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Luvox (Fluvoxamine) Withdrawal Symptoms

Luvox (Fluvoxamine) is a medication that is used predominantly to treat OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) as well as major depression. It is also prescribed to help treat various types of anxiety disorders such as social phobia and PTSD. It is classified as an SSRI antidepressant, meaning that it functions primarily by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It differs from other SSRIs in that it also acts as an Sigma-1 receptor agonist.

It is the Sigma-1 agonism that is believed to make this drug helpful for managing some negative symptoms and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia as an adjunct treatment option. Many consider Luvox to be a top-notch treatment, specifically for OCD. Research shows that Luvox can be therapeutic over a long-term and maintain efficacy for over a year.

Although Luvox may be an ideal medication for certain individuals, not everyone will react well to its effects. Some people will be unable to tolerate the side effects and others may not get therapeutic relief for their particular condition. In other cases, people who have been on it for awhile may find that its effectiveness wears off.

In these scenarios, a person may end up deciding that it would be best to discontinue treatment. During the discontinuation process, a variety of withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur.

Factors that influence Luvox withdrawal

There are several key factors that are thought to influence a person’s withdrawal from Luvox. Factors that can influence severity and duration of withdrawal include: the time span over which the drug was taken, the dosage, whether the person quit cold turkey vs. tapered, and other individual factors (e.g. physiology, genetics, other drugs, etc.).

1. Time Span

How long did you take Luvox? In general, the longer you took the medication, the more difficult withdrawal is going to be. Those who were on the drug for years are likely going to have a tougher time coming off of it than someone who was on it for a couple months. The longer you are on it, the more your brain and physiology will have become dependent on the drug for its effects.

Discontinuing the drug as a long-term user is likely to result in severe and difficult withdrawal symptoms, especially if you do not conduct a gradual taper. People who only took the drug for a few weeks shouldn’t have as difficult time quitting.  Shorter term users aren’t typically as physiologically reliant on the drug.

2. Dosage

The greater the dosage of Luvox that you take, the more difficult withdrawal is thought to be. Higher dosages result in more change to your physiology and neurotransmission compared to lower ones. The more of the drug that you ingest, the more your brain becomes accustomed to receiving that particular dosage or strength of the drug. Those who are taking low doses such as 50 mg or in some cases, less than 50 mg (e.g. 25 mg), withdrawal will likely be less difficult.

Luvox comes in multiple formulations including an “immediate release” type and a “controlled-release” type. The immediate release is the classic Luvox that is taken once daily and is released into the body all at once. The “controlled-release” pills are pills that breakdown differently than the “immediate release,” allowing for a more balanced absorption of the drug throughout the day. If a person quits cold turkey from the “CR” version, it may be slightly more difficult than quitting from the standard formulation of Luvox.

3. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

How did you quit taking Luvox? Did you conduct a gradual taper over the course of weeks or did you decide to quit cold turkey? In general, it is never recommended to discontinue any psychotropic medication on a “cold turkey” basis – especially an SSRI. Cold turkey withdrawals tend to be significantly more severe and tend to yield more protracted discontinuation symptoms.

If you are unsure about how to taper off of Luvox, talk to your doctor. If you were on the medication for a long period of time and/or at a higher dose, your tapering period should be longer than someone who was on a lower dose for a shorter period of time. It is recommended to taper off of Luvox by reducing your dosage at a rate of 10% per month.

Since this drug has an extremely short half-life, reductions in dose should be very gradual. If you feel 10% is too slow or quick of a taper (based on your circumstances), you can adjust the percentage accordingly. Individuals taking the “CR” version will want to taper down to the lowest “CR” dose, and then either switch over to a lower form of the standard, immediate-release Luvox OR carefully reduce the number of beads that are taken in the “CR” capsules.

4. Individual Factors

Understand that many individual factors will influence what you experience during your withdrawal. It is important to realize that two people may take Luvox for the same duration and at equal dosages, and one may experience completely different withdrawal symptoms for a longer duration than the other person – everyone is different. Each person has different genetics, physiologies, and habits that may (or may not) promote healing.

It should also be mentioned that a person who is on other medications may be less likely to notice withdrawal from Luvox compared to someone who was only taking this drug. Other medications can sometimes act as a buffer to lessen the severity and duration of withdrawals. Additionally someone who eats healthy, keeps busy, and exercises may recover at a quicker rate than someone who doesn’t.

Luvox Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

The withdrawal symptoms associated with Luvox will largely be based on the individual. One person may experience nearly everything listed below, while another may only experience a couple symptoms. Realize that the list below is a compilation of symptoms that have been reported during discontinuation.

