Is 40mg of Fluoxetine a high dose?

This article will discuss if taking 40mg of Fluoxetine can be considered a high dosage. For that, the article will explain what Fluoxetine is, how it works in the brain, and what are its side effects. The article will also show how the dosage of it is defined, and what are things to consider when taking the medication.

Is 40mg of Fluoxetine a high dosage? 

Depending on the person that is using it, 40mg of Fluoxetine is not a high dose. The dosage you will use will depend on what your doctor’s goal is. And it usually starts slow and goes up. Your maximum dosage will be set by considering your condition, age, and other medical conditions you have.

But let’s discuss what treatment is usually suggested for each condition, so it is clear what dosage is considered low, and what is the maximum in each case. 

Dosage for Bulimia Nervosa 

When treating Bulimia Nervosa, the person may get a capsule of 10mg, 20mg, or 40mg. Usually, for adults, the prescribed amount is 60mg each day in the morning. When talking about kids, and elderly people, there is no set dosage.

Elderly people should have a lower dose since they can have strong side effects, and it is usually not used in kids.

Dosage for Major Depressive Disorder 

For treating Major Depressive Disorder it is possible to use as a capsule or have it in the liquid form that has delayed-release, and it goes up to 90mg. For adults, the starting dosage of Fluoxetine is 20mg, and it can stay between that and 80mg, which is the highest dose.

For children between 8 and 17 years old, the dosage can go from 10mg and 20mg, being that the initial dose is 10mg. Fluoxetine is not recommended to kids below 8 years old. And again, when given to elderly people, one should consider the side effects.

Dosage for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 

To treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder it is usually recommended to use the capsules of Fluoxetine. For adults, the initial dosage is 20mg, and it usually stays between that and 60mg, being the highest dose of 80mg.

For children between 13 and 17 years old, you can start the treatment with 10mg, and after two weeks go to 20mg. The typical dosage is between 20 and 60mg. As for kids between 7 and 12, you also start with 10mg, but the dosage stays between 20 and 30mg. But Fluoxetine shouldn’t be used on kids younger than that. 

When treating elderly people you need to take under consideration, once again, their susceptibility to the side effects.

Dosage for Panic Disorder

When treating Panic Disorder in adults you start with 10mg, and after one week your doctor can increase it to 20mg. The typical dosage stays between 20 and 60mg.

As for children and teens, there is no evidence to support the use of Fluoxetine by them when treating Panic Disorder. And once again when prescribing it to elderly people, one should consider the side effects.

What is Fluoxetine?

Fluoxetine, also known as Prozac, is an antidepressant that was invented in 1988, in the United States. When it was invented, it became the most prescribed antidepressant. And nowadays, even though there are other more modern antidepressants, it is still widely used.

It is used to treat Major Depressive Disorder, but it is also used to treat some forms of anxiety disorder. It is used to treat Panic Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

How does Fluoxetine work in the body? 

Fluoxetine is a form of antidepressant that is called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Those medications work on preventing the brain from absorbing the neurotransmitter serotonin, causing the person’s mood and overall state to improve.

What are the side effects of Fluoxetine?

Although Fluoxetine is perfectly safe, it can have some side effects. Those tend to last only the first few days after you start taking them. But if it goes on for a prolonged period, you should discuss with your doctor about changing your dosage or even changing medication.

The most common side effects of Fluoxetine are strange dreams, low libido, loss of appetite, anxiety, and dry mouth. Not only that, it can lead to indigestion, nausea, sweating, and tremors.

But other people may experience more severe symptoms. When that happens, you should get in touch with your doctor right away to discuss changing the medication. The more severe side effects can be vomiting, seizures, manic episode, confusion, and even suicidal thought.

What should be taken into consideration when taking Fluoxetine?

As with any other medication, there are some things you should discuss with your doctor before you start taking Fluoxetine. The first thing to discuss with them is what other medications you have been using.

Fluoxetine can interact with many medications which can cause its effect to decrease, your condition to get worse, or even cause you another health problem. Aside from that, pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding should be careful when taking the medication. 

