Studies have shown a link between taking the antidepressant Prozac and suicide in children, teenagers, and young adults.
What Is Prozac?
Prozac is a prescription medication used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, eating disorders, PMS, and other conditions.
It is also prescribed to those with dual disorders such as those who suffer from both depression and anxiety, or those who suffer from depression and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that works by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter (brain chemical) serotonin in the body.
It is believed that an imbalance of serotonin contributes to symptoms of depression.
In one often-cited British study, almost 4 percent of children and teens taking Prozac reported or exhibited suicidality (suicidal thoughts or behavior) compared to 2 percent in children and teens who were not taking the medication. (No subject in the study actually completed suicide.)
As a result of the potential health risks, the Food and Drug Administration recommends extreme caution when considering this medication for children, teenagers, and young adults. In England, use in children is prohibited.
Contact your prescribing doctor immediately if you experience any thoughts about death or suicide while taking Prozac. Contact 911 or take yourself to the nearest hospital emergency room if you feel like you may harm yourself or others.
Also, notify your healthcare provider if your depression or anxiety worsens while you are taking Prazac, or if you experience insomnia, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, irritability, agitation, aggression, restlessness, or anything that seems out of the ordinary.
It is especially important to notify your doctor of any family history of suicide or mental illness if you suffer from depression or take Prozac.
Also, those with dual disorders, such as being diagnosed with both depression and another mental illness, are at increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors while taking Prozac.
General Safety Precautions
Never take more than your recommended dosage, skip doses, or consume alcohol while taking Prozac. Alcohol is a depressant that will only worsen symptoms of depression in those that already suffer from depression. Therefore, alcohol should be avoided by anyone suffering from depression.
In addition, take caution while driving or operating heavy machinery while taking Prozac.