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Fluoxetine may not be the best medication for everyone. Before starting treatment with fluoxetine, talk with your doctor about possible alternative medications and/or treatments.

Please note: the following lists are by no means comprehensive in regards to potential alternatives to fluoxetine. The medications and treatment options mentioned below are simply some of the most common options that you may talk to your healthcare provider about.

Alternative Medications

Fluoxetine is a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia, certain panic disorders, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). You may find, however, that fluoxetine is not the best SSRI for your specific symptoms. Other common SSRIs include:

  • Escitalopram (Lexapro): treats depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft): treats depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder
  • Citalopram (Celexa): treats depression, OCD, anorexia, social anxiety disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, PMDD

Alternatively, your doctor might suggest a different type of medication, based on your symptoms. These types of medication may include:

  • Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which are another class of antidepressants that can also treat anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders
  • Antipsychotics, which mainly treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and psychosis
  • Sedatives, which can treat severe anxiety and also seizures, epilepsy and muscle spasms

Alternative Treatments

Aside from or in addition to medication, your healthcare provider might suggest you pursue alternative treatments. In many cases, people who take fluoxetine also seek healing through a variety of other outlets. Below are just a small handful of additional treatment options to discuss with your provider and research on your own.


Mental health counseling is a commonly sought-after healing outlet that can help reduce serious conditions often associated with fluoxetine treatment, such as depression, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and suicidal ideation. In some cases, people may choose to take medication during their treatment with a mental health professional to make the counseling process easier and more effective. Alternatively, other people may seek healing through either medication or counseling and later pursue both.

There are many different types of mental health counseling. Within each type of counseling, there may also present varying counseling methods, which mental health clinicians use to treat specific mental health disorders.

Various types of counseling include but are not limited to:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Substance abuse counseling

Various counseling methods include but are not limited to:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Emotion-focused therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Humanistic therapy

If you decide you want to pursue counseling, it’s important to look for a provider who aligns with your needs. Oftentimes, mental health professionals will outline their specialties, as well as their counseling methods in their profile. If you are not sure which type of counseling would work best for you, you can always use a consultation call to better figure it out, and most clinicians offer first-time consultations free of charge.

Please note: it is critical to talk with your counselor about which therapeutic method they plan to use, as well as which method may be most beneficial to your specific health needs.

Exercise & Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, as well as exercising a minimum of 30 minutes per day are two natural ways to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Plus, a healthy diet and regular exercise will improve your overall health. In addition, staying hydrated each day is critical to optimal health.

Self Care

Self care has become such a broad term, but there are practical self-care steps you can take every day to improve your overall well-being. These include but are not limited to:

  • Spending quality time with loved ones
  • Spending time doing things you love, such as hobbies
  • Practicing gratitude to reframe negative thoughts and behaviors
  • Following up on doctor and therapy appointments
  • Reducing stress through relaxing activities, such as taking a walk, taking a bath, reading a book, and practicing deep breathing

Remember that you can personalize self care to best meet your needs. These are just some common suggestions to get you started.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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