Does Luvox Reduce Anxiety? (18 Important Answers) (2023)

Does Luvox Reduce Anxiety? (18 Important Answers) (1)

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The National Alliance on Mental Illness describes Luvox CR as the brand name for fluvoxamine maleate, a generic prescription medication used to treat several mental health conditions. While Luvox is FDA-approved to treat OCD in adults and children older than 8, patients often ask about its effectiveness in treating anxiety.

So, does Luvox reduce anxiety? Let’s take a look.

How Long Does It Take Luvox to Work for Anxiety?

Luvox is approved to treat OCD and depression but can also be used off-label to treat other mental health conditions. This includes social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders.

When used for anxiety, patients can expect a delayed onset of action. Luvox may begin to ease your symptoms within two to four weeks, although some studies suggest you could start seeing improvements after one week.

On average, however, two to four weeks is the standard period. This is why it is crucial to keep taking Luvox even when you do not notice any improvements.

In most cases, you will need to take fluvoxamine as prescribed every day for several months. Follow your prescription diligently, and you should begin to see improvements in your appetite, energy, and sleep.

These are key first signs that the medication is working.

If you feel your anxiety symptoms worsening or experience self-harm or suicidal thoughts within the first week of taking Luvox, or at any point during your treatment, contact your physician.

You should also let your family or close friends know you have started taking fluvoxamine so they can keep an eye out for any changes in your mood or behavior.

How Much Luvox Should I Take for Anxiety?

Fluvoxamine is available as a tablet in 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg formulations.

When prescribed for OCD patients, doctors often prescribe an initial dose of one 50mg tablet.

The dose may be increased gradually over time depending on several factors, but any dosage exceeding 100mg has to be split throughout the day.

300mg is the maximum daily dose of Luvox.

If you have SAD, your doctor will usually start you off with a 100mg daily dosage. If you tolerate the initial side effects well, they may increase your dosage by 50mg every week until you reach the 300mg maximum.

Dosage increments are more gradual in older patients.

You can take a 150mg dose once every day at bedtime, but beyond this, you will need to divide the dosage. You take the larger dose at night right before you go to bed.

That said, however, dosages will often vary from patient to patient.

Factors that affect how much fluvoxamine you need to take include other medications you are taking, the severity of your symptoms, your age, body weight, and preexisting medical conditions.

If your doctor prescribed a different dose than the one discussed here, follow your doctor’s instructions.

How Does Luvox Help Social Anxiety?

Luvox is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a class of antidepressants that works by improving serotonin activity in the brain.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter – a natural chemical found in the body that transmits messages between the nerve cells – that regulates mood, behavior, emotions, and more. People with anxiety disorders and depression release lower levels of serotonin.

To help ease the symptoms caused by decreased serotonin production, fluvoxamine stops the serotonin already released by your nerve cells from being reabsorbed.

This ensures that the neurotransmitter has longer to release its effects, which can alleviate depression, lighten your mood, and relieve anxiety symptoms like fear and panic over time.

It is important to note that fluvoxamine does not “create” instant relaxation or happiness and will not change your personality.

It works over time to balance chemical imbalances in your brain that cause you to become anxious, so you can feel like you used to before you developed anxiety.

Can Luvox Increase Anxiety?

The efficacy of Luvox in improving SAD symptoms has been confirmed by several randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies.

The medication can reduce the effects of low serotonin, boosting its activity in your brain and improving your mood, as well as making you less anxious in the process.

However, Medical News Today notes that the initial increase in serotonin levels can increase fear and panic.

It can even cause suicidal ideation in young people.

This is more common in the early days of treatment and can be accompanied by increased hostility, agitation, and impulsivity. Fortunately, the symptoms should go away within a few weeks.

So, yes. Luvox can increase your anxiety levels but only temporarily during the early days as your body adjusts to the chemical changes going on in your brain.

Does Luvox Help with Panic Attacks?

