Prescription vs OTC: Prescription by Doctor required

This medicine is primarily used for the treatment of major depression; treatment of binge-eating and vomiting in patients with moderate-to-severe bulimia nervosa

Fluoxetine is used for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, sudden panic attacks, bulimia (eating disorder) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (symptoms of tension, irritability and depression before menstruation). The medication can improve your sleep, mood, appetite as well as the energy level.

It belongs to the drug group known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the serotonin amount in your body, which is a natural substance present in your brain that helps in maintaining mental balance.

Fluoxetine dosage will depend on your present health condition and how your body reacts to the first dose. Your doctor may prescribe a low dose initially and then increase it gradually.

It is advised not to stop the medication abruptly without consulting your doctor, as there is a possibility of experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as mood changes, dizziness, anxiety, confusion, agitation or irritability. It may take 4-5 weeks and sometimes even longer for Fluoxetine to show its full effectiveness.

You can suffer from mild side effects like nervousness, nausea, dry mouth, weakness, drowsiness and decreased sexual performance while taking Fluoxetine. You can consult your doctor if they refuse to go away after some time. However, there can be some serious side effects too in some cases that require immediate medical attention:

Fluoxetine can make you feel drowsy or dizzy. It is advised not to drive or do any other activity that requires your complete concentration. In case you are an elderly patient, be careful when you are getting up from a sitting or sleeping position to avoid a sudden fall. Also, you must avoid alcohol while you are under this medication.

Information given here is based on the salt content of the medicine. Uses and effects of the medicine may vary from person to person. It is advisable to consult a Psychiatrist before using this medicine.

This medicine is used for treating the following conditions:

  • Depression

  • Bulimia

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Ocd)

  • Allergy

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Common side effects occur after ingestion of this medicine:

  • How long is the duration of effect?

    The effect of this medicine lasts for an average duration of 12 to 14 days.
  • What is the onset of action?

    The peak effect of this medicine can be observed in 6 to 8 hours.
  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    This medicine is not recommended for use during pregnancy unless absolutely necessary. Consult your doctor about the potential benefits and risks before deciding to take this medicine.
  • Is it habit forming?

    No habit forming tendency has been reported
  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. Consult your doctor about the potential benefits and risks before deciding to take this medicine. Monitoring of undesired effects like colic, fussiness, and drowsiness is necessary.
  • Does this affect kidney function?

    Dosing adjustment in renal impairment:
    • Single dose studies: Pharmacokinetics of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine were similar among subjects with all levels of impaired renal function, including anephric patients on chronic hemodialysis.
    • Chronic administration: Additional accumulation of fluoxetine or norfluoxetine may occur in patients with severely impaired renal function.
    • Hemodialysis: Not removed by hemodialysis.
  • Does this affect liver function?

    Dosing adjustment in renal impairment:Elimination half-life of fluoxetine is prolonged in patients with hepatic impairment; a lower or less frequent dose of fluoxetine should be used in these patients.
    • Cirrhosis patients: Administer a lower dose or less frequent dosing interval.
    • Compensated cirrhosis without ascites: Administer 50% of normal dose.
  • Is It safe with alcohol?

    Consumption of alcohol must be avoided.
  • Missed Dose instructions

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If its almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed dose.
  • Are there any overdose instructions?

    Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
  • India

  • United States

  • Japan

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Fluoxetine as ingredient

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This medication belongs to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin thus increasing its concentration in the brain and helps in reducing the symptoms.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Alcohol

    Consumption of alcohol with this medicine is not recommended as it can result in dizziness and difficulty in concentration. Avoid activities that need mental alertness like driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • Interaction with Lab Test

    Albumin level is increased while the patient is taking Fluoxetine. This inferred to a false positive result for the same.
  • Interaction with Medicine

