Fluoxetine, sold under the brand name Prozac, an antidepressant that belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class (SSRI). Fluoxetine was discovered in 1972 by Eli Lilly and Company and entered into medical use in 1986. FDA approved it for medical use in the US in December 1987.
Fluoxetine is available as a generic medication and is on the World Health Organization’s essential medicines list. In 2019, fluoxetine was the 20th most frequently prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 27 million prescriptions. It is the third most prescribed antidepressant after Sertraline and Citalopram.
Medical Uses Of Fluoxetine (Prozac):
It is used to treat major depressive disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and panic disorder. Taking 20 mg of fluoxetine can be considered effective in treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Fluoxetine is administered orally, and it is also used for treating premature ejaculation.
Fluoxetine has also been used for obesity, cataplexy and alcohol dependence, and binge eating disorders. According to clinical trials, fluoxetine is a group of less effective antidepressants, though its acceptability is more significant than other antidepressants. The medication is also approved for treating the major depressive disorder in adolescents and children of 8 years and above.
Fluoxetine is considered the first-line medication in the treatment of low intensity and impulsive aggression. It also alleviates the acts of domestic violence in alcoholics with a history of such behavior. Women prescribed with fluoxetine during the initial stages of pregnancy are likely to face an increased risk of fetus malformations.(Elbadr, M.M., 2018)
The drug manufacturers always advise that Prozac should not be consumed with:
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): Pimozide and Thioridazine
- drugs metabolized by CYP2D6
- tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
Precautions should be taken when the medication is used with the central nervous system, belonging to the class of benzodiazepines, which includes Lorazepam and Diazepam. Prozac, when used with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like aspirin, warfarin, possess a risk of bleeding. The use of Prozac should be avoided with antipsychotics, SSRIs, and other serotonergic agents.
Dosage And Administration:
Fluoxetine (Prozac) is usually prescribed initially at a low dose, and then it is gradually increased to 20mg per day. The maximum recommended dose is 80mg per day. It can be administered as liquid or capsule or directed by your healthcare physician.
The effects may show after several weeks, so it is always recommended not to stop using Prozac suddenly as you may think it is not working. It may take four weeks or longer to notice any effects of the drug.
An adult who uses an extended-release oral capsule for treating depression can take a 90mg capsule once a week. Always take the medication as prescribed by your healthcare physician. Suddenly stopping the use of drugs can be dangerous, and it may lead cause certain withdrawal symptoms.
Side-effects of Prozac:
Some of the side effects of Prozac are as follows, some individuals notice that side effects gradually lessen over time, or become less bothersome. Some of the common side effects include:
- Sleep problems
- Loss of appetite
- Sexual problems
- Dry mouth
Here is the list of some rare side effects of Prozac-
- Feeling confused
- Extreme anxiety
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Bleeding or bruising
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
Always notify your healthcare physician or the psychiatrist if you are experiencing any of the severe symptoms after taking the medication.
All of a sudden if you stop taking the medication, there is a chance that you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Following are the withdrawal symptoms which includes;
- Crying spells
Hence, it is always recommended not to stop or alter the dosage without the consultation of your healthcare physician. Prozac should always be taper off so as to avoid withdrawal symptoms.