Panic disorder is a mental health condition characterized by recurring panic attacks, accompanied by symptoms like palpitations, shortness of breath, trembling, sweating, and fear of dying.

According to a report published in NCBI , several studies have shown that Luvox can be used to treat panic disorder effectively, lowering the patient’s anxiety level and number of panic attacks.

Several of the studies found that fluvoxamine is significantly more effective in lowering the occurrence of panic attacks than a placebo.

This means that, when prescribed by your doctor, Luvox can help you with your panic attacks.

Is Luvox Activating or Sedating?

Luvox is considered relatively sedating, which is why you are advised to take it before bedtime.

The SSRI can produce activating symptoms, but in rare cases and mostly in children.

According to Good Therapy , Luvox was prescribed to children in a clinical trial that saw about 50 percent of the patients experience activation symptoms.

The study concluded that age was a motivating factor in this case and that children, especially younger children, are more likely to experience this side effect.

Overall, however, Luvox has sedating properties and can leave you feeling drowsy and tired.

Why Do You Take Luvox at Night?

As mentioned, Luvox is a sedating antidepressant that can leave you feeling drowsy. VeryWell Mind explains that SSRIs like fluvoxamine, which cause sedation symptoms, are best taken at bedtime.

This is to ensure that you do not get into any accidents, say while driving when the sedation properties kick in. Luvox can also cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

While these side effects often go away with time, taking the medication at night can help you sleep through the unpleasantness.

Does Luvox Help with Sleep?

Fluvoxamine is relatively sedating and can make you sleepy.

However, it can also affect your sleeping pattern, lowering your total sleep time and increasing the number of times you wake up during the early days. Stopping your prescription suddenly can also worsen symptoms like insomnia.

That said, over time, Luvox can help you sleep better by regulating your mood and relieving your anxiety symptoms.

Does Luvox Help with Intrusive Thoughts?

Yes. Luvox is primarily prescribed to treat OCD, whose main symptoms include recurring obsessive and intrusive thoughts. It can reduce these symptoms as well as your urge to repeatedly develop intrusive thoughts or perform repetitive tasks.

Does Luvox Make You Sleepy?

Because fluvoxamine has sedating properties, it can make you foggy and a little drowsy.

It can also cause poor muscle control and vision in some people. Consequently, you should never take Luvox before operating machinery, driving, or even leaving the house, especially if you are alone and have just started taking the medication.

Does Fluvoxamine Calm You Down?

Technically, yes, but not immediately. Luvox is a slow-release medication and is designed for daily, long-term maintenance of anxiety and panic disorder symptoms.

While it can reduce the frequency and severity of, say, your panic attacks, it may not be very effective at stopping an attack in progress.

Fluvoxamine works by increasing the amount of time serotonin remains in your system, which can improve your energy levels and mood, keeping you calm in the long term.

Does Luvox Affect Memory?

Yes. A series of tests on the Effect of Fluvoxamine on Amyloid-β Peptide Generation and Memory published by the National Center for Biotechnology Informationconfirmed that treatment with Luvox significantly enhanced memory function.

This means that taking the medication can help improve your memory and cognitive functions.

Can Luvox Help with Focus?

A medical report published in PubMed , describes fluvoxamine as a strong “sigma-1 receptor agonist.”

The report confirms that, in addition to showing positive effects in OCD, stress, depression, psychosis, and aggression, it also improves cognitive deficiencies.

It can restore cognitive function and repair atrophies in your nervous system. Consequently, fluvoxamine can help you think more clearly, remember better, and focus more.

When Should I Take Luvox?

Fluvoxamine is available in tablet and capsule form and should be taken once a day at bedtime unless your doctor recommends otherwise. Swallow the tablet whole without chewing, breaking, or crushing it.

Remember, results will not be immediate so keep taking the medication as long as your doctor prescribes it.

If you miss a dose, take it immediately after you remember unless it is almost time for you to take the next dose.

If this is the case, skip the missed dose.

Never take a double dose to compensate for a missed dose, and contact your doctor if you have any concerns regarding missed doses.

