Prozac is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s FDA-approved to treat the following in certain situations:

Prozac is a type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Prozac comes as an oral capsule that’s available in three different strengths: 10 mg (milligrams), 20 mg, and 40 mg.

* For these uses, Prozac is prescribed with olanzapine (Zyprexa).

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Prozac, see the “Prozac uses” section below.

Prozac is a brand-name drug that contains the active drug fluoxetine. (Another name for Prozac is fluoxetine.) This active drug is also available as a generic medication. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.

The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

If you’re interested in taking the generic form of Prozac, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if it comes in forms and strengths that can be used for your condition.

Prozac can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Prozac. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Prozac, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can advise you on the risks and benefits of the drug. They can also give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Prozac, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects of Prozac can include:*

  • nausea
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • feeling anxious or nervous
  • sleepiness
  • feeling weak
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • reduced appetite
  • weight loss
  • sexual problems, such as reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and trouble with orgasms
  • dizziness
  • tremor
  • hair loss
  • mild allergic reaction

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. However, if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects of Prozac. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or see Prozac’s prescribing information.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Allergic reaction” below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Prozac aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

  • Hyponatremia (low level of sodium in your blood). Symptoms can include:
    • headache
    • confusion
    • trouble concentrating
    • memory problems
    • feeling weak and unsteady, which can lead to falls
  • Mania (episode of unusually high energy that affects your mood and behavior). Symptoms can include:
    • sleeping less than usual
    • extreme levels of happiness, excitement, or activity
    • racing thoughts
    • impulsive or reckless behavior
    • talking more or faster than usual
  • Serotonin syndrome (a dangerous condition caused by a buildup of a chemical called serotonin). Symptoms can include:
    • fast heartbeat
    • sweating more than usual
    • tremor or twitching
    • stiff muscles
    • nausea or vomiting
  • Bleeding more easily. Symptoms can include:
    • nosebleeds
    • bruising easily
    • taking longer than usual to stop bleeding if you injure yourself
    • vomiting blood, which may look red or pink
    • passing blood in stools, which may look red or black
  • Closed-angle glaucoma (sudden buildup of pressure inside your eye). Symptoms can include:
    • seeing haloes around lights
    • blurred vision
    • eye pain or redness
    • sudden severe headache
    • nausea
  • Long QT syndrome (a condition that affects the heart’s electrical activity) and ventricular arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). Symptoms can include:
    • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
    • dizziness
    • fainting
    • shortness of breath
  • Seizure.
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors in children and young adults.*
  • Severe allergic reaction.†

* Prozac has a boxed warning from the FDA regarding this side effect. A boxed warning is the strongest warning the FDA requires. To learn more about this warning, see the “Prozac precautions” section below.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Allergic reaction” below.

Side effects in children

Prozac is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression related to bipolar I disorder, and depression in some children.* In general, the drug’s side effects in children are similar to those in adults. (These side effects are mentioned above.) However, it’s important to note that Prozac has a boxed warning.

A boxed warning is the strongest warning the FDA requires. Antidepressant medications, including Prozac, can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in some children. To read more about this, see the section below called “Prozac precautions.

Prozac may also slightly decrease how much children grow in terms of height and weight. It’s not known how taking Prozac for longer periods of time affects long-term growth and development in children. If your child needs to take Prozac for more than a few months, their doctor may monitor their height and weight.

If you have questions about Prozac’s side effects in children, ask your child’s doctor.

* For details about the medication’s uses in children, see the “Prozac uses” section below.

ALLERGIC REACTION

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Prozac. It’s not known how often this occurred in clinical trials of this drug.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Prozac, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

The Prozac dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re taking Prozac to treat
  • your age
  • your liver function
  • other medical conditions you may have
  • other medication you may take

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Prozac form

Prozac comes as an oral capsule.

Prozac used to come in a long-acting form called Prozac Weekly. However, this has been discontinued.

Prozac strengths (10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg)

Prozac is available in three different strengths: 10 mg (milligrams), 20 mg, and 40 mg.

Dosage for OCD

For adults, the typical starting dosage for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is 20 mg per day.

If your symptoms haven’t eased after a few weeks of treatment, your doctor may increase your dose. The typical dosage range for OCD is 20 mg to 60 mg per day.

The maximum recommended dosage of Prozac for OCD in adults is 80 mg per day.

Dosage for depression related to bipolar I disorder

For depression related to bipolar I disorder, you’ll take Prozac with olanzapine (Zyprexa). Your doctor can give you details on what olanzapine dosage is right for you.

For adults, the typical starting dosage of Prozac for this use is 20 mg per day.

If your symptoms don’t ease after a few weeks, your doctor may gradually increase your dosage. The typical dosage range is 20 mg to 50 mg of Prozac per day.

Note: A brand-name drug called Symbyax is available. Symbyax contains a combination of fluoxetine (the active drug in Prozac) and olanzapine. There are also generic versions of Symbyax.

Dosage for depression

For adults, the typical starting dosage of Prozac for major depressive disorder (MDD) is 20 mg per day.

For most people, continuing with a dosage of 20 mg per day helps relieve depression symptoms. If your symptoms don’t ease after a few weeks of treatment, your doctor may increase your dosage.

The maximum recommended dosage of Prozac for MDD in adults is 80 mg per day.

