Does Luvox cause dry mouth? (3+ tips)

In this article, we will answer the question “Does Luvox cause dry mouth?”. We will also discuss what other factors can cause dry mouth, what problems can arise from having a dry mouth and what to do if you experience such a symptom.

Does Luvox cause dry mouth?

Yes, Luvox (also known as Fluvoxamine) has been reported to cause dry mouth (xerostomia) as a result of therapy. This is a very common side effect of antidepressant therapy and can be experienced by patients even if they are not on Luvox therapy. Luvox (also called Fluvoxamine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) which is approved by the FDA for the management of obsessions and compulsions in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (1).

Dry mouth is one of the most common side effects reported with antidepressant use. More than 10% of individuals have reported the occurrence of xerostomia when on Fluvoxamine therapy. Many other medications such as other SSRIs, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and Bupropion can also cause the same effect (2).

What causes dry mouth while on Luvox?

Dry mouth is caused by to anticholinergic activity of antidepressants. This activity can cause a decrease in saliva production by the mouth. Luvox has an affinity to bind with muscarinic receptors in the brain and periphery. The salivary gland contains M3 muscarinic receptors which are responsible for the secretion of saliva (1,2,3).

The M3 receptors are inhibited by fluvoxamine creating problems in saliva production by the gland, hence causing dry mouth. This can cause individuals to face other problems like difficulty in swallowing and speaking. Along with dry mouth, Luvox is also known to produce a variety of side effects like nausea, insomnia, nervousness, sweating, vomiting, anorexia, tremors and rhinitis (1,2,3).

If you are concerned about Luvox-related dry mouth please consult your healthcare provider. Your doctor will suggest strategies to help manage this side effect and may even change your medication if needed.

What factors can affect Luvox-induced dry mouth?

Luvox-induced xerostomia can sometimes resolve on its own 1-2 weeks after initiation of therapy. However, there is a possibility that this side effect may not diminish with time because other factors may be aggravating the problem.

Sometimes medical conditions like depression, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumour, encephalitis and Alzheimer’s disease can also affect the functioning of the salivary gland causing dry mouth. Depression is a very important trigger, especially in elderly patients (4).

What are the risks of having Luvox-induced dry mouth?

If your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva it can lead to various problems. Any of these conditions can cause discomfort and increase complications for the individual on Luvox therapy.  Luvox-induced dry mouth can present the following risks and problems:

  • Tooth decay – Saliva is responsible for providing lubrication in the mouth and preventing tooth decay, plaque and different gum diseases. Dry mouth can increase the risk of these problems and decrease overall oral health.
  • Mouth sores – Lubrication from saliva is not only required for tooth and gum health. it also keeps mouth sores at bay. Mouth sores and cracked lips can occur as a result of dry mouth adding to the discomfort.
  • Trouble swallowing and chewing – Saliva provides lubrication to food and makes it easy to break, chew and swallow. A dry mouth can cause a problem in swallowing and chewing food.
  • Poor nutrition – If any individual experiences dry mouth, then the difficulty in swallowing can cause him to reduce intake of such foods that cause discomfort. This can lead to the restriction of necessary nutrients in the diet.
  • Halitosis (Bad breath) – Bad breath is caused by bacteria that live on the tongue and at the back of the throat. Reduced production of saliva can cause this bacteria to increase and hence cause bad breath.
  • Oral thrush – Oral thrush is a type of fungal infection of the mouth. It is also called oral candidiasis and is caused by a group of yeasts. If you have a dry mouth, you are more prone to recurring yeast infections.

There is a need for treatment to reduce or manage dry mouth symptoms so that these problems do not arise. If you feel that you have any of these issues, you should seek proper guidance from a healthcare provider.

What does research suggest?

Many research studies have been conducted to assess the effects of antidepressants, including Fluvoxamine, on oral health. Most of these studies state that xerostomia is a side effect of Fluvoxamine therapy.

A research study assessing the effects of Paroxetine and Fluvoxamine on chronic pruritis reported xerostomia as a side effect of therapy. Both medications were producing dry mouth in individuals taking therapy (5).

Another study suggested that many antidepressants were the culprit for medication-induced xerostomia. Medications like serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), TCAs and SSRIs, including fluvoxamine caused dry mouth as a side effect of therapy (6).

A clinical study of antidepressant use in psychiatry and their consequences in dental treatments stated that xerostomia was a commonly reported side effect with all antidepressants, including Fluvoxamine. This study reported dry mouth as a side effect in 58% of the patients receiving treatment with antidepressants (7).

How to manage dry mouth symptoms while taking Luvox?

Although medication-induced dry mouth is hard to cure completely until you stop the medication causing it, there are still some management strategies that can help reduce or prevent some of your symptoms. Some strategies are as follows:

Hydration and diet

First and foremost it is important to stay hydrated and to drink adequate quantities of fluids. Dietary changes like reducing the intake of acidic juices, spicy food and sugary snacks can help reduce symptoms of xerostomia.

Dosage adjustment

Dosage adjustment in your medication can also affect Luvox-induced xerostomia. Reducing the dosage can be of great help if Luvox dosage is affecting xerostomia symptoms. Your doctor may change your regimen to combine atypical antipsychotics like Olanzapine to decrease dry mouth symptoms. Atypical antipsychotics have been found to cause hypersalivation as a side effect. This combined Luvox can help manage the problem (8).

Use agents that can help

If dry mouth causes extreme discomfort you can try chewing sugarless gum. This can help in the production of saliva. Some over-the-counter (OTC) products like artificial salivas and various products in the form of gels or sprays are available to temporarily manage dry mouth. Your doctor may also prescribe Pilocarpine for symptomatic relief of dry mouth.

Please note that these strategies can help manage symptoms of dry mouth but cannot completely cure you. You should consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns regarding Luvox-induced dry mouth.


In this article, we discussed Luvox-induced dry mouth and the factors affecting it. We also discussed some management strategies which can help with symptoms of dry mouth while on Luvox therapy. In my opinion, Luvox-induced dry mouth is a concern of many patients undergoing therapy and it can be managed through various strategies like proper diet and hydration. OTC products for saliva production can also help. If symptoms do not get better consult your doctor for proper assessment and guidance.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. LUVOX® (fluvoxamine maeate) tablets for oral administration. Available from:


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Ständer, S., Böckenholt, B., Schürmeyer-Horst, F., Weishaupt, C., Heuft, G., Luger, T.A. and Schneider, T.G., 2009. Treatment of chronic pruritus with the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors paroxetine and fluvoxamine: results of an open-labelled, two-arm proof-of-concept study. Acta dermato-venereologica, 89(1), pp.45-51.


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