Some people have undetected illnesses. Meaning, they do not seem to have an existent physical disease, however, you may notice by their countenance that they are suffering. Sometimes, people do not even notice this suffering they are experiencing because these people’s battles are inside their mind.
People with depression, sleep disturbance, eating disorder, and other seemingly psychological conditions are the kind of illnesses that are hard to cure. It is even hard to detect, sometimes. However, doctors, psychologists, and other professionals in the field of science never stop searching for a cure even with this traitor illness.
They keep on finding solutions on how to manage the thoughts, moods, and behaviors of patients. Thus, they invented drugs and other medications to aid with patient’s psychological state. Included in these medications are the antidepressant drugs available in most pharmacies. One of these antidepressants is the drug called Prozac.
What are the uses of Prozac to the mentioned conditions as well as its risks? What are the precautions that a patient should do? These are some of the questions that we’ll answer in this article.
What is Prozac?
Prozac is a common antidepressant prescribed to treat conditions such as bulimia (an eating disorder), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, panic attacks, and other related conditions. It is also referred to as fluoxetine and is shown to be the only antidepressant approved for children which ages are 8 and above.
The drug can help improve the many aspects of your life including appetite, sleep, mood, and energy level. At the same time, it can reduce panic attacks, anxiety, fear, and unwanted thoughts. It can also deal with repetitive movements produce by OCD such as repetitive washing of hands and counting of coins. By stopping these repetitive movements, it will no longer bother you in your daily activities. Additionally, pre-menstrual symptoms such as depression, irritability, and increasing of appetite may be managed through Prozac’s help.
How is the drug used?
Your pharmacist or doctor may provide you with a medical guide on how to consume fluoxetine. But if you have further questions about the drug, you may confirm it with your doctor or pharmacist. But here are some guidelines in case you do not know how to use it:
- Normal Schedule Intake – Usually, Prozac is consumed orally once per day and every morning. If your doctor instructed you to consume the drug twice a day, he or she may advise you to take it in the morning and noon.
- Pre–menstrual Symptoms – For conditions related to menstruation, your doctor may recommend you to take it daily in a month, or 2 weeks before your full period comes. You can mark your calendar to be accurate with the dates.
- Drug’s Other Form – Not all fluoxetine are tablets, others are in the form of liquid. So, if the Prozac prescribed to you is liquid, use a measuring spoon to get the right dosage. The dosage you may take varies on your condition and on what your doctor told you so. He/she may recommend you to take it in small dosage first, then gradually increase it.
What are the possible side effects of taking Prozac?
The drug cover should have warning signs, and therefore you should follow it. The drug can cause the following risks:
- Skin rash that may be accompanies with joint pain and fever
- Red itchy welts (hives)
- Swelling of some of your body including eyes, mouth, throat, tongue, and face
- Consistent yawing
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble sleeping
If any of these risks persist, immediately contact your doctor. Additionally, if you notice your change of behavior (or someone else) after taking Prozac, this may also call for the attention of your doctor.
Most antidepressant medication, including Prozac, have the risk to bring a patient into killing themselves. Usually, their minds are filled with suicidal thoughts with the first few months of taking the medicine or even after changing the dosage.
If you notice any behavior, such as the following, occur, you have to inform your doctor about it:
- Insomnia or the feeling of a reduced need for sleep
- Extreme energy boost that you are either too talkative or active
- Acting on dangerous impulses
- Being violent, angry, and/or aggressive
- Worsen Irritability
- Sleep disturbance that leads to difficulty in sleeping
- Panic attacks
- Restless and agitated
- Worsen anxiety or depression
- Suicidal thoughts or any death-related thoughts and attempts
Because of these possible risks, it is important to tell your doctor about your medical history. Historical conditions such as bipolar disorders, suicide attempts and thoughts, diabetes, heart problems, glaucoma, liver disease, and seizures should be made known by your doctor.
Other warnings when taking Prozac
Harvesting the benefit of Prozac will take you 4 to 6 weeks or even longer than that once you started the medication. Thus, during this period, you may experience the above risk of having suicidal thoughts or worsen anxiety. However, it is not advisable to stop the medication suddenly. Stopping abruptly may lead to more serious consequences. So, if you are fully decided to stop the medication, your doctor may assist you for the safest way to stop the medication.
Here are other considerations that your doctor need to know:
- Allergies – If you are allergic to any forms of fluoxetine, don’t take Prozac. Tell your doctor immediately about your allergy with it once he prescribes it.
- Pregnancies – The fetus in the mother’s womb can be affected by the drug and may have serious side effects. Moreover, the drug can be passed to the baby through breastfeeding. Thus, it is not advisable to take Prozac when nursing babies.
- Weight Issues – Antidepressants, including Prozac, usually improved the patient’s weight. This might be because of its ability to increase the appetite. However, the medication has an opposite effect on other consumer—which is losing weight.
- Pets – Although the medication is sometimes prescribed by veterinarians, do not give your dogs and cats Prozac without a valid veterinarian prescription. Veterinarians prescribed fluoxetine for some OCD symptoms such as constant licking and tail chasing.