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Prozac

(Fluoxetine)

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Improves mood and helps you relax.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Prozac (Fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, but may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.

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  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression and bulimia nervosa.
  • Causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
  • It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have low energy.
  • It has been used to treat depression for a long time, so there's a lot of information available about how it works and how safe it is.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Can increase feelings of anxiety or cause headaches during the first few weeks of taking it. These effects should go away over time.
  • More likely than other antidepressants to interact with other medications you're taking.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.

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Side effects for Prozac (Fluoxetine)

From clinical trials of Prozac / Any condition 

  • Decreased libidoDecreased libido4% for Prozac vs.1% for placebo

What to expect when you take Prozac (Fluoxetine) for Depression

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.

Risks and Warnings for Prozac (Fluoxetine)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Age 24 years or younger

    Prozac (Fluoxetine) may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Watch for worsening depression or any unusual changes in mood or behavior, especially during the first few months of treatment or when the dose changes. Report anything concerning to a doctor immediately. Prozac (Fluoxetine) is not approved for use in children younger than age 18.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Prozac (Fluoxetine)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • I have been taking this for anxiety, panic attacks and depression. The first 2 weeks were difficult but I have felt so much better since then. On days I forget to take my Fluoxetine I have headaches, feel exhausted or anxious and have difficulty sleeping. Side effects disappeared after first few weeks except for the yawning. Drinking alcohol while on these drugs made me feel unwell so I stopped drinking.
    Age: 29
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
  • Made me very sensitive to alcohol, could not drink while taking this med without causing a panic attack. Also made me get car sick all the time.
    Age: 21
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
  • It worked well. Mixing with alcohol intensifies affects and can be dangerous.
    Age: 20
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
  • Take it at the same time every day with food otherwise you could get stomach ache or heart burn
    Age: 17
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Depression
  • Take it with food or it'll make your appetite go away for hours.
    Age: 20
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
  • This is a great drug. However, it does not pick up the energy from food. I have to take super food as a supplement to get more energy from my food. Please improve this drug. Thanks, E. Benton, Chemical Engineer
    Age: 32
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
    Duration taken: Two years or more
Sex
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Prozac (Fluoxetine) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
  • Low sex drive, no interest in doing things, mood swings..etc.
    Age: 23
    Gender: Woman
  • Just started taking it. Much better than Zoloft. Zoloft made me a zombie. I can actually have an active life now that i switched to Prozac. Keeps me awake and no desire for sex, but that's OK for me! So far, so good.
    Age: 31
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
  • Lowers libido. Suppresses desire to drink alcoholic beverages. Caused significant tinnitus..
    Age: 60
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Depression
Sleep
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Stopping Prozac (Fluoxetine) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
  • Only take it in the morning! I started taking it at night as it was more convenient and ended up not sleeping for 2 weeks.
    Age: 19
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
  • I have been taking this for anxiety, panic attacks and depression. The first 2 weeks were difficult but I have felt so much better since then. On days I forget to take my Fluoxetine I have headaches, feel exhausted or anxious and have difficulty sleeping. Side effects disappeared after first few weeks except for the yawning. Drinking alcohol while on these drugs made me feel unwell so I stopped drinking.
    Age: 29
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
  • Take early in the morning, not a night time medicine. If you have trouble sleeping you may want to try Melatonin. Do not try Ambien at all! Prozac has helped me better than Zoloft, Wellbutrin, and Lexapro. Something about it just elevates me. I suffer from Bipolar 1, OCD, Agoraphobia, PTSD, GAD, and insomnia. Well worth it.
    Age: 28
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
Weight
  • Can cause weight gain due to its use as a treatment for bulimia. The sexual side affects aren't completely limiting however keep in mind that while it may help those whom are over stimulated to calm down, it can cause extreme difficulty in maintaining an errection and interest, so your wife might get pissed.
    Age: 15
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Depression
  • When using Prozac I gained a lot of weight, I became very anxious and agitated . Even after stopping it these side effects are not going away..
    Age: 38
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
  • Still taking. Switched d/t weight gain with celexa and lexapro. Have lost 15 lbs already.
    Age: 23
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression