(Prozac® is another name for this medication.)
Use: Fluoxetine is used to treat behavior problems such as aggression and obsessive compulsive disorders in dogs, cats and birds.
Side Effects: Fluoxetine can cause tiredness, stomach upset, anxiety, irritability and restlessness in some animals. The most common side effect in dogs is loss of appetite. If your dog stops eating, try tempting it with better tasting foods or hand feeding until this side effect wears off. If your dog does not get his appetite back, your veterinarian will probably discontinue the use of this drug in your pet. Fluoxetine may cause some dogs to become aggressive. If you notice this kind of behavior change in your pet, you should notify your veterinarian immediately.
Precautions: Fluoxetine should not be used in animals who are also receiving drugs known as MOA inhibitors. When fluoxetine is given with these drugs it can cause serious increases in blood pressure. Aged cheese can also cause this effect. If your pet is receiving any of these medications, your veterinarian will ask you to stop giving them for at least 2-5 weeks before he prescribes fluoxetine. Fluoxetine can also alter the level of sugar in the blood and should be used very carefully in diabetic patients.
Directions: Dogs usually receive fluoxetine orally once daily for several weeks.
Remember: Fluoxetine should be stored in a tight, light resistant, childproof container away from all children and other pets. Fluoxetine can be given with or without food. Giving with food will prevent the stomach upset that is sometimes associated with this drug. It will take several weeks before fluoxetine reaches the blood levels required to have an effect on your pet’s behavior. Your veterinarian will not be able to assess the effects of this drug for at least 1-4 weeks in your pet. Do not discontinue this drug abruptly. Your veterinarian will have you slowly decrease the amount you are giving over time to ensure that your pet’s behavior problems do not return.
If you miss a dose of this medication you should give it as soon as you remember it, but if it is within a few hours of the regularly scheduled dose, wait and give it at the regular time. Do not double a dose as this can be toxic to your pet.