Fluoxetine Capsules or Tablets (Depression/Mood Disorders)

Fluoxetine is a medication that treats depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders. It increases the amount of the hormone serotonin in your brain to help regulate your mood. The brand name of this medication is Prozac®.

What is this medication?

FLUOXETINE (floo OX e teen) treats depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and eating disorders. It increases the amount of serotonin in the brain, a hormone that helps regulate mood. It belongs to a group of medications called SSRIs.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Prozac

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Low levels of sodium in the blood
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
  • Take MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • Take medications that treat or prevent blood clots
  • Thyroid disease
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to fluoxetine, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take this medication with or without food. Take your medication at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medication suddenly except upon the advice of your care team. Stopping this medication too quickly may cause serious side effects or your condition may worsen.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children as young as 7 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with any of the following:

  • Other medications containing fluoxetine, like Sarafem or Symbyax
  • Cisapride
  • Dronedarone
  • Linezolid
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • Methylene blue (injected into a vein)
  • Pimozide
  • Thioridazine

This medication may also interact with the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Aspirin and aspirin-like medications
  • Carbamazepine
  • Certain medications for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • Certain medications for migraine headaches like almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan
  • Digoxin
  • Diuretics
  • Fentanyl
  • Flecainide
  • Furazolidone
  • Isoniazid
  • Lithium
  • Medications for sleep
  • Medications that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin, enoxaparin, and dalteparin
  • NSAIDs, medications for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Other medications that prolong the QT interval (an abnormal heart rhythm)
  • Phenytoin
  • Procarbazine
  • Propafenone
  • Rasagiline
  • Ritonavir
  • Supplements like St. John's wort, kava kava, valerian
  • Tramadol
  • Tryptophan
  • Vinblastine

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

Tell your care team if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Because it may take several weeks to see the full effects of this medication, it is important to continue your treatment as prescribed.

Watch for new or worsening thoughts of suicide or depression. This includes sudden changes in mood, behavior, or thoughts. These changes can happen at any time but are more common in the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose. Call your care team right away if you experience these thoughts or worsening depression.

Manic episodes may happen in patients with bipolar disorder who take this medication. Watch for changes in feelings or behaviors such as feeling anxious, nervous, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or trouble sleeping. These symptoms can happen at anytime but are more common in the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose. Call your care team right away if you notice any of these symptoms.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medication. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your care team if the problem does not go away or is severe.

This medication may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your care team before you make changes to your diet or medications.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Bleeding—bloody or black, tar-like stools, red or dark brown urine, vomiting blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds, small, red or purple spots on skin, unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Loss of appetite with weight loss
  • Low sodium level—muscle weakness, fatigue, dizziness, headache, confusion
  • Serotonin syndrome—irritability, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, muscle stiffness, twitching muscles, sweating, high fever, seizure, chills, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Sudden eye pain or change in vision such as blurry vision, seeing halos around lights, vision loss
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Anxiety, nervousness
  • Change in sex drive or performance
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Upset stomach

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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