In both cases, the medication can go to the baby, so it should only be taken when it is extremely important. Elderly people also need to be careful and be closely observed by their doctors. That is because they can have stronger side effects.

People with certain health conditions such as blood clotting disorder, diabetes, and liver disease should be followed closely since the use of Fluoxetine can harm them. 

For people with epilepsy, the use of antidepressants can increase their chance of seizures. As for people with heart conditions, it can lead to an abnormal heartbeat.

Some other considerations

When taking Fluoxetine, if you ever overdo your dose, you should get in touch with your doctor or look for an emergency room. But if you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is too close to your next dose, then you should just wait for that.

If you start to feel better, don’t stop taking Fluoxetine without discussing it with your doctor. That can lead to symptoms of withdrawal such as confusion, dizziness, insomnia, irritability, and excessive crying.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Is 40mg of Fluoxetine a high dosage? 

What are the forms of depression? 

Depressive disorders can be mild, moderate, major, or even persistent. In mild depression, the person may experience mild symptoms of depression that can last a few weeks. This is usually the hardest form of depression to diagnose. That is because its symptoms are not so strong.

Treating mild depression is usually based on making some lifestyle changes. Moderate depression usually has more intense symptoms, and the person may begin to realize it is affecting their everyday life. To treat moderate depression, people mostly attend therapy, although some may find that medication is necessary.

Major depression is a form of depression that tends to completely affect a person’s life. The symptoms are incredibly intense, and beyond the common symptoms of depression, a person with major depression may experience hallucinations, delusions, or even experience psychotic episodes.

For people with major depression, even the simplest things can seem impossible at times. And sometimes they can’t even get out of bed. To treat major depression, it is necessary for joint treatment with a psychiatrist and a therapist.

Persistent depression goes on for a long period. It can last up to 5 years. And during this time the person may experience symptoms of mild and major depression. To get a handle on these swings, the person must follow through with treatment with medication and a therapist.

What are antidepressants?

Antidepressants are the type of medication people take when they are going through a depressive episode. The one that is prescribed more often is the Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) because they usually have fewer side effects, two examples of it are Fluoxetine and Citalopram.

Another form of antidepressant is the Serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This type is similar to SSRIs but was created to be more effective than SSRIs. An example of SNRIs is venlafaxine.

Noradrenaline and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NASSAs) are recommended for people that can’t take SSRIs. They have some side effects that need to be taken into consideration such as dizziness, but it affects the person’s libido less than SSRIs. An example of it is mirtazapine.

There are older forms of antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), they can be recommended to people with major depression that are resistant to other medications. An example of it is amitriptyline. 

Serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs) are a form of antidepressants that is also prescribed when other forms haven’t worked. An example of it is trazodone. 

There are Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) that are an older type of antidepressant. It has a lot of serious side effects. The most known example of it is tranylcypromine.

What are ways to treat depression besides medication? 

Besides medications, it may be important for people with depression to go to therapy to understand their emotions better and learn new strategies to handle them. Besides that, you must try and live a healthy lifestyle.

Can I change my medication by myself? 

No, you should never self-medicate. If you have any questions or are wondering if it is possible to change your medication, you should make an appointment with your doctor and discuss it with them.

Let them know why you want to change it, what makes you believe this new medication will be good, and what is not working on the one you are taking. If they believe this other medication is appropriate for your treatment, they will prescribe it to you.

 Along with that, they will guide you on how to stop the old one slowly so you don’t experience withdrawal symptoms, and how to start the new one and manage its possible side effects.

Why do my friend and I have different side effects even though we are taking the same thing?

This happens because, although you may have the same condition, and are taking the same dosage of the medication, each organism reacts differently to it. That is why it is extremely important to follow through on your doctor’s orientation.

And if you notice the medication is giving you too many side effects or is not working, you may discuss it with them to either adjust your dosage or change your medication.


This article has shown if 40mg of Fluoxetine is a high dose. Not only that, it explained what Fluoxetine is, how it works, and what are its side effects. Along with that, the article also shows what are things that should be taken into consideration when taking Fluoxetine.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


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