Dosage for treatment-resistant depression

For treatment-resistant depression, you’ll take Prozac with olanzapine (Zyprexa). Your doctor can give you details on what olanzapine dosage is right for you.

For adults, the typical starting dosage of Prozac for this use is 20 mg per day.

If your symptoms don’t ease after a few weeks, your doctor may gradually increase your dosage. The typical dosage range for this use is 20 mg to 50 mg of Prozac per day.

Note: A brand-name drug called Symbyax is available. Symbyax contains a combination of fluoxetine (the active drug in Prozac) and olanzapine. There are also generic versions of Symbyax.

Dosage for bulimia nervosa

For adults, the recommended dosage of Prozac for bulimia nervosa is 60 mg per day.

Your doctor may start your treatment with a low dose and increase it up to 60 mg over several days.

Note: Prozac doesn’t come in a 60-mg strength, so you’ll need to take a combination of lower strength capsules to make up this dose. Generic versions of Prozac are available that come in a 60-mg strength.

Dosage for panic disorder

For adults, the typical starting dosage for panic disorder is 10 mg per day. After 1 week, your doctor will likely increase the dosage to 20 mg per day.

If your symptoms don’t ease after a few weeks of treatment, your doctor may increase your dose. The typical dosage range for panic disorder is 10 mg to 60 mg per day.

Prozac week by week

When you first start taking Prozac, talk with your doctor about what to expect from your treatment week by week. This will depend on the condition you’re taking the medication to treat.

Prozac takes a few weeks to build up its effect. This is why it’s important to keep taking it as prescribed, even if it doesn’t seem to help your condition in the beginning. Your doctor will advise you on whether they’ll increase your dose in the first few weeks of treatment.

Your doctor can also tell you which symptoms may start to improve first. For example, if you take Prozac for depression, your sleep, energy level, and appetite may begin to get better in the first couple of weeks. It could take at least 4 weeks before your mood starts to improve.

You should not make any changes to your prescribed dosage unless your doctor recommends doing so.

Children’s dosage

Prozac is approved to treat OCD, depression related to bipolar I disorder, and depression in some children.* It’s important to note that Prozac has a boxed warning, which is the strongest warning the FDA requires. Antidepressant medications, including Prozac, can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in some children. To read more about this, see the section below called “Prozac precautions.”

* For details about the drug’s uses in children, see the “Prozac uses” section below.

Dosage for OCD

For OCD in children ages 7 years and older, the typical starting dosage of Prozac is 10 mg once per day.

The doctor may increase the dosage of Prozac for teens and children with a body weight that’s higher than the average for their age. After 2 weeks, the doctor may increase the dosage to 20 mg once per day. If your child’s symptoms haven’t eased after several weeks, their doctor may gradually increase the dosage to a maximum of 60 mg per day.

For children with a body weight that’s lower than average for their age, their doctor will usually recommend they continue taking 10 mg once per day. If your child’s symptoms haven’t eased after several weeks, their doctor may increase the dosage to 20 mg once per day. If needed, the child’s doctor may continue to gradually increase the dosage up to a maximum of 60 mg per day. However, there’s less information about these higher doses in children with a lower body weight.

Dosage for depression that’s related to bipolar I disorder

Prozac is used for depression related to bipolar I disorder in children ages 10 years and older. For this purpose, Prozac is prescribed with a drug called olanzapine (Zyprexa). Your child’s doctor can give you details on what olanzapine dosage is right for your child.

For children, the typical starting dose of Prozac for this use is 20 mg. This is taken every day.

If your child’s symptoms don’t ease after a few weeks, their doctor may gradually increase the dose.

Note: A brand-name drug called Symbyax is available. Symbyax contains a combination of fluoxetine (the active drug in Prozac) and olanzapine. There are also generic versions of Symbyax.

Dosage for depression

Prozac is used for MDD in children ages 8 years and older. The typical dosage for this use is 10 mg to 20 mg per day.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Prozac, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. In this case, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. You should not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose. Your doctor and pharmacist can help answer any questions you have.

To help make sure that you don’t accidentally miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can work, too.

Will I need to take this drug long term?

Yes, you usually will. However, the length of your treatment depends on the condition you’re taking Prozac for.

OCD. For OCD, guidelines recommend taking Prozac for at least 1 to 2 years or as a long-term treatment. This helps reduce the risk of OCD symptoms coming back.

Depression related to bipolar I disorder. For depression related to bipolar I disorder, Prozac is used as a short-term treatment to relieve depression symptoms. You’ll typically be prescribed a mood stabilizer medication long term to help prevent future episodes of depression. An example of a mood stabilizer is lithium (Lithobid).

MDD. For MDD, guidelines recommend that you keep taking Prozac for 4 to 9 months after your depression symptoms ease. This helps reduce the risk of MDD coming back.

If you’ve had several episodes of depression, the depression is more likely to return if you stop taking Prozac. In this case, your doctor will likely recommend that you take Prozac (or a different antidepressant) long term.

Bulimia nervosa. For bulimia nervosa, guidelines recommend taking Prozac for at least 9 months to 1 year. The goal is to help reduce the risk of bulimia symptoms returning.

Panic disorder. For panic disorder, guidelines recommend taking Prozac for at least 6 months. This is to help lessen the risk of panic attacks returning.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Prozac.

How do side effects of 20-mg doses of fluoxetine and Prozac compare?

Side effects are expected to be the same whether you take a 20-milligram (mg) dose of Prozac or a 20-mg dose of fluoxetine.

