Can you crush Luvox? (+3 risks)

In this article, we will discuss whether you can crush Luvox. We will also discuss the potential risks associated with crushing Luvox, and the alternatives to Luvox if you feel difficulty in ingesting Luvox without crushing.

Can you crush Luvox?

No, it is not recommended to crush or split Luvox tablets or capsules. Luvox is a brand name for an antidepressant medication known as fluvoxamine. It primarily works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain and to a lesser extent it also changes dopamine levels. It is most frequently prescribed to manage and treat various mental disorders such as major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (1).

Luvox is commercially available in both immediate-release and controlled-release formulations. It is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to swallow Luvox tablets whole, without crushing or chewing them beforehand (2). 

What are the potential risks of crushing Luvox?

The potential risks associated with crushing or splitting Luvox controlled release (CR) or immediate release (IR) tablets can include:

Leuvox CR 

The controlled-release dosage forms allow the release of the drug in a controlled manner over a specified period of time. If the controlled-release tablets of Luvox are crushed before ingestion, the active drug fluvoxamine maleate will be released at once, resulting in a high concentration of fluvoxamine in your body leading to adverse effects.

Leuvox IR

Although crushing immediate-release tablets does not cause any serious issues, it’s still best to switch to an alternative dosage form that you can easily consume instead of Luvox tablets. Crushing immediate-release tablets of Luvox can change how this medication works in your body. It may affect the intended release and absorption of the fluvoxamine, potentially altering its effectiveness and leading to unexpected side effects.

It is important to note that you should always take Luvox as recommended by your healthcare provider and you should never crush or break Luvox tablets without the approval of your doctor.  

What are the side effects of crushing Luvox for immediate release?

According to the study, 80% of the individuals have reportedly crushed tablets, including Luvox, prior to administration. The primary reasons include easing administration, guidance from a doctor, and achieving immediate release and therapeutic effect. Around 50% of patients experienced GIT discomfort and irritation being the most the predominant problem when administering a crushed tablet (4).

Crushing Luvox IR tablets can change the intended release mechanism of the drug, potentially leading to a range of adverse effects beyond those associated with the regular administration of the drug. Some potential consequences of crushing Luvox tablets and subsequent immediate release of fluvoxamine in the body may include:

Crushing the Luvox tablet may result in a faster release and subsequent absorption of the active drug than intended. This may lead to a faster onset of therapeutic effects but may also increase the risk of adverse effects or intensify known side effects associated with Luvox.

Additionally, the immediate release of crushed Luvox tablets may result in inconsistent blood levels of the drug, making it challenging to maintain a stable and effective concentration over time. This may compromise the drug’s therapeutic efficacy by disrupting the intended release profile. This could lead to suboptimal treatment outcomes.

Crushing the Luvox tablet might also increase the release rate of the fluvoxamine, potentially elevating the risk of serotonin syndrome, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition characterized by excessive serotonin activity.

  1. It is important to note that changing the administration of medication, especially through crushing, should only be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional or pharmacist. If there are any issues with swallowing Luvox tablets, alternative dosage forms or formulations should be explored with the prescribing healthcare provider to ensure safety and efficacy.

What to do if you accidentally crush a Luvox?

If you accidentally crush a Luvox tablet, it’s important to handle the situation carefully to ensure proper administration of the medication. Here are recommendations to consider if you accidentally break Luvox:

Consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you accidentally break a Luvox tablet. They can provide guidance based on your specific situation and advise on the best course of action.

Do not administer the crushed Luvox tablet without consulting a pharmacist. Breaking or crushing modified-release Luvox tablets that are intended to release the drug at a specific time can alter its effectiveness and may lead to unintended adverse effects.

If your pharmacist advises you to dispose of the crushed Luvox tablet, do it safely by placing it in a sealed plastic bag before discarding it in the trash. Avoid flushing it down the toilet unless instructed otherwise.

Always prioritize seeking professional advice from your pharmacist or doctor in these situations to ensure the appropriate handling of the medication and to prevent any potential side effects.

What are the alternatives to crushing Luvox?

If you have difficulty swallowing Luvox tablets, it’s important to discuss this with your healthcare provider. They may be able to provide alternative solutions, such as prescribing a different formulation, adjusting the dosage, or suggesting methods to make swallowing easier.

Sertraline oral liquid is available in different strengths, which is helpful in individuals, especially in geriatrics and children, who have difficulty taking the Luvox tablets (3). 

It is crucial to maintain open communication with your healthcare provider regarding any difficulties encountered in administering medication. Collaborating with your doctor allows for the identification of suitable solutions that guarantee you receive the necessary treatment, all while minimizing potential risks and discomfort.

What does the pharmacist advise?

Individuals who crush their Luvox tablets should follow the advice of their pharmacist carefully.

If your healthcare provider has prescribed you Levox tablets for an underlying mental disorder, you should take them exactly as directed by your doctor. Crushing or breaking the Luvox tablets can result in reduced effectiveness and unwanted side effects of the medication.

Additionally, you need to discuss all the challenges that you face in taking your medication with your pharmacist. Modifying the physical form of medication without proper guidance may lead to unintended consequences, affecting the treatment’s effectiveness and safety.

If you have any difficulty in taking the Luvox tablets, consult your pharmacist or physician. They may guide you and recommend an alternative liquid dosage form if it is available, or they may make alterations in your medication prescription and prescribe you another alternate antidepressant based on your individual factors.


Based on my knowledge, I conclude that it is not advisable to crush or break the Luvox tablets especially if they are controlled-released. I recommend you, to take Luvox tablets as directed by your healthcare provider and always consult them before making any changes to Luvox or any other antidepressant medication tablets.

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Figgitt DP, McClellan KJ. Fluvoxamine. An updated review of its use in the management of adults with anxiety disorders. Drugs. 2000 Oct;60(4):925-54. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200060040-00006. PMID: 11085201.



Potter LA, Scholze DA, Biag HMB, Schneider A, Chen Y, Nguyen DV, Rajaratnam A, Rivera SM, Dwyer PS, Tassone F, Al Olaby RR, Choudhary NS, Salcedo-Arellano MJ, Hagerman RJ. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Sertraline in Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Front Psychiatry. 2019 Nov 6;10:810. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00810. PMID: 31780970; PMCID: PMC6851992.


S.L. Gracia-Vásquez, P. González-Barranco, I.A. Camacho-Mora, O. González-Santiago, S.A. Vázquez-Rodríguez,Medications that should not be crushed, Medicina Universitaria, Volume 19, Issue 75, 2017, Pages 50-63, ISSN 1665-5796,

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