By Irfana
B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)
27 April 2022 -
Medically reviewed by
Sumayya
D. Pharm
Fluvoxamine vs Fluoxetine
Table of Contents

What is Fluvoxamine?

Fluvoxamine is a medication used for the treatment of the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is an SSRI antidepressant drug (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). It can also be used to treat social anxiety disorders.

Fluvoxamine is not available over the counter in the United States. You can buy Fluvoxamine online from a certified online pharmacy, but it is recommended to consult your health care provider before taking this medication. (Benfield, P. and Ward, A., 1986)

What is Fluoxetine?

Fluoxetine is a medication used for the treatment of mental health problems such as major depressive disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is an SSRI antidepressant drug (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor).

It is also used to treat Bulimia Nervosa- an eating disorder and PMDD. Purchase Fluoxetine online from a reputed and a trusted online pharmacy.  (Benfield, P., Heel, R.C. and Lewis, S.P., 1986)

How do Fluvoxamine works?

Fluvoxamine works for OCD by affecting the chemicals like serotonin. It helps to restore the serotonin balance level in the brain. This works to decrease the urge and thoughts to do repetitive tasks. (Benfield, P. and Ward, A., 1986)

How do Fluoxetine works?

Similar to Fluvoxamine, Fluoxetine increases the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin plays a significant role in providing better thoughts and enhancing mood. This keeps the person not to think about negative and depressive thoughts. (Benfield, P., Heel, R.C. and Lewis, S.P., 1986)

Forms and strength of Fluvoxamine

Fluvoxamine is an oral medication available in the form of tablets and capsules.

The strengths in which Fluvoxamine tablets and capsules are available are 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg.

Forms and strengths of Fluoxetine

Fluoxetine is an oral medication available in the form of capsules and liquid. 

Fluoxetine is available in the strength of 10mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg.

How should Fluvoxamine be taken?

Fluvoxamine can be taken with or without food at bedtime. One should take the medicines only according to the doctor’s guidance. 

The capsule and tablet should be taken whole without breaking, chewing, or crushing them. If any changes or side effects are noticed, one should consult the doctor before stopping the medicine.

How should Fluoxetine be taken?

Fluoxetine should be taken as prescribed by the doctor. It can be taken in the morning and at noon. One should follow the pattern and take the medicines regularly.

If taking the liquid form, a proper measuring spoon should be used instead of an ordinary spoon. One should consult the doctor before stopping the medicine.  

Dosage of Fluvoxamine

Adult Dose of Fluvoxamine for OCD:

Type of Dose

Initial Dose

Maintenance Dose

Maximum Dose

Per Day Dose

50 mg once

100-300 mg

300 mg 

The dose can be increased by 50 mg, depending upon the response.

If the daily dose is more than 100 mg, it should be divided into two doses.

Pediatric Dose of Fluvoxamine for OCD per day:

Age Group

Initial Dose

Maintenance Dose

Maximum Dose

8-11 

25 mg once

25-200 mg

200 mg 

11-17

25 mg once

25-300 mg

300 mg

The dose can be increased by 25 mg every 4-7 days, depending upon the response and tolerability.

The daily dose of more than 50 mg should be divided into two separate doses.

Vomiting, seizures, and breathing problems are symptoms that one can experience after overdoing Fluvoxamine. One should seek emergency medical help to prevent further adverse effects.

If the dose is missed, two doses should not be taken together. The skipped dose should be taken only if the next dose is after a long time. (Benfield, P. and Ward, A., 1986)

Dosage of Fluoxetine

The adult dose of Fluoxetine for OCD:

Type of Dose

Initial Dose

Maintenance Dose

Maximum Dose

Dose Per Day

20 mg once

20-60 mg

80 mg

Higher doses greater than 20 mg can be divided into 2 doses to be taken in the morning and noon.

Pediatric dose of Fluoxetine for OCD: 


Initial Dose

Maintenance Dose 

Maximum Dose

Lower Weight Child

10 mg

20-60 mg

60 mg

Higher Weight Child

10 mg 

20-30 mg

60 mg

Higher doses greater than 20 mg can be divided into 2 doses to be taken in the morning and noon. The additional dose can be increased if the improvement is not appropriate. 

Adult Dose for Depression:

Immediate-release oral formulations

Type of Dose

Initial Dose

Maintenance Dose

Maximum Dose

Dose Per Day

20 mg once

20-60 mg

80 mg

Delayed-release oral capsules

Initial dose of 90 mg once per week, 7 days after the daily dose of 20 mg.