Prozac contains the active drug fluoxetine. And fluoxetine is available as a generic medication. Generics can cause the same side effects as the brand-name medication.

If you have questions about side effects of Prozac or fluoxetine, talk with your doctor.

Can Prozac be prescribed for anxiety?

Yes. Prozac is approved to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorder, which are both anxiety disorders. Prozac may also be used off-label to treat other anxiety disorders. Off-label drug use is when a drug the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Doctors sometimes prescribe Prozac for social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If you’re interested in taking Prozac for an anxiety disorder, talk with your doctor. They can recommend whether Prozac or a different treatment is a good option for you.

Does Prozac interact with Wellbutrin SR or Adderall?

It might. Prozac, bupropion (Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL), and amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall) can all increase levels of a chemical called serotonin in your body. If you take Prozac with either of these other drugs, you may have an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. This is a dangerous condition caused by a buildup of serotonin in your body.

Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL are approved to treat depression. Wellbutrin XL is also used to treat seasonal affective disorder. Adderall is prescribed for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

To learn more about what Prozac can interact with, see the “Prozac interactions” section below.

What’s the half-life of Prozac?

The half-life of Prozac is about 4 to 16 days. A drug’s half-life describes how long it takes for half of a dose to be removed from your body.

It typically takes about five half-lives for a drug to be fully removed from your body. This means that after you stop taking Prozac, it may take between 3 and 11 weeks for the drug to be gradually removed from your body. The exact length of time depends on various factors. These include your age, genetics, liver and kidney function, as well as other drugs you may take.

To learn more, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Does Prozac come in pill or liquid form?

No, Prozac doesn’t come in pill (tablet) or liquid form. These forms of Prozac used to be available but are now discontinued. Prozac currently only comes as a capsule. However, generic versions of fluoxetine (the active drug in Prozac) are available as a tablet, capsule, and solution.

If you have trouble swallowing Prozac capsules and you’re interested in taking one of these forms of fluoxetine instead, talk with your doctor.

Is Prozac addictive?

No, when taken as prescribed to treat a mental health condition, Prozac is not addictive.

It’s possible to have withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking Prozac. However, this isn’t because the drug is addictive. (Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that can occur when you stop taking a drug that your body has become dependent on.) Some people associate addiction with withdrawal symptoms, but these two things aren’t always related.

With addiction, you become psychologically dependent on a drug. This means you feel unable to cope without it. You may go out of your way to seek a supply of it. And you may be unable to stop taking the drug, even if it’s causing you harm. For some people who misuse Prozac, it can be addictive. Misuse refers to taking a drug in a way or for a purpose not prescribed by a doctor.

Your doctor and pharmacist can help answer other questions you have about Prozac.

Do doctors prescribe Prozac for PMDD or menopause?

Prozac isn’t approved to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) or menopause. However, doctors may prescribe the drug off-label for these uses. Off-label drug use is when a drug the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects your ability to function as you usually do. Symptoms often occur the week before your period. To treat PMDD, your doctor may recommend taking Prozac every day or for the 2 weeks before your period each month.

Doctors sometimes prescribe Prozac for hot flashes associated with menopause, especially in females* with breast cancer. These females may not be able to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for hot flashes because HRT may worsen breast cancer.

If you’re interested in taking Prozac for either of these uses, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on whether the drug is a suitable option for you.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Prozac, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label drug use is when a drug the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Alternatives for OCD

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) include:

Alternatives for depression related to bipolar I disorder

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat depression related to bipolar I disorder include:

  • lithium
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • divalproex (Depakote)
  • bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • other SSRI antidepressants such as:
    • paroxetine (Paxil)
    • sertraline (Zoloft)
  • antipsychotics such as:
    • aripiprazole (Abilify)
    • olanzapine (Zyprexa)
    • quetiapine (Seroquel)

Alternatives for depression

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat depression include:

Alternatives for treatment-resistant depression

Examples of other drugs that may be used for treatment-resistant depression include those listed above in “Alternatives for depression.” They also include:

  • MAOI antidepressants such as:
    • phenelzine (Nardil)
    • tranylcypromine (Parnate)
    • isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • antipsychotics such as:
    • aripiprazole (Abilify)
    • olanzapine (Zyprexa)
    • olanzapine/fluoxetine (Symbyax)
    • quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • other medications such as:
    • lithium (Lithobid)

Alternatives for bulimia nervosa

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat bulimia nervosa include:

  • SSRI antidepressants such as:
    • sertraline (Zoloft)
    • citalopram (Celexa)
  • tricyclic antidepressants such as:
    • amitriptyline
    • imipramine (Tofranil)
  • lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)

Alternatives for panic disorder

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat panic disorder include:

  • other SSRI antidepressants such as:
    • paroxetine (Paxil)
    • sertraline (Zoloft)
    • citalopram (Celexa)
  • SNRI antidepressants such as:
    • venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
    • duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • tricyclic antidepressants such as:
    • amitriptyline
    • imipramine (Tofranil)
  • benzodiazepines such as:

You may wonder how Prozac compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. To find out how Prozac compares with Zoloft, see this article.

Prozac and Lexapro are prescribed for similar uses. You can learn how Prozac and Lexapro compare by referring to this article.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Prozac to treat certain conditions. Prozac may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use is when a drug the FDA has approved is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Prozac for OCD

Prozac is FDA-approved for acute and maintenance treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Acute (short-term) treatment helps manage OCD symptoms. Maintenance (long-term) treatment helps prevent OCD symptoms from returning.

