When to Avoid Fluvoxamine

Some Precautions and Warnings With Fluvoxamine

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with fluvoxamine include:
 
  • Fluvoxamine can interact with many other medicines (see Drug Interactions With Fluvoxamine). Many of these interactions are very serious. Always check with your healthcare provider before taking any medications (including non-prescription medications) with fluvoxamine.
 
  • Even though fluvoxamine is not licensed to treat depression, it is classified as an antidepressant based on how it works in the brain. Antidepressants (including fluvoxamine) may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in children, teenagers, and adults (see Antidepressants and Suicide for more information). Therefore, if you notice any changes in symptoms or develop new symptoms while taking fluvoxamine, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider immediately. Some of these symptoms include anxiety, hostility, agitation, panic, restlessness, hallucinations, extreme hyperactivity, and suicidal thoughts or behavior (see Luvox and Suicide for more information).
     
  • Before prescribing fluvoxamine off-label for depression, your healthcare provider should make sure that you do not have bipolar disorder (instead of depression). Sometimes, the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression are very similar, and fluvoxamine can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder.
     
  • Smoking usually decreases the level of fluvoxamine in your blood. If you start smoking (or quit smoking), your healthcare provider may need to adjust your fluvoxamine dosage.
     
  • If you have a seizure disorder, there is a possibility that taking fluvoxamine may cause seizures. Talk with your healthcare professional before taking fluvoxamine if you have seizures.
     
  • If you are stopping fluvoxamine, you should be monitored by a healthcare professional for withdrawal symptoms. If you do develop any symptoms of a fluvoxamine withdrawal -- such as irritability, anxiety, confusion, headaches, lethargy, or insomnia -- your healthcare provider may slow down the rate at which he or she is decreasing your fluvoxamine dosage (see Luvox Withdrawal).
     
  • Fluvoxamine may cause bleeding in the stomach or intestines. This risk is increased in those taking aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen. Symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding may include:

 

    • Bright red blood coating the stool
    • Dark blood mixed with the stool
    • Black or tarry stool
    • Bright red blood in vomit
    • Vomit that has the appearance of coffee grounds.
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your healthcare provider.
  • If you are elderly or taking a diuretic, fluvoxamine could cause low salt levels in the blood (hyponatremia). These levels generally return to "normal" when fluvoxamine is stopped.
     
  • If you have liver problems, you may need a lower fluvoxamine dose (and your dose should be increased very slowly and only if needed), as the liver helps to remove fluvoxamine from the blood.
     
  • Fluvoxamine may affect your ability to perform complex tasks requiring mental and motor skills. Therefore, it is recommended that you become accustomed to its effect on you before becoming involved in activities requiring mental or motor concentration (such as driving a car or operating machinery). This effect may be greater if you are taking other medications that make you drowsy.
     
  • Fluvoxamine can cause rashes or other allergic reactions. If you develop an unexplained rash or hives during treatment with fluvoxamine, talk with your healthcare provider.
     
  • Fluvoxamine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that fluvoxamine may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using fluvoxamine during pregnancy (see Luvox and Pregnancy for more information).
     
  • Fluvoxamine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using fluvoxamine (see Luvox and Breastfeeding).
     
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