Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) learning module - main section

4.12 Convulsions

Rare and very rare, but potentially serious adverse effects

SSRIs may lower the seizure threshold, especially when combined with other epileptogenic agents such as alcohol or tramadol.

Risk-reduction measures

If an SSRI is to be used in a patient with a history of convulsive disorder then it is important to warn the patient and carers of the risk of convulsions, and monitor the patient carefully. SSRI treatment should preferably be avoided in patients with unstable convulsive disorder.

Concomitant use of other drugs that lower seizure threshold (eg alcohol, antipsychotics, bupropion, mefloquine, and tramadol) should be avoided or the drugs used with care and close monitoring of the patient.


Treatment with SSRIs should be stopped if seizures develop or the seizure frequency increases.

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Page last modified: 17 February 2015