i just started taking 20mg a day perscribed by my docter to help me not be so scared of some things like my kids getting hurt, choking ,money issues/ things that kept me from enjoying life.and i feel great its been almost 3 weeks even my husband noticed a change in me and he does not know im taking it .but im a little scare of how long do i need to take this and what happens when i stop or what i i dont want to stop taking it how long is it safe to be on this fluoxetine?? please give me your best advice .thanks -jamie
Fluoxetine (Prozac) is not addictive, Jamie. However, your system will likely become dependent on it and would react is it was discontinued abruptly. Antidepressants should always be weaned off over some weeks. This is by no means unusual as many medications can produce such reactions, including antibiotics, some heart medications, even vitamin C can trigger a degree of rebound scurvy if stopped suddenly after long use. OTOH, aspirin can become truly addictive.
Fluoxetine came on the market about 20 years ago and another SSRI, fluvoxamine (Luvox), has been available for nearly 25 years. Earlier antidepressants such a imipramine (Tofranil), which have similar effects in the brain have been in use for over 40. Some patients that have taken these more or less continually all that time. There is no evidence that any of these medications damage the brain. However, antidepressants can cause an increase in weight which may up the risk of physical illnesses associated with being overweight. This can be countered by regular exercise. Exercise has also been shown to reduce anxiety and depression.
The only non drug treatment for anxiety with a good track record are the cognitive and behavioral therapies. These are worth pursuing if you don't wish to be on medications. However, they do require time and ongoing effort, and may be more expensive than medication.
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