Prozac (or Fluoxetine) is prescribed to treat a variety of conditions, such as depression, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, bulimia, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It may improve one’s mood, sleep, energy level, appetite, and decrease one’s anxiety, fear, unwanted thoughts, and number of panic attacks. Additionally, it may reduce one’s urge to perform repeated tasks—which is characteristic of obsessive compulsive disorder—which interfere with everyday functionality.
Use and Dosage
You should take this medication as specifically instructed by your doctor, which is usually once per day and in the morning. If you are, however, directed to take Prozac twice a day, it is likely that you’ll be instructed to take it in the morning and again at noon. Exact dosage will depend on the underlying condition being treated, as well as your initial response to treatment. For example, if you are taking Prozac for premenstrual issues, you may be directed to take the medication every day or just for the 2 weeks leading up to your period.
Furthermore, to reduce your chances of experiencing unwanted and harmful side effects, your health care provider will likely start you off on a low dose of the medication. He or she may then increase it gradually to meet your needs. Remember: It is important you follow your doctor’s exact instructions. Take the medicine regularly, as prescribed, and don’t stop taking it—even if you start to feel better. You should first talk with your doctor, if you do wish to stop taking Prozac, so they can then gradually decrease your dose and, in turn, prevent harmful side effects such as the worsening of your condition.
Side Effects of Prozac
As with most medications, Prozac can come with unwanted side effects; however, they are typically outweighed by the benefits. With that being said, most people who use Xanax do not experience severe side effects—still, it is important to make yourself aware of all of the possibilities. You may see the following mild, serious, and severe side effects of Prozac:
- Mild Side Effects
- Difficult sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Unusual changes in mood (e.g., agitation, unusual excitement, thoughts of suicide)
- Decreased interest in sex
- Changes in sexual ability
- Weight loss
- Easy bruising/bleeding
- Muscle weakness
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Eye pain or swelling
- Widened pupils
- Blurred vision
- Bloody or black stools
If you do experience any of the aforementioned mild side effects, which persist or worsen over time, you should talk to your doctor. And if on the other hand, you experience any of the more serious effects, you should contact your doctor right away, and seek medical attention immediately upon experiencing the severe effects listed above.
It’s important you know that Prozac can also cause an increase in serotonin and, in turn, a condition known as serotonin syndrome/toxicity. You should seek medical assistance right away if you experience any of its symptoms, which include a fast heartbeat, hallucinations, severe dizziness, loss of coordination, unexplained fever, severe nausea or vomiting, and unusual agitation.
Finally, this medication may also cause a very serious allergic reaction. Discuss your allergies with your doctor before starting Prozac and get medical help if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These include fever, rash, itching or swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Before Taking Prozac…
It’s important you take precautionary measures anytime you’re considering a new medication. Before you start taking Ambien, you should first…
- Talk to your doctor about existing allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction, as mentioned above.
- Discuss your medical history, especially if you have a personal or family history of bipolar or manic-depressive disorder, suicide attempts, diabetes, seizures, stomach ulcers, glaucoma, or liver issues.
- Consider your age, as older adults may be more sensitive to certain side effects of Prozac, such as bleeding.
- Understand all of the drug’s effects and risks, as Prozac can cause the aforementioned side effects and conditions, as well as another condition that affects heart rhythm—this particular condition can then (though rarely) cause a fast or irregular heartbeat and other severe symptoms that require immediate medical attention. Side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness also hinder your ability to drive, use machinery, and perform any other activity that requires normal alertness; therefore, they need to be understood and dealt with properly.