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Fluoxetine factsheet

(Flu - ox - a - tine)

This information is not a replacement of full discussions of risks and benefits with your doctor.

Other names: Fluox, Prozac

Principal Uses: As an antidepressant, it can also be effective in several anxiety disorders such as obsessive-comulsive disorder and social phobia.

Cost: Fluox is fully subsidised but Prozac is only partially subsidised

Dose: Usual starting dose 20mg, increasing to usual dose of between 20 - 80mg.

Some Possible Side Effects: Side effects are usually the most bothersome when you first start medication. If they do not improve tell your doctor. They may include nausea, diarrhoea, sleep changes, an increase in anxiety, yawning, reduced sexual interest, sweating, dry mouth and an allergic reaction.

How It Works: By enhancing the functioning of certain serotonergic nerve cells in the brain.

Use in Pregnancy: Category C

Category C indicates that either studies in animals have revealed adverse effects on the foetus (teratogenic or embryonic or other) and there are no controlled studies in women or studies in women and animals are not available. Drugs which due to their pharmacological effects have cause or may be suspected of causing harmful effects on the foetus or neonate without causing malformations. Drugs should be given only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the foetus.

Use in Lactation: Category L2 (newborn), L3 (older baby)

L2 indicates that a medication has been studied in a limited number of breast feeding women without an increase in adverse effects in the infant and/or, the evidence of a demonstrated risk which is likely to follow use of this medication in a breast feeding woman is remote.

L3 is considered moderately safe as there are no controlled studies in breast feeding women, however the risk of untoward effect to a breastfed infant is possible; or, controlled studies show only a minimal non-threatening adverse effects. Drugs should be given only if potential benefits justify the potential risk to the infant.

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