Antidepressant Basics: Fluvoxamine
Generic Name: Fluvoxamine
Brand Names: • Luvox • Floxyfral • Fevarin
Class: Antidepressant, Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)
Updated: August 2014
What Is It?
Luvox® (Fluvoxamine Maleate) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for oral administration. Manufactured by ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
What Does It Treat?
Luvox is indicated and approved by the FDA for the treatment of:
• obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Off-label uses include the treatment of:
• panic disorder
• posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Luvox may have other uses not mentioned in this medication guide. The efficacy of Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets was established in four trials in outpatients with OCD: two 10 week trials in adults, one 10-week trial in pediatric patients (ages 8-17), and one maintenance trial in adults.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using Luvox. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
This medication guide does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider if there is something you do not understand or want to learn more about.
Do not start or stop taking this medicine during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice.
Who Should Not Take Luvox?
Do not take Luvox if you: 1) are allergic to fluvoxamine maleate or any of the ingredients in Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets. See the end of this section for a complete list of ingredients in Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets; 2) take a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or have taken an MAOI in the past 14 days. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if you take an MAOI, including the antibiotic linezolid. Do not take an MAOI within 2 weeks of stopping Luvox unless directed to do so by your physician. Do not start Luvox if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 2 weeks unless directed to do so by your physician. MAOIs include Parnate (Tranylcypromine), Nardil (Phenelzine), Emsam (Selegiline transdermal), and Marplan (Isocarboxazid).
Do not give Luvox to anyone younger than 18 years old without the advice of a doctor.
Before Starting Luvox
Tell your healthcare provider about: 1) any medical conditions you have, including liver, kidney, or blood disease; 2) current pregnancy or plans to become pregnant; 3) current breastfeeding or plans to breastfeed; 4) any and all medications and supplements you are taking; 5) any thoughts or feelings of suicide. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Patients should be told that the concomitant use of Luvox and alcohol is not advised. Patients should inform their physician if they are taking, or plan to take, any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, as there is a potential for interactions. Patients should notify their physician if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy. Patients should notify their physician if they are breast feeding an infant. While patients may notice improvement with Luvox therapy, they should be advised to continue therapy as directed.
Ingredients of LUVOX:
Active ingredient: Fluvoxamine maleate. Inactive ingredients: The 25mg tablets: carnauba wax, hypromellose, mannitol, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, pregelatinized starch (potato), silicon dioxide, sodium stearyl fumarate, starch (corn), and titanium dioxide. The 50mg and 100mg tablets: In addition to the above inactive ingredients, contain synthetic iron oxides.
Indications and Usage
Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets are indicated for the treatment of obsessions and compulsions in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), as defined in DSM-III-R or DSM-IV. The obsessions or compulsions cause marked distress, are time-consuming, or significantly interfere with social or occupational functioning. Obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized by recurrent and persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses or images (obsessions) that are ego-dystonic and/or repetitive, purposeful, and intentional behaviors (compulsions) that are recognized by the person as excessive or unreasonable. Off-label uses include the treatment of panic disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The physician who elects to use Luvox for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.
Coadministration of tizanidine, thioridazine, alosetron, or pimozide with Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets is contraindicated.
Serotonin Syndrome and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
The use of MAOIs intended to treat psychiatric disorders with Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets or within 14 days of stopping treatment with Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets is contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. The use of Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets within 14 days of stopping an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders is also contraindicated.
Starting Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets in a patient who is being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue is also contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome.
Common Side Effects with percent reported
Gastrointestinal: Constipation (3% to 8% ), Diarrhea (13% to 24% ), Indigestion (6% to 13% ), Nausea (13% to 30% ), Nausea and vomiting (2% to 30% )
Neurologic: Dizziness (6% to 17% ), Headache (25% ), Insomnia (12% to 28% ), Somnolence (2% to 15% ), Tremor (5% to 11% )
Reproductive: Abnormal ejaculation (7% to 19% ), Reduced libido (up to 11% )
Other: Fatigue (10% to 16% )
Serious Side Effects
Dermatologic: Stevens-Johnson syndrome
Endocrine metabolic: Hyponatremia
Neurologic: Seizure (rare )
Psychiatric: Depression, Exacerbation, Mania (rare ), Suicidal thoughts (rare ), Suicide (rare )
Other: Serotonin syndrome
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs
Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets are not approved for use in pediatric patients except for patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases. Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to healthcare providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.
