Luvox, also sold under the name Fluvoxamine (generic), is an SSRI medication prescribed for the treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions like OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), major depressive disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Although many individuals respond well to treatment with Luvox, some individuals may find the medication intolerable or inadequately effective. Among those who don’t respond well to Luvox, it may be necessary to discontinue the medication and potentially endure Luvox withdrawal symptoms.
What causes Luvox withdrawal symptoms?
Luvox withdrawal symptoms are thought to manifest from fluctuations in neurotransmitter levels throughout the brain following elimination of the medication from the former user’s system. It is known that when a person initially begins using Luvox, time needs to pass (usually 2 to 8 weeks) for the brain and nervous system to adjust to the presence and effects of Luvox. When the brain and nervous system have completely adjusted themselves to Luvox, they begin to rely upon its daily effect to maintain normal neurotransmitter levels.
How Luvox affects brain activity
- Serotonin reuptake inhibition
- Sigma-1 receptor agonism
When anyone discontinues Luvox treatment after regular use, the brain and nervous system will need time to readjust themselves and revert back to pre-Luvox functioning. In the readjustment process, it is thought that neurotransmitter levels, neural connectivity, and even hormone levels may fluctuate. Fluctuations in activity throughout the brain and central nervous system while reverting back to pre-Luvox homeostasis – is likely what gives rise to Luvox withdrawal symptoms.
Luvox Withdrawal Symptoms (Extensive List)
When a person discontinues Luvox, he/she has a high chance of enduring withdrawal or “discontinuation” symptoms. However, the exact withdrawal symptoms that manifest, as well as the severities of each symptom – will vary among former Luvox users. This considered, you should never expect that your Luvox withdrawal will be the exact same as that experienced by another individual.
Listed below are many of the most common Luvox withdrawal symptoms that emerge following treatment cessation. You should understand that not all of these symptoms may be documented in medical literature. Moreover, understand that most individuals will not experience every last symptom listed below – what’s listed below is a compilation of many potential symptoms.
- Anger: A symptom that sometimes manifests after Luvox is discontinued is anger. You may notice that you have a short-temper around others even if you don’t have a history of anger issues. The anger that surfaces during Luvox withdrawal is may related to a combination of serotonin imbalances coupled with high stress.
- Anxiety: It is fairly normal to experience high anxiety and nervousness after discontinuing Luvox. Anxiety during withdrawal is likely related to fluctuations in serotonin, elevated stress hormones, and an overactive sympathetic nervous system (which gives rise to the “fight-flight” response). That said, if you were taking Luvox to treat anxiety, it’s possible that the anxiety during your withdrawal is simply a resurfacing of an underlying anxiety disorder.
- Brain zaps: A withdrawal symptom that can occur after quitting Luvox and other medications that interact with serotonin is “brain zaps.” Brain zaps are described as sensations of electrical buzzes, pulses, or shocks throughout the brain. These may literally feel like your head is being plugged into an electrical socket.
- Depression: If you were taking Luvox to treat depression, the depression that you’re experiencing during withdrawal could simply be a rebound of your underlying condition. However, depression during Luvox withdrawal can also be caused by high stress, changes in sleep, and serotonin imbalances. In the event that your depression becomes severe during withdrawal – do not hesitate to get in touch with your doctor.
- Dizziness: A few days into Luvox withdrawal and you may suddenly feel dizzier than usual. The dizziness may be very intense, almost as if you’re drunk or suffering from seasickness. Some people claim to feel so dizzy that they have trouble balancing or standing upright for long periods of time.
- Fatigue: When withdrawing from Luvox, you might experience ongoing fatigue – or episodes of extreme lethargy. In some cases, this fatigue could be related to a return of an underlying depressive disorder. However, fatigue could also be caused by a combination of high stress, sleep disturbances, and fluctuations in neurotransmitters like serotonin throughout withdrawal.
- Headaches: One of the most common Luvox discontinuation symptoms is headache. Many people will experience tension-type headaches while coming off of Luvox, whereas others might endure migraines. The headaches may be intermittent or seemingly nonstop – occurring 24/7. To manage the headaches, you may want to consider over-the-counter headache relief medications, massage, stress reduction, and optimizing your water intake.
