Can Fluvoxamine be used for anxiety? (+3 precautions)

`In this article, we will discuss whether Fluvoxamine be used to treat anxiety. We will also discuss some research studies and what to do if Fluvoxamine is not treating your anxiety.

Can Fluvoxamine be used for anxiety?

Yes, Fluvoxamine is used for anxiety and other mental health conditions. Fluvoxamine is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and depression. 

Fluvoxamine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to alleviate symptoms of conditions such as social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (1)

However, its specific use for anxiety disorder should be discussed and prescribed by a healthcare professional who can evaluate the individual’s condition and determine the most appropriate course of action.

How does Fluvoxamine work for anxiety?

Fluvoxamine, being an SSRI, works for anxiety by affecting the serotonin, a neurotransmitter, in the brain. Serotonin helps in the regulation of anxiety and mood disorders.

The mechanism of action of Fluvoxamine involves the blocking of the reuptake of serotonin by brain cells. This leads to increased levels of serotonin in the brain which can help regulate mood and emotions.

This can alleviate symptoms associated with anxiety. It is important to note that the actual mechanism of Fluvoxamine for treating anxiety is not clearly known. However, it is believed that the alterations in serotonin levels could help in reducing anxiety symptoms (1).

What does research suggest?

There are several research studies indicating the use of Fluvoxamine in anxiety disorder.

One study justified the use of Fluvoxamine in the treatment of patients with anxiety disorder. Fluvoxamine appeared to be the safest antidepressant. 

The study was conducted on 34,587 depressed patients taking Fluvoxamine (at doses between 50-300mg/day). About 16% of people experienced nausea as an early side effect while other side effects were less common, with less than 10% of patients reporting them (2).

Another study indicated a case in which 86 people took Fluvoxamine 202mg daily for social phobia. Out of all participants, 83% showed improvement in anxiety symptoms. The study indicated the safety and tolerability of Fluvoxamine in treating anxiety disorder (3).

What are the FDA-approved uses of Fluvoxamine?

Fluvoxamine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor is approved by the FDA for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (4).

Off-label use of Fluvoxamine

Off-label use means that medication is used for treating a condition which is not specified or approved by the FDA.

Healthcare providers might prescribe Fluvoxamine as an off-label use for treating other mental health conditions such as

  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

However, always follow your healthcare provider’s guidance regarding medications and their use.

What are the potential side effects of Fluvoxamine?

Fluvoxamine like other medications may cause various side effects. These side effects include (4,5):

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • increased heart palpitations
  • Tremors (less common)
  • Seizures (less common)

What are the precautions while using Fluvoxamine?

The following precautions are to be kept in mind while using Fluvoxamine:

  • If you had an allergic reaction to Fluvoxamine or other SSRIs in the past. Allergic reactions can be severe and need medical attention.
  • Fluvoxamine may induce suicidal thoughts. Close monitoring is crucial, especially in young adults and adolescents.
  • Fluvoxamine may interact with other medications or substances you are taking. This interaction can sometimes lead to a serious condition known as serotonin syndrome (6).
  • If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding use Fluvoxamine with caution under medical supervision as it can affect pregnancy and breastfeeding (4).
  • Fluvoxamine can cause dizziness or drowsiness in some individuals, so be cautious while driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • Do not stop Fluvoxamine abruptly, as it can cause horrible withdrawal symptoms. Gradual tapering under medical supervision is required (7).

What to do if Fluvoxamine does not help your anxiety?

If you find that Fluvoxamine is not helping you with your anxiety, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider. Fluvoxamine is primarily used for depression, while it can sometimes help with anxiety, it might not be the best fit for everyone.

Your doctor may consider increasing your dose gradually to see if it works for you. However, if dose adjustment does not work they may opt for more promising medications that are approved by the FDA for the management and treatment of anxiety disorders.

Always make sure not to make any changes to your treatment plan without consulting your doctor first.

Alternative medications if Fluvoxamine is not working for anxiety

If fluvoxamine is not working for your anxiety, your doctor may recommend alternative medications. These include:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors:

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors:

  • Venlafaxine
  • Duloxetine
  • Desvenlafaxine


  • Alprazolam
  • Diazepam
  • Clonazepam

What are non-pharmacological alternatives to treat anxiety?

Non-pharmacological alternatives for anxiety management include:

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy and mindfulness-based therapies are effective in treating anxiety and depression.
  • Regular exercise, meditation and yoga can reduce anxiety.
  • Engaging with friends and family can provide emotional support and reduce anxiety.
  • Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake can help manage anxiety symptoms.
  • A balanced diet and adequate sleep can reduce anxiety symptoms.


In my opinion, Fluvoxamine can be used to treat anxiety disorder. However, individuals responses to medications vary and not everyone will experience the same effect.

I suggest consulting your doctor for personalized guidance and a treatment plan.


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