Prozac, also known by the generic name fluoxetine, was the first selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of depression. Since its debut in 1988, Prozac has been one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States and continues to rank among the top five prescribed antidepressants.
Although Prozac is a safe and effective medication for many people, the nature of the drug and its long active duration in your body can cause side effects for some people.
So, what are the side effects of Prozac, and do Prozac side effects ever go away?
What are the side effects of Prozac?
Prozac is associated with a number of side effects, some of which can be particularly troubling and intolerable for certain patients.
Common side effects associated with Prozac include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nervousness and anxiousness
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Sexual side effects, including erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, and difficulty achieving orgasm
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
The most common side effects of Prozac affect the gastrointestinal system and include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is believed that Prozac affects the digestive tract as a result of its action on its serotonin receptors, which are found not only in the brain but also in the gut. Gastrointestinal symptoms most commonly affect patients early on in their treatment with Prozac.
Other side effects, such as tremors, may develop only after a patient has taken Prozac for an extended period of time and may get worse the longer the medication is used. Doctors and patients should weigh the pros and cons of using Prozac to treat depression.
Do Prozac side effects ever go away?
If you’re one of the people experiencing side effects while using Prozac, it may feel like you’ll never get relief from your symptoms. However, the side effects that most people experience while taking Prozac, including nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, insomnia, and headaches, tend to be short lived and typically will resolve on their own within a few weeks as your body gets used to the medication.
Most patients find that stabilizing their dose resolves some of these initial side effects. However, Prozac also causes other side effects that may remain for the duration of a patient’s use of the medication.
Side effects such as sexual dysfunction (erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, difficulty achieving orgasm, etc), tremors, particularly of the face, weight gain, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors tend to be more persistent and may last for the duration of a patient’s use of Prozac. Some patients may be able to find relief from their symptoms by lowering their dose with the approval and supervision of their doctor or by switching medications.
However, it should be noted that Prozac is generally regarded as one of the antidepressants that causes the fewest side effects. Therefore, switching medications may not cut out side effects completely.
Is there anything I can do to minimize the side effects of Prozac?
As noted above, it may be possible to minimize the side effects caused by Prozac by safely reducing the dose of Prozac under the approval and supervision of a healthcare professional.
However, this will not be an acceptable strategy for all patients because some may need to take higher doses of the medication in order to relieve their depression symptoms.
Patients who do not want to or cannot reduce the dose of their medication may be able to minimize the side effects of antidepressants with a nutritional supplement that helps support healthy brain function, healthy digestion, a healthy metabolism, and overall well-being.
Mild side effects of Prozac typically go away within a few weeks of starting the medication as your body adjusts, but some side effects, including weight gain, sexual side effects, tremors, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors may continue for the duration of the use of the medication.
Patients who are experiencing side effects from Prozac may benefit from taking a specially formulated nutritional supplement from Even designed to support healthy brain function, healthy digestion, a healthy metabolism, and overall well being.