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Fluoxetine: indication of inadequate use

OBJECTIVE: Investigate the use of fluoxetine in Santo André city, SP, by collecting and analyzing special prescriptions (SP) issued by physicians and filed in compounding pharmacies and drugstores of that city. METHODS: Special prescriptions were collected during August 2005 to July 2006 in 13 compounding pharmacies and 27 drugstores, in different regions of Santo André. Each prescription has been examined for the presence of fluoxetine, in combination or not with other active ingredients, and sex (a) patient was noted. RESULTS: We examined 39,782 SP; 16,124 of them were collected from compounding pharmacies and 23,658 from drugstores. Of these totals, 10,919 prescriptions contained fluoxetine as follows: 9,259 from the compounding pharmacies (84.8%) and only 1,660 (15.2%) from drugstores. Fluoxetine was manly prescribed for women (79.8%). In the vast majority of SP, fluoxetine was prescribed in combination with a large number of other active substances reaching more than ten others in almost half of the prescriptions. CONCLUSION: It is suggested that the large use of fluoxetine possibily aims to an aesthetic objective (to lose weight) and not as a therapeutic aim (treatment of depression). This work discusses the risk/benefit of this use which could be described as inappropriate, given the known adverse reactions of fluoxetine and its interference with the cytochrome P450 system.

Fluoxetine; misuse; compounding pharmacy; weight loss; antidepressant

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