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What counselling advice can you give this patient on fluoxetine?

What counselling advice can you give this patient on fluoxetine?

Mrs Fisher, a busy mum with three young children, is a regular customer. She looks tired and stressed when she comes into the pharmacy and asks to speak to you.

“I haven’t been feeling myself at all recently, so I went to the doctor and they’ve started me on these antidepressants,” she tells you. “I’m really anxious about taking them, because I’ve heard they can have quite bad side effects,” she adds.        

What is fluoxetine?

Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bulimia nervosa. Other SSRIs include citalopram, escitalopram, fluvoxamine, paroxetine and sertraline.(1,2)

The usual dose of fluoxetine is initially 20mg daily in adults and this may be increased gradually after intervals of 3-4 weeks,

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