You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this drug if you have:
- Bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression)
- A history of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts
- A recent history of heart attack or have unstable heart disease
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- A smoker
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Luvox CR and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Luvox and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Fluvoxamine CR to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Fluvoxamine CR belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. SSRIs act on a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. Serotonin is one of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release serotonin. The serotonin enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough serotonin reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any unused serotonin that remains in the gap between cells. This is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. However, when the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including OCD. Fluvoxamine CR helps to block the reuptake of serotonin, causing more to remain in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the serotonin a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell, restoring a more normal serotonin balance.