why do SSRI medications take time to “Build up”?

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Im confused as to what this means. What is building up in your body? Serotonin?

In: 9

Ramping up dosages over time is to help prevent side effects common in SSRI medications. The second reason is to work out the appropriate dosage cap. Dosage will continue to increase until an appropriate level is reached, as factors such as gender, weight, etc. will have differing end results.

If you’re referring to the actual effect of the medications, this is for your body to adjust to the sudden increase in serotonin. Immediately high doses can result in mood “highs” that ironically increase the risk of self harm, so it’s important to let your body adjust.

SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. That means it doesn’t tell your body to make more serotonin, it just tells it to hold onto the serotonin it *does* make for longer before it reabsorbs it.

Imagine your serotonin system as a bucket with a small hole cut in the bottom. Your brain can only use serotonin while it’s in the bucket.

As you make more serotonin, you add more to the bucket so your brain has more it can use. But serotonin is constantly flowing out through the hole, too (which is good; overflowing causes it’s own problems and can kill you!)

SSRIs make the hole at the bottom of the bucket smaller, so it takes longer for the serotonin to leave the bucket. But if the bucket is already emptied out before you start the SSRI, it’s still going to take some time to fill it up again because you’re not making more, you’re just losing less.

It’s not that it takes time for serotonin to build up, but that increased serotonin levels from transporter inhibition leads to changes in gene transcription like BDNF that ultimately lead to the therapeutic effects. It’s the upregulation and downregulation of different proteins that takes time.

The real answer is we aren’t entirely sure why it takes time for most people to feel the full affect of SSRI’s. Honestly scientists aren’t even sure on why it causes symptom relief the way it does. They know it affects seratonin reputake, but whether the increased serotonin available is directly the cause of symptom relief, or its a downstream effect thats a result of the higher serotonin availability isn’t currently understood. There is a whole lot about neuropharmacology (and pharmacology in general) that we are still trying to better understand. The human body and mind are incredibly complicated bio machines.

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Im confused as to what this means. What is building up in your body? Serotonin?

In: 9

Ramping up dosages over time is to help prevent side effects common in SSRI medications. The second reason is to work out the appropriate dosage cap. Dosage will continue to increase until an appropriate level is reached, as factors such as gender, weight, etc. will have differing end results.

If you’re referring to the actual effect of the medications, this is for your body to adjust to the sudden increase in serotonin. Immediately high doses can result in mood “highs” that ironically increase the risk of self harm, so it’s important to let your body adjust.

SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. That means it doesn’t tell your body to make more serotonin, it just tells it to hold onto the serotonin it *does* make for longer before it reabsorbs it.

Imagine your serotonin system as a bucket with a small hole cut in the bottom. Your brain can only use serotonin while it’s in the bucket.

As you make more serotonin, you add more to the bucket so your brain has more it can use. But serotonin is constantly flowing out through the hole, too (which is good; overflowing causes it’s own problems and can kill you!)

SSRIs make the hole at the bottom of the bucket smaller, so it takes longer for the serotonin to leave the bucket. But if the bucket is already emptied out before you start the SSRI, it’s still going to take some time to fill it up again because you’re not making more, you’re just losing less.

It’s not that it takes time for serotonin to build up, but that increased serotonin levels from transporter inhibition leads to changes in gene transcription like BDNF that ultimately lead to the therapeutic effects. It’s the upregulation and downregulation of different proteins that takes time.

The real answer is we aren’t entirely sure why it takes time for most people to feel the full affect of SSRI’s. Honestly scientists aren’t even sure on why it causes symptom relief the way it does. They know it affects seratonin reputake, but whether the increased serotonin available is directly the cause of symptom relief, or its a downstream effect thats a result of the higher serotonin availability isn’t currently understood. There is a whole lot about neuropharmacology (and pharmacology in general) that we are still trying to better understand. The human body and mind are incredibly complicated bio machines.