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fluvoxamine (Luvox): OCD Medication Side Effects & Dosage

What is fluvoxamine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • Fluvoxamine is a drug that is used for
    treating several psychiatric disorders. It is a member of the class of
    called selective
    serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class that also
    fluoxetine (Prozac),
    sertraline (Zoloft), and
    paroxetine (Paxil).
    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors affect neurotransmitters, chemicals that
    nerves in the brain use to communicate with each other. Neurotransmitters are
    released by nerves, travel across the spaces between nerves and then attach to
    receptors on other nerves. Many experts believe that an imbalance in
    neurotransmitters is the cause of
    depression and other psychiatric disorders.
    Fluvoxamine works by inhibiting the uptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter,
    from the spaces between nerve cells following its release. Therefore, there is
    more serotonin available in the spaces to attach to other nerves and stimulate
  • Fluvoxamine was approved by the FDA for the treatment of
    obsessive-compulsive disorder in December 1994.

Is fluvoxamine available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for fluvoxamine?


What are the uses for fluvoxamine?

What are the side effects of fluvoxamine?

Side effects of fluvoxamine include:

Fluvoxamine also may cause abnormal bleeding,
seizures, and
manic episodes.
Withdrawal of fluvoxamine may result in withdrawal symptoms. The most common
symptoms of withdrawal are dizziness, tiredness, tingling of the extremities,
nausea, vivid dreams, irritability, and poor mood. Other symptoms include visual
disturbances and headaches.

Withdrawal reactions have been reported after an
average of 12 to 36 weeks of treatment, but after as few as 5 weeks. Although
most authorities recommend discontinuing treatment by gradually reducing the
dose, symptoms still may occur. Symptoms generally appear within a few days of
discontinuing medication and persist for an average of 12 days (up to 21 days).
They are relieved within 24 hours by re-administering the medication that was
discontinued. Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide
in children and adolescents. There are concerns that antidepressants also may
increase the risk of suicide in adults. Patients with major depression may
experience worsening of depression or suicidal thoughts regardless of whether or
not they are treated. Therefore, patients started on antidepressants should be
closely observed for signs of worsening suicidal thinking or changes in

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What is the dosage for fluvoxamine?

  • The usual starting dose for adults is 50 mg daily given as a
    single dose at bedtime.
  • The dose may be increased in 50 mg increments every 4-7
    days to achieve the desired response.
  • The maximum dose is 300 mg/day. Doses
    greater than 100 mg should be administered as a divided dose.
  • When using
    extended release tablets the starting dose is 100 mg at bedtime and the maximum
    dose is 300 mg.
  • Children (8 to 17 years old) should start with 25 mg daily given
    at bedtime, and the dose may be increased by 25 mg every 4-7 days up to a
    maximum of 200 mg/day (8-11 years old) or 300 mg/day (12-17 years old). Doses
    greater than 50 mg should be administered as a divided dose.

Which drugs or supplements interact with fluvoxamine?

  • All SSRIs, including fluvoxamine, should not be taken with any of the
    monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) class of antidepressants such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and procarbazine (Matulane) other drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase such as
    (Zyvox) and intravenous
    methylene blue. Such combinations may lead to
    high blood pressure, tremor, and increased activity. Fluvoxamine should not be administered within 14 days of discontinuing an MAO inhibitor, and MAO inhibitors should not be administered within 14 days of stopping fluvoxamine. Similar reactions occur if fluvoxamine is combined with other drugs, for example,
    St. John’s wort,
    meperidine (Demerol), and
    tramadol (Ultram) that increase serotonin in the brain.
  • Fluvoxamine can inhibit
    the elimination of
    clozapine (Clozaril), necessitating dosage reductions of
  • Fluvoxamine also may inhibit the elimination and increase the blood
    levels of
    theophylline (Theodur,
    alprazolam (Xanax), and
    triazolam (Halcion)
    leading to side effects from these drugs.
  • Fluvoxamine may increase the effect of
    warfarin (Coumadin,
    Jantoven), leading to excessive bleeding. Warfarin therapy should be
    monitored more frequently in patients who also are taking fluoxetine.
  • Combining SSRIs with
    nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or other drugs that
    affect bleeding may increase the likelihood of upper
    gastrointestinal bleeding. Fluvoxamine may increase blood levels of
    tizanidine (Zanaflex),
    thioridazine (Mellaril),
    alosetron (Lotronex), and
    pimozide (Orap), leading to increased side effects of
    these drugs.


Depression is a(n) __________ .
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Is fluvoxamine safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • There are no adequate studies of fluvoxamine in
    women. Infants exposed to SSRIs in
    late pregnancy may have an increased risk for
    pulmonary hypertension of the
    newborn (PPHN), which can be fatal.
  • Fluvoxamine is excreted into
    breast milk. There are
    no adequate studies in lactating women.

What else should I know about fluvoxamine?

What preparations of fluvoxamine are available?

  • Tablets: 25, 50 and 100 mg.
  • Tablets (extended release):
    100 and 150 mg.
How should I keep fluvoxamine stored?

Tablets should be kept at room temperature, 15 C – 30 C (59 F – 86


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