People who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may benefit from Luvox. The medication works by allowing more serotonin to remain in the brain, alleviating the symptoms of OCD. Luvox is available in tablet form and is taken once or twice daily. Conditions you should let your healthcare provider know about prior to taking it are bipolar disorder, seizures, and liver disease. Side effects can include nausea, drowsiness, and headaches.
Brand-name Luvox is made by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Generic Luvox is made by various drug manufacturers.
How Does Luvox Work?
Luvox is part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. SSRIs affect a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. Serotonin is one of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release serotonin. The serotonin enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough serotonin reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any serotonin that remains in the gap between the cells. This is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. But when the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including OCD. Luvox helps to block the reuptake of serotonin so that more remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the serotonin a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Luvox [package insert]. Baudette, MN: ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;2012 November.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 9, 2007.
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