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Fluoxetine 20 mg and 10 mg Pills Over-the-Counter

The article features Fluoxetine and explains what health problems it can sure and what side effects it can cause, as well as why you need to be careful while taking it.

What Is Fluoxetine?

Fluoxetine belongs to the class of medical preparations that are known as SSRIs - selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It boosts the levels of serotonin in the human organism. Serotonin is a natural substance that regulates the mental balance in the brain.

The uses of Fluoxetine are different. Physicians mostly recommend it for treating the following states:

  • depression;
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder;
  • panic attacks;
  • eating disorders;
  • premenstrual dysphoric disorder;
  • depression in people with bipolar I disorder.

It relieves the symptoms of mood swings, bloating, and irritability.

This medication is also administered for treating alcoholism, borderline personality disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, attention-deficit disorder, headaches, sleep disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, mental illness, sexual problems, phobias, and even obesity.

Dosage and Intake

Fluoxetine is made in pills, capsules, delayed-release capsules, and solutions. It is taken orally with or without food. Fluoxetine 20 mg and 10 mg pills over-the-counter, as well as capsules and liquids, are taken once a day, preferably in the morning or twice a day - in the morning and in the afternoon. The delayed-release capsules are taken once a week.

Try to take the medication at approximately the same times of the day if no other schedule is recommended by your doctor. You need to follow the directions prescribed on the label accurately or consider your physician’s recommendations. Never try to take more or less of the preparation than was prescribed.

Your doctor may offer to start with a lower dose to see your body’s reactions and then increase the dose gradually. Do not worry if you don’t observe the immediate effects. The medication can improve your condition within 4-5 weeks. You need to continue taking the drug even if you feel better. Never stop the preparation intake without your doctor’s consent. If you do it abruptly, you may experience such symptoms as mood changes, dizziness, sweating, irritability, anxiety, tiredness, sleep difficulties, agitation, tingling in hands and feet, and numbness in them. It means the withdrawal effect that is due to your overall health condition. If your doctor considers that it’s time to stop taking this medication, the dose will be decreased gradually.

Side Effects of Fluoxetine

This drug can cause some side effects that may be light, medium, and severe. You need to report all of them to your physician or ask for urgent help in the worst cases. The commonly encountered side effects include the following:

  • dry mouth;
  • yawning;
  • nervousness;
  • loss of appetite;
  • anxiety;
  • stuffy nose;
  • weakness;
  • sleep issues;
  • nausea;
  • uncontrollable shaking of separate body parts;
  • diarrhea;
  • weight loss;
  • sexual issues;
  • unusual dreams;
  • excessive sweating;
  • memory problems;
  • difficulty concentrating;
  • headache;
  • Confusion.

However, these symptoms disappear within several days of the preparation intake. You need to be alert if you experience more serious side effects, such as the following:

  • joint pain;
  • blisters or hives;
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing;
  • rash;
  • itching;
  • swelling of different body parts;
  • fast or irregular heartbeat;
  • fever;
  • hallucinations;
  • loss of coordination;
  • vomiting;
  • severe muscle stiffness or twitching;
  • shortness of breath;
  • fainting and dizziness;
  • abnormal bruising or bleeding;
  • seizures.

Call your doctor at once if you experience just one of these symptoms. You also need to talk to your physician or pharmacist if you have any other unusual signs or symptoms.


You have to consult your doctor before taking Fluoxetine, anyway. Inform about taking some other medications at the moment. They can be prescription or non-prescription drugs, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products.

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Fluoxetine, its components, or any other medications. You also need to inform if you or anyone in your family have ever suffered from a prolonged QT interval. The other factors of risk your therapist needs to know about before recommending this medication to you include the following:

  • low levels of potassium, sodium, or magnesium in your blood;
  • treatment with electroshock therapy;
  • recent heart attack;
  • a slow or irregular heartbeat;
  • heart failure;
  • other heart problems;
  • bleeding problems;
  • high blood pressure;
  • diabetes;
  • a stroke;
  • seizures;
  • liver or kidney disease.

Your physician also needs to know whether you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last trimester or breastfeeding. Fluoxetine may cause mental problems in newborns.

You also need to consider that this drug can make you drowsy, so avoid driving or using complex machinery while taking it. Alcohol can add a lot to drowsiness, so avoid its consumption entirely.

Your doctor may also ask you to have an eye examination because angle-closure glaucoma may be caused by this medication. Call your doctor immediately if you start having eye problems while taking the drug.

author: Wing Yap