Fluoxetine

Generic Name: Fluoxetine

  • What is Fluoxetine?

    Fluoxetine is an antidepressant medication known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It is used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia nervosa, panic disorder, depressive episodes with bipolar disorder, or depression in people who have not gotten better with at least two other treatments. Fluoxetine is available in tablets and an oral solution.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Fluoxetine?

    Fluoxetine can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. Your doctor will monitor you closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual behavior after you start taking fluoxetine or a new dose. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience anxiety, hostility, sleeplessness, restlessness, impulsive or dangerous behavior, or thoughts about suicide or dying; or if you have new symptoms or seem to be feeling worse.

    Fluoxetine can cause serotonin syndrome (a potentially life-threatening drug reaction that causes the body to have too much serotonin, a chemical produced by the nerve cells) or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a brain disorder) when you take it alone or in combination with other medicines. You can experience mental status changes, an increase in your heart rate and temperature, lack of coordination, overactive reflexes, muscle rigidity, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of these signs or symptoms.

    Fluoxetine can cause severe allergic reactions. Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor immediately if you develop a rash, trouble breathing, or swelling of your face, tongue, eyes, or mouth.

    Your risk of abnormal bleeding or bruising can increase if you take fluoxetine, especially if you also take blood thinners (such as warfarin), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen or naproxen), or aspirin.

    You can experience manic episodes while you are taking fluoxetine. Tell your doctor if you experience greatly increased energy, severe trouble sleeping, racing thoughts, reckless behavior, unusually grand ideas, excessive happiness or irritability, or talking more or faster than usual.

    Fluoxetine can cause seizures or changes in your appetite or weight. Your doctor will monitor you for these effects during treatment. Also, fluoxetine can decrease your blood sodium levels, especially if you are elderly. Tell your doctor if you have a headache, weakness, feeling unsteady, confusion, problems concentrating or thinking, or memory problems while you are taking fluoxetine.

    Do not stop taking fluoxetine without first talking to your doctor. Stopping fluoxetine suddenly can cause serious symptoms, including anxiety, irritability, high or low mood, feeling restless, changes in your sleep habits, headache, sweating, nausea, dizziness, electric shock-like sensations, shaking, or confusion.

  • Who should not take Fluoxetine?

    Do not take fluoxetine if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take fluoxetine if you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a class of drugs used to treat depression and other psychiatric conditions. Do not take an MAOI within 5 weeks of stopping fluoxetine. Also, do not take fluoxetine if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 2 weeks. In addition, do not take fluoxetine if you are taking pimozide or thioridazine.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Fluoxetine?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with fluoxetine. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver, kidney, bleeding, or heart problems; diabetes; a history of seizures; bipolar disorder or mania; low blood sodium levels; a history of stroke; high blood pressure; or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    MDD

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 20 milligrams (mg) once a day in the morning. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    Children: The recommended starting dose is 10-20 mg once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    OCD

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 20 mg once a day in the morning. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    Children: The recommended starting dose is 10 mg once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    Bulimia Nervosa

    Adults: The recommended dose is 60 mg once a day in the morning.

    Panic Disorder

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 10 mg once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    Depressive Episodes with Bipolar Disorder

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 20 mg with 5 mg of olanzapine once a day in the evening. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

  • How should I take Fluoxetine?

    Take fluoxetine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. You can take fluoxetine with or without food. Do not stop taking this medication abruptly without first talking to your doctor.

  • What should I avoid while taking Fluoxetine?

    Fluoxetine can cause sleepiness or affect your ability to make decisions, think clearly, or react quickly. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or engage in dangerous activities until you know how fluoxetine affects you.

    Do not drink alcohol while you are taking fluoxetine.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Fluoxetine?

    If fluoxetine is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Fluoxetine may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking.

  • What are the possible side effects of Fluoxetine?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: anxiety, change in your blood sugar levels, change in your sleep habits, diarrhea, dry mouth, "flu-like" symptoms, hot flashes, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, rash, sexual problems, shaking, sinus infection, sore throat, sweating, tiredness, tremor, trouble sleeping, unusual dreams, vomiting, weakness, yawning

  • Can I receive Fluoxetine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of fluoxetine during pregnancy are unknown. Fluoxetine can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking fluoxetine. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Fluoxetine?

    If you miss a dose of fluoxetine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Fluoxetine?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from light.