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Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2010 Mar 6;9:11. doi: 10.1186/1744-859X-9-11.

Fluvoxamine for aripiprazole-associated akathisia in patients with schizophrenia: a potential role of sigma-1 receptors.

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Department of Psychiatry, Asahikawa Red Cross Hospital, Asahikawa, Japan.



Second-generation antipsychotic drugs have been reported to cause fewer incidences of extrapyramidal side effects (EPSs) than typical antipsychotic drugs, but adverse events such as akathisia have been observed even with atypical antipsychotic drugs. Although understanding of the pathophysiology of akathisia remains limited, it seems that a complex interplay of several neurotransmitter systems might play a role in its pathophysiology. The endoplasmic reticulum protein sigma-1 receptors are shown to regulate a number of neurotransmitter systems in the brain.


We report on two cases in which monotherapy of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and sigma-1 receptor agonist fluvoxamine was effective in ameliorating the akathisia of patients with schizophrenia treated with the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole.


The global score on the Barnes Akathisia Scale in the two patients with schizophrenia treated with aripiprazole decreased after fluvoxamine monotherapy.


Doctors may wish to consider fluvoxamine as an alternative approach in treating akathisia associated with antipsychotic drugs such as aripiprazole.

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