Fluvoxamine (Luvox) Signs, Symptoms, and Side Effects
Fluvoxamine, or Luvox, is commonly prescribed for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Because this drug is in the same class as many anti-depressants, it can also be used to help treat depression, panic disorders and eating disorders.
Even though Luvox has no immediate euphoric effects on the brain, addiction often stems from tolerance build up over time or previous substance misuse disorders. Because the drug changes the amount of chemicals in the brain, a substance use disorder can occur, causing withdrawal symptoms if use is suddenly discontinued.
Unprescribed use or increased use without doctor approval can lead to life-threatening consequences, such as suicidal thoughts and/or overdose.
These effects are often overlooked because it is not considered as addictive as other forms of anti-depressants. The information below will show the signs, symptoms and harmful long-term effects of fluvoxamine addiction.
Fluvoxamine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI. When taken as prescribed, this medication aids in the restoration of the natural serotonin balance in the brain. This prescription drug is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) by helping to decrease obsessive and persistent thoughts and compulsions.
Increasing the dosage of Fluvoxamine or even stopping it altogether without consulting your doctor can lead to worsening side effects. These side effects can include, but are not limited to:
- Mood swings
- Sleep changes
- Feelings similar to an electric shock
Severe fluvoxamine side effects that require immediate attention can include, but are not limited to:
- Black stools
- Eye pain
- Widened pupils
- Vision changes
- Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
The people who are most at risk for Luvox addiction are those who are already suffering from mental disorders other than OCD, like anxiety or depression. Many people increase dosages for fear of withdrawal symptoms. Because patients can build up a tolerance to the drug, it is easy to increase dosage without consulting a doctor, even though the side effects can be devastating.
Once dosages are increased beyond that which was prescribed by a doctor, the side effects can often have the opposite of the intended effects. The over-abundance of serotonin levels in the brain can cause suicidal thoughts, mania, seizures and even overdoses.
Overdosing has life-threatening symptoms, such as passing out, trouble breathing, seizures or irregular heartbeat. The chance of overdose increases when Luvox is misused and combined with other medications or illegal drugs.
If someone starts to misuse Luvox, they can experience serious withdrawal symptoms when the dosage is decreased or stopped altogether. These symptoms can come in the form of persistent flu-like symptoms. Other common side effects are nausea, dizziness, headaches and fatigue.
Increasing dose or use of Luvox will not improve your condition; it will only increase the risk of side effects. A gradual decrease in usage is best when trying to stop taking this drug, but a doctor should be consulted before any changes are made.
Fluvoxamine is used specifically to treat certain mental illnesses, and taking it as prescribed by a doctor will drastically reduce the risk of misusing this drug.
Extended misuse or unprescribed use of fluvoxamine can alter the chemical balance in the brain, specifically the serotonin levels. The longer fluvoxamine is taken, the more dependent the brain becomes on the drug, which can cause harsher withdrawal symptoms.
It is recommended that if someone has pre-existing kidney or liver damage, that they consult their doctors, as long-term and increased use of Luvox can worsen these conditions. Luvox can also cause a condition called QT prolongation, and although rare, may need urgent medical attention as it affects heart rhythm, causing an irregular heartbeat.
Over time you are also more likely to take other medications, and these drug interactions may increase your risk for serious side effects. Other drugs that can cause bleeding or bruising, such as ibuprofen or warfarin, may negatively interact with fluvoxamine.
Mood swings and anxiety are more common the longer the drug is used. Both short-term and long-term effects can cause a chemical imbalance, but as tolerance builds up over time, it becomes harder to stop taking the drug. The shorter someone is taking fluvoxamine, the less likely a physiological reliance has developed.
Fluvoxamine is one of the lesser addictive anti-depressants, and most doctors prescribe it because the benefits drastically outweigh the side effects. It is necessary to understand how this drug interacts with the balance of chemicals in the brain, as well as the side effects of this medication, even if it is taken as prescribed by a medical professional.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a 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 provider.
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