  • Agitation: During withdrawal you may begin to feel more agitated or feel as if you are increasingly nervous than usual. The feeling of internal nervousness may be present for weeks after discontinuing your medication. Realize that this is a common symptom and will improve over time.
  • Anxiety: Individuals that were taking this medication for anxiety may notice a significant degree of rebound anxiety upon discontinuation. Even those that were taking it for other conditions such as depression or OCD may feel highly anxious during withdrawal. The increased anxiety is largely due to the fact that the brain no longer has the drug to prevent reuptake of serotonin. Additionally serotonin levels are thought to be abnormally low upon discontinuation.
  • Burning sensations: An odd, yet fairly common symptom some people experience during discontinuation is that of burning sensations. You may feel as if your head or various parts of your body are burning, and this results in extreme discomfort. As time continues to pass, the intensity of the burning should diminish.
  • Brain zaps: When discontinued, nearly all of the SSRI medications can result in “brain zaps” or electric shock sensations throughout the head. Do not be surprised if you experience a sudden jolt or as if you have been shocked when you quit Luvox. These zaps are highly uncomfortable, but like all other symptoms will lessen with time.
  • Confusion: A person may feel confused during withdrawal as a result of many symptoms, experiencing brain fog, an inability to concentrate, and changes in memory functioning. The confusion will clear up as a person’s brain adapts to functioning without Luvox.
  • Cold flashes: People may feel changes in body temperature during discontinuation. Although hot flashes are common, some individuals also exhibit “cold flashes” or sensations of cold temperature in certain parts of the body such as the face.
  • Depersonalization: Some people will feel unlike their normal self during withdrawal – this is completely normal. Depersonalization is caused by alterations to brain functioning and levels of various neurotransmitters. It is a result of being chemically imbalanced and can be exacerbated by severe anxiety. Do your best to realize that you will not feel this way forever, and that you will eventually feel normal again.
  • Depression: When quitting any antidepressant, there is a good chance you will feel depressed. During discontinuation, your serotonin levels are thought to be low and functioning will be altered. This leads a person to feel very depressed during withdrawal, even if they weren’t being treated for depression. Those who were being treated for depression may feel more severely depressed than prior to taking the medication.
  • Diarrhea: Certain people may notice changes in the frequency of bowel movements and/or diarrhea during discontinuation. Those who became constipated while taking Luvox are more likely to notice the opposite when they come off of it. This is a normal reaction that will diminish as your body reverts to homeostasis.
  • Dizziness: A very common symptom to experience is that of dizziness or vertigo. You may feel as if the room is spinning and/or you are going to lose your balance because you are so dizzy. The dizziness can be long lasting, but will gradually diminish over time.
  • Fatigue: During withdrawal from Luvox, you may become increasingly tired throughout the day. It may be difficult to get out of bed in the morning, go to work, and function. You may not be able to muster up the energy to cook a meal, go to the gym, or do housework. Realize that this can last for weeks or months (depending on how long you were on Luvox). Do your best to push through it, understanding that your energy levels will slowly increase.
  • Headaches: Some people experience headaches when they stop this drug. Headaches can often be remedied by drinking more fluids, practicing stress reduction, and getting adequate nutrition. If you have a headache during withdrawal, know that it is completely normal and will be exacerbated by anxiety.
  • Hot flashes: These are sensations of an increase in temperature throughout the face or in other regions of the body. Hot flashes are generally brief and are more likely to occur during the first few weeks of withdrawal.
  • Insomnia: Many individuals notice a change in their sleep cycle when discontinuing an SSRI like Luvox. When you quit this drug, you may end up being unable to sleep at night with insomnia. The insomnia may be difficult to deal with, but it should improve over time as your neurotransmission changes and sleep cycle resets itself.
    Irritability: You may notice that you become easily irritated – significantly more than usual. Understand that the irritability is a product of the medication withdrawal and that it will eventually diminish in the future. During the first few weeks of withdrawal everything may get on your nerves.
  • Mood swings: It is common to experience crazy mood swings during withdrawal. One minute you may feel as if you are becoming your normal self again, the next minute you may feel stuck in a deep state of depression. Realize that it is common for mood swings to occur until your neurotransmitter levels normalize.
  • Muscle aches: During the first few weeks of withdrawal, people have reported experiencing muscle aches and cramps throughout the body. These are generally mild to moderate intensity and are usually not severe. As you continue to exercise your body and your physiology readjusts, you will not feel as achy.
  • Nausea: Some people may feel nauseated when they quit Luvox. This is more common among those who quit “cold turkey,” and typically will last a few days after withdrawal. Most people note that nausea will fully subside within a couple weeks of their last dose.
  • Poor concentration: Even though this drug isn’t thought to affect concentration, many people may experience “brain fog” when they quit. This fog will clear over time, but may make completing work-related tasks or school projects increasingly difficult. As brain activity and neurotransmitters readjust without the drug, concentration should improve. Keep in mind that the array of other withdrawal symptoms may be mentally draining and distracting, contributing to concentration problems.
  • Suicidal thoughts: When quitting any SSRI, it is important to recognize that suicidal thoughts are relatively common. Depression can become more severe during withdrawal, leading a person to feel suicidal. Quitting an SSRI leaves the brain in a state of chemical disarray and it needs time to recover back to its homeostatic functioning. Some believe that antidepressants can cause a chemical imbalance, leading to abnormally low levels of serotonin upon discontinuation. If at any point you feel suicidal, be sure to seek immediate medical attention and closely monitor your thinking.
  • Sweating: A natural reaction by the body when withdrawing from any medication is to sweat. This is helps detoxify your body and also is a physiological signal that your body had become reliant on the drug for functioning. You may experience night sweats and/or profuse sweating throughout the day.
  • “Swoosh” effect: Individuals have reported feeling and/or hearing a “swoosh”-like sensation in their head/ears during discontinuation. This is a relatively vague description, but one that people going through the withdrawal may be able to understand. It was described by one individual as distortion of sound combined with feeling as if they are falling.
  • Tingling sensations: In addition to burning sensations, many people report “tingling” throughout various parts of the body such as the face and across the skin. This tingling may be unexpected, but is known to occur when discontinuing Luvox. Like any other symptom, it will take time to diminish and eventually subside.
  • Vomiting: Some people will get sick when they quit taking Luvox, resulting in flu-like symptoms. Those who experience intense nausea upon discontinuation may end up vomiting. It is relatively rare to vomit, but should be noted. This symptom is more likely to be experienced by those who quit cold turkey from a high dose.
  • Weight changes: Some people will lose weight or gain weight while taking Luvox. There are several case reports that suggest weight loss is more likely than gain. During withdrawal, you can expect your body to regain the weight that it lost during treatment; vice versa also applies.

How long does Luvox withdrawal last?

There’s no specific duration that withdrawal symptoms from Luvox are thought to last. For one person, withdrawal may only take a few weeks, while for another, symptoms may persist for months. A good rule of thumb for long term users to follow is a 90 day rule – reevaluate your symptoms after you’ve been off of the drug for a full 3 months. Most people panic in the first few weeks and believe that they will never feel “normal” again.