- Heart palpitations: Heart palpitations are described in numerous ways, including: fluttering sensations in the chest or heart; loud heart pounding; or the heart skipping beats. These palpitations are often accompanied by increased heart rate and high anxiety. If you’re experiencing heart palpitations during withdrawal – have a doctor rule out heart problems and do whatever you can to minimize stress (high stress can trigger or exacerbate palpitations).
- Impaired cognition: In the first couple weeks of Luvox withdrawal, you may feel as though you can’t even think straight. Your thoughts may be scrambled or disorganized, and you may notice severe brain fog – or clouded thinking. Furthermore, you might notice impaired cognitive function in areas of attention or focus; memory; planning; problem solving; and critical thinking.
- Increased heart rate: In addition to heart palpitations, you may experience increased heart rate during Luvox withdrawal. In other words, it may seem like your heart is racing or beating rapidly – compared to its normal rate. If you have a history of heart problems and/or just want to be safe – it is recommended that you have a doctor evaluate your heart function. Stress reduction and/or anti-anxiety medication may help normalize your heart rate throughout withdrawal.
- Insomnia & trouble sleeping: Some people may find that they cannot fall asleep or get a quality night’s sleep once they’ve discontinued Luvox. Insomnia and sleep issues during withdrawal usually stem from several things, including: elevated stress (and stress hormone production); an overactive sympathetic nervous system; and imbalanced neurotransmitters (including serotonin).
- Irritability: Luvox withdrawal can sometimes cause people to feel more irritable than usual. Even if you don’t have a history of irritability, you might find yourself getting upset or annoyed with others on a frequent basis. The irritability during withdrawal may be caused by lack of sleep, unmanaged stress, and alterations in neurotransmitter levels after Luvox cessation.
- Lightheadedness: Former Luvox users may experience lightheadedness as a withdrawal symptom. The lightheadedness may be accompanied by dizziness and could be caused by changes in blood pressure, blood flow throughout the brain, or abnormally high stress. If you’re feeling lightheaded or faint, it’s probably a good idea to inform your doctor and assess both your blood pressure and anxiety level.
- Low appetite: During Luvox withdrawal, you may experience low appetite – or complete loss of appetite. Appetite changes may be related to a return of an underlying condition such as depression or anxiety. That said, low appetite could also be a byproduct of other Luvox withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and/or vomiting.
- Nausea & potential vomiting: If you discontinue Luvox rapidly or cold turkey, you may experience nausea in the early stages of withdrawal. If the nausea becomes severe, there’s a chance that it could even provoke vomiting. To manage nausea in withdrawal, it is recommended that you ask your doctor for an antiemetic medication, or drug that specifically treats nausea – this should help you cope.
- Rebound symptoms: The neuropsychiatric condition for which you were prescribed Luvox as a treatment may return or “rebound” during withdrawal. A return of neuropsychiatric symptoms is usually due to the fact that Luvox is no longer altering neurochemistry to prevent or reduce symptoms. For this reason, you shouldn’t be surprised if you experience rebound symptoms after cessation.
- Restlessness: There’s a chance you might experience bouts of restlessness or agitation when withdrawing from Luvox. The restlessness might interfere with your ability to sit still at school or work, and may even cause sleep disturbances. Managing the restlessness may involve a combination of stress reduction, exercise, and anti-anxiety medication.
- Sensory sensitivities: After quitting Luvox, some individuals will notice that they’ve become highly sensitive to certain noises and/or sights. The high stress experienced during withdrawal plus serotonin imbalances can cause heightened sensory awareness and sensory sensitivity. As a result, it may seem like every sound that you hear is too loud – or every sight is too bright.
- Suicidal thoughts: If you experience suicidal thoughts at any point during Luvox withdrawal, seek emergency medical attention. Suicidal thoughts are a sign that you aren’t reacting well to Luvox cessation and that your neurochemistry is imbalanced. Because suicidal thoughts can be dangerous and impair decision making, it is recommended to get them professionally treated as soon as possible.
- Sweating: Following Luvox discontinuation, you may sweat considerably more than usual. Many former Luvox users claim to notice the sweats mostly at night, however, others will report increased sweating at all times of day. Sweating may be related to high stress levels and hormone fluctuations.
