Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) are safe and widely used for a variety of indications including depressive disorders, anxiety, and chronic pain. Besides inhibiting the serotonin transporter, these medications have broad-spectrum properties in many systems. Their roles have been studied in cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and infectious processes. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of drug repurposing of medications already in use. We conducted a narrative review of current evidence and ongoing research on drug repurposing of SRIs, with a focus on immunomodulatory, antiproliferative, and neuroprotective activity. SRIs may have clinical use as repurposed agents for a wide variety of conditions including but not limited to COVID-19, Alzheimer's disease, and neoplastic processes. Further research, particularly randomized controlled trials, will be necessary to confirm the utility of SRIs for new indications.

Original languageEnglish
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Alzheimer-s disease (AD)
  • Antiinflammatory agents
  • COVID 19
  • Drug Repurposing
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)


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