Generic Drug Name: Fluoxetine
Other Common Names: Prozac
Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin inhibitor (SSRI) that is used to treat separation anxiety in dogs undergoing behavior modification. It is also commonly used to treat other behavior problems, such as obsessive-compulsive behavior, in both dogs and cats.
Common side effects associated with fluoxetine include a temporary loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, shaking, excessive vocalization, restlessness, panting, anxiety, sleep disturbances, irritability, and hyperactivity. Fluoxetine has also been known to cause aggression in some dogs. It should not be used in dogs with epilepsy or a history of seizures. Is should also not be used in conjunction with drugs that lower the seizure threshold. Fluoxetine should also be used cautiously in patients with diabetes mellitus, as it may alter blood glucose. Patients suffering from severe hepatic impairment may need reduced doses of fluoxetine.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to fluoxetine can include facial swelling, scratching, hives, diarrhea, shock, vomiting, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, and coma.
Fluoxetine should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately if an overdose is suspected, symptoms of which can include behavior changes, seizures, tremors, or liver disease displayed through vomiting.
Fluoxetine should be kept at room temperature and stored in a tight, light resistant, childproof container. If a desiccant is present, it should not be removed.
Fluoxetine should be administered with food in order to prevent upset stomach. A typical dose for dogs is 1-2 mg/kg once daily. For cats, the typical dose ranges from .5-1.5 mg/kg once daily. Forgotten doses should be administered as soon as remembered unless it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, in which case the regular schedule should be resumed. Two doses of fluoxetine should not be administered at the same time.
Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.