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What Is Prozac?

what is prozac?Introduction

There are a variety of medications to treat symptoms associated with depression. However, for the purpose of this article, I am going to focus on one type of medication to treat depression. This type of medication is called Prozac. You may have heard of Prozac. You may not have heard of Prozac. Whether or not you have heard of Prozac, continue reading this article. This article will describe what Prozac is, as well as provide readers with the side effects of Prozac.

What Is Prozac?

Prozac is a type of medication known as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, also known as SSRIs. According to Mayoclinic, “SSRIs ease depression by affecting naturally occurring chemical messengers (neurotransmitters), which are used to communicate between brain cells. SSRIs block the reabsorption (reuptake) of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Changing the balance of serotonin seems to help brain cells send and receive chemical messages, which in turn boosts mood.” With that said, SSRIs change the balance of serotonin, which boosts mood. Prozac is usually taken once per day with or without the addition of food. The dose usually ranges from 20 mg to 80 mg if taken once per day or 90 mg once weekly.

What Are The Side Effects Of Prozac?

According to Nami, the common side effects of taking Prozac include having a headache or experiencing nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, increased sweating, feeling nervous, restless, fatigued, sleepy or having trouble sleeping, also known as insomnia. These common side effects will most likely improve as your body becomes used to taken the medication. This will usually happen over the time span of one to two weeks. In addition, according to Nami, severe side effects may include increased bleeding (e.g., gums may bleed more easily), low sodium blood levels (symptoms of low sodium levels may include headache, weakness, difficulty concentrating and remembering), as well as teeth grinding. However, despite these common and severe side effects, it is essential to remember that these side effects are not long-term but rather short-term. They are likely to diminish with time as you take the medication.


According to Nami, the most important thing to remember about taking Prozac is not to stop taking Prozac once you start to feel better. If you miss a dosage of Prozac, you will increase your chances of relapsing in the future. Be smart and wise while taking Prozac. As always, when in doubt, consult with your doctor if you have any questions regarding taking Prozac.

Generic Prozac image available from Shutterstock

What Is Prozac?

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). What Is Prozac?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 19, 2019, from


Last updated: 23 Apr 2016
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