Typically as time passes, the body and brain are given enough time to restore normative homeostatic functioning and return to a baseline. Most people will notice significant improvement within 90 days, but others may need more time to recover. Keep in mind that it is important to distinguish withdrawal symptoms with reemergence of the initial depression or anxiety that lead a person to use this drug.

For many people, differentiating the depression as a result of withdrawal and their initial depression prior to taking the drug is extremely difficult. The half-life of Luvox is considered the shortest of any SSRI at 12-13 hours – even shorter than Paxil. Therefore, the drug will be completely out of your system within 1 day. However, drugs with shorter half lives tend to yield more extreme withdrawal symptoms.

In order to reduce the length of time it takes to withdraw from Luvox, it is recommended to conduct a very gradual taper. By tapering, you will give your body more time to slowly adapt to functioning with less of the drug. If you quit abruptly, it may shock your nervous system which may have become reliant on the Luvox for functioning.

Withdrawal from any SSRI medication can be extremely difficult. If you have taken Luvox and been through the withdrawal process, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. By sharing your experience, you may help provide someone who is going through something similar with a bit of hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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{ 58 comments… add one }
  • trish November 24, 2014, 11:16 pm

    I have been withdrawing from Luvox for nearly two years after taking it for 22 years. It has and continues to be absolute hell! The anxiety and depression can be extreme and relentless. I have had more problems the lower I go with my dose. I experience anxiety and depression every day, sometimes it is tolerable but more often than not it is intense and unbearable. I have often considered suicide when in the throws of intense symptoms. I wonder if there is permanent damage as the withdrawal is lasting so long and is so severe! I hope and pray that I will be able to return to some sort of normality in the not too distant future!

    • GLOOM November 26, 2014, 9:31 pm

      Hi Trish, there is likely no “permanent damage.” When I came off of SSRIs, I had a similar thought process, and truly believed I had endured brain damage. What you are experiencing will make you believe that you have been damaged by the drug and will never get better. In reality, your physiology had become reliant on the Luvox for functioning, but can heal.

      It may take a significant chunk of time, but with proper diet, supplementation, therapy, adequate sunlight, sleep, etc. you can recover. It will not be quick, but it can happen. Don’t give up and realize that eventually your brain will adapt without the drug. Wish you the quickest recovery possible.

      • Trish January 4, 2015, 10:44 pm

        Many thanks for your reply. I have been tapering for two years and have really been suffering so I have cut the Luvox out altogether. I stopped taking it a week ago. The first two days were okay but then I became very anxious and depressed. Some days are much worse than others. What worries me is that the depression and anxiety became so unbearable that I scream and wail as the despair is so intense. Surely this cannot be normal? It really freaks me out and I worry what sort of damage the drug has done. Will I ever see an improvement?

        • DB May 3, 2015, 2:23 pm

          Hi Trish, I’m also a long term SSRI user. I quit Luvox 3 weeks ago. Still experiencing bad anxiety and depression episodes. Then some times it gets better. Then back again. The anxiety and worry is intense and the physical sensations and mental for are horrible. Are you getting better? Anything give you relief? -DB

    • Shaun March 9, 2016, 6:14 pm

      Whoever the doctor was that allowed you to be on this med for 22 years should be ashamed. This drug was meant to be taken concurrently with therapeutic treatment and tapered off within a few years, not a few decades. Very sorry to hear that you experience that kind of emotional pain. I’ve had a hard time with that kind of pain and it hurts.

    • Amanda l klutz June 30, 2016, 9:41 pm

      I just quit 100mgs cold turkey… it’s hard, but I fight to be healthy. I’m only trying to concentrate on positive things. You can do it. You can.

    • Jodi October 12, 2016, 12:05 am

      I was just wondering if your depression and anxiety were present before you took Luvox? Perhaps it’s the disease rather then withdrawal after so long? I hope by now you have found some relief and feel better.

  • Brian February 18, 2015, 10:15 pm

    I was prescribed 50 MG’s for a month when I spoke with a psychiatrist about my anxiety. After 1 month, I didn’t feel much different. She then upped my script to 100 MG’s. After 1 week, I started feeling really cloudy-headed, and found it very difficult to concentrate. I googled the meds, and saw they were primarily prescribed for OCD, which I do not suffer from.

    I have gone cold turkey for almost a week now. Minor depression has set in, and finding it difficult to focus at times. I also start a new job soon, so I’m sure that is not helping with my anxiety. FWIW, no suicide thoughts or anything like that. Just feeling tired and hard to concentrate.

  • jenny April 2, 2015, 11:18 am

    I have been taking luvox for 26 years, over the last 10 years I’ve been on 25 milligrams just saw my doctor yesterday and she told me I can stop cold turkey but after reading the comments I’m a little nervous to do so. I’m going to follow up with my pharmacist.

    • Andrew May 8, 2015, 5:33 pm

      My wife was on 200mg, if you were on 25mg for 10 years, I would think that is about right to quit from. My wife tapered down to 25mg, and is currently dealing with withdrawal. I’m trying to find out what can help her out, like nutrients, foods, etc. Mostly her withdrawals seem to be irritability and some “wooshing” sound that I’ve seen others describe in regards to their withdrawals as well. If anyone has any recommendations that could help her out, I’d appreciate it.

      • Shaun March 9, 2016, 6:17 pm

        Water, water, water, gunpowder green tea (a little expensive) maybe once a day, more water and fibrous foods to help with stool.

  • Trish May 17, 2015, 12:23 am

    I am down to about 20mg from the original dose of 50mg and have been on this dose for 6 months. I am still experiencing awful withdrawal everyday, but it is much worse when I wake until late afternoon. I have decided to stop taking it and see how I go as the tapering doesn’t seem to be helping. I will let you know how I go on in a couple of weeks. If it gets too bad I may have to re instate. Do hope I am doing the right thing. I never experienced depression before I was put on this drug just one panic attack and some anxiety. I think SSRIs are given out far too readily and can cause such horrendous side effects. I wish I had NEVER been prescribed them.

