Prozac (fluoxetine) is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, and some eating disorders. It can also be used off-label to treat fatigue caused by multiple sclerosis (MS). Prozac is an antidepressant from the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) group. In a positive way, it effects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression, anxiety, or similar conditions.
Fluoxetine comes in different formats (tablet, delayed-release capsule, and liquid solution). It’s taken once or twice a day at the same time, with or without food. It may take four or five weeks before the full benefit of the drug is felt. Patients should not stop taking the drug suddenly because sudden discontinuation can cause withdrawal symptoms, such as mood changes, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, anxiety, confusion, headache, tiredness, and sleeping disorders.
Though the drug is effective, some common side effects may include sleep problems (insomnia) and strange dreams, headache, dizziness, vision changes, tremors or shaking, emotional disorders, pain, tiredness, gastric disorders, dry mouth, sweating, hot flashes, eating disorders, flu-like symptoms, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty reaching orgasm.
Prozac comes with a black box warning that appears on the prescription drug label to draw attention to serious or life-threatening risks. Taking Prozac can increase suicidal thoughts and behaviors in people who struggle with major depression and other psychiatric disorders, especially during the first months of treatment or following changes in dosage.
An FDA approved generic version of Prozac is available.
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