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Fluvoxamine

Uses

This medication is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a condition in which persistent thoughts result in repetitive actions.

IUPAC name: 2-[(E)-[5-methoxy-1-[4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]pentylidene]amino]oxyethanamine

Drug class: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors 

Route of administration: Oral

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Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This drug primarily inhibits neuronal reuptake of serotonin in the brain. As a result, serotonin levels rise, activating more neurons and helping in the restoration and maintenance of mental stability and helping in regulating mood.

Side effects

It may cause nausea, vomiting, insomnia (sleeplessness), loss of appetite, increased sweating, dizziness, weakness, agitation, palpitation (irregularly fast heart rate), fatigue, dry mouth, stomach/abdominal pain, nervousness, drowsiness.

Warnings

Avoid abruptly discontinuing this medication without first talking to your doctor.

This medication should not be taken within 14 days after taking MAO inhibitors (including moclobemide, phenelzine, isocarboxazid, selegiline, tranylcypromine, etc).

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to it or to other antidepressants (including amitriptyline, moclobemide, trazodone), or if you have other allergies,
  • If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),
  • If you have a history of cardiac disease (heart attack, congestive heart failure, hypertension), kidney problems, liver disease, glaucoma, unusual suicidal thoughts, low sodium level in the blood, urination problem, seizures, bleeding issues, intestinal ulcer,
  • If you have undergone any type of surgery,
  • Fluvoxamine may increase the risk of QT prolongation if you have certain cardiac diseases (bradycardia, heart failure, or QT prolongation).
  • If you have low blood levels of magnesium, potassium, or sodium, you may be more likely to experience QT prolongation (extended intervals between cardiac contraction and relaxation) when taking this medication.
  • Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.
  • This drug’s adverse effects are more severe in older adults (above 65 years) and children.
  • Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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