How Long Does Luvox Stay in Your System?

Fluvoxamine has a very short half-life compared to other SSRIs – about 15 hours.

This means that it should not take very long to get Luvox out of your system, and you can expect to have it completely out of your body within 36 to 60 hours. Sadly, this short half-life also means that Luvox can cause severe withdrawal symptoms.

These symptoms can be managed and are not fatal as long as you notify your doctor that you are experiencing them.

What Happens When You Stop Taking Luvox?

You should never stop taking Luvox, even when you begin to feel better or believe your symptoms are completely gone.

Your doctor will usually evaluate your condition to determine how long you need to remain on the medication, and you should follow their instructions. You may increase your risk of symptom relapse if you miss a dose.

If you stop taking the medication completely, you may experience a wide range of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Nightmares
  • Tingling or pricking sensation on your skin (paresthesias)
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness

If you want to stop taking Luvox, discuss your decision with your doctor. If they agree, they will gradually taper off your dosage to slowly wean you off the medication and prevent the occurrence of withdrawal.

Can Luvox Make You Angry?

During the early days of taking Luvox, you may experience some unwanted side effects like extreme hyperactivity, panic, hostility, and agitation.

As Mayo Clinicpoints out, fluvoxamine can also cause irritability, agitation, and unexplained anger in some people.

You may notice you are more energetic, impulsive, and have difficulty sleeping or get upset very easily.

These side effects will usually go away with time but you can discuss them with your doctor if they begin to trouble you or your loved ones.

Is Luvox Better Than Prozac?

Both fluvoxamine and Prozac are SSRI antidepressants used to treat OCD and depression.

The latter is also used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), panic disorder, and bulimia, while Luvox is more suited to addressing social anxiety disorder.

In terms of effect, several studies comparing Luvox and Prozac have found that both medications are equally effective in alleviating depressive symptoms.

They do, however, cause different side effects. Luvox, for instance, does not affect your weight, while Prozac can cause weight loss.

The choice between the two will come down to the condition you are trying to treat, the side effects you can handle, and what your doctor prescribes.


Does Luvox reduce anxiety? Currently, Luvox is approved by the FDA to treat OCD, a common anxiety disorder.

It is also used off-label to treat social phobia, panic disorder, and SAD, among other conditions.

When taking Luvox for anxiety, you may notice positive changes in your sleep, appetite, and energy, although results may take several weeks to appear.

Always get a prescription and precise instructions from your doctor before using fluvoxamine.



Does Luvox help with general anxiety? ›

Fluvoxamine (Luvox) is only FDA approved to treat OCD. It's not approved to treat anxiety. Talk to your provider if you're looking for a medication for anxiety, as some medications that work similarly to fluvoxamine (Luvox) are approved for anxiety.

How long does it take for Luvox to work for anxiety? ›

How long does it take fluvoxamine to start working? When starting fluvoxamine, many people with OCD will not notice any improvement in their symptoms for about 4 to 6 weeks. In fact, some people might need 10 to 12 weeks to notice any difference in their symptoms.

How much Luvox should I take for anxiety? ›

Adults—At first, 50 milligrams (mg) once a day at bedtime. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 300 mg per day. If your daily dose is higher than 100 mg, your doctor may want you to take it in 2 divided doses.

Does fluvoxamine have a calming effect? ›

Randomized, double-blind, placebo- and active-controlled studies have shown that fluvoxamine is effective in patients with panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia), reducing both the number of panic attacks and the level of anxiety.

What are the benefits of Luvox? ›

Fluvoxamine is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It helps decrease thoughts that are unwanted or that don't go away (obsessions), and it helps to reduce the urge to perform repeated tasks (compulsions such as hand-washing, counting, checking) that interfere with daily living.

Does Luvox treat anxiety and depression? ›

Luvox (fluvoxamine) and Prozac (fluoxetine) are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants used to treat depression or obsessive-compulsive disorders. Luvox is also used to treat social anxiety disorder (social phobia).

