February 23, 2018

Fluoxetine Side Effects

Known by the name Prozac or Fontex, fluoxetine was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1987. This medication is primarily used to treat depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and bulimia nervosa. It is also used to treat conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and trichotillomania.

It is estimated that 24.4 million prescriptions were written for fluoxetine in 2010.  With the rise of depression in developed nations, antidepressants like fluoxetine have gained an increased popularity. The only antidepressants that are used more than fluoxetine are sertraline and citalopram. In clinical trials, fluoxetine was shown to improve the symptoms of depression, reduce anxiety and enhance the quality of sleep.

Fluoxetine Side Effects

One of the top side effects associated with using fluoxetine is sexual dysfunction. Patients may suddenly lose interest in sex, suffer from erectile dysfunction or find it difficult to reach an orgasm. In some cases, patients may even find it difficult to feel sexual stimulation in the genitals. Once patients start having any of these sexual side effects, the symptoms may last for months or years after the drug is no longer used.

Some of common side effects include symptoms like nausea, somnolence or anorexia. Certain patients may develop a tremor, insomnia or feel unusually anxious. In clinical studies, there was also an increased incidence of nervousness, mania and asthenia.

Side effects associated with using fluoxetine include:

fluoxetine side effects– Rash
– Loss of libido
– Nervousness
– Lack of an orgasm
– Nausea or vomiting
– Somnolence
– Mania
– Anorexia
– Restlessness
– Erectile dysfunction
– Numbness
– Suicidal thoughts
– Anxiety
– Dry mouth
– Feelings of nervousness
– Seizures
– Hallucinations
– Fever
– Difficulty breathing
– Muscle tremors
– Insomnia or sleep disorders
– Unusual sweating
– Muscle weakness
– Swelling of the face, hands or feet
– Loss of appetite
– Problems swallowing
– Apathy
– Yawning
– Depression
– Mental or mood disorders

Although this medication is intended to treat the signs of depression, in some case it may actually create feelings of depression. In patients under the age of 25, clinical studies have found a marked increase in the incidence of depression. These patients may suffer from an increased amount of suicidal thoughts, apathy or suicide attempts.

Allergic Reactions

Certain patients may be allergic to fluoxetine. In the event of an allergic reaction, the patient may develop a fever, rash or difficulty breathing. Extreme cases of an allergic reaction may cause swelling, hallucinations or seizures. If you or a loved one has an allergy to fluoxetine, you should visit a doctor or health care center immediately.

Precautions and Warnings

Patients should not take fluoxetine while pregnant or breastfeeding. Small amounts of the drug can be excreted through the umbilical cord or in human milk. Over time, this prenatal and postnatal exposure can cause severe problems for the baby. Later on, the child may exhibit signs of anxiety or depression.

Diabetics should also be extra careful to monitor their blood sugar levels. Fluoxetine may change your blood sugar while you are taking it. Talk to your doctor about proper diet and exercise programs that can help maintain your blood sugar at the correct levels.

Older patients and children should only take this medication under a doctor’s close supervision. Elderly patients are more likely to develop blood clotting problems and depressed levels of sodium.

Anyone who is currently using fluoxetine should avoid drinking alcohol while they are on this drug. Alcohol can interact with how effective the drug is and cause serious interactions. You should also avoid using this medication if you have a history of alcohol abuse or liver disease. While taking fluoxetine, patients should be careful when using a car or other form of machinery since fluoxetine can cause increased levels of drowsiness. If you or a loved one develops any side effects, you should immediately get help from your physician.