|Type of medicine||Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant|
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
|Also called||Fluvoxamine maleate
Anyone can develop depression. It can develop for no apparent reason or it may be triggered by a life event such as a relationship problem, bereavement, or illness.
Brain cells called neurons, release a number of chemicals which go on to stimulate other neurons leading to electrical impulses which result in many functions controlled by the brain. Serotonin is one such chemical in the brain. Once released, it stimulates other neurons and is then taken back up into the neuron cells and recycled. Antidepressants like fluvoxamine increase the amount of circulating serotonin available in the brain. This may help depression symptoms in some people.
Before taking fluvoxamine
Before taking fluvoxamine make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have heart, liver or kidney problems.
- If you have epilepsy, diabetes or glaucoma.
- If you are receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
- If you have ever suffered from mania (an abnormally 'high' mood).
- If you have a blood disorder or have had problems with bleeding.
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines. This is particularly important if you have recently taken a type of antidepressant called a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI).
How to take fluvoxamine
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Take fluvoxamine exactly as your doctor has told you to. It is usually taken once a day in the evening, although you may be asked to take fluvoxamine two or three times a day.
- Swallow fluvoxamine tablets with a drink of water. It is not important whether you take the tablets before or after food.
- If you forget to take a dose and it is still within the same day, take it as soon as you remember. If you only remember through the night or during the next day, leave out the missed dose and take the next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- It may take between two and four weeks for you to feel the benefits of fluvoxamine, but it is very important that you keep taking it even if it doesn't seem to make much difference at first.
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so your progress can be checked.
- If you feel your depression is getting worse, or if you have any distressing thoughts or feelings while you are taking fluvoxamine, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
- Fluvoxamine may slow your reactions. Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which would be dangerous if you were not fully alert.
- It is sensible to avoid drinking alcohol while you are being treated with fluvoxamine. Taking fluvoxamine and alcohol increases the chance that you may experience side-effects.
- If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as fluvoxamine may affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will be able to advise you about this.
- If you are being treated for depression, your doctor is likely to continue your treatment for at least 6 months even if you are feeling better.
- Do not stop taking fluvoxamine without speaking with your doctor first. Your doctor will want to reduce your dose gradually, as stopping suddenly can cause problems.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with fluvoxamine.
Can fluvoxamine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common fluvoxamine side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling or being sick, indigestion, loss of appetite||Eat little and often. Stick to simple foods|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum, or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Dizziness, sleepiness, tiredness||Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert|
|Tremor, palpitations, difficulty sleeping||Avoid large amounts of caffeine such as in tea, coffee, and cola|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well balanced diet containing plenty of fibre, and drink 6-8 glasses of water each day|
|Sweating||Take care not to become overheated during exercise or hot weather. Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids|
Important: tell your doctor (or go to the nearest accident and emergency department) straight away if:
- You have any thoughts of harming yourself or ending your life whilst you are taking fluvoxamine.
- You develop a high fever, sweating, confusion, and muscle stiffness.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store fluvoxamine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 60th Edition (September 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Faverin® Tablets 50 or 100 mg film-coated tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Faverin® Tablets 50 or 100 mg film-coated tablets, Abbott Healthcare Products Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated October 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Prof Cathy Jackson|
|Last Checked: 19/01/2012||Document ID: 1419 Version: 26||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.