Is Luvox or Zoloft better for anxiety? ›

Zoloft (sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety, but it can interact with many medicines. Luvox CR (fluvoxamine) is a first choice for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder. Both the immediate release and extended release versions of Luvox CR (fluvoxamine) are available as generic.

Does Luvox help social anxiety? ›

Manufactured by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Luvox CR was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD) in February 2008.

What symptoms does Luvox treat? ›

Fluvoxamine is used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It belongs to a group of medicines known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medicines are thought to work by increasing the activity of a chemical called serotonin in the brain. .

Is Lexapro or Luvox better for anxiety? ›

Luvox CR (fluvoxamine) is a first choice treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it can lower your sex drive. Improves mood and helps you relax. Lexapro (escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It is less likely to cause side effects than and has fewer drug interactions.

Can Luvox increased anxiety? ›

Some patients may feel worse when first starting or changing the dose of drugs such as LUVOX. You may feel more anxious, agitated, hostile, or impulsive, or may have thoughts about suicide, self- harm or harm to others.

How well does Luvox work? ›

Fluvoxamine has an average rating of 6.7 out of 10 from a total of 349 reviews on 55% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 25% reported a negative experience.

Does Luvox help with sleep? ›

Fluvoxamine improved PSG parameters and ameliorated complaints of insomnia simultaneously during this 8-week study.

Which SSRI is best for anxiety? ›

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These include fluoxetine (aka Prozac), paroxetine (aka Paxil), sertraline (aka Zoloft), fluvoxamine (aka Luvox), citalopram (aka Celexa), and escitalopram (aka Lexapro). They tend to be the first line choice for multiple anxiety disorders and depression.

Does Luvox make you sleep more? ›

Many of the most common side effects of fluvoxamine—headache, nausea, insomnia, drowsiness, and others—happen early in treatment.

How does Luvox work in the brain? ›

This drug works by targeting nerve cells and inhibiting them from reabsorbing certain chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters. More specifically, fluvoxamine inhibits the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain — a chemical that is believed to have an impact on mood.

Does fluvoxamine have positive reviews? ›

Fluvoxamine has an average rating of 7.2 out of 10 from a total of 186 reviews for the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 62% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 18% reported a negative experience.

Why take Luvox at bedtime? ›

Drowsiness. Unlike some SSRIs, certain other antidepressants tend to make you feel drowsy, so they're better tolerated if you take them at bedtime. Among these medications are Luvox (fluvoxamine), Remeron (mirtazapine), and the tricyclic antidepressants,2 including: Elavil (amitriptyline)

What is the first drug of choice for anxiety? ›

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) SSRIs and SNRIs are often the first-line treatment for anxiety. Common SSRI brands are Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft.

What is the most successful antidepressant for anxiety? ›

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are the most widely prescribed type of antidepressants. They're usually preferred over other antidepressants, as they cause fewer side effects.

What is the best antidepressant for anxiety and panic? ›

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Generally safe with a low risk of serious side effects, SSRI antidepressants are typically recommended as the first choice of medications to treat panic attacks.

What is the safest anti anxiety drug? ›

As of this writing, some of the anxiety medications with the fewest reported side effects and least risk of side effects include:
  • Most Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium)
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Citalopram (Celexa - SSRI)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil - SSRI)

Which SSRI works the fastest for anxiety? ›

Which SSRI Works Fastest? Escitalopram is an SSRI under the brand name Lexapro. Individuals taking it may notice therapeutic effects within the first week. It has the fastest known response of an SSRI and the mechanisms behind it are still being studied.

How will I feel on Luvox? ›

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Fluvoxamine? Headache, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, dizziness, increased sweating, feeling nervous, restless, fatigued, or having trouble sleeping (insomnia). These will often improve over the first week or two as you continue to take the medication.

