Fluvoxamine: A Review of Its Mechanism of Action and Its Role in COVID-19

Vikas P. Sukhatme, Angela M. Reiersen, Sharat J. Vayttaden, Vidula V. Sukhatme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Fluvoxamine is a well-tolerated, widely available, inexpensive selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that has been shown in a small, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study to prevent clinical deterioration of patients with mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Fluvoxamine is also an agonist for the sigma-1 receptor, through which it controls inflammation. We review here a body of literature that shows important mechanisms of action of fluvoxamine and other SSRIs that could play a role in COVID-19 treatment. These effects include: reduction in platelet aggregation, decreased mast cell degranulation, interference with endolysosomal viral trafficking, regulation of inositol-requiring enzyme 1α-driven inflammation and increased melatonin levels, which collectively have a direct antiviral effect, regulate coagulopathy or mitigate cytokine storm, which are known hallmarks of severe COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article number652688
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
StatePublished - Apr 20 2021


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • cytokine storm
  • inflammation
  • interleukins


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