Prozac Side Effects in Women

Prozac is an anti-depressant, administered only under extreme cases of emotional stress, mental fatigue and depression. Its side effects are quite evident when a woman takes it for a long time. Keep reading...
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Prozac is the trade name for the drug fluoxetine, marketed by Eli Lily and Company. It's also sold by trade names, like Sarefem and Symbyax, when combined with olanzapine. The drug belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRU) family and is administered to treat depression and mental fatigue in both men and women. Prozac, being approved by FDA is mostly used for treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorders and bulimia nervosa. Doctors prescribe this drug to alleviate discomfort of premenstrual syndrome in women. Although it improved the general health of individual, its long term side effects cannot be ignored. In this article, we shall explain you the health hazards posed to a woman being under Prozac treatment for a long time.

How Does Prozac Work

The communication network of brain is formed by a group of chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Serotonin is one such chemical that controls our mood. Deficit in serotonin supply occurs when it gets absorbed by the nerve cells of the brain. Lack of serotonin in body is the main reason behind occurrence of depression and anxiety. In such circumstances, Prozac aids in preventing re-absorption of serotonin by the nerve cells. Thereby, normalizing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Naturally the person's mood is lightened and one is relieved from depression after sometime. The drug also improves sleep and reduces panic attacks considerably. One starts feeling better mentally as well as physically after completion of the course.

Side Effects of Prozac

Side effects become evident gradually. You will observe them either during the dosage period or after withdrawal. Here we list them.

Common Symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Cold and flu
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Stomach disorder
  • Decreased libido
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing problems
  • Allergy
  • Bloody stools
  • Joint pain
  • Restlessness
  • Increased hunger
  • Confusion
  • Decreased concentration
  • Frequent urination
  • Panic attacks
  • Increased urination
  • Aggressiveness
  • Severe ringing in the ears
  • Swelling of facial features
  • Breast pain
  • Amenorrhea
  • Menorrhagia
  • Breast pain
  • Fibrocystic breast
  • Ovarian disorder
  • Hallucinations
  • Bloody stools
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Vision changes
  • Worsening of depression
  • Memory loss
Rare Symptoms
  • Spontaneous abortion (during pregnancy)
  • Decreased menstruation (dypomenorrhea)
  • Enlargement of breasts
  • Induced lactation
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Inflammation of fallopian tube
Prozac withdrawal symptoms are more or less similar to the side effects listed above. After discontinuing, women mostly face hyperactivity, mood swings, increased anger and irritation. She might also get sudden nightmares and hallucinations. Chances of recurrence of depression and suicidal thoughts are most likely to happen. Rapid weight gain and disturbance in menstruation cycle are also consequences of sudden withdrawal of Prozac. A pregnant woman should never take Prozac as it will not only affect her but also her baby (birth defects).

Precautions to be Taken

Women suffering from diabetes, kidney, heart and liver cirrhosis must inform doctors before taking Prozac. If there's a previous history of drug abuse, bipolar disorder, epilepsy and seizures, then it should be disclosed to doctor without hesitation. One should never take Prozac while undergoing treatment with drugs like Monoamine Oxidase (MAO), Pimozide and Thioridazine. Doctors administer Prozac usually in combination with Olanzapine.

From the information provided in this article, it's clear that Prozac has dangerous side effects. Even if you have stopped taking Prozac, you are still vulnerable to the side effects. It's a drug that is taken strictly under medical supervision and under extreme circumstances. A healthy lifestyle, including exercise, meditation and good eating habits is the best way to manage stress and depression. If your professional life entails great deal of stress, then you must look for ways to keep your mind fresh. You can also get rid of depression by reading good books, spending time with friends and family and going out for short trips.