Fluvoxamine - How Fluvoxamine Works? - Side Effects of Use

Fluvoxamine - Guidelines for Using Fluvoxamine - Uses and Benefits

Type of Drug:

Antidepressant; mood elevating agent.

How the Fluvoxamine Works:

It is believed that fluvoxamine maleate adjusts or balances how the brain and nervous system produce and respond to their natural chemicals (called neurotransmitters). Fluvoxamine maleate inhibits the reuptake of serotonin by the brain.

Uses of The Fluvoxamine:

For the treatment of obsessions and compulsions in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Smoking: This medicine may not be as effective if you are a smoker.

Pregnancy: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Use only if clearly needed and the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the possible hazards to the fetus.

Breastfeeding: Fluvoxamine appears in breast milk. Consult your doctor before you begin breastfeeding.

Children: Safety and effectiveness are not established in children younger than 8 years of age.

Elderly: Use lower initial doses; then increase gradually if necessary.

Drug Interactions:

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or if you are planning to take any over-the-counter or prescription medications or dietary supplements while taking fluvoxamine. Doses of one or both drugs may need to be modified or a different drug may need to be prescribed. The following drugs and drug classes interact with fluvoxamine:

  • Benzodiazepines propranolol (eg, Inderal)
  • Diltiazem (eg, Cardizem)
  • Iithium (eg, Lithobid)
  • Phenytoin (eg, oilantin)
  • Sumatriptan (Imitrex)
  • Theophylline (eg, Theo-our)
  • Thioridazine (eg, Mellaril)

Side Effects:

Every drug is capable of producing side effects. Many fluvoxamine users experience no, or minor, side effects. The frequency and severity of side effects depend on many factors including dose, duration of therapy, and individual susceptibility. Possible side effects include:

Digestive Tract: Nausea; vomiting; constipation; indigestion; diarrhea; stomach pain; appetite loss; gas; dry mouth; difficulty swallowing; tooth disorder; sore throat.

Nervous System: Headache; memory loss; apathy; twitching; sleepless­ness; nervousness; agitation; anxiety; dizziness; drowsiness; depression; weakness; tremors; mania; unstable emotions; CNS stimulation; abnormal thinking; psychotic reaction.

Circulatory System: Rapid heart beat; changes in blood pressure; fainting; flushing; palpitations (pounding in the chest).

Respiratory System: Nasal congestion; yawn; difficulty breathing; cough; sinus problems; upper respiratory tract infection.

Other: Sweating; taste changes; vision problems; frequent urination; decreased sex drive; inability to achieve orgasm; abnormal ejaculation; painful menstruation; muscular hyperactivity; infection; leg cramps; rash; muscle tension; urinary retention; muscle pain; unusual bruising; nosebleed; abnormal liver enzymes; decreased mobility or movement; general body discomfort; flu-like syndrome; weight changes; chills; swelling of feet, ankles, or hands.

Guidelines for Use:

  • Dosage is individualized. Take exactly as prescribed.
  • Usual adult starting dose is 50 mg, taken as a single dose at bedtime. The dosage may be increased by 50 mg/day every 4 to 7 days, if necessary, to achieve maximum benefit. The total dosage should not exceed 300 mg/day. Total doses greater than 100 mg should be taken in 2 divided doses. If the doses are not equal, the larger dose should be taken at bedtime.
  • Usual pediatric (8 to 17 years of age) starting dose is 25 mg at bed­time. The dosage may be increased by 25 mg/day every 4 to 7 days, if necessary, to achieve maximum benefit. The total dosage should not exceed 200 mg/day. Total doses greater than 50 mg should be taken in 2 divided doses. If the doses are not equal, the larger dose should be given at bedtime.
  • Do not discontinue the medication or change the dose unless directed by your doctor.
  • May be taken without regard to food.
  • If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless advised by your doctor. If more than one dose is missed or it is necessary to establish a new dosage schedule, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Contact your doctor if you develop a rash, hives, other allergic reactions, or seizures. Also contact your doctor if nausea, dry mouth, sleeplessness, or drowsiness become troublesome.
  • May cause drowsiness, dizziness, or impaired judgement. Use caution while driving or performing other tasks requiring alertness, coordination, or physical dexterity.
  • Do not use in combination with MAOls or within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with an MAOI. After stopping treatment with this medication, wait at least 2 weeks before starting an MAOI.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking while using this medication. Smoking may reduce the effectiveness of the medication.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, become pregnant, are planning to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding.
  • Store at controlled room temperature (59° to 86°F) in a tightly closed container. Protect from moisture.

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