Classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, also known as an SSRI. It is a prototype for other SSRI's and is also considered to be a designer drug. Though it is used to treat for depression, it can actually increase a person's risk of commiting suicide when first prescribed because it increases the person's energy, not necessarily their emotional feelings.

My doctors often ask why I don't take my medication without question. Well, the answer to that is I'm not stupid. Listed below are most of the side effects of Prozac:

Allergic or Toxic:
Frequent: Rash, pruritus.
Infrequent: Chills and fever, urticaria, maculopapular rash.
Rare: Allergic reaction, erythema multiforme, vesiculobullous rash, serum sickness, contact dermatitis, erythema nodosum, purpuric rash, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, leukopenia, thrombocythemia, arthralgia, angioedema, bronchospasm, lung fibrosis, allergic alveolitis, larynx edema, respiratory distress.

Frequent: Headache, tremor, dizziness or lightheadedness, asthenia.
Infrequent: Abnormal gait, ataxia, akathisia, buccoglossal syndrome, hyperkinesia, hypertonia, incoordination, neck rigidity, extrapyramidal syndrome, convulsions, photophobia, myoclonus, vertigo, migraine, tinnitus, hypesthesia, neuralgia, neuropathy, acute brainsyndrome.
Rare: Dysarthria, dystonia, torticollis, decreased reflexes, nystagmus, paralysis, paresthesia, carpal tunnel syndrome, stupor, coma, abnormal EEG, chronic brain syndrome, dyskinesia and other movement disorders (including worsening of preexisting conditions or appearance in patients with risk factors e.g., Parkinson's disease, treatment with neuroleptics or other drugs known to be associated with movement disorders]) neuroleptic malignant syndrome-like events.

Frequent: Insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, agitation, abnormal dreams, drowsiness and fatigue.
Infrequent: Confusion, delusions, hallucinations, manic reaction, paranoid reaction, psychosis, depersonalization, apathy, emotional lability, euphoria, hostility, amnesia, increased libido.
Rare: Antisocial reaction, hysteria, suicidal ideation, violent behaviors.

Frequent: Excessive sweating.
Infrequent: Dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention, vision disturbance, diplopia, mydriasis, hot flushes.

Infrequent: Chest pain, hypertension, syncope, hypotension (including postural hypotension), angina pectoris, arrhythmia, tachycardia.
Rare: Bradycardia, ventricular arrhythmia, first degree AV block, bundle branch block, myocardial infarct, cerebral ischemia, cerebral vascular accident, thrombophlebitis.

Frequent: Nausea, disturbances of appetite, diarrhea.
Infrequent: Vomiting, stomatitis, dysphagia, eructation, esophagitis, gastritis, gingivitis, glossitis, melena, thirst, abnormal liver function tests.
Rare: Bloody diarrhea, hematemesis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, duodenal ulcer, stomach ulcer, mouth ulceration, hyperchlorhydria, colitis, enteritis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, hepatitis, hepatomegaly, liver tenderness, jaundice, increased salivation, salivary gland enlargement, tongue discoloration, fecal incontinence, pancreatitis.

Frequent: Bronchitis, rhinitis, yawn.
Infrequent: Asthma, dyspnea, hyperventilation, pneumonia, hiccups, epistaxis.
Rare: Apnea, lung edema, hypoxia, pleural effusion, hemoptysis.

Frequent: Weight loss.
Infrequent: Generalized edema, peripheral edema, face edema, tongue edema, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, weight gain.
Rare: Dehydration, gout, goitre, hyperthyroidism, hypercholesteremia, hyperglycemia, hyperlipemia, hyperprolactinemia, hypokalemia, hyponatremia, iron deficiency anemia, syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion.

Infrequent: Anemia, lymphadenopathy, hemorrhage.
Rare: Bleeding time increased, leukocytosis, lymphocytosis, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura, thrombocythemia, retinal hemorrhage, petechia, purpura, sedimentation rate increased, aplastic anemia, pancytopenia, immune-related hemolytic anemia.

Infrequent: Acne, alopecia, dry skin, herpes simplex.
Rare: Eczema, psoriasis, seborrhea, skin hypertrophy, skin discoloration, herpes zoster, fungal dermatitis, hirsutism, ecchymoses.

