Fluoxetine Hcl is the scientific name for Prozac, which is useful in the treatment of major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder and moderate-to-severe bulimia, states RxList. Treatment for bipolar disorder or treatment-resistant major depression sometimes involves the use of fluoxetine in combination with olanzapine. Fluoxetine comes in several different strengths and is available in tablet or capsule form, including a once-a-week sustained-release capsule, according to Everyday Health.
Fluoxetine is in the antidepressant category known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, which treat chemical imbalances in the brain that lead to depression or other disorders, explains Drugs.com. Patients on fluoxetine should report any new or worsening symptoms to their doctors, such as aggression or agitation, increased depression, suicidal thoughts, hyperactivity or panic attacks. Suddenly stopping the use of fluoxetine can lead to withdrawal symptoms, so the patient should seek medical advice regarding a safe way to discontinue the medication.
It may be four to five weeks, or longer, before a patient notices any benefit from taking fluoxetine, says Everyday Health. This medication is in FDA category C, meaning it is possibly harmful to a developing fetus. Common side effects include weight gain, abnormal dreams or trouble sleeping, upset stomach, decreased sex drive and loss of appetite. Fluoxetine can interact dangerously with other medications, so the patient should seek advice from his doctor prior to taking any medication.