fluvoxamine (Luvox and Luvox CR have been discontinued)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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 drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class that also includes 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 them.
  • Fluvoxamine was approved by the FDA for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in December 1994.

Is fluvoxamine available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for fluvoxamine?

Yes

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 behavior.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/11/2016

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