Can You Get Addicted To Fluoxetine

Can You Get Addicted To Fluoxetine

Recently, more people are wondering whether they can get addicted to Fluoxetine. In the United States, an antidepressant- Fluoxetine, is one of the most prescribed drugs. With this in mind, people are more readily able to abuse it.

Are you addicted to Fluoxetine? Bottle of capsules
Add titlImage Credits: Wikimediae

Can You Get Addicted To Fluoxetine?

No. Physicians stipulate that you cannot get addicted to Fluoxetine. In fact, it is safer because they think that it is less likely to be abused.

Although people try to abuse it, they do not feel euphoria nor crave for it even after intake. Thus, Fluoxetine is truly not addictive.

Notably, people with depression might use this antidepressant beyond its intended use. In addition, there are those who were misdiagnosed, take the drug, then sooner or later develop dependence.

By the same token, according to doctors, more than two-thirds of patients were incorrectly diagnosed. In due time, they were needlessly given antidepressants. In essence, this could explain why abuse occurs.

Why Do People Still Abuse It?                           

According to research from the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, the highest reported reason for abusing the drug is in hopes to reach a psychostimulant-like effect.

Abusing Drugs

In view of what was stated above, people want to get this effect so bad that there are a few who discontinue their daily responsibilities. They do so in order to allot more time purchasing more of the drug.

Even if they do this, in reality, no dangerous behavior nor addiction to Fluoxetine develops.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Physical dependence is possible. To explain, people get to experience withdrawal symptoms once they stop their prescribed consumption.

You do not achieve the full effects of the drug till after a couple of weeks from initial usage. Owing to this, people presume that the drug is ineffective so they stop their medication as a result.

Indeed, you should never stop taking it unless advised by a doctor.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms are enumerated below. Among the common ones are formatted as bold.

  • Depression
  • Hand tremors
  • Nausea
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Condusion
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes
  • Nightmares
  • Numbness
  • Paresthesia
  • Sweating
  • Tiredness

If you experience these, your physician may opt to gradually lower your dose.

Fluoxetine And Alcohol

Given that you will not immediately feel the full effects, some attempt to take substances, such as alcohol, along with Fluoxetine to battle their depression. This only makes things worse.

Addicted to Fluoxetine and alcohol
Image Credits: Pikist

On the negative side, people who are suffering from alcoholism will probably abuse Fluoxetine.

Taking the two simultaneously might lead to severe mental health and physical predicaments, such as:

  • Dangerously high blood pressure
  • Impaired coordination
  • Intense sedation

Symptoms Of Overdose

  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Impaired coordination
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures; and as well as
  • Uncontrollable shaking

Fluoxetine And Its Uses

Like what was briefly discussed, it is a medication to attend to moderate and severe depression. It is widely known by a popular brand, Prozac. Additionally, it is also used to treat bulimia nervosa, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) as well as panic disorder.

Other brands such as Sarafem helps in the management of bloating, breast tenderness, irritability, PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), and mood swings.

Below are even more conditions that this medication treats

  • Alcoholism
  • Attention-deficit disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Headaches
  • Mental illness
  • Obesity
  • Phobias
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Sexual problems
  • Sleep disorders; and also
  • Tourette’s syndrome

Fluoxetine may be advised for other uses besides than those listed above. Better consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Dosage And Intake

Fluoxetine is usually taken as a capsule but is also used as a tablet or liquid solution. Usage is allowable even if you have not eaten yet.

It may be taken once a day during the morning. The usual dose for this regimen is from 20 to 80mg. In like manner, you may do so twice a day as well. If done this way, you may take it in the morning and noon.

Not to mention, it may also be taken once a week, 90mg if so.

Although non-addictive, it is still important to take heed to your doctor’s instructions with regards to dosage

It is essential to realize that you may experience the full effects of the drug 1 to 2 weeks after initial intake. Therefore, do not stop your medication unless your physician asks you to do so.

Suicidal Tendencies

Surprisingly, a certain demographic taking Fluoxetine experience suicidal tendencies.

A point often overlooked is that a statistic states that a small fraction of children up until the age of 24 became suicidal when they took the antidepressant.

Taking the antidepressant to abet a person’s mental health condition may lead to suicide. In the same way, this is also true even to adults.

Person suicidal due to drug abuse
Image Credits: Pickpik

As a matter of fact, the risk of suicide is greater if you or anyone from your family has a history of bipolar disorder.

On the positive side, adults who are 65 years old or more are much less likely to commit suicide even when taking the drug.

Immediately call your physician if you or a family member is experiencing these symptoms:

  • Acting without thinking
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Agitation
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Extreme worry
  • Frenzied abnormal excitement
  • Irritability
  • New or worsening depression;
  • Panic attacks
  • Severe restlessness; and also
  • Thinking about harming or killing yourself

These symptoms are signs to help you identify a suicidal individual due to Fluoxetine use. If unable to make a phone call, ask your family or housemate to make the call instead.

Side Effects

Side effects of Fluoxetine usage are present nonetheless in spite of responsible usage. Some of them are listed below.

1. Common Side Effects

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headache
  • Heartburn

2. Serious Side Effects

Some of these are difficult to understand. Hence, better consult your doctor for clarifications and to help you comprehend these more.

  • Low sodium blood levels
  • Teeth grinding
  • Angle closure glaucoma
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Seizure
  • QT prolongation; as well as
  • Ventricular arrhythmia including Torsades de Pointes


Certainly, physicians stipulate that it is not probable to be addicted to the antidepressant, Fluoxetine. Nevertheless, this does not stop some from trying.

Moreover, withdrawal symptoms occur when patients stop their medication when they observe that they do not get the desired results. In another case, some couple their intake with alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, this brings worse outcomes.

This antidepressant may be taken once a day with a 20 to 80mg dosage range. Equally important to note is that despite responsible usage, side effects may surface.

Recommend this article to a friend or relative who might have second thoughts if they might be addicted to Fluoxetine.

Latest posts by Kathleen Langreo (see all)