    • Shaun March 9, 2016, 6:25 pm

      If you go off of the med then don’t get back on. All this will do is prolong the inevitable by bringing your brain right back into dependency. By deciding to go cold turkey you may avoid the longevity of withdrawals slightly but the intensity could be slightly worse. Also, the occurrence of suicidal thoughts happens most when either starting Luvox or when discontinuing.

      By going on, then off, then back on again, you would be spending more time in that ‘suicidal thought’ zone of the drug regimen. I recommend you tough it out and stay off if you want to that badly. Best of luck. Emotional pain is real and it hurts.

    • Jackson June 25, 2016, 1:09 pm

      I too wish I had never heard of Luvox. I’ve been on and off for 20 years. The last spell was for two years – the longest spell ever. I started to taper and now I am on zero intake for the past 18 days and it’s starting to get a bit rough, but I am determined to get this stuff out of my life. Hope you get through this. Cheers.

  • Phoebe June 18, 2015, 1:14 am

    This article was really helpful to read. I have been on Luvox for 3 years for OCD and anxiety (50mg), and worked on my issues with the help of a therapist. I found myself improving greatly, and thought it was time to step off Luvox. My doctor said for me to cut back to 25mg for 2 weeks then go off completely. A week of taking half my usual dosage, and I am starting to feel the withdrawals – agitation, nervousness, returned anxiety, headaches and loss of motivation/concentration.

    My doctor failed to tell me I would suffer anything like this, so naturally I panicked and thought I will have to stay on Luvox forever. But after reading this article I feel better knowing what I am going through is normal. Hopefully the withdrawals won’t last very long or get any worse once I am off Luvox completely. Thanks again for this article :)

    • sahar January 19, 2016, 5:27 pm

      Hi Phoebe, I was on Fluvoxamine for three years now on and off… for the last few weeks I was on 50 mg. I decided to stop the drug. Now I am tapering with 25 mg for two weeks. I am experiencing insomnia and irritation. I am wondering, is it going to get better? Thanks.

      • Shaun March 9, 2016, 6:28 pm

        Yes, totally. I do suggest, though, that you receive therapeutic treatment while you are discontinuing the drug and for a while after. It helps.

  • Terry July 21, 2015, 12:16 pm

    Hi, Doc initially prescribed 50mg for anxiety but I felt no difference. So he increase the dosage to 100mg. After a while, I thought the dosage was OK and so I took for almost 5 years now but recently, I felt the side effect, insomnia is getting on my nerves. So I decided to tapper to 75mg 2 months ago. The WD didn’t take much effect until 1 month ago when I realized my anxiety and insomnia getting worse. I have been taking Chinese herbs, exercising, and propanolol to curb with the WD. So far, I felt a little bit better. I am now going slowly day by day managing the WD and not to rush it. Hopefully I can tapper off until I am totally free of this sh#t.

    • Shaun March 9, 2016, 6:31 pm

      Exercise is huge in helping with this. The more, the better. Wearing yourself out combats the insomnia, helps your overall mood and paradigm, and good restful sleep combats the anxiety. Keep being tough!

  • Patricia August 14, 2015, 3:08 pm

    Luvox (150 mg) helped me but gave me a horrible rash; thus I went off, per my p nurse. I was only on it for two months but I really took to it I guess – was off ‘cold turkey’, again per the p nurse, and had my worst few days EVER. Questioning EVERYTHING under the sun and crying incessantly. I was so distraught that I actually threw up on the floor without even thinking about it – AWFUL!!! Then horrific crying headaches.

    I’m now switched to Anafranil (spelling?) and am literally hoping and praying that this helps me. I am so scared. I have had MDD (major depressive disorder), anxiety and OCD for as far back as age 5 and I’m 45 now. I’ve gotten through my life to this point, obviously and have a great support system but overall, I am not truly living. I thank God Almighty that my two beautiful and healthy children are not ‘like’ me – I watch them like hawks.

    I’m a single mother, lost my good job in late 2009 and am trying sooo hard to keep it together and to be ‘normal.’ God help ‘us’ all. Thank you, Trish

  • Joe August 27, 2015, 10:06 am

    Took luvox since like 96 I think. It lost it’s effectiveness over time. Once I was off it, my sleep pattern changed. I had all the usual stuff, “shocks,” dizziness, etc., but the long term withdrawal has caused me the strangest feeling of claustrophobia. It’s hard to describe. It hits me out of the blue and it’s not just imagining myself in tight spaces that does it. It can be any limitation, a sore neck bought it on, just not being able to move right made me feel like I was caught, suffocating. I get traces of it thinking about not being able to do math well. It seems less frequent as time goes on, but can be triggered by a lot of things.

    • Amanda February 3, 2016, 5:29 pm

      I had to go cold turkey due to being insurance limbo. I have zaps and fatigue, but also this overwhelming feeling of being trapped. It’s so weird, but reading how you feel claustrophobic makes me feel better because then I don’t feel so crazy. It’s like I’m being suffocated at times and I want to rip off all my clothes. I don’t know how else to describe it.

      • Joelle April 24, 2016, 10:14 pm

        How long did it take to subside? I stopped cold turkey and it’s absolutely TERRIBLE! Major brain zaps, dizziness, headache and fever ish feeling. I know this thread is 2 years old but any help is appreciated!

  • Eve August 29, 2015, 7:18 pm

    Just wanted to say that it is a horrible idea to go down to 25 mg and then stop. That is still going cold turkey. I’m in the process of tapering and have slowly been cutting up my pills into smaller and smaller pieces. I would say I clip off about 5 mg at a time, staying on that dosage for a couple of weeks, then clip off some more. As the pill gets smaller, I clip off smaller amounts.

    I bought myself a scale to weigh my doses to try to streamline them, but I haven’t really needed it yet. I also bought empty pill capsules through Amazon that I can stick the bitter pill pieces in. I figure when I get down to basically dust, I can use the capsules.

