Generic Name: fluoxetine (floo OX e teen)Brand Names: Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra
Fluoxetine is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Fluoxetine affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression, panic, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
Fluoxetine is used to treat major depressive disorder, bulimia nervosa (an eating disorder) obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Fluoxetine is sometimes used together with another medication called olanzapine (Zyprexa) to treat depression caused by bipolar disorder (manic depression). This combination is also used to treat depression after at least 2 other medications have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.
Fluoxetine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.What is the most important information I should know about Sarafem (fluoxetine)?Do not take fluoxetine together with pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).
You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself. SSRI antidepressants may cause serious or life-threatening lung problems in newborn babies whose mothers take the medication during pregnancy. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant during pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy, or if you become pregnant while taking fluoxetine, do not stop taking the medication without first talking to your doctor.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Sarafem (fluoxetine)?Do not use fluoxetine if you are using any of the following drugs:
thioridazine (Mellaril); or
an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam).
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely fluoxetine:
seizures or epilepsy;
bipolar disorder (manic depression); or
a history of drug abuse or suicidal thoughts.
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.FDA pregnancy category C. SSRI antidepressants may cause serious or life-threatening lung problems in newborn babies whose mothers take the medication during pregnancy. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant during pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy, or if you become pregnant while taking fluoxetine, do not stop taking the medication without first talking to your doctor. Fluoxetine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give fluoxetine to anyone younger than 18 years old without a doctor's advice.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from the medication.Do not break, chew, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
Measure the liquid form of fluoxetine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.It may take 4 weeks or longer before you start feeling better. Do not stop using fluoxetine without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant side effects if you stop taking this medication suddenly.
To treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder, the usual dose of fluoxetine is once daily while you are having your period, or 14 days before you expect your period to start. Follow your doctor's instructions.Store fluoxetine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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 extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
If you miss a dose of Prozac Weekly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember and take the next dose 7 days later. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled weekly dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed.Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, overactive reflexes;
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination; or
headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing or breathing that stops.
Less serious side effects may include:
cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;
drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous;
mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation;
increased appetite, weight changes;
sleep problems (insomnia);
decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Talk to your doctor before taking any medicine for pain, arthritis, fever, or swelling. This includes aspirin and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren), indomethacin, piroxicam (Feldene), nabumetone (Relafen), etodolac (Lodine), and others. Taking any of these drugs with fluoxetine may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.
Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by fluoxetine.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you are using, especially:
clozapine (Clozaril, Fazaclo);
seizure medication such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or carbamazepine (Tegretol);
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
almotriptan (Axert), frovatriptan (Frova), sumatriptan (Imitrex), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), or zolmitriptan (Zomig); or
any other antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), escitalopram (Lexapro), imipramine (Tofranil), sertraline (Zoloft), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with fluoxetine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.