Fluoxetine

Fluoxetine
(floo-OX-e-teen)

Prozac, Sarafem, Rapiflux, Selfemra

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Fluoxetine is used to treat depression, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, a certain eating disorder (bulimia), and a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

This medication may improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy level and may help restore your interest in daily living. It may decrease fear, anxiety, unwanted thoughts, and the number of panic attacks. It may also reduce the urge to perform repeated tasks (compulsions such as hand-washing, counting, and checking) that interfere with daily living. Prozac may lessen premenstrual symptoms such as irritability, increased appetite, and depression. It may decrease binging and purging behaviors in bulimia.

This drug is also used to treat a certain other eating disorder (anorexia nervosa), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and certain nervous system/sleep disorders (cataplexy, narcolepsy). It may also be used to treat hot flashes that occur with menopause.

You should see some improvement in 1 to 2 weeks. It may take 4 to 5 weeks before you feel the full benefit.

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Fluoxetine can stay in your body for many weeks after your last dose and may interact with many other medications. Before using any medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have taken fluoxetine in the previous 5 weeks.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: drugs removed from your body by certain liver enzymes including carbamazepine, vinblastine, antiarrhythmics such as propafenone/flecainide, tricyclic antidepressants such as desipramine/imipramine, other drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, "blood thinners" such as warfarin.

Taking MAO inhibitors with his medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for 2 weeks before and at least 5 weeks after treatment with this medication. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.

Many drugs besides fluoxetine may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including pimozide and thioridazine, among others.

Aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding when used with this medication. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin. Examples include street drugs such as MDMA/"ecstasy," St. John's wort, certain antidepressants (including other SSRIs such as citalopram/paroxetine, SNRIs such as duloxetine/venlafaxine), tryptophan, among others. The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine). Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

This medication may interfere with certain medical/laboratory tests (including brain scan for Parkinson's disease), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use.

Common side effects of Alprazolam include:

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: unusual or severe mental/mood changes (such as agitation, unusual high energy/excitement, thoughts of suicide), easy bruising/bleeding, muscle weakness/spasm, shakiness (tremor), decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, unusual weight loss, large pupils.

Get medical help right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: bloody/black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, seizures, change in amount of urine.

If you have diabetes, fluoxetine may affect your blood sugar levels. Monitor your blood sugar regularly and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your medication, diet, and exercise when you start or stop fluoxetine.

This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

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Dr. Stephen Covey

Every human has four endowments- self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.

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