Prozac: Effects & Side Effects

Prozac is the trade name in the US for the antidepressant drug “Fluoxetine”. It belongs to the group of SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and is used to treat depression, compulsive disorder, and eating disorders.


Fluoxetine is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) and has an inhibitory effect on the reuptake of serotonin at the synapses. That is, the substance blocks the transporters that would return serotonin back to storage after signal transmission. The serotonin stays longer at the site of action, and its effectiveness increases. Fluoxetine permanently keeps serotonin levels in the brain at a high level.

Fluoxetine has a mood-enhancing effect and usually has no calming or depressing effect. Involuntarily recurrent thoughts and actions, often perceived as agonizing, can be reduced or prevented by Prozac. The mood-enhancing effect also seems to be responsible for the successful treatment of eating disorders.

The effect begins after about a week of regular use – the full effect may develop only after two to four weeks.

Side effects:

Appearances can include skin redness, itching, gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhea, changes in taste, sensory disturbances, dizziness, tiredness, sleep disorders, mood swings, confusion, hallucinations, sexual dysfunction. For skin rashes and flu symptoms stop the drug immediately, as life-threatening reactions are possible!

Long-term side effects:

There are currently no reliable data on unwanted long-term side effects.


This medicine should not be combined with mood-enhancing substances of the MAO inhibitor type. Before or after taking such substances, a sufficient time interval must be observed. Fluoxetine should not be taken with alcohol. Many interactions are still unclear. For this reason, caution should be exercised when taking Prozac, especially in combination with other medicines or psychoactive substances.

Prozac and ecstasy: It could be expected that the combination with ecstasy results in an increase in efficacy, as MDMA causes a strong release of serotonin and fluoxetine hinders its reuptake. However, the reality is that the ecstasy effect is almost reversed. Since SSRIs bind faster and more strongly to the 5-HT receptors than MDMA, this is almost ineffective. And why only almost? Because MDMA also causes a small excess of norepinephrine and dopamine, which is not hindered. Some users of ecstasy use fluoxetine to soften the gap, others to reduce the depressive effects that are felt after MDMA consumption (most likely a result of empty serotonin stores). In addition, a decrease in neurotoxic effects (“facial carnage”, teeth grinding, etc.) was observed.


There is a theoretical risk of a life-threatening serotonin syndrome, which is characterized by dizziness, feeling hot, fever, chills, circulatory collapse and other very unpleasant effects. Here it is necessary to immediately call the rescue service (112), and educate him [on site] about the ingested substances.

Prozac is controversial.

About Prozac is discussed (especially in the US) very controversial. On the one hand, SSRIs are among the newer antidepressants with fewer side effects and interactions, but on the other hand, they are less effective against depression. That is some people, they are very good, in the majority, however, little or no. Prozac is widely prescribed in the US, including small children who suffer from attention deficit disorders or the like. Some sources have spoken of a Prozac hype in the US since the early 1990s. This development is partly classified as worrying. In several cases, increased aggressiveness was reported by Prozac users. Whether this is actually due to the effect of the drug, is unclear.

Safer use:

Risk-free consumption does not exist! Anyone who consumes anyway should familiarize themselves with the safer use rules:

People with hepatic or renal impairment, blood pressure and heart problems or epilepsy should not take Prozac. MAOI inhibitors should not be co-administered with Prozac. There must be a sufficient time interval between the two medications. This change may only be made under careful medical supervision.

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