Luvox® (or Luvox CR) is the brand name for the drug fluvoxamine.1 Doctors prescribe fluvoxamine to treat conditions including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder. Many Luvox patients use the drug successfully and without any side effects. Other patients may experience some side effects, and there are some more serious risks from taking Luvox tablets.
How Luvox works
Luvox or fluvoxamine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (or SSRI for short). SSRIs work by increasing the amount of activity of a certain chemical (serotonin) in the brain. An increase in serotonin helps maintain the right mental balance, countering the symptoms of disorders such as OCD. Doctors can prescribe the drug as a tablet, normally to be taken once or twice a day. An extended release capsule is also available, which patients take once a day.
Common side effects from Luvox
Luvox may cause a number of common, relatively mild side effects. Fluvoxamine side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Memory problems
- Constipation or indigestion
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
These side effects will normally disappear or subside as treatment continues, and a health care professional may be able to advise ways to prevent or alleviate these symptoms while they exist. Other more serious side effects are also possible.
Serious Luvox risks and complications
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration2 associates a number of serious risks with the use of Luvox. Luvox (along with other antidepressants) may increase suicidal thoughts in teenagers and young adults. These symptoms may worsen in the first few months of treatment or if the dosage changes.
Luvox patients may also suffer from serotonin syndrome.3 This occurs where there is too much of the chemical serotonin in the body. There are a number of signs that the patient may be suffering this condition, including changes in blood pressure, hallucinations, agitation, and upset stomach. This condition can occur where Luvox patients also take migraine medicine. Serotonin syndrome can be life-threatening.
Fluvoxamine and abnormal bleeding
SSRIs, including Luvox, may cause heavy bleeding events. There is a higher risk of abnormal bleeding in patients taking anticoagulants, such as warfarin and aspirin. The severity of the bleeding incident can vary from patient to patient, but can be as serious as a life-threatening hemorrhage. A doctor or health care professional should consider this risk when prescribing the medicine.
Luvox and birth defects
SSRIs can have serious side effects for pregnant women. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration categorize Luvox as a category C medicine.4 This means that animal studies show that there is a risk of damage to the unborn fetus. The FDA recommends that doctors strongly consider whether the potential benefits outweigh the risks of prescribing SSRIs such as Luvox.
If you or a loved one suffers a serious side effect or injury from the use of Luvox, it may be possible for you to file a lawsuit and claim compensation. Contact a trained attorney for further advice as soon as possible.