    I’ve tried stopping cold turkey several times and had severe anxiety and brain zaps. The method I’m using now has produced very manageable withdrawal symptoms, if any at all. I’m now at a little speck of a piece of pill. I’m experiencing headaches and sometimes a few brain zaps, but it’s a couple of brain zaps per week rather than a brain zap every couple of seconds, which is how it was when I quit cold turkey.

    These doctors who don’t understand how severe SSRI withdrawal really need to be trained. And it’d be nice if the company that makes Luvox/fluvoxamine provided withdrawal packs or pills in smaller doses. Right now, fluvoxamine only goes down to 25 mg tablets. I would suggest that for those withdrawing from it, the pills should go down to .1 mg (100 mcg) or less.

  • David October 5, 2015, 12:24 pm

    Hi All, It is actually heartening to hear some of these stories. I have felt so weak and alone with this problem. I had a severe episode of OCD about 13 years ago and was put on 350mg Luvox and a dose of Olanzapine (Zyprexa). The Zyprexa helped wonderfully but made me so hungry I could not resist eating and gained 30kg and Type II diabetes. I have tried twice to taper from my current dose (300mg) to 250mg. Everything seems okay for about two weeks and then I start to feel miserable again and have to up the dose again.

    I am 42 and have lost any weight and have good control of diabetes through lots of exercise (and insulin), but I have a big problem with short term memory and ‘anorgasmia’ due to the Luvox. Sometimes I feel I would give anything to go back and not take the medications, yet I doubt I would have lived through that time. I just keep trying. There must be a trillion dollars to the company that comes up with a medicinal means for getting off these SSRI medications!

  • Cam October 25, 2015, 1:31 pm

    Hello, I have been on Luvox for about 8 years on 100mg. Honestly within the last year I have been going a fair bit better with my anxiety but I have became a lot more depressed and also had thoughts of suicide and just not feeling my self a lot of the time, I decided to drop my dose to 50 mg for a little while and now I have been off it for a few days but feeling like I can’t concentrate, dizziness almost like I am drunk, headaches and sore eyes, and the depression feels pretty bad at the moment, has anyone felt the same coming off? Thanks.

  • Andrew Mantz November 29, 2015, 1:58 pm

    I have taken Luvox for 9 months. I was on 50mg to help anxiety and insomnia. After about a month I cut my dosage to half which was the best thing I did. I realised eventually, I needed to get of them after reading all the literature. Sometimes we rely on doctors far too much. You need to understand your own mind and body. This is my way of getting of Luvox. Whatever you do don’t go cold turkey.

    You will only do more harm to yourself. So if you are on 50mg, cut the tablet with a knife in half. Take 25mg at night for as long as you think it’s required. Then, when your ready to come off Luvox cut the half tablet in half so you half approx 12.5mg. Take the smaller half for 2-4 weeks and then stop taking Luvox. You will find its a lot easier without the withdrawal symptoms.

  • noeleen December 7, 2015, 11:15 am

    I’ve been on luvox about 3 years 100ml and never new the withdrawals would be bad and until reading the withdrawal symptoms I thought it was something else. In fact, I have an appointment for tests tomorrow because I’ve been scared that I had something really wrong with me. Burning feeling, flushes and sweating, heart pounding and anxiety.

    I’m on a methadone program and have lived through a lot of withdrawals in my time but I never expected I’d be feeling like this from just luvox, so no more cold turkey. I’ll taper off the bloody things and try it that way. Anyway I hope this helps someone. Just don’t come of them suddenly like me do it slow, real slow. So with luck I should be feeling better soon, hope so because this is really crappy. Good luck everyone.

  • Oma LP December 20, 2015, 4:10 pm

    Has anyone experienced high blood pressure when stopping Luvox? Thank you for your answer.

  • Charles December 25, 2015, 6:03 am

    I was glad to find this article and the comments as it confirmed a lot of my withdrawal symptoms as well. I was on 50mg for 10+ years for GAD. Decided to get off as I can’t tolerate the sexual dysfunction anymore. I’ve been having fatigue, sore eyes, trouble concentrating/focusing, irritable/impatient/anger, sore muscles, and of course anxiety.

  • omar diaz December 27, 2015, 1:30 am

    I have been taking luvox for OCD for 30 years at 150 mg in the morning and at night. It hasn’t really done anything for me with the OCD. I think inositol and St. John’s wort are way better without any side effects. My insurance company does not want to pay for the luvox anymore so I had to quit cold turkey.

    I have been without for a month and I am going through hell. Nausea, burning on my face, personality disorder, panic attacks frequently, and confusion. If it wasn’t for the lorazepam for anxiety and calmness, I don’t think I would have survived. I feel like Job from the Bible, but I still love the lord with all my heart.

  • Helen from Perth OZ January 12, 2016, 4:59 am

    I have been taking 200mg every morning for the last 10 years. I made the decision myself as Luvox was originally prescribed for Menopausal mood swings (severe) and night sweats. My ‘new’ GP didn’t seem very informed so I am glad I found this thread as I have been reducing the dose as stated by my GP.

    She said cut down to 100mg for 2 weeks and then 50mg for 2 weeks and then 0mg and I should be fine. I dont think so. I have started with 150mg for the first 2 weeks and will reduce again to 100mg in 2 weeks but after 3 days/nights have already started to feel ‘weird’. Thought I would never come off them but have made the decision.

  • Bruno January 20, 2016, 6:11 pm

    I had been taking Luvox for 9 months and decided to stop completely a month ago, I didn’t quit right away, but I didn’t tape for a long time also. I was on 50 mg per night which is a low dosage. I’m feeling dizzy, anxious, having headache, sweating during the night, poor concentration and other thing listed above, but today I had a very hard tachycardia, I thought that for a moment I was having a heart attack… Has anyone felt that during the withdraw process and in addition, blurry vision?

