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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Fluoxetine (Oral)

Fluoxetine (By Mouth)

Fluoxetine (floo-OX-e-teen)

Treats depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (mood disorders and physical symptoms that occur 1 to 2 weeks before a woman's menstrual period). This medicine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Brand Name(s):

Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Sarafem, Fluoxetine HCl, Rapiflux
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to fluoxetine or if you have taken an MAO inhibitor (Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®) or thioridazine (Mellaril®) within the past 2 weeks. Do not take an MAO inhibitor or thioridazine for at least 5 weeks after you stop taking this medicine.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Tablet, Liquid, Delayed Release Capsule

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to. Some people need to take this medicine every day, and some people need to take it only once a week. Make sure you understand your personal schedule.
  • You may need to take this medicine for up to 4 weeks before you start feeling better.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food. Take your medicine at the same time each day.
  • Do not open, break, or chew the delayed-release capsule. Swallow it whole.

If a dose is missed:

  • For people who take this medicine every day (Prozac® or Sarafem®): If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • For people who take this medicine once a week (Prozac® Weekly): If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. Then go back to your regular schedule the next week. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows about ALL other medicines you are using, especially blood thinners (Coumadin®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), tryptophan, lithium, medicine for seizures (such as Dilantin®, Tegretol®), benzodiazepines (such as Valium®), sumatriptan (Imitrex®), medicines to treat depression (such as amitriptyline, trazodone, Effexor®, Luvox®, Paxil®, Zoloft®), medicines for schizophrenia (such as Haldol®, Risperdal®), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as verapamil, Cardioquin®, Rythmol®, Sectral®, Tambocor®), or diuretics or "water pills" (such as furosemide, Norvasc®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy (such as sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain killers, or sedatives). Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have seizures, diabetes, heart disease, or liver disease.
  • If you develop a skin rash, even a mild one, stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Confusion, severe weakness, uncontrolled movements or twitching of muscles
  • Feelings of intense agitation or anxiety
  • Talking, feeling, and acting with excitement that you cannot control

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in appetite with weight gain or loss
  • Decreased interest in sex or loss of ability to have sex (impotence)
  • Dry mouth, sore throat or hoarseness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Nervousness, shakiness, sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness, trouble concentrating
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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