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Prozac vs. Luvox: Which One Should I Take?

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TeleHealth Psychiatrist

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With all of the available anxiety and depression medications, it can be difficult to know what the differences are and which one is going to be best for you. Even similar antidepressants such as Prozac and Luvox have differences that you should consider with a healthcare provider before making a decision. 

The following article compares Prozac and Luvox, which are both SSRI antidepressants used to treat major depressive disorder and other conditions. Klarity is here to help you make the most informed decision about your treatment options. 

If you want to speak to a provider about a possible diagnosis and anxiety or depression treatment, Klarity will connect you with a licensed and compassionate mental healthcare provider within 48 hours. Find your provider today.

This article discusses suicide, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or is in crisis, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 800-273-8255.

LuvoxProzac
Drug ClassSelective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Brand / Generic StatusBrand name for fluvoxamineBrand name fluoxetine
Form(s) of the Drug• Tablets
• Extended-release capsules

• Clear, peppermint-flavored liquid suspension
• Half-green, half-white capsules
Standard DosageTablets:
• 25 mg
• 50 mg
• 100 mg

Extended-release capsules:
• 100 mg
• 150 mg
Liquid suspension:
• 10mg per dose

Capsules:
• 10mg per dose
Conditions TreatedFDA-approved uses:
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Off-label uses:
• Social phobia or social anxiety disorder (SAD)
• Major depressive disorder (MDD)
• Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Panic disorder
• Eating disorders
FDA-approved uses:
• Anxiety and stress
• Major depression
• Bulimia nervosa
• Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
• Panic disorder
• Postpartum depression
• Schizoaffective disorder

Off-label uses:
• Anorexia nervosa
• Premature ejaculation
• Various anxiety disorders
CostGeneric form (fluvoxamine):
• $20 to $46 for a 30-day supply

Brand-name:
• $400 for a 30-day supply

Generic form (fluoxetine):
• $3 to $4 for 30-days’ worth of capsules*
• $12 for 30 days’ worth of liquid suspension

*May cost up to $100 for high dosages

Brand-name:
• $460 to $1000 for 30 days’ worth of capsules
Side-EffectsCommon side effects:
• Dry mouth
• Fatigue, dizziness
• GI upset, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation
• Headache
• Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
• Increased anxiety or nervousness
• Increased or excessive sweating

Serious side effects:
• Trouble urinating
• Breathing problems
• Sexual dysfunction, including lack of desire or orgasm
Common side effects:
• Nausea
• Diarrhea or constipation
• Changes in appetite
• Headache and fatigue
• Increased sweating
• Trouble sleeping
• Impotence/sexual dysfunction

Serious side effects include:
• Fever
• High blood pressure
• Rigid muscles
• Seizures
• Kidney or respiratory failure
• Disorientation or delirium
• Serotonin syndrome
Warnings For UseContraindicated conditions:
• Liver disease
• Prior heart attack or severe heart disease
• Heart arrhythmias
• Bipolar disorder or prior episodes of mania
• Seizure disorder

Drug interactions:
• Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
• NSAID medications, including ibuprofen
• Warfarin and other blood-thinning medications
• Other SSRI medications and antidepressants
• ADHD medication, like Adderall
• St. John’s Wort
• Most pain medications, including opioids
• Thiazide diuretics
• Recreational drugs, such as MDMA
Contraindicated conditions:
• Diabetes
• Liver disease
• Alcohol use disorder
• History of bipolar disorder
• History of suicide attempts
• Low blood sodium or dehydration
• Seizures
• Gastrointestinal ulcers
• Glaucoma

Drug Interactions:
• Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
• Aspirin and other blood thinners
• Antihistamines
• Opioid pain relievers
• St. John’s wort
• Cannabis and MDMA

What is Prozac?

Prozac is the name-brand version of the FDA-approved antidepressant medication fluoxetine, and it is used to treat major depressive disorder and other mental health conditions. It is often prescribed to adults, teenagers, and children above the age of eight. 

Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant, meaning that it helps increase the levels of serotonin in the brain and prevent reabsorption. Often referred to as the “happy hormone,” serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps send messages between different parts of the brain and body. 

When there’s not enough serotonin present, the brain cannot communicate properly, which can lead to symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses. Serotonin reabsorption, also called serotonin reuptake, occurs naturally but preventing it can actually improve symptoms of depression. 

Common Doses and Forms of Prozac

Prozac is available in capsules or liquid form. The liquid form is most commonly prescribed to children, while adults usually take the capsules, but your provider will determine which is the best option for you. Capsules come in 20 mg doses, whereas the liquid is measured in doses of 10 mg. 

