Prozac is a type of antidepressant known as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). It is often used to treat depression, and also sometimes obsessive compulsive disorder and bulimia. Fluoxetine helps many people recover from depression, and it has fewer unwanted effects than older antidepressants. Prozac is available only on prescription. It comes as tablets and capsules.
Prozac can be taken by adults for depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and bulimia. Fluoxetine can be taken by children aged 8 or older for depression.
You may see an improvement in your symptoms after 1 to 2 weeks, although it usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks before you feel the full benefits. That's because it takes around a week for fluoxetine levels to build up in your body, and then a few weeks longer for your body to adapt and get used to it. Don't stop taking fluoxetine after 1 to 2 weeks just because you feel it is not helping your symptoms. Give the medicine at least 6 weeks to work.
Take fluoxetine once a day. It doesn't upset the stomach so you can take it with or without food.
You can take fluoxetine at any time, as long as you stick to the same time every day. If you have trouble sleeping, it's best to take it in the morning. How much will I take? The usual dose of fluoxetine is 20mg a day in adults. However, you may be started at a lower dose which is gradually increased to a maximum dose of 60mg a day. Some people might need to take a lower dose of fluoxetine, or to take it less often. This includes people with liver problems, and elderly people. The usual dose of fluoxetine in children is 10mg a day but this may be increased to 20mg a day.
Reasons to buy Prozac:
Antidepressants like Prozac help to jump start your mood so you feel better. You may notice that you sleep better and get on with people more easily because you're less anxious. You will hopefully take in your stride little things that used to worry you. Prozac won't change your personality or make you feel euphorically happy. It will simply help you feel like yourself again. Don't expect to feel better overnight, though. Some people feel worse during the first few weeks of treatment before they begin to feel better.
Fluoxetine is also sometimes used to treat alcoholism, attention-deficit disorder, borderline personality disorder, sleep disorders, headaches, mental illness, posttraumatic stress disorder, Tourette's syndrome, obesity, sexual problems, and phobias. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
Warnings and Precautions
Prozac is safe to take for a long time. There don't seem to be any lasting harmful effects from taking it for many months and years. However, taking fluoxetine for more than a year has been linked to a small increased risk of getting diabetes. But you will be regularly checked for this.
Before prescribing Prozac for depression, your healthcare provider should make sure that you do not have bipolar disorder (instead of depression). Sometimes, the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression are very similar, and Prozac can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder. Prozac can cause rashes or other allergic reactions. If you develop an unexplained rash or hives, talk to your healthcare provider.
Prozac may cause a change in the heart rhythm known as QT prolongation. In some cases, QT prolongation can turn into a life-threatening arrhythmia known as torsade de pointes. People taking other QT-prolonging medications or people with long QT syndrome, heart problems, low magnesium or potassium in the blood, or liver problems might be at a higher risk for this problem.
Prozac may worsen glaucoma. It should be used cautiously in people who have glaucoma or are at high risk for developing glaucoma. Anyone taking Prozac should report any vision changes or eye pain to a healthcare provider right away.
If you have a seizure disorder, there is a possibility that taking Prozac may cause seizures. Talk to your healthcare professional before taking Prozac if you have seizures.
Some general considerations for when and how to take Prozac include the following:
The dose of Prozac your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
As with any medicine, side effects can occur with Prozac. However, not everyone who takes the antidepressant will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
The most common side effects include: Insomnia (see Prozac and Insomnia), Nausea, Headache, Diarrhea, Loss of appetite (see Prozac and Weight Loss), Drowsiness, Anxiety.
Several studies have looked at the effects of Prozac on a variety of conditions:
Studies have shown Prozac to be effective for depression treatment in children, teens, and adults. These studies included children as young as eight years old. In studies, 28 percent of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) who took Prozac felt their OCD was "much improved", compared to only 8 percent of those who were not taking it. Studies have shown Prozac to be effective for treating bulimia in adults. While the antidepressant effects of the drug may take longer to be seen, its effects for treating bulimia were seen within one week. Two studies looked at using Prozac to treat adults with panic disorder. Up to 62 percent of people taking the drug were free from panic attacks, compared to only 44 percent of those not taking it.