Serotonin syndrome and fluvoxamine: a case study

Nebr Med J. 1996 Apr;81(4):107-9.


Objective: To report a serotonin syndrome reaction in a patient taking fluvoxamine to replace an earlier SSRI agent.

Case report: A female patient with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on paroxetine after resurgence in her obsessive ruminations was started on fluvoxamine 50 mg daily. One week later she became suicidal and was hospitalized. The fluvoxamine was increased to 50 mg morning and 100 mg bedtime and the paroxetine was discontinued. Over the next few days she began to have trouble with her concentration. A low grade fever set in after she experienced auditory hallucinations. Fluvoxamine was discontinued and she had an uneventful recovery after twenty-four hours.

Discussion: Fluvoxamine is a recently approved serotonin selective reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) with few side effect profiles. It is effective in the treatment of Depressive Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is used to potentiate or replace other anti-OCD drugs including already available serotonin specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). We wish to draw attention to the potential for serotonin syndrome in patients on fluvoxamine who may have previously been on other SSRIs.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / administration & dosage
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Fluvoxamine / administration & dosage
  • Fluvoxamine / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Paroxetine / administration & dosage
  • Paroxetine / therapeutic use
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced / etiology*
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Syndrome
  • Time Factors


  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Paroxetine
  • Fluvoxamine