According to recent statistics, Prozac is poised among the top three most prescribed antidepressant drugs; 24,961,000 prescriptions were written in the US alone in for 2011-2012, (1) and the statistics have continued to rise.
In 2017 it was reported by the National Center for Health Statistics that 13% of all US citizens 12 years of age and older took antidepressants. (4) Many such antidepressants were originally intended for short term use, and the original studies supporting their use were short-term studies that did not include long-term efficacy or safety.
With surprising clarity, the DSM V clearly delineates the critical importance of assessment in carefully selecting persons who may or may not be good candidates for SSRI drugs to be used in therapy. (2)
While an ever growing number of doctors and nurse practitioners are legally able to prescribe medications, it remains essential for consumers to practice due diligence in fully researching a drug and possible useful adjunctive therapies for treating depression in all age categories, before either beginning or ending a prescription drug. For those who have decided to stop taking Prozac, medial oversight is strongly advised. It is possible to learn effective techniques concerning how to get off Prozac safely and as comfortably as possible.
Below you will find some information that may be useful for such research, covering frequently asked questions, concerns, side effects, and additional data. Below is more information on Prozac alternative treatment, stopping Prozac safely, and more. Please contact us to provide more information on these or other topics by request.
SSRI drugs such as Prozac are used in treating MDD (major depressive disorder). There are about half a dozen SSRI’s that the FDA has approved for treating depression, each having similar characteristics and efficacy. Prozac is the one which remains approved for prescribing to young people, and that is possibly why the number of Prozac prescriptions tends to outweigh the other drugs in this class. Prozac alternative treatments are available, but sadly ignored in the main by doctors and others who may not have been trained in such methods, using non drug-based protocols.
According to various psychiatric associations around the world, pharmacological solutions are not always the recommended first line of defense. For example, often the recommendation of psychotherapy is shown to work where prescribed antidepressants are much less effective. For example, two thirds of adolescents who were prescribed antidepressants reported relapse phenomena after completing a course of SSRI treatment in the absence of psychotherapy. (3)
One type of “talk therapy” found effective for the treatment of depression is called CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy. There are many forms of CBT that can be explored, including these:
Cognitive restructuring: involves identifying irrational beliefs or negative automatic thoughts or assumptions and replacing those with more positive and realistic thoughts and conclusions.
Behavioral Activation: creating strategies that support and explore pleasurable experiences; this may motivate and overcome those aspects of inertia or avoidance that are often associated with depression.
Problem solving collaboration: engaging with a skillful therapist can foster new ways to solve old problems.
Between therapy sessions: assigned “homework” to be done between sessions can provide meaningful opportunities to put into practice newly discovered ways of addressing challenges that may instill a sense of tangible and demonstrated progress.
Prozac is the brand name for fluoxetine hydrochloride, the active main ingredient. Slang or street names for Prozac are:
Prozac has become a slang word itself, according to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, where the definition for Prozac used as an adjective to describe “someone lively and excited”.
The most troubling side effect for Prozac is the risk of suicide, and unexpected episodes of rage or violence, especially in the initial period of starting to take the drug.
Some people do not report any Prozac side effects, or report only mild reactions. Others experience a range of adverse effects from mild to moderate to severe. Such reactions may lead to a decision to begin a program of getting off Prozak. For those considering Prozac cessation, a Prozac taper should only be attempted with medical help and guidance.
Some Proazc side effects include:
There are some side effects that are less commonly reported, some of which may require immediate medical intervention to avoid serious health risk:
Withdrawing from Prozac, usually called a Prozac taper, should be done carefully and slowly, not all at once due to the changes that might be too rapid for the body to adjust easily to. Some Prozac withdrawal symptoms that are experienced when getting off Prozac most commonly include:
When Prozac side effects become hard to tolerate, or seem to outweigh the benefits of the drug, a person may decide to stop taking Prozac. This is generally called Prozac cessation.
However, abruptly stopping is not recommended and in fact can be life-threatening. Prozac withdrawal can be safely accomplished with proper assistance. Always seek medical assistance from your doctor, or a competent and licensed health practitioner to get proper and safe guidance regarding how to get off Prozac safely. There is competent guidance available for those seeking Prozac withdrawal help. The Alternative to Meds Center specializes in Prozac withdrawal treatment and other programs to achieve mental health naturally. Stopping Prozac can be done surprisingly gently and comfortably with the correct protocols and support in place.
Below is some information regarding some frequently asked questions about Prozac and some of the characteristics of the drug.
Ask your doctor if you have more questions about how to take Prozac, when to take it, if you have concerns about side effects, if your dosage needs to be changed, if you are considering Prozac withdrawal, or any other important questions.
Dr. Motl is currently certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry, and Board eligible in Neurology and licensed in the state of Arizona. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and philosophy. He graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine. Dr. Motl has studied Medical Acupuncture at the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine and at U.C.L.A.