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Pronounced: LOO-voks
Generic name: Fluvoxamine maleate

Why is this drug prescribed: Luvox is prescribed for obsessive compulsive disorder. An obsession is marked by continual, unwanted thoughts that prevent proper functioning in everyday living. Compulsive behavior is typified by ritualistic actions such as repetitious washing, repeating certain phrases, completing steps in a process over and over, counting and recounting, checking and rechecking to make sure that something has not been forgotten, excessive neatness, and hoarding of useless items.

Most important fact about this drug: Before starting therapy with Luvox, be sure your doctor knows what medications you are taking--both prescription and over-the-counter--since combining Luvox with certain drugs may cause serious or even life-threatening effects. You should never take Luvox with thioridazine (Mellaril) or pimozide (Orap). You should also avoid taking Luvox within 14 days of taking any antidepressant drug classified as an MAO inhibitor, including Nardil and Parnate.

How should you take this medication: Take this medication only as directed by your doctor. Luvox may be taken with or without food. --If you miss a dose... If you are taking 1 dose a day, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. If you are taking 2 doses a day, take the missed dose as soon as possible, then go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature and protect from humidity.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor immediately. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Luvox. More common side effects may include: Abnormal ejaculation, abnormal tooth decay and toothache, anxiety, blurred vision, constipation, decreased appetite, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, feeling "hot or flushed," "flu-like" symptoms, frequent urination, gas and bloating, headache, heart palpitations, inability to fall asleep, indigestion, nausea, nervousness, sleepiness, sweating, taste alteration, tremor, unusual tiredness or weakness, upper respiratory infection, vomiting Less common side effects may include: Abnormal muscle tone, agitation, chills, decreased sex drive, depression, difficult or labored breathing, difficulty swallowing, extreme excitability, impotence, inability to urinate, lack of orgasm, persistent erection, yawning

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Luvox or similar drugs, such as Prozac and Zoloft, do not take this medication. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced. Never combine Luvox with Mellaril or Orap, or take it within 14 days of taking an MAO inhibitor such as Nardil or Parnate. (See "Most important fact about this drug.")

Special warnings about this medication: You should discuss all your medical problems with your doctor before starting therapy with Luvox, as certain physical conditions or diseases may affect your reaction to Luvox. If you suffer from seizures, use this medication cautiously. If you experience a seizure while taking Luvox, stop taking the drug and call your doctor immediately. If you have or have ever had suicidal thoughts, be sure to tell your doctor, as your dosage may need to be adjusted. If you have a history of mania (excessively energetic, out-of-control behavior), use this medication cautiously. If you have liver disease, your doctor will adjust the dosage. Luvox may cause you to become drowsy or less alert and may affect your judgment. Therefore, avoid driving, operating dangerous machinery, or participating in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know your reaction to this medication. Luvox can also deplete the body's supply of salt, especially in older adults and people who take diuretics or suffer from dehydration. Under these conditions, your doctor will check your salt levels regularly. If you develop a rash or hives, or any other allergic-type reaction, notify your physician immediately.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. If you smoke, be sure to tell your doctor before starting Luvox therapy, as your dosage may need adjustment. If Luvox is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Luvox with the following: Anticoagulant drugs such as Coumadin Antidepressant medications such as Anafranil, Elavil, and Tofranil, as well as the MAO inhibitors Nardil and Parnate Blood pressure medications known as beta blockers, including Inderal and Lopressor Carbamazepine (Tegretol) Clozapine (Clozaril) Diltiazem (Cardizem) Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) Methadone (Dolophine) Mexiletine (Mexitil) Phenytoin (Dilantin) Pimozide (Orap) Quinidine (Quinidex) Sumatriptan (Imitrex) Tacrine (Cognex) Theophylline (Theo-Dur) Thioridazine (Mellaril) Tranquilizers and sedatives such as Halcion, Valium, Versed, and Xanax Tryptophan

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Luvox in pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, consult your doctor immediately. Luvox passes into breast milk and may cause serious reactions in a nursing baby. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with Luvox is finished.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: The usual starting dose is one 50-milligram tablet taken at bedtime. Your doctor may increase your dose, depending upon your response. The maximum daily dose is 300 milligrams. If you take more than 100 milligrams a day, your doctor will divide the total amount into 2 doses; if the doses are not equal, you should take the larger dose at bedtime. Older adults and people with liver problems may need a reduced dosage. CHILDREN: For children aged 8 to 17, the recommended starting dose is 25 milligrams taken at bedtime. The dose may be increased to a maximum of 200 milligrams daily for children under 11, and 300 milligrams for children aged 11 to 17. Young girls sometimes respond to lower doses than boys do. Larger daily dosages are divided in two, as for adults.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. An overdose of Luvox can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical help immediately. Common symptoms of Luvox overdose include: Coma, breathing difficulties, sleepiness, rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting Other possible symptoms include convulsions, tremor, diarrhea, exaggerated reflexes, and slow or irregular heartbeat. After recovery, some overdose victims have been left with kidney complications, bowel damage, an unsteady gait, or dilated pupils.

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