For this purpose, Prozac is prescribed for adults as well as children ages 7 years and older.

OCD explained

OCD is a common mental health condition that can significantly affect your daily life.

With OCD, you have repetitive and uncontrollable thoughts or mental images that cause anxiety. These are called obsessions. Symptoms of obsessions can include excessive worry about germs, cleanliness, order, and losing control. Or you may have unwanted intrusive thoughts about sex, religion, or harm to yourself or others.

For some people, the obsessions lead to repetitive physical or mental actions that they can’t manage. These are called compulsions. Symptoms of compulsions can include repeated urges to wash, order objects symmetrically, or check items such as locks. Some people feel a compulsive need to count.

Obsessions and compulsions can take up a considerable amount of your time and may cause intense anxiety.

Effectiveness for OCD

Prozac is effective for easing symptoms of obsessions and compulsions in people with OCD. To find out how the drug performed in clinical trials, see Prozac’s prescribing information.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac are recommended for treating OCD in guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association.

Prozac for depression related to bipolar I disorder

Prozac is FDA-approved to treat episodes of acute (short-term) depression related to bipolar I disorder. For this purpose, Prozac is used with a medication called olanzapine (Zyprexa).

Prozac is prescribed for adults as well as children ages 10 years and older with this type of depression.

Depression related to bipolar I disorder explained

Bipolar I disorder is a mental health condition in which you have episodes of depression and episodes of mania. (The term mania refers to an episode of unusually high energy that affects your mood and behavior). The episodes of depression typically last at least 2 weeks. The episodes of mania last at least 7 days or are severe enough to need treatment in a hospital.

With episodes of depression, you may feel extremely sad, gloomy, or hopeless. You may lose interest in your regular activities and feel irritable, anxious, or lacking energy. And you may have physical symptoms, such as changes in your sleep patterns or appetite.

With episodes of mania, you may feel exhilarated, excited, restless, wired, or jittery. You may have racing thoughts and talk excessively. You also may have impaired judgment and engage in risky behaviors, such as driving recklessly or gambling your savings.

Effectiveness for depression related to bipolar I disorder

Prozac, in combination with olanzapine, is an effective treatment for depression related to bipolar I disorder. To find out how the drugs performed in clinical trials, see Prozac’s prescribing information.

Guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recommend Prozac with olanzapine for treating depression related to bipolar I disorder.

Prozac for depression

Prozac is FDA-approved for acute and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Acute (short-term) treatment helps relieve symptoms of depression. Maintenance (long-term) treatment helps prevent them from coming back.

For this purpose, Prozac is prescribed for adults as well as children ages 8 years and older.

Depression explained

MDD is sometimes called clinical depression or simply depression. It’s a common and serious mental health condition that can significantly affect your daily life.

With MDD, you may feel extremely sad, gloomy, or hopeless for long periods of time, often without any obvious reason. You may lose interest in your regular activities and feel irritable, anxious, or lacking energy. And you may have physical symptoms, such as changes in your sleep patterns or appetite.

Prozac helps reduce depression and its related symptoms.

Effectiveness for depression

Prozac is effective for easing symptoms of depression in adults as well as children ages 8 years and older with MDD. To find out how the drug performed in clinical trials, see Prozac’s prescribing information.

Prozac has been widely used to treat MDD since it was first approved for this use in 1987. The drug is recommended in guidelines for treating depression from the APA.

Prozac for treatment-resistant depression

Prozac is FDA-approved for treatment-resistant depression in adults with MDD. Depression is considered treatment-resistant if your depression symptoms haven’t eased after trying two different antidepressants separately. For treatment-resistant depression, Prozac is prescribed with a medication called olanzapine (Zyprexa).

Treatment-resistant depression explained

Doctors describe depression as treatment-resistant if you’ve tried two different antidepressant drugs and neither worked well enough to relieve your symptoms. Treatment-resistant depression is sometimes called hard-to-treat depression.

The combination of Prozac and olanzapine may help relieve depression symptoms in some people for whom other treatments haven’t worked. The combination is typically taken as long-term treatment.

Effectiveness for treatment-resistant depression

Prozac with olanzapine is effective for treatment-resistant depression in adults. To find out how the drugs performed in clinical trials, see Prozac’s prescribing information.

Prozac with olanzapine is recommended for treatment-resistant depression in guidelines from the APA.

Prozac for bulimia nervosa

Prozac is FDA-approved to treat moderate to severe bulimia nervosa in adults. The drug is for acute and maintenance treatment of bulimia. Acute (short-term) treatment helps manage the symptoms of bulimia. Maintenance (long-term) treatment helps prevent bulimia symptoms from returning.

Bulimia nervosa explained

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder. It’s a mental health condition where you have repeated uncontrollable urges to eat large amounts of food. After these episodes, you may feel ashamed, regretful, unattractive, and bloated.

As a result, you may take actions to try to make up for the overeating. These could include forcing yourself to vomit, exercising excessively, or fasting. Some people may also take medications such as laxatives or diuretics because they mistakenly think this helps prevent them from absorbing calories.

