Antidepressants can cause ‘emotional blunting’, study shows

Volunteers less responsive to positive and negative feedback after course of serotonin-controlling drugs

Widely used antidepressants cause “emotional blunting”, according to research that offers new insights into how the drugs may work and their possible side-effects.

The study found that healthy volunteers became less responsive to positive and negative feedback after taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug for three weeks. The “blunting” of negative emotions could be part of how the drugs help people recover from depression, but could also explain a common side-effect.

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