Anxiety Home > What Is Fluvoxamine Used For?
Some people may wonder, "What is fluvoxamine used for?" Fluvoxamine is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder in adults, teenagers, and children. The medicine helps to block the reuptake of a chemical in the brain called serotonin. Fluvoxamine also has several off-label uses, such as treating posttraumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, and depression.
What Is Fluvoxamine Used For?Fluvoxamine maleate (Luvox®) has been licensed for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults, teens, and children.
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) suffer intensely from recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or rituals (compulsions) that they feel they cannot control. Rituals such as hand washing, counting, checking something, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these rituals, however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them greatly increases anxiety. The exact cause or causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder are not fully known at this time.
Fluvoxamine is approved for OCD treatment in children, teens, and adults. Although antidepressants such as fluvoxamine are effective at treating the symptoms of OCD, behavior therapy for OCD is often used along with the medications. Ask your healthcare provider about behavior therapy for OCD.
How Fluvoxamine Works for OCDFluvoxamine is part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. SSRIs, such as fluvoxamine, affect a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. Serotonin is one of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release serotonin. The serotonin enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough serotonin reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any serotonin that remains in the gap between cells. This is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. But when the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including OCD. Fluvoxamine helps to block the reuptake of serotonin so that more serotonin remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the serotonin a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.