With bulimia, you can have symptoms due to repeated vomiting, such as a constantly sore throat, swollen salivary glands, and acid reflux. Other possible symptoms are sensitive teeth, tooth decay, and dehydration. You may also have other symptoms, such as mood changes, anxiety, or depression.

Effectiveness for bulimia nervosa

Prozac is effective at reducing the number of episodes of overeating and vomiting in adults with bulimia nervosa. To find out how the drug performed in clinical trials, see Prozac’s prescribing information.

Prozac is widely recognized as an effective treatment for bulimia nervosa. It’s recommended in guidelines for treating bulimia from the APA.

Prozac for panic disorder

Prozac is FDA-approved for acute (short-term) treatment of panic disorder with or without agoraphobia. Acute treatment helps manage the symptoms of panic disorder. For this purpose, the drug is prescribed for adults.

Panic disorder explained

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder where you have recurrent unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is a feeling of intense fear that comes on suddenly. It can cause symptoms such as shaking, dizziness, and nausea. Other possible symptoms include sweating, a pounding heartbeat, and trouble breathing.

With panic disorder, you become afraid of having another panic attack. This can make you avoid places or situations you think might trigger one and can lead to agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia is an intense fear of certain situations where you think it would be difficult to leave or get help if you have a panic attack. For example, you may be afraid of using public transportation, being in a crowd, being in open or closed spaces, or leaving home alone.

Effectiveness for panic disorder

Prozac is an effective treatment for panic disorder. To find out how the drug performed in clinical trials, see Prozac’s prescribing information.

Guidelines from the APA recommend Prozac as a treatment option for panic disorder.

Prozac and children

Prozac is FDA-approved for the following uses in children:

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in children ages 7 years and older. For details, see “Prozac for OCD” above.
  • Episodes of depression related to bipolar I disorder in children ages 10 years and older. To learn more, see “Prozac for depression related to bipolar I disorder” above.
  • Major depressive disorder in children ages 8 years and older. For additional information, see “Prozac for depression” above.

Your child’s doctor can advise you on whether Prozac is right for your child.

Prozac is prescribed with the antipsychotic drug olanzapine (Zyprexa) to treat:

The combination of Prozac and olanzapine has been shown to work better than Prozac alone for these conditions. To learn more, see the “Prozac uses” section above.

Note: A brand-name drug called Symbyax is available. Symbyax contains a combination of fluoxetine (the active drug in Prozac) and olanzapine. There are also generic versions of Symbyax.

Taking more than the recommended dosage of Prozac can lead to serious side effects. Do not take more Prozac than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

  • seizure
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • abnormal heart rhythm, such a fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • coma
  • tremor
  • fever
  • fainting
  • hallucinating
  • nervousness

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Prozac may have harmful effects in children born to people who take this drug during pregnancy.

However, stopping Prozac treatment because you’re pregnant can make it more likely that your mental health condition will return or worsen.

Researchers have not found a risk of major congenital anomalies (commonly known as birth defects) with Prozac. Also, researchers have not found an increased risk of pregnancy loss with the drug.

Keep in mind that untreated depression during pregnancy can have serious consequences for both the pregnant person and their child. These can include postpartum depression and a low birth weight.

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, it’s important to talk with your doctor. They can advise you on the risks and benefits of Prozac.

Risks of Prozac during pregnancy

Some evidence suggests that children born to people who took Prozac during the third trimester* of pregnancy may be at risk of certain complications at birth. These complications may include:

  • problems with breathing
  • problems with feeding
  • problems maintaining body temperature
  • problems regulating blood sugar
  • seizures
  • stiff or floppy muscles
  • irritability
  • crying more than is typical

It isn’t known whether these complications are caused by the drug or whether they may be symptoms of withdrawal.†

Some people have reported an increased rate of heart abnormalities in children exposed to Prozac during pregnancy. However, it’s not known for sure whether the drug was the cause.

* The third trimester refers to weeks 29 to 40 of pregnancy.
† For more information, see the “Prozac withdrawal, dependence, and misuse” section below.

What you can do

If you become pregnant while taking Prozac, talk with your doctor as soon as possible. It’s important that you do not suddenly stop taking Prozac. Doing this can cause withdrawal symptoms. (To learn more, see the section below called “Prozac withdrawal, dependence, and misuse.”)

If you decide to take Prozac during pregnancy, you’re encouraged to sign up for the National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants. This registry monitors and records the health of children born to people who took antidepressant drugs, such as Prozac, while pregnant. The collected information can help people make informed decisions about the treatments they take during pregnancy.

You can enroll in the pregnancy registry by visiting the program website or calling 866-961-2388.

Prozac may have harmful effects in children born to people who take this drug during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re taking Prozac.

For more information about taking Prozac during pregnancy, see the “Prozac and pregnancy” section above.

Prozac can pass into breast milk. If you breastfeed while taking Prozac, a child who is breastfed may have certain side effects from the drug. These can include:

  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • difficulty feeding
  • below-average weight gain

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before taking Prozac. It may be possible to breastfeed your child while you take Prozac, providing that they’re carefully monitored.

Here’s some information about Prozac and misuse, dependence, and withdrawal.

You can also refer to “Is Prozac addictive?” in the section above called “Common questions about Prozac.”

Misuse

Prozac does not have a high potential for misuse. With misuse, you take a drug for a purpose that it wasn’t prescribed for or in a way that’s not approved. Drug misuse typically involves taking higher doses of a drug than prescribed.

