- 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.
What are the uses for fluvoxamine?
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.
Latest Depression News
Daily Health News
What is the dosage for fluvoxamine?
- The usual starting dose for adults is 50 mg daily given as a single dose at bedtime.
- The dose may be increased in 50 mg increments every 4-7 days to achieve the desired response.
- The maximum dose is 300 mg/day. Doses greater than 100 mg should be administered as a divided dose.
- When using extended release tablets the starting dose is 100 mg at bedtime and the maximum dose is 300 mg.
- Children (8 to 17 years old) should start with 25 mg daily given at bedtime, and the dose may be increased by 25 mg every 4-7 days up to a maximum of 200 mg/day (8-11 years old) or 300 mg/day (12-17 years old). Doses greater than 50 mg should be administered as a divided dose.
Which drugs or supplements interact with fluvoxamine?
- All SSRIs, including fluvoxamine, should not be taken with any of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) class of antidepressants such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and procarbazine (Matulane) other drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase such as linezolid (Zyvox) and intravenous methylene blue. Such combinations may lead to confusion, high blood pressure, tremor, and increased activity. Fluvoxamine should not be administered within 14 days of discontinuing an MAO inhibitor, and MAO inhibitors should not be administered within 14 days of stopping fluvoxamine. Similar reactions occur if fluvoxamine is combined with other drugs, for example, tryptophan, St. John's wort, meperidine (Demerol), and tramadol (Ultram) that increase serotonin in the brain.
- Fluvoxamine can inhibit the elimination of clozapine (Clozaril), necessitating dosage reductions of clozapine.
- Fluvoxamine also may inhibit the elimination and increase the blood levels of theophylline (Theodur, Uniphyl), alprazolam (Xanax), and triazolam (Halcion) leading to side effects from these drugs.
- Fluvoxamine may increase the effect of warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), leading to excessive bleeding. Warfarin therapy should be monitored more frequently in patients who also are taking fluoxetine.
- Combining SSRIs with aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or other drugs that affect bleeding may increase the likelihood of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Fluvoxamine may increase blood levels of tizanidine (Zanaflex), thioridazine (Mellaril), alosetron (Lotronex), and pimozide (Orap), leading to increased side effects of these drugs.
Is fluvoxamine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- There are no adequate studies of fluvoxamine in pregnant women. Infants exposed to SSRIs in late pregnancy may have an increased risk for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), which can be fatal.
- Fluvoxamine is excreted into breast milk. There are no adequate studies in lactating women.
What else should I know about fluvoxamine?
What preparations of fluvoxamine are available?
- Tablets: 25, 50 and 100 mg.
- Tablets (extended release): 100 and 150 mg.
How should I keep fluvoxamine stored?
Tablets should be kept at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
What Are Phobias? Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, Other Fears
What are you afraid of? Learn about phobias such as agoraphobia, claustrophobia, arachnophobia, zoophobia, and more. Discover...
Depression Quiz: Signs & Symptoms
Many people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With...
Related Disease Conditions
Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
Low blood pressure, also referred to as hypotension, is blood pressure that is so low that it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. Some of the symptoms of low blood pressure include light-headedness, dizziness, and fainting if not enough blood is getting to the brain. Diseases and medications can also cause low blood pressure. When the flow of blood is too low to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys; the organs do not function normally and may be permanently damaged.
Obesity and Overweight
Get the facts on obesity and being overweight, including the health risks, causes, reviews of weight-loss diet plans, BMI chart, symptoms, causes, surgical and nonsurgical treatments, and medications.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Panic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep. A person experiencing a panic attack may believe that he or she is having a heart attack or that death is imminent. The fear and terror that a person experiences during a panic attack are not in proportion to the true situation and may be unrelated to what is happening around them. Most people with panic attacks experience several of the following symptoms: racing heartbeat, faintness, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers, chills, chest pains, difficulty breathing, and a feeling of loss or control. There are several treatments for panic attacks.
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
The term sex addiction describes the behavior of someone who has an unusually strong sex drive or sexual obsession. Sex and thoughts of sex dominate a sex addict's thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships. Sex addicts may engage in exhibitionism, voyeurism, prostitution, compulsive masturbation, or cybersex. Treatment for sex addiction includes individual counseling, marital and/or family therapy, support groups, 12-step recovery programs, and in some cases, medications.
Fragile X Syndrome
Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited form of mental retardation. It's caused by a mutation on the X chromosome. People with Fragile X syndrome suffer from physical, social, emotional, speech, language, sensory, intelligence, and learning impairments. There is no definitive treatment for Fragile X, though there are ways to minimize the symptoms.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that causes a person to suffer repeated obsessions and compulsions. Symptoms include irresistible impulses despite a person's realization that the thoughts are irrational, excessive hand washing, skin picking, lock checking, or repeatedly rearranging items. People with OCD are more likely to develop trichotillomania, muscle or vocal tics, or an eating disorder. Treatment for OCD includes psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and medication.
