How long does Fluoxetine nausea last? (3+ tips)
In this article, we will answer the question “How long does Fluoxetine nausea last?”. We will discuss why nausea occurs due to Fluoxetine treatment, what factors can influence it and some ways to manage this side effect.
How long does Fluoxetine nausea last?
Fluoxetine-induced nausea lasts for almost 2 weeks after the start of treatment. Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and a commonly prescribed antidepressant. It can have an array of side effects which occur with the initiation of therapy. Some of these side effects include anxiety, nausea, headache, insomnia and sexual dysfunction (1,2).
The majority of individuals who experience these side effects do see them disappear after about 2 weeks of treatment. The frequency of the side effects observed with Fluoxetine is generally low and dose-related (1,2).
Fluoxetine-induced nausea occurs in the initial phase of treatment or when the drug’s dosage is changed. Fluoxetine-induced nausea usually begins to subside as your body adjusts to the medication. It may take almost 2 weeks however some people may take longer to recover. If your nausea persists for more than 4 weeks it is best to consult your healthcare provider.
What factors influence the duration of Fluoxetine-induced nausea?
Fluoxetine-induced nausea is thought to be due to the effects of increased serotonin in the brain and gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Increased serotonergic transmission causes effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and anorexia (3). Various factors can influence the duration of Fluoxetine-induced nausea. Some of these factors are:
Dosage of the medication
Research shows that the higher the dose of Fluoxetine, the more chances are for nausea to occur and persist. This effect is particularly seen when starting doses are higher than normal. With dosage reduction, there is a noticeable decrease in such symptoms.
Increased plasma concentration has also been found to be a cause of nausea in individuals on Fluoxetine therapy. When the concentration of Fluoxetine increases in the blood, it exerts more effects. An increased concentration can be due to a higher dosage than required or impaired elimination of the medication.
If Fluoxetine-induced nausea does not subside after a few days, you should consult your healthcare provider to assess for any underlying condition which might be affecting the medication.
How can you manage and reduce Fluoxetine-induced nausea?
Although Fluoxetine-induced nausea has been found to go away on its own, there are various options to manage and reduce the discomfort due to this side effect. Some of them are as follows:
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist
If you are experiencing nausea as a side effect of Fluoxetine therapy, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist regarding the side effect and let them assess the risks and benefits. You should also tell your healthcare provider about any other medications that you are taking to make sure that Fluoxetine is not interacting with them.
Patience and persistence
As Fluoxetine-related nausea can resolve once your body gets used to the medication make sure you are patient and persistent in taking your prescribed dose. You may not see an immediate effect but if you stay committed to your regimen you will see the nausea resolving after a few days.
Sticking to the recommended dosage
As explained Fluoxetine-induced nausea is dose-related so be sure to stick to the dosage prescribed by your physician, to avoid any extra side effects. Do not increase or decrease your Fluoxetine dosage by yourself. Make sure to talk to your doctor about any side effects if they are decreasing your quality of life.
Taking Fluoxetine with food
Taking Fluoxetine with food can lower the nauseous feeling that you experience to some extent. So if the Fluoxetine-induced nausea is extra bothersome, you can try taking your medication with food to reduce this side effect.
Stay hydrated and avoid triggers
Staying hydrated is crucial for the management and reduction of nausea. Not having enough water can make your nausea worse and having too much water can also make you feel extra nauseous. Make sure to stay adequately hydrated to avoid this situation.
Avoiding triggers like greasy and spicy food, food with strong odours, alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks. You can try substituting these foods with light, bland and easy-to-eat food like yoghurt, toast oatmeal etc. Ginger tea is also found to help some patients relieve the nauseous feeling.
Gradual dose adjustment
Sometimes when Fluoxetine is introduced in the regimen or the dose is abruptly increased nausea can occur. It can also occur if Fluoxetine is stopped too suddenly without tapering off the dosage. Slow and gradual adjustments in dosage can prevent nausea from aggravating. Talk to your healthcare provider regarding this, and your doctor may develop a dose increment plan to help you with your symptoms.
Try anti-nausea medication
You can always talk to your healthcare provider about anti-nausea medication. Your doctor may assess your symptoms and if needed may give you Ondansetron, a medication used to treat nausea. As Ondansetron is a prescription-only medication, you should not try taking this medication on your own, without proper guidance from a doctor.
What to do if nausea symptoms are prolonged?
If nausea symptoms are prolonged it can be a cause of concern. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider regarding your symptoms. You should seek immediate medical advice if the following symptoms persist for 4 or more weeks:
- Severe or persistent nausea
- Excessive vomiting or dehydration
- Severe abdominal pain
In this brief article, we answered the question “How long does Fluoxetine nausea last?”. We also discussed factors that can influence Fluoxetine-induced nausea and how to manage and reduce nauseous symptoms if you experience this side effect.
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Rossi A, Barraco A, Donda P. Fluoxetine: a review on evidence based medicine. Annals of General Hospital Psychiatry. 2004 Dec;3(1):1-8. https://annals-general-psychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2832-3-2
Sommi RW, Crismon ML, Bowden CL. Fluoxetine: a serotonin‐specific, second‐generation antidepressant. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy. 1987 Jan 2;7(1):1-4. https://accpjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/j.1875-9114.1987.tb03496.x
McManis PG, Talley NJ. Nausea and vomiting associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: incidence, mechanisms and management. CNS drugs. 1997 Nov;8(5):394-401. https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00023210-199708050-00005
Beasley Jr CM, Janet C. Fluoxetine: Relationships Among Dose, Response. Psychopharmacology bulletin. 1990;26(1-2):18. https://books.google.com.pk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=DZUD1EZRA8IC&oi=fnd&pg=PA18&dq=fluoxetine+and+nausea&ots=Y6-BC_eS4f&sig=bhyYGFpeBFLXACTxsrTJCRunyxY&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=fluoxetine%20and%20nausea&f=false