Fluoxetine is an SSRI antidepressant useful in treating separation anxiety, inappropriate urination and many other behavioral issues in dogs and cats. Best results are achieved with most behavior drugs by simultaneous use of behavior modification training. Fluoxetine is available as tablets, chewable tablets, capsules and as an oral liquid.
WHAT IS THIS DRUG?
- Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant
- Fluoxetine is given by mouth
REASONS FOR PRESCRIBING:
- To reduce separation anxiety and increase receptivity to training techniques that create positive behavior
- To treat inappropriate urine marking in dogs and cats
- To treat aggression, thunderstorm phobias plus various obsessive compulsive behaviors such as chewing, circling and self-mutilation
WHAT DOGS/CATS SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS MEDICATION?
- Dogs less than 6 months or weighing less than 8.8 lbs
- Pets also receiving drugs known as MAO inhibitors
- Use with caution in diabetics and those with liver or kidney disease
- Pets with a history of seizures
- Breeding, pregnant or nursing animals
- Pets known to have had an allergic reaction to fluoxetine or other SSRIs
- If your pet is presently taking like products (unless directed by your veterinarian)
Fluoxetine will be administered in conjunction with a positive behavior modification program. It is essential to follow the training plan as well as administer the medication, to achieve therapy success.
Give this medication with or without food, although giving with food may lessen any stomach upset.
Give medication as directed by your veterinarian. This medication is usually given once a day for several weeks.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. Occasionally, your veterinarian may change the dose to achieve the best results.
Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.
Do not give your dog aged cheese while on fluoxetine.
It may take several weeks before effects of the medication are noted.
Do not abruptly discontinue this drug. It will be necessary to slowly taper the dose over time to reduce unpleasant side effects and ensure your pet's behavior does not return.
Baseline and periodic blood testing may be necessary to assess the pet's health and response to fluoxetine.
WHAT IF DOSE IS MISSED?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight. Do not remove the desiccant, if included.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
Pet owners allergic to fluoxetine and/or other SSRIs should use caution when handling this drug.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS:
- Commonly, dogs lose their appetite, and subsequently lose weight. Tempt your dog with better tasting foods or hand feed until this side effect wears off. Report continued lack of appetite to your veterinarian.
- Lethargy, drowsiness
- Vomiting, diarrhea, shaking, restlessness, panting, irritability, excessive vocalization
- Some dogs lose their inhibitions while medicated and become aggressive
- Low chance of seizures
- Liver disease has been reported. Monitor your pet for fatigue, lack of appetite as well as yellowing of the gums, skin, or the whites of the eyes. Your veterinarian may want to perform liver function blood tests.
- If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian
CAN THIS DRUG BE GIVEN WITH OTHER DRUGS?
- Yes, but possible interactions may occur with buspirone, cimetidine, diazepam, digoxin, encainide, flecainide, haloperidol, lithium, l-tryptophan, metoclopramide, perphenazine, phenylbutazone, phenytoin, propafenone, thioridazine, tricyclic antidepressants (ex. amitriptyline, clomipramine, imipramine) and warfarin.
- Fluoxetine should not be used within 14 days of administering MAOIs (ex. amitraz, deprenyl, isoniazid, selegiline)
- Fluoxetine should not be given with drugs that could increase the likelihood of seizures (ex. acepromazine, chlorpromazine)
- If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet consumes more than the prescribed amount.
WHAT TO TELL/ASK VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING MEDICATION?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
- When will your pet need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
- Risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
- If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medicines can be given together.
- If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, fluoxetine should only be given to the dog/cat for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
This is just a summary of information about fluoxetine. If you have any questions or concerns about fluoxetine or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.
Join the Conversation
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!