Does fluvoxamine cause delayed release? (+4 factors)

In this article, we will explore whether fluvoxamine causes delayed release or not, what the researchers suggest about it and what factors might contribute to the condition.

Does fluvoxamine cause delayed release?

Yes, fluvoxamine may cause delayed release. However, the incidence of side effects may differ from patient to patient depending upon the body’s individuality and physiology (1).

Fluvoxamine belongs to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and this class of antidepressants is more commonly associated with sexual side effects including delayed release, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction and difficulty reaching a climactic experience (2).

However, fluvoxamine is one of the drugs in this class that are less commonly reported to be associated with side effects as compared to other drugs of this class. The research studies have conflicting data. Some studies report the association. However, some do not accept this association.

It’s crucial to discuss any concerns about sexual side effects with your healthcare provider. They can offer you tailored treatment plans for your condition.

How does fluvoxamine cause delayed release?

The exact mechanism behind this side effect is not fully understood but SSRIs like fluvoxamine can influence serotonin levels in the brain (3). Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation and also has an impact on sexual function (4). Increased serotonin levels might affect the normal functioning of the release reflex, leading to delayed release (5).

SSRIs can cause various side effects in both men and women. However, the effects can vary from patient to patient and not everyone taking fluvoxamine will experience the sexual side effect due to individual variation.

What does research suggest?

According to research conducted in 2002 to determine and compare the sexual side effects of Fluvoxamine and paroxetine, fluvoxamine is a safer antidepressant to be used for depression in patients where sexual dysfunctioning such as delayed release is not tolerated. However, paroxetine was found to cause this side effect (6).

Published research reported two cases of sexual dysfunction caused by fluvoxamine. Two patients developed climactic-experience and release difficulties after initiation of fluvoxamine therapy. The study concluded that the sexual side effects of SSRIs might be underreported (7).

In 2008, SSRIs including fluvoxamine were studied for their side effects in 344 patients. The study concluded that sexual disturbances were observed in patients taking SSRIs. However, male patients were found to be more susceptible as compared to female patients but the intensity of the side effects was more in female patients (8).

What factors may affect fluvoxamine-induced delayed release?

Several factors may affect delayed release while you are on fluvoxamine treatment. The factors may include:

Dosage: Higher doses of fluvoxamine may be the cause of the increased incidence of sexual side effects. High doses may increase the likelihood or severity of the side effects.

Duration of use: Delayed release may become more pronounced with prolonged use of fluvoxamine. In some cases, these side effects might improve over time as the body adjusts better to the medication.

Psychological factors: Psychological factors including stress, anxiety or relationship issues may influence sexual function and may contribute to or exacerbate fluvoxamine-induced delayed release.

Other medications: Concurrent use of other medications or the presence of certain other medical conditions may increase the likelihood of experiencing delayed release as a side effect of fluvoxamine.

Individual sensitivity: Every person’s body physiology may vary and this may influence the effect of the medication on the body. Some individuals may be more prone to developing sexual side effects as compared to others.

Age and well-being: The age, gender and well-being of a patient may play a significant role as a factor for the appearance of side effects. Older individuals with specific health conditions might be more susceptible to sexual side effects from medications.

What to do if fluvoxamine causes delayed release?

If you are taking fluvoxamine for certain mood disorders and you experience delayed release as a side effect, then the following must be done.

  • Consult your healthcare provider. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider for an open communication session.
  • Maintain medication consistency. Continue taking fluvoxamine as prescribed unless advised otherwise. Abrupt discontinuation may lead to withdrawal symptoms.
  • Monitor and record the symptoms. Keep a record of delayed release episodes and their frequency to help your doctor assess the condition better.
  • Your doctor might make adjustments to your treatment plan or in the case of more severe symptoms, your doctor might alter the medication with the other SSRIs in some cases, mirtazapine can be a good option, especially the ones that cause lesser effects on the release.
  • Consider lifestyle changes. Stress reduction techniques including yoga or deep breathing, regular exercise and improved hygiene can be helpful.

Alternative medication

Many other antidepressants belonging to the same or different class can be used in the pace of fluvoxamine if sexual side effects appear. These medications may include the following (9):

  • Bupropion
  • Mirtazapine
  • Agomelatine
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

SSRIs are more commonly associated with delayed release but fluvoxamine is the drug that has the least incidence rate. Changing the class of your antidepressant might be helpful.

All the above-mentioned drugs have a lower incidence rate for sexual side effects whereas they have their own side effect profile. To select the best medication with lowest side effect profile, open communication with the healthcare provider is crucial.

Some side effects might improve over time as your body adjusts to the medication. However, communicating with the healthcare professional is essential in every condition. Regular monitoring and follow-ups are important.


In my opinion, fluvoxamine can be a cause of delayed release in patients taking the medication, However, certain other factors can prove to be contributing towards the incidence of these side effects. Open communication with the healthcare provider is crucial to avoid such incidents.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



O’Donovan B, Rodgers RM, Cox AR, Krska J. ‘You feel like you haven’t got any control’: A qualitative study of side effects from medicines. Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management. 2019;24(1):13-24. doi:10.1177/2516043518821499


Jing, E., & Straw-Wilson, K. (2016). Sexual dysfunction in selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and potential solutions: A narrative literature review. The mental health clinician, 6(4), 191–196.


Irons J. (2005). Fluvoxamine in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 1(4), 289–299.



Bakshi, A. (2022, October 5). Biochemistry, Serotonin. StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.


Buffom J. Pharmacology: The effects of drugs on sexual function. A review. J Psychoactive Drugs 1982; 14 (1–2):5–45.


Waldinger MD, van De Plas A, Pattij T, van Oorschot R, Coolen LM, Veening JG, Olivier B. The selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors fluvoxamine and paroxetine differ in sexual inhibitory effects after chronic treatment. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2002 Mar;160(3):283-9. doi: 10.1007/s00213-001-0980-3. Epub 2002 Jan 25. PMID: 11889497.


Dorevitch A, Davis H. Fluvoxamine-Associated Sexual Dysfunction. Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 1994;28(7-8):872-874. doi:10.1177/106002809402800709


Angel L. Montejogonzàlez , G. Llorca , J. A. Izquierdo , A. Ledesma , M. Bousono , A. Calcedo , J. L. Carrasco , J. Ciudad , E. Daniel , J. De LA Gandara , J. Derecho , M. Franco , M. J. Gomez , J. A. Macias , T. Martin , V Perez , J. M. Sanchez , S. Sanchez & E. Vicens (1997) Fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, and fluvoxamine in a prospective, multicenter, and descriptive clinical study of 344 patients, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 23:3, 176-194, DOI: 10.1080/00926239708403923


Gregorian RS, Golden KA, Bahce A, Goodman C, Kwong WJ, Khan ZM. Antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. Ann Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;36(10):1577-89. doi: 10.1345/aph.1A195. PMID: 12243609.

Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site