion control of three patients with mood disorders both when they were depressed and after recovering from the depression. Results: In all subjects, after f ew days of treatment, EL disappeared, and their emotion control and behaviour were both modified. Conclusions: 1. In healthy subjects EL is often embarrassing; the possibility is interesting of preventing it on selected occasions with a brief treatment with no side effects and a cheap cost. 2. SSRI are among the most used drugs in the word and every day they are assumed by millions of people including politicians, business man, soldiers, army commanders, policemen and criminals. The idea is very stimulating and highly worrying that the control of the emotions and behaviour of these million of people can be quickly modified by the assumption of one pill of SSRI for a few days or by its discontinuation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-348
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


  • Antidepressant drugs
  • Emotional lability
  • Fluoxetine
  • Paroxetine
  • SSRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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