- What is fluvoxamine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Is fluvoxamine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for fluvoxamine?
- What are the uses for fluvoxamine?
- What are the side effects of fluvoxamine?
- What is the dosage for fluvoxamine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with fluvoxamine?
- Is fluvoxamine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about fluvoxamine?
What is fluvoxamine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Fluvoxamine is a drug that is used for treating several psychiatric disorders. It is a member of the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class that also includes fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine (Paxil). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors affect neurotransmitters, chemicals that nerves in the brain use to communicate with each other. Neurotransmitters are released by nerves, travel across the spaces between nerves and then attach to receptors on other nerves. Many experts believe that an imbalance in neurotransmitters is the cause of depression and other psychiatric disorders. Fluvoxamine works by inhibiting the uptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, from the spaces between nerve cells following its release. Therefore, there is more serotonin available in the spaces to attach to other nerves and stimulate them.
- Fluvoxamine was approved by the FDA for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in December 1994.
Is fluvoxamine available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for fluvoxamine?
What are the uses for fluvoxamine?
- Fluvoxamine is used for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder.
- Fluvoxamine also has been used in the treatment of major depression, management of obesity, bulimia, schizophrenia, and panic disorder.
What are the side effects of fluvoxamine?
Side effects of fluvoxamine include:
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Somnolence (sleepiness)
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Abnormal dreams
- Sexual dysfunction
Fluvoxamine also may cause abnormal bleeding, seizures, and manic episodes. Withdrawal of fluvoxamine may result in withdrawal symptoms. The most common symptoms of withdrawal are dizziness, tiredness, tingling of the extremities, nausea, vivid dreams, irritability, and poor mood. Other symptoms include visual disturbances and headaches.
Withdrawal reactions have been reported after an average of 12 to 36 weeks of treatment, but after as few as 5 weeks. Although most authorities recommend discontinuing treatment by gradually reducing the dose, symptoms still may occur. Symptoms generally appear within a few days of discontinuing medication and persist for an average of 12 days (up to 21 days). They are relieved within 24 hours by re-administering the medication that was discontinued. Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide in children and adolescents. There are concerns that antidepressants also may increase the risk of suicide in adults. Patients with major depression may experience worsening of depression or suicidal thoughts regardless of whether or not they are treated. Therefore, patients started on antidepressants should be closely observed for signs of worsening suicidal thinking or changes in behavior.
Quick GuidePhysical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.