Adult patients usually start by taking a 20 mg dose daily, then increasing their dosage gradually based on a healthcare provider’s recommendation until they reach an ideal amount, usually around 60 mg or 80 mg daily. 

Conditions Prozac Treats

Prozac treats major depression and other serotonin-related conditions, as well as the following:

  • Anxiety 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Postpartum depression

Prozac Can Treat Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

Medical providers often prescribe Prozac to treat depression disorders, and it can also be used to treat generalized anxiety disorders. Here are some of the symptoms that Prozac can alleviate

  • Chronic anxiety
  • Fear
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability
  • Fluctuating mood
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Poor appetite
  • Low energy
  • Low mood, disinterest in daily life 

Off-label Uses for Prozac

Patients may be prescribed Prozac for conditions that it’s not FDA-approved to treat. That said, it is still an effective and safe treatment option. Healthcare providers often prescribe medications with a proven track record in an off-label capacity because FDA approval requires extensive testing and resources that can’t be applied to every medication for all uses.

These are off-label uses of Prozac and should only be done under the advice of a medical professional.

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Anxiety disorders

Prozac Costs

For the brand name Prozac, patients usually pay around $460 and up to $1000 dollars for a 30-day supply. Due to the expensive price, Prozac, as a name brand, is usually not covered by insurance companies. 

However, the generic form of fluoxetine can be between $3 and $4 dollars for a 30-day supply of capsules. Patients who need a higher dose of fluoxetine can pay up to $100 for a month’s supply. 

Prozac Side Effects

As with all antidepressants, Prozac can cause some side effects, which can range from mild to severe. If your side effects persist or worsen, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Here are some common, moderate side effects of Prozac

  • Nausea
  • Change in appetite 
  • Headache and fatigue 
  • Increased sweating 
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Impotence
  • Diarrhea and constipation

In some cases, severe and even life-threatening side effects can occur. If you experience any of the following while taking Prozac, contact emergency medical services immediately.  

  • High blood pressure
  • Rigid muscles
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Kidney failure
  • Respiratory issues
  • Fever

SSRI antidepressants can cause a rare condition called serotonin syndrome, which occurs when there’s too much serotonin in the brain. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome can include diarrhea, rapid heart rate, confusion, and seizures.

In rare cases, if left untreated, serotonin syndrome can be fatal. It is vital that you contact your healthcare provider immediately if you begin experiencing any symptoms.

Prozac Warnings

Prozac can have adverse effects on individuals with certain medical conditions, such as the following:

  • Liver disease
  • Alcoholism 
  • History of bipolar disorder or suicide attempts
  • Low blood sodium, dehydration
  • Seizures 
  • Diabetes
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Glaucoma 

If you have any of these conditions, you should avoid using Prozac. Always let your provider know of any underlying medical conditions you have so that they can avoid prescribing medication that could have adverse interactions.

Prozac Drug Interactions

Certain medications and recreational substances can interact with Prozac and put your health at risk. Let your provider know if you are currently taking any medication or substances. Additionally, if you consume any of the following, you should avoid using Prozac.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Aspirin and blood thinners
  • Antihistamines
  • Opioids
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Cannabis 
  • MDMA
  • Alcohol

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What is Luvox?

Like Prozac, Luvox is also a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor approved by the FDA to treat depression and other psychiatric conditions. Luvox is the name-brand form of the SSRI fluvoxamine and works by preventing the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, which increases serotonin levels.  

Common Doses and Forms of Luvox 

Luvox is commonly prescribed as a tablet but can come in the form of immediate and extended-release capsules. Dosage is available in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg, and most patients start with 25 mg or 50 mg. After the initial dose, patients will gradually raise their dose under the supervision of a medical provider as long as no serious side effects occur.

Conditions Luvox Treats

Luvox is often prescribed to treat symptoms of depression as well as other conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorders.  

Luvox Can Treat Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

Luvox can be prescribed to treat symptoms that are commonly associated with anxiety and depression, such as:

  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Feeling worthless, hopeless, and helpless
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts 
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea, sweating, and shaking in social situations
  • Difficulty talking to others 

Off-label Uses for Luvox

Luvox can be helpful for treating conditions “off-label,” meaning it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this condition, but healthcare providers have found success in prescribing it. Some of these off-label uses of Luvox include the following conditions.  

  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Binge-eating disorder

Luvox Costs

Luvox prices can vary depending on your pharmacy, dosage, and insurance. On average, a 60-tablet supply of 50 mg Luvox will cost about $78, and a 90-tablet supply of 100 mg Luvox will cost about $202. 

