As with any drug, the dosage of Prozac depends upon the patient’s age, weight, sex, and symptoms. Some people may be more or less susceptible to the effects of Prozac depending on genetic differences.
Prozac Dosage for Depression
Prozac is manufactured in capsules of 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg and is taken orally.
Adults and Seniors
Adults of average height and weight with no other serious health problems may begin taking Prozac in 20 mg capsules, once per day to alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Elderly patients or people over age 65 may be prescribed lower dosages. After 6 weeks the prescribing physician will evaluate a patient’s progress on the drug, and possibly increase or decrease the dosage depending upon the patient’s symptom improval rate or any side effects that may appear.
Dosage for Children and Teens
Prozac can be prescribed for children as young as 7 in small doses beginning at 10 mg/day. In addition to depression, Prozac can be prescribed to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia and panic disorder, and the dosage will be determined based upon the age of the patient. Paradoxically, symptoms that Prozac and other SSRIs are meant to relieve can actually become worse in some children and teens when taking the drug. Suicidal thoughts and tendencies can increase in young patients so diligent care and monitoring is of paramount importance.
Delayed Release Prozac
In addition to capsules, Prozac is available in a delayed release form called Prozac Weekly. Instead of taking a capsule every day, Prozac Weekly is taken once each week as a 90 mg delayed release capsule. Delayed release Prozac can be started by patients who have been taking daily doses. A period of 7 days should pass after the last daily dose before beginning the 90 mg dose of the delayed release Prozac. Follow up doses should be taken in 7 day intervals from that point forward. If results are not satisfactory, daily dosing should be resumed and Prozac Weekly discontinued.
- Prozac can be taken with or without food.
- Since one of the side effects can be sleeplessness, most patients take their daily dose of Prozac in the morning.
- In higher weight children and adolescents, 10 mg/day doses may be given for the initial 2 weeks of treatment then increased to 20 mg/day. After several more weeks if insufficient progress is shown, the dose may again be increased.
- The average adult dose is 20 mg/day. Although Prozac would not be considered addictive, the body does build up a dependence on the drug, so it should not be discontinued abruptly.
There are several different types of depression. Some appear to be related to a life event such as a great loss or the birth of a new baby, while others last a lifetime. Depression, OCD and other mood disorders can be made bearable by taking Prozac; although not a cure, it alleviates the symptoms allowing the patient to function and lead a normal life.