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The active ingredient Fluoxetine is one of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), one of the most active groups for depression and other mental illnesses. Although he is one of the first members of this drug class, it is still used frequently and successfully. Here you can read everything about the effect of Fluoxetine, side effects and use.
How Fluoxetine acts
As an antidepressant Fluoxetine intervenes directly in the brain metabolism. In the brain transmit messengers, called neurotransmitters, signals between the nerve cells: After the distribution of a nerve cell, the messengers of binding sites (receptors) of the neighboring cell dock and so transmit a signal. To stop the signal, the messengers are resumed in the cell of origin.
The exact causes of depression are not yet known. We know, however, that at least one of the reasons for depressive disorders is a lack of the neurotransmitter serotonin may be (the “happiness hormone”).
At this point is where Fluoxetine: It prevents the already distributed serotonin is taken up again in the cell – in this way the messenger may be longer exert its mood and angstlindernde effect on the target cells. Moreover, it was recently shown at specific receptors that bind Fluoxetine directly to the target cell and mediate the same effect as serotonin can.
The desired antidepressant effect by Fluoxetine arises about one to two weeks after initiation of therapy a.
engulfing and digesting Fluoxetine
Fluoxetine is absorbed through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream and reaches there about six hours after taking his maximum concentration. About the blood enters Fluoxetine to the liver where it is metabolized slowly to a large extent, and to the brain, where it exerts its effect. The blood level of the drug falls in a single administration after about two days in half, after multiple doses after about four days – this so-called “half-life” is in comparison to other anti-depressant drugs for a long time, which may have advantages and disadvantages.
When to use Fluoxetine?
The applications of Fluoxetine include generally depressive disorders (major depressive episodes) and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and especially the bulimia (“Ess-crushing addiction”). In the latter case an additional psychotherapeutic counseling must take place. Most in the other fields of application, such a sense.
The doctor will decide in each individual case, how long Fluoxetine should be applied. However, it has shown that the drug therapy for depression with Fluoxetine should last at least six months. For obsessive-compulsive disorder, shorter treatment periods are common.
So is Fluoxetine applied
Fluoxetine is offered solely for the purpose of income, mostly as a tablet or capsule, hard, sometimes as a solution for drinking or for preparing tablets Oral Solution.
They usually recommend a once daily regimen. At high doses or gastric intolerance, the daily dose can be taken divided and spread throughout the day. It may be taken to or between meals, because in this way the inclusion of the substance is not affected. The individually required Fluoxetine dosage is determined by the doctor.
What are the side effects of Fluoxetine?
Because the antidepressant has a particularly long active and persistence in the body, requires particular attention in the treatment of side effects. Because Fluoxetine effect can still several days continue after discontinuation of the drug.
With more than one in ten patients treated with Fluoxetine occur at weight loss, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract (nausea, vomiting, chest pain). Especially male patients should be advised of the possible sexual dysfunction.
With every tenth to hundredth patient can Fluoxetine weight gain, cause hypertension and visual disturbances. In addition, the heart rhythm can change: The so-called QT interval in the ECG can be extended, which is particularly to be observed if the patient still takes more medications
In the event of rashes, shortness of breath and general symptoms of an allergic reaction, the treatment should be discontinued immediately and a doctor visited, as this can lead to life-threatening symptoms as with other allergies. Because of the slow rate of excretion of the drug, it can take very long until the adverse drug reactions (ADRs) subside.
What should be considered when taking Fluoxetine?
If in addition to Fluoxetine, other centrally acting (ie acting in the brain) drugs are taken, this should be previously discussed with a doctor or pharmacist. This is especially true for other antidepressants (especially “MAOIs”) and supplements that act directly on the serotonin system, such as tryptophan, tramadol and migraine agents (triptans such as Sumatriptan, which is also available over the counter are part). In combination with Fluoxetine may namely “serotonin syndrome” come to the so-called, which requires immediate medical treatment.
During the degradation of Fluoxetine in the liver enzymes are involved which degrade significantly, other active ingredients in the body. With simultaneous application it may therefore be interactions. This applies, for example, for sleeping pills and tranquilizers from the group of benzodiazepines (such as diazepam), epilepsy medication (anti-epileptic drugs such as Phenytoin or Carbamazepine), drugs for heart rhythm problems (such as flecainide and encainide), drugs to treat high blood pressure (such as Metoprolol), chemotherapeutic agents ( such as vinblastine) and other antidepressants or anti-psychotic.
In addition, should be avoided during therapy with Fluoxetine alcohol because of the additional stress on the liver.
The concomitant use of anticoagulants may lead to increased anticoagulation and increase the risk of bleeding. The coagulation values should therefore be closely monitored especially at the beginning of therapy.
The active ingredient, Fluoxetine should not be used in children and adolescents under 18 years. On one hand, there are no data on the effect of the therapy on the child’s development. On the other hand Fluoxetine has just performed in adolescents and young adults to a strengthening of suicidal behaviors that have actually ended the drive by increasing effect of Fluoxetine in some cases with suicide. This undesirable effect is true for almost all SSRIs.
pregnant and nursing mothers should not take Fluoxetine because of the treatment increased abnormalities were observed in the development of the child. If a woman becomes pregnant during treatment with Fluoxetine unplanned, the antidepressant should be recognized immediately and inform the doctor.
How to obtain medicines containing the active substance Fluoxetine
Due to the effect on the central nervous system and the numerous possible Fluoxetine side effects the antidepressant is a prescription available in pharmacies.
Since when Fluoxetine is known?
In 1972 already Fluoxetine has been studied in the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, 1977, was filed in the United States for approval. After more years of investigation and assessment of Fluoxetine it has been approved in the US in 1987. The patent on the drug Fluoxetine has been discontinued in 2001, which allowed to bring other manufacturers in the form of generic Fluoxetine (generic drugs) at cheaper prices on the market.
More interesting facts about Fluoxetine
The active ingredient Fluoxetine was one of the first so-called “blockbuster drugs” – drugs that bring their manufacturers every year at least one billion US dollar conversion.