What are the possible side effects of Prozac?

Anti-depressant medications have short-term and long-term side effects. While the short term side effects are annoying (dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, headache are common), the long term side effects are of greater concern (weight gain, insulin resistance, sexual dysfunction) because they can lead to additional problems such as diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease and relationship problems.
Dr. Pina LoGiudice, LAc, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
Studies show that antidepressants can cause a laundry list of side effects, including sexual side effects, fertility problems, increased weight gain and diabetes risk, blood pressure problems, increased heart attack risk, heart defects in unborn children, and even increased desire to commit suicide.
The antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) can cause a variety of side effects. The most common include:
  • unusual dreams
  • anxiety
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • upset stomach
  • changes in sexual desire and performance
  • trouble sleeping
  • sweating
  • sleepiness (which is increased by drinking alcohol)
  • shaking
  • rash
Prozac can also cause more serious, but rare, side effects, including changes in mental state or coma; twitching or problems with coordination; seizures; unusual bleeding or bruising; rapid heartbeat; eye pain, changes in vision or swelling or redness in the eye; unusually high or low blood pressure; fever or sweating; nausea, diarrhea or vomiting; and rigid muscles. Call the doctor or 911 right away if any these symptoms develop. Prozac may also cause low blood sugar, a particular danger for people with diabetes. 

You should also call your doctor or 911 if you see signs of an allergic reaction, including trouble breathing or swallowing, swelling of the mouth, tongue, eyes or face or a rash or blisters that may be accompanied by a fever or joint pain.

For children and young adults, Prozac may increase the risk of becoming suicidal, so it's important to know what the warning signs are (such as worsening depression or thoughts of harming oneself). If you're a young adult taking Prozac or the parent of a child on the drug, call the doctor immediately if you notice any suicidal symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.