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Fluvoxamine, one of the oldest selective serotonin reuptaking inhibitors, is commonly prescribed to patients with major depression. Several studies have reviewed the efficacy and tolerability of fluvoxamine for the treatment of major depression. However, these reviews are outdated, have not been systematic and/or suffered from several methodological weaknesses. We conducted a systematic review to synthesize the best available evidence on the efficacy of fluvoxamine for adult patients suffering from major depression in comparison with other active antidepressive agents. Relevant randomized controlled trials were identified through a comprehensive search. The primary outcome was a relative risk of response, and the secondary outcome was a relative risk of remission. Tolerability and side-effect profile were also examined. Fifty-three trials were included. There were no large differences between fluvoxamine and any other antidepressants in terms of efficacy and tolerability. There is evidence of differing side effect profiles, especially when comparing gastrointestinal side effects between fluvoxamine and tricyclics. Clinicians should focus on practically or clinically relevant differences including those in side-effect profiles.

Original publication




Journal article


J Psychopharmacol

Publication Date





539 - 550


Adult, Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation, Depressive Disorder, Major, Fluvoxamine, Humans, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Treatment Outcome