What is Sarafem?Sarafem is an antidepressant drug of a type called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is used for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in females.
What is the most important information I should know about Sarafem?Sarafem and other antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults under the age of 24 with major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders. It is important for families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants to monitor for and report agitation, irritability, any sudden unusual changes in behavior, and emergence of suicidality, especially during the first few months of therapy or dose changes.
A rare but potentially life-threatening reaction known as serotonin syndrome has been reported with SSRI drugs, including Sarafem. Be aware and tell your doctor if you experience hallucinations, agitation, coma, fast heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Who should not take Sarafem?Do not take Sarafem if you are allergic to fluoxetine.
Do not take with monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) drugs (a class of drugs used to treat depression, psychiatric or emotional disorders, or Parkinson's disease) or within a minimum of 14 days of discontinuing therapy with an MAOI.
Do not take if you are also taking pimozide or thioridazine.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Sarafem?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Sarafem. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of bipolar affective disorder or depression.
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.
Adults: The recommended dose of Sarafem is 20 milligrams (mg) a day given continuously (every day of the menstrual cycle) or intermittently (starting 14 days before the onset of menstruation through the first full day of menses).
How should I take Sarafem?Sarafem may be taken with or without food.
What should I avoid while taking Sarafem?Never stop an antidepressant medicine, including Sarafem, without first talking to a healthcare provider.
Psychoactive drugs such as Sarafem may impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills; do not operate hazardous machinery or drive until you are aware how Sarafem affects you.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Sarafem?If Sarafem is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Sarafem with the following: antiarrhythmics, anticoagulants, carbamazepine, antidepressants, antipsychotics, aspirin, benzodiazepines, digoxin, diuretics, dopamine antagonists, linezolid, lithium, NSAIDs, tramadol, triptans used for migraines, phenytoin, or tryptophan.
What are the possible side effects of Sarafem?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: rash, hives, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, changes in appetite or weight
Can I receive Sarafem if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Taking Sarafem during pregnancy may cause harm to the unborn baby, especially if taken during the last 3 months of pregnancy. Likewise, taking Sarafem during breastfeeding is not recommended. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Sarafem?If you miss a dose of Sarafem, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. 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. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How should I store Sarafem?Store in a cool, dry place away from pets and children.