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Luvox is an antidepressant medication used to treat symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Fluvoxamine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that improves symptoms of OCD and various anxiety disorders by blocking the presynaptic reabsorption of serotonin. The drug inhibits several enzymes, but especially CYP1A2, which contribute to symptoms.
This antidepressant is generally well-tolerated and offers a low incidence of adverse effects. Its tolerability and efficacy make Luvox a first-line treatment for adults and children over 8 with OCD as well as anxiety disorders including social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, kleptomania, body dysmorphia, and eating disorders.
Uses and Dosage
The dose of Luvox prescribed will vary depending on the individual and condition being treated. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and read packaging labels carefully when taking a new medication.
- Take Luvox before bed with or without food
- Swallow tablets whole
- Most adults start by taking 50mg once daily
- Doses can increase by 50mg every 4 to 7 days until the maximum therapeutic benefit is reached
- Adults should not take more than 300mg daily
- Doses over 100mg are recommended to be taken in divided doses
- Children over 8 should start by taking 25mg once daily
- Children up to 11 years of age should take no more than 200mg a day
- Adolescents can take up to 300mg each day
- Pediatric doses should increase by 25mg every 4 to 7 days until peak benefits are achieved
- Do not suddenly stop taking Luvox to avoid adverse effects
- Consult with your doctor before stopping this medication
- Tell your doctor if you develop any changes in sexual function
- Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat
- Keep container tightly closed
Luvox may cause some side effects to develop while it balances chemicals in your brain. Speak with your doctor for more information regarding symptoms you may encounter when taking fluvoxamine.
Common Luvox side effects:
- Drowsiness, dizziness, weakness
- Anxiety, depression, agitation, insomnia
- Shaking, increased muscle movement
- Upset stomach, gas, loss of appetite
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Dry mouth, yawning, sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Sweating, rash
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Sexual problems
Call your doctor right away if you develop new or sudden changes in your mood or behaviour including new or worse depression, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, hostile, aggressive, restless, talkative, or if you have suicidal thoughts.
Fluvoxamine may affect growth in children. Your child’s height and weight should be checked often. Contact your doctor if you notice your child is growing at an unusual rate while using Luvox.
Serious Side Effects
Some more serious side effects may occur when taking fluvoxamine. Stop taking Luvox and contact your doctor right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Anxiety, racing thoughts, risk-taking behaviour, insomnia, extreme happiness or irritability
- Blurred vision, eye pain or redness, seeing halos around lights
- Changes in weight or appetite
- Easy bruising, unusual bleeding
- Low sodium levels in your blood (headache, confusion, troubles with thinking or memory, weakness, feeling unsteady)
Seek immediate medical attention if you develop signs of serotonin syndrome. These symptoms include agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heartbeat, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Do not take Luvox if you are allergic to fluvoxamine. If you develop signs of an allergic reaction, stop using this medication and call your doctor immediately.
Luvox allergy symptoms may include:
- Rash, blisters, or hives
- Joint pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Luvox because it can cause certain adverse effects to increase.
Consult with your doctor about taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with Luvox. When taken in combination with this antidepressant, these drugs could cause you to bruise or bleed more easily.
Avoid driving or performing hazardous activities until you know how Luvox will affect you because your reactions may be impaired.
Some young people may have an increase in suicidal thoughts when they first start an antidepressant, including fluvoxamine. Monitor your symptoms and tell your doctor about suicidal thoughts or any sudden changes in mood or behaviour.
Do not stop taking Luvox without first consulting with your doctor.
Wait 14 days before or after taking an MAO inhibitor to use Luvox or else a dangerous drug interaction could occur. These inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and others.
Some drugs should not be used in combination with fluvoxamine to avoid dangerous interactions. Tell your doctor if you also use any of the following medications:
To ensure your safety in taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have ever had any of the following:
- Bipolar disorder
- Sexual problems
- Liver or kidney disease
- Heart disease, high blood pressure, or a stroke
- Bleeding problems
- Low sodium levels in your blood
Consult with your doctor before taking Luvox if you also use stimulant medications, opioid medicine, herbal products, medication for depression, mental illness, Parkinson’s disease, migraines, infections, or medicine for preventing nausea and vomiting. These drugs could interact with fluvoxamine and cause serotonin syndrome to develop.
Some medications may interact with fluvoxamine and cause adverse reactions. Tell your doctor about all the medications you take, including over the counter medicine, vitamins, and herbal products, but especially any of the following:
- Methadone, mexiletine, St. John’s wort, theophylline, tramadol
- Benzodiazepine-based sedative
- Blood thinner
- Diuretic or water pill
- Triptan migraine medicine
- Medication for anxiety, mood disorders, thought disorders, or mental illness
Consult with your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Luvox. Fluvoxamine may cause harm to an unborn baby if used during pregnancy but stopping treatment may not be safe either.
Do not breastfeed while using Luvox; the drug can pass through breastmilk and cause adverse effects in your nursing child.
Form and Strength
This antidepressant medication is available in tablet form.
Luvox tablet strengths:
The 50 and 100mg tablets are both available in quantities of 100 while the 50mg Luvox tablets are also available in groups of 90.
What are the common side effects of antidepressants?
The most common side effects of antidepressants in general are drowsiness and fatigue, nausea, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, and a risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. However, fluvoxamine specifically has been associated with a lower risk of suicidal behaviour and sexual dysfunction with its most common adverse effect being nausea.
What is the difference between SSRIs and SNRIs?
SSRIs prevent the presynaptic reabsorption of serotonin while SNRIs do the same for both serotonin and norepinephrine. Luvox is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that helps manage and reduce symptoms of OCD and other anxiety disorders thanks to its actions on serotonin and other brain chemicals.
Fluvoxamin, Fluvoxamine, Fluvoxin, Luvox, Uvox
25mg, 50mg, 100mg