Can you be allergic to Prozac? (+3 common signs) 

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Page last updated: 17/09/2022

Can you be allergic to Prozac? (+3 common signs) 

In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can you be allergic to Prozac?”. Prozac is one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants worldwide, mainly because of the treatment of depression and anxiety. 

These mental health conditions are spreading quite quickly in the modern era and antidepressants are the most trusted weapons to fight against them. 

However, prozac is not well tolerated by every single individual and it causes a severe allergic reaction in some. This is all we’re going to talk about in this blog. 

Can you be allergic to Prozac?

Yes, you can be allergic to either the active ingredient of prozac, fluoxetine, or any other excipient that might be present in the drug formulation. Several surveys have revealed that around 1 in every 100 individuals taking Prozac is allergic to it. 

There is no way to predict your allergy to prozac before taking the medication. The practice of switching antidepressants is quite common because of allergy and intolerance. Immediately report to your healthcare provider if you exhibit any sign of an allergic reaction.

What are the common signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction? 

The common signs and symptoms associated with an allergic reaction include:

Effects on skin

Skin’s response to an allergic reaction is the most common sign. When you’re allergic to prozac and you take it, soon it gets absorbed in your blood. This triggers the allergy mediators in your body and they immediately start showing signs on your skin. It usually includes:

  • Redness of skin
  • Itching 
  • Severe burning sensation 
  • Blisters, with or without pus 
  • Blue-purple patches
  • Peeling skin
  • Swelling 

These signs and symptoms can appear either right after taking your first ever prozac or within a few hours. It depends on the severity of your allergy to prozac. 

Researchers have indicated that these signs and symptoms are much more pronounced if a person who’s allergic to prozac takes a high dose or an overdose. This is exactly why antidepressants are prescribed from the lowest effective dose. 

It is impossible to predict how your body will respond to the drug when you’re about to take it for the first time. Low doses can still possess a threat, but the allergy that comes with such doses is much easier to manage and recover from. 

A case study revealed a 23 year old boy who just got diagnosed with severe depression and was out on 20 mg prozac. Just after a few hours of taking his first ever dose, he was rushed to the hospital with complaints of acute urticaria and severe weakness. 

He also showed signs of angioedema. This indicates that he was having an allergic reaction to prozac which was not only present on the most upper layer of his skin, but his allergy was much deeper in his skin and was spreading continuously. 

This case, however, is rare. If he, or someone else got a reaction that severe, it doesn’t mean you’ll get that too. One thing to notice here is that he might have suffered from a less intense allergic reaction if he had started from 10 mg Prozac, instead of 20 mg. 

Can you be allergic to Prozac? (+3 common signs) 

Effects on respiratory system

Apart from your skin, an allergic reaction also affects your respiratory system. The signs and symptoms include:

  • Tightness of chest 
  • Difficulty in breathing 
  • Wheezing 
  • Hoarseness
  • Chest pain
  • Hyperventilation 

These signs and symptoms are much more dangerous than the skin reactions because they can completely slow your symptoms down and may cause you to fall into anaphylactic shock. 

Anaphylactic shock is a life threatening condition which occurs as a result of swelling in your airways, which dangerously makes your breathing passage narrow. This condition is associated with severe suffocation, arrhythmia and hypotension. 

However, as stated earlier, anaphylactic shocks or serious allergic reactions are seen on much higher doses. Your allergy may not reach this severity if it comes from a low dose. 

Minor swelling in your throat and airways might occur, but it won’t choke you up. Anaphylactic shock is extremely rare with prozac. 

Effects on cardiovascular system

Cardiovascular systems can also be affected if you went through an allergic reaction. Studies suggest that an allergic reaction which affects lungs is more likely to affect the heart as well. It may cause arrhythmia and severe heart palpitations. 

It can also alter your blood pressure abnormally and may make your heart either work much faster or much more slower. However, experts believe they need more data to link an allergic reaction to the cardiovascular system. 

Some experts also believe that an allergic reaction only affects the heart if the cardiovascular function of a person is already compromised. 

What are the important considerations before selecting prozac as an appropriate antidepressant? 

Following considerations are important before starting the treatment of depression with prozac:

Medication history

You must have noticed how you need to give your medical history whenever you visit your healthcare provider. This plays an important role in the selection of your antidepressant. 

If you have a chronic condition, like diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, asthma etc, for which you’re taking meds, it is crucial to check for any drug interaction that you might end up having between your routine medicines and newly prescribed prozac.

