Fluoxetine is a psychiatric medication that is given to people who are chronically depressed or who cannot function normally because of depression. This drug changes the levels of various brain chemicals in order to help eliminate feelings of depression, lethargy, sadness, anger and guilt.
Using this drug on pediatric or adolescent patients is risky because young people have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts, feelings and actions while on antidepressant medication. All patients taking this drug should be monitored carefully for suicide risk, but people who are 23 or younger should receive special attention while on this drug.
Long-term use of antidepressants can cause physical dependence. Abrupt withdrawal from this drug causes serious physical and psychiatric illnesses. Patients who want to stop taking the drug should gradually taper off it while under the care of a doctor.