Before starting any prescription, you may want to spend some time researching it. As knowledgeable as doctors are, they may not mention side effects that can be caused by certain drugs like the antidepressant, Prozac.
There is a ton of information available and parts of it may scare you into taking another medication or none at all. Other times, the information may allude to a completely safe drug.
Finding information that leans too far one way or another is a sure sign that the author or website is biased. Keep reading for unbiased and truthful information that answers the question, “is Prozac safe?”
History of the Drug
Prozac is the name brand of the generic drug fluoxetine hydrochloride. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) which is used to treat different types of depression.
In 1974, it was suggested that fluoxetine could be used to treat depression. After FDA approval, it was on the market by 1988.
The shortest explanation of how Prozac works is that the drug stops reabsorption of serotonin, in turn making more available in the brain.
Prozac is still widely used to treat multiple types of depression, including Major Depressive Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is also used to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and certain anxiety diagnoses.
Side Effects of Prozac
The number one side effect of Prozac is an increase in suicidal thoughts, especially in young people under 25.
Other side effects include:
- Decreased sex drive
- Increased anxiety
- General weakness
- Strange dreams
- Problems sleeping
- Flu-like symptoms
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Inflamed sinuses
Usually, you won’t experience many of these side effects. If they truly become unbearable, talk with your doctor about changing your medication or dose.
Whatever you do, don’t just stop taking Prozac–stopping usage abruptly can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Ways to Avoid Unpleasant Effects
When starting a new medication you may experience negative side effects but like the improved mental state. In your mind, all would be well if a few pesky side effects would go away.
Good news: sometimes side effects go away on their own after your body gets used to the medicine.
Taking your medication with food and staying hydrated throughout the day can solve several side effects at once. Sucking on sugar-free candy can help with dry mouth.
Is Prozac making you sleepy? Aim for a short nap during the day or take your medicine at night. If the opposite is true and you can’t sleep, take your dose in the morning and avoid caffeine late in the day.
If all else fails, ask to be switched to an extended release dose. This will lessen the severity or get rid of any symptoms you experience.
Final Thoughts: Is Prozac Safe?
If you’re still wondering, “is Prozac safe?” the answer is yes. Of course, there are things you need to watch out for and it doesn’t agree with everyone.
This doesn’t mean Prozac is unsafe, it just means you should be aware of any side effects and communicate them with your doctor.
Depression isn’t an easy disorder to cope with, and it may take time to find the right regimen for you. There is a wealth of information available on all types of treatments. If you’d like more information on ANY type of medicine, check out our blog!