  • Erin February 1, 2016, 7:38 am

    Have been on luvox for a year. Prior to that I was on 30mg lexapro. Luvox was prescribed by a psychiatrist I eventually left due to unprofessional behaviour and misdiagnosis (was diagnosed BPD , in reality I am anxiety/ocd). Never had any withdrawal problems coming off lexapro which happened twice. With luvox, I weaned myself off.

    Tapered for three months. a couple of weeks after stopping altogether I started having horrible symptoms my doctor thought were due to anaemia – they are in fact due to luvox withdrawal. Headaches, muscle aches and cramps, constant fatigue, dizziness, tingling hands and feet, nausea. Even though I tapered.

    That said, I refuse to go back on the drug as I would rather suffer the withdrawal symptoms – I don’t feel I should be on this medication if the withdrawal is so severe. Magnesium and 5-HTP have been helpful herbs. Currently at one week of moderate to severe symptoms – also was never warned by any medical professionals. Never again.

  • Mike February 4, 2016, 2:51 am

    Hi, previously when I got off Luvox, I had good success by slowly lowering the dose down to 50 mg (from 100) and staying on that dose for a quite a while. By the time I eased down to 25 mg. it was quite honestly fairly painless to get off, much easier than Prozac, which technically is supposed to be easier to stop because of a longer half life.

    Of course, with Prozac I stopped cold turkey so I brought a lot of that hell of myself, unfortunately :(. I think it’s important to remember it’s okay to go slowly. There will be a part of you that just wants to be done with it, to stop feeling dependent on this drug, but don’t lessen the dose until you fully adjust to the one you’re currently taking. Once I got down to 50 mg. it got much easier. Good luck and may you all be well :).

  • claudia February 21, 2016, 1:45 pm

    I have been using luvox for over 15 years and have been on other antidepressants for most of my life. I have been withdrawing for the last 6 months decreasing the dose slowly but I still feel awful with: a foggy brain, vertigo, brain zaps, swooshing feeling behind the eyes and I feel really irritable. Agitated symptoms come and go is there anyone who has had the same experience and that can help me.

  • Claudine February 24, 2016, 3:27 pm

    I have been on 150 mg of Luvox for five years. My doctor is tapering me off at 50 mg at s time. I’m dying with the withdrawals. They are so bad. I even have jaw pain/tightness. Just about every symptom. I can’t take it anymore. I’m at a loss. I just want it over!!!

    • Helga E. June 14, 2016, 9:36 pm

      Hi! I have been on this horrible medicine for 14 years. It helped for a while with my panic attacks, but it seems that it does not help me anymore. Has anyone experienced twitching and myoclonus (fasciculations)? I am having a bad time with those symptoms for awhile now. Been on 100 mg for eleven years, then for two and a half years 150 mg because my doctor thought it was better for anxiety and it just got worse over time and twitching developed during this time.

      Since last November decided to lower to 100 again and now I am tapering 2 days 100mg and 3rd day 50 mg. Thank God for Alprazolam for helping with horrible symptoms. Of course I have visited any amount of neurologists thinking I probably had other diseases but no and again Thank God!! Will continue to lower the dose with time.

  • Alice March 14, 2016, 5:36 am

    I was on 200 mg’s of Luvox for OCD every day for about 8 months before I decided to stop taking it. I’m still in the process of tapering off. I’ve been tapering off for 9 months, and I can’t seem to go any lower than 20mg a day. The burning sensations are horrible, and I don’t feel like myself. I’m depersonalizing everyone around me, and it feels so hopeless. This really is miserable. I should have never taken Luvox.

  • Ima March 28, 2016, 2:12 am

    I didn’t even take fluvoxamine for 6 months before deciding it wasn’t for me. It caused me nothing but problems. I was against the drug from the beginning, but was 17 and wasn’t allowed to refuse the drug. Over two years later, I’m still having almost all the side effects I had right after stopping the drug. Every symptom of withdrawal is still there and the same as always except for the extreme dizziness when I’m sitting. That one is barely less. Luvox shouldn’t be on the market at all. It destroys lives that are already full of challenges.

  • Karen April 16, 2016, 8:46 am

    15 years on fluvoxamine for OCD/depression. Any time I ran out of it, I became very anxious, more than I ever was before getting on the drug. I just thought that I must really be a case to have to need this med so much. After reading all the above posts, I am beginning to think the fluvoxamine just made thing worse for me.

    First of all, I could never take it at night because it kept me awake (just the opposite of what it says it might do). So I always took it in the morning. I gained weight with this medication (again, the opposite of what it says it might do), eventually developing hypothyroidism two years ago. (Wonder if the fluvoxamine could’ve caused it…).

    Long story short: I had to quit this medicine because the big pharm company decided to increase the price of generics and I couldn’t afford the new price, even with my insurance. When I filled the script, the pharmacy only had enough on hand for one week’s worth for me. Didn’t have to pay right away for that week’s worth of med.

    It was a week later that I discovered the cost and decided I just couldn’t pay that much. Lucky for me, I hadn’t been taking the prescribed dose for awhile and sometimes forgot to take it entirely. I had just a handful of pills left. I cut them in half and took them each day that way for awhile, then every other day, then cut them in quarters taking it every day and then every other day.

    I am not experiencing much anxiety, but the brain zaps are driving me nuts. I have severe what I call “bone pain” in my fingers, ankles and toes, blinding headaches behind my eyes, sweating profusely, sometimes feel very cold (when it’s 75 degrees), extreme fatigue, trouble waking up, and very, very strange and disturbing dreams. The article above was a godsend for me because I was beginning to think I would have to go back on fluvoxamine just to keep what little sanity I feel I have left.

    I would like to hear from someone who has found their way out of the withdrawal symptoms, want to know how long it took, how they feel today, etc. I agree with the person above who said this drug should be outlawed. When I accepted the script 15 years ago, I never knew how hard it would be to get off of it. I thought I was being responsible by addressing my OCD and depression.

