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How Quickly Does Prozac Work For Anxiety

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Side Effects Of Fluoxetine

PSYCHIATRIST Answers 5 ?s About Prozac (Fluoxetine) | Dr. Aly

Please do not be worried by the side effects listed on this page. Many people take fluoxetine without any side effects or only a few mild side effects. Starting with a lower dose can sometimes help if side effects do occur.

Side effects that do appear should disappear or get better after a few days. If they do not, you should go back to your doctor.

Do not stop taking the fluoxetine until you talk to your doctor, or you may get withdrawal symptoms as well.

Very common side effects when taking fluoxetine include:

Common side effects of taking fluoxetine include:

  • not feeling hungry
  • nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, poor concentration, feeling tense
  • sleep problems, unusual dreams, tiredness or sleepiness
  • dizziness
  • change in taste, or dry mouth
  • uncontrollable shaking movements
  • heartbeat feels quick and uneven
  • flushing, sweating more, feeling shaky or chills
  • yawning
  • rash, itching lumps , other skin itching
  • joint pain
  • an irregular heartbeat or a heart attack
  • breathing difficulties
  • a change in the way you feel, ranging from agitation to falling into a coma

You are also at risk of getting serotonin syndrome . This is rare, but you should watch out for it.

You must stop taking Fluoxetine and go straight to hospital if you have any of the following symptoms:

Go to a doctor or hospital straight away but do not stop taking your fluoxetine if you get the following symptoms:

Does Fluoxetine Interact With Birth Control

Fluoxetine does not interact with any forms of hormonal birth control, meaning you can use the pill, patch or other contraceptives. You can also use the morning-after pill and other emergency contraceptives while using fluoxetine.

Although theres no interaction between fluoxetine and birth control, its important to inform your healthcare provider about all medications you currently use while discussing fluoxetine.

Can I Drink Alcohol And Take Street Drugs While Taking Fluoxetine


You can continue to drink some alcohol while taking fluoxetine, but it is best to do so in moderation. Fluoxetine can sometimes cause drowsiness as a side effect, so it is possible that alcohol might make you feel more drowsy than usual.

Drinking alcohol every day, however, can make the symptoms of depression worse and you will not feel the benefit of your medicine.

Side effects might make you sleepy or you might lose your focus when you first start taking fluoxetine.

This could be dangerous if you drive or use machines or do anything that needs a lot of focus.

During the first few days, it might be best to stop drinking alcohol until you see how the medicine affects you, or until the effects pass.

Street drugs

Be careful if you are also using street drugs.

Cannabis can have unpredictable effects when taken with fluoxetine, so great care is needed.

Cannabis and other drugs may have their own side effects on your mental health, like anxiety or psychosis. For more information, have a look at our drugs and alcohol page.

Methadone and fluoxetine together can seriously affect your heart so these should only be combined under doctor supervision.

Fluoxetine has been shown to dampen down the ‘high’ of cocaine.

Fluoxetine can produce a false positive test for amfetamines and LSD on a urine drug screen. Talk to your doctor about this if it is a problem for you.

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Are Zoloft Vs Prozac The Same

No. Zoloft and Prozac are not the same. Although they both work to enhance serotonin activity, they have some different approved uses. Zoloft is FDA approved for PTSD and social anxiety disorder whereas Prozac is used off-label for these indications. Zoloft is available as an oral tablet and liquid solution. Prozac only comes as an oral capsule.

Which Is Safer Prozac Or Zoloft

how long does it take for lexapro to work for anxiety

Zoloft may be harsher on the stomach, while Prozac is more likely to cause headaches. Both drugs are generally effective and safe, but people taking Prozac or Zoloft should follow up with their doctor to discuss their symptoms and side effects to ensure that they are taking the most effective dosage.

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Can I Drive While Taking Fluoxetine

Do not drive or ride a bike just after you start taking fluoxetine.

Taking fluoxetine may affect your ability to do things like drive a car, ride a bike, use machines, or anything else that needs a lot of focus.

It might be best to stop doing these things for the first few days, until you know how it affects you, or until the effects pass.

Do not worry – most people drive as normal while taking fluoxetine.

Can Prozac Make Anxiety Worse

Antidepressants can cause anxiety in the early days of treatment. This side effect is referred to as activation syndrome. Research shows that up to 31% of people who had never taken antidepressants before had activation syndrome when they took antidepressants.

However, this side effect is usually temporary and disappears as your body adjusts to the medication. If you are taking Prozac for anxiety and feel worse off, inform your doctor. Your doctor may lower your dosage, or give you other medication to counteract this side effect. Do not stop the medication before consulting your doctor.

