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Fluvoxamine is the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor with the largest database in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, a severe, and often chronic, anxiety disorder associated with substantial impairment in functioning. The selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors represent a first-line treatment in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. These agents work primarily by blocking the re-uptake of serotonin into the presynaptic nerve terminal, which is believed to be mediated by their effects on the serotonin transport system. In the last two decades, the anti-obsessional effect of fluvoxamine has been tested in several double-blind, placebo-controlled and active-comparison studies, demonstrating its superior efficacy over obsessions and compulsions compared with non-serotonergic antidepressants (i.e., desipramine) and equal efficacy to clomipramine (a tricyclic antidepressant with potent serotonin re-uptake inhibition) and other selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (paroxetine and citalopram). However, compared with clomipramine, the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor fluvoxamine showed fewer side effects and better tolerability. This reflects the poor affinity of this compound for adrenergic, muscarinic, cholinergic or histaminergic receptors.


Bernardo Dell'Osso, Andrea Allen, Eric Hollander. Fluvoxamine: a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy. 2005 Dec;6(15):2727-40

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PMID: 16316311

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