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Fluvoxamine maleate 

Luvox Tablets and Capsules

Luvox is a prescription medication that comes in oral tablets and capsules. Its oral capsules are available as a generic drug. This medication is widely used for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It can also be used for various other conditions, but you must ask your healthcare provider. Luvox is suitable for both adults and children aged 8 years and older. Doctors generally advise patients to take the medicine once or twice a day as per the recommended dosage and whether it is an immediate-release tablet or an extended-release capsule. Lastly, Luvox can cause adverse reactions if not taken as prescribed. So, make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions precisely.

Product Overview

Luvox is an FDA-approved medication that doctors usually prescribe for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults and children aged 8 and older. OCD is a mental condition that causes constant, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions) that disturb daily life. Luvox, an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), helps to increase brain serotonin levels, which can improve mood and reduce anxiety associated with OCD.

This medication is available in tablet and capsule form and has different strengths. It is typically taken one or two times a day, with or without food, as directed by your healthcare provider. The dosage generally starts low and gradually increases to minimize side effects. Luvox works by restricting the reuptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, thereby enhancing mood regulation and reducing OCD symptoms.

Some of the common side effects of Luvox include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, dry mouth, and sweating. It’s important to inform your medical provider of any existing medical conditions or other medications you are taking, as Luvox can interact with certain drugs. If a dose is missed, take it as soon as you remember unless it is close to the time for the next dose. Do not take double doses to catch up. In case of a Luvox overdose, seek immediate medical attention. Store Luvox at a temperature mentioned on the product label, and keep it away from children and pets. Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and guidance while taking Luvox.

Uses of Luvox

Luvox is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Luvox Dosage

Strengths and Forms

Fluvoxamine is available under the brand name Luvox and generic fluvoxamine. The medication comes in the following forms and strengths:

  • Oral Tablets: 25, 50 and 100 mg 
  • Extended-Release Oral Capsules: 100 and 150 mg

Recommended Luvox Dosage for Different Patients

Your dosage recommendations may vary depending on factors such as your age, medical condition, severity, other problems you have, and your body’s response to the first dose. 

Adult Dosage for OCD

  • The recommended daily dose is 100 mg once a day, taken at night.
  • Later, the doctor may increase the dosage each week by 50 mg.
  • The maximum Luvox daily dose for adults is 300 mg.

Children’s Dosage for OCD (0-17 Years)

  • The safety and efficacy of Luvox is still unknown in children below 18 years.

Senior Dosage for OCD

  • Older patients are extremely sensitive to fluvoxamine. Due to this particular reason, this age group processes the drug slowly.
  • Drugs may remain in the patient’s body, leading to the accumulation and thus increasing the risk of side effects.
  • Doctors may adjust the dosage to avoid drug buildup in the body.

[Note: Remember, these recommendations may vary from person to person. Discuss it with your doctor, and they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take Luvox?

  • Follow the directions carefully as mentioned on the prescription label.
  • Read the patient information leaflet that is provided by your pharmacist thoroughly to avoid any details.
  • Take your medication near bedtime, with or without food, unless directed otherwise.
  • Swallow the capsules or tablets as a whole with a glass of water or as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Do not crush, break, chew, crush, or open the capsule/tablet.
  • If you are unable to swallow your medicines, talk to your doctor. They will suggest some alternate options or treatments.
  • Take the doses as your medical practitioner prescribes, not more or less.
  • Take the medicine immediately after opening the package.
  • Take the medicine for several months for effective results.
  • Do not discontinue the medicine without consulting your physician, even if you are feeling well.
  • Take the medication at the same time each day for effective results.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Luvox Work?

Luvox belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors class of drugs. These groups of medications work in a similar way to treat similar conditions. As a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Luvox blocks the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin into neurons, making more serotonin available in the brain. This helps to enhance mood, reduce anxiety, and alleviate symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). By improving the balance of serotonin, this medication can effectively minimize the persistent, unwanted thoughts and repetitive behaviors associated with OCD, leading to better overall mental health.

