Does Fluvoxamine affect periods? (+3 effects)

In this article, we will discuss the impact of Fluvoxamine on women’s menstrual cycle. We will dig deep into the effects of Fluvoxamine and its common effects on periods. Furthermore, we will look at the possible ways to overcome these side effects. 

Does Fluvoxamine affect periods?

Fluvoxamine may affect periods. There is limited research available regarding the effects of Fluvoxamine on women’s menstrual cycle. However, these effects vary from person to person and may affect patients varyingly.

Fluvoxamine belongs to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants. This medication is commonly used in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder (1).

The drugs belonging to this class exert their effects by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin does not have a direct effect on menstrual regulation however, it may affect the cycle indirectly based on various factors (1). 

Not every patient taking Fluvoxamine will have its impact on their menstrual regulation. However, if you experience any such symptoms while taking Fluvoxamine, report to your doctor and seek medical help. 

What does research suggest?

Based on research studies, the link between the usage of antidepressant medication and the menstrual health of women is still not clear. However, studies have shown a 14.5% incidence of antidepressant-induced menstruation disorder in female patients (2).

A small study group observed the treatment effects of Fluoxamine in women having premenstrual, menstrual, and intermenstrual periods. A slightly successful clinical result of Fluvoxamine was observed in premenstrual and menstrual women as compared to intermenstrual women (3). 

A group of 20 women with premenstrual symptoms were evaluated. They were treated with Fluvoxamine for consecutive two menstrual cycles. Not very significant results were obtained on the premenstrual women (3). 

However, it can not be stated that Fluoxamine is effective in the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD) in women because this study was based on a very small group (3,4). 

Antidepressants particularly belonging to the SSRI class including Sertraline, Citalopram, and Escitalopram have a profound effect on the periods and menstrual health of women. These medications may cause menstrual irregularities and reproductive problems. 

How does Fluvoxamine affect menstruation?

Fluvoxamine can affect your menstrual cycle by causing the following effects (2):

  • Irregular or missed periods- Fluvoxamine might affect periods or menstrual cycles due to its effects on the serotonin levels in the brain which can cause hormonal abnormalities and lead to irregular, painful, or missed periods. 


  • Pre-menstrual symptoms- In women, pre-menstrual symptoms are usually related to mood and energy. During the pre-menstrual phase, women face depression, irritation, anxiety, and related symptoms (2).

These pre-menstrual symptoms are usually linked with altered mental health conditions. Changes in brain chemicals cause hormonal changes in some women which lead to these symptoms (2). 


  • Changes in menstrual flow- Due to the effects of Fluvoxamine on hormonal levels, it may cause changes in menstrual flow in some patients. Some patients might have menorrhagia (excessive menstrual bleeding) while some may have hypomenorrhea (abnormally less menstrual flow). 

These factors largely depend on the patient’s variability and may affect different patients based on their response to the medication. Therefore, careful monitoring of these effects is essential. 

What is the link between mental health problems and periods?

Depression, anxiety, and high stress levels are the main concerns for irregularities in menstrual flow. Due to these mental effects, your hormonal levels are altered which ultimately causes abnormalities in regular menstrual flow (5). 

It has been reported that women with depression have abnormally painful, longer, or shorter duration of periods. Depressed patients have altered hypothalamic-pituitary axis which results in menstrual irregularities in most women (5)

Studies have shown an interlink between depression and menstrual cycle. Any abnormality or irregularity in any of these might also impact the other and change its normal levels (5). 

What factors can favour menstrual irregularities when taking Fluvoxamine? 

Following are some of the factors that may affect menstrual irregularities while taking Fluvoxamine: 

  • Hormonal changes- The menstrual cycle in women is severely impacted by the hormones in the body. Fluvoxamine impacts the serotonin levels in the body which affects various hormones regulating the menstrual cycle in women. 

Therefore, a slight change in the hormonal levels or hormonal balance in the body can impact the regular monthly menstrual cycle in women and may cause irregularities. 


  • Lifestyle and exercise- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle also profoundly affects the monthly menstrual cycle in women. A healthy, fit, and nutritious lifestyle impacts the hormonal balance in the body which induces changes in the menstrual cycle. 

Exercise and physical activity is an essential component of regulating menstrual health. Avoid stress and anxiety because they can alter the regular menstrual cycle in women and cause irregularities. 


  • Pre-existing health conditions and concurrent medications- Taking Fluovoxamine along with some underlying health conditions may severely impact the regular periods. 

Similarly taking concurrent medications for any other condition along with Fluvoxamine can impact your menstrual cycle. It is important to discuss potential interactions with your doctor to avoid menstrual irregularities or any other adversities due to drug interactions. 


  • Individual patient variation- Each patient reacts differently to the medications. Therefore, individual patient responses to Fluvoxamine may vary significantly. 

What to do if Fluvoxamine affects your menstrual cycle?

If you experience any abnormality in your menstrual regulation, then the first and foremost step is to immediately seek medical help. Contact your doctor and discuss the related symptoms to seek effective treatment. 

If Fluvoxamine is affecting your period, then your doctor might tamper its dosage. Sometimes reducing the medication dosage does wonders and helps in getting rid of the potential side effects. 

However, even if reducing the dosage does not work, your doctor might switch you to another antidepressant medication with therapeutic efficacy and fewer effects on your menstrual cycles. 

Only pharmacological support for patients with depression and menstrual irregularities might not be sufficient. Therefore, such patients must take cognitive-behavioural therapy and other coping mechanisms as psychological support to overcome this challenge (5). 


In the above article, we have successfully discussed the impact of Fluvoxamine on the periods and menstrual cycles of women. We have also discussed the ways to alleviate Fluoxamine-induced menstrual issues. 

In conclusion, I would mention that, unlike other SSRI antidepressants, Fluvoxamine does not directly have an impact on the menstrual and reproductive health of women. However, it may impact them to an extent and cause various effects on their menstrual health. 

Therefore, careful usage and monitoring should be done while taking Fluvoxamine by women with depression. 

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