Worldwide exposure to fluvoxamine includes over 45,000 patients treated in clinical trials and an estimated exposure of 50,000,000 patients treated during worldwide marketing experience (end of 2005). Of the 539 cases of deliberate or accidental overdose involving fluvoxamine reported from this population, there were 55 deaths. Of these, 9 were in patients thought to be taking fluvoxamine alone and the remaining 46 were in patients taking fluvoxamine along with other drugs. Among non-fatal overdose cases, 404 patients recovered completely. Five patients experienced adverse sequelae of overdosage, to include persistent mydriasis, unsteady gait, hypoxic encephalopathy, kidney complications (from trauma associated with overdose), bowel infarction requiring a hemicolectomy, and vegetative state. In 13 patients, the outcome was provided as abating at the time of reporting. In the remaining 62 patients, the outcome was unknown. The largest known ingestion of fluvoxamine involved 12,000 mg (equivalent to 2 to 3 months’ dosage). The patient fully recovered. However, ingestions as low as 1,400 mg have been associated with lethal outcome, indicating considerable prognostic variability. Commonly (5% or more) observed adverse events associated with fluvoxamine maleate overdose include gastrointestinal complaints (nausea, vomiting and diarrhea), coma, hypokalemia, hypotension, respiratory difficulties, somnolence, and tachycardia. Other notable signs and symptoms seen with fluvoxamine maleate overdose (single or multiple drugs) include bradycardia, ECG abnormalities (such as heart arrest, QT interval prolongation, first degree atrioventricular block, bundle branch block, and junctional rhythm), convulsions, dizziness, liver function disturbances, tremor, and increased reflexes.
Pregnancy Category C
When pregnant rats were given oral doses of fluvoxamine (60, 120, or 240 mg/kg) throughout the period of organogenesis, developmental toxicity in the form of increased embryofetal death and increased incidences of fetal eye abnormalities (folded retinas) was observed at doses of 120 mg/kg or greater. Decreased fetal body weight was seen at the high dose. The no effect dose for developmental toxicity in this study was 60 mg/kg (approximately 2 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis). In a study in which pregnant rabbits were administered doses of up to 40 mg/kg (approximately 2 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) during organogenesis, no adverse effects on embryofetal development were observed. In other reproduction studies in which female rats were dosed orally during pregnancy and lactation (5, 20, 80, or 160 mg/kg), increased pup mortality at birth was seen at doses of 80 mg/kg or greater and decreases in pup body weight and survival were observed at all doses (low effect dose approximately 0.1 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis).
Neonates exposed to Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets and other SSRIs or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. Such complications can arise immediately upon delivery. Reported clinical findings have included respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, hypoglycemia, hypotonia, hypertonia, hyperreflexia, tremor, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying. These features are consistent with either a direct toxic effect of SSRIs and SNRIs or, possibly, a drug discontinuation syndrome. It should be noted that, in some cases, the clinical picture is consistent with serotonin syndrome. Infants exposed to SSRIs in pregnancy may have an increased risk for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). PPHN occurs in 1 – 2 per 1,000 live births in the general population and is associated with substantial neonatal morbidity and mortality. Several recent epidemiologic studies suggest a positive statistical association between SSRI use (including Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets) in pregnancy and PPHN. Other studies do not show a significant statistical association. Physicians should also note the results of a prospective longitudinal study of 201 pregnant women with a history of major depression, who were either on antidepressants or had received antidepressants less than 12 weeks prior to their last menstrual period, and were in remission. Women who discontinued antidepressant medication during pregnancy showed a significant increase in relapse of their major depression compared to those women who remained on antidepressant medication throughout pregnancy. When treating a pregnant woman with Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets, the physician should carefully consider both the potential risks of taking an SSRI, along with the established benefits of treating depression with an antidepressant. This decision can only be made on a case by case basis.
