The high pace of life, the abundance of stress and the lack of adequate rest have led to a significant increase in the number of mental illnesses. Today, more than 260 million people worldwide suffer from depression, up to 160 million from panic attacks, and 80-100 million from obsessive-compulsive disorder. According to experts, 20-25% of the world's population cannot boast of good mental health.
The likelihood of behavioral disorders can increase due to improper upbringing, emotional trauma, strained relationships with family and friends, bad habits. Recent studies have shown that mental disorders can even be caused by poor environmental conditions. Therefore, urban residents turn to psychologists and psychotherapists almost 20% more often.
In most cases, talking with a doctor, lifestyle changes and training are enough for recovery. If standard methods do not work, drugs are additionally prescribed. One of the most popular and reliable medications used to promote mental health is Prozac (fluoxetine).
The drug helps to cope with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia and panic attacks. An antidepressant is also needed for women who suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Order Prozac and your mental state will quickly return to normal. The medicine relieves anxiety and fear, improves appetite, improves mood and restores interest in life.
What is Prozac?
In the 1970s, the pharmaceutical company Elli Lilly conducted research into fluoxetine, a new drug that lowers blood pressure. However, during testing, scientists were interested in another effect of taking the drug: many subjects improved their mood. A deeper study has shown that the active substance stabilizes the mental state and helps to cope with mild depression.
Elli Lilly changed the direction of research and in 1977 submitted the drug to the FDA. The company received final permission to sell the antidepressant only 10 years later. Fluoxetine came to pharmacies under the trade name “Prozac”.
The drug belongs to the group of III generation antidepressants, which provide a stable therapeutic effect, are well tolerated and do not cause significant side effects. The combination of high potency and minimal health risks has made Prozac tablets popular. Fluoxetine has become the leading drug for mild mental disorders. Even after the end of patent protection and the emergence of a large number of competitors, it remained the top-selling antidepressant. In the early 2010s, there were over 20 million prescriptions for the drug in the United States, and about 6 million in Britain.
How does Prozac work?
Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. The drug enhances the effect of a neurotransmitter on receptors in the brain, regulating the functioning of the nervous system. Thus, the active substance has a positive effect on mood, sleep and appetite. The antidepressant has a longer lasting effect than other serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The effects of Prozac tablets may be felt for 7-9 days after you stop taking.
Since serotonin is involved in the processes of memorization and learning, some scientists believe that the drug can slightly increase a person's mental capabilities. According to several studies, when fluoxetine works, it becomes easier to absorb new information. However, the principle of the drug's action is not fully understood, and its effect on thought processes is still being analyzed.
The drug does not cause sedation and does not affect the functioning of the internal systems of the body. In addition, fluoxetine has almost no effect on the content of other neurotransmitters. Only when taking large doses of the drug is it possible to increase the level of dopamine and adrenaline. To avoid side effects, you should consult your doctor before purchasing Prozac.
How much is Prozac taken?
The dosage of Prozac depends on the type and severity of the mental disorder, the age of the patient, and their health. For adults, 20 mg of fluoxetine is usually given daily. If the patient's condition does not improve within 2-3 weeks, after consulting a doctor, it is allowed to increase the dose of the antidepressant:
- up to 40 mg for obsessive-compulsive disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder;
- up to 60 mg for obsessive-compulsive disorder and bulimia nervosa;
- up to 80 mg for severe depression.
Doses over 20 mg should be divided into 2-3 doses. The duration of treatment varies from 3 weeks to 3 months. If necessary, the doctor may prescribe long-term maintenance therapy, which involves taking 20 mg of fluoxetine per day.
The maximum daily dose of the drug is 80 mg. Exceeding it can lead to seizures, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting. With a high concentration of fluoxetine in the blood, there is a risk of tachycardia, delirium, coma, cardiac arrest, fainting, stupor and other disorders. If you accidentally take a large number of tablets, you should immediately consult a doctor. The consequences of an overdose can usually be overcome. Only 2.5% of patients retained drug-induced disorders.
Side effects of fluoxetine
Despite the fact that Prozac is one of the safest antidepressants, the drug can cause serious disorders. Patients who may experience the following side effects of fluoxetine:
- vasodilation (dilation) of blood vessels, which causes rush of blood to the upper body;
- dry mouth, change in taste;
- decreased appetite, which leads to significant weight loss;
- nausea, diarrhea;
- drowsiness, insomnia, vivid dreams and nightmares;
- increased fatigue, loss of strength;
- decreased libido, problems with reaching orgasm, weak climax of sexual intercourse;
- decreased visual acuity;
- frequent urination;
- bouts of irresistible yawning.
Most often, a negative reaction of the body occurs due to prolonged use or overdose of fluoxetine. The consequences of drug abuse are detailed in the novel "Prozac Nation" by Elizabeth Wurzel. The writer notes that with constant use, the effectiveness of the antidepressant decreases. Over time, patients switch to more potent drugs that pose serious health risks.
The presence of side effects is not a reason to refuse an order of Prozac. Stick to the dosage indicated by your doctor, do not overuse the medication, and you can cope with the mental disorder without negative consequences for the body.
