Fluoxetine: Uses & Dosage

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Although it's a drug most commonly known for treating one specific condition, it's actually used for numerous disorders. This drug is called fluoxetine, and you're about to find out its uses and doses.

What Is Fluoxetine?

Billions of dollars are used to advertise drugs for just about everything nowadays. As a result, perhaps you've seen the drug Prozac on a commercial or billboard somewhere? Prozac is the famous brand name of a medication that has a generic name of fluoxetine.

This lesson is going to teach you about fluoxetine's intended uses and doses.

Uses

Do you recall what fluoxetine (or Prozac) was being advertised for? It might have been touted to treat depression because fluoxetine belongs to a class of medications generally known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. These drugs, in short, eventually lead to an increase of a neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain. Some believe that a serotonin imbalance in the brain is one possible factor in causing or worsening depression. And so, it makes sense that one use of fluoxetine is as an antidepressant.

That's not all though! Fluoxetine is also sometimes used to treat conditions such as:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. This, in simple terms, is when a person has unwanted and distressing thoughts and urges, known as obsessions, and engages in behaviors to get rid of the obsessions and stress. These behaviors are known as compulsions.
  • Eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa, which is partly characterized by bouts of overeating and self-induced vomiting.
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which involves things like depression and extreme irritability prior to menstruation. You can think of it as a severe version of PMS, or premenstrual syndrome.
  • Panic attacks

This drug is also used 'off-label', which means not for what it's technically intended, to treat conditions like fibromyalgia and migraines.

Dosage

The dosages for fluoxetine given below are informational examples only and you should never start, stop or change your medication without consulting a doctor first!

For depression, a dose of 20 mg, by mouth, once a day may be given initially, but this should be re-adjusted with time.

For obsessive compulsive disorder, an initial dose of 20 mg, by mouth, once a day might be tried.

For bulimia nervosa, a dose of 60 mg, by mouth, per day might be taken.

For premenstrual dysphoric disorder, an initial dose of 20 mg, by mouth, per day might be used.

For panic attacks, an initial dose of 10 mg, by mouth, per day might be tried in the first week and then adjusted as necessary.

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