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Prozac (Fluoxetine)

Prozac is used to control the symptoms that accompany depression, anxiety, or panic attacks in adults, young adults, and teens. Prozac (fluoxetine) is part of a group of antidepressant medications called selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Prozac is also used to control obsessive compulsive and posttraumatic stress symptoms and is occasionally prescribed to treat sexual problems, Tourette syndrome, or sleep issues. Prozac can help control the behavior that accompanies these conditions, but it will not cure them.


Prozac comes in several different forms, including a tablet, a capsule, a delayed-release capsule, or a concentrated liquid form. Your doctor can help you determine which type of Prozac is best for you. The tablet, capsule, or liquid form of this drug can be taken once or twice per day; extended-release capsules are usually taken once per week. It may take up to five weeks on Prozac before a person begins to feel the full effect of this medication, and it is important for people to continue taking Prozac even if they feel well.

Important Information Before Use

If you have or have ever had a heart attack or heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma, or liver disease, you should talk to your doctor before you take Prozac. Talk to your doctor about any electroshock therapy you are receiving or have received prior to beginning this medication. Adults over 65 should not take this drug; if you are in this age group, work with your doctor to find an alternative treatment or medication for your condition.


Prozac may interact with other medications or supplements, including Antabuse, antihistamines, anticoagulants, antidepressants, antifungals, sleeping pills, St. John's Wort, pain relievers, high blood pressure medications, migraine medications, and more. If you are taking any other prescription drugs or supplements, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Prozac. Do not take this drug if you have recently taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor; you will usually need to stop taking an MAO inhibitor for at least two weeks before starting Prozac.

Important Information During Use

  • If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Prozac, you should talk to your doctor about alternative treatments for your condition. Prozac can cause breathing problems in newborns if taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
  • Prozac can make you extremely drowsy; using alcohol with Prozac can worsen this side effect.
  • Prozac overdose is a medical emergency and should be treated right away. Symptoms of Prozac overdose include stomach pain or nausea, vomiting, tremors, seizures, and slowed heart rate.

Side Effects

Antidepressants like Prozac may be related to a higher suicide risk in teens and young adults. It is important to monitor users in this age for suicidal thoughts and extreme side effects. If you experience serious or severe side effects from this medication, you should call your doctor right away. Serious side effects can include:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations or hearing voices that don't exist
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Muscle stiffness or joint pain
  • Fever
  • Hives or skin rash
  • Facial swelling or swelling in the extremities

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness or weakness
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in appetite or weight loss
  • Restlessness or nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Change in sex drive or ability
  • Uncontrollable tremors or shaking
  • Sore throat


See your doctor before reducing or discontinuing this medication; you should not stop taking Prozac abruptly. You can reduce the symptoms you feel during withdrawal by slowly tapering off of this medication over time. Possible symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Insomnia
  • Agitation, anxiety, or irritability
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Tiredness or dizziness
  • Burning or tingling sensations


  1. Prozac® (fluoxetine). (2013, January). Retrieved from http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=About_Medications&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=51&ContentID=66294


Last Update: 02-19-2013


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