Drug vs Drug

Fluoxetine vs Fluvoxamine:
Find Out Which is Better For You

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Read our fluoxetine vs. fluvoxamine guide to learn more about these antidepressants and determine which drug is better for you.

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Fluoxetine vs Fluvoxamine

In the United States, about 11% of people over the age of 12 are on some type of antidepressant medication. Designed to improve mood and stability, antidepressants can treat depression, anxiety, ADHD, OCD or similar mental health conditions. In this guide, we’ll evaluate two common antidepressants — Fluoxetine and Fluvoxamine — and demonstrate how DNA testing can help you choose between them.

Fluoxetine and fluvoxamine are generic drugs available in branded versions. For instance, fluoxetine is commonly sold as Prozac, while fluvoxamine includes brands like Luvox. Both drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which boost serotonin levels in the brain to affect the following:

  • Mood and emotions
  • Digestion and appetite
  • Sleep

 

Although they function similarly, these drugs are often used for different purposes.

Fluoxetine vs Fluvoxamine For Depression

Both fluoxetine and fluvoxamine are popular treatment options for depression. By increasing serotonin and stabilizing moods, they can effectively lower common depression symptoms, such as:

  • Loss of interests
  • Persistent sadness
  • Low self-esteem

 

These drugs may also improve sleep and appetite, which may be adverse effects of depression.

Fluoxetine vs Fluvoxamine For Anxiety

Many depression patients also struggle with anxiety, a mental health condition that causes intense, excessive worry in day-to-day situations. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including:

  • Generalized anxiety (extreme, ongoing anxiety)
  • Social anxiety (anxiety in social situations)
  • Panic disorders (sudden, intense episodes of anxiety)

 

While serotonin can help decrease anxiety symptoms, fluoxetine and fluvoxamine are not commonly prescribed for generalized anxiety. However, fluoxetine is approved to treat panic disorders, and fluvoxamine has provided quick relief of anxiety symptoms in some patients with panic and social anxiety disorders.

Fluoxetine vs Fluvoxamine For OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a condition characterized by uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors, can be treated by SSRIs like fluoxetine and fluvoxamine. The influx of serotonin improves communication within the brain, which ultimately prevents unwanted thoughts.

While both these drugs are effective, fluvoxamine tends to be more popular for OCD. This is likely due to the fact that fluoxetine can be very energizing, which is better suited for conditions associated with low energy levels (such as depression).

Fluoxetine vs. Fluvoxamine: Dosage Amounts

When prescribing antidepressants, healthcare providers begin by selecting a dosage amount. We’ve outlined the differences in these dosages, including the recommended starting dose, available dosage forms and amount of time it takes for the drugs to work.

Fluoxetine

Fluoxetine (Prozac) usually starts with a dosage of 20 mg/day (this may increase up to 80 mg over time). It’s available in three forms:

  • Pill
  • Delayed-release pill
  • Oral solution

 

It can take anywhere from four to eight hours for fluoxetine to absorb in the body (or longer if you take the delayed-release pill).

Fluvoxamine

Fluvoxamine (Luvox) generally begins with a 50 mg daily dosage (which can be increased up to 300 mg per day). It’s available in two forms:

  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill

 

It can take anywhere from two to eight hours for fluvoxamine to absorb (and even longer for the extended-release version).

Fluoxetine vs. Fluvoxamine: Side Effects

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to drug selection is side effects. The chart below showcases the side effects unique to fluoxetine, the side effects unique to fluvoxamine and the side effects they share.  

Side effects of fluoxetine Side effects of fluvoxamine Side effects of both drugs
Headaches Sweating Changes in appetite
Weight fluctuation Skin rashes Sexual side effects
Heart palpitations Muscle pain Trouble sleeping
Constipation/stomach issues Diarrhea and gas Dizziness and nausea
Stuffy nose Frequent yawning Sore throat
Of course, every patient has their own experience with medications. Some may undergo extensive side effects, while others don’t feel anything. Many times, effects are directly connected to metabolism rates — if you have a slow metabolism, you may be at a higher risk of experiencing adverse effects than those with average or above average metabolism rates. In the past, the only accurate way to determine which drugs worked best for a patient was to test them out. Now, patients can skip the troublesome trial and error game through DNA testing.

ClarityX: DNA Testing

Trying to decide between two different medications can be overwhelming. At ClarityX, we help people make well-informed choices through pharmacogenetic testing, or DNA testing. Put simply, DNA testing evaluates your genes for variations that may affect how you metabolize certain drugs. With this information, you’ll know whether you need to adjust your dosage or avoid a drug entirely. We offer two tests:

  • Mindwell test: Covers treatments designed for mental health conditions, including antidepressants, antipsychotics and anxiolytics.

  • Max Rx test: Covers mental health treatments and an additional 16 therapeutic areas, including immunology, neurology and cardiology.

Make the best possible choices for your today!

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