Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Antidepressant

What is this medication used for?

Even though they are called “antidepressants,” SSRIs ;may also sometimes be used to treat conditions other than depression.  The FDA has approved this medication for treatment of major depressive disorder generalized anxiety disorder, bulimia nervosa.

Doctors sometimes use medications “off-label” (to treat symptoms or conditions other than those for which it has been approved by the FDA).

How is this medication dosed?

Dosing can be up to a maximum of 80 mg daily.  An average dose is between 20 mg and 40 mg daily.  The best dose for a particular individual will vary.

How should I take this medication?

Take the entire dose once daily with food unless otherwise directed by your prescriber.

What are the side effects?

Most common side effects include upset stomach, nausea, headache, disrupted sleep, anxiety or drowsiness.  These are usually temporary and go away after several days.

Less common side effects include weight gain, sexual problems such as decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, taking longer to reach orgasm.

What forms does it come in?

Tablets, Capsules, Liquid.  Available strengths: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg

What should expect or look for when taking this medication?

If the medication works for you, you should notice a gradual improvement in your symptoms of depression and anxiety.  It can take several weeks to notice the full effect and the changes will be gradual and subtle.