Fluvoxamine (Luvox®) is a wellknown and trusted anti-depressant that has been prescribed to almost 30 million people worldwide. The product is not only used in depression but also for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Luvox® is a product from Solvay Pharmaceuticals’ innovative research. In 1983 it was the first of the now hugely popular class of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) to reach the market.
Luvox® was the first SSRI to enter the Japanese market for both the depression and OCD indication. In Japan this mental health drug was co-developed by Solvay and Meiji Seika. Introduction in Japan took place in May 1999, under the trade name Luvox® by Astellas Pharma and Solvay Seiyaku (the Japanese fully-owned subsidiary of Solvay Pharmaceuticals) as well as under the trademark Depromel® by Meiji Seika.
Fluvoxamine is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). It is specially designed to increase the concentration of serotonin in the brain. When the amount of serotonin is increased, the symptoms of the depression will start to disappear. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which particularly influences the regulation of emotions. It is believed to play an important part of the biochemistry of mental disorders like depression and anxiety.
Depression is a common illness. About 5 out of 100 people suffer from a major depression and a further 5 out of 100 suffer from milder forms of depression at some time in their lives. This means that altogether 10% of the population has had or will have this illness. The onset of a depression can occur at any time. It affects people of all ages and in all episodes of life, although women seem to be more prone than men.
Depression consists of a wide variety of physical and psychological symptoms: a lack of interest and enjoyment in life, a lack of drive and motivation, making even simple tasks and decisions difficult, utter fatigue, agitation, irritability, and restlessness, loss or gain in appetite and/or weight, sleeplessness or excessive sleeping, loss of outward affection, no desire for sex, loss of self-confidence, avoiding people, feeling useless, bad, sad, helpless and hopeless, feeling worse at a particular time of the day, usually in the morning, thoughts of suicide.
Many people suffer from more than one period of depression in their life. Appropriate medical treatment can help to prevent a new period of depression.
People with anxiety disorder are affected by unrealistic and excessive anxiety and worry about most life circumstances. The psychological symptoms of anxiety are chronic, exaggerated worry, restlessness, tension, and irritability, that appear to have no cause, or are more intense than is reasonable in the situation. People with anxiety disorder may also have concentration problems and trouble going to sleep or staying asleep. In addition to these psychological symptoms there are often physical signs such as trembling, headaches, dizziness, twitching, muscle tension, aches or soreness, abdominal upsets, and sweating.
Panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder (social phobia), e.g., are common anxiety disorders.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder occurs when a person experiences obsessions and compulsions for more than an hour each day, in a way that interferes with his or her life. Severe OCD can destroy a person’s ability to function at work, or at school.
People with OCD often try to keep their repetitive thoughts and behaviours secret. OCD is more common than mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or panic disorder. OCD strikes people of all ethnic groups, and males and females are equally affected.
Obsessions are unwanted ideas or impulses that repeatedly well up in a person’s mind. Again and again, the person experiences disturbing thoughts, such as “My hands must be contaminated; I must wash them”; “I may have left the gas stove on”; “I am going to injure my child.” On one level, the sufferer knows these obsessive thoughts are irrational. But on another level, he or she fears these thoughts might be true. Trying to avoid such thoughts creates great anxiety.
Compulsions are repetitive rituals such as handwashing, counting, checking, hoarding, or arranging. An individual repeats these actions, perhaps feeling momentary relief, but without feeling satisfaction or a sense of completion. People with OCD feel they must perform these compulsive rituals or something bad will happen.