There are several different prescriptions that are used to treat depression. They work by correcting chemical imbalances in the brain responsible for mood. Neurotransmitters in the brain are responsible for communication between nerve cells.

There are several different prescriptions which are used to treat depression. They work by correcting chemical imbalances in the brain responsible for mood. Neurotransmitters in the brain are responsible for communication between nerve cells, and the ones which affect depression are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Prozac (fluoxetine) is one of the first prescription medications used to treat depression this way.

What Is Fluoxetine (Prozac)?

Fluoxetine, which is the generic form of Prozac, is an antidepressant that affects the serotonin in the brain. A member of the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) group, Prozac (fluoxetine) also affects the nervous system resulting in a decrease of patient symptoms.

As with all prescription medications, there are some side effects that may occur. Some common side effects when taking Prozac (fluoxetine) are hives, inability to sit still, and restlessness. Some patients may experience chills, fever, and joint or muscle pain.

If you experience any side effects at all when taking Prozac (fluoxetine), contact your doctor immediately. Working closely with your doctor is essential in finding the right antidepressant combination for your treatment.

How Is Fluoxetine (Prozac) Used?

Prozac (fluoxetine) was developed in 1974 as an antidepressant. Today, doctors prescribe the medicine to treat not only major depression, but panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, and premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Prozac (fluoxetine), which is used to resolve depression in patients, is sometimes paired with other medications typically used for mania to treat people with bipolar disorder.

It can be prescribed in either pill form or liquid form; however, the liquid form contains alcohol, so if that is a concern, be sure to voice it to your doctor.

The dosage is usually once per day in the morning, but sometimes a second dose is prescribed and taken around noon. For use in the treatment of a premenstrual disorder, the patient may be instructed to take it every day or just for the two weeks before the start of her period.

When prescribed Prozac (fluoxetine), it’s important to keep your doctor updated on all medications you are taking, including prescription, non-prescription, and all supplements to prevent any unwanted interactions, some of which can be serious.

Fluoxetine (Prozac) Addiction

Although Prozac (fluoxetine) is considered by manufacturers and doctors as non-habit forming and non-addictive, patients who misuse the prescription can become addicted.

Physical addiction to Prozac (fluoxetine) is unlikely, but psychological dependence or addiction can happen in patients who don’t take the prescription as directed.

Patients who have been prescribed Prozac (fluoxetine) can be looking for a rush from the drug and take extra pills or snort it to get more into their system faster.

The following social and physical side effects may indicate the patient may have been taking more fluoxetine (Prozac) than prescribed: talkativeness, agitation, irregular heartbeat, jitters, numbness, tremors, sweating, and insomnia.

If the patient is taking more than is prescribed and has developed a dependency or an addiction to Prozac (fluoxetine), they may be exhibiting nervousness, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, depression, paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis, and confusion.

It’s important to seek treatment if you or someone you love is showing any or a combination of any of the side effects mentioned above.

The Importance Of Fluoxetine (Prozac) Aftercare

Once a person has admitted they have been misusing Prozac (fluoxetine) and seek out assistance, it’s important their care is monitored after stopping the medication. Not only will their reasons for taking the prescription medication return, but they will also be coupled with other withdrawal symptoms.

In fact, patients should not even stop taking Prozac (fluoxetine) without speaking to their doctor first because of the side effects which can occur.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms patients and their doctors will need to look out for are:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Moodiness
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Confused thinking

Another thing to keep in mind — since the addiction is psychological and not physical, those seeking treatment for the misuse of Prozac (fluoxetine) need to seek not only the help from a medical doctor but also a psychological doctor to address the underlying cause of the addiction.

Even if your body and your mind are not addicted to Prozac (fluoxetine), this medication changes your brain chemistry. It will take time and close monitoring by a qualified physician to ensure your safety while transitioning off of this prescription and onto whatever you decide together is next in your program.

Working with your doctor and finding the right combination of prescriptions and therapy for your treatment is essential to your quality of life.


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CESAR (Center for Substance Abuse Research). “Cocaine.” CESAR (Center for Substance Abuse Research), 29 Oct. 2013, Accessed 10 Mar. 2017.

Doward, Jamie. “Warning of Extra Heart Dangers from Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol.” The Guardian, 7 Nov. 2009, Accessed 10 Mar. 2017.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.