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Sarafem

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/29/2014
Sarafem Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra

Generic Name: fluoxetine (Pronunciation: floo OX e teen)

What is fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra)?

Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressant. Fluoxetine affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression, panic, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

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

Fluoxetine is sometimes used together with another medication called olanzapine (Zyprexa) to treat depression caused by bipolar disorder (manic depression). This combination is also used to treat depression after at least 2 other medications have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.

Fluoxetine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, overactive reflexes;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination;
  • headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing or breathing that stops; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;
  • drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous;
  • mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation;
  • increased appetite, weight changes;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; or
  • dry mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra)?

Do not take fluoxetine together with pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this medication. Fluoxetine may cause heart defects or serious lung problems in a newborn if you take the medication during pregnancy. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant. Do not start or stop taking fluoxetine during pregnancy without your doctor's advice.

Sarafem Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra)?

Do not take fluoxetine together with pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

You must wait at least 14 days after stopping an MAO inhibitor before you can take fluoxetine. You must wait 5 weeks after stopping fluoxetine before you can take thioridazine (Mellaril) or an MAOI.

Tell your doctor about all other antidepressants you take, especially Celexa, Cymbalta, Desyrel, Effexor, Lexapro, Luvox, Oleptro, Paxil, Pexeva, Symbyax, Viibryd, or Zoloft.

To make fluoxetine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • cirrhosis of the liver;
  • kidney disease;
  • diabetes;
  • glaucoma;
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • bipolar disorder (manic depression); or
  • a history of drug abuse or suicidal thoughts.

You may have thoughts about suicide while taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this medication. Fluoxetine may cause heart defects or serious lung problems in a newborn if you take the medication during pregnancy. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant. Do not start or stop taking fluoxetine during pregnancy without your doctor's advice.

Fluoxetine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give fluoxetine to anyone younger than 18 years old without a doctor's advice.

How should I take fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole. Breaking or opening the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

It may take up to 4 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.

Do not stop using fluoxetine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using fluoxetine.

To treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder, the usual dose of fluoxetine is once daily while you are having your period, or 14 days before you expect your period to start. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Sarafem Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

If you miss a dose of Prozac Weekly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember and take the next dose 7 days later. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled weekly dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose may cause nausea, vomiting, fever, sleepiness, rapid or uneven heartbeat, confusion, fainting, seizures, or coma.

What should I avoid while taking fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra)?

Avoid taking tryptophan while you are taking fluoxetine.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of fluoxetine.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

What other drugs will affect fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra)?

Cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by fluoxetine. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these medicines.

Ask your doctor before taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for pain, arthritis, fever, or swelling. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others. Using an NSAID with fluoxetine may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Tell your doctor about all other medications you are using, especially:

  • any other antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), escitalopram (Lexapro), imipramine (Tofranil), sertraline (Zoloft), and others;
  • alprazolam (Xanax);
  • clopidogrel (Plavix);
  • clozapine (Clozaril, Fazaclo);
  • flecainide (Tambocor);
  • haloperidol (Haldol);
  • nebivolol (Bystolic);
  • vinblastine (Velban);
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • migraine headache medicine such as almotriptan (Axert), frovatriptan (Frova), sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), or zolmitriptan (Zomig); or
  • seizure medication such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with fluoxetine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about fluoxetine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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