Fluoxetine HCL – Uses, Side Effects, Warnings, and More
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Fluoxetine is prescribed to patients suffering from depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia, and severe premenstrual syndrome. This medication is also used to treat some eating disorders (premenstrual dysphoric disorder). This medicine may help improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy level. Additionally, it may assist in restoring your interest in day-to-day activities. It has the potential to reduce feelings of dread and anxiety, as well as unpleasant thoughts and the number of panic attacks. It is also possible that it will lessen the need to engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions such as hand-washing, counting, and checking) that get in the way of day-to-day life. Fluoxetine has the potential to alleviate some of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, including irritability, increased hunger, and depression. It has the potential to reduce bulimic patients’ episodes of binge eating and purging.
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Instructions for taking fluoxetine by mouth
Before beginning treatment with fluoxetine and whenever you get a refill on your prescription, it is important to read the Medication Guide that was provided by your pharmacist. If you have any questions, you should consult with either your physician or your pharmacist.
It is recommended that you take this medication orally, as instructed by your physician, once daily, preferably in the morning. It is possible that your physician will instruct you to take this medication in the morning and again at noon if you are required to take it twice daily.
If you are taking fluoxetine for premenstrual difficulties, your doctor may direct you to take it every day of the month or just for the two weeks before your period through the first full day of your period. This will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how well the medication works for you. Make a note of it on your calendar so you don’t forget.
If you are taking this medication in its liquid form, you will need to properly measure the dose using a specific measuring instrument or spoon. You should not use a regular spoon since you run the risk of not getting the right amount.
Your current health status and how well you respond to treatment will determine the appropriate dosage. It is possible that your physician will instruct you to begin treatment with this medicine at a low dose and then gradually increase that dose over the course of a few days. Be sure to pay close attention to the directions that your doctor gives you. It is important to maintain consistent use of this drug in order to get the most out of it. Take it at the same time every day so that you don’t forget when you’re supposed to.
Continue taking this medication even if you don’t feel like you need it. You should not stop taking this medicine before speaking with your primary care provider first. Some illnesses can become even more severe if you suddenly stop using the medication. It’s possible that your current dose needs to be gradually lowered.
In one to two weeks, you should start to see some signs of recovery. It is possible that it will take between four and five weeks before you feel the full benefit.
If your situation does not improve or if it gets worse, you should let your doctor know.
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It is possible to experience symptoms such as nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, weariness, sweating, or yawning. Notify your doctor as soon as possible if any of these side effects continue or become worse.
Keep in mind that the reason your doctor has recommended that you take this medication is that he or she believes that the potential benefits to you outweigh the potential risks of doing so. The majority of persons who take this medicine do not report experiencing any severe adverse effects.
Notify your physician as soon as possible if you experience any serious adverse effects, such as agitation, unusually high energy or excitement, suicidal thoughts, easy bruising or bleeding, muscle weakness or spasm, shakiness (tremor), decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, unusual weight loss.
If you experience any very serious side effects, such as bloody, black, or tarry stools; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; seizures; signs of kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine); eye pain, swelling, or redness; widened pupils; vision changes; get medical help as soon as possible (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night, blurred vision).
It is possible that taking fluoxetine will impact your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. Maintain consistent monitoring of your blood sugar levels and discuss the findings with your attending physician. When you start or stop taking fluoxetine, your doctor may need to make adjustments to your other medications, diet, or exercise routine.
This medicine has the potential to raise serotonin levels, as well as the risk of a potentially fatal disease known as serotonin syndrome or poisoning. The danger is increased if you are also taking other medications that boost serotonin levels; thus, you should inform your physician or pharmacist of all the medications you now take (see Drug Interactions section). You should seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms: a rapid heartbeat, hallucinations, lack of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation, or restlessness.
In extremely rare cases, males may experience a painful or protracted erection that lasts for four hours or longer. Immediately seek medical attention and discontinue the use of this medication if you experience this side effect; otherwise, the condition may become irreversible.
It is quite unusual for this medicine to cause an extremely severe allergic reaction. However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you detect any symptoms of a significant allergic reaction, such as a rash, itching/swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat), extreme dizziness, or difficulty breathing. These symptoms may indicate anaphylaxis.
This list of potential adverse effects is not exhaustive in any way. Please consult your physician or pharmacist if you have any side effects that are not listed above.
In the United States, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit their website at www.fda.gov/medwatch to report any adverse effects.
In Canada, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345 to report any adverse effects you experience.
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Inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are allergic to fluoxetine, or if you have any additional allergies before beginning treatment with the medication. There is a possibility that this product contains inactive substances, which, if present, could result in allergic responses or other complications. Discuss the matter further with your pharmacist for further information.
Before beginning treatment with this medication, it is important that you discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a personal or family history of bipolar/manic-depressive disorder, a personal or family history of suicide attempts, liver problems, diabetes, low sodium levels in the blood (such as may occur while taking “water pills” – diuretics), severe dehydration, seizures, stomach or intestinal ulcers, or a personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type).
This medication could cause you to feel lightheaded or sleepy. Drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana (also known as cannabis) can make you feel more lightheaded and sleepy. Do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle, operate any machinery, or engage in any activity that requires attentiveness until you are able to do it safely. Steer clear of beverages containing alcohol. If you are a marijuana user, you should consult your primary care physician (cannabis).