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Long Term Effects Of Prozac

If taken as prescribed by a physician, Prozac is generally safe to use for the conditions mentioned above. Fluoxetine and other antidepressants were originally designed to be taken for a short term. However, many physicians and psychiatrists have continued to prescribe these medications for people who have taken them for years. A data analysis completed by The New York Times, using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, found that almost 7 percent of adults in the United States have taken prescription antidepressants for at least 5 years. White women over the age of 45 made up 58 percent of this group.8

Precautions To Take When Using Prozac

My Experience with Prozac (12 Months on)

You need to be aware that this medication may have inactive ingredients. Thus, it is best that you inform your doctor if you have any allergies before taking fluoxetine. Besides this, it will be wise to tell your doctor your complete medical history, including that of your familys.

Be aware that this medication can cause dizziness and drowsiness. As such, do not attempt to drive or use machinery until you know how your body reacts to fluoxetine. Adding alcohol and marijuana to the mix will cause you to feel even more dizzy or drowsy.

If you have an alcohol dependence, diabetes, or liver disease, take note that the liquid form of this drug has alcohol. Be aware that there can be serious side effects when some other medications are mixed with alcohol. Consult your doctor if you are on Prozac and plan to start any new medication.

Children who are on fluoxetine may experience weight loss, so do take note of your childs weight and height if they are on this drug.

Older adults may experience loss of coordination which increases their risk of falling. If they are on diuretics, taking fluoxetine may result in low sodium levels in the blood.

Always talk to your doctor before taking or stopping this medication. Do remember that untreated mental disorders, and anxiety disorders can result in serious consequences.

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How Should You Stop Taking Fluoxetine

Fluoxetines long half-life means it may be less likely to cause withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.

However, you should not stop using fluoxetine without first consulting your healthcare provider. If youve used fluoxetine over the long term, stopping without tapering your dosage could increase your risk of experiencing symptoms such dizziness, headaches, shaking, anxiety or difficulty sleeping.

If youd like to stop using fluoxetine, talk to your healthcare provider before adjusting your dosage or stopping use of this medication. Your healthcare provider will likely recommend gradually tapering your dosage, which will reduce your risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

What Does Lexapro Do

SSRIs like Lexapro help to treat depression and anxiety by acting on the chemistry of the brain. Some medications prevent the reabsorption of serotonin from being absorbed. The medication blocks the reabsorption of serotonin, which helps the brain cells receive messages faster by increasing the levels.

Although researchers dont know how this affects depression and anxiety symptoms, it is quite common for Lexapro users to feel a lift in mood, regain interest and see their depression symptoms diminish.

how long does it take Lexapro to start working for anxietyLike other drugs in its class, Lexapro acts on the chemistry of the brain and increases the number of neurotransmitters, including serotonin. Lexapro is slower than other medications because it takes a long time to work.

Lexapro is not expected to work immediately for patients who use it to treat anxiety and depression. Patients should not expect to see a significant improvement in their symptoms immediately.

Lexapro usually improves the physical symptoms of depression first. You might notice an improvement in your sleep patterns, energy, appetite, and mood after one to two weeks. This is a good sign that the medication is working, but you likely will not notice a significant change in your mood and emotional symptoms until youve been taking Lexapro regularly for four to six weeks.

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How Much Do Zoloft And Prozac Cost

Zoloft and Prozac are very similar in price. But there are differences worth noting.

The cash price for sertraline, the generic version of Zoloft, is about $40 for thirty 100 mg tablets , while thirty 20 mg tablets of fluoxetine, the generic version of Prozac, is about $31.

The brand versions of both drugs are much more expensive. But Zoloft is actually cheaper on the brand side. It costs $442 for thirty 100 mg tablets, while thirty 20 mg tablets of Prozac cost about $472.

The generic versions of both drugs are more likely to be covered by insurance plans because they cost less. You can also save on these medications using a GoodRx coupon or filling a 90-day supply instead of a 30-day.

Antidepressants Wont Make You A Zombie

how long does it take for lexapro to work for anxiety

Again, the goal is to help you enjoy your life, not to numb you. If somebody feels in a daze or zombielike, that can mean the medication is too high, and we need to lower the dose, Dr. Cox says.

But sometimes people actually feel dazed or foggy because of high levels of anxiety or depression, she says, and taking medication helps them feel more clearheaded.

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How Do I Take Them

You should take Zoloft or Prozac around the same time every day, with or without food. Because these drugs can take a while to work, it is important to take them every day and to not miss a dose.

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If its almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your regular time. Dont take a double dose to make up for the missed one.

Even if your symptoms dont get better or you feel better, dont stop taking either medication without talking to your provider first. Stopping either Zoloft or Prozac suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms that include:

  • Headache

  • Poor coordination

  • Dizziness

These symptoms may last up to 2 weeks, and you are more likely to experience them if you have been taking Zoloft or Prozac for at least 6 weeks.

Do Zoloft Or Prozac Interact With Any Other Medications

While taking Zoloft or Prozac, avoid drugs that can also increase serotonin, such as other antidepressants, , and St. Johns wort. Taking these drugs with Zoloft and Prozac can lead to a dangerous condition known as serotonin syndrome, where there is too much serotonin available in your body. Symptoms include a racing heart, sweating, high fever, high blood pressure, and confusion.

