Do Fluvoxamine side effects go away? (+3 tips)

In this article, we will answer the question “Do fluvoxamine side effects go away?”. We will discuss the minor and serious side effects of fluvoxamine therapy. We will also discuss the tips to manage its side effects. 

Do Fluvoxamine side effects go away?

Yes, the initial and mild side effects of fluvoxamine tend to go away as your body adapts to the medication. It takes a few weeks for those effects to subside. If any symptoms persist beyond this period, it’s advisable to seek guidance from your doctor (1). 

Fluvoxamine is usually used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD). It belongs to a class of medication known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. 

Fluvoxamine is known to cause a variety of side effects like nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, dizziness , sweating, nervousness, suicidal thoughts, serotonin syndrome, allergic reactions, upset stomach etc. 

What are some common side effects of Fluvoxamine?

Fluvoxamine can produce many different side effects when the therapy is introduced. The intensity and duration of these effects may vary from person to person. Some of these side effects are (2): 

  • Nausea
  • Upset Stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry Mouth
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Nervousness
  • Nightmares

These side effects are quite common and typically subside within one to two weeks as your body acclimates to the medication. However, if there is no noticeable improvement in your side effects during this period, it is recommended to seek advice from your healthcare provider. 

What are some long-term side effects of Fluvoxamine?

The long-term use of fluvoxamine, like any medication, may be associated with certain side effects. It is important to note that not everyone will experience these effects. Some potential long-term side effects of fluvoxamine include (3):

  • Weight changes
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Insomnia
  • Allergic reactions
  • Szeiures
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Liver problems 
  • Manic episodes
  • Serotonin syndrome

It is cucial for indivduals on long term fluvoxamine treatment to have regular checkups with their healthcare provider. The doctor will monitor for potential side effects and adjust the treatment plan if necessary. 

How long do fluvoxamine side effects typically last?

The duration of Fluvoxamine side effects can vary depending on the individual and the specific side effect. Here is a general brack of how long common side effects may last:

Nausea and vomiting: usually resolve within 1-2 weeks. 

Diarrhoea: usually improves within 1-2 weeks but may persist for up to 4 weeks.

Headache: commonly subsides within 1-2 weeks. 

Drowsiness: often improves within a week or two.

If the side effects are severe, persistent, or do not improve within the expected time frame. it’s crucial to consult with your health care provider. They can evaluate your situation and provide guidance or interventions if necessary.

Tips for dealing with side effects while taking Fluvoxamine

While numerous initial side effects tend to diminish over time, adopting some tips and techniques can be beneficial in managing and reducing your symptoms. Here are some suggestions to help alleviate your symptoms:

Allow your body to adapt to medication

Since it takes nearly 2 weeks for the side effects to subside, it is important to be patient and consistent in taking your medication. Let your body acclimate to Fluvoxamine, and as this adjustment occurs your symptoms should naturally resolve. 

Communicate with your doctor

Try to maintain consistent communication with your doctor. It is important for you not to skip your regular appointments, as these checkups play a crucial role in diagnosing any potential abnormalities and devising appropriate treatment plans for you. If you feel your symptoms are not showing any improvement then you should immediately call your doctor and seek advice.

Plan self-care strategies

Incorporating self-care routines can be beneficial in mitigating the side effects of fluvoxamine. Making lifestyle adjustments such as maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding fast foods, and engaging in physical activities, can contribute to minimizing symptoms.  Reducing caffeine intake may also further support symptom relief. Additionally, alcohol consumption with fluvoxamine can also worsen the side effects. Therefore, it is advisable to abstain from alcohol while taking fluvoxamine. 

Avoid interacting medications

Avoid taking alosetron (Lotronex), pimozide (Orap), ramelteon (Rozerem), thirodizane (Mellaril) or tizanidine (Zanaflex) concurrently with fluvoxamine, as the combination may lead to an increase in side effects (4). 

