Prozac Side Effects: Risks Of Antidepressant Range From Sexual Dysfunction To Suicidal Thoughts

Prozac (fluoxetine) is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and is used to treat depression and a number of other mental health mood disorders. As America’s use of antidepressants continues to soar, Prozac remains the third most prescribed antidepressant in the U.S. Although the drug has helped many deal with the symptoms of clinical depression, it is not without its own dangerous side effects.

Physical

According to Medical News Today, Prozac is associated with a number of physical side effects such as sweating, a rash, sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) nausea, and vasodilatation (widening of the blood vessels). These side effects usually subside as your body begins to get used to the medication.

girl Antidepressent medications, such as Prozac, (fluoxetine) come with a number of side effects, some more serious than others. Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Like other antidepressants, prozac use comes with the risk of developing Serotonin Syndrome, a sometimes fatal condition where too much mood elevating drugs lead to high blood pressure, hyperthermia, high body temperature and an increased heart rate that can lead to shock, Drug Watch reported.

Prozac also has a number of sexual side effects ranging from decreased libido and abnormal ejacuation, to inability to mantain an erection or achieve an orgasm, MNT reported.

Psychiatric

Like many antidepressant medications, Prozac carries a black box warning, the highest possible warning of a prescription medication. This is because of its association with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Although Prozac is one of the few antidepressants approved for use in treating depression in youths, there is an increased risk of suicide, particularly in individuals under the age of 25, Medical News Today reported.

Prozac can also cause heightened anxiety, nervousness, and in some cases abnormal dreams. Like all antidepressants, Prozac's effect on dreaming may be due to its ability to suppress REM sleep, the phase of sleep where we dream most. As a result, when users eventually do enter REM sleep, the effect is more significant, resulting in more vivid than usual dreams.

Although the drug is not considered to be addictive, users can develop a dependency and experience unpleasant side effects when they stop using it. According to Drugs.com, anxiety and nervousness are also two of the most common side effects associated with stopping Prozac. Other withdrawal symptoms may include: nausea, headache, dizziness, and lethargy.

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