Brand name: Prozac
Generic name: Fluoxetine
Prozac is an antidepressant prescribed to treat depression that disturbs normal functioning in an individual. It belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor family.
Serotonin plays an important role as chemical messenger that influences moods. It is generally rapidly reabsorbed, when it is released at the nerve junctions. When a reuptake inhibitor like Prozac is present, this release is slowed down, which boosts the serotonin levels present in the brain.
It is also prescribed for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders. Obsession is a persistent thought that will not pass away and compulsion denotes doing an action repeatedly to get over anxiety.
Prozac is prescribed for treating bulimia, which is characterized by binge eating, that is followed by vomiting induced deliberately.
Prozac is also given for treating obesity and other eating problems.
It is effective in panic disorder treatment including panic related to agoraphobia or fear of being in public or crowded places. Panic attacks are associated with intensive fear that is triggered suddenly without any particular reason. The various symptoms that are seen during the panic attacks include pounding or rapid heartbeat, sweating, chest pain, shortness of breath, and trembling.
The symptoms of depression include change in sleeping habits, appetite, decrease in sex drive, alteration in mind and body coordination, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, suicidal thoughts, slow thought process, and difficulty in concentrating.
Prozac is also used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder and major depression in adolescents and children.
You should inform you doctor about any non-prescription or prescription drugs you are taking, before you start taking Prozac.
- When Prozac is taken in combination with other drugs in particular that are used for depression like MAO inhibitors such as parnate and Nardil, serious and fatal reactions occur that have been reported. The reactions also occur when Prozac is stopped and treatment with MAO inhibitor is started.
- Prozac should not be taken with the MAO inhibitors, or if less than 14 days has passed after discontinuation of therapy with these drugs. A period of 5 weeks and more should be given after discontinuing Prozac and starting on an MAO inhibitor.
- In case of prolonged use of Prozac, or if you have been taking high doses, it is advised to be cautious while considering other drugs.
- Prozac dosage should be taken accurately and as recommended by your doctor.
- The drug is usually prescribed twice or once a day. For increased effectiveness, it should be taken regularly.
- To experience relief from depression it may take around 4 weeks of using Prozac, but the effect of it should extend to 9 months after the initial three month treatment period.
- In case of obsessive compulsive disorder, it may take around 5 weeks for the effect to be felt.
- In case of missed dose of Prozac, you should take it immediately after you remember. But if it is time for the next dose, it is better skipped. It is wise to avoid trying to compensate the missed dose by taking a double.
Overdose of Prozac
Taking any medication in excess can lead to serious results. Prozac overdose can lead to fatal consequences. Common symptoms of overdose include rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and seizures.
Further, when you combine Prozac with particular drug types it can result in overdose symptoms. If overdose is suspected, you should seek medical help without delay.
Side effects of Prozac
The side effects of Prozac cannot be predicted. If you develop any alteration in the intensity of the reactions to the drug, you should inform about it to your doctor immediately.
It is your doctor who can determine the safe use of the drug and its continuation.
Contraindications of Prozac
Prozac should not be taken if you have had any allergic reaction to it earlier, or if you are sensitive to the drug or drugs of the similar group like Zoloft and Paxil. Ensure that you inform the doctor completely about the reactions that have occurred.
When you are taking a MAO inhibitor, Prozac should not be used. Prozac is also not advised, when you are taking thioridazine or Mellaril. Mellaril should be started only after 5 weeks have elapsed since Prozac is stopped.
- Prozac may induce light headedness or dizziness or even fainting, when you get up from a prone position or a sitting posture. If the condition does not subside when you get up slowly, you should inform your doctor about it.
- If you have liver disease, diabetes or are recovering from a heart attack, Prozac should not be taken unless recommended by your doctor specifically.
- Since Prozac causes reduced alertness and drowsiness, your judgment sense is very much likely to be affected. Operating heavy and dangerous machinery or driving or getting involved in hazardous activity that needs your complete mental alertness should be avoided, while you are taking Prozac.
- Prozac can cause lack of appetite and also weight loss especially in people with depression who are already suffering from loss of weight and in individuals with bulimia. If you find any alteration in your appetite, you should inform your doctor about it.
- If you have hives or skin rash when you take Prozac, you should discontinue the drug and inform about it to your doctor at once.
- Prozac use should also be done with caution in case of seizure history. All the medical conditions you had should be discussed with your doctor completely, before you take Prozac.
- Drinking alcohol should be avoided, while you take Prozac.
- The effect of Prozac may increase, alter or decrease, if it is taken with particular type of drugs.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Information
Adequate studies have not been done on the specific effects of the drug during pregnancy. If you are planning on becoming pregnant or are pregnant, you should inform about it to your doctor without any delay. The drug is passed on in breast milk, so breastfeeding is not recommended when you are taking Prozac.
Prozac should always be stored at room temperature.
Prozac today if you suffer from depression or mood swings.