Does fluvoxamine cause gas? (+3 tips)

In this article, we will discuss whether fluvoxamine causes gas or not, how fluvoxamine causes gas and what might be the other factors contributing to this condition other than fluvoxamine. Additionally, treatment strategies will also be discussed. 

Does fluvoxamine cause gas?

Yes, fluvoxamine (Luvox) can cause gas. Gastrointestinal side effects including gas, bloating or indigestion can occur in some individuals taking SSRIs. These issues are commonly reported by individuals taking fluvoxamine for anxiety or depression. These side effects are usually observed in the initial phase of the treatment when the body starts to adapt to the effects of the drugs.  

Other SSRIs such as citalopram are also associated with gastrointestinal issues including discomfort and abdominal pain. If these gastrointestinal symptoms or flatulence persist or become bothersome, contact your healthcare provider immediately as they can provide you with the most suitable treatment plan tailored according to your needs. 

How does fluvoxamine cause gas?

Fluvoxamine works by affecting serotonin levels in the brain (1). It is thought that fluvoxamine can cause gas by affecting the gut microbiome, a community of bacteria that lives in the intestines (2). Alteration of these gut bacteria can lead to the production of gas (3). 

Some studies have shown that fluvoxamine may alter the gut microbiome which may cause the production of harmful bacteria in the stomach (4). This harmful bacteria can also be the reason for gas formed in the digestive system. Fluvoxamine may also affect the digestive system by affecting the motility of the intestines (5). This, too, can produce gas and bloating.  

It is important to note that not everyone who takes fluvoxamine will experience gas. The effect may differ according to the susceptibility of the patient. 

What factors contribute to gas production while taking fluvoxamine?

Fluvoxamine is an SSRI that has gastrointestinal side effects. However, some other factors may contribute to the production of gas while the patient is taking fluvoxamine. Fluvoxamine might not be the sole cause of gas always. Some factors contributing to this condition include:

Medication interaction: Fluvoxamine may interact with other medications, particularly those affecting gastrointestinal functions. Combined use of certain drugs might intensify the effects on the gastrointestinal tract leading to the production of gas. 

Dietary habits: Certain foods can produce more gas. These include food that is high in fibre (beans, lentils, vegetables), dairy products (6),  fatty food and some artificial sweeteners. 

Digestive disorders: Conditions like Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), celiac disease, lactose intolerance (6), or other malabsorption issues can cause increased gas due to difficulties in digesting certain foods. 

Bacterial Imbalance: Disruption in the balance of gut bacteria can result in increased gas production. This imbalance can occur due to factors such as antibiotics, illnesses or dietary changes.

Stress and Anxiety: Psychological factors such as anxiety and stress can affect digestion and contribute to increased gas production. 

Medications: Besides fluvoxamine other medications may be responsible for the incidence of gas.  These medications may include antibiotics, pain relievers and certain supplements.

What can be alternative antidepressant options?

 If you are taking fluvoxamine and it causes gas then your doctor might modify the regimen or may change the medication altogether. Other alternative treatment options can be the following:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI): Some SSRIs that are well tolerated and are at lower risk of causing gas as compared to fluvoxamine include escitalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine. 

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI): Some SNRIs can also be a good substitute for fluvoxamine for patients experiencing gas as a side effect. The SNRIs include venlafaxine and duloxetine.

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCA): These are an older class of antidepressants. They are less commonly used today but may be a better option for those patients who do not respond well to other antidepressants. The drugs may include amitriptyline, clomipramine and imipramine.

Buspirone: Buspirone is an anxiolytic medication that works by affecting different serotonin receptors than SSRIs and SNRIs they have a lower risk of causing gas.

Mirtazapine: Mirtazapine a noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant. It blocks histamine receptors in addition to its primary action. This can be helpful as an alternative.

When to consult a doctor?

If you experience gas while taking fluvoxamine then certain household remedies can help you with this. However, the healthcare provider must be informed if :

  • The condition persists for an extended period of time.
  • Gas production increases significantly or the symptoms worsen over time.
  • Any or severe gastrointestinal symptoms appear such as abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating.
  • Gas production affects your well-being, interferes with your daily activities or affects your appetite.

Always remember to communicate openly with your healthcare provider about any concerns or side effects you experience while taking the medication. Your doctor can offer guidance, reassurance and potential strategies to manage the side effects effectively while ensuring the best of the treatment. 

How to manage gas while taking fluvoxamine?

Here are some tips to manage gas while you are taking fluvoxamine.

  • Identify and limit the food that gets you gas and then gradually reintroduce the food to develop your tolerance.


  • Chew food slowly and mindfully and avoid gulping air. Eating slowly can reduce the amount of air swallowed and can help avoid gas production.


  • Smaller meals all throughout the day instead of larger meals can also help with gas. This can aid digestion.


  • Reduce or eliminate carbonated beverages as they can contribute to gas production. 


  • Drink plenty of water to aid digestion and prevent constipation. 


  • Engage in regular physical activity and relaxation techniques such as yoga to promote digestion.


  • Consider incorporating probiotics or fermented food in your diet to support a healthy gut microbiome (7).


  • Antacids or over-the-counter medications such as simethicone can help break down gas bubbles and provide relief (8).


  • Diarrhoea is also a known side effect of fluvoxamine. In addition to gas, if you experience gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhoea after taking fluvoxamine, some over-the-counter medications can be helpful such as Pepto-Bismol, Imodium and probiotics.


In my opinion, fluvoxamine can cause gas as it has the tendency to affect the gut microbiome. However, gas production in the stomach can be managed at home. However, consulting the doctor is still a crucial step.  



Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Irons J. (2005). Fluvoxamine in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 1(4), 289–299.


Sjöstedt, P., Enander, J., & Isung, J. (2021). Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and the Gut Microbiome: Significance of the Gut Microbiome in Relation to Mechanism of Action, Treatment Response, Side Effects, and Tachyphylaxis. Frontiers in psychiatry, 12, 682868.


Mutuyemungu, E., Singh, M., Liu, S., & Rose, D. J. (2023, January 1). Intestinal gas production by the gut microbiota: A review. Journal of Functional Foods.


Lukić, I., Getselter, D., Ziv, O., Oron, O., Reuveni, E., Koren, O., & Elliott, E. (2019). Antidepressants affect gut microbiota and Ruminococcus flavefaciens is able to abolish their effects on depressive-like behavior. Translational psychiatry, 9(1), 133.


Wang, Z., Li, H., Kang, Y., Liu, Y., Shan, L., & Wang, F. (2022). Risks of Digestive System Side-Effects of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in Patients with Depression: A Network Meta-Analysis. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 18, 799–812.


Sieber R, Stransky M, de Vrese M. Laktoseintoleranz und Verzehr von Milch und Milchprodukten [Lactose intolerance and consumption of milk and milk products]. Z Ernahrungswiss. 1997 Dec;36(4):375-93. German. doi: 10.1007/BF01617834. PMID: 9467238


Hemarajata, P., & Versalovic, J. (2013). Effects of probiotics on gut microbiota: mechanisms of intestinal immunomodulation and neuromodulation. Therapeutic advances in gastroenterology, 6(1), 39–51.


Ingold, C. J. (2023, July 3). Simethicone. StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.

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