Prozac is a prescription medication used to treat depression, anxiety, and other disorders.
It is in the class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) that work by interacting with brain chemicals and restoring the balance of serotonin which is believed to help balance mood.
It comes in regular and long-acting tablets, and liquid. It is taken orally. It is typically taken once daily in the morning or evening, with or without food.
Dosage depends on various factors; see this handy dosage guide. for finding the best dose.
Try to take it at the same time every day. Do not crush or chew the tablets. If you take the liquid form, shake it well prior to use. It is helpful to remember that it may take several weeks in order to see the full benefits.
Side effects may include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, confusion, dry mouth, and decreased appetite. Also, there is chance of weight changes for those taking this medication.
Side effects usually occur in a small number of people who take this medication. Side effects are usually temporary when first taking a new medication. For folks who suffer from side effects of nausea, it may be helpful to take Prozac with food.
Other, more serious, side effects may include any of the following: blurry vision, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat, chest tightness or chest pain, difficulty breathing, seizures, fever, skin irritations or abnormalities, tremors, unsteady gait, severe or sudden nausea or vomiting, difficulty swallowing, or swelling in body parts such as the tongue, throat, face, legs, hands, or feet.
Such adverse effects may be an indication of serotonin syndrome, which is serious and potentially fatal. If you experience any serious side effects please contact your doctor immediately.
Overdose symptoms may include any of the following symptoms: upset stomach, nausea, coma, drowsiness or sleepiness, shaking or tremors, irregular heartbeat, confusion, psychosis, vomiting, blurred vision, extreme fatigue, stomach pain, flu-like symptoms, aggression, agitation, diarrhea, sweating, fever, difficulty urinating, loss of appetite, abnormal gait, or difficulty walking or moving. If you experience these symptoms, seek emergency medical attention or call 911.
Withdrawal may result if you abruptly stop taking this medication. Withdrawal symptoms can include any of the following symptoms: depression, sudden mood changes, anxiety, irritation, confusion, dizziness, headache, fatigue, insomnia or sleep disturbances, nausea, and sweating. Notify your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms.
Some studies have shown a link between antidepressants and suicide in children, teens, and young adults. As a result, it is not typical for children younger than 18 years of age to take this medication, but it is prescribed carefully for some young patients on a case-by-case basis.
Do not combine this medication with Mellaril (thioridazine), Orap (pimozide), or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as Marplan (isocarboxazid), Nardil (phenelzine), Azilect (rasagiline), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).
Research indicates a link between this antidepressant and birth defects in women who use this medication while pregnant. Read this special warning about the risks mixing antidepressants and pregnancy.
It is not recommended that one mix psychiatric medications with alcohol. Read about the possible health risks when combining antidepressants and alcohol.
Medications affect everyone differently, especially psychiatric medications such as Prozac. As a result, there is often a bit of trial and error involved in finding the most effective dose with minimal side effects. Work with your prescribing doctor in order to find the correct balance for you.