Abstract Sewage and sewage sludge is known to contain pharmaceuticals, and since sewage sludge is often used as fertilizer within agriculture, the reduction of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) Citalopram, Sertraline, Paroxetine, Fluvoxamine and Fluoxetine during composting has been investigated. Sewage sludge was spiked with the SSRIs before the composting experiment started, and the concentration of the SSRIs in the sludge during a 21 day composting period was measured by liquid phase microextraction (LPME) and high-performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. All the SSRIs had a significant decrease in concentration during the composting process. The highest reduction rates were measured for Fluoxetine and Paroxetine and the lowest for Citalopram. In addition three out of four known SSRI metabolites were found in all the samples, and two of them showed a significant increase in concentration during the composting period.