Can you have caffeine on Luvox? ›

While you are taking fluvoxamine, you should limit your intake of caffeine from beverages and medicines. Your healthcare professionals may already be aware of this interaction and may be monitoring you for it.

Why am I so tired on Luvox? ›

Yes, you are right, Fluvoxamine has a side effect of increased sedation. Because of sedation person feels lethargy. You can do this thing that if Fluvoxamine is causing sedation, you can shift the medicine to night time, just before sleeping.

Is it OK to take Luvox in the morning? ›

Fluvoxamine comes as a tablet and an extended-release capsule to take by mouth. The tablet usually is taken either once daily at bedtime or twice daily, once in the morning and once at bedtime.

What are the top 3 anxiety medications? ›

The most prominent of anti-anxiety drugs for the purpose of immediate relief are those known as benzodiazepines; among them are alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan).

What is the best treatment for severe anxiety disorder? ›

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally a short-term treatment, CBT focuses on teaching you specific skills to improve your symptoms and gradually return to the activities you've avoided because of anxiety.

How I healed my anxiety without drugs? ›

Anxiety Treatment Without Medication: 7 Holistic Ways to Cope
  1. Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check. ...
  2. Avoid Stimulants. ...
  3. Get Enough Sleep. ...
  4. Just Breathe. ...
  5. Practice Mindfulness. ...
  6. Exercise. ...
  7. Do What You Enjoy. ...
  8. Where to Get Help.
Dec 6, 2017

Does fluoxetine help with general anxiety? ›

Prozac (active ingredient: fluoxetine) is a commonly prescribed SSRI for anxiety. Prozac takes between two and six weeks to take effect and needs to be continued for at least six months to a year. It is generally considered a safe medication for long-term use and is not addictive.

Which SSRI is best for general anxiety? ›

Many SSRIs and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) have effectively treated GAD in clinical trials, but only paroxetine (Paxil), escitalopram (Lexapro), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and venlafaxine (Effexor) are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this indication.

Is fluoxetine good for generalized anxiety disorder? ›

The researchers found that fluoxetine was more effective than a non-therapeutic placebo as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia, and that the medication was well tolerated by the participants in the study.

Which fluoxetine is best for anxiety? ›

Prozac and Zoloft are both effective at treating anxiety. You may notice an improvement in your anxiety in as little as 2 weeks. But since your healthcare provider may increase your dose over several weeks, it can take 1 to 2 months before you feel full effects.

How much fluoxetine should I take for severe anxiety? ›

The usual dose of fluoxetine for adults is 20mg a day. However, you may start at a lower dose and gradually be increased to a maximum dose of 60mg a day.

Does fluoxetine stop panic attacks? ›

Prozac (fluoxetine) is a popular antidepressant medication that's been around since the 1980s. It's approved to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia, and panic disorder.

What is the number one drug prescribed for anxiety? ›

Benzodiazepines (also known as tranquilizers) are the most widely prescribed type of medication for anxiety. Drugs such as Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Valium (diazepam), and Ativan (lorazepam) work quickly, typically bringing relief within 30 minutes to an hour.

What is the most successful anti anxiety medication? ›

The strongest type of anxiety medication currently available is benzodiazepines, more specifically Xanax. It is important to note that benzodiazepines are not the only medication used to treat anxiety; however, they are the most potent and habit-forming.

How long does fluoxetine take to treat anxiety? ›

You may see an improvement in your symptoms after around 1 to 2 weeks, although it usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks before you feel the full benefits. That's because it takes around a week for fluoxetine levels to build up in your body, and then a few weeks longer for your body to adapt and get used to it.

Is fluoxetine more for depression or anxiety? ›

Our preliminary findings suggest that fluoxetine is effective in treating outpatients with major depression with comorbid anxiety disorders, with a significant effect on both depression and anxiety symptoms.

Does Luvox help with panic attacks? ›

Fluvoxamine may also be helpful when prescribed “off-label” for major depressive disorder (MDD), social phobia (also known as social anxiety disorder), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and eating disorders including bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.


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