This drug is available in liquid form, and it does contain alcohol. If you have diabetes, an alcohol dependence, or liver illness, you should use extreme caution. When coupled with alcohol, certain drugs (such as metronidazole and disulfiram, for example) can result in a potentially life-threatening adverse response. Talk to your primary care physician or your local pharmacist about the proper use of this medicine.
Before undergoing surgery, it is important to discuss all of the products you use with your dentist or doctor (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
It is possible that children are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of this medication, particularly the loss of weight. Keep an eye on the child’s weight and height if they are on this medication.
It’s possible that elderly people are more susceptible to the adverse effects of this medication, particularly bleeding and lack of coordination. Coordination problems can make you more likely to experience a fall. It is possible that elderly people have a higher risk of developing low salt levels in the blood, particularly if they are using “water pills” (diuretics).
During pregnancy, it is important to only use this drug when it is absolutely necessary. It could cause harm to an unborn child. In addition, there is a remote possibility that infants whose mothers used this medicine during the last three months of pregnancy will have an increased risk of developing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may include trouble eating or breathing, seizures, muscle stiffness, or frequent weeping. Notify the pediatrician as soon as possible if you observe any of these symptoms in your newborn child.
Do not stop taking this drug until your doctor tells you to, as untreated mental and emotional issues (such as depression, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder) can be serious illnesses. Discuss the advantages and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy with your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you are planning a pregnancy, if you get pregnant, or if you have any reason to believe that you may be pregnant.
This medicine is excreted into breast milk and may have unintended consequences for an infant who is being breastfed. Before starting to breastfeed, you should talk to your healthcare provider.
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Drug interactions can alter the way in which your prescriptions work or raise the likelihood that you will have major adverse effects. This document does not contain all possible medication interactions. Maintain a list of all the goods you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal remedies, and give it to both your primary care physician and your pharmacist. Without first consulting your physician, you should never alter the dosage of any medication, stop taking any medication, or start taking any new medication.
Fluoxetine can remain in your body for several weeks after the last time you took it, and it has the potential to interact with a wide variety of other drugs. If you have taken fluoxetine in the past five weeks, you should discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist before beginning any new medicine.
Other medications that have the potential to induce bleeding or bruising are examples of goods that might have an interaction with this medication (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, “blood thinners” such as warfarin).
Combining his medication with an MAO inhibitor could result in a dangerous and perhaps potentially lethal interaction between the two drugs. During your course of treatment with this drug, you should refrain from using any MAO inhibitors, including isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, methylene blue, and moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, and tranylcypromine. The majority of MAO inhibitors shouldn’t be used for at least 2 weeks before treatment with this medicine, and they shouldn’t be taken for at least 2 weeks after treatment. Inquire with your physician regarding the appropriate timing to begin or stop using this medicine.
This medicine has the potential to slow down the elimination of other medications from your body, which may have an effect on how effectively other treatments operate. Drugs such as pimozide, thioridazine, vinblastine, antiarrhythmics (such as propafenone and flecainide), and tricyclic antidepressants (such as desipramine and imipramine) are some examples of the types of medications that have been affected by this issue.
When used with this drug, the usage of aspirin is associated with an increased risk of bleeding. If, on the other hand, your doctor has instructed you to take low-dose aspirin for the prevention of heart attack or stroke (usually 81-162 milligrams per day), you should keep taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Low-dose aspirin is typically prescribed in the range of 81-162 milligrams per day.
If you are also taking other drugs that enhance serotonin, you put yourself at a greater risk of developing serotonin syndrome or serotonin poisoning. Street drugs such as MDMA or “ecstasy,” the herb St. John’s wort, certain antidepressants (such as other SSRIs like citalopram or paroxetine or SNRIs like duloxetine or venlafaxine), and tryptophan are other examples. When you first begin taking these medications or raise your dosage, you may be putting yourself at a greater risk of developing serotonin syndrome or serotonin poisoning.
If you are taking other products that cause drowsiness, such as alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, or opioid pain relievers, you should let your doctor or pharmacist know (such as codeine). You should read the labels on all of your medications (such as those meant to treat allergies or coughs and colds) since some of them may contain substances that make you feel sleepy. Talk to your local pharmacist about the proper way to use those products.
This medicine has the potential to interfere with a variety of medical and laboratory procedures, such as a brain scan for Parkinson’s disease. As a result, the tests may produce inaccurate findings. Ensure that the employees in the laboratory and all of your doctors are aware that you are using this medication.
Dial 911 if you suspect that someone has overdosed and they are exhibiting serious symptoms such as passing out or having problems breathing. In any other case, you should immediately contact a poison control center. To reach the poison control center for your area in the United States, dial 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents can call a provincial poison control center. A rapid or erratic heartbeat, severe dizziness, and fainting are some of the symptoms that may accompany an overdose.
This drug should not be given to anyone else.
Always keep all of your scheduled appointments, whether they be medical or mental.
If you forget to take a dose, you should take it as soon as you realize you forgot. If it is getting close to the time of the next dose, you should forgo the dose that you missed. Your next dose should be taken at the typical time. It is not necessary to double the dose in order to catch up.
Keep at room temperature and away from light and moisture. Store at room temperature. Keep away from the bathroom at all costs. Always make sure that children and animals are kept well away from any medications.
Unless you have been specifically told to do so, you should not flush drugs down the toilet or pour them down a drain. When it is no longer needed or has passed its expiration date, dispose of this product in an appropriate manner. Talk to your neighborhood pharmacy or the firm that handles garbage disposal in your area.