Prozac Side Effects

by on July 5, 2011


Prozac (Fluoxetine) is commonly used as a treatment for various forms of depression and anxiety disorders.  Prozac side effects for adults range from drowsiness and weakness to dry mouth and nausea. Children, teens, and young adults can be more prone to suicidal thoughts when taking Prozac.

Common Prozac Side Effects

The most common side effects of Prozac (Fluoxetine) may include:

  • Nervousness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Excessive sweating

Prozac Side EffectsSerious Prozac Side Effects

More serious side effects may include:

  • Swelling of the hands, ankles, and feet
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Fever or sweating
  • Confusion
  • Increased heart rate
  • Severe muscle stiffness
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Signs of an allergic reaction such as a rash, hives, swelling of the face, throat and tongue were also reported.

Side Effects in Children & Young Adults

Antidepressants like Prozac have been linked to increased thoughts of suicide in children, teens and young adults during clinical studies. It is extremely important for anyone taking this drug who is under the age of 25 to be properly supervised by a doctor.

Parents and caregivers of teens and young adults taking Prozac need to be able to identify important changes in mood or thought patterns. It is advisable for teens and young adults to be counseled to seek help immediately if feelings or thoughts of harming themselves occur. Prozac is not indicated for pediatric use.

Side Effects in Men

While Prozac is premier among the drugs of choice for treating depression, one of the most commonly reported side effects for men is sexual dysfunction. Dysfunction is different for individuals and can include things such as decreased desire for sex, and impotence. Incidences of impotence reported were as much as thirty percent. Medication preparation can be adjusted for optimal response and to lessen side effects; however, patients should be advised of the risks prior to starting treatment.

Side Effects in Women

Fluoxetine has been shown to reduce sex drive in women as well. It can also delay or impede orgasm for some women. These side effects have been known to decrease over time; however, female patients should be advised of the potential impact this medication can have on sexual relations.

They may experience a decreased desire for sexual activity, but another common side effect is the inability to achieve orgasm. These side effects can decrease over time as the woman’s body becomes accustomed to the medication.

Weight Gain

Prozac has been shown to cause both weight loss and weight gain. Prozac side effects such as loss of appetite, diarrhea and nausea can contribute to weight loss.

In addition, effectively treating depression can result in weight loss if weight gain was a symptom of the depression due to the patient’s over-eating as a symptom of their illness. Improved appetite can also occur during depression recovery, which can lead to increased caloric intake and thus weight gain. Patients need to be advised about the possible side effects of Fluoxetine on appetite.

Other Prozac Side Effects

Symptoms of withdrawal have been experienced in patients who suddenly cease taking Prozac. If you stop taking your medication and experience irritability, mood swings, dizziness, confusion, and/or tingling in your hands or feet, discuss these symptoms with your doctor. Fatigue, headache, anxiety and problems with sleeping can also be related to Fluoxetine withdrawal. In most cases, gradual dose reduction rather than sudden cessation is recommended. Most patients need to be weaned off this medication.

At present, it does appear that Prozac is a mostly safe and effective treatment when prescribed properly. Patients taking Prozac must be rigorously monitored for any worsening of their symptoms and any new occurrences of agitated behavior or thoughts of self harm.