Can fluvoxamine keep you awake? (+5 factors)
In this article, we will discuss the sleep disturbances caused by fluvoxamine. We will also discuss the factors that may influence sleep disturbances while taking fluvoxamine and the management tips for improving sleep.
Can fluvoxamine keep you awake?
Yes, fluvoxamine can keep you awake. Sleep disturbances and insomnia are the commonly listed side effects of fluvoxamine. Individuals taking fluvoxamine often complain of difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep while taking the medication.
Fluvoxamine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant medication. It works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain which in turn reduces the symptoms of various mental disorders. It is primarily indicated in the management and treatment of depression, anxiety, and panic disorders (1).
While insomnia is listed as a possible adverse effect of fluvoxamine, it is essential to note that not everyone who takes this medication experiences this side effect, and its frequency varies among individuals. If you are taking fluvoxamine and notice the development of sleep disturbances, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider immediately.
What does research suggest?
According to research, fluvoxamine not only causes sleep disturbances and insomnia but also disrupts circadian rhythms leading to circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Different cases have also reported daytime somnolence associated with the use of fluvoxamine (2).
Research studies suggest that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications, including fluvoxamine, can cause dose-dependent sleep disturbances and insomnia. Generally, higher doses of fluvoxamine are more likely to cause potential side effects, including insomnia, whereas the occurrence of side effects is lower with low doses of fluvoxamine (3).
A research study indicated early disruptions in certain sleep measures, such as rapid eye movement (REM) latency and slow wave sleep, but most parameters showed improvement by the end of the 12 weeks (4).
What factors can influence fluvoxamine-induced sleep disturbances?
Sleep disturbances are commonly associated with the use of fluvoxamine which keeps you awake at night but not everyone experiences this side effect. However, some factors may increase the risk of sleep disturbances with fluvoxamine or other antidepressant medications. These factors include:
Individual sensitivity: The response of each individual to fluvoxamine may vary from one person to another. Some individuals are more susceptible to sleep disturbances caused by fluvoxamine, based on their individual sensitivity.
High dosage: A high dose of fluvoxamine is more likely to induce sleep disturbances and insomnia as compared to lower doses. Your healthcare provider may start your therapy with a minimum effective dosage of fluvoxamine to avoid unnecessary side effects.
Concurrent medications: Concomitant use of fluvoxamine with other medications such as bronchodilators, other SSRIs, or anxiolytic drugs like buspirone that cause insomnia, also increases the risk of sleep disturbances. If you are doubtful about the influence of a specific medication on your sleep, it’s advisable to discuss this with your healthcare provider.
Alcohol use: Sleep disturbances can be caused by various factors, including the use of alcohol, excessive caffeine, and substance misuse. When taking fluvoxamine, it is important to be aware that these factors can further increase the risk of sleep disturbances.
Underlying health conditions: Individuals who have pre-existing sleep disorders should be aware that taking fluvoxamine may cause disruptions in their sleep patterns.
What to do if fluvoxamine keeps you awake?
If you experience sleep disturbances that keep you awake after using fluvoxamine, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized guidance, consider your individual risk factors, and make adjustments to your treatment plan if necessary.
Your healthcare provider may change the time of taking your medication or lower the dosage if possible. However, you should never stop taking or try adjusting the dosage of fluvoxamine yourself. Discontinuation of SSRI medications including fluvoxamine should only be done under the supervision of a professional healthcare provider.
Additionally, essential to be mindful of the potential effects of combining fluvoxamine with other medications that cause insomnia, alcohol, or other substances that may disrupt your sleep. Doing so could increase your susceptibility to insomnia and other related issues. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid or limit the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and substances known to cause sleep disturbances during the treatment.
In conclusion, based on my knowledge and experience, fluvoxamine does keep you awake at night depending upon the timings of taking medication as well as dosage. Additionally, individual sensitivity to medication may also play an important role in the occurrence of side effects of fluvoxamine.
If you experience sleep disturbances or any other side effect of fluvoxamine, you should always consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Your healthcare provider may guide you based
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Sohel AJ, Shutter MC, Molla M. Fluoxetine. 2022 Jul 4. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29083803. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29083803/
Hermesh H, Lemberg H, Abadi J, Dagan Y. Circadian rhythm sleep disorders as a possible side effect of fluvoxamine. CNS Spectr. 2001 Jun;6(6):511-3. doi: 10.1017/s1092852900008051. PMID: 15744215. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15744215/
Schatzberg AF, Dessain E, O’Neil P, Katz DL, Cole JO. Recent studies on selective serotonergic antidepressants: trazodone, fluoxetine, and fluvoxamine. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1987 Dec;7(6 Suppl):44S-49S. PMID: 3123528. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3123528/
Wilson, S & Bell, C & Coupland, N & Nutt, David. (2000). Sleep changes during long-term treatment of depression with fluvoxamine – A home-based study. Psychopharmacology. 149. 360-5. 10.1007/s002139900362.