Furthermore, do not use fluvoxamine in conjunction with MAOIs, such as Marplan, Zyvox, Nardil or Eldepryl. If you fail to adhere to the guidelines it may result in alleviating symptoms like confusion, gastrointestinal issues or restlessness (4). 

Exercise caution with the co-administration of fluvoxamine and medications that can induce serotonin syndrome, including buspirone, fentanyl, lithium or tryptophan. You should avoid all these interacting medications and share your complete medical history before starting fluvoxamine. 

What to do if fluvoxamine does not work for you?

If you believe that fluvoxamine is not suitable for your medical condition or is causing more harm than good, it is crucial to seek advice from your healthcare provider. There are alternative antidepressants accessible that might better suit your condition and provide more effective benefits. 

Several substitute medications for fluvoxamine are avalable for treating depressive disorders. These alternatives include other classes of antidepressants such as SNRIs, atypical antidepressants, TCAs and certain MAOIs. 

If you sense that fluvoxamine is not effective in addressing your depression, it’s advisable to have a discussion with your doctor and ask him to prescribe you alternatives. Your doctor will examine your situation, weigh the pros and cons of continuing Fluvoxamine, explore alternative medicine, and formulate a new treatment plan for you.

Remember that you should not abruptly stop taking fluvoxamine. Abruptly ceasing the medication can result in withdrawal symptoms causing various discomforting side effects such as: 

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Mood changes 
  • Changes in bowel habits

The severity of these symptoms can increase if fluvoxamine is not gradually tapered off. It is important to discontinue fluvoxamine in a gradual and carefully tapered manner. Your doctor might recommend an alternative medicine such as Zoloft, paroxetine, bupropion, nortpitalyne etc. 

Alternatively, your doctor might opt to prescribe various medications to address withdrawal symptoms. This could involve the use of anti-nausea pills or sleep aids. Moreover, psychological therapy and proper nutritious food can be beneficial for patients experiencing withdrawal symptoms from fluvoxamine. 

Factors that contribute to the side effects of Fluvoxamine

Various factors can contribute to the side effects of Fluvoxamine including individual characteristics, drug interaction, and underlying medical conditions. Here is a detailed look at the potential contributing factors. 

Individual characteristics

  • Age
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Liver functions 
  • Kidney functions

Underlying Medical Conditions

  • Seizure disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Heart Condition
  • Liver Disease 
  • Kidney Disease 

What does research suggest?

Research suggests that Fluvoxamine is generally well tolerated and side effects are typically mild and transient. A study published in the journal ‘JAMA Psychiatry’ found that Fluvoxamine was associated with a lower risk of serious adverse events compared to other antidepressants, such as Sertraline and Citalopram (5). The study also found that Fluvoxamine was less likely to cause discontinuation due to side effects.

Another study, published in the journal ‘PLoS One’ found that Fluvoxamine was effective in reducing symptoms of OCD without causing significant side effects. Overall, research suggests that Fluvoxamine is a safe and effective treatment for a variety of mental health conditions.

In my opinion, Fluvoxamine side effects can often diminish or resolve as your body adjusts to the medication, it’s important to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider. Fluvoxamine is generally a well-tolerated antidepressant with a favourable safety profile. 

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Omori IM, Watanabe N, Nakagawa A, Akechi T, Cipriani A, Barbui C, McGuire H, Churchill R, Furukawa TA. Efficacy, tolerability and side-effect profile of fluvoxamine for major depression: meta-analysis. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2009 Jul;23(5):539-50.Available from:


Galal AA, Alam RT, Abd El‐Aziz RM. Adverse effects of long‐term administration of fluvoxamine on haematology, blood biochemistry and fertility in male albino rats: a possible effect of cessation. Andrologia. 2016 Nov;48(9):1002-10. Available form:


McDougle CJ, Goodman WK, Leckman JF, Lee NC, Heninger GR, Price LH. Haloperidol addition in fluvoxamine-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in patients with and without tics. Archives of general psychiatry. 1994 Apr 1;51(4):302-8.Available from:

Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site