© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Rationale: Growing evidence supports a role for the microbiota in regulating gut-brain interactions and, thus, psychiatric disorders. Despite substantial scientific efforts to delineate the mechanism of action of psychotropic medications at a central nervous system (CNS) level, there remains a critical lack of understanding on how these drugs might affect the microbiota and gut physiology. Objectives: We investigated the antimicrobial activity of psychotropics against two bacterial strain residents in the human gut, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Escherichia coli. In addition, we examined the impact of chronic treatment with these drugs on microbiota and intestinal parameters in the rat. Results: In vitro fluoxetine and escitalopram showed differential antimicrobial effects. Lithium, valproate and aripiprazole administration significantly increased microbial species richness and diversity, while the other treatments were not significantly different from controls. At the genus level, several species belonging to Clostridium, Peptoclostridium, Intestinibacter and Christenellaceae were increased following treatment with lithium, valproate and aripiprazole when compared to the control group. Animals treated with escitalopram, venlafaxine, fluoxetine and aripiprazole exhibited an increased permeability in the ileum. Conclusions: These data show that psychotropic medications differentially influence the composition of gut microbiota in vivo and that fluoxetine and escitalopram have specific antimicrobial activity in vitro. Interestingly, drugs that significantly altered gut microbial composition did not increase intestinal permeability, suggesting that the two factors are not causally linked. Overall, unravelling the impact of psychotropics on gastrointestinal and microbiota measures offers the potential to provide critical insight into the mechanism of action and side effects of these medications.