Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
Prozac; the name alone conjures up images of relief, fear, uncertainty and usually all at the same time. Is Prozac safe? Is it right for me? Will it help me during menopause? While this article is for information purposes only as an introduction to Prozac, it can be a good starting point to learn about the treatment options available.
As with any medication, you should always talk to your healthcare provider to discuss whether Prozac is right for you and to get all the facts you need to make an informed decision.
For some women during menopause, Prozac provides relief from depression and anxiety. Since no one pill works for everyone, you need to learn as much as you can about Prozac and the other alternatives available when talking to your doctor. Together you can find the solution that is right for you.
What is Prozac?
Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride) is a prescription antidepressant medication used for short- and long-term sessions to treat depression, bulimia nervosa, and Panic Disorder in adults aged 18 and older. Prozac is also prescribed for children over the age of 7 and adults who suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
As well, Prozac may be combined with drugs such as Zyprexa to treat conditions such as depression associated with Bipolar 1 Disorder or other types of resistant depression. Deciding to take Prozac should never be taken lightly. Although sometimes jokingly referred to as “happy pills” antidepressants are used in the more serious depression cases, and are often a last resort when lifestyle changes are not enough to help.
Prozac should only be taken according to your doctor’s prescription, and you should never ‘borrow’ someone else’s pills or share your pills. Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly and learn what to do should you miss a dosage. Never stop taking Prozac on your own.
Side effects of Prozac
There are many side effects associated with Prozac; this list features some of the more common issues but is not a complete list:
Weakness, trouble sleeping, dry mouth, indigestion, decreased appetite, sore throat, anxiety, nausea, diarrhoea, sweating, body tremors, and skin rashes.
Prozac can cause drowsiness, so it is best to avoid driving or using heavy machinery or performing complicated tasks until you know how this drug affects you.
Prozac can also cause abnormal bleeding, manic disorders, seizures, low blood salt levels, severe allergic reactions, and Serotonin Syndrome which is a life-threatening condition; signs include agitation, hallucinations, racing heartbeat, fever, vomiting, nausea, poor coordination, and over-active reflexes.
Tell your doctor if:
*You take a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) or only recently stopped taking an MAOI
*You take Mellaril (thioridazine) or have recently taken this medication
*You take other medications containing fluoxetine hydrochloride (Symbyax, Sarafem) as this could lead to taking too much of this medication, i.e., an overdose
*You have a history of seizures
*You have a history of Bipolar Disorders
*You are planning to become pregnant or are pregnant
*You are breastfeeding
Like any antidepressant, Prozac helps thousands of women and men lead productive lives. But in some individuals, antidepressants can cause or increase the very things you do not want such as anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, irrational behaviours and moods swings, and violent outbursts. If you ever experience any of these, see your doctor immediately.
When you think the time has come to search for a remedy that will help you deal with your depression, be sure to get as much information as you can. Talk to your doctor to learn about the many alternatives and which is best for you. Menopause and life can be very difficult for some women and Prozac can help. By considering your options, you can get the help you need and take back some control in your life.
Researching Prozac info can be daunting. A place to start is www.prozac.com, which is a Website maintained by manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company. Despite being the ones who make Prozac, you will still find some very straightforward information that you can print and take with you to your doctor’s visit.
Menopause, Your Doctor, and You