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.
Below is some information that may be useful for such research, covering frequently asked questions, concerns, side effects, and additional data. 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.
According to various psychiatric associations around the world, pharmacological solutions are not always the recommended first line of defense. 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 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:
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 take Prozac and do not report any side effects, or report only mild reactions. There can be a range of adverse effects from mild to moderate to severe.
Some 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 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 withdrawal symptoms include:
When symptoms become hard to tolerate, or seem to outweigh the benefits of the drug, a person may decide to stop taking Prozac. However, abruptly stopping is not recommended.
Always seek medical assistance from your doctor, or a competent and licensed health practitioner to safely come off Prozac.
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, or any other important questions.
At the Alternative to Meds Center, programming and assessment is done on an individual basis to design a set of protocols that may be able to assist a person to safely withdraw from prescription medications comfortably if so desired.
Many people seek relief from depression, or other unwanted symptoms, for which prescription drugs may not have provided a complete answer. Recovery of health can include relief from mental health symptoms, without relying on drugs which tend to mask symptoms, rather than fix the root causes.
Removal of neurotoxic accumulations from the body, and corrective nutrition can provide a good starting point for recovery of health. Holistic neurotransmitter repair is another treatment possibility that may be of interest where a person is seeking relief of symptoms without drugs.
We can work in many ways with individuals who are seeking bettered natural mental health. Tapering from drugs can be part of the process. We invite you to contact us and we are happy to supply more information on request.
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’s of Science degree with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and philosophy. He graduated 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.