Fluvoxamine (brand names: Floxyfral, Luvox, Fevarin) is a medication which functions as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and σ1 receptor agonist. Fluvoxamine is used primarily for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and is also used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), and anxiety disorders such as panic disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Fluvoxamine CR (controlled release) is approved to treat social anxiety disorder.
The FDA has added a black box warning for this drug in reference to increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior in young adults and children.
Fluvoxamine’s only FDA approved indication is in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), although in other countries (e.g. Australia and the UK) it has indications for major depressive disorder as well. Fluvoxamine has been found to be useful in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), and anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. Fluvoxamine is indicated for children and adolescents with OCD. The drug works long-term, with research showing that fluvoxamine retains its therapeutic efficacy for at least a year. It has also been found to possess some analgesic properties in line with other SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants.
There is some evidence that fluvoxamine may be a helpful adjunct in the treatment of schizophrenia, improving the depressive, negative and cognitive symptoms of the disorder. Its actions at the sigma receptor may afford it a unique advantage among antidepressants in treating the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.
Gastrointestinal side effects are more common in those receiving fluvoxamine than with other SSRIs. Otherwise, fluvoxamine’s side effect profile is very similar to other SSRIs.