Fluoxetine stays in the body for 25 days after you stop taking it. Even then, the prescription is only 99 percent out of your system. These factors are after the patient stops taking Prozac altogether.
Although the fluoxetine will mostly be gone after 25 days, some metabolites are excreted into your system if you have been taking fluoxetine for more than 22 days. These secretions can stay in your system for anywhere from 22 days to 82 and a half days, depending on various factors.
Most of the prescription (80 percent) is excreted through urine.
To lessen the side effects of coming off of fluoxetine, the patient can slowly taper off of the prescription or their doctor can prescribe other short-acting antidepressants temporarily to ween the body. This tapering method will reduce the side effects of stopping the medication and increase the chance of long-term success.
Prozac, the brand name for the generic prescription fluoxetine, was one of the first antidepressants developed which affects the serotonin in the brain. Developed in 1974, Prozac now belongs to a group of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which rebalance chemicals in the brain of those suffering from depression.
Prozac is not only used to treat major depressive disorder but also panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bulimia nervosa. Sometimes fluoxetine is coupled with another medication designed to treat mania for those diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
As with all medications, Prozac can have some side effects like hives, headaches, inability to sit still and restlessness. Those are the most common. Some side effects, which are less common, include chills, fever, joint or muscle pain.
Rare side effects can occur and can include anxiety, convulsions, lack of energy and racing heartbeat, among others.
Patients taking this prescription are encouraged to speak to their doctor if they’re experiencing any side effects at all, so they can be addressed immediately before they become more serious.
Fluoxetine is only available through a prescription and is not recommended to be taken during pregnancy.
Although the FDA has reported it premature to conclude a link between SSRI prescriptions and persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN), women who are pregnant, nursing or plan on becoming pregnant should discuss the risks vs. the benefits of continuing fluoxetine during their pregnancy.
Prozac and other SSRIs are not among the drugs typically misused by patients. They are considered non-addictive, although some patients may become dependent on the prescription. Doctors are in debate about this fact, but because there can be withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication, some doctors say this is a sign of addiction.
Fluoxetine is an SSRI antidepressant that changes the amount of serotonin in the brain, which is commonly the cause of depression. By changing the brain’s chemical balance, patients being treated with Prozac have their moods altered and start to feel positive about their lives.
The half-life of a medication is the approximate time it takes to reduce to half strength in your plasma. The half-life of fluoxetine is about four to six days. That means it will take between four and six days after fully stopping the prescription for it to reduce its effectiveness by 50 percent.
There are a few variables that affect how long Prozac will stay in your system, like how long you have been taking the prescription, the dosage and other medications you are taking.
Other factors that influence how long Prozac stays in your system are:
- Body Mass
- Food Intake
- Hepatic Function
- Metabolic Rate
- Urinary PH
Fluoxetine itself should clear the patient’s system by 99 percent in 25 days; however, there are metabolites secreted while taking Prozac (known as norfluoxetine), which will take 22 to 82 and a half days to clear.
Prozac is not typically detected during a regular urine, hair or blood test; however, some have reported false positives for amphetamines or benzodiazepines.
That being said, fluoxetine can be detected in the urine and blood for up to 96 days or longer after completely stopping the prescription. In addition, hair tests will not likely show any sign of Prozac at all.
Taking Prozac While Pregnant: What You Need to Know
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