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Fluvoxamine is a medication primarily used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders. Like all medications, it carries certain risks and potential side effects. Here are some of the risks associated with taking Fluvoxamine:

  • Side Effects: Common side effects may include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, insomnia, dry mouth, and sweating. Some individuals may also experience sexual dysfunction or changes in appetite.
  • Serotonin Syndrome: Fluvoxamine, like other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can increase serotonin levels in the brain. In rare cases, this can lead to serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by confusion, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, extreme changes in blood pressure, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Abruptly stopping Fluvoxamine can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, headache, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, electric shock sensations (paresthesia), and flu-like symptoms. It’s important to gradually reduce the dosage under medical supervision when discontinuing the medication.
  • Increased Bleeding Risk: SSRIs, including Fluvoxamine, can increase the risk of bleeding, especially when combined with other medications that also affect blood clotting, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, or anticoagulants.
  • Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior: Like many antidepressants, Fluvoxamine may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors, particularly in children, adolescents, and young adults. Close monitoring by a healthcare professional is essential, especially when starting or changing the dosage.
  • Interaction with Other Medications: Fluvoxamine can interact with other medications, including certain antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs, migraine medications, blood thinners, and herbal supplements. These interactions can lead to adverse effects or reduce the effectiveness of one or both medications.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Risks: There may be risks associated with taking Fluvoxamine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider before using this medication during these periods.

It’s crucial to discuss any concerns or potential risks with a healthcare provider before starting Fluvoxamine or any other medication. They can provide personalized advice based on individual health history and circumstances.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Fluvoxamine is prescribed primarily for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as other anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder (social phobia), panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It belongs to a class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which work by increasing the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, in the brain. This helps alleviate symptoms of these disorders by restoring the balance of chemicals in the brain.

How should this medicine be used?

The typical starting dose of Fluvoxamine for adults with OCD is 50 mg once daily, usually taken at bedtime. The dosage may be gradually increased by the healthcare provider based on individual response and tolerance, up to a maximum of 300 mg per day. For other anxiety disorders, the initial dosage and maximum dosage may vary.

Here are some general guidelines for using Fluvoxamine:

  • Follow Prescribed Dosage: Take Fluvoxamine exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change the dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor first.
  • Take with or without Food: Fluvoxamine can be taken with or without food. However, taking it with food may help reduce the likelihood of stomach upset.
  • Regular Schedule: Try to take Fluvoxamine at the same time each day to maintain a consistent level of the medication in your bloodstream.
  • Swallow Whole: Swallow the Fluvoxamine tablets whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets, as this can affect the release of the medication.
  • Monitor Effectiveness: It may take several weeks for Fluvoxamine to start working fully. Keep track of your symptoms and report any changes to your healthcare provider.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Avoid alcohol while taking Fluvoxamine, as it can increase the risk of side effects and may interfere with the effectiveness of the medication.
  • Keep Regular Appointments: Attend regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your progress and discuss any concerns or side effects.

Always talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about how to use Fluvoxamine or if you experience any side effects while taking the medication. They can provide personalized advice based on your individual health needs.

Other uses for this medicine

While fluvoxamine is primarily prescribed for OCD and depression, it may also be used off-label for other conditions such as anxiety disorders, panic disorder, social phobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the efficacy of fluvoxamine for these conditions may vary, and its use should be determined by a healthcare professional.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions should be taken when using Fluvoxamine. Here are some important considerations:

  • Suicidal Thoughts: Like other antidepressants, Fluvoxamine may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts, especially in children, adolescents, and young adults. Close monitoring by a healthcare provider is essential, particularly during the initial weeks of treatment or when changing the dosage.
  • Serotonin Syndrome: Fluvoxamine can increase serotonin levels in the brain, potentially leading to serotonin syndrome, a rare but serious condition characterized by symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, extreme changes in blood pressure, fever, sweating, tremor, muscle stiffness, and seizures. Report any symptoms of serotonin syndrome to your doctor immediately.
  • Drug Interactions: Fluvoxamine can interact with other medications, including other antidepressants, migraine medications, certain antibiotics, anticoagulants, and herbal supplements. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The safety of Fluvoxamine during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not fully established. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Liver or Kidney Problems: Use caution if you have liver or kidney problems, as Fluvoxamine may be metabolized differently in individuals with impaired liver or kidney function. Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage accordingly.
  • Glaucoma: Fluvoxamine may increase intraocular pressure, particularly in individuals with narrow-angle glaucoma. Inform your eye doctor if you have a history of glaucoma or experience any changes in vision while taking Fluvoxamine.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and guidance when taking Fluvoxamine, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions or raise any concerns you may have about its use.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding dietary instructions, there are no specific dietary restrictions for Fluvoxamine. However, some individuals may experience gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, so taking the medication with food may help alleviate this symptom.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of Fluvoxamine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one. If you are unsure about what to do, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Fluvoxamine, like other medications, can cause side effects. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and their severity can vary from person to person. Common side effects of Fluvoxamine may include:

  • Nausea: Feeling sick to your stomach or experiencing an urge to vomit.
  • Drowsiness: Feeling tired or sleepy during the day.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Headache: Pain or discomfort in the head, which may range from mild to severe.
  • Dizziness: Feeling lightheaded or unsteady.
  • Dry Mouth: Lack of saliva in the mouth, leading to thirst and discomfort.
  • Sweating: Increased perspiration, sometimes without physical exertion.
  • Changes in Sexual Function: Such as decreased libido, difficulty achieving orgasm, or erectile dysfunction.
  • Weight Changes: Either weight gain or weight loss.
  • Gastrointestinal Disturbances: Including diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain.
  • Agitation or Anxiety: Some individuals may experience increased agitation or anxiety when starting Fluvoxamine.
  • Tremor: Shaking or trembling of the hands or other parts of the body.
  • Blurred Vision: Difficulty focusing or seeing clearly.
  • Skin Rash: Allergic reaction resulting in redness, itching, or rash on the skin.
  • Serotonin Syndrome: While rare, excessive serotonin levels can lead to symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, fever, sweating, tremors, muscle stiffness, or seizures.

It’s essential to discuss any side effects you experience with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on managing side effects or adjusting your treatment plan if necessary. Additionally, some side effects may diminish over time as your body adjusts to the medication. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, seek medical attention promptly.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of Fluvoxamine:


  • Store Fluvoxamine at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
  • Keep the medication in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children and pets.
  • Avoid storing Fluvoxamine in the bathroom or kitchen where it might be exposed to moisture.
  • Do not use Fluvoxamine past its expiration date. If you have unused or expired medication, dispose of it properly.


  • Do not flush Fluvoxamine down the toilet or pour it down the drain unless instructed to do so by a healthcare professional or pharmacist.
  • Consult your local pharmacy or healthcare provider for guidance on safe medication disposal. Many pharmacies offer medication take-back programs or can provide instructions for safe disposal at home.
  • If no take-back programs are available, mix Fluvoxamine with an undesirable substance such as coffee grounds or kitty litter in a sealed plastic bag before throwing it in the trash. This helps prevent accidental ingestion by animals or children.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of emergency or overdose of Fluvoxamine:

  • If you or someone else has taken too much Fluvoxamine or is experiencing severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, seizures, or irregular heartbeat, call emergency services immediately (such as 911 in the United States) or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Be prepared to provide information about the amount of Fluvoxamine ingested, as well as any other medications or substances taken.
  • Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a healthcare professional.

What other information should I know?

  • Inform all healthcare providers involved in your care (including dentists and pharmacists) that you are taking Fluvoxamine. This is important for avoiding potential drug interactions and ensuring appropriate treatment.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring and evaluation of your condition while taking Fluvoxamine.
  • Avoid alcohol while taking Fluvoxamine, as it can increase the risk of side effects and may interfere with the effectiveness of the medication.
  • Do not stop taking Fluvoxamine abruptly without consulting your healthcare provider. Withdrawal symptoms may occur, and your doctor can provide guidance on tapering off the medication safely.
  • Keep a list of all medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking, and review it regularly with your healthcare provider. This helps prevent potential interactions and ensures safe and effective treatment.
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