Always inform your doctor about every single medication that you take in order to promote safe and effective treatment

Severity of your condition

It is also an important factor to consider. You are supposed to take the antidepressant which suits your condition and its severity. The fact that how you responded to any other antidepressant previously can also make a huge difference. 

The severity of your symptoms also sets your dose. If you’re highly depressed then the low dose of prozac might not do you any good and high doses put you at more risk of developing a severe allergic reaction, if it occurs at all. 

Allergies 

Whenever you go to consult your healthcare provider, it is often asked about your allergies. It is extremely important to inform your doctor about any known allergy you might have.

As you know medicines not only have the active ingredient (fluoxetine being prozac’s active ingredient), but they also have other components, that we call excipients, which help to make the drug palatable. 

So there might be a chance that you are allergic to one of those excipients or the active ingredient itself. In case of allergy, medicines react differently. 

You might experience getting rashes all over your body or might find it hard to breathe. So, always look out for unusual side effects and immediately inform your healthcare provider if your medicine does not suit you. 

Pre-existing health conditions

Prozac is not a good choice of antidepressant for people suffering from certain health conditions. These include:

  • Bipolar disorder

Taking prozac might trigger mania in people with bipolar disorder. If you have this condition, talk to your doctor before using this med. 

  • Kidney problems

If your kidney function is compromised you may not be able to clear this drug out. When the drug is not properly eliminated, it starts getting accumulated in the blood which, in simple words, means more side effects.

  • Seizures

The use of this drug increases your risk of having seizures. Consult your healthcare provider to make sure if the use of prozac is safe for you in this condition or not.

  • Glaucoma

Prozac may trigger a glaucoma attack. If you have glaucoma, consult your doctor before taking this medicine. 

  • Liver problems 

If your liver function is compromised, your body might not metabolise this drug effectively. This increases the level prozac in your body and causes more side effects

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the possible allergic reactions in response to prozac. Prozac is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health related problems. 

You can be allergic to either the active ingredient of prozac, fluoxetine, or any other excipient that might be present in the drug formulation. Several surveys have revealed that around 1 in every 100 individuals taking Prozac is allergic to it. 

There is no way to predict your allergy to prozac before taking the medication. The practice of switching antidepressants is quite common because of allergy and intolerance. Immediately report to your healthcare provider if you exhibit any sign of an allergic reaction. 

We have also discussed some of the most common signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction. Some of them are not so dangerous, but an allergic reaction that reaches your respiratory and cardiovascular system can cause serious complications. 

However, it is not common at lower doses. Even at higher doses, only people who are allergic go through these complications. However, high doses can be intolerable. 

FAQs: allergy to prozac

Can you develop an allergy to Prozac?

Yes, you can be allergic to either the active ingredient of prozac, fluoxetine, or any other excipient that might be present in the drug formulation. Several surveys have revealed that around 1 in every 100 individuals taking Prozac is allergic to it. 

There is no way to predict your allergy to prozac before taking the medication. The practice of switching antidepressants is quite common because of allergy and intolerance. Immediately report to your healthcare provider if you exhibit any sign of an allergic reaction.

Can you become allergic to your antidepressant?

Yes, you can become allergic to your antidepressant. An allergic reaction is inevitable and can be caused after any medication. Not just meds, people are also allergic to certain kinds of foods and fabrics. Make sure you immediately report to your healthcare provider if you exhibit any sign of an allergic reaction.

Why does Prozac make me itch?

Prozac may cause a type of skin allergy in you that makes your skin itch. 

What are the reactions to Prozac?

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 
  • Convulsions 
  • Dark grey-brown colored vomiting
  • Tarry or bloody stools
  • Eye problems including pain, swelling, redness, vision changes etc. 
  • Abnormal mood changes including, excitement following by sudden sadness, erratic behaviour, paranoia etc
  • Kidney function abnormalities, including severe pain, elevation of serum creatinine, difference in urine output and colour, blood urea nitrogen levels etc. 
  • Suicidal behavior 
  • Excessive muscle tremors

When do Prozac side effects go away?

The side effects associated with the use of prozac 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. Experts believe that your side effects last as long it takes for your body to adjust to the antidepressant. 

Does your brain go back to normal after antidepressants?

Your brain does go back to normal after you stop using antidepressants, but it takes time and this time taken depends on the duration of your antidepressant therapy. It could take up to 10 months to go back to your normal serotonin levels, after long-term antidepressant therapy.

References 

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