- Vivid dreams: Though dreams are commonly random and unpredictable, they may seem abnormally vivid, emotional, or lifelike after quitting Luvox. Vivid dreams may be caused by neurotransmitter fluctuations, circadian rhythm alterations, and sleep cycle changes after Luvox discontinuation. If you experience vivid dreams after Luvox cessation, know that it may take several weeks for them to subside.
Note: The above list of Luvox withdrawal symptoms may be partial or incomplete. If you’re aware of additional withdrawal symptoms that occur after Luvox cessation, share them in the comments. Read more: “Abrupt discontinuation of Luvox” and “Fluvoxamine withdrawal syndrome“).
What determines the severity of Luvox withdrawal symptoms?
The severities of Luvox withdrawal symptoms could be influenced by a variety of different variables. Most experts familiar with Luvox discontinuation believe that variables such as: duration of Luvox treatment; Luvox dosage; speed of Luvox tapering; a person’s lifestyle; and a person’s genetics – may affect withdrawal symptom severity.
- Length of Luvox treatment: The total time or length of Luvox treatment prior to withdrawal could influence the severity of discontinuation symptoms. It is suspected that long-term Luvox use is associated with more severe withdrawal symptoms than short-term Luvox use.
- Luvox dosage: The dose of Luvox that you utilized for a bulk of your treatment (prior to cessation) could determine how severe your withdrawal ends up. High-dose Luvox use is thought to yield harsher withdrawals than low-dose Luvox use.
- Rate of Luvox withdrawal: The speed or rate at which a person discontinues Luvox might affect his/her withdrawal symptom severity. Quitting Luvox “cold turkey” or abruptly is thought to yield more devastating withdrawal symptoms than slowly tapering off of it.
- Use of other substances: Administering other substances such as medications or supplements during Luvox withdrawal is thought to decrease the severities of Luvox withdrawal symptoms. Persons who transition from Luvox to nothing (e.g. no medications or supplements) may have a more challenging withdrawal.
- Lifestyle & genetics: A combination of a person’s lifestyle and his/her genetics may impact the severities of Luvox withdrawal symptoms. A healthy lifestyle might make it easier to cope with discontinuation symptoms than an unhealthy one. Moreover, having certain genes might promote quicker recovery from withdrawal symptoms – than having other genes.
Best supplements for Luvox withdrawal symptoms
It is thought that using various supplements may be helpful in decreasing the severities of Luvox discontinuation symptoms – or might speed up recovery from withdrawal symptoms. Included below is a list of supplements that might be beneficial among persons undergoing Luvox withdrawal. That said, you should know that not everyone who uses supplements during Luvox withdrawal will find them beneficial.
Disclaimer: It needs to be stated that you should never consider using any supplement without first contacting a medical doctor to verify that it’s safe in accordance with your medical status.
Affiliate disclosure: The supplements listed below contain affiliate links which help this site earn money. That said, the links are to products that we think are high quality, reasonably-priced, and potentially valuable throughout Luvox withdrawal.
- Magnesium: Magnesium might help reduce many Luvox withdrawal symptoms, including: anxiety, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, and sleep disturbances.
- Electrolytes: Using electrolytes during Luvox withdrawal may alleviate any symptoms that are directly caused by or exacerbated by withdrawal-related electrolyte imbalances.
- Vitamin B complex: A vitamin B complex might help reduce withdrawal symptoms such as: anxiety, muscle tension, insomnia, and restlessness.
- Lemon balm: If you’re feeling particularly anxious after quitting Luvox, you might want to try lemon balm – an herbal anti-anxiety supplement.
- L-Tryptophan: L-Tryptophan is thought to increase concentrations of serotonin in the brain, which might be helpful after discontinuing a serotonin modulator like Luvox.
- Krill oil: Krill oil may help stabilize neurotransmission throughout Luvox withdrawal and help clear up brain fog.
- Melatonin: In the event that you cannot seem to fall asleep or sleep soundly during Luvox withdrawal, you may want to consider supplementing with melatonin.
- Multivitamin: Supplementing with a multivitamin can help minimize likelihood of vitamin deficiencies during Luvox withdrawal.
