Sex Rx: Luvox and Your Sex Life
Fluvoxamine (Luvox) is a medication used in the United States. It is FDA approved for treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders . Some doctors may also prescribe this medication for other psychiatric conditions. While fluvoxamine is effective in treating these disorders, it has been associated with sexual problems.
How Fluvoxamine WorksFluvoxamine is one of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. These medications work by increasing the activity of the brain chemical serotonin, which helps regulate mood.
Other Drugs of This Class (SSRIs):
Possible Sexual Side Effects Associated with Fluvoxamine
- Decreased sexual desire
- Difficulty reaching orgasm or lack of orgasm
- Abnormal ejaculation
How This Medication Can Affect Sexual FunctionIt is not yet clear how SSRIs affect sexual function. The effects are believed to be related to the increased level of serotonin, which may affect sexual reflex centers.
Wait It OutAs you adjust to your new medication, the sexual side effects may go away.
Decrease the DosageThis tactic may work, but carries the risk of a relapse of the depression or disorder. Never change your dosage without checking with your doctor first.
Switch MedicationsSince the medical response to SSRIs can vary among people, your doctor will consider the severity of your condition, as well as your response to the drug before switching to another medication. When switching is appropriate, some options include:
- Bupropion—This antidepressant medication does not affect serotonin. It is less likely than the commonly used SSRIs to cause sexual dysfunction and may actually have prosexual effects. Bupropion is used to treat a number of conditions, such as major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder . It is not recommended for people with eating disorders or seizure disorders .
- Nefazodone—This drug does affect serotonin, but not in the same way as SSRIs. It can be used to treat depression and cause fewer sexual side effects. One of its more troublesome adverse effects is sedation.
- Mirtazapine—This drug is similar to nefazodone in its effect on depression and sexual function. It can also cause sedation.