Misuse of Prozac can lead to an overdose or serious side effects, such as seizures. To learn more about overdose, see the “Prozac overdose” section above. You can find information about other serious side effects in the “Prozac side effects” section above.

Dependence

There haven’t been clinical trials on whether Prozac can cause drug dependence. With drug dependence, your body relies on the effect of a drug to function as usual. If you’re dependent on a drug, you may have withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.

Withdrawal

Stopping Prozac treatment suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, you should not stop taking Prozac “cold turkey” (abruptly). Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that can occur when you stop taking a drug that your body has become dependent on.

Examples of withdrawal symptoms that can occur if you suddenly stop taking Prozac include:

  • headache
  • pins and needles or electric shock sensations
  • dizziness
  • irritability
  • agitation (feeling annoyed or restless)
  • feeling uneasy
  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • mood changes
  • insomnia

The level of Prozac in your body falls very slowly after you stop taking it. To help prevent withdrawal symptoms, your doctor will recommend a withdrawal timeline when you’re ready to stop treatment. They’ll explain how to reduce your dose gradually to help you wean off Prozac.

Prozac can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Prozac and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Prozac. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Prozac.

Before taking Prozac, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you take. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Drugs typically not prescribed with Prozac

Drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and certain antipsychotic medications are not typically prescribed with Prozac.

MAOIs

Taking Prozac with a type of drug called an MAOI can cause a serious side effect called serotonin syndrome. This is a dangerous condition caused by a buildup of a chemical called serotonin in your body. (To learn about symptoms, see the “Prozac side effects” section above.)

Due to this risk, doctors typically will not prescribe Prozac with an MAOI.

Keep in mind that you should not take Prozac if you’ve taken an MAOI antidepressant in the last 14 days. You should also not take an MAOI antidepressant until at least 5 weeks after you have stopped Prozac treatment.

If you take or have recently taken an MAOI, talk with your doctor about different treatment options.

Examples of MAOI drugs include:

  • the antibiotic linezolid (Zyvox)
  • a blood disorder treatment called methylene blue (Provayblue)
  • MAOI antidepressants such as:
    • phenelzine (Nardil)
    • isocarboxazid (Marplan)
    • tranylcypromine (Parnate)
    • selegiline (Emsam)

Certain antipsychotics

Prozac and certain antipsychotics can increase the risk of long QT syndrome (a condition that affects the heart’s electrical activity). Long QT syndrome can lead to a life threatening abnormal heartbeat.

Due to this risk, doctors typically will not prescribe Prozac with the antipsychotic drugs pimozide (Orap) and thioridazine. If you take either of these drugs, talk with your doctor about different treatment options.

Drugs with an increased risk of side effects when taken with Prozac

Taking Prozac with certain drugs can increase your risk of side effects from the other drugs. This risk can last for 5 weeks after you stop taking Prozac.

Examples of these drugs include:

  • tricyclic antidepressants, such as:
    • desipramine (Norpramin)
    • imipramine (Tofranil)
  • certain antipsychotics, such as:
    • perphenazine
    • haloperidol (Haldol)
    • clozapine (Clozaril)
  • certain seizure medications, such as:
    • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
    • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • certain benzodiazepines (used for anxiety or insomnia), such as:
  • certain drugs for an abnormal heartbeat, such as:
    • flecainide
    • propafenone (Rythmol SR)
  • atomoxetine (Strattera), a drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • lithium (Lithobid), a drug for bipolar disorder and depression

If you take any of these drugs, talk with your doctor before starting Prozac treatment. They may lower your dosage of these drugs to reduce your risk of side effects. Or they may recommend different treatment options for you.

If you begin taking any of these drugs in the 5 weeks after stopping Prozac treatment, your doctor will likely prescribe a decreased dosage to start.

Drugs that can increase your risk of serotonin syndrome

Taking Prozac with certain drugs can increase your risk of a serious side effect called serotonin syndrome. This is a dangerous condition caused by a buildup of a chemical called serotonin in your body.

Examples of drugs that can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome if taken with Prozac include:

If you take any of these drugs, talk with your doctor before taking Prozac. They may recommend different treatment options for you.

If your doctor prescribes Prozac with one of these drugs, talk with them right away if you develop symptoms of serotonin syndrome. (To learn about symptoms, see the “Prozac side effects” section above.)

Drugs that can increase your risk of bleeding

Taking Prozac with certain drugs can increase your risk of bleeding.

Examples of drugs that increase the risk of bleeding if taken with Prozac include:

  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as:
    • ketoprofen
    • diclofenac (Zorvolex, Zipsor)
    • naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • anticoagulants (blood thinners), such as:
    • edoxaban (Savaysa)
  • other SSRI antidepressants, such as:
    • paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
    • sertraline (Zoloft)
    • citalopram (Celexa)
  • SNRI antidepressants, such as:
    • duloxetine (Cymbalta)
    • venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
    • desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)

If you take any of these drugs, talk with your doctor before starting Prozac treatment. They may recommend different treatment options for you.

If your doctor prescribes Prozac with one of these drugs, call them right away if you have symptoms of bleeding. (To learn about symptoms, see the “Prozac side effects” section above.)

If you need to take a blood thinner with Prozac, your doctor may order extra blood tests to check how long your blood takes to clot.

Drugs that can increase your risk of an abnormal heart rhythm

Taking Prozac with certain drugs can increase your risk of long QT syndrome (a condition that affects the heart’s electrical activity). This can lead to a life threatening abnormal heartbeat.

