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What should I know before my child uses Luvox?

Before your child takes Luvox (fluvoxamine), you should know that it is a medicine prescribed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children ages 8 to 17 and in adults. It belongs to a category of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is thought to work by raising the level of the brain chemical serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood.

The recommended starting dose of Luvox for children with OCD is 25 milligrams (mg) a day, usually taken at bedtime. Your child's doctor may monitor your child carefully to see how your child responds and to watch for side effects from the medication. The dose may be increased, if necessary, once a week until the doctor determines that your child is benefiting from the drug with minimal side effects. If your child needs to take more than 50 mg of Luvox per day, the dose will probably be divided so that your child is taking the medicine twice a day. It may take two or three months before your child experiences the full benefits of Luvox.

Children who take Luvox may be at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In a review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of studies that included a total of 2,200 children and teens who took SSRIs, 4% experienced suicidal thoughts and behaviors (including attempts). That's twice the rate seen in children and teens who took only placebos (sugar pills).

You and your child's doctor may need to monitor your child closely for behavior changes such as agitation, sleeplessness or withdrawal from social situations while your child takes Luvox. Your child's doctor may also monitor your child's weight and height closely during treatment with Luvox because the drug may cause decreased appetite and weight loss in some children. Luvox may also cause side effects, including headache, feeling weak, sleep problems, dry mouth and nausea, among others.

Before your child takes Luvox, you should give your child's doctor a list of all medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and dietary and herbal supplements your child takes. Once treatment with Luvox begins, your child should not take any new medication or supplement without consulting the doctor first. Your child should not stop Luvox suddenly, because that may cause withdrawal symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.