It is a shame that society today can’t come to grips with mental health issues especially when using Prozac. These are individuals that need our help and not our pity. We have come a long way in diagnosing and treating depression based on scientific studies. When my father was growing up, the mentality was that you needed to man up or a swift kick in the pants to get your act together. Depression was considered a form of character weakness or flaw that had to be hidden. Although this sounds barbaric, brain chemistry was not fully understood until the past 20 years. As technology and chemical identification improved, we developed a better understanding of how the brain works. We have learned about the chemicals that regulate all functions and then performed studies on those that suffered from depression.
Keep in mind, there are various degrees of depression and not all of them require medication. Getting dumped by who you were supposed to marry is a form of temporary depression which recovers over time. The cure is to get back on the dating scene and learn to love again. The more serious forms of depression are due to chemical imbalances in the brain. For one reason or another, the body doesn’t produce enough of the chemicals needed to regulate brain function. That is where prescription drug medication is the most effective. Does it mean that they are flawed? No, these individuals can function in society as long as their situation is monitored and controlled by prescription drug medications. One such type of medication is Prozac (fluoxetine).
To understand how Prozac and the side effects of Prozac work, we need a basic understanding of how the brain works. The brain is made up of billions of neurons. These neurons communicate each other through axons to synapses using chemicals called neurotransmitters. These neurons are responsible for controlling the organs in the body. The brain maintains muscle activity and driving the secretion of chemicals called hormones.
There are three major groups chemicals in the brain that are use to communicate between the neurons. They are classified as amino acids, peptides and monoamines. These three classes control five major chemical regulators that have been studied: dopamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Each one when released will cause a different instruction to be performed in your body. This is similar to how your chromosomes are designed. The brain knows which chemical to release based on how much of the desired neurotransmitter is in the blood. There is a chemical balance that is required to maintain a stable body. If the balance is off, then brain activity and mental health issues ensue.
What Is Prozac?
Prozac or Prozac generic which is also known as fluoxetine is an antidepressant drug type called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). This prescription drug works on stabilizing the chemical serotonin. So once a patient takes Prozac, the chemical released (fluoxetine) will signal the brain to stop the chemical absorption of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is synthesized in the liver and has several functions including controlling your mood, appetite and sleep functions. A low serotonin level will make you lose your appetite, keep you from sleeping and feel depressed. So if we go to the other extreme, too much serotonin can lead to such symptoms as bad cases of diarrhea or in a worst case scenario, a heart attack .
Prozac is effective not only for depression but has been found to treat other disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD, for women) and in combination with other prescription drugs, it helps treat bipolar disorder. These diseases are all consitent with a chemical inmbalance in the brain. It is amazing how Prozac can chemically adjust and help people lead active lifestyles. No wonder it is one of the most prescribed antidepressants on the market.
With all the good provided, the side effects of fluoxetine (Prozac). Let’s start with the typical common side effects of nausea, diarrhea, headache, drowsiness and my favorite, decreased sexual function. By this I do mean a lower sex drive (just when married men thought it couldn’t get any lower) and ejaculation delay. No matter how long you rub it for, you just can’t finish. On the flip side, Prozac might work for those who suffer from the opposite problem of premature ejaculation (finish way too early). For adults ages 18-24, there is a black box warning on Prozac for an increase in suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
Some prescription drugs may interact with this drug. To list a few let’s start with taking MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction which may affect heart rhythm. Using aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding when used with this medication. There is a risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity when trying to achieve that Prozac high especially when using street drugs such as MDMA/ecstasy. Using Prozac and alcohol or other products that cause drowsiness including antihistamines, drugs for sleep or anxiety, muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers, will cause a Prozac overdose. This overdose can lead to death.
What has been your experience with Prozac?