Can Luvox cause heartburn? (3+ findings)

In this article, we will discuss whether or not Luvox causes heartburn, research suggesting a potential connection between Luvox and heartburn, factors that may contribute to heartburn while taking Luvox, and what to do if heartburn persists while taking Luvox.

Can Luvox cause heartburn?

Luvox can cause heartburn. However, heartburn is not a common side effect of Luvox. Luvox is the brand name of the medication fluvoxamine, it belongs to the class of drugs known as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). It is used mainly in treating OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder). (1), (2)

During the first few weeks of taking Luvox, one may encounter this adverse effect. If it persists for longer than four weeks, consult your healthcare provider to determine the cause of heartburn and take the necessary steps accordingly.

How can Luvox cause heartburn?

Luvox’s mechanism of action in inducing the serotonin levels can cause heartburn. Luvox functions by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, thereby increasing its concentration.

Serotonin is a natural neurotransmitter that has a major role in affecting your mood, hunger, sleep, memory, and other bodily processes. Serotonin accumulates in the synapses (the gaps between the nerve cells) when Luvox inhibits its absorption. This can result in reducing anxiety and improving the mood. (1)

Heartburn is one of the negative side effects of this serotonin-related action. According to several studies, fluvoxamine (Luvox) may relax the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle that prevents the stomach’s contents from draining back up into the esophagus), which can result in heartburn and acid reflux. (3)

What does research suggest?

There is limited research on the connection between heartburn and fluvoxamine (Luvox). Nonetheless, a study found that using SSRI antidepressants such as fluvoxamine, increased the risk of developing GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease) which affects up to 25% of adult patients and can cause heartburn.

The alteration in sphincter control was the cause of GERD. According to this research, there may be a connection between the onset of GERD and heartburn symptoms and the start of SSRI antidepressants. (3)

Based on clinical trials, some of the most commonly reported GI (Gastro-Intestinal) side effects of SSRIs including Luvox are nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, and constipation. Studies have shown that around 17%-26% of patients experience nausea and upset stomach, 16% experience diarrhea, and 11%-12.5% experience constipation. (4)

It’s important to note that these percentages are based on clinical trials and may not reflect the actual incidence of GI side effects in the general population.

Conversely, additional studies revealed that pre-treating with fluvoxamine had a gastroprotective effect, preventing the development of ulcers, and accelerating the healing of lesions in the stomach. (5)

However, since everyone reacts differently to medications, if you experience heartburn while taking Luvox, consult your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and take the best action accordingly.

What factors may contribute to heartburn while taking Luvox?

There are several factors that may contribute to heartburn while taking Luvox such as: (6)

Medication dose: Higher dosages of Luvox can irritate the stomach and cause heartburn.

Underlying medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as connective tissue disease, delayed stomach emptying, obesity, and pregnancy can all induce heartburn.

Concomitant medications: Medications such as NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs) can induce heartburn and can cause stomach irritation.

Lifestyle factors: Smoking, fatty or fried food, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and eating large meals before sleep can all induce heartburn while taking Luvox.

Can you take Luvox if you have a gastrointestinal disease?

Taking Luvox in the presence of a GI disease is dependent upon the particular GI ailment and the extent of the illness. If you already have a GI condition, it’s crucial to discuss it with your healthcare provider before starting Luvox as it might exacerbate Luvox’s GI side effects. The following GI conditions may worsen if Luvox is used: (2), (7)

  • GERD.
  • IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Ulcerative colitis.

If a patient has diarrhea, nausea, or abdominal pain, Luvox may make these symptoms worse. Furthermore, Luvox may interact with certain medications prescribed for GI disorders such as PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) as omeprazole and pantoprazole.

Your healthcare provider will properly assess your condition and take the best course of action accordingly. They might reduce your dose or switch you to a controlled-release formulation of fluvoxamine (fluvoxamine CR).

What to do if heartburn persists while taking Luvox?

If heartburn persists while taking Luvox, follow these steps to help manage your heartburn symptoms: (8)

  • Take Luvox with food, Food can help in reducing heartburn symptoms.
  • Don’t eat and lie down or sleep, wait 2 to 3 hours before sleeping to avoid heartburn and GERD.
  • Avoid meals that induce heartburn such as fatty, acidic, or fried meals.
  • Try OTC antacids such as Tums or Maalox, H2-antagonists such as famotidine, or PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) such as esomeprazole (Nexium) or lansoprazole (Prevacid). These medications can help neutralize your stomach acid. However, PPIs should not be used without your physician’s approval. Consult your healthcare provider about taking these medications while using Luvox to relieve your heartburn.
  • Steer clear of smoking and alcohol. Both can impair your LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter) to function properly and can induce heartburn and GERD.
  • Consult your healthcare provider. They might reduce your medication dose or switch you to an alternative with fewer gastric side effects such as citalopram (Celexa) or Wellbutrin (bupropion).


Based on my knowledge and research, Luvox can cause heartburn in some individuals. However, it is not a common side effect of Luvox. In my opinion, this side effect can be managed by following useful tips to reduce heartburn.

Consult your healthcare provider if heartburn persists while taking Luvox so that they can reduce your dose or switch your medication.







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Fluvoxamine (Oral Route) Side Effects – Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Available from:


Brahm NC, Kelly-Rehm MC. Antidepressant-Mediated Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. The Consultant Pharmacist. 2011 Apr 1;26(4):274–8. Available from:


Kelly K, Posternak M, Jonathan EA. Toward achieving optimal response: understanding and managing antidepressant side effects. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience [Internet]. 2008 Dec 1;10(4):409–18. Available from:


Elsaed WM, Alahmadi AM, Al-Ahmadi BT, Taha JA, Tarabishi RM. Gastroprotective and antioxidant effects of fluvoxamine on stress-induced peptic ulcer in rats. Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences. 2018 Oct;13(5):422–31. Available from: 


Mayo Clinic. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – Symptoms and causes [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic; 2023. Available from: 


Davidson J, Yaryura-Tobias J, DuPont R, Stallings L, Barbato LM, van der Hoop RG, et al. Fluvoxamine-Controlled Release Formulation for the Treatment of Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2004 Apr;24(2):118–25. Available from:


Mayo Clinic. Heartburn – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic [Internet]. 2018. Available from:

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