Fluvoxamine

Popular Brand Names:

Luvox Luvox CR Faverin

Fluvoxamine is an antidepressant and anti-anxiety drug belonging to a class known as selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRI). It was first approved in 1982, and is used for treating obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and major depression.

The original idea of using fluvoxamine to treat COVID-19 originated with Dr. Angela Reiersen, a psychiatrist at Washington University in St. Louis. Years back, she identified fluvoxamine’s unique effects through its ability to activate the Sigma-1 receptor, which reduces inflammation.

Early in the pandemic, in March 2020, Dr. Reiersen shared the idea with Dr. Eric Lenze of the Washington University School of Medicine, and they initiated the first clinical trial in COVID-19 patients, which proved successful.

Since then, a number of trials have been launched and positive results continue to accumulate. Fluvoxamine treatment appears to reduce COVID-19 symptoms, the need for hospitalization, and patient mortality. The doses given in these studies range from 50 mg twice daily to 100 mg three times daily.

Fluvoxamine was the first SSRI approved to treat depression in children. It is used across all age groups.

Fluvoxamine is considered a pleiotropic drug, which means it has multiple unrelated effects on the body. It has off-label uses in a number of medical conditions.

Key Facts for Fluvoxamine

Description: Antidepressant, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)
Year Approved: 1983
Approved Uses:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (USA, UK)
Major Depressive Episode (UK)

Typical Dose Range: 50 mg - 300 mg / daily
Maximum Reported Safe Dose in Adults: 400 mg / daily
Populations of Use: Pediatric, Adult, Geriatric
Typical Duration of Use: Long Term
Further Drug Information: medicine.com

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Fluvoxamine's Anti-COVID Properties

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2
  • Induction of autophagy, the body’s method for clearing out damaged cells
  • Inhibits platelet activation, which occurs during blood clotting
  • Lowers IL-1 beta, a key mediator of inflammation
  • Lowers IL-12 to reduce inflammation
  • Lowers IL-6 to reduce inflammation and inhibit acute protein synthesis needed for viral replication
  • Lowers IL-8 to reduce inflammation
  • Lysosomotropic agent – reduces the ability of the virus to reach its replication site and reduces the release of replicated virus from infected cells
  • Raises melatonin levels – melatonin has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties
  • Reduces excessive blood clotting activity
  • Activates the Sigma-1 receptor, which reduces inflammation
  • Upregulates endocytosis of spike protein – diverts the virus to cellular compartments called early endosomes which reduces the opportunity for viral replication

Published Medical Literature About Fluvoxamine’s Role in COVID

Access all Research

April 6, 2022 | Peer Reviewed: Yes | Publication Type: Review/Commentary/Letter

A review of fluvoxamine’s ability to prevent hospitalization in COVID-19

Fluvoxamine for Outpatient Management of COVID-19 to Prevent Hospitalization: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
March 3, 2022 | Peer Reviewed: Yes | Publication Type: Original , Clinical Prospective

Fluvoxamine treatment of patients with symptomatic COVID-19 in a community treatment center in Korea

Fluvoxamine Treatment of Patients with Symptomatic COVID-19 in a Community Treatment Center: A Preliminary Result of Randomized Controlled Trial
February 7, 2022 | Peer Reviewed: Yes | Publication Type: Review/Commentary/Letter

Letter to the editor raises questions about fluvoxamine study in ICU patients

Fluvoxamine for COVID-19 ICU patients?
January 7, 2022 | Peer Reviewed: Yes | Publication Type: Review/Commentary/Letter

A review of fluvoxamine’s mechanisms of action against COVID-19

Mechanisms of action of fluvoxamine for COVID-19: a historical review

Videos Discussing Fluvoxamine’s Role in COVID

Fluvoxamine for COVID-19: A New Weapon in the Fight?

Dr. F. Perry Wilson | September 8, 2021

Dr F. Perry Wilson of the Yale School of Medicine talks about the use of fluvoxamine for treating COVID-19.

Can we use a depression treatment drug to treat COVID? What do we know so far?

Dr. Hong's Pharmacy Classroom | September 6, 2021

Dr. Hong presents the science behind fluvoxamine’s utility for COVID-19.

