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Luvox Review – 9 Things You Need to Know

By Michelle Giordano

Reviewed by Rebecca Williams, MD, MA, MB, BChir

Last Updated:

Evidence Based | Synopsis | Ingredients | Health Benefits | Side Effects | Contraindications | Cost | Directions | Verdict

Luvox is a prescription medication that is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder. In some cases, it may also be prescribed to treat depression in individuals who have been unsuccessful with other medications.

The main characteristics of OCD are unwanted, recurrent thoughts and/or repetitive behaviors that a person feels compelled to carry out. Those who suffer from social anxiety disorder have a fear of interacting with other people or performing in front of others.

Both disorders can drastically interfere with regular functions a person needs to fulfill on a daily basis. Academic achievement, work performance, and social interactions are negatively impacted by OCD and social anxiety disorder. Therefore, it is critical that anyone who is diagnosed with either of these conditions receive appropriate treatment. Read on to learn more about Luvox. To determine if this medication is right for you, speak with your doctor.

Synopsis

1) Luvox at a Glance

Luvox belongs to a class of drugs known as the SSRIs. These drugs are antidepressants that work by increasing the amount of serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in the brain that stabilizes mood. Although it is considered an antidepressant, it is not usually given as a first-line treatment option for depression because it has a higher rate of side effects compared to the other SSRIs.

This medication, however, is one of the most widely used to assist with symptoms of OCD and is a popular choice for those dealing with social anxiety disorder. Luvox can be prescribed for these conditions to adults and children 8 years and older.

Ingredients

2) Details on Luvox Ingredients and Uses

The active ingredient, or the substance that produces the therapeutic benefit, found in Luvox is fluvoxamine. It is available in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg tablets. The inactive ingredients found in these tablets include the following:

  • Carnauba wax
  • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
  • Mannitol
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Pregelatinized starch (potato)
  • Silicon dioxide
  • Sodium stearyl fumarate
  • Starch (corn)
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Synthetic iron oxides (in 50 mg and 100 mg tablets)

3) Does Luvox Work?

There have been many studies conducted on the effectiveness of Luvox for OCD. An article published in The National Institute of Health confirms that multiple controlled studies demonstrate that fluvoxamine is a highly effective therapeutic in the management of OCD symptoms. [1]

One well-conducted study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry determined that fluvoxamine is very effective for serious forms of social phobia. Participants in this study had significant improvements in their social and family life and fewer disruptions at work. [2]

Health Benefits

4) Luvox Health Benefits

If your doctor decides that this medicine is a good option for you, there are many benefits associated with Luvox. Some of these benefits include:

  • Decreased unwanted thoughts
  • Reduces the need or desire to repeat tasks (i.e., handwashing or constant checking)
  • Lessens the fear of interacting with other people
  • Allows an individual to feel more confident performing activities in front of others
  • Better work performance because of fewer disruptions
  • Improved social interaction
  • Enhanced relationships with family and friends
Side Effects

5) Luvox Side Effects

There are many side effects associated with this medication. Some of these adverse effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Gas
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased sexual drive and inability to achieve orgasm

If you experience more serious side effects, stop the medication and notify your doctor. Some of these more serious effects include:

  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Hallucinations
  • Uncontrolled shaking
  • Pain burning or numbness of hands or feet
  • Hives
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Bruising
  • Seizures
Contraindications

6) Luvox Warnings and Precautions

There is a block box warning, which is the highest warning the FDA issues, for SSRIs including Luvox. There are documented cases that show these drugs may increase suicidal thoughts or behaviors in children, teens, and young adults.

Also, Luvox has a lot of interactions with other drugs. It may increase the effects of certain medicines, such as warfarin, beta-blockers, anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, and omeprazole. It can decrease the effects of clopidogrel.

If you are taking an NSAID medication, which includes ibuprofen and aspirin, there is an increased risk of bleeding. It is important, therefore, to inform your doctor of any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you are taking.

Cost

7) How Much Does Luvox Cost?

Luvox is a prescription medication, so the cost will depend on your copayment through your insurance. If the medication is not covered or you do not have insurance, the pharmacy can offer you discounts or coupons that can lower the out-of-pocket expense.

