Fluvoxamine ER for anxiety & depression.

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Is fluvoxamine ER right for you?

There are many different types of antidepressant medications, and it’s important to find the one that’s right for you. At Brightside, we’re here to help. Our providers are knowledgeable about each type of medication for anxiety and depression and specialize in finding the best fit for your individual needs. As part of your treatment, your provider may recommend an antidepressant called fluvoxamine ER to help you feel better.

Fluvoxamine ER is a commonly used medication that is often well tolerated and effective for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Below, we offer some helpful information about fluvoxamine ER so you can work with your provider to determine if it’s right for you and make an informed decision about your care.

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Mimi Winsberg, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Stanford-trained Psychiatrist with 25 years of practice

Get a fluvoxamine ER prescription and ongoing anxiety & depression care for only $95 / month.

What’s included in a Brightside Medication Membership:

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  • Free monthly medication delivery
  • Regular progress tracking

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Step 1

Fill out our free mental health assessment.

Start with a clinically-proven set of questions to shed light on how you’re feeling. We’ll help you understand your symptoms, then recommend the best treatment plan for you–including medication, therapy, or both.

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Step 2

Connect with your provider for a personalized treatment plan.

Get matched with an expert provider for an online video consultation. Share how you’re feeling and then decide on next steps–together.

If prescribed, your medication will be delivered to your door monthly.

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Step 3

Make progress and start feeling better.

Stay in touch with with unlimited messaging, plus monthly video sessions with your Therapist and unlimited video consults with your Psychiatric Provider.

Then measure your progress with regular check-ins to monitor your symptoms and make adjustments until your treatment is right for you.

Everything you need to know about fluvoxamine ER

What is fluvoxamine ER, and how does it work?

Fluvoxamine ER is a medication we use to treat various mental health conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder. It is available as a generic medication, but you’ll also see it sold under the brand name Luvox CR. It is a type of prescription antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Serotonin is a natural substance in the brain that produces a feeling of mental wellbeing and helps maintain mental balance. We use SSRIs to help balance the serotonin levels in your brain—increasing those levels can improve your mood. Serotonin is one of the major chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) used to carry a signal from one brain cell to another.

An antidepressant medication like fluvoxamine ER produces more serotonin in your brain. With more serotonin, your brain can grow new cells and form stronger connections. This type of drug also blocks neurons from reabsorbing serotonin, which means more serotonin is available to help transmit messages between neurons.

This medication may also help grow cells in an important part of your brain that regulates mood and anxiety. This region is called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). When cells in this region are activated, they can help regulate mood, memories, anxiety, anger, and fear.

Fluvoxamine ER is the extended-release (ER) version of the antidepressant fluvoxamine. An extended-release medication can treat the same conditions and symptoms as the instant-release (IR) version of the drug; the main difference is how long it takes for the body to process the medication.

Most ER drugs are covered in a special coating or include other ingredients that slow down your body’s ability to process and clear the medication. In some cases, this slower process can help improve how you respond to the medication or reduce side effects.

Keep in mind that how you react to the ER version may be different from how another person reacts. Your provider will work with you to decide if the extended-release or instant-release version of a drug is best for your needs.

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What conditions does fluvoxamine ER treat?

At Brightside, our psychiatric providers specialize in personalizing treatment for each person. We give you personal attention and expert advice you can count on—and explain all your options. By using our expertise, we find the medication that’s right for you. And we make sure you understand how medications work and what to expect so that your treatment is worry-free.

We use fluvoxamine ER to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Providers may also prescribe fluvoxamine ER for other conditions, including:

  • Eating disorders, including bulimia and binge-eating disorder
  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social anxiety disorder or social phobia
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What symptoms can fluvoxamine ER help treat?

When you take fluvoxamine ER, it can help ease symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which include:

  • Unwanted, recurrent, and disturbing thoughts (obsessions)
  • Repetitive behaviors that you feel the need to perform to reduce anxiety (compulsions)

Fluvoxamine ER can also help you with symptoms of depression, such as:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling bad about yourself 
  • Feeling sad, empty, or tearful 
  • Irritability or anger 
  • Restlessness 
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideas of self-harm

If we prescribe fluvoxamine ER for social anxiety disorder, it can help reduce symptoms you may feel in social situations, such as:

  • Blushing
  • Difficulty talking
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
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Will fluvoxamine ER work for me?

We understand you may be wondering whether this medication will work for you. It’s a common question, and we’ll work together with you to find the answer. Many different factors influence how you respond to a medication. Keep in mind that some medications work better for certain people than others. Each person is different—genetics, age, and gender, among other differences—so your response to fluvoxamine ER may be different from someone else’s response. Other factors such as underlying health conditions, other medications, and dietary considerations can also play a role in how a medication helps your symptoms.

At Brightside, we can help you find the right medication and find the right treatment to help you feel better.

Before starting a new medication like fluvoxamine ER, you should get a comprehensive health assessment from a provider or provider who understands your health history. You should only take fluvoxamine ER if a physician or other qualified psychiatric provider prescribed it for you.

It can take several weeks before you start feeling the effects of fluvoxamine ER. We understand that this can feel like a long time, but it’s important to continue taking your medication even if you don’t feel improvement right away.

At Brightside, our board-certified providers will closely monitor your progress to make sure this medication and dosage is right for you.

We know that mental health concerns often can’t wait, so if you need to meet with a provider right away to discuss a new or existing medication, Brightside offers telehealth services and provider consultations that can be scheduled within 48 hours.