Labor and Delivery
The effect of fluvoxamine on labor and delivery in humans is unknown.
As for many other drugs, fluvoxamine is secreted in human breast milk. The decision of whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug should take into account the potential for serious adverse effects from exposure to fluvoxamine in the nursing infant as well as the potential benefits of Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets therapy to the mother.
The development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome has been reported with SNRIs and SSRIs, including Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets, alone but particularly with concomitant use of serotonergic drugs (including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, busipirone, and St. John’s Wort) and with drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (in particular MAOIs, both those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue). Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, delirium, and coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, dizziness, diaphoresis, flushing, hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., tremor, rigidity, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, incoordination),seizures, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Patients should be monitored for the emergence of serotonin syndrome. The concomitant use of Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets with MAOIs intended to treat psychiatric disorders is contraindicated. Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets should also not be started in a patient who is being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. All reports with methylene blue that provided information on the route of administration involved intravenous administration in the dose range of 1 mg/kg to 8 mg/kg. No reports involved the administration of methylene blue by other routes (such as oral tablets or local tissue injection) or at lower doses. There may be circumstances when it is necessary to initiate treatment with an MAOI such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue in a patient taking Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets. Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets should be discontinued before initiating treatment with the MAOI. If concomitant use of Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets with other serotonergic drugs, including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, buspirone, tryptophan and St. John’s Wort is clinically warranted, patients should be made aware of a potential increased risk for serotonin syndrome, particularly during treatment initiation and dose increases. Treatment with Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets and any concomitant serotonergic agents, should be discontinued immediately if the above events occur and supportive symptomatic treatment should be initiated.
Fluvoxamine maleate is a selective serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) belonging to the chemical series, the 2-aminoethyl oxime ethers of aralkylketones. It is chemically designated as 5-methoxy-4′-(trifluoromethyl) valerophenone-(E)-O-(2-aminoethyl)oxime maleate (1:1) and has the empirical formula C15H21O2N2F3C4H4O4. Its molecular weight is 434.41. The structural formula is: Fluvoxamine maleate is a white to off white, odorless, crystalline powder which is sparingly soluble in water, freely soluble in ethanol and chloroform and practically insoluble in diethyl ether. Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets are available in 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg strengths for oral administration. In addition to the active ingredient, fluvoxamine maleate, each tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, hypromellose, mannitol, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, pregelatinized starch (potato), silicon dioxide, sodium stearyl fumarate, starch (corn), and titanium dioxide. The 50 mg and 100 mg tablets also contain synthetic iron oxides.
Mechanism Of Action
The mechanism of action of fluvoxamine maleate in obsessive compulsive disorder is presumed to be linked to its specific serotonin reuptake inhibition in brain neurons. Fluvoxamine has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of the serotonin reuptake transporter in preclinical studies, both in vitro and in vivo.
In in vitro studies, fluvoxamine maleate had no significant affinity for histaminergic, alpha or beta adrenergic, muscarinic, or dopaminergic receptors. Antagonism of some of these receptors is thought to be associated with various sedative, cardiovascular, anticholinergic, and extrapyramidal effects of some psychotropic drugs.
The absolute bioavailability of fluvoxamine maleate is 53%. Oral bioavailability is not significantly affected by food. In a dose proportionality study involving fluvoxamine maleate at 100, 200 and 300 mg/day for 10 consecutive days in 30 normal volunteers, steady state was achieved after about a week of dosing. Maximum plasma concentrations at steady state occurred within 3-8 hours of dosing and reached concentrations averaging 88, 283 and 546 ng/mL, respectively. Thus, fluvoxamine had nonlinear pharmacokinetics over this dose range, i.e., higher doses of fluvoxamine maleate produced disproportionately higher concentrations than predicted from the lower dose.
The mean apparent volume of distribution for fluvoxamine is approximately 25 L/kg, suggesting extensive tissue distribution. Approximately 80% of fluvoxamine is bound to plasma protein, mostly albumin, over a concentration range of 20 to 2000 ng/mL.
