We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Fluoxetine Hydrochloride?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Fluoxetine hydrochloride is the generic name for the medications known as Prozac® and Sarafem®. Prozac® is a well-known medication to treat depression and has been commonly prescribed. Since 2001, the generic version of the drug has been available and doctors often prescribe the generic since it is less expensive.

The medication fluoxetine hydrochloride isn’t solely used to treat depression, though this may be its main use. Some people take this medication for obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety or panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. The degree to which it may be effective for these conditions often varies by the individual. One newer use of the medication, as prescribed in the form Sarafem®, is for the treatment of pre-menstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD). PMDD treatment typically only occurs for part of the month during the time women would be experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

The main action of fluoxetine hydrochloride is to inhibit absorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It is called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Making more of this neurotransmitter available is thought to have a beneficial effect on mood stability.

As with virtually all other SSRIs, and actually most antidepressants, care must be taken when this drug is prescribed. Fluoxetine hydrochloride carries the black box warning that it may cause increased suicidal feelings or actions especially with teens and young adults. Any such feelings need to be reported immediately to a doctor. Other side effects of Prozac® include dry mouth, reduced sexual desire, anorgasmia (inability to achieve orgasm), sleep difficulties like sleeping too much or too little, anxiety, shakiness, and stomach upset. These side effects are felt by a clinically significant number of people, according to clinical studies, but still, usually mean less than 10% of people taking this drug will experience them.

There are many medications which must be either discontinued or used with care if fluoxetine hydrochloride is prescribed. It’s best to do a medication review with the prescribing doctor and/or pharmacist before accepting new prescriptions. Be certain to list not only prescription meds on such a review but also inform the doctor about any over the counter medications, supplements or herbs taken.

Dosing of fluoxetine is tailored to the individual and can vary. Many people begin with a 20 mg dose but they may increase this to a higher dose at a later point. Children might start at 20 mgs or at a 10mg dose. It takes several weeks for the medication to reach its full effects, and this may make people impatient. It’s important to give the medication time to work unless side effects are severe, and not increase dosing without the advice of a physician. Medications like Prozac® should never be shared and people should not stop or start fluoxetine without a doctor’s guidance.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.