Can prozac make your heart pound?

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can prozac make your heart pound?”. Prozac is an antidepressant which is associated with a number of side effects. 

Several studies have revealed the possible unknown side effects of this antidepressant in the last 2 decades. This blog is all about the effects of prozac on your heart. 

Can prozac make your heart pound? 

Prozac may make your heart pound or cause heart palpitations. Although prozac is not considered a cardiotoxic antidepressant, it can still cause arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. 

This is not a common side effect and is usually reported by 1% of the population taking Prozac. However, many experts believe that there can be other factors that may contribute to the cardiac side effects of prozac. 

A pounding heart is usually associated with abnormal heartbeats, which are too hard and fast. You can literally feel your entire heart beating in your chest. You may notice your heart pounding in your chest, neck or shoulders.

They can be scary or bothersome. Heart pounding or palpitations are not that harmful and can fade away on their own, but they are considered dangerous when coupled with following symptoms: shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain and fainting. 

Heart pounding can also be experienced while tapering off prozac. If you feel this way after taking your first ever prozac dose, it may indicate an allergic reaction. 

If it develops over time then it indicates that your antidepressant might not suit you or is not the right choice of antidepressant for you. 

Make sure you immediately inform your healthcare provider. This side effect needs to be addressed and the safety and efficacy of prozac should be determined properly. 

What does research suggest? 

Several research studies have concluded that prozac is generally safe and is not cardiotoxic. It can, in fact, be used for the treatment of depression and anxiety in people suffering from coronary artery diseases and congestive heart failure. 

However, it may make your heart pound or cause arrhythmia. Some surveys have revealed that prozac can cause tachycardia (increased heartbeat), while other surveys have shown the complaints of bradycardia (decreased heartbeat). 

This indicates that prozac may produce variable cardiological effects in different individuals. A 1998 study compared the effects of prozac and tricyclic antidepressants on the heart rate. 

The study concluded that prozac is safer than TCAs, but can still produce abnormal heartbeats associated with QT elongation.

A 1991 case study included a 54 year old woman who was presented with the complaint of supraventricular tachycardia. This condition can generate unusual heartbeats and make you feel like your heart is pounding. 

Is there any tip that can help slow down your pounding heart? 

There are a few tips that can help. These include:

Try some relaxing techniques 

When you feel your heart pounding in your chest, try to relax a little. Relaxation can help tone down your heartbeat. Make sure you do a breathing exercise including inhaling and exhaling. 

This can help provide your body with enough oxygen and can decrease some of the work of your heart. You can try yoga and meditation. If you’re at work and you suffer from this condition, take a break and stop working for a while. 

Sit in an open airy space, breathe in fresh air and try to relax. If you’re at home, you can sit comfortably and enjoy a cup of your favourite tea. 

Cut back on alcohol and controlled substances 

It is not a good option to drink alcohol or use any controlled substances if your heart is pounding as a side effect of your prozac. Prozac and alcohol don’t do well together even if your heartbeat is fine. 

Your antidepressant should also not be combined with controlled substances like morphine, heroin and amphetamines etc. 

It is also not recommended to drink excessive coffee as caffeine can also contribute to your pounding heart and can make this side effect even more worse. 

The use of these substances is literally a bad idea as they stimulate cardiac muscle contraction and may increase your heartbeat even more. 

Make sure your electrolytes are balanced

Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium etc play an important role in cardiac muscle contraction. Make sure your electrolytes are within normal range, not too low or not too high. Sodium and calcium are the most common electrolytes which are associated with your heart rate. 

Too much concentration of these electrolytes in your blood can cause stronger cardiac muscle contraction and may cause a significant increase in your blood pressure. 

Stay hydrated

Make sure you drink plenty of water. Dehydration can make your prozac induced heart pounding even more worse. This is because water makes up 70% of our body and is a big part of your blood. 

When the water level changes, your blood volume changes with it, which can affect the workload of your heart. When you’re dehydrated, your blood volume falls and your heart needs to beat faster to compensate for the inadequate amount of oxygen reaching your cells. 

Exercise regularly and avoid sedentarism 

Make sure you make exercise an important part of your routine. Cardio workouts can strengthen your heart muscles and make them able to withstand stress and pressure. This not only keeps your heart healthy, but can also prevent heart diseases.

If your heart muscles are strong, you may not be affected with the pounding as much as you will if your cardiac muscles are weak. You don’t have to do vigorous exercise. 

