Fluvoxamine: safety profile in extensive
post-marketing surveillance

Buchberger R, Wagner W.
Global Drug Safety and Surveillance,
Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Hannover, Germany.
Pharmacopsychiatry 2002 May;35(3):101-8


The safety profile of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluvoxamine, has been assessed in clinical and post-marketing studies. Post-marketing surveillance provides the opportunity to assess a drug's safety in every day clinical conditions in a much greater patient population than in clinical trials and therefore serves as a useful tool to detect signals for adverse effects with an incidence of less than 1 : 10,000. The safety profile of fluvoxamine was evaluated based on data from 17 years of global post-marketing surveillance in an estimated 28 million patients exposed to fluvoxamine. A total of 6,658 adverse drug reaction reports received from world-wide sources were reviewed and analysed. Post-marketing surveillance data confirmed the favourable safety profile already observed in clinical and post-marketing studies. A remarkably low level of suicidality, switch to mania, and sexual dysfunction was found. Serotonin syndrome appeared to be a very rare complication of fluvoxamine treatment. No signals for drug interactions unknown so far were identified. Withdrawal symptoms were observed in everyday clinical conditions, which were generally mild and resolved spontaneously. However, no cases suggestive for drug dependence have been reported. In conclusion, the data presented underlined that fluvoxamine offers a safe and well-tolerated option in the treatment of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
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