Prozac for Depression

Edited by TPappin, Jen Moreau, Sharingknowledge

Prozac has helped millions of people across the world, but before consuming the prescription drug, there are some things everyone should know.

  1. 1
    About Prozac
    Approved by the FDA in 1987, Prozac is used to treat people suffering from depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, eating disorders such as binge eating and bulimia, panic disorders and more. It is a prescription medication that comes in many forms (capsules, tablets, and liquid) and is known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Prozac and it's no-name alternative, fluoxetine, are considered SSRIs because the drug increases the serotonin in one's brain.
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  2. 2
    What Does Serotonin Do
    Serotonin is a chemical found in the human body, acting as a neurotransmitter. It is typically found in the brain, but can also be found in bowels and blood platelets, helping regulate cyclic body processes and increasing feelings of happiness and overall well being. The effects of SSRI medication may not take place for 4 to 6 weeks after a person's initial dose.
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  3. 3
    Incurred Risk
    Prozac is not for everyone. The antidepressant can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts, especially after a change in dose or for the initial months of someone taking the prescription drug. If a person has been prescribed Prozac and they are noticing unusual changes in their mood or feelings, they should contact their family doctor immediately. On the flip side, suddenly eliminating an intake of Prozac can also have serious side effects.
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  4. 4
    Side Effects
    There are many possible side effects to taking Prozac, such as suicidal thoughts, increased anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, hallucinations, lack or coordination, rapid heartbeat, nausea, increased bruising and/or bleeding, seizures and unusual aggression. Weight gain is also a side effect of many antidepressants, including Prozac; however, it's typically only around one to two pounds per year. Contact your physician if side effects are serious.
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  5. 5
    Long-Term Effects
    A severe allergic reaction to Prozac could ultimately result in death, although it is rare. If you consume Prozac and have trouble breathing, severe shortness of breath, a swollen mouth or face, hives and/or unusual skin rash, seek medical treatment immediately. Unfortunately, there is not much other research available when it comes to the long-term effects of taking Prozac, especially when it comes to children and teens.
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  6. 6
    Pets and Prozac
    Prozac is even prescribed to pets from time to time, to help with compulsive behavioral issues; however, do not let your cat or dog consume Prozac without advising with a veterinarian.
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  7. 7
    Combining Prozac with Other Medications
    Some prescription drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements and even herbal remedies, can all react negatively when used alongside Prozac or fluoxetine. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are taking regularly, including but not limited to sedatives, sleeping pills, other antidepressants, medications used for migraine relief, fentanyl, tryptophan, blood thinners, benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium, anti-seizure drugs, water pills, antibiotics, methadone etc., to ensure you avoid any unwanted reactions.
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  8. 8
    Mixing Prozac with Alcohol
    Although it has been proven that alcohol can worsen symptoms of depression, as well as many other mental health conditions, occasionally consuming alcoholic beverages in moderate amounts, while taking Prozac, isn't typically an issue.
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  9. 9
    Your Prozac Dose
    The dose of Prozac someone is prescribed is dependent on the person's physical condition and their age. It comes in different forms and strengths and can and will affect everyone differently. No-name capsules are available in 10 or 20 mg, while name brand capsules are available in 10, 15 and 20 mg. It is not recommended to take more or less than prescribed. Regardless of a person's dose, Prozac can be taken with or without food, typically once per day.
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  10. 10
    Overdosing on Prozac
    It is imperative that a person only takes the dose prescribed to them. Otherwise, symptoms could include being unable to focus, abnormal walking and confusion, unresponsiveness, tremors, severe fatigue and/or excitement, rapid heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, and seizures. If a person experiences these symptoms due to taking too much Prozac, it is recommended that they call 911 right away. An overdose could potentially be fatal.
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  11. 11
    Missing a Dose of Prozac
    If a person forgets to take their dose of Prozac, it can either be taken right away or, if it's too close to the time they'd take their next dose, simply skip the missed dose and continue taking medication as prescribed. Do not consume a double dose of Prozac.
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Prozac for Depression. (2017). In ScienceAid. Retrieved Jun 3, 2023, from

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Article Info

Categories : Medicine

Recent edits by: Jen Moreau, TPappin

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