How are Alpha-2 Receptor Antagonists different than SSRI’s?

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How are Alpha-2 Receptor Antagonists different than SSRI’s?

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SSRI’s modify how your brain manages serotonin levels. Normally the brain releases serotonin in to the gaps between nerve cells, the serotonin is used, and then some of it is reabsorbed by certain proteins (called SERT) to maintain certain levels based on a number of factors. SSRIs block the reuptake of some of this serotonin, thus boosting the levels of serotonin which remain in the gaps. The exact reason why this has a beneficial effect on disorders like depression and OCD is not known at this time. SSRI drugs specifically have a greater effect on blocking serotonin reuptake and lesser impact on other neurotransmitters.

Alpha-2 Receptor Antagonists affect a different mechanism, the Alpha-2 receptors. These drugs appear to enhance the release of both serotonin and norepinephrine. So while both involve serotonin, they do so by affecting different parts of the brain in different ways.