Fluvoxamine maleate is extensively metabolized by the liver; the main metabolic routes are oxidative demethylation and deamination. Nine metabolites were identified following a 5 mg radiolabelled dose of fluvoxamine maleate, constituting approximately 85% of the urinary excretion products of fluvoxamine. The main human metabolite was fluvoxamine acid which, together with its N-acetylated analog, accounted for about 60% of the urinary excretion products. A third metabolite, fluvoxethanol, formed by oxidative deamination, accounted for about 10%. Fluvoxamine acid and fluvoxethanol were tested in an in vitro assay of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition in rats; they were inactive except for a weak effect of the former metabolite on inhibition of serotonin uptake (1-2 orders of magnitude less potent than the parent compound). Approximately 2% of fluvoxamine was excreted in urine unchanged.
Following a 14C-labelled oral dose of fluvoxamine maleate (5 mg), an average of 94% of drug-related products was recovered in the urine within 71 hours. The mean plasma half-life of fluvoxamine at steady state after multiple oral doses of 100 mg/day in healthy, young volunteers was 15.6 hours.
In a study of Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets at 50 and 100 mg comparing elderly (ages 66-73) and young subjects (ages 19-35), mean maximum plasma concentrations in the elderly were 40% higher. The multiple dose elimination half-life of fluvoxamine was 17.4 and 25.9 hours in the elderly compared to 13.6 and 15.6 hours in the young subjects at steady state for 50 and 100 mg doses, respectively. In elderly patients, the clearance of fluvoxamine was reduced by about 50% and, therefore, Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets should be slowly titrated during initiation of therapy.
The multiple-dose pharmacokinetics of fluvoxamine were determined in male and female children (ages 6-11) and adolescents (ages 12-17). Steady-state plasma fluvoxamine concentrations were 2-3 fold higher in children than in adolescents. AUC and Cmax in children were 1.5- to 2.7-fold higher than that in adolescents. As in adults, both children and adolescents exhibited nonlinear multiple-dose pharmacokinetics. Female children showed significantly higher AUC (0-12) and Cmax compared to male children and, therefore, lower doses of Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets may produce therapeutic benefit. No gender differences were observed in adolescents. Steady-state plasma fluvoxamine concentrations were similar in adults and adolescents at a dose of 300 mg/day, indicating that fluvoxamine exposure was similar in these two populations. Dose adjustment in adolescents (up to the adult maximum dose of 300 mg) may be indicated to achieve therapeutic benefit.
Hepatic and Renal Disease
A cross study comparison (healthy subjects versus patients with hepatic dysfunction) suggested a 30% decrease in fluvoxamine clearance in association with hepatic dysfunction. The mean minimum plasma concentrations in renally impaired patients (creatinine clearance of 5 to 45 mL/min) after 4 and 6 weeks of treatment (50 mg b.i.d., N=13) were comparable to each other, suggesting no accumulation of fluvoxamine in these patients.
Drug-Drug Interactions Including P450 Interactions
Multiple hepatic cytochrome P450 isoenzymes are involved in the oxidative biotransformation of a large number of structurally different drugs and endogenous compounds. The available knowledge concerning the relationship of fluvoxamine and the cytochrome P450 isoenzyme system has been obtained mostly from pharmacokinetic interaction studies conducted in healthy volunteers, but some preliminary in vitro data are also available. Based on a finding of substantial interactions of fluvoxamine with certain of these drugs and limited in vitro data for CYP3A4, it appears that fluvoxamine inhibits several cytochrome P450 isoenzymes that are known to be involved in the metabolism of other drugs such as: CYP1A2 (e.g., warfarin, theophylline, propranolol, tizanidine), CYP2C9 (e.g., warfarin), CYP3A4 (e.g., alprazolam), and CYP2C19 (e.g., omeprazole). In vitro data suggest that fluvoxamine is a relatively weak inhibitor of CYP2D6.
