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Sarafem (Fluoxetine)


Sarafem is often used to treat such medical conditions as panic attacks, depression, eating disorders (such as bulimia), obsessive compulsive disorder, premenstrual syndrome, etc.

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As a patient, you should know that its intake can help you improve sleeping, appetite, mood and energy levels while restoring your interest in a daily life. Your doctor may prescribe it to reduce anxiety, fear, panic attacks, unwanted thoughts and urge to do repeated tasks. For women, Sarafem can decrease premenstrual symptoms, including depression and irritability. Another great effect is that it reduces purging and binging behaviors in bulimia. This medication can be prescribed to treat anorexia nervosa, PTSD, sleeping and nervous disorders and hot flashes.

Precautions and Contraindications

This medicine can help patients prevent suicidal thoughts and behavior in addition to providing other health benefits, but there are certain studies that prove that a small group of people may experience worsening of their unwanted mood symptoms, depression and suicidal attempts. Before taking Sarafem, you need to inform your doctor about any allergic reactions and medical history, especially if you have suicidal attempts, manic depressive disorders, liver issues, low sodium blood levels, diabetes, dehydration, seizures, ulcers, glaucoma and so on. Donít forget that its intake can make you feel drowsy and dizzy, and thatís why itís not advisable to use machinery, drive and do any other activity that requires your full attention and alertness. Besides, be sure to avoid alcoholic beverages while undergoing this treatment. Sarafem may also cause a medical condition that affects your heart rhythm, and its use is not recommended to pregnant and lactating female patients. Those patients who are younger than 18 years old canít take this medication.

Drug Interactions

Sarafem shouldnít be used along with MAO inhibitors, such as Marplan and Nardil, and other medications that work by inhibiting monoamine oxidase, including Zyvox. Thatís because this drug combination may lead to such unwanted symptoms as hypertension, confusion, coma, hyperactivity, tremors, etc. Similar side effects may occur when Sarafem is combined with other meds, such as Ultram and Demerol, if they work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. This medication may increase the effects of Coumadin, and this is what results in excessive bleeding. Donít combine Sarafem with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin and other meds that affect bleeding because of the increased risk of having upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Finally, combining Sarafem and Orap may lead to having abnormal heart beats.

Side Effects

Just like other antidepressants and drugs, the intake of Sarafem may cause specific adverse effects, including headaches, nausea, drowsiness, sleeping difficulties, anxiety, loss of appetite and others. Be sure to monitor your blood pressure because it may increase and watch for skin rashes and vasculitis. Some patients may have certain withdrawal symptoms once they stop taking this medication, and this means that your treatment should be monitored by a doctor, and your daily dose should be gradually decreased to discontinue it properly. Keep in mind that Sarafem and other antidepressants are associated with angle closure attacks in those patients who have narrow angle glaucoma. Its intake may also increase the risk of having suicidal thoughts and behaviors if you have depression or other mental disorders.

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