    Now I truly wonder how this drug has damaged me. Does anyone know of any long-term studies done on people who have taken this drug? Is there any link to hypothyroidism? The pharmacist did tell me that this is an old drug that isn’t prescribed much anymore. Is that why they raised the price?

  • Jake April 24, 2016, 5:19 am

    Karen, and others, I took Luvox 19 years ago. I was prescribed 300mg, which was the max dose. It came in 200mg capsules, and I had the instruction to take one and cut one in half. Foolishly, I would often just take two (400mg). I accept some fault for what happened. My withdrawal was hell. Soul-questioning headaches, paresthesia, tinnitus, checkerboard vision, fatigue/somnolence (sometimes sleeping 20 hrs./day).

    I tried many times to get off it and couldn’t. I was on a few other things concurrently; Lithium, Xanax, maybe something else I’m forgetting… With my MD’s approval I went of everything else first, and then tried quitting Luvox. It was still hell, but I managed after months of trying. This really is a dangerous drug.

    And the FDA should take another look at it. For us, who’ve been on it, we need to be louder about what it’s like. Prescribers should be careful. One of the harshest, but strictly personal, effects it had on me was never going back to mental health services and never taking another drug again. I need/ed help, but was harshly bitten and forever shy.

    For all of you suffering what I did, unfortunately I don’t have an answer. I don’t even remember much of that time period, except that it hurt in a way that no one should ever be hurt. But I (and others) made it. Recovery WILL happen. I wish I had more to give you than trust. You don’t deserve this, and I’m so sorry for what you are going through.

  • GS April 29, 2016, 7:16 am

    I have been on fluvoxamine for 3 years at a dose of 200mg for “OCD” after clomipramine left me in the hospital suicidal. I had side effects when I started (while hospitalized) but my psychiatrist warned against reading about them. He said he had too many patients develop side effects that they wouldn’t have if they didn’t know about them.

    Should have been a warning sign. But I was so ill in a psych ward, I stupidly trusted him. Not long after I started fluvoxamine, voices started in my head. Nothing like I had ever before. I had half a dozen more hospital admissions. By the end of 2015 the voices were screaming, day in, day out. “Please stop, don’t make me do this, please don’t do this, just die, please let us die” over and over.

    What a magical surprise that when I tapered my dose to 50mg, the voices stopped. Withdrawal was bearable on 50mg. I stayed for about a month at that dose, then 7 days ago dropped to 25mg. TOO fast! By the 5th day I could not bare living in the toilet another second (serious nausea and diarrhea). The mental symptoms are ok, but physically, I am a wreck.

    I up-dosed to 50mg and today the nausea is at least bearable!! Now I have a problem. I only have enough meds to last a week at 50mg. I refuse to go near a psychiatrist in fear of their favorite threat to me – “take the meds or we’ll put you in hospital.”

  • Karen May 3, 2016, 8:46 am

    To GS: If you think you’re going down too fast on the milligrams, you could try cutting them down like I did. It doesn’t eliminate all the physical issues, but diarrhea did seems to lessen as time went on. I’ve been off fluvoxamine for about a week now, after being on it for 15 years.

    I still get an occasional “brain zap” (usually at night for some reason) but the worse of it is over. It will get better. Just try to get yourself off this med as gradually as you can. Will be rooting for you!

  • Nicole June 13, 2016, 2:16 pm

    Off luvox cold and weaning onto duloxetine. Pretty much swapped drugs after 8 years of 50mg luvox… Severe anxiety, insomnia, and headaches that just won’t go away – like bad migraines. Not good when you have 3 small kids to deal with. But I had to because of fibromyalgia and the other antidepressants help with my joint pains.

  • Helga E. June 14, 2016, 9:44 pm

    Hi! Has someone experienced twitching?… Myoclonus (fasciculations)? Thanks for any response.

  • KM July 19, 2016, 4:43 pm

    I have been on 300 mg of Luvox for several years, and on smaller doses of it for 10+ years. My husband and I want to start a family so I began tapering off about two weeks ago. I cut out one pill (100 mg) a day and I have had the WORST nausea and headache for about a week now. I had NO idea there were such bad side effects.

    I have missed doses before and never had any problems like this so I didn’t realize this would be an issue. It is my fault for not going to a psychiatrist first, but my question is if anyone knows how long this lasts and if there is anything for the nausea. Thanks!

    • AJ August 2, 2016, 6:50 am

      Hi KM, I have been on 200mg a day since I stopped breast feeding my son 13 years ago. Prior to that I was on a different medication also for severe depression but had no problems when I stopped taking them apart from a bit of dizziness. I was diagnosed with epilepsy last July and started medication for that.

      My psychiatrist recently added another medication for epilepsy which also is used to help mood disorders and said I didn’t need the Luvox anymore. He told me to cut to 150mg for a week, then 100mg for a week, then 50mg for a week then stop. He did not mention any side effects of weaning off them so a trip to your psychiatrist may not have helped other than letting you know that 50 mg may be better than 100mg straight up.

      Either way your side effects may still have been the same. I have been off it now for a week and it is hell. I have had vomiting, balance issues, crying spells, diarrhoea, dizziness, aggression, lack of coordination, irritated at the slightest things, severe headaches, tingling sensation in my teeth & face, trouble concentrating and this awful whooshing movement in my head most of the time. Not sure how long I can cope with it all and it gets worse each day.

      I’m not sure how long the symptoms last but some have reported that it can be up to 3 months or even a year until you feel ‘normal’ again. When I was pregnant my doctor suggested ginger for the nausea which helped then. You can get tablets from the pharmacy but you need a good brand with no chemicals added. I haven’t tried it yet for this as I can’t keep much down as anything I take or eat just comes right back up.

      Anyway I hope this may be of some help. From experience you are doing the right thing coming off them before you try starting a family. It may take longer than you thought but it is more important to feel healthy and be able to breast feed drug free. Otherwise if you go ahead and get pregnant you won’t cope if the withdrawal symptoms are still happening. Good luck and hang in there for both you and your future family. I hope all goes well.