Approximately 7% of the normal population has a genetic code that leads to reduced levels of activity of CYP2D6. Such individuals have been referred to as “poor metabolizers” (PM) of drugs such as debrisoquin, dextromethorphan, and tricyclic antidepressants. While none of the drugs studied for drug interactions significantly affected the pharmacokinetics of fluvoxamine, an in vivo study of fluvoxamine single-dose pharmacokinetics in 13 PM subjects demonstrated altered pharmacokinetic properties compared to 16 “extensive metabolizers” (EM): mean Cmax, AUC, and half-life were increased by 52%, 200%, and 62%, respectively, in the PM compared to the EM group. This suggests that fluvoxamine is metabolized, at least in part, by CYP2D6. Caution is indicated in patients known to have reduced levels of CYP2D6 activity and those receiving concomitant drugs known to inhibit this cytochrome P450 isoenzyme (e.g., quinidine). The metabolism of fluvoxamine has not been fully characterized and the effects of potent cytochrome P450 isoenzyme inhibition, such as the ketoconazole inhibition of CYP3A4, on fluvoxamine metabolism have not been studied.
Dosage and Administration
Dosage Forms and Strengths
Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets, USP are available in the following strengths, colors, imprints, and presentations:
• Tablets 25 mg: unscored, white, elliptical, film-coated (debossed “1222” on one side),
Bottles of 100, NDC 62559-158-01
• Tablets 50 mg: scored, yellow, elliptical, film-coated (debossed “1225” on one side and scored on the other),
Bottles of 100, NDC 62559-159-01
• Tablets 100 mg: scored, beige, elliptical, film-coated (debossed “1221” on one side and scored on the other),
Bottles of 100, NDC 62559-160-01
The recommended starting dose for Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets in adult patients is 50 mg, administered as a single daily dose at bedtime. In the controlled clinical trials establishing the effectiveness of Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets in OCD, patients were titrated within a dose range of 100 to 300 mg/day. Consequently, the dose should be increased in 50 mg increments every 4 to 7 days, as tolerated, until maximum therapeutic benefit is achieved, not to exceed 300 mg per day. It is advisable that a total daily dose of more than 100 mg should be given in two divided doses. If the doses are not equal, the larger dose should be given at bedtime.
Pediatric Population (children and adolescents)
The recommended starting dose for Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets in pediatric populations (ages 8-17 years) is 25 mg, administered as a single daily dose at bedtime. In a controlled clinical trial establishing the effectiveness of Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets in OCD, pediatric patients (ages 8-17) were titrated within a dose range of 50 to 200 mg/day. Physicians should consider age and gender differences when dosing pediatric patients. The maximum dose in children up to age 11 should not exceed 200 mg/day. Therapeutic effect in female children may be achieved with lower doses. Dose adjustment in adolescents (up to the adult maximum dose of 300 mg) may be indicated to achieve therapeutic benefit. The dose should be increased in 25 mg increments every 4 to 7
days, as tolerated, until maximum therapeutic benefit is achieved. It is advisable that a total daily dose of more than 50 mg should be given in two divided doses. If the two divided doses are not equal, the larger dose should be given at bedtime.
Elderly or Hepatically Impaired Patients
Elderly patients and those with hepatic impairment have been observed to have a decreased clearance of fluvoxamine maleate. Consequently, it may be appropriate to modify the initial dose and the subsequent dose titration for these patient groups.
Pregnant Women During the Third Trimester
Neonates exposed to Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets and other SSRIs or SNRIs late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding and may be at risk for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). When treating pregnant women with Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets during the third trimester, the physician should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of treatment.
Switching a Patient To or From a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) Intended to Treat Psychiatric Disorders
At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders and initiation of therapy with Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets. Conversely, at least 14 days should be allowed after stopping Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets before starting an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders.
Maintenance/Continuation Extended Treatment
It is generally agreed that obsessive compulsive disorder requires several months or longer of sustained pharmacologic therapy. The benefit of maintaining patients with OCD on Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets after achieving a response for an average duration of about 4 weeks in a 10-week single-blind phase during which patients were titrated to effect was demonstrated in a controlled trial. The physician who elects to use Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.
Discontinuation of Treatment with Fluvoxamine Maleate Tablets
Symptoms associated with discontinuation of other SSRIs or SNRIs have been reported. Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment. A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate.