What does Luvox treat? (3+ precautions)

In this article, we will discuss the use of Luvox, how it works, and its interaction with other medicines. We will also discuss the side effects, potential risks, and precautions linked with its use. 

What does Luvox treat?

Luvox is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It helps to treat recurring thoughts, activities, and behaviours associated with OCD such as repeatedly washing hands. (1)

Other anxiety-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) can also be treated by Luvox. (2)

What are the other possible therapeutic effects of Luvox?

A study on the effect of Luvox on migraines found that it inhibited 5-HT reuptake more effectively than Amitriptyline, thus lowering the frequency of migraine attacks and having tolerable side effects. More research, however, is needed to properly understand this association. (3)

Research was conducted to investigate the effect of Luvox on people suffering from binge eating disorder. Luvox has been shown to decrease the number of binges as well as the BMI of the patients. (4)

How does Luvox work?

Luvox is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and it has the generic name fluvoxamine. It works by inhibiting the reuptake of the transporter protein which is found in the presynaptic terminal and thus prevents the reuptake of serotonin in the presynaptic neurons. (2)

How effective is Luvox? 

According to one study, 60% of the patients with OCD responded early to Luvox therapy. The patients were evaluated at week 4 to predict their responses at week 12, they showed improvement in the symptoms of OCD with the lowest dose. (5)

Another study found that Luvox has the same impact as Clomipramine on patients with OCD. It was also shown that Luvox therapy can minimize the incidence of relapse in around 67% of the patients. (6)

What are the medical conditions treated by Luvox?

Luvox is mainly prescribed for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which is characterized by a persistent impulse to carry out repetitive activities, ideas, and impulsive behaviours which are seen as unnecessary and distressing. (1,2)

These obsessions disrupt everyday functioning, relationships, and jobs causing distress to the person suffering from OCD. 

It is prescribed off-label for the treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder. (2)

How does Luvox interact with other medicines?

It is important to monitor the interaction of Luvox with the following drugs: (1)

Luvox should not be used with other antipsychotic medications since it can result in neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), which might cause changes in the mental state and vital signs. 

It is advised not to administer it with benzodiazepines or theophylline as it can reduce the clearance of these drugs.

When used with alprazolam, clozapine, ramelteon, or methadone it can increase the concentration of these drugs in blood which can have serious adverse effects.

It is not recommended to use diazepam and Luvox at the same time since it can cause the accumulation of both drugs.

The concomitant use of Luvox with other serotonergic drugs and blood thinners like warfarin is contraindicated. 

What is the dose requirement of Luvox for OCD?

The dosing requirements for OCD patients are as follows: (1)

Tablet dose  Adults Adolescents (12 to 17 years) Children (8 to 11 years) 
Starting dose 50 mg/ day 25 mg/ day  25 mg/ day
Maintenance dose 100 mg to 300 mg / day 25 mg to 300 mg/ day 25 mg to 200 mg/ day
Maximum dose 300 mg/ day 300 mg/ day  200 mg/ day

What are the side effects and adverse reactions linked with Luvox? 

Luvox can cause side effects like nausea, sleep problems, stomach pain, headaches, drowsiness, nervousness, and dry mouth. Other serious adverse effects include decreased sex drive in both men and women, abnormal ejaculation, and tremors. (1,7)

How does Luvox affect the liver and kidney function? 

Individuals who have impaired liver function should start Luvox treatment at a lower dose as liver dysfunction causes the clearance of the drug to be reduced. (7)

It has little effect on renal function in people with compromised function. However, care should be exercised when starting treatment, and renal function tests should be carried out. (7)

What are the considerations for use in special populations?

When starting therapy with any drug, it is essential to consider distinct groups such as pregnant and nursing women, children, and the elderly since medicines might affect them differently. (1)

Pregnant and nursing women

Infants who are exposed to Luvox in pregnancy may experience issues such as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). (8)

In nursing women, Luvox is secreted in the breast milk. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor so that they can make an informed choice based on the risks and benefits. 

Geriatric population

Luvox has reduced clearance in elderly patients, in such cases a low starting dose is advised. 

Pediatric use 

Children being treated for OCD should have their weight and growth monitored and the dose should be adjusted as needed. 

What is the impact of Luvox on suicidal thoughts?

Patients who begin antidepressant therapy may experience suicidal thoughts. Any unusual habits, depression, or aggressive behaviour in patients should be reported to the doctor. (1,7)

What precautions should be considered while taking Luvox?

The precautions listed below should be followed to avoid any unwanted side effects: (1)

Do not stop Luvox abruptly

Antidepressants can cause withdrawal effects if they are stopped abruptly. It is recommended to taper the dose under the supervision of your doctor.

Monitor for any unusual behaviour 

Some patients can show unusual behaviours and have depressive thoughts after starting treatment with Luvox. It is advised to record such changes and report to your doctor. 

Do not use it with other antidepressants

Luvox should not be combined with any other antidepressants unless advised by your doctor. 

Consult your healthcare provider 

You should contact your doctor immediately in case of any reactions or side effects.


To sum up, Luvox is used for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and it is also prescribed off-label for the treatment of panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD). We have discussed its mechanism, interactions, and the necessary precautions to avoid unwanted side effects. 

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Brar J, Sidana A, Chauhan N, et al. Early improvement as a predictor of treatment response in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder: a 12-week randomized trial of sertraline and fluvoxamine. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2022;24(2):21m03065. https://www.psychiatrist.com/pcc/early-improvement-predictor-treatment-response-patients-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-12-week-randomized-trial-sertraline-fluvoxamine/#:~:text=Early%20response%20predicts%20response%20at,Scale%20scores%20at%2012%20weeks.


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Wilde, M.I., Plosker, G.L. & Benfield, P. Fluvoxamine. Drugs 46, 895–924 (1993). https://doi.org/10.2165/00003495-199346050-00008


Bérard A, Sheehy O, Zhao JP, Vinet É, Bernatsky S, Abrahamowicz M. SSRI and SNRI use during pregnancy and the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2017 May;83(5):1126-1133. doi: 10.1111/bcp.13194. Epub 2017 Jan 18. PMID: 27874994; PMCID: PMC5401975. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5401975/

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