Fluoxetine – Information, Uses, Side Effects and Dosage


Drug Trade Name: Fluoxetine hydrochloride, Selfemra,  Prozac

Category: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Generic Name:  fluoxetine hydrochloride

Introduction and quick information:


Fluoxetine hydrochloride belongs to the class Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) of Antidepressants.  Its mechanism of action is not entirely clear but it is thought to work by increasing the levels of a neurotransmitter, serotonin in the brain by preventing its reabsorption. Serotonin is known as the happy chemical as it promotes the feeling of happiness and wellbeing. 

Is It Approved By U.S. FDA?     

Fluoxetine is approved by the U.S. FDA. 

Usage and Benefits of Fluoxetine hydrochloride:

There are a number of disorders that can be treated using Fluoxetine. These are:

  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Anxiety

 Fluoxetine Side Effects:

The most commonly occurring side-effects that are reported so far are listed below:

  • Mild nausea
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight changes
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Difficulty having an orgasm
  • Agitation
  • Shakiness
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Overactive reflexes

If you observe any side effects while being on the drug,  inform your doctor and seek medical attention.

General Recommended Dosages of Fluoxetine hydrochloride:

Healthcare provider’s prescription for the dosage of any medication depends on following factors:

  • Age of the patient
  • Current medical condition
  • Other medications already being used
  • Severity of disease

Dosage generally recommended are 20-80 mg daily for adults and 10-20 mg for children. It should not be given to children less than 7 years. However, you should take the medicine in dosage prescribed by your doctor. 

In Case I Miss the Dose?


If you miss a dose, either take the missed dose before a sufficient time from next scheduled dose or skip it altogether if it is the time of your next scheduled dose. Do nopt take an extra dose to make up for the missed dose as it might cause overdose.

In Case I Take Overdose?

Seek medical attention immediately and consult your doctor in case of overdose because it can cause side-effects like constipation, drowsiness, dizziness and insomnia. 

Drug Interactions of Fluoxetine hydrochloride:

Following is the list of some of the drugs that react with Fluoxetine hydrochloride:

  • alprazolam (Xanax)
  • levothyroxine sodium (Synthroid)
  • aspirin (Aspirin)
  • esomeprazole magnesium (Nexium) 
  • clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix)
  • celebrex (Celebrex)
  • clozapine (Clozaril)
  • flecainide acetate (Tambocor)
  • haloperidol (Haldol)

Lifestyle and Food Habits You Must Follow When on Fluoxetine hydrochloride:

You are advised to make following changes in your lifestyle while on Fluoxetine hydrochloride:

  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Take doses according to doctor’s prescription and not longer than recommended
  • If you are using an extended-release capsule then swallow it as a whole. Do not break or crush it before consumption
  • Do not take NSAIDs like aspirin, naproxen, paracetamol, diclofenac and others
  • Do not drive or do any other activities that might require alertness

How Safe Is Fluoxetine hydrochloride for Pregnant Women or Nursing Mothers?

Fluoxetine is classified as pregnancy category C by the U.S. FDA. It should only be given to a pregnant woman if the benefits outweigh risks. 

Fluoxetine hydrochloride gets excreted in the breast milk and hence should not be taken by nursing mothers. If it is necessary for the mother to take the drug, breastfeeding should be stopped. 

Complications and Conditions Possible Due to Prolonged Use of Fluoxetine hydrochloride:

Long-term use of Fluoxetine can be harmful and even cause addiction. It can also get collected in tissues of the body and stay there for long. You might also face side-effects like a headache, dizziness, insomnia and over-reactive reflexes on prolonged use. Do not stop this medication abruptly after a prolonged use.

Availability of Fluoxetine hydrochloride:

Fluoxetine hydrochloride is available as 20mg and 10 mg capsules. They are available for sale at various local medical stores and government hospital under the supervision of FDA on prescription only.