    • CYP2D6 enzyme substrate (minor), CYP3A3/4 enzyme substrate; CYP2C9 enzyme inducer; CYP1A2, 2C19, 2D6, and 3A3/4 enzyme inhibitor.
    • Fluoxetine inhibits the metabolism of tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline, desipramine, imipramine, nortriptyline) resulting is elevated serum levels; if combination is warranted, a low dose of TCA (10-25 mg/day) should be utilized.
    • Fluoxetine may cause hyponatremia; additive hyponatremic effects may be seen with combined use of a loop diuretic (bumetanide, furosemide, torsemide); monitor for hyponatremia.
    • Fluoxetine inhibits the reuptake of serotonin; combined use with a serotonin agonist (buspirone) may cause serotonin syndrome.
    • Fluoxetine may inhibit the metabolism of carbamazepine resulting in increased carbamazepine levels and toxicity; monitor for altered CBZ response.
    • Cyproheptadine, a serotonin antagonist may inhibit the effects of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Fluoxetine); monitor for altered antidepressant response.
    • Fluoxetine inhibits the metabolism of dextromethorphan; visual hallucinations occurred in a patient receiving this combination; monitor for serotonin syndrome.
    • Fluoxetine may inhibit the metabolism of haloperidol and cause extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS); monitor patients for EPS if combination is utilized.
    • Fluoxetine should not be used with nonselective MAOIs (isocarboxazid, phenelzine). Fatal reactions have been reported. Wait 5 weeks after stopping Fluoxetine before starting an MAOI and 2 weeks after stopping an MAOI before starting Fluoxetine.
    • Patients receiving Fluoxetine and lithium have developed neurotoxicity. If combination is used, monitor for neurotoxicity.
    • Fluoxetine may inhibit the metabolism of metoprolol and propranolol resulting in cardiac toxicity; monitor for bradycardia, hypotension, and heart failure if combination is used.
    • Fluoxetine inhibits the reuptake of serotonin; combined use with other drugs which inhibit the reuptake (nefazodone, sibutramine) may cause serotonin syndrome. Monitor patient for altered response with nefazodone; avoid sibutramine combination.
    • Fluoxetine inhibits the metabolism of phenytoin and may result in phenytoin toxicity; monitor for phenytoin toxicity (ataxia, confusion, dizziness, nystagmus, involuntary muscle movement).
    • Fluoxetine has been reported to cause mania or hypertension when combined with selegiline; this combination is best avoided.
    • Fluoxetine may inhibit the metabolism of lovastatin and simvastatin resulting in myositis and rhabdomyolysis; these combinations are best avoided.
    • Fluoxetine combined with tramadol (serotonergic effects) may cause serotonin syndrome; monitor.
    • Fluoxetine may inhibit the metabolism of trazodone resulting in increased toxicity; monitor.
    • Fluoxetine inhibits the reuptake of serotonin; combination with tryptophan, a serotonin precursor, may cause agitation and restlessness; this combination is best avoided.
    • Fluoxetine may alter the hypoprothombinemic response to warfarin; monitor.
  • Interaction with Disease


    Use with caution the patients suffering from depression and other psychiatric disorders due to the increased risk of suicidal thoughts especially at the beginning of the treatment and at the time of dose change. Discontinue the medicine and inform the doctor if these symptoms appear.


    Use with caution in the patients with angle-closure glaucoma or history of glaucoma due to the risk of increasing the intraocular pressure.
  • Interaction with Food

    Information not available.

Ques: What is Fluoxetine?

Ans: Fluoxetine is an antidepressant medication. It comes under the class of selective serotonin re−uptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Ques: What is Fluoxetine used for?

Ans: This drug is helpful in treating eating disorders, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Ques: Does Fluoxetine cause sleepiness?

Ans: Sleepiness is the most common side effect of this medicine. It can also cause insomnia (inability to sleep) and abnormal dreams in some patients. Talk to your doctor if you have a disturbed sleeping pattern.

Ques: Does Fluoxetine cause weight gain?

Ans: This medication does not cause weight gain, in fact it may cause weight loss in some individuals. Please consult your doctor if you have these issues during the course of medication.

Ques: Does Fluoxetine make you tired?

Ans: Fluoxetine can make you feel tired. Fatigue (extreme tiredness) is a very common side effect of Fluoxetine. Please consult your doctor if you experience excessive tiredness while taking it as the dose may need to be changed.

Ques: How long can I take Fluoxetine for?

Ans: Please take this medication only in dose and duration as advised by your doctor.

Ques: Does Fluoxetine cause nausea?

Ans: Yes, this drug can cause Nausea. It is one of the most common side effects. If you are encountering excessive nausea, then doctor consultation is suggested.

Ques: Can I take Fluoxetine with paracetamol?

Ans: This medication can be consumed in combination with paracetamol as no severe interactions between then have been reported.

Ques: Can I take Fluoxetine with birth control pills?

Ans: Yes, you can consume this drug while taking birth control pills as no severe interaction between them has been found.

Ques: Is Fluoxetine addictive?

Ans: The drug does not cause addiction as it does not have habit-forming tendencies. You must consult a doctor if you have potential addiction to this drug.

Ques: Is Fluoxetine safe in pregnancy?

Ans: Studies reveal that this medication is not safe to be consumed during pregnancy. This is because this drug is known to harm the fetus.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

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Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Reviewed By
MBBS, Master in Healthcare Administration, Diploma in Occupational Health
General Physician
Table of Content
About Fluoxetine
What are the uses of Fluoxetine
What are the contraindications of Fluoxetine ?
What are the side effects of Fluoxetine ?
Key highlights of Fluoxetine
What are the dosage instructions?
Where is the Fluoxetine approved?
Medicines containing Fluoxetine
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Fluoxetine ?
FAQs about Fluoxetine