If you’re not used to working out, you can start from baby steps. Just start walking as it is the easiest kind of exercise. When you develop endurance, you can take your workout routine up a notch. 

What health conditions can make your heart pound? 

Other health related causes of heart pounding include:

  • lifestyle factors
  • emotions and psychological triggers
  • hormone changes
  • heart rhythm problems
  • heart conditions
  • other medical conditions

Lifestyle factors

Lifestyle factors are considered most important in regulating your heart rate and blood pressure. Heart pounding can be triggered by high intensity exercises, excessive use of alcohol and caffeine, poor sleep quality, overeating or eating too much spicy food.

Irregular heartbeat triggered by such factors are not so dangerous and can go away on their own. However, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle if you don’t want them to come back.

Emotional or psychological factors

Heart pounding is also often caused by emotions or psychological issues, such as excitement or nervousness, stress or anxiety and panic attacks (sudden, uncontrollable attacks of fear and worry. A patient might unwillingly exaggerate a certain condition and gets frightened)

Hormonal changes

Heart pounding or palpitations in women can sometimes be the result of hormonal changes that happen during periods, pregnancy, or menopause. In these cases, the irregular heartbeats are usually temporary and are not something to be concerned about. 

Problems associated with heart rhythms

Heart pounding can also be triggered by some heart conditions associated with arrhythmia. These conditions include:

  • A condition called atrial fibrillation, in which heartbeats are fast and irregular.
  • A condition known as supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), which is characterised by unusual fast heartbeats.
  • A condition called ventricular tachycardia, which is a dangerous condition. It involves irregular heartbeat and can sometimes cause unconsciousness 

Other medical conditions

Other medical conditions that can cause heart pounding include:

  • Hyperthyroidism, a condition in which there is overproduction of thyroid hormones by thyroid gland, as a result of its over activity
  • Hypoglycaemia, which in simple words mean low blood glucose level.
  • Anaemia, which indicates the deficiency of red blood cells. In this condition, the heart works faster to provide enough oxygen to all cells of the body. 
  • Orthostatic hypotension, a condition which causes dizziness triggered by standing up too fast.
  • Fever
  • Dehydration .

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed prozac induced heart pounding. We learned that prozac may make your heart pound, a condition characterised with your heart beating harder and faster. You literally feel as if your heart will jump out of your chest and run away. 

This feeling is normal when you shift from lower to higher doses of prozac. Antidepressants are those medicines which need time to settle in your body. They don’t work like pain relieving medicines which start working in an hour or two. 

Heart pounding is also experienced in case of prozac withdrawal. But again, you need to give your body some time to adapt if you’re shifting from no antidepressant to antidepressant and vice versa. 

We have also discussed some ways that can help you relax your cardiac muscles. Make sure you reach out to your healthcare provider if you exhibit any abnormal side effects. 

FAQs: prozac heart pounding 

Can Prozac make your heart race?

Prozac may make your heartbeat irregular. Although prozac is not considered a cardiotoxic antidepressant, it can still cause arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. 

This is not a common side effect and is usually reported by 1% of the population taking Prozac. However, many experts believe that there can be other factors that may contribute to the cardiac side effects of prozac. 

Are heart palpitations a side effect of antidepressants?

Yes, heart palpitations are a side effect of antidepressants. Some classes like tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are more common when it comes to cardiological side effects. SSRIs and SNRIs are considered safer as compared to TCAs and are not cardiotoxic in nature, but they can still trigger arrhythmia, heart palpitations and QT elongation. 

When do Prozac side effects go away?

Prozac induced side effects usually begin to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. However, this time duration can vary from person to person. 

Some people may start to recover much earlier than the others. Make sure you inform your healthcare provider if you notice any unusual side effect or a possible allergic reaction. 

Which antidepressant does not cause heart palpitations?

Fluvoxamine, fluoxetine and paroxetine, other members of the SSRI family, are considered safer for the cardiovascular system. They can be used to cure depression and anxiety in people living with cardiovascular diseases. 

When should I be worried about heart palpitations?

Immediately reach out to your healthcare provider if you experience shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain and fainting. Normal irregular heart palpitations can be caused by dehydration, tiredness and stress but if you experience the above mentioned symptoms, it indicates that you need immediate medical attention. 

How do you deal with Prozac side effects?

Prozac induced side effects usually begin to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. This time period is crucial as your body takes time to adjust to the antidepressant. If your side effects persist, it indicates that either your dose is too high or prozac is not the right choice of antidepressant for you. 

References 

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