Treatment of depression with selective serotonin inhibitors: The role of fluvoxamine

Stefano Pallanti, Cláudio Sandner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The advent of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is generally considered to have improved the treatment of depression. Head-to-head trials comparing SSRIs to each other have shown little difference in efficacy among agents. The main differences between the SSRIs relate to safety and tolerability profiles, reflecting the fact that the SSRIs possess significant and variable secondary pharmacological properties. This heterogeneity contributes to clinically relevant differences that clinicians are increasingly using to select antidepressant treatment more closely appropriate to specific patient populations and circumstances. This review assesses the place of fluvoxamine amongst the SSRIs in the context of current issues and concerns with drug therapy. Fluvoxamine has a proven efficacy and safety profile in treating elderly patients with depression. The beneficial effects of fluvoxamine in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are also well documented. On the other hand, its σ1-receptor binding profile may account for the observed high level of efficacy in psychotic depression and may explain the benefit of fluvoxamine in treating depression comorbid with anxiety/stress. There is no definitive evidence that suicide risk is higher with SSRIs than with other antidepressants or nonpharmacological treatments and postmarketing surveillance indicates that fluvoxamine is not associated with a higher level of suicidality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-238
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressants
  • Depression
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors


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