Does Luvox decrease appetite? (+2 measures)

In this article, we will explore whether Luvox causes a decrease in appetite or not, how it decreases the appetite and what the research studies suggest about it. What steps to take if Luvox causes a decrease in appetite will also be discussed. 

Does Luvox decrease appetite?

Yes, Luvox (fluvoxamine) can decrease appetite in some people. This is a common side effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a class of antidepressants to which Luvox belongs. SSRIs work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain affecting mood, appetite and sleep.

In some people, Luvox can cause decreased appetite by increasing the feeling of fullness or by reducing the desire to eat. This can lead to weight loss which can be helpful for people who are overweight or obese. However, it is important to note that not everyone who takes Luvox will experience a decreased appetite, some may gain weight while taking this medication. 

How does Luvox decrease appetite?

Change in appetite is a common side effect of SSRIs including Zoloft (sertraline ), Luvox (fluvoxamine)etc. The precise mechanism for this effect is not fully understood. 

Some researchers suggest that alterations in the serotonin levels in the brain, which are influenced by SSRIs like Luvox, may impact appetite (1). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in the regulation of mood, emotions and appetite (2).

It is believed that SSRI’s modulation of serotonin levels could affect the brain circuits involved in hunger potentially leading to changes in appetite (3). 

According to some researchers, Luvox has a calming effect on the brain and reduces stress. Some people tend to eat more to cope with the feelings of anxiety and stress. Due to the calming effect induced by increased serotonin levels, the body’s response to eating more is also inhibited to some extent (1). 

What is the incidence of Luvox-induced decreased appetite?

According to a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial conducted to determine the efficiency of fluvoxamine in the treatment of binge-eating disorder, fluvoxamine was associated with a greater rate of reduction in appetite. In this trial, fluvoxamine was found to be helpful for the treatment of binge eating as it reduced appetite (4). 

Another placebo-controlled trial was done for the determination of effectiveness of fluvoxamine in obese patients. The study concluded that fluvoxamine may be particularly useful in the management of weight in obese patients (5). 

A study in 2008 observed the effects of fluvoxamine as an appetite-controlling medication on rats. The research concluded the incidence of the weight-controlling and appetite-restricting effects of fluvoxamine (6). 

What factors contribute to the reduction of appetite when taking Luvox?

Luvox can have various effects on appetite and while it’s not primarily used as an appetite suppressant, some factors might contribute to changes in appetite when taking Luvox.

Serotonin regulation: Luvox is an SSRI that works by altering serotonin levels in the brain. Altered serotonin levels can lead to hunger and satiety cues, potentially leading to appetite issues.

Lifestyle factors: Dietary habits, physical activity, stress levels and overall lifestyle can impact an individual’s appetite. Any unwanted changes in these can affect the appetite while the patient is taking Luvox. 

Genetic predisposition: Individual sensitivity is the main factor that may influence the effects of a drug in the body. Genetic predisposition plays an important role in the variation of effects in different patients.

Pre-existing health conditions: Co-existing health conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders, chronic illnesses, or metabolic issues can affect appetite independently. Luvox’s impact on appetite may be more pronounced if there is some pre-existing illness in the body of the patient. 

Interaction with other medications: Concurrent use of other medications can potentially interact with Luvox and intensify its effects on appetite. Medications prescribed for other psychiatric conditions or certain medical conditions might enhance the appetite-suppressing effects or vice versa.

What to do if Luvox decreases appetite?

If you are taking Luvox for anxiety or depression and experience decreased appetite during the treatment regimen then the following measures should be adopted. 

Consulting healthcare provider: Open communication with the healthcare provider is essential. Your doctor can diagnose the condition and evaluate the response thereby making alterations to the treatment plan as per your needs.  

Monitor weight regularly: Keep track of your weight changes to provide accurate information to your healthcare provider. Regular monitoring can help identify trends and provide insights into the severity of weight loss.

Review diet and eating habits: Evaluate your diet and eating habits. While Luvox’s impact on the diet can lead to weight changes, ensuring you are maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial.

Adjust medication dosage or timing: Your healthcare provider may alter your dosage regimen. Decreasing the dose of Luvox may help reduce the incidence of side effects. This adjustment of either dose or time must be done under the careful supervision of a healthcare provider.  

Consider alternative medication: In some cases, where weight loss is concerning, your healthcare provider might explore other treatment options to increase the therapeutic effect and reduce the adverse effects.


In my opinion, Luvox can cause a decrease in appetite whereas it is used for the management of stress and anxiety to cause a calming effect. This appetite-decreasing effect can be beneficial if you are looking for weight management along with your treatment for mood disorders and it can be concerning in some patients where further weight loss is not needed.

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Curzon G. Serotonin and appetite. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1990;600:521-30; discussion 530-1. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1990.tb16907.x. PMID: 2252331.


Bakshi, A. (2022, October 5). Biochemistry, Serotonin. StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.


van Galen, K. A., Ter Horst, K. W., & Serlie, M. J. (2021). Serotonin, food intake, and obesity. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 22(7), e13210.


Hudson, J. I., McElroy, S. L., Raymond, N. C., Crow, S. J., Keck, P. E., Carter, W. P., Mitchell, J. E., Strakowski, S. M., Pope, H. G., Coleman, B. S., & Jonas, J. M. (1998, December 1). Fluvoxamine in the Treatment of Binge-Eating Disorder: A Multicenter Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Trial. American Journal of Psychiatry; American Psychiatric Association.


Abell, C. A., Farquhar, D. R., Galloway, S., Steven, F., Philip, A., & Munro, J. (1986, January 1). Placebo controlled double-blind trial of fluvoxamine maleate in the obese. Journal of Psychosomatic Research; Elsevier BV.


Shinozaki T, Kimura M, Hosoyamada M, Shibasaki T. Fluvoxamine inhibits weight gain and food intake in food restricted hyperphagic Wistar rats. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Dec;31(12):2250-4. doi: 10.1248/bpb.31.2250. PMID: 19043208.

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