Fluoxetine is a medication used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and some eating disorders. It belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain.
Mechanism of Action
Fluoxetine works by selectively inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is involved in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep. By increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain, fluoxetine helps regulate mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Fluoxetine is primarily used to treat depression and anxiety disorders, including:
- Major depressive disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Bulimia nervosa
- Panic disorder
- Fluoxetine is also sometimes used off-label to treat other conditions, such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The dosage of fluoxetine varies depending on the condition being treated and the individual patient. It is usually taken orally once a day, either in the morning or evening. The starting dose for depression is typically 20 mg per day, while the starting dose for OCD is typically 10 mg per day. The dosage may be adjusted over time based on the patient's response to the medication.
- Like all medications, fluoxetine can cause side effects, which may include:
- Dry mouth
- Sexual dysfunction
- Weight changes
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior (especially in children and young adults)
- In rare cases, fluoxetine can cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome, which is characterized by symptoms such as agitation, fever, and muscle rigidity. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.
- Fluoxetine should be used with caution in patients with a history of bipolar disorder or seizures, as it may worsen these conditions. It should also be used with caution in patients who are taking other medications that affect serotonin levels, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
- Fluoxetine should not be taken during pregnancy, as it may harm the developing fetus. It should also not be taken while breastfeeding, as it can pass into breast milk.
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