Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) Such As Fluoxetine Or Fluvoxamine Do Not Reduce COVID Severity


A new study by researchers from Intermountain Medical Center; Stanford, Salt Lake City-Utah, USA has confirmed that the usage of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Fluoxetine or Fluvoxamine does not reduce COVID Severity.

The study findings were published as an abstract presentation in the peer reviewed journal: Circulation (A journal of the American Heart Association or AHA)

 The clinical spectrum of COVID-19 can range from asymptomatic to severe, with severe resulting in part from an intense inflammatory response. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) is the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants and has anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet effects.

Recent studies reported greater survival and lesser COVID severity in patients taking SSRIs, specifically fluoxetine/fluvoxamine. Recently, application was made to the FDA for emergency use of fluvoxamine to prevent severe COVID-19, but it was denied based on insufficient data.

Results: A total of 8,272 SSRI patients were well-matched to 24,816 no SSRI patients (Table 1). Hospitalization and death were significantly greater in the SSRI group compared to the no SSRI group (Table 1). A total of 2,067 (25.0%) of SSRI patients were taking fluoxetine or fluvoxamine. While attenuated, no SSRI remained associated with a lower 14-day COVID-19 hospitalization risk when compared to fluoxetine or fluvoxamine use, but not with 3-month death (Table 2).

Conclusion: This study did not find a lower risk of progression of COVID-19 severity with the use of any SSRI or fluoxetine/fluvoxamine alone. Results from this study support the FDA’s decision to not recommend their use at an early stage of a COVID-19 infection.


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