Fluvoxamine for early treatment of COVID-19: the STOP COVID clinical trials (Eric Lenze, MD)

NIH Collaboratory | August 20, 2021

While using Fluvoxamine to treat anxiety in patients with Wolfram Syndrome, Dr. Reiersen from Washington University, St. Louis learned that Fluvoxamine (Luvox) reduced inflammation and interfered with viral function. Watch this detailed 55 minute presentation by Dr. Eric Lenze as guest of the NIH Grand Rounds program.

More Patients Take Anti-Depressant to Beat COVID Symptoms

CNBC | March 23, 2021

For COVID patients who have not been vaccinated, the antidepressant could help save lives. Joel Grover reported on NBC4 News on Monday, March 22, 2021.

Could a psychiatric drug treat COVID?

60 Minutes | March 6, 2021

A psychiatrist at Washington University explains how a clinical trial was launched for the possible use of a 40-year-old antidepressant as a treatment for COVID.

Antidepressant Fluvoxamine Found Efficacious Against COVID-19; FDA Says It’s Safe to Use, Cheap to Produce

CBS Detroit | February 22, 2021

Could a commonly prescribed antidepressant be used to treat Covid-19? A new study suggests it’s a possibility. The drug is called fluvoxamine and here’s what you need to know.

Fluvoxamine – Important for Long Haulers – Reduced Clinical Deterioration in COVID

Drbeen Medical Lectures | February 11, 2021

Fluvoxamine – Important for Long Haulers – Reduced Clinical Deterioration in COVID. Study shows reduction of clinical deterioration of patients.

Fluvoxamine and the Early Treatment of COVID: What does the data say?

Christy Risinger, MD | January 28, 2021

Dr. Risinger explains the rationale behind the use of fluvoxamine (Luvox) for treating early COVID-19.

Early Outpatient Treatment Of Symptomatic COVID-19 With Fluvoxamine: A New Potential Therapy!

Whiteboard Doctor | November 20, 2020

In this video we will discuss a new study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that looked at using Fluvoxamine, a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) that also has been shown to inhibit cytokine production, in early outpatient COVID-19.


Clinical Trials of Fluvoxamine in COVID

June 15, 2021 | |

Effect of Combined Fluvoxamine with Favipiravir versus Favipiravir Monotherapy in Prevention of Clinical Deterioration among mild to moderate COVID-19 patients Monitoring by Telemedicine in Virtual Clinic: Open-label Randomized Controlled Trial

Fluvoxamine 100 mg per day for 10 days

May 13, 2021 | Community/Outpatient Based |

ACTIV-6: COVID-19 Outpatient Randomized Trial to Evaluate Efficacy of Repurposed Medications

50 mg, twice daily for 10 days

January 27, 2021 | Community/Outpatient Based |

A Multicenter, Prospective, Adaptive, Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study to Evaluate the Effect of Fluvoxamine, Ivermectin, Doxasozin and Interferon Lambda 1A in Mild COVID-19 and High Risk of Complications

100 mg One tablet every 12 hours since randomization through day 09

January 22, 2021 | Hospital-Based |

A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Adaptive-design Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of Daily 200 mg Fluvoxamine as add-on Therapy to Standard of Care in Moderate Severity COVID-19 Patients

2 x 100 mg fluvoxamine daily po. (with careful dose escalation and tapered dose reduction). Overall treatment period is 74 days.

December 16, 2020 | Community/Outpatient Based |

Fluvoxamine for Early Treatment of Covid-19: a Fully-remote, Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial

Up to 200mg per day (2 capsules per day) as tolerated, for approximately 15 days

October 3, 2020 | Hospital-Based |

Effect of fluvoxamine medicine on cytokine level of COVID-19 patients, hospitalized in ICU ward

At first, 50 mg will be prescribed per night. after 2 days, 100 mg will be prescribed per night. After 4 days, 100 mg will be prescribed per afternoon and 100 mg will be prescribed per night. After 4 days, 100 mg will be prescribed per morning, 100 mg will be prescribed per afternoon and 100 mg will be prescribed per night.

August 12, 2020 | Community/Outpatient Based |

COVID-19-OUT: Outpatient Treatment for SARS-CoV-2 Infection, a Factorial Randomized Clinical Trial

Twice-daily dosing, 50 mg twice per day for 14 days, alone or combined with metformin

April 13, 2020 | Community/Outpatient Based |

A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial of Fluvoxamine for Symptomatic Individuals With COVID-19 Infection

300mg per day (3 capsules per day) as tolerated for approximately 15 days