Directions

8) Luvox Directions

Immediate release Luvox may be taken once or twice daily and can be taken with or without food. The doctor will initially prescribe a low strength, usually 25 mg for children 8 to 17 years old, and 50 mg for adults. The dose may then be increased by 25 mg for children and 50 mg for adults every 4 to 7 days.

The maximum daily dose for children 8 to 11-years-old is 200 mg. For adolescents and adults, the maximum dose is 300 mg per day. For optimal therapeutic benefit, the lowest effective dose should always be utilized.

Verdict

9) Our Verdict on Luvox

Reviews for Luvox for the treatment of OCD are generally high, with an average rating of 7.7 out of 10 on drugs.com. For the treatment of social phobia, Luvox received an average rating of 7.4 out of 10 on the same site. The negative reviews consisted mainly of side-effect complaints.

Luvox has been shown to be highly effective to alleviate OCD and social phobia symptoms. These disorders can be extremely debilitating. Our recommendation is to speak with your doctor to see if this medicine may be right for you. If the individual can tolerate this drug or experiences only mild side effects, then this is a great option to help improve overall quality of life.

3.5/5 - (21 votes)

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Ken

I’ve been on this drug for decades. It’s been a positive for me.

Title for your comment
Big help.
Have you tried this product?
Yes
Trish

The verdict is still out for me on this med . . . I’ve had OCD, anxiety, and depression for most of my life, which pains me to say. I’ve been on Luvox for almost two months (up to 100 mg now) and I think it’s causing my insomnia to be worse. However (and oddly), it is helping my OCD BUT I’m feeling lost w/out going through my rituals . . . strange mixed bag. I don’t want to go higher than 100 mg. I can’t stand that I have to be on medication, but I’ve accepted it. In the past, I’ve tried Prozac (1st med ever in my late 20’s), Effexor, and Zoloft (and many others). It’s Luvox or bust for me, so I’m hanging in there.

Title for your comment
Unsure about Luvox After 2 Months
Have you tried this product?
Yes
Julie Baskin
Reply to  Trish

I have been taking Luvox for 12 months now for OCD and anxiety. I am 55. I couldn’t get out of my house on time to go to work or listen to what people were saying because of the OCD. I started with 50 MG and didn’t really start to help until my now daily dose of 400MG. It took about 4 months to get there by gradually increasing. I don’t like taking anything either. But it has helped 90%. I still have those OCD thoughts everyday, but I can handle them way better. Sometimes I am at work, and I remember I forgot to do “that thing” before leaving home. But I can quickly get past it. Hang in there. Don’t be afraid to increase the dose. Whatever it takes to feel better. And believe me, I never wanted to take anything. Then OCD and anxiety began really interfering with every aspect of my life. I did have to add Trazadone (non-addictive) for a “sleeping pill” every night. When I don’t take the Trazadone, I sleep about an hour and wake up all night, and I am drenched. Hang in there.

john

just read your article where you basically say luvox shouldn’t be prescribed until other medications fail…..then you say it is as safe as any other antidepressant…..thinking of trying it …but don’t quite understand this

thank you

Iulian (Editor)
Reply to  john

Hi John,

We apologize for the inconvenience. We have updated the review to reflect better the message we try to send. Indeed, Luvox was the subject of controversy in the past, but it had nothing to do with the actual formula. The FDA re-approved Luvox in 2008. However, Luvox should not be taken without close medical supervision. As with all prescription antidepressants, this formula was often associated with multiple side effects, including nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, insomnia, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, sweating, weight gain, weight loss, or unusual bruising.

Darryl
Reply to  john

Alright, my doctor put me on Luvox because I couldn’t switch off at night from worrying about work. I was on it for 7 years and it put me through hell, mood swings anger towards my family suicidal thoughts, and gave me the biggest false sense of reality. I lost all my friends and told my wife and kids I didn’t want them anymore which ended our marriage. I just didn’t take anything seriously anymore. I knew it was Luvox so I stopped taking it. My god the things that happened to my body, headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, body cramps like u wouldn’t believe, bad thoughts no sleep, cold sweats this lasted nearly a month. THIS DRUG RUINED MY LIFE.