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Luvox Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 14, 2019

Luvox is a brand name for the drug fluvoxamine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used primarily to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. The drug has also been used for treating depression as well as anxiety disorders.

Luvox was first introduced to the American market in 1994 and created controversy when it was discovered that Eric Harris, one of the gunmen during the Columbine school shooting, had started taking the drug prior to the massacre.

How Luvox Works

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors work by inhibiting or blocking nerve cells from reabsorbing serotonin, creating an excess of these mood-changing neurotransmitters. While some serotonin is produced in the brain, the majority is produced within the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin regulates appetite and digestion and it has been suspected for some time that a link exists between mood regulation and serotonin. Low serotonin has been indicated in people suffering from depression, though it is not known whether this is the cause or the result of the depression.

In recent years, scientists have begun to find ways to mark specific serotonin receptors with a trace chemical that allows them to be mapped, but the primary mechanism in the SSRIs success in treating depression and other mood disorders is still largely unknown.

What is known is that increasing serotonin levels appears to relate to the body’s ability to combat anxiety, a beneficial component to treating depression.

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Is Luvox Addictive?

While drugs like Luvox are not considered addictive, some people who are predisposed to addictive behaviors may become addicted due to fears surrounding withdrawal symptoms. Approximately 20% of those prescribed SSRI medications experience more severe withdrawals from drugs like Luvox. These withdrawal symptoms are not only more pronounced, but they last for a longer duration, up to several weeks.

A person with risk factors for addiction may come from a background of abuse or codependent behavior and may use Luvox as a cure-all for issues in life beyond the scope of the medication. Someone may approach use of the drug with a “if one works; two will work better” mindset. While SSRIs are fairly safe to use, increasing doses can result in toxic levels of serotonin in the body and result in complications including convulsions, irregular heartbeats, and renal and respiratory failure.

Someone who has been dependent on the drug to feel good or normal may be overwhelmed when they attempt to stop taking Luvox and encounter discontinuation symptoms that mimic those symptoms being treated like anxiety and other mood disorders.

Luvox Side Effects And Health Risks

Luvox targets specific serotonin receptors. These receptors regulate sleep, appetite, and sexual functions in addition to the mood-related experiences of depression and anxiety. The most widely reported side effect from Luvox use is nausea. Weight gain and sexual dysfunction are other common side effects reported with long term use of Luvox.

Patients prescribed Luvox are typically monitored for suicidal thoughts, mania, and seizures. The drug is linked to an increase in suicidal thoughts in young adults and children and use should be carefully monitored. Deaths from Luvox overdose, whether intentional or otherwise have been reported. After a decade of use, more than 500 people had suffered a Luvox overdose resulting in 55 fatalities.

With use of SSRIs is an increase in risk of developing serotonin syndrome, a sometimes fatal condition which produces an increase in heart rate along with flu-like symptoms including chills, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, and involuntary muscle movement. Any combination of these symptoms should be reported to a medical professional.

Luvox side effects may include:

  • sexual dysfunction
  • weight gain
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • changes in appetite
  • gastrointestinal upset

Luvox Withdrawal

Withdrawal from SSRIs like Luvox can generate some pretty unpleasant side effects that can last weeks following discontinuation of the drug. These include persistent flu-like symptoms such as:

  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • fatigue

Find Luvox Addiction Treatment

Any medicine that affects neurotransmission in the brain should be carefully monitored while tapering off the drug. The brain and body will require time to adjust and withdrawal symptoms may be managed with the help of other medications and support. Someone who has been abusing Luvox will need support for underlying emotional and physical issues that resulted in the addiction. Treatment for Luvox addiction will likely include ongoing counseling and support. can connect you with the resources and support you need to break the cycle of dependency. Get help with a Luvox dependency today with a confidential phone call and rediscover a life free from addiction.

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