What if Luvox does not work? (3+ options)

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why Luvox may not work well for certain people, how long for it to start working, and other alternatives to Luvox if it does not work?

What if Luvox does not work?

If Luvox (Fluvoxamine) proves ineffective in properly addressing your symptoms, it’s essential to communicate with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Your doctor will conduct a thorough assessment to identify the specific reasons behind the lack of therapeutic response and collaborate with you to develop an appropriate plan for achieving your desired treatment outcomes.

Here are some potential steps your doctor may take:

  • Dose Adjustment: If you are currently on a low dose of Luvox, your doctor might recommend a gradual increase in dosage. Adjusting the dosage allows a comprehensive evaluation of how your body reacts, with the aim of enhancing the medication’s therapeutic effects.
  • Therapeutic Interventions: Given the complexity of mental health issues, your physician might recommend therapy or counseling. Whether in addition to Luvox or as stand-alone therapies, non-pharmacological interventions can be extremely important in the management of mental health symptoms.
  • Combination Therapy: Your doctor may look into the possibility of combining Luvox with another appropriate medication if Luvox monotherapy is ineffective. With combination therapy, your symptoms will be addressed more effectively, and the treatment’s overall efficacy will be improved.
  • Alternative Medicines: Not everyone is an effective fit for Luvox. Your doctor might advise switching to a different medication that better suits your needs, given your particular situation.

How long does it take for Luvox to start working?

The effectiveness of Luvox (Fluvoxamine) can vary from person to person. Generally, you might start noticing some changes within a few weeks (1 to 3 weeks) of starting the medication. It’s important to be patient because these medications often require some time to build up in your system and start exerting their full effects.

In the short term, you may experience improvements in mood, reduction in anxiety, and better sleep patterns. These early signs can be encouraging but it’s crucial to communicate regularly with your healthcare provider to assess your progress.

For the long-term indications of efficacy, Luvox is commonly prescribed for conditions like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). In the extended term (6 to 8 weeks), a reduction in the frequency and severity of symptoms associated with these conditions is expected.

However, it’s vital to be aware that individual responses can vary and not everyone will experience the same results. Always consult with your healthcare professional regarding your specific situation and any concerns you may have during the course of your treatment. They can provide the best guidance to your needs.

What is the efficiency rate of Luvox?

These are the specific numbers and statistics based on a research study for Fluvoxamine.

  1. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Response rates in a clinical trial for OCD with Fluvoxamine have been reported in the range of 40% to 60%. This means that 40-60% of individuals experienced a significant reduction in obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
  2. Social Anxiety Disorder: A study examining Fluvoxamine’s efficacy in social anxiety disorder have reported response rates of around 50% to 60%. This indicates that a significant percentage of individuals with social anxiety experienced improvements in their symptoms.
  3. Panic Disorder: Research on Fluvoxamine for panic disorder has shown response rates in the range of 40% to 70%. This suggests that a significant proportion of individuals with panic disorder responded positively to the medication. (1)

What reasons can lead to Luvox inefficiency?

Various factors can contribute to the inefficiency of Luvox (Fluvoxamine). These include:

Improper administration

Improper administration of Luvox may reduce its therapeutic effects. It is important to adhere strictly to your physician’s instructions when taking this medication, ensuring compliance with the prescribed dosage and timing.

Dose skipping

Frequent skipping of Luvox doses can disrupt the concentration of the drug in your system, affecting its overall effectiveness. Adhering to your prescribed dosage schedule is essential to maintaining a steady level of the medication. If you accidentally miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to your next scheduled dose, it’s advisable to skip the missed one. Avoid doubling the dose to compensate for a missed one.

Stressful lifestyle

Elevated stress levels can counteract the positive effects of Luvox. If you lead a high-stress lifestyle, incorporating stress-reduction techniques into your daily routine, such as meditation, yoga, or counseling, can complement the benefits of the medication.

Substance abuse

Alcohol and drug abuse can interfere with Luvox’s effectiveness and pose additional health risks. Seeking support and treatment for substance abuse is essential to optimizing the therapeutic outcomes of Luvox.

Medication interactions

Some medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, may interact with Luvox. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and herbal remedies you are taking to prevent negative interactions.

Inadequate duration

Luvox may require several weeks to months to fully realize its therapeutic benefits. Patience is key, and abruptly discontinuing the medication without consulting your doctor can lead to inefficiency and withdrawal symptoms.

Underlying health conditions

For individuals with certain psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder with psychotic features, relying solely on Luvox may not be sufficient. These conditions often require a combination of medications, such as antipsychotics, to effectively manage symptoms. (2)

What are the alternatives to Luvox if it does not work?

If Luvox is not proving effective, your healthcare provider may consider the following augmentations and alternative strategies:

Augmentation with Adjunct Medications

  • Consider augmenting Fluvoxamine with medications such as Buspirone (15 to 60 mg per day), Trazodone (100 to 200 mg per day), Lithium (300 to 600 mg per day), or L-tryptophan (2 to 4 g per day).
  • Each of these may be administered for approximately 1 month to enhance the therapeutic effects.

Systematic Behavior Therapy

If not previously attempted, consider systematic behavior therapy as an adjunct to medication. This therapeutic approach can be valuable in addressing specific behaviors and thought patterns associated with mental health conditions.

Exploration of other SSRIs

If Luvox fails, your healthcare provider may consider other Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Paroxetine, Sertraline, or Fluoxetine. Each of these SSRIs has a unique profile, and switching to another within this class may offer a different therapeutic response.

Referral to Specialized Clinic

In cases where combination treatments are deemed necessary, your provider may refer you to a specialized clinic. Here, combinations like SSRI + Pindolol + L-tryptophan may be attempted under careful supervision to optimize treatment outcomes. (3)

However, it is not up to you to choose which antidepressant is best for you. Please talk about your concerns with your healthcare provider. 

Your doctor may increase your medication if they believe it will help you achieve better outcomes. If Luvox is not the best option for you, your doctor will prescribe an alternative medication. Make sure not to handle such issues on your own and have trust in the expertise of your provider. 


In my conclusion, if Luvox proves ineffective in properly addressing your symptoms, taking proactive steps and communicating openly with your healthcare provider are crucial. This collaborative approach allows for exploring alternatives and customizing a more effective strategy for your unique needs.


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Irons J. Fluvoxamine in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2005 Dec;1(4):289-99. PMID: 18568110; PMCID: PMC2424117.


Dubovsky SL, Ghosh BM, Serotte JC, Cranwell V. Psychotic Depression: Diagnosis, Differential Diagnosis, and Treatment. Psychother Psychosom. 2021;90(3):160-177. doi: 10.1159/000511348. Epub 2020 Nov 9. PMID: 33166960.


Ravindran AV. If a patient does not respond to a full dose of fluvoxamine for at least 12 weeks, what alternatives should be considered? J Psychiatry Neurosci. 1998 Mar;23(2):136. PMID: 9549254; PMCID: PMC1188915.

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