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What is Prozac?

Prozac belongs to a group of anti-depressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which means that it affects the way your brain uses certain mood-boosting chemicals. Prozac or Fluoxetine generic helps free up serotonin, a chemical produced in your brain that regulates mood. Symptoms of depression can be reduced by allowing serotonin to remain in your brain longer. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.

Conditions Treated by Prozac

Prozac is used to treat mood disorders like major depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). These conditions usually develop because of chemical imbalances in the brain and will cause severe emotional distress if left untreated. In fact, their most common symptoms include extreme sadness and hopelessness, which tend to worsen over time. Prozac cannot cure these conditions, but it can minimize their symptoms by correcting the chemical imbalances so you are able to enjoy family and friends and carry out your daily tasks. Prozac is sometimes prescribed together with another medication called Zyprexa to treat depression caused by bipolar disorder (manic depression).

During their reproductive years, some women may experience a severe form of premenstrual syndrome called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Mood disturbances may intensify in the week or two preceding your cycle and usually resolve with the onset of your period. The irritability, depression, or anxiety you experience can greatly interfere with your ability to function socially, occupationally, and interpersonally. Talk to your doctor about whether a prescription for Prozac may help reduce these symptoms.

Before You Take Prozac

Ask your doctor about any risks of taking Prozac while you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding. Before starting treatment, you should tell your doctor whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes, glaucoma, or kidney disease or if you have a history of seizures, suicidal thoughts, or other mental illnesses. Any new or worsening thoughts of suicide during treatment should be reported to your doctor immediately.

Warnings for Prozac

Until you know how Prozac will affect you, avoid operating a vehicle, machinery, or any task considered unsafe if you are not alert. You may not be able to take Prozac if you are also taking a pimozide, thioridazine, or MAO inhibitor drug, or if you are receiving treatment with a methylene blue injection. A dangerous drug interaction could occur.

Possible Side Effects of Prozac

Stomach upset
Weight and appetite changes
Flu-like symptoms
Decreased sex drive

Drugs Similar to Prozac


Prozac FAQs

What Should I Avoid While Taking Fluoxetine?

Avoid drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs while you are taking antidepressant medications. They may decrease the benefits (e.g., worsen your condition) and increase adverse effects (e.g., sedation) of the medication.

What warnings should I be aware of with Prozac?

Prozac may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have: blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights; fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness

How long does it take for Prozac to fully kick in?

You may see an improvement in your symptoms after around 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.

What Does Prozac Feel Like When It Starts Working?

Those taking Prozac might feel more relaxed and less anxious. They may sleep better and have increased levels of energy and be better able to focus on tasks.

How many hours does Prozac last?

After a single-use of Prozac, the half-life of the drug can range from one to three days. Half-life refers to the time it takes for half the dose of a drug to be metabolized and eliminated from the bloodstream. With long-term Prozac use that range can increase to between four and six days.

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