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Fluoxetine: Side Effects, Uses, Interaction and Precautions

Fluoxetine: Side Effects, Uses, Interaction and Precautions

What is Fluoxetine?

Fluoxetine is an antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder, panic disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia nervosa and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Fluoxetine is also used to treat premature ejaculation. It is taken by mouth.

Fluoxetine belongs to a group of drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Fluoxetine is sold under the brand names — Prozac, Selfemra, Sarafem and Rapiflux.

Fluoxetine was first discovered by Eli Lilly and Company in 1972 and came into the medical use in 1986. It is available as a generic medicine.

How to Use:

Use Fluoxetine exactly as directed by your doctor. Follow all the instructions described on your prescription label. Do not take it in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

It is better to take this medicine at a fixed time. Store it at room temperature (10-30°C).

Fluoxetine Side Effects:

Common Fluoxetine side effects may include (1)

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

Tell your doctor right away if you see any serious side effects, including —

  • Muscle weakness
  • Shakiness (tremor)
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Changes in sexual ability
  • Unusual or severe mental or mood changes such as agitation, thoughts of suicide, unusual high energy, excitement

Get medical help immediately if you see any serious side effects, including —

  • Seizures
  • Coffee colored vomit
  • Widened pupils
  • Bloody or black colored stools
  • Signs of kidney problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain or swelling, seeing halos around lights


Some drugs may interact with Fluoxetine. Tell your doctor about the medication you are currently taking. Do not stop, start or change the dose of any medicine without your doctor’s approval. Tell your doctor if you are using any other medications; such as (1) (2) (3)

  • Other antidepressants
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Asthma medicines
  • Tryptophan
  • Blood thinners such as warfarin, jantoven, coumadin
  • Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors
  • Methamphetamine
  • Medicines to treat high blood pressure
  • Medication to treat mental disorders such as buspirone, amitriptyline, nortriptyline, desipramine, lithium
  • Amphetamine
  • Medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy such as adderall, ritalin, concerta, vyvanse, zenzedi
  • Medication to treat migraine headaches such as zolmitriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan
  • Medicines for narcotic pain such as fentanyl, tramadol


A Man with Depression

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or health care provider if you are allergic to it or if you have a history of any other allergies.

Before using Fluoxetine, tell your doctor about your medical history; especially of (1)

  • Seizures
  • Liver problems
  • Diabetes
  • Low sodium in the blood
  • Personal or family history of suicide attempts
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Severe loss of body water (dehydration)
  • Stomach or intestinal ulcers
  • Personal or family history of glaucoma
  • Personal or family history of bipolar or manic depressive disorder

Tell your doctor or health care provider about all other antidepressants you take, especially — celexa, zoloft, luvox, paxil, pexeva, effexor, symbyax, viibryd, cymbalta or desyrel. (1)

It is not recommended to consume alcohol during the treatment. It may increase the risk of many health side effects such as dizziness, confusion, drowsiness and difficulty concentrating.

Do not perform activities that need high mental alertness such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery.

Fluoxetine may be unsafe to use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Ask your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.

It is not clear if Fluoxetine passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor if you’re breast—feeding.


Fluoxetine overdose side effects may include (3)

Nervous System Effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Tremor
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue or asthenia
  • Lightheadedness

Gastrointestinal Effects:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vasodilation
  • Anorexia symptoms
  • Dry mouth
  • Abnormal vision

Other Effects:

  • Sweating
  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Rashes
  • Decreased libido

Seek emergency medical help or call at 1—800—222—1222.

Missed Dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take extra drug to make up the missed dose.

Try to take this medicine at the same time.


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