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Taking fluvoxamine (Luvox), or thinking of taking it?

Fluvoxamine and caffeine don't play well together! Quit caffeine when you start Luvox to avoid nasty side effects.

That's actually all you need to know from this site. Read on only if you're curious why.



Why don't coffee/tea/chocolate/soda and fluvoxamine (Luvox) play well together?

Have you seen the story on "60 Minutes" about fluvoxamine being studied for COVID-19 treatment and want to find a study, or you're thinking about asking your doctor to prescribe it? Or you're already taking it for OCD or depression and having some issues? Heads up: Fluvoxamine and caffeine don't mix!


Here's the short version of why: The body processes various drugs through various pathways called "cytochrome P450" pathways. Think of it like a pipe: if you send two things through the same pipe, you can get a log-jam, and they start to build up.


Think about this: What are the side effects of fluvoxamine ("Luvox") supposed to be? Headaches, nausea, jitters, and insomnia, right? Remind you of anything?


You got it! Five cups of coffee in a row!


Wondering why you've never heard of this for Prozac (fluoxetine), a relative of Luvox (fluvoxamine)? Because Prozac goes mostly through a different pathway, luckily, called CYP2D6. No wonder it is more popular!

So how does this play out? Let's say you start on fluvoxamine (for COVID-19, depression, or OCD) and you drink your regular cup of coffee in the morning. Only now, it lasts 30-35 hours because the fluvoxamine is jamming the pipe! Then you drink one at noon, and it lasts 30-35 hours, on top of the last one. Then you have your last one (or some chocolate and a soda) at 4 pm, and watch out!

And, one last wrinkle: There are genetic differences. In most people, caffeine lasts roughly 5-8 hours (for example, you'd better quit by 2 or 4 PM if you want to get to sleep at 10); but some people are super-sensitive ("slow metabolizers"), and some people can drink coffee all day long ("ultra-rapid metabolizers"). (It's around 1-15% on each end, depending on race etc.) There's even a genetic test for it (and it's included in the deluxe version of the 23andMe results).

If you already know that you're super-sensitive to caffeine (say, you can't drink it after 10 AM or noon), this is going to be even more important for you on Luvox. (By the way, ask around in your family-- you might not be the only one who's sensitive to caffeine!) But if you're one of those people who takes a last sip of coffee as you turn off the light, you may have more leeway. Just remember, whatever caffeine is usually like for you, think "Times 3 to 5."


How to avoid headaches, jitters, nausea, and insomnia while taking fluvoxamine

cup of tea in china cup creative commons


There's lots of caffeine in black tea, and some in green tea too. Herbal tea is okay, though.

Tea could be a good substitute if you're coming off coffee and need a little boost.

Handy guideline:

Just remember, whatever you take will last 30-35 hours, and a second cup will build on the last.

Dark chocolate attribution John Loo 6067


Insomnia, hello!

Chocolate can surprise you if you're on Luvox. Dark chocolate is powerful stuff--  but if you're normally a coffee-drinker, you might be able to get away with a few bites, or some milk chocolate, early in the day.


Is life without chocolate worth living? Don't worry, if you're taking fluvoxamine for COVID, it's only for 15 days. You can do it!

energy drinks horizontal creative common


Watch out! These are caffeine bombs!

Some sodas are too (e.g. Coke/Pepsi/Dr. Pepper/Mountain Dew), though not as much.

Remember, everything is stronger and lasts longer on fluvoxamine. And if you drink more than one a day, each one builds up on the last one.


Imagine a cup of coffee keeping you buzzed for 30 hours-- not good!


To avoid headaches, nausea, and insomnia, quit or cut way down on caffeine if you start taking Luvox for depression or COVID-19 treatment.

That's it. Spread the word!

COVID-positive and looking for a way to get prescribed fluvoxamine? The national ACTIV-6 clinical trial is testing fluvoxamine versus placebo and pays $125 for completion:

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