Another Monday means it is time for another Medication Monday, the weekly series that examines some of the various mental health medications that are available. It is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice, but rather a brief, informative introduction that will hopefully allow readers to be more educated when they talk to their doctor. Hopefully, talking about medications will also cut down on the stigma associated with mental health meds. This week, we leave the supplements behind and get back to talking about prescription medications with a discussion of Luvox (fluvoxamine).
Luvox us an antidepressant medication that belongs to the class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. It is used to treat major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It may also be used off-label for social anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and certain eating disorders. Whatever the reason the Luvox was prescribed, you should not stop taking it just because you start to feel better. Stopping this medication suddenly may cause a relapse in your underlying symptoms, and may also cause dizziness, headache, irritability, nausea, nightmares, a tingling sensation on the skin, and/or vomiting.
Even if you take this medication as directed, you could have side effects, such as diarrhea, dry mouth, headache, increased sweating, nausea, nervousness, restlessness, fatigue, sleepy feeling or insomnia, and possible sexual side effects. Most of the side effects will improve after the first week or two as the medication starts to take effect. Rarer side effects include low sodium levels in the blood and serotonin syndrome. Both of these are serious and should be communicated to your doctor immediately.
And while this list of side effects might sound scary, chances are you won’t get all of the side effects. And even if you do, and the side effects get to be too much, you can work with your doctor to find another medication that works better for you. Just like how no two mental illnesses are the same, no two people react to medications the same. This is just one of many reasons why you should talk with your doctor about these medications if you have any questions. They will have prescribed the medication because they believe it will be the right one for you, but they should also answer any questions you have.
And hopefully, these posts help you be more prepared for those conversations. And as always, thanks for reading.