Mixing Alcohol And Fluvoxamine (Luvox): Side Effects, Interactions and Blackouts

Fluvoxamine is mainly used to treat OCD, but as part of the family of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), it is also used to fight depression. With alcohol being a depressant, it is not a good idea to mix Luvox with alcohol. While some people can mix small amounts of alcohol with Luvox, it can create a dangerous situation. In certain cases, taking Luvox can increase the side effects of alcohol, which can lead to poor judgment, dizziness, cognitive difficulties and depression.

Fluvoxamine side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Weight changes
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Rash outbreaks
  • Sexual issues
  • Diarrhea

Interactions: Food and Drugs

Most foods are fine to eat in conjunction with Luvox. Do not consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice as this tends to inhibit an enzyme in the liver that is used to flush out fluvoxamine. You should also cut down on caffeine intake. Excess caffeine can heighten the side effects of the drug, especially in large quantities.

You should never take Luvox while on a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) — like Parnate and Nardil — because this can result in a toxic and life-threatening reaction. You need to be off MAOIs for at least two weeks before starting a regime of Fluvoxamine. Consult with your doctor if you are taking any of the following prescription medications: warfarin (Coumadin), theophylline (Quibron), tolbutamide, phenytoin (Dilantin), alprazolam (Xanax), carbamazepine (Tegretol), triazolam (Halcion), zolpidem (Ambien), diazepam (Valium), beta blockers, verapamil (Calan), diltiazem (Cardizem), nifedipine (Adalat), other antidepressants, hormones (estrogen) and antipsychotics. You should also avoid taking St. John’s wort.


Among the common side effects of Luvox and alcohol consumption, a person may experience blackouts when combing the two drugs. One of the most common side effects of Luvox is drowsiness — a symptom that gets heightened when alcohol is thrown into the mix. This is one reason why it is not recommended to mix alcohol and Luvox (or any antidepressant for that matter), especially if you are new to the drug.

What Is Fluvoxamine (Luvox)?

Fluvoxamine is a drug that is most commonly used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and comes in the brand label Luvox. The drug is also used in the treatment of depression, social anxieties, eating disorders and panic attacks. Luvox was first introduced in 1994 and is part of the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

How does Fluvoxamine (Luvox) work?

Luvox targets neurotransmitters, like serotonin, and prevents them from reabsorbing. This causes the body to produce more serotonin, a chemical that is believed to help alter moods and fight depression. Most of the serotonin in your body is created in the intestines, and its main purpose is to help with digestion and regulate appetite. This is one reason why researchers believe that serotonin is linked to mood changes. In fact, many people who have depression also suffer from low serotonin levels.

Mixing Alcohol And Fluvoxamine (Luvox)

It is generally recommended to avoid mixing alcohol and SSRIs like Luvox. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol while taking Luvox can lead to unwelcome side effects, including blackouts, vomiting, cognitive deficiencies, dizziness and lack of judgment. That said, the dosage and how long you have been taking Luvox play a big factor in the intensity of these side effects. The bigger dosages tend to lead to stronger side effects, especially when taken in conjunction with alcohol.

Apart from alcohol, there are other drugs you should avoid when taking Fluvoxamine. The most dangerous of these interactions are monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Mixing fluvoxamine and MAOIs can create a toxic situation and should be avoided at all costs. There is also a small chance of overdosing while taking Luvox, though fatal overdoses are rare. If you think you are experiencing an overdose, seek immediate emergency medical care to flush out your system. Common Luvox overdose symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and drowsiness.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.