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Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression, panic, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

Last Modified: 16 May 2024

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What is Fluoxetine? 

Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression, panic, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms.  

Fluoxetine is a synthetic compound with a chemical structure designed to specifically inhibit the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, thereby increasing its availability. 

Global Name

Generic name:  Fluoxetine 
Brand names: Prozac, Sarafem, Fontex, Lovan, Fluctin


What is Fluoxetine used for? 

Fluoxetine is used to treat major depressive disorder, bulimia nervosa (an eating disorder), obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). 

How do you use Fluoxetine? 


Fluoxetine is available in capsules, tablets, delayed-release capsules, and liquid form. 

Dosage information: 

  • Adults: Dosage varies based on condition, typically starting at 10-20 mg per day, with a maximum of 80 mg. 
  • Children: Pediatric doses vary and should be determined by a healthcare provider. 


  • Children: Yes, but specific conditions and dosages should be determined by a pediatrician. 
  • Adults: Suitable for adults at prescribed doses. 
  • Elderlies: Suitable, though dose adjustments may be necessary due to slower metabolism.

Is there anyone who can’t take Fluoxetine? 

  • Children: Not recommended for children under 7 years for OCD or under 8 years for depression. 
  • Adults: Those with a history of serotonin syndrome or MAO inhibitor use in the last 14 days should avoid Fluoxetine. 
  • Elderlies: Caution is advised, especially with concurrent medications and health conditions. 
  • Pregnancy and Lactation: Should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk. 
  • Allergies: Patients allergic to Fluoxetine or any of its inactive ingredients should not take it.

Any warnings and precautions : 

  • Antidepressants, including Fluoxetine, in rare cases can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. 
  • Fluoxetine should be taken as prescribed and doses tapered accordingly, and not abruptly discontinued to avoid withdrawal symptoms. 

Fluoxetine may interact with MAO inhibitors, pimozide, thioridazine, and other drugs that affect serotonin levels. Contraindicated in patients with a history of the aforementioned conditions.  

Side Effects

Side effects can include nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, and sweating. Serious side effects may include suicidal ideation, serotonin syndrome, abnormal bleeding, and mania. 

Pharmacist Tips

  • Consistency in Medication: Take Fluoxetine at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your bloodstream. 
  • Gradual Changes: Any dosage changes should be made gradually, under the supervision of a healthcare provider. 
  • Communication with Healthcare Providers: Always communicate any side effects or concerns with your healthcare provider. 
  • Medication Interactions: Be cautious of over-the-counter medications and supplements that may interact with Fluoxetine. 
  • Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol can exacerbate the side effects of Fluoxetine and should be avoided.
  • Storage Information: Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. 
  • Handling Instructions: Handle the capsules or tablets with clean, dry hands and swallow whole without crushing or chewing. 


Where is Fluoxetine available in Hong Kong?

Fluoxetine is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers. 


Is Fluoxetine addictive?

No, Fluoxetine is not considered addictive, but discontinuation should be done under medical supervision. 

How long does it take for Fluoxetine to work?

It may take 4 to 6 weeks or longer to feel the full benefit of Fluoxetine.

Is Fluoxetine available for purchase over the counter?

No, Fluoxetine requires a prescription from a healthcare provider. 

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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