Phobias are unrelenting fears of activities (social phobias), situations (agoraphobia), and specific items (arachnophobia). There is thought to be a hereditary component to phobias, though there may be a cultural influence or they may be triggered by life events. Symptoms and signs of phobias include having a panic attack, shaking, breathing troubles, rapid heartbeat, and a strong desire to escape the situation. Treatment of phobias typically involves desensitization, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and beta-blockers.
Agoraphobia is a fear of being outside or of being in a situation from which escape would be impossible. Symptoms include anxiety, fear, disorientation, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, or dizziness. Treatment may incorporate psychotherapy, self-exposure to the anxiety-causing situation, and medications such as SSRIs, benzodiazepines, and beta-blockers.
Compulsive gambling is a disorder that affects millions in the U.S. Symptoms and signs include a preoccupation with gambling, lying to family or loved ones to hide gambling, committing crimes to finance gambling, and risking importance relationships and employment due to gambling. Treatment may incorporate participation in Gamblers' Anonymous, psychotherapy, and medications like carbamazepine, topiramate, lithium, naltrexone, antidepressants, clomipramine, and fluvoxamine.
Depression in teenagers may be caused by many factors. Symptoms of teen depression include apathy, irresponsible behavior, sadness, sudden drop in grades, withdrawal from friends, and alcohol and drug use. Treatment of depression in adolescents may involve psychotherapy and medications.
Depression in Children
Childhood depression can interfere with social activities, interests, schoolwork and family life. Symptoms and signs include anger, social withdrawal, vocal outbursts, fatigue, physical complaints, and thoughts of suicide. Treatment may involve psychotherapy and medication.
Separation anxiety disorder is a common childhood anxiety disorder that has many causes. Infants, children, older kids and adults can suffer from symptoms of separation anxiety disorder. Common separation anxiety treatment methods include therapy and medications. Factors that contribute to how quickly or successfully a child moves past separation anxiety by preschool age include how well the parent and child reunite, the skills the child and adult have at coping with the separation, and how well the adult responds to the infant's separation issues. For example, children of anxious parents tend to be anxious children.
Dysthymia is a less severe form of chronic depression. Symptoms and signs include insomnia, suicidal thoughts, guilt, empty feeling, loss of energy, helplessness, sluggishness, and persistent aches and pains. Treatment may involve psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and antidepressants.
Tourette syndrome is disorder, which symptoms include involuntary facial tics, motor tics, and vocal tics. The cause of Tourette syndrome is not known. ADHD is associated with Tourette syndrome. Treatment includes medication, psychotherapy, and in severe cases surgery.
People with bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder that involves episodes of bingeing and purging, experience symptoms and signs such as deteriorating teeth, sore throat, constipation, thinning hair, and dehydration. Treatment of bulimia may involve cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy, nutritional counseling, and medication.
Sick Building Syndrome
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or also referred to as sick building syndrome or environmental illness is the name given by some to a condition in which various symptoms reportedly appear after a person has been exposed to any of a wide range of chemicals. The exposure may occur as a major event, such as a chemical spill, or from long-term contact with low-levels of chemicals, such as in an office with poor ventilation. As a result of exposure, people with MCS (sick building syndrome) develop sensitivity and have reactions to the chemicals even at levels most people can tolerate.
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes after childbirth may lead to depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression include crying a lot, headaches, chest pains, eating too little or too much, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawal from friends and family, and feeling irritable, sad, hopeless, worthless, guilty, and overwhelmed. Treatment typically involves talk therapy and medication.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is an illness where a person is overly preoccupied with some minor or imaginary flaw. People with BDD tend to have cosmetic surgery. BDD can be treated with SSRIs and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Fast-food consumption and lack of exercise are just a couple of causes of childhood obesity. Health effects of childhood obesity include type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, asthma, sleep apnea, gallstones, fatty liver disease, GERD, depression, and eating disorders.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Depression FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Antidepressants Banned for UK Kids
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- Antidepressants (Depression Medications)
- Anxiolytics (for Anxiety) Drug Class Side Effects
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- Buspar vs. Zoloft (Differences between Side Effects and Uses)
- fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Prozac Weekly)
- paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
- Side Effects of Luvox (fluvoxamine)
Prevention & Wellness
- Antidepressant Fluvoxamine Might Reduce COVID Hospitalizations
- Common Antidepressants Linked to Higher Fracture Odds in Menopausal Women
- Research Lacking on Drugs for Older Children With Autism, Study Finds
- Newer Antidepressants Work Equally Well, Study Finds
- Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy: Autism Risk?
- Depression Rising, but Psychotherapy Declines
- Cataracts From Antidepressants?
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.
FDA Prescribing Information