Acute fluoxetine overdose: A report of 234 cases

Douglas J. Borys, Steven C. Setzer, Louis J. Ling, James J. Reisdorf, Lena C. Day, Edward P. Krenzelok

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Limited toxicity information is available in the medical literature on the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac, Dista Products Co, Indianapolis, IN). The goal of this prospective multicenter study was to develop a toxicity profile of initial signs and symptoms observed in an acute fluoxetine overdose. A prospective study was made of patients reported to one of four American Association of Poison Control Centers' regional poison control centers after ingesting an acute overdose of fluoxetine. A standard data collection form was used on all patients ingesting fluoxetine. Information obtained included age, current medications, dose, coingested drugs, presenting symptoms, vital signs, electrocardiogram abnormalities, outcome, and fluoxetine levels. The authors collected 272 cases; 234 cases met the criteria of the study. Fluoxetine was ingested alone in 87 cases and with ethanol or other drugs in the remaining 147 cases. Of the 87 cases where fluoxetine was ingested alone, 67 patients were adults and 20 were children. Symptoms that were seen in the adult group included: tachycardia ( 15 67), drowsiness ( 14 67), tremor (five/67), vomiting (four/67), or nausea (four/67). Thirty patients did not develop symptoms. Twelve of the adult overdose patients had total fluoxetine levels ranging from 232 to 1390 ng/mL. The authors conclude that symptoms that develop after an acute overdose of fluoxetine appear minor and of short duration. Aggressive supportive care is the only intervention necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1992

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Fluoxetine
  • antidepressant agents
  • overdose
  • poisoning


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