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can you become addicted to fluoxetine

Posted by jamie

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
Answers (2)
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Ian Health Maven
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.

Best wishes


Common Symptoms interpreted as Prozac side effects

  • Allergic or Toxic - Rash, Pruritus (skin inflammation)
  • Neurological - Headache, Tremor, Dizziness, Asthenia
  • Behavioral changes
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Autonomic - Excessive sweating
  • Gastrointestinal - Nausea, Disturbances of appetite, Diarrhea
  • Respiratory - Bronchitis, Rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes), Yawning
  • Endocrine - Weight loss
  • Musculoskeletal - Muscle pain, Back pain, Joint pain
  • Urogenital - Painful menstruation, Sexual dysfunction, Urinary tract infection, Frequent micturition
  • Miscellaneous - Chills
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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