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Fluvoxamine: uses, precautions and side effects of this drug

Fluvoxamine: uses, precautions and side effects of this drug

May 2, 2024

Within the large number of antidepressant drugs that exist, the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are those that are most famous due to their effectiveness and to some bearable side effects.

Within this group is Fluvoxamine, a very effective antidepressant for a large number of disorders related to both depression and anxiety, which we will discuss throughout this article.

  • Related article: "Types of antidepressants: characteristics and effects"

What is fluvoxamine?

Fluvoxamine is an antidepressant drug that it is included in the group of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI). Therefore, and like the rest of SSRI antidepressants, its function is to prevent the reuptake of serotonin to increase serotonin levels in the nervous system.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that occurs naturally in our brain, which, among many other functions, is to promote or improve our mood and prevent us from feeling sad or depressed.

Compared to tricyclic antidepressants, fluvoxamine exerts a much more powerful action when inhibiting this reuptake of serotonin . In addition, it has a much lower affinity for muscarinic receptors, 5-HT2C and alpha 1, so the side effects of this are also quite minor.

Also, a very distinctive characteristic of fluoxetine is its action on sigma 1 receptors. Although the function of these receptors is still being investigated, recent studies in animals propose that its potentiation has a close relationship with the improvement of symptoms cognitive effects of depression.

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In what disorder is it used?

Based on its effects on the inhibition of serotonin reuptake, fluoxetine is administered in those cases in which the person suffers from some type of disorder or mental illness that includes emotional symptoms.

Some of the cases in which the administration of fluvoxamine can be effective are disorders such as social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to, obviously, depressive disorders or affection with pictures or depressive symptomatology.

1. Social phobia

The use of antidepressants to treat anxiety disorders such as phobias is more than known in the clinical setting. Social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder (SAD), is considered one of the most common anxiety disorders .

This is different from other phobias because the person has a persistent fear of one or several social situations, being in most cases this fear related to experiencing a shameful situation.

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2. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by the appearance of intrusive, repetitive and continuous thoughts that provoke the person a feeling of discomfort, fear and nervousness . These thoughts lead the person to perform a series of behaviors, known as compulsions, aimed at reducing these feelings of anxiety.

Second-generation antidepressant psychoactive drugs such as fluvoxamine are the ones that have shown greater efficacy in this type of disorder, so they have become the treatment of choice when it comes to improving symptoms.

3. Panic disorder

Another anxiety disorder in which fluoxetine has a special efficacy is panic disorder. This condition causes the person to experience sudden attacks of terror without there being any external stimulus that causes it.

4. Post-traumatic stress disorder

This mental alteration is included within the disorders related to traumas and stress factors, and produces in the person a series of symptoms typical of anxiety disorders caused by experiencing a stressful or traumatic event such as war, physical abuse or rape or catastrophe.

5. Depressive disorders

There are several disorders related to depression , and its symptomatology may vary in relation to parameters such as duration, severity or persistence. However, most are characterized by a low mood and irritability in most cases, fatigue and lack of energy or feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem among many others.

Although there are many other antidepressant drugs of the SSRI category, such as fluoxetine, recent studies in which this drug is compared with fluvoxamine, have determined that this second drug has a greater superiority in terms of the onset of action and of the improvement of sleep quality in patients .

  • Related article: "Are there several types of depression?"

How is it administered?

Fluvoxamine occurs as much in usual tablet format as in extended-release capsules , both to be consumed orally.

The usual recommended dose of this drug is once a day before the patient goes to bed, or twice, once upon getting up and once before going to sleep. However, it is necessary to follow the instructions of the medical professional to the letter , which will adjust the doses individually to be as effective as possible.

In none of the cases can the patient increase or decrease the dose on their own, nor consume fluvoxamine more often than recommended.

What side effects can it cause?

Unwanted side effects of fluvoxamine They can be divided into non-serious side effects and serious side effects. In the first case, the person should tell their doctor if these symptoms last over time or get worse; while in serious effects the patient should contact this urgently.

Not serious side effects

Among the side effects of fluvoxamine that are not very serious, the most common are the following.

  • Drowsiness .
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth.
  • Altered attention and memory .
  • Gastric problems
  • Gases
  • Nausea and / or vomiting .
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Alterations in the sense of taste.
  • Weightloss.
  • Agitation .
  • Sensation of weakness
  • Changes in sexual desire and capacity.

Serious side effects

Among the serious side effects, the following stand out.

  • Vertigos
  • Hallucinations .
  • Alterations in coordination.
  • Fever, sweating and confusion.
  • Pain or tingling in the extremities .
  • Tremors without known cause.
  • Skin disorders like rash and urticaria.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Convulsions
  • Loss of knowledge
  • Bleeds and bruises.
  • Nosebleed .
  • Vomiting with blood.
  • Stools with blood or a very dark tone.

Precautions to consider

As in many other medications with very powerful effects in the body, it is recommended that the patient inform his / her doctor of any special health situation in which he / she is as other affections or allergies.

In addition, you must also report all medications, vitamin supplements or natural complexes that you consume regularly, as well as your alcoholic habits.

Like the rest of SSRIs, fluvoxamine can cause problems in the fetus and in the newborn child, so it is necessary for the patient to report if she is pregnant or if she intends to stay.

Although the effects of drowsiness are greater in other antidepressant drugs, those who drive or operate heavy machinery usually must pay special attention and take appropriate precautions.

What Is The Use Of Fluvoxamine? (May 2024).

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