Luvox (also known as Fluvoxamine) is a prescription medication used in the treatment of depression and anxiety. However, it is most commonly used to treat the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, commonly referred to as OCD.
This medication works by interacting with brain neurochemicals such as serotonin that help regular mood and emotions. It belongs to a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors work by interacting with and regulating the levels of serotonin in the body.
These dosage guidelines are very general, becauset one's individual dosage is contingent upon various individual factors such as age, medical condition, etc.
For adults, a common starting dose is 50 mg, taken once daily with or without food. Depending on the results, the dose may be increased in 50 mg increments every 4 to 7 days as needed. The general consensus is that one should not exceed 300 mg daily, and doses of larger than 100 mg are typically split into smaller amounts and taken throughout the day.
In children and adolescents, the typical starting dose is 25 mg once daily at bedtime. Children up to age 11 generally do not exceed 200 mg daily. This may be increased in 25 mg increments every 4 to 7 days if needed. For pediatric populations, doses of more than 50 mg are often split up and taken throughout the day.
If You Miss A Dose
If you forget a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not double up doses to make up for a missed one.
SSRI side effects can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual. Common side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, sexual side effects, loss of appetite, and insomnia. There is also a link between antidepressants and weight changes.
Notify your doctor immediately if you experience any serious side effects such as seizures, unusual thoughts or behaviors, suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, restlessness, hallucinations, feeling faint or lightheaded, fever, chills, muscle stiffness, confusion, sweating, irregular heart rate, difficulty breathing, or coma.
Signs of a possible allergic reaction may include skin rash, hives, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or any swelling in body parts such as the tongue, throat, face, hands, legs, or feet. These are serious side effects that often require one to seek immediate emergency medical attention.
Report any adverse side effects or any out of the ordinary side effects to your doctor. If severe, you should seek emergency medical attention.
SSRI withdrawal may occur if the user abruptly stops taking this medication or misses a few doses. Withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, headaches, dizziness or lightheadedness, fatigue or lethargy, flu-like symptoms, aggression, confusion, anxiety, irritability, and psychosis.
In order to avoid withdrawal, the doctor must gradually reduce the dose over time. If you experience any withdrawal symptoms, notify your doctor right away.
Mixing With Alcohol
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication, which may increase some of the side effects of Fluvoxamine. In addition, take caution while performing any activities that require you to be awake and alert.
Also, avoid mixing with any other medications that my cause drowsiness and impair reaction time such as cold medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, etc. For more info, read this warning about mixing antidepressants and alcohol.
There is a risk of overdose with this medication; overdose symptoms may include blurred vision, lack of coordination, extreme drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, rapid heart rate, trouble breathing, fainting, and coma.
Seek emergency medical attention and notify your prescribing doctor if you experience overdose symptoms.
Do not take this medication if you are allergic to Fluvoxamine, and do not take it if you are currently taking or have recently taken alosetron (Lotronex), tizanidine (Zanaflex), thioridazine (Mellaril), pimozide (Orap), or any MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam).
Some of these medications can cause serious or life-threatening drug interactions when taken together with fluvoxamine. One must wait 2 weeks after stopping an MAO inhibitor before you can take fluvoxamine. On a similar note, you must wait 2 weeks before you can start taking an MAO after you stop taking Fluvoxamine.
Also, before taking this medication, inform your doctor if you have liver disease, seizures, bipolar disorder, a history of substance abuse, or a history of suicide.
In addition, research indicates that SSRI medications may increase the risk of suicide, particularly among children and young adults. For more information, read this article about the link between antidepressants and suicide.
Further, SSRI's have been linked to an increased risk of birth defects and other health risks to developing fetuses and newborns when taking antidepressants during pregnancy. For more information, read this important warning about antidepressants and pregnancy.
As a result, if you are pregnant or thinking about family planning while taking this medication discuss these issues with your doctor prior to taking any SSRI medication.
Only take this medication as prescribed under the supervision of a doctor. Do not crush, chew, or open the capsules. The capsules are intended to be swallowed whole. Do not stop this medication without first consulting your doctor, and remember to attend your medication monitoring appointments in order for your doctor to monitor your progress.