Frequent: Muscle pain, back pain, joint pain.
Infrequent: Arthritis, bone pain, bursitis, tenosynovitis, twitching.
Rare: Bone necrosis, osteoporosis, pathological fracture, chrondrodystrophy, myositis, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle hemorrhage.

Frequent: Painful menstruation, sexual dysfunction, urinary tract infection, frequent micturition.
Infrequent: Abnormal ejaculation, impotence, menopause, amenorrhea, menorrhagia, ovarian disorder, vaginitis, leukorrhea, fibrocystic breast, breast pain, cystitis, dysuria, urinary urgency, urinary incontinence.
Rare: Breast enlargement, galactorrhea, abortion, dyspareunia, uterine spasm, vaginal hemorrhage, metrorrhagia, hematuria, albuminuria, polyuria, pyuria, epididymitis, orchitis, pyelonephritis, salpingitis, urethritis, kidney calculus, urethral pain, urolithiasis.

Frequent: Chills.
Infrequent: Amblyopia, conjunctivitis, cyst, ear pain, eye pain, jaw pain, neck pain, pelvic pain, hangover effect, malaise.
Rare: Abdomen enlarged, blepharitis, cataract, corneal lesion, glaucoma, iritis, ptosis, strabismus, deafness, taste loss, moniliasis, hydrocephalus, LE syndrome.

With all of these things at risk, don't you agree that I have some cause for worry? With so many side effects out there, the chance I will experience one is greater than ever. There are many I even currently suffer from. But overall, I am pleased with the change Prozac has made in my life. After three years taking it, I would never give it up. Ironic? Nah. I'd rather have nightmares occasionally and experience a few bodily discomforts if it means having my life given back to me in the form of three little green and white pills taken each morning.

Also called Fluoxetine Hydrochloride. It's molecular formula is C17H19ClF3NO. Nasty stuff, Prozac.

Actually Prozac does not, and never has, increased risk of suicide. The problem arised when Prozac was proclaimed as a wonder drug with no side effects. Doctors would prescribe Prozac to patients, and would not follow up to see if it was working. Prozac only works in about 60-70% of casses, and takes at least 2 weeks to take effect. So if the dosage was wrong, if the person was highly suicidal within the first 2-6 weeks, or if Prozac was just the wrong drug for the job, the lack of follow up, was at fault for the suicides, not Prozac.

I recently started taking Sarafem, and I was a little surprised that it is literally Prozac with a new name. I was not too pleased with the fact that my Doctor failed to mention that to me.

On the second day I took it, my left arm would periodically go numb, I dropped things, moved slow, staggered, and the despair I felt was totally different from anything I've ever dealt with before. I'm happy that I had the frame of mind to go over to a friends house to take my mind off the negative feelings I had. Very scary experience.

The numbness is still happening periodically (I've been taking it for 4 days), but the other side effects are gone now. I'm more than likely going to ask my doctor about Zoloft or Celexa, which have been recommended by a lot of people.

correction with fixed link:

Prozac is not recommended as part of the treatment of manic depression. It has been found to cause an increase in the frequency and intensity of manic episodes even when the patient is taking a mood stabiizer such as Lithium or Depakote concurrently. Oftentimes someone who is bipolar will be initially diagnosed as having major depression and will be prescribed Prozac. Usage usually does not stop until the psychiatrist takes note of manic or hypomanic behavior, as a BP is not likely to recognize the dangers of these feelings unchecked.

Prozac was approved by the FDA based on carefully manipulated data from a number of clinical trials.

Eli Lilly, the company that developed and marketed Prozac, recombined results, dropped participants due to adverse reactions, removed placebo users because they improved on the placebo, and basically twisted the scientific method into a pretzel to get the drug approved. In the end, only 17 studies using three protocols (or 1,730 patients) were deemed scientifically adequate by the FDA, and only 286 out of those 1,730 patients were given Prozac. The rest were given a placebo or an older, proven antidepressant.

Of those 286 patients, only 63 were on Prozac for a period of more than two years. At least one of these 286 was accidentally given both Prozac and the older antidepressant, Tofranil.