- Probiotics: Using probiotic supplements may help restore healthy gut bacteria after Luvox cessation. Increasing healthy gut bacteria could help alleviate certain withdrawal symptoms.
- Curcumin: Curcumin is thought to be a useful anti-inflammatory agent that may help enhance mood and reduce inflammation during Luvox withdrawal.
- Rhodiola rosea: If your energy levels are low, you experience constant fatigue, and can’t seem to think clearly after quitting Luvox – you may want to test out the adaptogenic herb Rhodiola.
- L-Tyrosine: Though Luvox doesn’t directly affect levels of dopamine in the brain, some individuals may benefit from increasing dopamine via supplementation. L-Tyrosine is one of the best supplements for maximizing dopamine throughout the brain.
- NAC: High levels of oxidative stress throughout the brain and central nervous system may cause or play a role in causing Luvox withdrawal symptoms. NAC is a powerful antioxidant supplement that may decrease elevated oxidative stress levels.
How to withdraw from Luvox safely (Recommendations)
If you’re thinking about quitting Luvox or have already discontinued, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to ensure a safe withdrawal process. Recommendations for persons withdrawing from Luvox include: work with a psychiatrist; taper off of the medication slowly; live a healthy lifestyle; and consider using other medications and/or supplements (if recommended by your doctor). Review the recommendations listed below if you’re confused about how to maximize safety during Luvox withdrawal.
- Psychiatric guidance: It is highly recommended that you receive professional guidance from a psychiatrist or medical doctor while discontinuing Luvox. A psychiatrist will know how quickly you can safely taper, whether you’ll need to switch to another medication, and how to help you cope with discontinuation symptoms. Moreover, a psychiatrist will be able to prescribe helpful medications and/or recommend supplements that might ease withdrawal symptoms.
- Taper off of Luvox: While some individuals may discontinue Luvox “cold turkey,” it is never recommended to abruptly cease treatment. Instead, it is recommended that you ask your psychiatrist or medical doctor to come up with a tapering schedule to safely wean off of the drug. Tapering off of Luvox may decrease the severity of withdrawal and help you overcome withdrawal symptoms at the quickest possible rate. Some sources online recommend a very slow taper via reducing Luvox dosage by 10% per month for long-term users.
- Live healthy: While living healthy is a common sense recommendation, it’ll probably help during withdrawal. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as: staying up too late, not getting enough sleep, eating a poor diet, and/or failing to manage stress – may exacerbate withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, doing things like: eating a balanced diet, making an effort to reduce stress, exercising each day, etc. – might help you recover from withdrawal symptoms faster.
- Use other substances: If you’re having trouble managing Luvox withdrawal symptoms, always ask your doctor about substances (medications and/or supplements) that might help during your withdrawal. Most psychiatrists and/or medical doctors will be able to prescribe medications or recommend supplements that would be safe to use throughout withdrawal.
How long does Luvox withdrawal last? (Duration)
The total amount of time that a person will need to fully recover from Luvox withdrawal will be subject to significant individual variation. Certain former Luvox users may notice that their withdrawal symptoms persist for months after their final dose, whereas others might report a withdrawal that lasts only a couple of weeks before ending. Because withdrawal lengths are individualized, it is necessary to understand that your withdrawal length may not be the same as that reported by another former Luvox user.
In most cases, it is thought that withdrawal from Luvox under psychiatric guidance should lead to a marked improvement in many symptoms within 2 weeks to 3 months after the final dose. Nevertheless, it should be emphasized that marked improvement does not necessarily indicate complete resolution of withdrawal symptoms. Complete resolution of Luvox withdrawal may take much longer than expected in high-dose and/or long-term users.
Have you experienced Luvox withdrawal symptoms?
Assuming you decided to quit using Luvox and have undergone Luvox withdrawal, be sure to share your experience in the comments section. By sharing a comment, you may help someone else who’s also dealing with Luvox withdrawal. Comments can help others who are going through Luvox withdrawal to realize that they’re not alone. Below are some additional questions to answer if you want to provide more details in your comment.
- How long did you take Luvox before withdrawing?
- At what rate did you taper off of Luvox?
- What was the dosage of Luvox that you used throughout treatment?
- Did you have a good reason for quitting Luvox?
- What were the Luvox withdrawal symptoms that you endured?