The Use of Luvox CR in Treating Social Anxiety Disorder

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Luvox CR is the brand name of the generic medication fluvoxamine maleate. Luvox is a prescription medication used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other serious mental health conditions.

What Is Luvox CR?

Manufactured by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Luvox CR was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD) in February 2008. Luvox CR is the controlled-release version of Luvox. The brand name of Luvox is no longer available in the U.S., but its generic equivalent fluvoxamine ER is.

A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Luvox CR slows reabsorption of the chemical serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is believed to play a role in the regulation of mood and anxiety.

How to Take Luvox CR

Luvox CR comes in tablet form and must be swallowed whole. It should be taken once per day, with or without food. If you forget to take a daily dose, take it when you remember. However, if it is close to the time of your next dose, it is better to skip the missed dose altogether.

It is important to continue taking Luvox CR as long as your doctor instructs, even if you begin to feel better. If you abruptly stop taking Luvox CR, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, insomnia, anxiety, and dizziness. To avoid these symptoms, your doctor will slowly taper your dosage when you stop taking Luvox CR.

Dosage Guidelines

For people with SAD, a typical dosage of Luvox CR starts at 100 mg per day, with increases of 50 mg weekly to a maximum of 300 mg.

In general, dosage increases will be more gradual for elderly patients.

Who Shouldn't Take Luvox CR

Luvox CR should be used with caution if you:

  • Are hypersensitive to fluvoxamine maleate
  • Have a history of seizures
  • Have a history of mania
  • Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding

The effectiveness of Luvox CR in children and adolescents has not been studied, and the medication has not been approved for the treatment of SAD in people under 18 years of age. There is some evidence to suggest an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, adolescents, and young adults taking Luvox CR.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.


Luvox should not be taken in combination with or within weeks of taking Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs); the result of such combinations can be fatal. Luvox CR also should not be combined with thioridazine, pimozide, alosetron, tizanidine, and ramelteon.

Caution should be used when taking a number of other medications in combination with Luvox CR, such as anticoagulants and anti-inflammatories. Consumption of alcohol is also not advised while taking Luvox CR. You should inform your doctor of any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications or other substances that you are taking or plan to take.

Side Effects

Side effects of Luvox CR include nausea, drowsiness, weakness, diarrhea, anorexia, tremor, sweating, and sexual dysfunction (such as abnormal ejaculation and inability to reach orgasm).

When first starting Luvox CR or when changing the dosage, watch for more serious side effects such as agitation, hostility, panic, extreme hyperactivity, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to report these to your doctor immediately.

For some people, Luvox CR may interfere with judgment, thinking, and motor skills. It is important not to operate hazardous machinery, including automobiles, unless you are sure that Luvox CR is not affecting you in this way.

Associated Risks

The risk of a fatal overdose of Luvox CR is very low. Symptoms of an overdose include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coma, hypokalemia, hypotension, respiratory difficulties, drowsiness and rapid heartbeat.

When combined with some medications, there is a risk of serotonin syndrome, a potentially fatal condition. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include agitation, confusion, sweating, hallucinations, abnormal reflexes, muscle spasms, and rapid heartbeat.

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  • Bezchlibnyk-Butler KZ, Jeffries, JJ, eds. Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs. Toronto, Canada: Hogrefe & Huber; 2003.
  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Luvox CR: Prescribing Information. 21 April 2008.

By Arlin Cuncic, MA
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." She has a Master's degree in psychology.