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Most commonly, fluvoxamine (Luvox) is prescribed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The medication decreases intrusive and obsessive thoughts and reduces the urge to repeatedly develop these thoughts.
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People whose obsessive thoughts and repeated actions interfere with daily life benefit from using Fluvoxamine.
Fluvoxamine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
All of the drugs in this category work in a similar way by increasing the chemical serotonin in the brain.
Luvox CR (the controlled-release form of Luvox) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat social anxiety disorder (SAD) in February 2008.
If you take Luvox CR for anxiety, you may notice an improvement in energy, appetite, and sleep within one to two weeks. Positive changes in mood and enjoyment in activities may take up to eight weeks to improve.
Fluvoxamine effectively treats obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but it also triggers side effects in many users. In some cases, these side effects can be severe.
For example, some users experience suicidal thoughts or actions. Because of this, the FDA now requires the manufacturer of Fluvoxamine to include a black box warning about this risk. This side effect tends to occur most often in youth and young adult users. It typically begins within the first few months of use or after a change in dosage.
Fluvoxamine (Luvox) is not recommended to anyone under 18 years of age without medical advice.
Call 911 or contact your doctor immediately if you or a loved one experiences any of the following side effects after taking Luvox:
Other common, less severe side effects of Fluvoxamine include:
In addition to the side effects listed above, children taking Fluvoxamine might also experience:
Mild symptoms associated with Fluvoxamine use tend to ease within a few days or weeks. Contact your doctor if symptoms persist or are severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Fluvoxamine also causes other potentially severe side effects, including manic episodes, abnormal bleeding, and serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome is a life-threatening event that happens when too much serotonin builds up in the body. Its symptoms include:
The following could be an indication of a manic episode:
No, Luvox does not usually cause weight gain. Fluvoxamine causes a decrease in appetite for some people, which means it can lead to weight loss. It’s important, especially for children, to monitor Luvox use and weight loss. This ensures kids grow as they should.
Fluvoxamine interacts with several drugs and supplements. It’s important to tell your doctor everything you are taking before using Luvox.
You should not take fluvoxamine if you are using any of the following medications:
Other medications might be safe to use for some people taking fluvoxamine, but increase the risk for side effects. These drugs include:
Certain drugs and supplements increase the risk of serotonin syndrome when taking fluvoxamine, including:
Luvox has a heavy influence on neurotransmitters, which can lead to physical dependence in patients who are actively using it. Like many SSRIs, it increases serotonin levels in the brain.
Quitting Luvox without tapering triggers withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms mimic a typical addiction and make it difficult to stop using the drug.
Many of the symptoms associated with Luvox withdrawal are similar to the flu, and may include:
Other symptoms of Luvox withdrawal can affect your mental health or physical body:
For most people, Luvox withdrawal symptoms last several weeks. The intensity of these symptoms varies based on the length of time and dosage taken.
Luvox has a half-life of about 15 hours, which is the shortest of all selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This may contribute to the development of discontinuation syndrome (withdrawal symptoms).
To avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping Fluvoxamine use, it’s important to gradually taper off the drug in a clinical setting. You should never detox from a drug without professional guidance.
Gradual detoxification is an important step in breaking physical dependence. Doing so enables the brain to naturally restore its ability to produce the appropriate amount of serotonin without relying on Luvox.
Someone with a dependence on Fluvoxamine can benefit from a support program after the detoxification process is over. This helps with any physical and mental issues associated with drug dependence and usually includes counseling, nutrition guidance, and ongoing emotional support.
Luvox addiction is different from other drug addictions. However, it is still important to seek treatment when stopping use, especially in the early days when withdrawal symptoms are severe.
When you first start Luvox or change doses, you may experience unwanted symptoms. These can include increased anxiety, agitation, hostility, impulsive behaviors, and suicidal thoughts. These symptoms typically improve within a few weeks of taking the drug.
Luvox does not usually cause weight gain, but it can cause weight loss.
In the beginning stages of taking Luvox, you may experience thoughts of suicide, self-harm, and/or harming others. These symptoms are typically temporary and resolve within a few weeks as your body adjusts to the drug.
Missed doses of Luvox increases your risk for relapse of anxiety symptoms. If you stop taking the drug abruptly (cold turkey), withdrawal symptoms will develop. These symptoms may include dizziness, vomiting, headaches, nausea, irritability, agitation, and tingling sensations on the skin, among others.
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“Fluvoxamine | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, and More.” Healthline, www.healthline.com/health/fluvoxamine-oral-capsule#about.
“Luvox Side Effects: Common, Severe, Long Term.” Drugs.Com, www.drugs.com/sfx/luvox-side-effects.html.