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How long do people generally take fluvoxamine ER?

Before you start taking fluvoxamine ER, you may have some concerns about how long you’ll need to take this medication. The amount of time you take an antidepressant will depend on your treatment plan—it varies based on your symptoms and how you respond to the medication. Some people may only need the medication for a few months, while others may stay on a medication for several years.

Studies have shown fluvoxamine ER can help symptoms of OCD, with the medication becoming more effective over time. One study showed the positive effects over a 12-week trial, but many of the patients went on to a 40-week extension trial where they saw even more improvement.

If this is your first time taking depression medication, we may recommend that you stay on the treatment for 6-12 months. Remember that your treatment may take longer if you need to switch doses or medications, add medications, or if your anxiety or depression doesn’t respond to treatment.

Your Brightside team will work with you to determine what course of treatment is best for your specific needs. Most importantly, we recommend that you keep taking your medication until your provider says it’s time to stop—even after you start to feel better.

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How effective is fluvoxamine ER?

Studies have shown that antidepressants relieve symptoms of depression about 40-60% of the time, and additional treatments (such as therapy and lifestyle improvements) on top of medication often lead to the best outcomes.

To get the best results with medication, it’s important to consistently measure progress during treatment. This is known as Measurement Based Care, and it’s the approach we use at Brightside. It’s common to adjust the dose and/or medication when starting antidepressants until you find just the right fit.

Fluvoxamine ER is a safe and effective antidepressant. However, it’s important to keep in mind that its effectiveness varies from person to person.

Several studies have shown that fluvoxamine effectively treats many types of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and panic disorder. Other studies looking specifically at fluvoxamine ER show that it can help adults with OCD.

Although there have been some clinical reviews that examine fluvoxamine and fluvoxamine ER together, more research is needed to directly compare the two medications to see whether one is more effective than the other.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), trials have shown that adults who take between 100-300mg of fluvoxamine ER experience improvement in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms.

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Does fluvoxamine ER change my personality?

We understand that you may have some concerns about how fluvoxamine ER affects you, but you don’t have to worry about it changing your personality. The goal of this treatment is to help you feel better—like yourself again—and restore your good mental health. But remember, it doesn’t happen overnight. Keep taking your medication as prescribed, and talk to us if you have any questions or concerns.

Are there side effects associated with fluvoxamine ER?

Fluvoxamine ER is generally a safe medication, but it’s important to talk with your Brightside team about potential side effects of this treatment.

Side effects from fluvoxamine ER are usually temporary, but don’t hesitate to talk to your provider if any of these symptoms become severe or don’t go away:

  • Change in sex drive or ability
  • Change in taste
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Memory problems
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Stomach pain
  • Unsteadiness 
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

In rare cases, fluvoxamine ER can also cause severe side effects. Call a provider right away if you experience:

  • Bloody nose
  • Changes in vision or swelling around the eye
  • Chest pain
  • Coordination problems
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Fever and sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Hives
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Rash
  • Red blood in stool or black, tarry stool
  • Seizures
  • Severe muscle stiffness
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising 
  • Vomiting blood

At Brightside, your health and safety are our highest priorities. We make sure you get individual attention and guidance to make sure you feel your best.

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Does fluvoxamine ER have withdrawal symptoms?

Antidepressants are not physiologically or psychologically addictive, but they can cause a discontinuation syndrome if stopped abruptly.

Discontinuation syndrome is a consequence of abruptly stopping certain types of antidepressants––particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

It can include a range of symptoms that may occur in patients who suddenly stop their SSRIs or SNRIs. These are the most common symptoms of discontinuation syndrome:

  • Feeling anxious
  • Feelings of vertigo
  • Odd sensory symptoms, such as tingling feelings in the skin or what some people describe as a “zapping” sensation in the brain
  • Trouble sleeping

Your Brightside team will prescribe you fluvoxamine ER to help you feel better. After you start to feel these positive effects, you may want to stop taking the medication. However, in most cases, fluvoxamine ER contributes to these good feelings, and stopping the medication could cause your anxiety or depression to come back.

It’s important to continue your prescription and talk to your provider about any changes you’d like to make. 

If you would like to stop taking fluvoxamine ER, make sure to talk to your provider or Brightside team. We can help you manage withdrawal symptoms safely.

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Can I take fluvoxamine ER during pregnancy or while nursing?

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, you should talk to your provider before making any medication changes. At Brightside, we can also help you weigh the pros and cons of continuing your medication while pregnant.

Some SSRIs like fluvoxamine ER may contribute to pregnancy complications, such as low birth weight and premature delivery (delivery before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Although there is minimal risk of birth defects, there may be safer ways to manage your symptoms while you’re pregnant.

Because fluvoxamine ER can pass into breast milk, it’s also important to talk to your provider if you plan to breastfeed. You and your provider can develop a plan to manage your symptoms and feed your baby safely.

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Is fluvoxamine ER addictive?

Fluvoxamine ER is not addictive and is not a controlled substance, but if you have concerns about your dependence on this medication, don’t hesitate to talk to your Brightside team.

What does the FDA say about fluvoxamine ER?

You can view the FDA black box warning for fluvoxamine ER here. If you have questions about whether the black box warning for fluvoxamine ER applies to you, please talk to your provider.

Conditions we treat with fluvoxamine ER

Brightside Psychiatric Providers prescribe fluvoxamine ER alongside other medicines to treat conditions including:
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