The generic version, fluvoxamine, can usually be found for a less expensive price. For a 60-tablet supply of 50 mg fluvoxamine, the price is around $62, and a 90-tablet quantity of 100 mg tablets will cost about $149. 

Luvox Side Effects

The side effects Luvox can cause will be different for each individual, but it is important to understand the possible effects Luvox can have before taking it. Common moderate side effects, including the following, usually subside after a few weeks once the body becomes acclimated to the medication.   

  • Headache 
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weakness 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Nervousness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Upset stomach (constipation, gas, and diarrhea)  
  • Low sex drive

Some patients experience more serious side effects, which can be fatal if left untreated. If you begin showing signs of any of the following while taking Luvox, you should contact your provider immediately. 

  • Low sodium blood levels
  • Teeth grinding
  • Glaucoma
  • Severe muscle tightness
  • Fever
  • Seizures

Luvox Warnings

As with Prozac, Luvox can cause serotonin syndrome, which can be fatal if left untreated. Serotonin syndrome occurs when too much serotonin is present in the brain and can cause rapid heartbeat, muscle stiffness, sweating, fever, confusion, coma, and even death. 

In adults, Luvox can sometimes cause or increase suicidal thoughts. If you begin to notice signs of new or worsening depression, changes in mood, or changes in behavior, you should contact your provider immediately. 

Luvox can also have adverse effects if the patient has certain medical conditions such as liver disease, seizure disorders, platelet function, hyponatremia, and mania. 

Luvox Drug Interactions

When taken in conjunction with other medications and substances, Luvox can increase the side effects of these symptoms. These medications may also increase the negative side effects of Luvox and can be generally dangerous to take together. 

  • Adderall
  • Cymbalta
  • Lithium
  • Other SSRIs
  • Abilify 
  • Gabapentin
  • Klonopin
  • Alcohol

Get Anxiety and Depression Treatment With Klarity

If you are suffering from symptoms of anxiety or depression, you don’t want to endure long waitlists and inconvenient commutes to an in-person office to get the right medication. At Klarity, we created a system to deliver access to quality convenient healthcare right from the comfort of your own home. 

When you book with Klarity, we’ll schedule your first visit with a healthcare provider within 48 hours so you can determine whether Prozac or Luvox is right for you. Get started today to receive the treatment you need and deserve, whether you have insurance or not. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Prozac and Luvox

Does Prozac Make You Gain Weight? Does Luvox?

Prozac and Luvox can cause minor weight gain. This will vary depending on each individual’s anatomy and circumstances. For example, someone with a reduced appetite due to depression may experience weight gain when increased serotonin restores their desire to eat. Weight gain will likely taper off as your body adjusts to the medication. 

Is Prozac or Luvox Better for Anxiety?

Both Prozac and Luvox can be prescribed to treat anxiety disorders. However, which one is better depends on the recommendation of your healthcare provider. Even though both antidepressants are SSRIs, they work differently. Your provider will be able to help you determine which will be better for treating anxiety.    

Can I Replace Prozac with Luvox?

If you do not experience optimal results or the side effects are too severe when taking Prozac, your provider may recommend Luvox. If your healthcare provider switches you from one medication to the other, you will need to slowly decrease your dose over time before starting the new one. Discuss your symptoms with your provider to determine next steps.

Is Prozac Energizing or Sedating? What About Luvox?

Prozac and Luvox can both improve symptoms of depression by increasing energy levels. Compared to other antidepressants, such as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants, SSRIs are a better option for patients who have low energy levels. 

Does Prozac Cause Brain Fog? Does Luvox?

Brain fog is categorized by symptoms such as difficulty focusing, memory problems, trouble thinking clearly, loss of balance, and more. For some patients, both Prozac and Luvox can cause brain fog. If you experience symptoms of brain fog, contact your provider immediately. 

Can I Drink Alcohol On Luvox? On Prozac?

It is not advised that you consume alcohol while taking Prozac or Luvox. Alcohol can emphasize the side effects of SSRIs, and the side effects of alcohol, such as blurred vision, difficulty balancing, confusion, and impaired decision-making, can all be increased by SSRIs.  

Can I Drink Caffeine When I’m on Luvox? How About Prozac?

There is no research to suggest that consuming caffeine has any interactions with Prozac or Luvox, so it is safe to drink caffeine while you are on Luvox or Prozac.

What Is Better For Depression—Luvox or Prozac?

Both Prozac and Luvox are used to treat major depressive disorder. A healthcare provider will assess your family and personal medical history, and current symptoms to determine which medication is most likely to give you the best results with the fewest symptoms. In some cases, patients will have to try more than one antidepressant to find one that works best. 

Start today, and discuss your symptoms with a specialist who can help.

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