After 3-4 weeks of taking Prozac tablets, a constant drug concentration is achieved in the blood. On the one hand, this principle of action allows you to achieve a stable therapeutic effect and keep it for some time after you stop using the antidepressant. On the other hand, lowering the dose and refusing to take the drug can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Patients who stop taking the drug may experience dizziness, nausea, weakness, and headache. Insomnia, anxiety, and vomiting are less common. In isolated cases, diarrhea, blurred vision, irritability and tremors are troubling.
Withdrawal syndrome may occur 1-7 days after stopping the medication. When symptoms of the disorder appear, the dose of fluoxetine is gradually reduced. The state of health improves within 72 hours.
Patients requiring long-term use of Prozac are advised to take 4-week breaks every few months. This treatment greatly reduces the risk of withdrawal after recovery.
Prozac compatibility with other medicines
If you plan to order Prozac, be sure to check with your doctor and tell him about all medications you are taking. It is strictly forbidden to combine the antidepressant with pimozide, thioridazine and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. There should be 2-5 weeks between taking medications.
Fluoxetine also interacts with other drugs
- increases the toxicity of phenytoin;
- in combination with tramadol, lithium, tryptophan and triptans, it provokes the development of serotonin syndrome;
- increases the concentration of benzodiazepines in the blood;
- enhances the sedative effect of alprazolam.
When combined with the listed drugs, a dose adjustment of the psychiatric medication may be required. Combine medications only with the permission of your doctor.
When fluoxetine works, care must be taken when taking anticoagulants. Blood clotting should be monitored within 5 weeks after concomitant administration of medications. Also, an antidepressant can enhance the effect of electroconvulsive therapy.
While taking Prozac tablets, do not consume alcohol-containing drugs and alcohol. Ethyl alcohol provokes the appearance and increases the side effects of fluoxetine.
Taking Prozac (fluoxetine) during pregnancy and breastfeeding
In the first years after the appearance of Prozac, more than 2 thousand cases of taking the drug in early pregnancy were registered on sale. Observations have shown that fluoxetine does not have a negative effect on the fetus and does not cause complications. Despite this, the medicine is used only if the expected benefit outweighs the potential harm to the expectant mother and baby.
In late pregnancy, Prozac tablets are rarely used because of the risk of withdrawal in the newborn. Taking the medication can lead to baby's irritability, movement anxiety, feeding problems, and increased breathing. If a woman took medication in the third trimester, the child should be under medical supervision in the first weeks of life.
Prozac is prescribed with caution to nursing mothers. The active ingredient of the drug passes into breast milk and can affect the baby's body.
Antidepressant use in pediatrics
Clinical trials have shown the effectiveness of the drug in the treatment of major depressive disorders in patients aged 12-17 years. In combination with cognitive behavioral therapy, the antidepressant improved the child's condition and ensured a quick recovery. However, the consequences of taking Prozac by minors are still not fully understood. Therefore, the drug is not used in pediatrics.
Prozac for premenstrual dysphoric disorder
The end of the menstrual cycle for many women is associated with severe discomfort. This period may be accompanied by abdominal pain, frequent mood swings, edema, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and other disorders. It is not known for certain what the deterioration of health is connected with. Some scientists believe that the onset of symptoms of premenstrual syndrome is due to changes in hormonal balance. Before menstruation, the level of progesterone drops sharply in the female body, which leads to a deficiency of allopregnanolone, a steroid that has a tranquilizing and sedative effect. In addition, the production of serotonin decreases, which leads to mental disorders.
Between 5% and 7% of women suffer from severe premenstrual syndrome - premenstrual dysphoric disorder. They experience more severe symptoms:
- lack of coordination;
- rapid heartbeat;
- digestive disorders, increased appetite, bloating;
- cramps and numbness of the limbs, muscle spasms;
- exacerbation of skin diseases (acne, eczema);
- flushing of the face, accompanied by a strong feeling of heat;
- headache, dizziness;
- inability to concentrate, forgetfulness;
- anxiety, paranoia, irritability, bouts of aggression;
- apathy, stupor.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder significantly reduces quality of life. In this state, it is difficult to deal with daily duties. Sometimes even performing basic hygiene procedures and eating food is very inconvenient. Muscle spasms, lack of concentration and coordination make driving a vehicle unsafe.
Treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Oral hormonal contraceptives are often used to relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. They block ovulation by reducing hormonal fluctuations in the body. But with long-term use, the effectiveness of contraception decreases.
To achieve a stable effect, you need to buy Prozac. Small doses of the drug increase allopregnanolone levels, alleviating the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The antidepressant takes only 1 to 2 hours to take effect.
Intermittent use of Prozac tablets is usually not accompanied by side effects and does not pose a threat to health. To enhance the therapeutic effect in the last week of the menstrual cycle, it is recommended:
- adhere to a balanced diet, give up foods that are heavy for digestion (fast food, fried, fatty, preservatives, carbonated sweet water);
- take a vitamin complex;
- spend more time outdoors;
- moderate physical activity (walking or cycling, morning exercises).
Use Prozac (fluoxetine) for premenstrual dysphoric disorder only with your doctor's approval. The specialist will determine the appropriate dose of the antidepressant and prescribe anti-inflammatory or pain relieving medications as needed. Proper treatment will make you feel comfortable on any day of your monthly cycle.