As depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S., there are many pharmaceutical companies that have developed number of antidepressants. Prozac, being one of them, is one of the most prescribed anti-depressant. If you have been taking or are asked to take the medication, here is a PsycholoGenie post which explains its side effects that you should know about.
Prozac, generic name fluoxetine, was discovered and manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company. It is a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) and is prescribed as treatment for major depression disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of fluoxetine in 1987, however, the U.S. patent expired in the year 2001. Since then, the generic formulations have been made available.
List of Side Effects
Since the medication is prescribed by your doctor, it is because he/she knows that the benefits may be higher than the risks of side effects. And as each individual is different, the medication affects them in a different manner as well. However, there are certain common to mild to severe side effects of Prozac that an individual may experience.
Common Side Effects
Fluoxetine hydrochloride or Prozac is administered either orally or in liquid form. The exact dosage recommended for you will depend on the conditions that need to be treated.
- Loss of appetite
Mild Side Effects
Even though the side effects are common, it shouldn’t mean that you shouldn’t tell your doctor if the effects persist or worsen.
- Stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Weight changes
- Decreased sex drive
Most antidepressants cause urinary retention and dry mouth, and Prozac is no different. Some of these mild side effects generally disappear after a week or two of taking the medication.
Serious Side Effects
People who start experiencing weight loss need to consult their doctors and appraise them about the condition so the dosage can be adjusted or alternate medicine can be prescribed. Prozac and weight gain are also inter-related.
- Rigid muscles
- High fever
- Fast or uneven heartbeats
- Overactive reflexes
- Loss of coordination
- Memory problems
- Breathing problems
- Swollen face/tongue
- Burning in eyes
- Peeling skin
- Although doctors are not sure whether the loss of libido is because of medication or the condition. Most of the conditions like depression, anxiety, etc., can cause loss of libido.
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is also an undesirable side effect and is one of the main reasons why patients request their doctors to change their medication. Although, it is inconclusive whether it is because of the medication or the underlying condition.
- Another issue can be priapism in which the patients will experience a prolonged painful erection without sexual arousal. Priapism could have some irrevocable effects on the penis and it is advisable to immediately notify your physician about this situation.
- In patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), it is a possibility that depression medication may increase suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Such people need to be closely monitored when taking antidepressant medications and any mood swings should be reported to the concerning physician.
- Prozac when taken with other class of antidepressants like Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI) can lead to serotonin syndrome. It is a life-threatening drug reaction which can occur because of over dose of SSRIs or by combining them with other MAOIs.
You should notify your doctor about any health conditions that you may have and any other medication that you are taking before using Prozac. Most of the side effects in men are disconcerting, but discontinuing any medication without prior consultation with your physician is not advisable.
Disclaimer: This PsycholoGenie article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.