Luvox Side Effects

Common side effects of Luvox may include:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness
  • Anxiousness
  • Sexual problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • Yawning
  • Depression
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Rash
  • Agitation

Serious side effects of Luvox may include:

  • Attempts to commit suicide
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Violent behavior
  • Severe depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Seizure
  • Serotonin syndrome. Its symptoms may include:
    • Hallucinations
    • Coma
    • Muscle twitching
    • Fast heartbeats
    • Sweating
    • Fever
    • Vomiting
    • Stiff muscle
  • Eye problems. Its symptoms may include:
    • Eye pain
    • Vision changes
    • Double vision
    • Swelling or redness in or around eyes
  • Maniac episodes. Symptoms are:
    • High energy levels
    • Difficulty in sleeping
    • Reckless behavior
    • Excessive happiness
    • Talking faster than usual

[Note: Remember, this list may not cover all possible side effects. Always consult with your healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]

Luvox Warnings

  • Serotonin Syndrome: This condition happens when medications cause an accumulation of serotonin in the body, and there is a high chance that Luvox may cause this life-threatening condition of serotonin syndrome. Call your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms like hallucinations, coordination problems, agitation, and muscle stiffness.
  • Abnormal Bleeding: This medication may cause bleeding or bruising. If you are taking drugs like aspirin, blood thinner warfarin, or any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, you are at high risk of abnormal bleeding. 
  • Maniac Episodes: Luvox can cause manic episodes in certain patients. So, if you have a history of mania, you will likely experience such episodes. Consult with your medical professional before starting treatment with Luvox.
  • Allergies: Luvox can also cause allergic reactions. Its symptoms may include:
    • Difficulty in breathing
    • Swelling on the face, eyes, throat, or tongue
    • Rash
    • Hives
    • Blisters
    • Fever or joint pain

If you notice any of these symptoms while taking this medication, get medical help.

  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma: This drug can elevate the risk of an angle-closure attack, thus leading to fluid buildup and extreme pressure in the eyes. Talk to your doctor before making any decision.
  • Seizures: Certain people have experienced seizures while taking Luvox. Therefore, if you have unstable epilepsy or a history of seizures, avoid using this drug and consult with an expert. These experts will closely monitor you and suggest alternate options. 
  • Liver Problems: Patients with a history of liver diseases should avoid using Luvox. An impaired liver may not be able to clear the drug as fast as it should, leading to drug buildup in the body. Talk to your practitioner; they will prescribe you a lower dosage at the beginning of the treatment.

Luvox Boxed Warning

Luvox has received black box warnings from the FDA. These are the most serious warnings that alert doctors and patients of the adverse effects of the drug, which can be life-threatening. Luvox can increase suicidal thoughts or actions in patients using them. It can happen in children, teenagers, or young adults. While these thoughts or actions happen in the beginning stages of the treatment or during dosage changes, they can be dangerous to patients. Therefore, people are advised to notice any sudden changes in your or your child’s behavior. Thoughts, mood, actions, or feelings, especially when these changes are severe. 

Luvox Precautions

  • Before starting your treatment, tell your doctor if you have allergies or are even allergic to any of the medication’s ingredients. The product may include certain inactive components that can cause severe allergic reactions.
  • If you are undergoing surgery or any medical procedure, inform your surgeon or medical practitioner about the products you use. This list may include prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products.
  • Do not use Luvox in combination with monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Keep a 2-week interval before starting any of the drugs, i.e., fluvoxamine or MAO inhibitors. Failing to do so can result in symptoms like confusion, restlessness, agitation or stomach problems, fever, high blood pressure, or seizures.
  • Fluvoxamine causes low sodium levels, so if you are experiencing symptoms like muscle weakness, headache, weight gain, drowsiness, etc., call your medical provider immediately.
  • If you are experiencing sexual problems such as low sex drive, delayed ejaculation, or delayed orgasm, talk to a medical expert. Taking Luvox or another SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) can cause such problems; do not overlook it.
  • Before starting your treatment with fluvoxamine, make sure that you are informing your doctor about your medical history, especially of kidney issues, heart problems, bipolar disorder, stroke, seizures, bleeding problems, or high blood pressure.
  • Avoid taking fluvoxamine in the later stages of your pregnancy, as it can increase the risk of harm to the unborn baby. Consult with your healthcare provider if you are planning to become pregnant. They will advise whether you should take Luvox or not.
  • Discuss every risk and benefit with your medical professional to avoid any complications.
  • There are chances that the drug can enter into the mother’s breast milk and cause harm to infants. So, lactating mother should ask their doctors before making any decisions.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or operating machinery that needs your full attention, as the drug can make you drowsy and cause blurred vision.
  • Patients might face infertility issues while taking this medication. Discuss this issue with your doctor if you are planning to have children.

