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fluoxetine and olanzapine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking fluoxetine and olanzapine (Symbyax)?

This medication is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Olanzapine may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Do not use this medication together with pimozide (Orap) or thioridazine (Mellaril), or if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

You must wait at least 14 days after stopping an MAOI before you can take fluoxetine and olanzapine. After you stop taking fluoxetine and olanzapine, you must wait at least 5 weeks before you start taking thioridazine (Mellaril) or an MAOI.

To make sure you can safely take fluoxetine and olanzapine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

Taking antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking fluoxetine and olanzapine, do not stop taking it without your doctor's advice.

FDA pregnancy category C. An SSRI antidepressant may cause serious lung problems in a newborn if you take the medication during pregnancy. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant during pregnancy.

Fluoxetine and olanzapine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking this medication.

Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.

How should I take fluoxetine and olanzapine (Symbyax)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Fluoxetine and olanzapine can be taken with or without food. Try to take the medicine at the same time each day.

It may take up to 4 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.

Olanzapine can cause high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking olanzapine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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