Prozac belongs to a group of anti-depressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which means that it affects the way your brain uses certain mood-boosting chemicals. Prozac or Fluoxetine generic helps free up serotonin, a chemical produced in your brain that regulates mood. Symptoms of depression can be reduced by allowing serotonin to remain in your brain longer. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.

Conditions Treated by Prozac

Prozac is used to treat mood disorders like major depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). These conditions usually develop because of chemical imbalances in the brain and will cause severe emotional distress if left untreated. In fact, their most common symptoms include extreme sadness and hopelessness, which tend to worsen over time. Prozac cannot cure these conditions, but it can minimize their symptoms by correcting the chemical imbalances so you are able to enjoy family and friends and carry out your daily tasks. Prozac is sometimes prescribed together with another medication called Zyprexa to treat depression caused by bipolar disorder (manic depression).

During their reproductive years, some women may experience a severe form of premenstrual syndrome called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Mood disturbances may intensify in the week or two preceding your cycle and usually resolve with the onset of your period. The irritability, depression, or anxiety you experience can greatly interfere with your ability to function socially, occupationally, and interpersonally. Talk to your doctor about whether a prescription for Prozac may help reduce these symptoms.

How to take Prozac

Always read the patient information and instructions carefully before using this medication.

Before You Take Prozac

Ask your doctor about any risks of taking Prozac while you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding. Before starting treatment, you should tell your doctor whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes, glaucoma, or kidney disease or if you have a history of seizures, suicidal thoughts, or other mental illnesses. Any new or worsening thoughts of suicide during treatment should be reported to your doctor immediately.

Warnings for Prozac

Until you know how Prozac will affect you, avoid operating a vehicle, machinery, or any task considered unsafe if you are not alert. You may not be able to take Prozac if you are also taking a pimozide, thioridazine, or MAO inhibitor drug, or if you are receiving treatment with a methylene blue injection. A dangerous drug interaction could occur.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: personal or family history of bipolar/manic-depressive disorder, personal or family history of suicide attempts, liver problems, diabetes, low sodium in the blood (such as may occur while taking "water pills" - diuretics), severe loss of body water (dehydration), seizures, stomach/intestinal ulcers, personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

The liquid form of this medication contains alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, or liver disease. Some medications (such as metronidazole, disulfiram) can cause a serious reaction when combined with alcohol. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially weight loss. Monitor weight and height in children who are taking this drug.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially bleeding and loss of coordination. Loss of coordination can increase the risk of falling. Older adults may also be more likely to develop low sodium in the blood, especially if they are taking "water pills" (diuretics).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Also, babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may rarely develop withdrawal symptoms such as feeding/breathing difficulties, seizures, muscle stiffness, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn, tell the doctor promptly.

Since untreated mental/mood problems (such as depression, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder) can be a serious condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately discuss the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Possible Side Effects of Prozac


Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.