Luvox Contraindications 

Fluvoxamine is contraindicated in patients:

  • Who are already using other drugs, including alosetron, tizanidine, thioridazine, or pimozide.
  • Who have a history of hypersensitivity to any of the medication’s ingredients.
  • Who have taken MAO inhibitors within the past 14 days or started MAOI within 14 days of discontinuing fluvoxamine.

Luvox Missed Dose

Luvox may not work effectively if the patient misses or skips its doses. However, if you have forgotten to take your dose on time, take it as soon as possible or whenever you remember. Remember, if it is almost time for a new dose, you can skip the missed dose and continue your usual dosing schedule. Additionally, to avoid such situations, you can use medication apps or set reminders on your phone for timely dosage consumption. Talk to your medical practitioner if you have any additional doubts or concerns.

[Note: If you have missed a dose of your medication and are unsure about when to take the next one, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]

Luvox Overdose

It is usually recommended not to take extra doses of Luvox, but if someone mistakenly exceeds the maximum daily dose of Luvox and is experiencing unusual symptoms, they are advised to seek medical assistance immediately. Some of the symptoms of overdose may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Abnormal heartbeats
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Shakiness

To avoid any major complications in the future, consult with an expert.

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended dose, get medical help right away or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

Luvox Storage

  • Read the medication guide thoroughly for correct information.
  • Store fluvoxamine at a room temperature of  59°F and 86°F or 15°C and 30°C.
  • Keep the medicines in a cool or dry place.
  • Make sure the medicine is away from light.
  • Keep them in a tightly closed container.
  • Do not store your medication in damp areas like the bathroom or near the sink.
  • Keep them out of reach and out of sight of children.
  • Do not flush the medicine down the toilet.
  • Do not keep your medicines when not in use.
  • Discard the product once it has reached its expiry date.
  • Read the product’s label for detailed storage instructions.
  • Ask a medical professional or pharmacist how you can dispose of the medication when not in use.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional about the proper disposal of any unused medicine and any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

Luvox Interactions

There are a number of drugs that can interact with Luvox and cause adverse reactions. Therefore, patients need to be mindful of the drugs that they may be taking with Luvox. Here are some of its examples:

  • Phenelzine 
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Linezolid
  • Thioridazine
  • Tizanidine
  • Pimozide
  • Alosetron
  • Ramelteon
  • Alprazolam
  • Diazepam
  • Clozapine
  • Methadone
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Lithium
  • Tacrine
  • Sumatriptan
  • Tryptophan
  • Diltiazem
  • Propranolol
  • Metoprolol
  • Mexiletine
  • Theophylline
  • Warfarin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Fluoxetine 
  • Sertraline
  • Duloxetine
  • Venlafaxine
  • Amitriptyline
  • Clomipramine
  • Fentanyl 
  • Tramadol

[Note: This isn’t a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Luvox. Make sure to tell your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products you’re taking.]

Luvox Alternatives

[Note: Your doctor will choose what’s best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions For Luvox

Can Luvox affect sleep patterns or cause insomnia?

Yes, Luvox can affect sleep patterns and may cause insomnia in some patients. This is a common side effect of SSRIs, including fluvoxamine. If you experience major sleep disturbances while taking this drug, consult your healthcare provider. They may adjust your dosage or suggest taking the medication at a different time of day.

Are there any long-term effects of using Luvox for OCD treatment?

Long-term use of Luvox is generally considered safe for managing OCD. However, some people may experience persistent side effects such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, or emotional blunting, but these effects are common to experience. Regular examinations with your healthcare provider are crucial to monitor for any long-term effects and to adjust treatment as necessary.

How long does it take for Luvox to show improvement in OCD symptoms?

Luvox typically takes 12 weeks to show significant improvement in OCD symptoms. The response time of the medication may vary from person to person. Some individuals may notice benefits earlier, and some might experience improvements a year later; the important thing is to complete the course as prescribed, regardless of the effects. Patients should visit their doctor frequently to examine their progress.

Does Luvox affect our memory?

Luvox may cause low sodium levels in the blood (hyponatremia), which can result in symptoms like memory problems, headaches, confusion, difficulty concentrating, and weakness. If you notice such symptoms, talk to your medical provider. They will evaluate the issue and determine if the medication or dosage needs to be adjusted to better suit your needs.

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