Prozac Drug Interactions

by on May 17, 2012

Before taking Prozac (a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, or SSRI) all prescription and non-prescription drugs, herbal supplements, and vitamins that a person is taking should be revealed to the physician so as to avoid drug interactions. Ingredients in other substances may interact with Prozac resulting in loss of effectiveness, possible overdose, harmful side effects, serious illness, or worsening of other diseases that the patient may suffer from.

Communicate with Your Physician

When being treated for depression, anxiety or other mood disorders, the physician may not be a patient’s primary care provider. In fact, most people see more than one doctor depending on the particular illness. If a psychiatrist prescribes Prozac for a patient’s depression, and a medical doctor prescribes Imitrex (sumatriptan) for that same patient’s migraine headaches, serious drug interactions could occur including serotonin syndrome or overdose. Receiving prescriptions from doctors that are not in communication with each other requires the patient to be forthcoming in discussing all medications they are currently taking.

Prozac Drug Interactions

If taken with Prozac the following drugs that act on neurotransmitters or affect any of the steps in serotonin metabolism can cause serious side effects which are listed as symptoms.

  • MOAI’s - Monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as Nardil, Marplan, Zelapar, Eldepryl, Emsam, Parnate. Symptoms if combined with Prozac: extreme agitation, rigidity, hyperthermia, delirium, coma, involuntary muscle twitching.
  • SNRI’s - Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors such as Effexor and Cymbalta. Symptoms if combined with Prozac: confusion, loss of coordination, seizures, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
  • Triptans – Serotonin Receptor Agonists such as Imitrex, Amerge, Axert, Frova, Relpax, Maxalt, Zomig. Symptoms if combined with Prozac: mania, dizziness, sweating, weakness, agitation, increase in blood pressure.
  • Other SSRI’s – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors such as Citalopram, Lexapro, Paxil, Zoloft and other drugs that contain fluoxetine hydrochloride the same active ingredient as Prozac: Symbyax and Sarafem. Symptoms if combined with Prozac: Serotonin Syndrome.
  • NSAID's – Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs like Celebrex and Aspirin can alter anticoagulating effects. Symptoms if combined with Prozac: increased potential for upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

What is Serotonin Syndrome?

Mixing Prozac with other SSRI’s, MOAI’s, SNRI’s, antipsychotics, linezolid (an antibiotic), triptans, lithium or St. John’s Wort can result in Serotonin Syndrome, also called serotonin toxicity, which is basically an overdose of serotonin.  Symptoms of Serotonin Syndrome include agitation, hallucinations, tachycardia, hyperthermia, loss of coordination, gastrointestinal problems, muscle rigidity, coma, and in extreme cases death. Once symptoms begin the best cure is to discontinue the drugs. Treatment would be based upon the severity of the individual case.

Central Nervous System (CNS) Acting Drugs

Drugs that act on the central nervous system (as do SSRI’s) can produce many physiological and psychological effects. There are many CNS Acting drugs, including analgesics, anesthetics, sedatives, barbiturates, and also coffee, tea and nicotine. Many of these are available without a prescription but can cause Prozac drug interactions. Anyone who is taking Prozac should always read the label and warnings when purchasing these drugs, and consult with a pharmacist. Begin initial dosing with lower amounts than recommended.

Drugs alter the way our bodies work. They exist in many products that we may not even consider to be drugs. Drug interactions can be very hazardous to our health and we must be vigilant in guarding against conflicting mixes.