What Is Fluoxetine Used For?
Many people wonder, "What is fluoxetine used for?" Fluoxetine is used for treating several conditions, including depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and bulimia. Although the medication is not licensed to treat children and teenagers with bulimia or panic disorder, it has been approved for treating OCD and depression in children. Other off-label uses of fluoxetine may include the treatment of personality disorders, obesity, and social anxiety disorder.
Fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac®) has been licensed to treat a number of conditions. These fluoxetine uses include treatment for:
- Depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder.
Sarafem®, a brand-name medication that contains the exact same medication as fluoxetine, is licensed to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), but Prozac (and generic forms of Prozac) are not approved for this use.
Fluoxetine Use for Depression
Depression is more than just "feeling sad." Common symptoms of depression may include:
- Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not enough)
- Eating too much or too little (and weight gain or weight loss)
- Having little interest in things that you used to enjoy
- Physical pain
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Suicidal thoughts.
Fluoxetine has been proven in large clinical trials to help children, teens, and adults with depression. However, keep in mind that many antidepressants (including fluoxetine) take several weeks to begin working. Sometimes, other people will notice an improvement in your depression symptoms before you do. Often, the physical symptoms of depression (such as pain or changes in sleep) will improve first, sometimes within the first few weeks of treatment. It usually takes at least four to six weeks before significant changes in mood occur. It is important to give fluoxetine a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
Counseling and therapy (see Psychotherapy for Depression) are often used along with antidepressant medications to treat depression. Ask your healthcare provider if counseling or therapy would be good options for you (see Depression Treatment).