In the end, the drug was approved despite being repeatedly shown (in the unsubmitted data) to be inferior to the previous antidepressant, and in many studies, inferior to a placebo!

So, if you want to take a drug to improve your mood, I suggest sugar pills. Proven (in 70% of cases) to improve your mood.

Source for data: Talking back to Prozac, Peter R. Breggin, MD, (c) 1994; his data came from FDA reports. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who is taking, might soon be taking, or has ever taken Prozac.

Antidepressants Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

Prozac / Fluoxetine
What’s the deal with Prozac? - a hella controversial drug

Probably the most talked-about, yet the least known-about drug I’ve ever heard. Thank you media for making this drug particularly stigmatized, even more than other psychiatric drugs.

Prozac is used in treating various forms of depression, often in conjunction with psychotherapy. Prozac is also used in treatment for obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCD) and in patients with Bulimia nervosa. Interesting unlabeled uses include: treatment of anorexia nervosa, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, obesity, panic attacks, premenstrual syndrome, and Raynaud’s phenomena

Prozac works by selectively inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the central nervous system (CNS) neurons, and increases the amount of serotonin that’s available in nerve synapses. An elevated serotonin level may result in elevated mood, and, consequently, reduced depression.

Serotonin is known as a biogenic amine; it has shown to be a mood regulator. Interestingly, the relationship between depression and this hormone was linked during treatment for hypertension. Patients were being treated with a biogenic amine-depleting agent reserpine, and they became depressed. Patients who were being treated for tuberculosis with ipronazid, a biogenic enhancing agent became euphoric.
Serotonin generally serves inhibitory functions in the brain, and disturbances in its functioning may underlie the irritability, anxiety, and sleep disturbances common in depression.

*Use of MAO inhibitors in combination with SSRI’s can cause serotonin syndrome due to abnormally high levels of serotonin in the body. The signs and symptoms of this include: diarrhea, fever, hyperactive reflexes, increased sweating, mood changes, rapid heart rate, restlessness, and shivering or shaking
Refer to pharmacology reference for extensive list of drug interaction
Side Effects
CNS: Anxiety, chills, nightmares, fatigue, fever, headache, hypomania, insomnia, mania, nervousness, restlessness, seizures, tremor, yawning
Cardiovascular (CV): Hypotension, palpitations
Eyes, ears, nose, throat (EENT): Abnormal vision, dry mouth, pharyngitis, sinusitis
Endocrine (ENDO):Galactorrhea, gynecomastia, hypoglycemia
Gastrointestinal (GI): Anorexia, diarrhea, indigestion, nausea
Genitourinary (GU): Decreased libido, ejaculation disorders, impotence
Heme: Altered platelet function
Musculoskeletal (MS): Arthraliga, myaligia
Resp: Dyspnea
Skin: Diaphoresis, pruritus, rash, urticaria
Route and Dosage
Prozac is taken by mouth (PO). In treatment with depression and OCD the normal dose is 20mg/day in the morning. After several weeks the dose may be increased by 20mg/day at weekly intervals. Doses given greater than 20mg should be divided doses; not to exceed 80mg/day
Treatment for Bulimia nervosa is normally 60mg/day

Do not take this drug within 14 days of taking MAO inhibitor antidepressants.
Do not double dose if missed dose and do not discontinue medication without consulting a health care provider.
Avoid taking alcohol or other CNS depressant drugs during therapy and consult a health care professional prior to taking any other medications, including over-the-counter meds.
Female patients should consult their physician if pregnancy is planned or expected

Comments on side effects: I’ve read a lot of material written by patients who have taken this medication and didn’t do well with it in terms of evading the listed side-effects. In truth, I’ve never used Prozac so I have no personal perspectives on these side-effects or on the side-effects of any other psychiatric medications. Considering whether or not you are going to use Prozac is a decision that should be made as an informed person. It is important to recognize that the side-effects of Prozac may be less than the detrimental effects of mental illness. It is a decision that the patient must make and that decision should be respected by health care professionals. If you are finding that your wishes are not being respected, it may be advisable to consider seeking help from a different physician.

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