Fluoxetine belongs to the class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also known as SSRIs, and is taken orally for treating depression. Other medications in this class include paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa) and sertraline (Zoloft). Fluoxetine works by influencing neurotransmitters, chemical substances used by nerves inside the brain to send signals to one another. The nerves in the brain produce as well as discharge neurotransmitters, which pass through the gaps between the nerves and, subsequently bind to nerves close by. Hence, neurotransmitters are believed to form the brain's communication system. Serotonin is one such neurotransmitter that moves between the gaps in the nerves and binds to the close by nerve's receptors or also binds to the nerves which have manufactured them to be picked up and discharged once more (this process is called re-uptake).
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Several specialists are of the belief that some type of disparity among these neurotransmitters is actually responsible for depression. Fluoxetine acts to put off the other nerves from taking up the neurotransmitter called serotonin. Since this process of uptake is a vital means to remove the neurotransmitters released by the nerves and also bring their actions on nearby nerves to an end, lessening the process of uptake by fluoxetine enhances the concentration of free serotonin, which invigorates the activities of nerve cells within the brain. In December 1987, fluoxetine was approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for sale and use in the United States.
Prior to beginning treatment with fluoxetine, you need let your physician and pharmacist know a few vital things related to your medical condition, usage of medications and medical history. Therefore, before you take this medicament for the very first time, you need to inform them whether you have allergic reactions to this medication, any of its constituents or any additional type of allergy. It is important to note that fluoxetine may possibly contain many inactive elements having the potential to cause allergies or further problems. Hence, in case you are uncertain regarding the elements contained by fluoxetine, solicit your pharmacist's help to get a list of the constituents of this medicament.
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Inform your physician and also your pharmacist about your complete medical history prior to taking fluoxetine for the first time, especially regarding an individual or family history related to attempts to commit suicide; any individual or family history related to the condition known as bipolar disorder or manic depression; any malady related to the liver; low sodium (salt) levels in bloodstream (for instance, which may happen when you are taking diuretics or 'water pills'); diabetes; seizures; glaucoma; critical dehydration (acute loss of water from the body); and also ulcers in the stomach or intestines.
It may be noted that using fluoxetine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Hence, driving, operating machines or undertaking any other job requiring watchfulness is not advisable while you are undergoing treatment with fluoxetine till such a time when you are confident that you are able to execute the jobs in a safe manner. In addition, people taking this drug should stay away from using alcohol. People who have any liver ailment, diabetes or are addicted to alcohol ought to exercise additional precautions while using fluoxetine (liquid form of fluoxetine contains alcohol). It has been found that a number of drugs, for instance, disulfiram and metronidazole, may possibly result in a critical reaction if they are used in conjunction with alcohol. It is advisable that before you start treatment with fluoxetine, you talk to your pharmacist or physician regarding the safe use of this medication.
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Ahead of undergoing any surgery, including any dental surgical procedure, you should let your dentist or physician know that you are already using fluoxetine. In addition, you also ought to tell them about all the prescription and over-the-counter medicaments, herbal remedies, and nutritional supplements you are using from before.
It is worth mentioning here that aged people are likely to be more susceptible to hemorrhages when they are using fluoxetine. In addition, such patients are also likely to face an augmented risk of developing low levels of sodium (salt) in the bloodstream, particularly when they are also using diuretics (also called 'water pills').
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Women who are pregnant should strictly use fluoxetine when it is absolutely needed for their condition. It has been found that using fluoxetine during pregnancy may possibly harm the fetus. In addition, infants born to women who have taken this medication during the final three months of their pregnancy may possibly develop sporadic withdrawal symptoms like seizures, rigidity of the muscles, problems while breathing and/ or feeding, or crying constantly. Call your physician instantly, in case you observe any of the above mentioned symptoms in the infant and seek his advice and guidance.
If timely and proper medical care is not made available to people suffering from depression, their condition may turn out to be critical. Hence, it is advisable that you continue taking fluoxetine as per your physician's direction till he asks you to discontinue it. Women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or presume that they might have conceived while undergoing treatment with fluoxetine should talk to their physician right away and seek his/ her view on the advantages as well as risks associated with the use of this drug during pregnancy.
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It is known that fluoxetine passes onto the breast milk and might cause adverse impacts on the nursing infant. Therefore, new mothers taking this drug should talk to their physician ahead of breast feeding.
Fluoxetine is available in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, delayed-release or long-acting capsules and also a solution. This medication is taken orally either with or with no food. The tablets, capsules and liquid form of fluoxetine (Prozac) are generally taken once daily in the morning or sometimes twice every day - once in the morning and again at noon. The delayed-release capsules of fluoxetine (Prozac) are generally taken once every week.
It is important that you should take this medication approximately at identical time(s) daily, as it will not only help to maintain the level of this medication in the bloodstream, but also help you in remembering that you have to take it. People taking fluoxetine ought to strictly follow the instructions on the prescription label and, in case they are unable to comprehend any instruction or have a query, they ought to seek the help and guidance of their physician or pharmacist. Moreover, it is essential to take fluoxetine strictly as it has been directed by your physician. It is not advisable to take this medication in larger or smaller doses or using it more frequently than what your physician has recommended.
Generally, your physician will ask you to start taking fluoxetine at a relatively low dosage and increase the dose gradually as your body adjusts to this medication and also to determine the most appropriate dose of this drug for you.
The benefits of taking fluoxetine are usually not evident immediately, but it may take about four to five week's time or maybe even more for you to experience the complete advantages of using this medicament. You need to keep taking this medication even though you may start feeling better. Discontinuing fluoxetine all of a sudden is not advisable. Before you want to stop using fluoxetine, you should always consult your physician and seek his advice, for an abrupt discontinuation of this drug may result in withdrawal symptoms, including tetchiness, mood changes, lack of sensation or itchiness in the limbs, wooziness, agitation, confusion, nervousness, exhaustion, problems in falling asleep or remain sleeping. Therefore, before you stop taking fluoxetine, it is possible that your physician will advise you to reduce the dosage of the medication gradually to avoid these symptoms.
Fluoxetine works by influencing the concentration of serotonin, a neurotransmitter believed to be associated with emotions, mood and the mental condition of an individual.
People who want to discontinue fluoxetine for whatsoever reason should first consult their physician. You should never stop taking this medication abruptly, but reduce the dose gradually before discontinuing it, as it may help in avoiding occurrence of withdrawal symptoms.
Always ensure that you keep fluoxetine at the normal temperature of the living room and in a dark and dry place. Never keep fluoxetine in your bathroom's medicament cabinet. Also make sure that all medicines are kept in a place that can't be reached by children or pets.
When the expiry date of a medication lapses or you do not require the medication dispose it appropriately as well as safely. Unless you have been told otherwise, never discard such medications by flushing them down your toilet or pouring them in any drain. If required, seek the help of your pharmacist or any waste disposal firm in your locality for additional information regarding the safe disposal of all outdated and redundant medications.