If you think you are experiencing serotonin syndrome, stop taking the medication immediately and seek medical treatment. This is a medical emergency. Its best to avoid these other medications unless youve consulted with your provider.

Additionally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as or and blood thinners like can cause you to bruise or bleed easily if you take them with Zoloft or Prozac. Tell your provider about any medications you are taking so they can see if there are any potential interactions.

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How Prozac Works For Panic Disorder

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

If you have panic disorder, you will likely be treated with antidepressant medication. One popular antidepressant used to treat panic disorder and other conditions is Prozac .

Will Fluoxetine Affect My Sleep

what it feels like to be on prozac

You can feel drowsy in the first few days of taking fluoxetine. However, it should get better after the first week or two. You may become more anxious, or it may make you irritable. This should settle after a couple of weeks.

If you feel very sleepy, and youve been taking it for more than a month, you should go back to the doctor and see what else you could do.

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Coverage And Cost Comparison Of Zoloft Vs Prozac

Zoloft is usually covered by many insurance plans. Since it is available as a generic, the prices will often be quite reasonable. The average retail cost for Zoloft without insurance is around $34.99 for a 30-day supply. You can save more on Zoloft with a SingleCare discount card which can lower the price from $8-18.

Prozac is usually started at a dose of 20 mg in a 30-day supply. It can be purchased without insurance for an average retail cost of around $11.18. With a SingleCare card, you can expect to only pay as low as $4 for a prescription. Prozac is available as a generic and is covered by most insurance plans.


Strategy No : Use Benzodiazepines If Needed But Use Them Wisely

Benzodiazepines are effective in treating panic disorder5 they are also used to treat generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia, two common comorbidities of panic disorder. In contrast to antidepressants, benzodiazepines relieve anxiety within hours,7 can prevent panic attacks within a few days to a few weeks,5 and are free of troublesome activating effects.7 Nevertheless, benzodiazepine use in treating panic disorder can be complicated by abuse, physiologic and psychologic dependence, and sedative and neurocognitive side effects.7,8

The following strategies address the problems associated with benzodiazepine use:

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Interactions Between Fluoxetine And Other Medications

Fluoxetine can interact with other medications, including common prescription drugs and some over-the-counter medications, supplements and herbal products. These interactions can make fluoxetine more or less effective and, in some cases, cause serious health issues.

You should not use fluoxetine if you have used any monoamine oxidase inhibitors in the last 14 days. MAOIs are a type of medication prescribed to treat depression. Widely-used MAOIs include phenelzine, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine, selegiline and others.

These medications can interact and cause serious, life-threatening side effects including rapid changes in blood pressure and heart rate, muscle spasms, high fever and loss of consciousness.

You should also not use fluoxetine with the antipsychotic medications thioridazine or pimozide. These medications can cause severe and potentially deadly heart rhythm problems when used with fluoxetine.

Fluoxetine may also interact with other medications, causing an increased risk of experiencing certain side effects. You should not use fluoxetine with:

  • Other antidepressants, including SSRIs, SNRIs and tricyclic antidepressants

  • Opioid painkillers, such as tramadol and fentanyl

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

  • St. Johns wort

  • Warfarin

To avoid any potentially hazardous drug interactions, inform your healthcare provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications that you either currently use or have recently used before talking about fluoxetine.

What Is Prozac Prescribed For


Costing about $4 a month for a medium-sized dog, Prozac can be used to treat the following:

  • Aggression.
  • Compulsive disorders.
  • Urine marking.

Most commonly, Prozac is prescribed for dogs with the sometimes debilitating or destructive anxiety a dog experiences when they are separated from their owner for periods of time. If your dog suffers from this condition, its important to seek help.

Dogs with separation anxiety can suffer from significantly decreased quality of life due to severe stress, in addition to causing physical harm to themselves and their surroundings, says Allyson Corr, a veterinarian at Helping Hands in Richmond, Virginia.

Its important to note that Prozac doesnt work for every dog.

Prozac usually produces improvement, but sometimes the improvement is not all that is desired, Dodman says. In that case, augmentation strategies with other compatible medications can achieve the desired effect. That said, given time and the correct dose, the improvement can be spectacular.

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Antidepressants Should Make You Morenot Lesslike Yourself

People are often concerned that taking a psychotropic drug will change who they are, Dr. Cox says.

Medication should not change your personality. That is never the goal, she says. The goal is to feel like yourself but rid of the problematic symptomsto not feel totally overwhelmed with depression or anxiety.

Combination Treatment Is Best

Consider Psychotherapy

Results of several studies suggest that a combination of antidepressant medication with psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for depression. Mental illness is serious. It is important to take depression medication as directed and to see a therapist regularly. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. Millions of people suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. People should feel comfortable seeking help for mental health disorders just as they would for other organic medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps monitor and change unwanted thoughts and behaviors. Interpersonal therapy helps patients have better and more effective relationships with others.

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