Prozac (Fluoxetine) Drug Uses
Fluoxetine is in a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Fluoxetine affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression or mood disturbances, eating disorders, or obsessive or compulsive symptoms. Fluoxetine is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, panic disorder, and bulimia (binge eating and purging). Fluoxetine is also used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), symptoms of which occur in the week or two before a woman's menstrual period and commonly include irritability, mood swings, and tension as well as the physical symptoms of bloating and breast tenderness. How Taken
Fluoxetine is used in the treatment of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders. It usually is taken once or twice daily; however, it also has been taken once weekly. Fluoxetine should be taken with food at doses specifically directed by your physician. Try to take fluoxetine at the same time each day. Take Prozac Weekly on the same day each week as directed by your doctor. Individual doses vary greatly between individuals. If discontinued you should gradually withdraw from this medication as directed by your doctor. Do not stop taking fluoxetine without first talking to your doctor. It may take several weeks before you to start feeling better. Drug Class and Mechanism
Fluoxetine is in a new class of antidepressant medications that affects chemical messengers within the brain. These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters. Many experts believe that an imbalance in these neurotransmitters is the cause of depression. Fluoxetine is believed to work by inhibiting the release or affects the action of serotonin. Fluoxetine does not have MAO activity. Missed Dose
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Storage
Store in a dry place at 20-25 degrees C (68-77 F).
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Fluoxetine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness or dizziness while taking fluoxetine. Do not take with MAO inhibitors or for at least two weeks after their discontinuation. MAO inhibitors medications should not be taken for at least five weeks after discontinuing fluoxetine (Prozac). The same is true for Haldol. Most medications affecting the brain have the potential to slow reflexes or impair judgment and caution is advised. This medication has not been studied extensively in the US and re-evaluation periodically by your physician is advised. This medication should not be taken with tryptophan. Caution when taking this medication with the heart drug lanoxin and the anticoagulant coumadin. Check with you pharmacist when taking with other medications.
Possible Side Effects
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. Increased blood pressure can occur and should be monitored. Seizures have been reported. Life-threatening interactions can occur in combination with MAO inhibitors, such as nardil and parnate. MAO inhibitors and fluoxetine should not be taken together and a waiting period of 14 days between taking these two classes of medications is strongly advised."If antidepressants are discontinued abruptly, symptoms may occur such as dizziness, headache, nausea, changes in mood, or changes in the sense of smell, taste, etc. (Such symptoms even may occur when even a few doses of antidepressant are missed.) Therefore, it is recommended that the dose of antidepressant be reduced gradually when therapy is discontinued." More Information
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking fluoxetine and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:
an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
an irregular heartbeat or pulse;
low blood pressure (dizziness, weakness);
high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision);
chills or fever;
unusual bleeding or bruising;
a rash or hives.
If you experience any of the following less serious side effects, continue taking fluoxetine and talk to your doctor:
headache, tremor, nervousness, or anxiety;
difficulty concentrating;
nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, or changes in appetite or weight;
increased sweating;
sleepiness or insomnia; or
decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.