Prozac Side Effects

Prozac is an SSRI antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety and other mental disorders. Prozac side effects may include increased risk for suicide, birth defects, heart conditions, serotonin syndrome and allergic reactions, some of which may be life-threatening.

Pharmaceutical antidepressants like Prozac (fluoxetine) have an established history of soliciting side effects in patients. Among the common side effects are nausea, insomnia, somnolence, anorexia, anxiety, nervousness, asthenia, and tremor. There is an increased risk of suicide and violence for patients prescribed to Prozac as well. This risk comes with an FDA advisory known as the “black-box warning”. This is the most serious warning for any medication.

Many patients also report sexual side effects from Prozac. Anorgasmia and decreased sex drive often result as Prozac side effects. These Prozac side effects along with weight gain are some of the most common reasons for patients to discontinue treatment.

Another issue concerning Prozac side effects is contraindications. Many Prozac side effects are the result of a patient unknowingly combining the medication with another medication. Even though the medications may be safe for use alone, they can become harmful when used in conjunction with other substances.

Prozac Side Effects

An extensive list of Prozac side effects has been composited from scientific studies and patient reports. Prozac is a pharmaceutical medication with substantial effects on the nervous system. While patients can develop any number of conditions from Prozac, there are some Prozac side effects most commonly noted from individuals. These Prozac side effects range from irritating to incapacitating. If patients have experienced severe Prozac side effects, they may qualify for a class-action lawsuit or they may hold the manufacturers accountable.

Some Prozac side effects are:

  • Anxiety/nervousness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Increase sweating
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness/weakness
  • Trembling/shaking
  • Insomnia

Less common Prozac side effects:

  • Abnormal dreams
  • Change in sense of taste
  • Changes in vision
  • Chest pain
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Dryness in mouth
  • Increased sensation of warmth
  • Flushed/red skin
  • Increased urination
  • Hair loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight
  • Menstrual pain
  • Stomach cramps
  • Gas
  • Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Yawning
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Joint or muscle pain

Frequent Prozac side effects:

  • Decreased sexual drive or ability
  • Inability to sit still
  • Restlessness
  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Itching

Rare Prozac Side Effects:

  • Breast enlargement or breast pain
  • Convulsions
  • Fast or irregular heart beat
  • Purple or red spots on skin
  • Hypoglycemic symptoms
  • Cold sweats
  • Confusion
  • Cold pale skin
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Drowsiness
  • Unsteady walk
  • Symptoms of hyponatremia
  • Serotonin Syndrome

Common Prozac Side Effect Conditions

Prozac side effects can sometimes manifest as a specific group of symptoms. These conditions can be more severe than any of the other Prozac side effects alone. The symptoms can be short-term, long-term, and sometimes permanent. Patients severely affected by these kinds of Prozac side effects have a right to hold Prozac manufacturers accountable.

SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome

Eli Lilly announced in 1996 that there was an increase of complaints from patients who ceased treatment with Prozac. These Prozac side effects are known as Discontinuation Syndrome. It is the result of the patient’s central nervous system readjusting to the absence of the medication.

In 2002, 109 patients reported experiencing difficulty from withdrawing the medication. The World Health Organization (WHO) has noted that Prozac has the highest number of drug dependency issues. An estimated 20 percent to 80 percent of patients who discontinue Prozac develop discontinuation syndrome.

Electric Shock Sensations

Many patients that are withdrawing from Prozac also experience what are known as “brain zaps.” This Prozac side effect is a form of paresthesia.  The condition is characterized by electric-shock sensations, sweating, vertigo, insomnia, tremor, confusion, and nausea.

Suicide Risk from Prozac

The medical community has known Prozac to increase suicidal thoughts and actions in patients. There is a 50 percent increase in the likelihood of suicidal ideation or behavior from children prescribed to Prozac. Adults are 30 percent more likely to display these behaviors. The risk of suicide and other violent behavior is the reason Prozac comes with “black label warning” advisory.

View Sources

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