Examples of drugs that can increase the risk of long QT syndrome if taken with Prozac include:

  • certain antiarrhythmics (drugs for abnormal heartbeats), such as:
    • amiodarone (Pacerone)
    • quinidine
    • procainamide
    • sotalol (Sotylize, Betapace, Betapace AF, Sorine)
  • certain antipsychotic drugs, such as:
    • haloperidol (Haldol)
    • quetiapine (Seroquel)
    • ziprasidone (Geodon)
    • iloperidone (Fanapt)
    • chlorpromazine
    • droperidol (Inapsine)
  • certain antimicrobials, such as:
    • clarithromycin
    • moxifloxacin (Avelox)
    • pentamidine (Pentam, Nebupent)
  • hydroxyzine (Vistaril)
  • methadone (Methadose, Dolophine)
  • mefloquine

If you take any of these medications, talk with your doctor before starting Prozac treatment. They may recommend different treatment options for you.

Prozac and diuretics

Taking Prozac with a diuretic medication can increase your risk of hyponatremia (low level of sodium in your blood). It can also increase your risk of long QT syndrome (a condition that affects the heart’s electrical activity).

Examples of diuretic medications include:

If you’re taking a diuretic medication, talk with your doctor before you start taking Prozac. You may need blood tests to monitor your sodium levels.

Prozac and herbs and supplements

Prozac can interact with several herbs and supplements.

Prozac and St. John’s wort

Doctors will typically advise that you do not take St. John’s wort with Prozac. St. John’s wort is an herb thought to have antidepressant effects. Some people may refer to it as a “natural Prozac.”

Taking St. John’s wort in combination with Prozac can increase the risk of a serious side effect called serotonin syndrome. This is a rare, dangerous condition caused by a buildup of a chemical called serotonin in your body. Both St. John’s wort and Prozac can raise your serotonin levels. (To learn about symptoms of serotonin syndrome, see the “Prozac side effects” section above.)

Additionally, taking St. John’s wort with Prozac could increase the level of Prozac in your body. This could further increase your risk of side effects of the drug.

Your doctor can help answer any questions you have about Prozac and St. John’s wort.

Prozac and tryptophan

Taking tryptophan supplements with Prozac can increase the risk of a serious side effect called serotonin syndrome. This is a rare, dangerous condition caused by a buildup of a chemical called serotonin in your body. Both tryptophan and Prozac can raise your serotonin levels. (For information about symptoms of serotonin syndrome, see the “Prozac side effects” section above.)

If you’re interested in taking tryptophan with Prozac, discuss this with your doctor.

Prozac and melatonin

Prozac hasn’t been studied with melatonin, so it’s not known if it’s safe to take it with Prozac.

Melatonin is a hormone that causes sleepiness. Your brain releases melatonin when it’s dark, and this helps you fall asleep at night. Some people take melatonin supplements to help with trouble sleeping.

If you’re interested in taking melatonin with Prozac, be sure to discuss this with your doctor first.

Prozac and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Prozac. If you have questions about eating certain foods with Prozac, talk with your doctor.

Alcohol doesn’t specifically interact with Prozac. However, consuming alcohol while you’re taking Prozac may increase the risk of certain side effects, such as nausea, dizziness, sleepiness, or diarrhea.

Drinking alcohol can also worsen symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions.

If you consume alcohol, talk with your doctor about whether it’s safe to keep drinking while you take Prozac.

As with all medications, the cost of Prozac can vary. The price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of Prozac. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or your insurance company.

Before approving coverage for Prozac, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide whether the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure whether you’ll need to get prior authorization for Prozac, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Prozac, visit the Medicine Assistance Tool site. It lists programs that may help lower the cost of certain drugs. You can also ask your doctor or pharmacist for information on cost savings.

Mail-order pharmacies

Prozac may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of Prozac, so there’s less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor and your insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

Generic version

Prozac is available in a generic version called fluoxetine. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

You should take Prozac according to your doctor’s instructions.

When to take

You’ll likely be advised to take Prozac once per day. The best time to take the medication is typically in the morning because Prozac can cause trouble sleeping.

Higher dosages of Prozac may be prescribed as two doses per day. In this case, your doctor may recommend taking one dose in the morning and one dose at noon to avoid sleep problems.

However, if you take Prozac with olanzapine (Zyprexa), you should take both drugs at night (in the evening). Olanzapine causes drowsiness, and this counteracts the alerting effect of Prozac.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Accessible labels and containers

If your prescription label is hard to read, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels that have large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to direct you to one that does.

If you have trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist if they can put Prozac in an easy-open container. They also may be able to recommend tools that can make it simpler to open lids.

Taking Prozac with food

You can take Prozac with or without food.

Can Prozac be crushed, split, or chewed?

The manufacturer of Prozac doesn’t state whether the capsules can be crushed, split, or chewed. If you have trouble swallowing Prozac capsules whole, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Prozac is used to treat several mental health conditions.* (For details, see the “Prozac uses” section above.)

Mental health conditions are caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are natural body chemicals that help pass messages between nerve cells. With the conditions that Prozac treats, you have low levels of a chemical called serotonin in certain nerve pathways in your brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps manage your mood, thinking, and behavior.

