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Prozac: A Safe and Effective Antidepressant

By:Sean Cash

Prozac (Fluoxetine) was introduced into the United States market in 1987. It is an antidepressant of the SSRI class. Prozac was one of the first antidepressants to hit the market, and is one of the most popular, working its way into pop culture during the 90s. Today, it can be purchased generically. Prozac helped many people overcome their depression and now it can be bought from generic manufacturers for much less than before. Prozac is very effective in the treatment of clinical depression, and acts to alleviate the physical symptoms of depression as well as the malaise brought on by imbalance of neurochemicals in the brain causing clinical depression. It is also approved to treat panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, like many other antidepressants of the SSRI class. Prozac is also approved to treat many body image issues, such as bulimia and anorexia.

Prozac is generally considered a very safe drug, with no outstanding side effects other than the usual side effects present with all SSRI drugs that cannot be avoided due to the effect they have on the brain. Symptoms include dry mouth, insomnia, anxiety, headache, nausea, and irritability. Side effects such as these usually subside within a month, and are usually referred to as acclimation-related side effects. If they continue for more than a month, or are too inconvenient to take, and you wish to switch antidepressants in the hope that you can mitigate side effects, talk to your doctor. Do not suddenly stop taking Prozac, as it may make side effects worse. Like most SSRI antidepressants, Prozac can cause sexual side effects, with loss in libido being very common. In fact, most people taking SSRI antidepressants reported a loss in sex drive. Anorgasmia is also another potential sexual side effect. If you experience serious side effects, such as wild mood swings, extreme irritability, or other personality changes, you should talk to your doctor. It is important to be monitored by a caregiver so that they can observe your personality to note any detrimental changes in mood. Do not take more Prozac than your doctor recommends, as it can lead to serotonin syndrome. Also, do not double dose Prozac if you miss a dose, as that can also lead to serotonin syndrome. If you believe your dosage needs to be increased, speak to your doctor.

Suddenly stopping the usage of Prozac can lead to "SSRI discontinuation syndrome," and you may experience horrible withdrawal symptoms. If you wish to stop taking Prozac, you will need to talk to your doctor and be brought off the drug gracefully. Fortunately, Prozac is much less harsh than some other SSRI antidepressants in regards to withdrawal symptoms. Other antidepressants, such as Paxil, are much more likely to cause long-ranging withdrawal symptoms. It is still important to receive the aid of your doctor when trying to stop taking Prozac, so that your dose of the medication can be gradually lowered.

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