Pediatric Dose for Depression:

The initial daily dose is 10-20 mg once.

The daily dose can be increased to 20 mg once after one week of dosage. 

If someone overdoses on Fluoxetine, one should seek immediate medical help to prevent further risks.

If the dose is missed, two doses should not be taken together. The skipped dose should be taken only if the next dose is after a long time. In the case of the weekly dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. (Benfield, P., Heel, R.C. and Lewis, S.P., 1986

Who should not take Fluvoxamine?

One should not take Fluvoxamine if:

  1. Allergic to Fluvoxamine
  2. Used MAO inhibitors in the last 2 weeks
  3. Liver problems
  4. Kidney disorders
  5. Sexual health problems
  6. Bipolar disorder
  7. Heart-related issues
  8. Intestinal ulcers and bleeding
  9. Deficiency of potassium and sodium in the blood
  10. Using herbal products or other mental health medicines.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women may suffer negative effects due to Fluvoxamine which can affect the woman and child. Thus, it can be taken by these women only after discussing with the doctor and prescribed by them.

Who should not take Fluoxetine?

One should not take Fluoxetine if:

  1. Used MAO in the last 14 days
  2. Allergic to Fluoxetine
  3. Taking other antidepressants like Celexa, Cymbalta, Lexapro
  4. Seizures
  5. Diabetes
  6. Liver cirrhosis
  7. Glaucoma

Pregnant and breastfeeding women can take medicine only if prescribed by the doctor. Taking the drug during late pregnancy can affect the baby. And during breastfeeding, it may cause feeding problems, agitation in the nursing baby.

Side effects of Fluvoxamine

Following are the common side effects associated with the medication of Fluvoxamine:

  1. Nausea
  2. Muscle pain
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Weakness
  5. Anxiety and depression
  6. Trouble in sleeping
  7. Difficulty in sexual activities

There are some severe side effects which one can face after taking Fluvoxamine. Following are the severe side effects:

  1. Seizures
  2. Unusual bleeding and bruising
  3. Change in behavior
  4. Rapid heartbeats
  5. Blurred vision
  6. Shivering
  7. Agitation

One should immediately stop taking medicine and take emergency medical health to avoid further risk. (Suzuki, Y., Sawamura, K. and Someya, T., 2006.)

Side effects of Fluoxetine

Following are the common side effects associated with the medication of Fluoxetine:

  1. Insomnia
  2. Weakness
  3. Nausea
  4. Change in appetite and weight
  5. Loss of interest in sex
  6. Flu symptoms
  7. Headaches
  8. Upset stomach

There are some severe side effects which one can face after taking Fluoxetine. Following are the severe side effects:

  1. Breathlessness
  2. Blurred vision
  3. Skin allergies
  4. Loss of co-ordination
  5. Agitation
  6. Rigid muscles 
  7. Hallucinations
  8. Rapid heartbeats

These severe side effects need emergency medical help and even termination of medication. (Wernicke, J.F., 1985)

Drug Interactions with Fluvoxamine

Fluvoxamine may interact with other drugs and can affect health. Following are some of the drugs:

  1. Benzodiazepine sedative like Xanax and Klonopin
  2. Blood thinner
  3. Opioid medication
  4. OTC medicines and herbal products
  5. Water pill
  6. Tramadol and methadone

Drug Interactions with Fluoxetine

Fluoxetine may interact with other drugs and can affect health. Following are some of the drugs:

  1. Blood thinner drugs
  2. Antidepressants
  3. NSAIDs such as Naproxen, Aspirin, and Meloxicam
  4. Medicines for heart-related issues
  5. Sleeping pills
  6. Tryptophan
  7. Narcotic pain medicines such as Tramadol and Fentanyl

Studying the effectiveness of medications:

A study was conducted by Jean Dalery et al. to compare the effectiveness of Fluvoxamine and Fluoxetine. The trial was conducted on 184 patients suffering from a major depressive disorder. 

The participants were randomized to Fluvoxamine and Fluoxetine for 6 weeks. The daily dose of Fluvoxamine was 100 mg, and Fluoxetine was 20 mg.

It was observed that both these medications have similar efficacy and no significant differences. It was also seen that Fluvoxamine performed faster against the symptoms and provided better sleep. 

Synopsis

Fluvoxamine and Fluoxetine are both SSRI antidepressants. Both these medicines are equally effective and provide similar results.

Proper medical help should be taken before consuming any of these medications. One should tell the entire medical history to the doctor to prevent the risk of adverse side effects.

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