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What is Prozac?


Prozac« (fluoxetine) is part of the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) family. It is usually prescribed to treat major depression, but is also used to treat eating disorders and anxiety disorders. Prozac« regulates the serotonin level in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that is thought to be a contributor to the feelings of happiness and well-being. It is also prescribed for other conditions such as anxiety disorders and eating disorders.

Prozac« usage

Fluoxetine's usual dosage is 20 to 80 mg taken once per day. It's always important to take Prozac« as directed by your doctor. There is also an alternative in Prozac« Weekly 90 mg that is taken just once a week. It is usually in the morning to prevent difficulty sleeping at night. You can take Prozac« with or without food. It may not start working within the first two weeks of usage; however, it may take up to four to six weeks to see the full benefit of the drug.

Prozac« most common side effects

Prozac« is generally well tolerated by people using the drug. Its most commonly reported side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping, drowsiness, anxiety, nervousness, headache, loss of appetite, tremors, dry mouth, diarrhea, and sweating. Prozac« may also cause sexual dysfunction including a decrease in sex drive, delayed ejaculation or impotence. Some of these effects will go away within a few weeks as Prozac« treatment continues. For most people, side effects aren't serious enough to stop taking Prozac«. If you have trouble sleeping, take Prozac« in the morning. Take it at bedtime if Prozac« makes you drowsy. If you experience sexual dysfunction or any bothersome side effects, be sure to notify your doctor. If you develop a rash while taking Prozac«, call your doctor right away because this can be a sign of a serious medical condition.

Read an in-depth report on depression in our Health Encyclopedia.

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