  • Nathan August 16, 2016, 6:20 pm

    Everyone, you do know that luvox is the shortest acting SSRI? But you should only be cutting your dosage down by a certain percentage and stay at that dose for about two weeks. I’m on 300mg of luvox and when I taper off, it’s going to take months for me to taper and I’m going to have to cut pills and get smaller dosage pills.

  • Jessica Curl August 17, 2016, 2:30 pm

    Hi Everyone – I was on Luvox for 11 years. I went cold turkey back in March 2016. I still feel like my brain is messed up. I have anxiety so bad I feel like I’m having a heart attack sometimes. My anxiety is really bad in the morning and at night when I’m trying to sleep. I have the tingling in my face as well. Pain in my arm sometimes. Tingling in the hand and fingers. It’s awful. It comes and goes. I am unable to drink alcohol. When I do it makes my symptoms worse. Has anyone else found that drinking now is impossible? I just want this to be over with.

  • Leasa August 30, 2016, 6:36 am

    I was placed on Luvox 2 years ago after being hospitalized I have OCD PTSD and MDD. I have been on 150mgs and I take it at night as it makes me tired. It helped with the OCD but I decided about three weeks ago to taper off this medication as I felt emotionless and don’t like being on medication. I have now dropped down to 50mgs for the last 3 day’s. I am having quite a few side effects.

    I am unable to sleep properly, quite an upset stomach and flu like symptoms. I decided to stop taking the mediation because I felt like I wasn’t able to keep up with my house cleaning and I felt like I wasn’t really feeling any emotions. The OCD has come back and yesterday I cleaned for about 14 hrs. Today however the cramping and toilet issues as well as the flu like symptoms have me couch ridden today.

    I am struggling with the depression and anxiety etc. Does anyone have any idea how long the worst of the side effects last for? Any imput would be very much appreciated x

    • Jodi October 12, 2016, 12:31 am

      I am also just coming off and yikes your OCD came back sorry to hear. I’m scared of that too. I just got off it tapered fast 50mg to 25 for one week and then 12.5 for one now off. I’m sick with nausea, headaches and sleeping more which was one of the reasons I went off cause it made me sleep too much and made me numb as well. I don’t have much to share cause I’m sure that I’m in withdrawal as well, but just wanted to say you’re not alone. I hope you find something that gives you relief.

  • jenny September 15, 2016, 5:49 pm

    I started luvox 2 years ago for OCD. Constant thinking and worrying. It has helped me a lot. I started 125 mg… In the past 4 months I’ve tapered down to 25mg because I felt I had conquered a lot of my worries and fears. I get brain zaps. Numbness feeling on my face and hand… But it hasn’t been too bad.

    I feel like I’m groggy at times. Next week I’m doing half of the 25mg. I wanna be off… I wish the withdrawal wouldn’t happen. Good luck to everyone. BTW I do exercise everyday… That’s actually helped me with the insomnia and anxiety I assume would have made me wanna go back on.

  • Akshaykirti September 23, 2016, 7:08 am

    Has anyone experienced trembling of hands and trembling of voice chord while off fluvoxamine? Either in complete withdrawal or in gaps in between?

  • Shanon October 27, 2016, 10:48 pm

    I have been on Fluvoxamine 100mg ER for 3 years and have since wound up in the hospital because I wasn’t made aware of the withdrawal from it. I had high blood pressure, electrical sensations, terrible vertigo, headaches, burning of the face, eyes feeling strained. I since started the medicine back up and am now trying to face it out completely. I started with 50mg regular, which I have been taking now for 2 weeks which is causing me all of these same withdrawal symptoms as I describe. I am having the absolute hardest time at work and wort daily life.

    Not so much depression, as I was on it for my OCD. I work out 4/5 days a week (high intensity) and my symptoms worsen afterward, I drink a lot of water through out the day and eat quite healthy. Does anyone have suggestions on how to manage these symptoms while I’m trying not to up my meds in order to make it through. I will NEVER take medication like this again.

    Doctors need to teach us how to cope and understand our conditions not drug us! I have never been so miserable in my life. I fear, after reading all these comments that I will be one of those people who have side effects for long after I have discontinued this medicine.

  • Shanna November 4, 2016, 12:44 am

    I hate this drug I have been on it for 2 years I’m trying to stop taking cold turkey and the withdrawals are horrible. It feels like coming off of heroin or other type like drugs. I would not recommend this drug unless you plan on being on it for ever. It does work for my mental health. But I don’t want to be on meds I just want to use skills instead. Hope this helps the next person thanks. 😀

    • Crystal November 9, 2016, 7:46 am

      I’ve been on 150mg per day of Luvox for nearly 20 years for OCD. I’ve tried tapering and it didn’t work. A few days ago I just stopped taking it (I know, stupid right?). I had no idea I would get so sick! After 3 days I thought I was just coming down with a weird virus.

      Didn’t put two and two together as I didn’t do any ‘research’ about coming off it. Really foggy head, tired, nauseous, unmotivated and sad. Like a bad hangover!! Needless to say, I’m back on it. I’ve never been addicted to anything in my life. Looks like I’m addicted to this.

      Anyway – I’m reluctant to get off it. If I decide to do it again, I’ll definitely see my doctor first, but I just don’t have time to feel so ill being a single mother of two with a full time job!!

  • Teresa December 4, 2016, 1:10 pm

    Hi, So relieved to know that you all “get” withdrawal from Luvox. Been on for 20+ years… okay results first couple years. I’m tapering off very gradually, and the symptoms are mostly physical. The “whooshing” is when I turn my head too quickly. My skin itches in random places. Starting to lose a little weight (yay!). Hot flashes (I’m way past menopause). I start weeping at Christmas movies. (I rarely wept for anything sad or touching while on Luvox). Glad to start having some “normal” emotions. I feel the medical community needs to be educated by consumers before recommending fluvoxamine, and what to expect from withdrawing. Thank you all for sharing your experience.

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