Prozac (generic name: fluoxetine; brand names include: Flunil / Fontex / Ladose / Sarafem / Solax) is one of the world's most widely prescribed antidepressants; it has been prescribed for more than 40 million people worldwide.
Prozac was the first of a new class of drugs, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), to be approved for use in the United States. This new type of medication helps patients with depression by increasing the availability of serotonin in the brain. Scientists believe serotonin affects many types of activity in the brain, including the regulation of mood.
Prozac was initially approved for the treatment of depression in Belgium in 1986 and in the United States in 1987. Since then, it has been approved and marketed in more than 90 countries.
The safety and effectiveness of Prozac have been thoroughly studied in clinical trials with more than 11,000 patients.
Prozac is prescribed for the treatment of depression. The symptoms of major depression may include changes in appetite, sleep habits, and mind/body coordination; decreased sex drive; increased fatigue; feelings of guilt or worthlessness; difficulty concentrating; slowed thinking; and suicidal thoughts.
Prozac is also prescribed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Prozac is also used in the treatment of bulimia (binge-eating often followed by deliberate vomiting). It has also been used to treat other eating disorders and obesity.
In addition, Prozac is used to treat panic disorder, including panic associated with agoraphobia. People with panic disorder usually suffer from panic attacks - feelings of intense fear that develop suddenly, often for no reason.
Prozac is also indicated for the treatment of pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Prozac exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Prozac usually is taken once or twice a day. To be effective, it should be taken regularly. Make a habit of taking it at the same time you do some other daily activity. The usual starting dose is 20 milligrams per day, taken in the morning. Your doctor may increase your dose after several weeks.
It may take 4 to 5 weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of Prozac, but the drug's effects should last about 9 months after a 3-month treatment regimen. For obsessive-compulsive disorder, the full effect may take 5 weeks to appear.
Continue to take Prozac even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Prozac without talking to your doctor. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.
If you miss a dose, take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If several hours have passed, skip the dose. Never try to "catch up" by doubling the dose.
Store this medicine at room temperature, away from heat and light.
Before you start taking Prozac, tell your doctor if:
you are allergic to any medicines;
you are taking another medicine for depression called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or have been taking a MAOI within the last 14 days;
have kidney or liver disease, diabetes, have ever had fits or a tendency to bleed more than normal;
have or have had bipolar disorder;
are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, are breast-feeding or wish to breast-feed.
Active ingredient: fluoxetine.