What Prozac does

Prozac is a type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It works by increasing the level of serotonin in certain nerve pathways in your brain. This corrects the imbalance of neurotransmitters, which helps ease the symptoms of mental health conditions.

How long does it take for Prozac to work?

It can take a few weeks for Prozac to build up its effect.

For obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Prozac can take at least 6 to 12 weeks to start working.

For depression, bulimia, and panic disorder, it typically takes at least 2 to 4 weeks for Prozac to start working. And it can take up to 12 weeks before the drug has its full effect. If you take Prozac for depression, you’ll likely find that your sleep, energy level, and appetite start to improve before your mood.

It’s important to keep taking Prozac every day, even if it doesn’t seem to make much difference to your symptoms at first. Be sure to call your doctor right away if you feel your condition is getting worse.

How long does Prozac stay in your system?

Prozac stays in your body for at least 3 to 11 weeks after you stop taking it.

This drug comes with several precautions. These are considered drug-condition interactions.

FDA warning: Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Prozac has a boxed warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Antidepressant medications, including Prozac, can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in certain groups of people. The groups are adults younger than age 25 years and children. The risk is higher in the first few months after starting treatment with an antidepressant and after any dose changes. Prozac is not approved for use in children younger than age 7 years.

While taking Prozac, talk with your doctor right away if you have any sudden changes in mood, thoughts, or behaviors. These may include:

  • new or worsening depression
  • new or worsened anxiety or agitation (feeling annoyed or restless)
  • new or more severe panic attacks
  • new or increased trouble sleeping
  • new or increased irritability or aggressiveness
  • agitation, restlessness, or feeling unable to be still
  • acting impulsively
  • extreme levels of excitement and activity or talking very fast
  • new or more intense thoughts about dying or harming yourself
  • trying to harm yourself or attempt suicide

Your friends, family, and any caregivers should also watch for these symptoms. If your child is taking Prozac, keep an eye out for these symptoms in them as well.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.

Click here for more links and local resources.

Other precautions

Before taking Prozac, talk with your doctor about your health history. Prozac may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include the ones mentioned below.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Prozac, see the “Prozac side effects” section above.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Prozac or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Prozac. Taking the drug could cause another allergic reaction. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.

Liver problems. Prozac is broken down by your liver. If you have liver problems such as cirrhosis, Prozac may build up in your body. This could increase your risk of side effects from Prozac. If you have a liver problem, your doctor may prescribe a decreased dosage of Prozac. Or they may ask you to take the drug less often than usual (for example, every other day instead of every day).

Older age. If you’re an older adult (age 65 years or older), you may have an increased risk of low sodium levels with Prozac. Your doctor may prescribe a decreased dosage of Prozac. Or they may ask you to take it less often than usual (for example, every other day instead of every day). Taking Prozac with olanzapine (Zyprexa) hasn’t been studied in people ages 65 years and older.

Bipolar disorder, mania, or hypomania. If you or a family member has ever had bipolar disorder, mania, or hypomania, Prozac may not be safe for you. If Prozac is taken alone in people with bipolar disorder, the drug can increase the risk of a manic episode. Prozac must be taken with olanzapine (Zyprexa) when it’s used to treat depression related to bipolar disorder.

Before starting Prozac treatment, talk with your doctor about any mental health problems you’ve had in the past.

Epilepsy or conditions that cause seizures. Seizures have been reported in some people taking Prozac. If you’ve had seizures in the past, your doctor can help determine whether Prozac is safe for you. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have seizures after starting Prozac treatment.

Electroconvulsive therapy. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is sometimes used for treatment-resistant depression.Seizures have been reported in some people who had ECT while taking Prozac. Your doctor can advise you on whether it’s safe for you to have both of these treatments together.

Bleeding problems. Prozac can increase your risk of bleeding. If you have any bleeding problems, your doctor will recommend whether Prozac is safe for you. Before taking Prozac, talk with your doctor about any bleeding problems you have or have had.

Heart problems. Prozac can sometimes cause an abnormal heartbeat. You could have an increased risk of this side effect if you have certain heart problems. These include a recent heart attack, heart failure that isn’t managed, or a slow or irregular heartbeat. You could also have an increased risk if you or a family member has had long QT syndrome.

If you have any heart problems, your doctor can recommend whether Prozac is safe for you. Before starting treatment, be sure to talk with them about any personal or family history of heart problems.

Diabetes. Prozac can sometimes cause low blood sugar. When you stop taking the drug, you could develop high blood sugar. If you have diabetes, your doctor may need to adjust the dose of your diabetes medications.

Low levels of sodium, potassium, or magnesium in your blood. Sodium, potassium, and magnesium are types of electrolytes. Prozac can sometimes cause the level of sodium (salt) in your blood to fall. If your sodium level is already low, Prozac could make this worse.

A low potassium or low magnesium level could increase your risk of an abnormal heartbeat with Prozac. If you have low levels of these electrolytes in your blood, your doctor may prescribe medication to correct them before you start Prozac treatment.

Pregnancy. You and your doctor should discuss the risks and benefits before taking Prozac during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Prozac and pregnancy” section above.

Breastfeeding. If you breastfeed while taking Prozac, a child who is breastfed may have certain side effects from the drug. For more information, see the “Prozac and breastfeeding” section above.

When you get Prozac from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid taking expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk with your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to take it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

You should store Prozac capsules at room temperature in a tightly sealed container away from light. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Prozac and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.