Fluoxetine, better known as Prozac, has proven extremely effective in treating people with bulimia, an eating disorder characterized by overeating and purging. Fluoxetine belongs to the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) family of antidepressants and is one of the most prescribed drugs in the world. By consulting with a health care provider, you can determine if you want to use fluoxetine to treat bulimia.
- Schedule a consultation with a health care provider to determine if fluoxetine is right for you. Diagnosis "bulimia nervosa" Usually includes both a psychological evaluation and a physical exam to see if there is any internal organ damage. Fluoxetine is prescribed only after a thorough evaluation of your physical and emotional condition.
- Learn more about the possible side effects of fluoxetine before using it to treat bulimia nervosa. These side effects include headache, fever, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, heartburn, and cramps. Side effects such as diarrhea can also complicate dehydration, which is often caused by bulimia, so you should take care to drink plenty of fluids while taking fluoxetine.
- For best results in treating bulimia, combine taking fluoxetine with some form of behavioral therapy or psychotherapy. Using antidepressants to treat a psychological disorder such as bulimia only masks the symptoms. Only through a variety of talk therapy techniques can the root causes of self-destructive behavior be addressed.
- Exercise regularly while taking fluoxetine to treat bulimia. Many exercises, such as yoga, tai chi, stretching exercises, walking, and deep breathing exercises, also help increase serotonin levels in the brain in the same way that fluoxetine does. In addition, exposure to sunlight also increases serotonin levels, so exercise outdoors if possible.
- Do not reduce or stop your prescribed daily dose of fluoxetine without careful supervision by your doctor. Withdrawal symptoms, including confusion, nausea, headaches, and depression, may occur if the drug is not withdrawn slowly over 1-2 weeks.
Tips and Warnings
Many insurance companies will not pay for medications prescribed for bulimia unless Prozac has been tried first, because of its high success rate.
Fluoxetine may cause sexual dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction, inability to achieve orgasm, and markedly reduced sexual desire. Before taking fluoxetine, consider how it may affect your interpersonal relationships.