- What is fluoxetine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for fluoxetine?
- Is fluoxetine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for fluoxetine?
- What are the side effects of fluoxetine?
- What is the dosage for fluoxetine?
- Is fluoxetine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about fluoxetine?
What is fluoxetine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Fluoxetine is an oral drug that is used primarily for treating depression. It is in a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class that includes citalopram (Celexa), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft). Fluoxetine affects neurotransmitters, the chemicals that nerves within the brain use to communicate with each other. Neurotransmitters are manufactured and released by nerves and then travel and attach to nearby nerves. Thus, neurotransmitters can be thought of as the communication system of the brain. Serotonin is one neurotransmitter that is released by nerves in the brain. The serotonin either travels across the space between nerves and attaches to receptors on the surface of nearby nerves or it attaches to receptors on the surface of the nerve that produced it, to be taken up by the nerve and released again (a process referred to as re-uptake). Many experts believe that an imbalance among neurotransmitters is the cause of depression. Fluoxetine works by preventing the reuptake of one neurotransmitter, serotonin, by nerve cells after it has been released. Since uptake is an important mechanism for removing released neurotransmitters and terminating their actions on adjacent nerves, the reduced uptake caused by fluoxetine increases free serotonin that stimulates nerve cells in the brain. The FDA approved Fluoxetine in December 1987.
What are the side effects of fluoxetine?
Fluoxetine, as with most antidepressants, can cause nausea, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, drowsiness, and loss of appetite. Fluoxetine has been implicated in serious skin rashes and vasculitis (inflammation of small blood vessels). Increased blood pressure can occur, and blood pressure should be monitored. Seizures have been reported as has sexual dysfunction. Some patients may experience withdrawal reactions upon stopping fluoxetine. Symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety, nausea, nervousness, and insomnia. The dose of fluoxetine should be gradually reduced when therapy is discontinued. Fluoxetine and other antidepressants have been associated with angle closure attacks in people with narrow angle glaucoma.
Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in short-term studies in children and adolescents with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of fluoxetine or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in behavior.
What is the dosage for fluoxetine?
: Depression in adults is treated with 20-80 mg of fluoxetine daily. The recommended dose for treating depression in children is 10-20 mg daily. After 13 weeks of daily administration, 90 mg once weekly may be effective in some patients.
Is fluoxetine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Fluoxetine is excreted in breast milk. Therefore, use of fluoxetine while nursing is not recommended.
What else should I know about fluoxetine?
What preparations of fluoxetine are available?
Capsules: 10, 20 and 40 mg. Capsules (delayed release): 90 mg. Tablets: 10, 20 and 60 mg. Oral suspension: 20 mg/5ml
How should I keep fluoxetine stored?
Fluoxetine should be stored at room temperature 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
Quick GuidePhysical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures
Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Prozac Weekly) is a drug prescribed for the treatemnt of depression, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It is also prescribed in combination with olanzapine (Zyprexa) to treat resistant depression and depression associated with bipolar disorder. Side effects, multiple drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Treatment & Diagnosis
- Poor Hygiene
- Mood Swings
- Unusual Behavior
- Inability to Regulate Emotions
- Indigestion (Dyspepsia, Upset Stomach)
- PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
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- Postpartum Depression
- Depression FAQs
- Fibromyalgia FAQs
- Bipolar Disorder Mania FAQs
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Treatment
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Fibromyalgia Treatment...Methods Using Available Medicines
- Antidepressants Banned for UK Kids
- FDA Knew Antidepressant Danger to Kids
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), More Common Than You Think
- Herbs: Toxicities and Drug Interactions
- Catherine Zeta-Jones: A Case of Bipolar II Disorder
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Antidepressants (Depression Medications)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Lexapro vs. Wellbutrin: Differences between Side Effects and Uses
- Anxiolytics (for Anxiety) Drug Class Side Effects
- citalopram, Celexa
- Drug Interactions
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- paroxetine, Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva
- fluvoxamine (Luvox and Luvox CR have been discontinued)
- Buspar vs. Zoloft (Differences between Side Effects and Uses)
Prevention & Wellness
- 'Off-Label' Antidepressants Common, But Where's the Evidence?
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- 1 in 6 U.S. Adults Takes a Psychiatric Drug: Study
- Study Questions Use of Antidepressants for Children, Teens
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- Study Finds No Heart Risk From SSRI Antidepressants
- Did Studies Lack Key Data on Link Between Antidepressants, Youth Suicides?
- Certain Antidepressants May Be Linked to Bipolar Disorder: Study
- Antidepressants in Pregnancy May Raise Autism Risk, Study Suggests
- Antidepressants During Pregnancy Have Benefits, Risks: Study
- Taking St. John's Wort for Depression Carries Risks: Study
- Another Study Sees Link Between Antidepressants and Birth Defects
- Common Antidepressants Linked to Higher Fracture Odds in Menopausal Women
- Risk to Baby From Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy Is Small, Study Says
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- Recalled Supplements Linger on U.S. Store Shelves, Study Finds
- Study Questions Link Between Antidepressants, Miscarriage
- Weight Gain From Antidepressants Is Minimal, Study Suggests
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