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Generic Name: Fluvoxamine Maleate

Brand Names: Luvox

Drug Class: SSRI, Anti-depressant, Anxiolytic

Similar Class Drugs: Paroxetine, Sertraline

Available Dosage forms: Oral tablet and capsule

Fluvoxamine: Uses, Side effects. Luvox
Courtesy: Unsplash

What is Fluvoxamine?

Major depression is characterized by persistent mood instability and a severe lack of pleasure. The disorder has a multifaceted etiology, but abnormalities in monoamine neurotransmission appear to be the primary factor in determining the nature of the disease process. Fluvoxamine is a member of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Its activity is highly selective to Serotonin and exerts no effect on other monoamine neurotransmitters. 1

The Serotonin neurotransmitter is known for its mood regulatory action. Depression and other mental disorders worsen in response to alterations in the neurotransmission of serotonin. SSRIs block the uptake of Serotonin from the synaptic cleft and aid in the improvement of depressive symptoms.

Psychotropic action of Fluvoxamine is implicated in the treatment of:

– Obsessive-Compulsive disorder

– First-line treatment for anxiety 1

– Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Increased numbers of Sigma-1 receptors are indicative of depression-induced cerebral damage. These receptors and their ligands potentiate neurogenesis in affected areas of the brain. Fluvoxamine maleate acts as an agonist to Sigma-1 receptors to upregulate cerebral repair. 2


How to use Fluvoxamine?

Psychotropic drugs affect the CNS and cause mood changes. Therefore they must be administered only after a doctor’s prescription. Keep taking your medicine even if you see an improvement in your symptoms. The medicine is available as tablets and should be taken orally with water. It can be taken with or without food but ensure to keep track of your dosage. Avoid taking double dosages in case you miss the previous dose.

The improvement time varies among individuals. This is why you should strictly follow your doctor’s direction to receive full benefit from the drug. Cessation of the medicine without a doctor’s approval can lead to withdrawal effects like headache, tiredness, disturbed sleep cycle, etc. Cooperation with the health care expert is therefore imperative to your safety and well-being.


What are the side effects of Fluvoxamine? 1

The analysis of the efficacy and safety profile of psychotropic drugs is ongoing. Research suggests that Fluvoxamine has better tolerability when compared to other drugs of the same class. However, risks and side effects to its use have been documented.

These side effects include:

– Headache

– Somnolence (sleepiness)

– Dry mouth

– Insomnia

Less common adverse effects to its use:

– Sexual dysfunction

– Suicidal inclination

– Withdrawal syndrome


Who should not use Fluvoxamine?

– Those undergoing treatment with linezolid, methylene blue, and monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOIs)

– Hypersensitivity

– Cardiac issues

– Pregnancy

– Breastfeeding mother

Antidepressants must only be prescribed if the benefits outweigh the risks.



  1. Figgitt DP, McClellan KJ. Fluvoxamine. An updated review of its use in the management of adults with anxiety disorders. Drugs. 2000 Oct;60(4):925-54. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200060040-00006. PMID: 11085201.
  2. Hindmarch, I., and Hashimoto, K. (2010), Cognition and depression: the effects of Fluvoxamine, a sigma-1 receptor agonist, reconsidered. Hum. Psychopharmacol. Clin. Exp., 25: 193-200.

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Danielle Aubin (she/her), Online Clinical Social Worker/Therapist, Roseville, CA

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