Deciding whether combining Xanax and Prozac is right for you should be left up to your doctor. Added risks and increased side effects can occur.
Article at a Glance:
- Prozac is the brand name for fluoxetine, an antidepressant that can be used for multiple mental health conditions.
- Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a benzodiazepine that can be used for anxiety and panic disorder.
- Your doctor may prescribe you both medications together, especially if you are new to taking Prozac.
- Combining an antidepressant and benzodiazepine at the beginning of treatment can sometimes lead to better results than one drug alone.
Can You Take Prozac and Xanax Together?
You may be able to take Prozac and Xanax at the same time, but you should do so with caution and only while following the instructions of your doctor.
Xanax and Prozac treat similar mental health conditions, including panic disorder. If you’re taking them both for panic disorder, you should be aware that Xanax is a short-term treatment while Prozac is a long-term medication. This means that if you’re taking Prozac, you may be able to discontinue your Xanax; over time, Prozac should be effective at treating symptoms for which you previously might have used Xanax.
For some people, it may be that taking Xanax and Prozac together, at least for a period of time, does give them better outcomes than taking one of those medicines alone. Research has shown that when someone starts an antidepressant like Prozac, adding a benzodiazepine like Xanax helps people respond to their treatment protocol more quickly than they might if they just used one or the other.
The decision as to whether a combination treatment approach using Xanax and Prozac is right for you should be left up to your doctor.
What Are the Risks of Taking Prozac and Xanax Together?
While it may be okay to use Xanax and Prozac together, combining the two substances can cause the Xanax to stay in your system longer or have higher concentrations in your blood. When this happens, symptoms can include excessive drowsiness.
Doctors are careful when prescribing Prozac to younger people because it can lead to suicidal thoughts or tendencies, and anyone who starts taking it is advised to monitor their mood and other possible side effects.
It’s also important for people to tell their doctor about any other medicines, over-the-counter or prescription, as well as supplements or vitamins they may be taking. The reason is that Prozac may interact with other medicines. For example, if you took Prozac with another medicine that increases serotonin levels in the brain like an antipsychotic, it can lead to a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome.
What Is Prozac (Fluoxetine)?
Prozac is also known by the generic name fluoxetine, and it’s classified as a selection serotonin reuptake inhibitor or an SSRI. It’s an antidepressant, and it works to balance certain chemicals in the brain. Some characteristics of Prozac include:
|Conditions it can treat||Major depressive disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Bulimia nervosa, Anorexia nervosa, Panic disorder, Bipolar disorder|
Obesity, Cataplexy (overwhelming drowsiness), Alcohol dependence, Muscle spasm, Premature ejaculation
|Drug type||Antidepressant (SSRI)|
|Controlled substance status||Not a controlled substance|
|Side effects||Anxiety, nervousness, trouble sleeping, sleepiness, lack of energy, tremor, appetite loss, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, dry mouth, decreased sex drive, abnormal ejaculation, impotence, rash, sweating, abnormal dreams, flu, inflammation of the pharynx, inflammation of the sinuses, yawning|
|How long it takes to have its peak effect||Within five weeks|
|How often to take it||Once daily|
Prozac is not a benzodiazepine. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant.
While Prozac and Xanax have some side effects in common, like sleepiness, overall, they have different side effect profiles.
What Is Xanax (Alprazolam)?
Xanax is a Schedule IV controlled substance in the U.S. available by prescription to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax works on the central nervous system by stimulating the release of the calming neurotransmitter GABA. It helps reduce the activity of the brain, which results in the user feeling calmer and more relaxed.
Some characteristics of Xanax include:
|Conditions it can treat||Generalized anxiety disorder and Panic disorder|
|Controlled substance status||Schedule IV controlled substance|
|Side effects||Sleepiness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, coordination problems, impaired memory, confusion, decreased libido|
|How long it takes to have its peak effect||One to two hours|
|How often to take it||Exactly as your doctor prescribes, generally one to three times daily|
Prozac and Xanax Interaction
Because Prozac can increase the levels of Xanax in your system and may make Xanax last longer in your body, Xanax’s side effects may be intensified. This includes feeling excessively sleepy.
Summing Up — Xanax and Prozac
It may be fine to take Xanax and Prozac together. There aren’t necessarily any significant risks known with using the two together. That said, both Xanax and Prozac are serious medications that impact chemicals and functionality in your brain, so doing anything without following your doctor’s instructions can be dangerous.
You should also be careful when you first start using Xanax and Prozac and carefully monitor any symptoms you might be experiencing so you can let your physician know.
Xanax is a controlled substance because it is addictive. If you or a loved one develop a Xanax addiction, contact The Recovery Village to speak to a representative about how addiction treatment can work for you. The Recovery Village personalizes treatment programs to fit every patient’s needs, ensuring that their addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders are addressed in a safe and supportive environment. Begin your journey toward a healthier future today.
Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Group. “Antidepressants plus benzodiazepines for[…]ith major depression.” Cochrane Library, June 3, 2019. Accessed October 18, 2021.
Drugs.com. “Xanax.” September 1, 2021. Accessed October 18, 2021.
Drugs.com. “Fluoxetine.” February 5, 2021. Accessed October 18, 2021.
Drugs.com. “Drug Interaction Report.” Accessed October 18, 2021.
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.