Does prozac cause leg pain? (A Common Side Effect)

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about prozac induced leg pain. Prozac is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. 

It is also associated with a number of side effects and this blog will cover how prozac can cause leg pain, what is the incidence of this side effect, and what could be done to get rid of this pain. 

Does prozac cause leg pain? 

Yes, prozac is associated with leg pain because of its ability to affect your bones and muscles. This side effect is reported by multiple individuals and it usually starts within a few days of your treatment. 

However, studies suggest that leg pain related to bone condition is more commonly reported after a prolonged use of this antidepressant, but leg pain related to muscle tension can be experienced quite early. 

What does research suggest?

Multiple research studies have explained the effects of prozac on the muscles and bones. A 1999 study indicated that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can cause muscle spasms in your lower extremities as a result of the effects of serotonin on motor activity and reflex actions

Another study indicated that prozac may cause extrapyramidal side effects in some people and may cause strong abnormal muscular contraction or pain. 

These muscles can involve thigh and calf muscles. One more study concluded that the prolonged use of prozac is responsible for increasing the activation of skeletal muscles which may induce involuntary contraction of the said muscles. 

This can also be a cause of leg pain, especially in people who have been taking this antidepressant for quite a while now. A 2018 study indicated that prozac can cause structural changes in skeletal muscles. 

It was also indicated that prolonged use of high doses of fluoxetine can affect metabolism and functions of skeletal muscles and can cause muscle spasms, twitching, stiffness and pain. 

Leg pain can also be a bone pain because prozac can cause side effects in your bones and joints as well. 

A 2020 study indicated that prozac may cause some changes in the bone marrow which can increase the process of bone loss in people who have been taking this antidepressant for a couple of years now. A recent 2021 study indicated the same effect of prozac on bone and joint health. 

The study was based on both men and women and it concluded that SSRIs can indeed decrease bone mass and can weaken joints over time. 

It can also make you more susceptible to fractures and may cause conditions like osteoarthritis and osteoporosis in women. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of leg pain in women, especially in post-menopausal women.

Is there anything you can do to get rid of your prozac induced leg pain? 

There are a few tips that might help relieve some of your pain, but if your antidepressant is responsible for causing it, mere home remedies won’t be able to cure the pain. 

It is extremely important to inform your healthcare provider about your side effects or how prozac is affecting your normal bodily functions. Prozac is not for everyone and may cause long-term damage in some people. 

Make sure you discuss this with your doctor that prozac will help you in the wrong run and it holds more benefits than risks. If your leg pain or any other side effect persists, it indicates that prozac is not the right choice of antidepressant for you. A few tips to help relieve your leg pain include:

Over-the-counter pain relief medications

If your leg pain is severe and is causing serious discomfort, you can take OTC pain relief medication. It is advised to ask your doctor first before you take any medication. OTC painkillers include paracetamol (acetaminophen) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 

Paracetamol is safe to take along with prozac, but NSAIDs should be used cautiously and only if approved by your doctor. Concomitant use of these two can lead to high risk of bleeding. 

Stretch your leg muscles 

Stretching is extremely important to help those leg muscles breathe. It also provides relief when you’re in pain. It’s okay if you’re a beginner and you don’t do this much, you can simply search for beginner’s stretching moves online and get going. You can also try the following two stretches:

Hamstring stretch

Hamstring stretch is a great way to relax your calves. If your leg pain is because of the tension in your lower legs, this stretching move can help relieve it. You can also do this before you go to bed, in order to release all the tension that has been building up throughout the day. 

This is how you do it:

  • Stand straight with your arms by your side. 
  • Bend over until your hands reach your feet. 
  • Touch your ankles or you can grab them for support and hold this position for a minute or two.

Frog stretch 

This move can help relax your lower back and thigh muscles. It will help relieve any pressure in your thighs and lower back and will help relieve your pain and will also help you relax. 

This is how you do it

  • Get down on all fours
  • Widen your knees outwards until they become wider than your shoulders. 
  • If you think this doesn’t provide enough stretch, you can widen your knees as much as you can painlessly. 
  • Rest your forearms on the ground
  • Hold this position for 2 to 3 minutes, or as long as you can.

Pay attention to your bone health

As discussed earlier, studies have revealed that prozac can decrease bone mass with long term treatment, it is important for you to look for ways to strengthen your bones. Your bones may be the root cause of your leg pain. 

Make sure you have enough calcium in your body. Calcium is an essential mineral for your bone and muscle health. Common sources of calcium include milk and other dairy foods, rice and almond milk, soy milk, fortified orange juice and salmon etc. 

Vitamin D is also extremely important for your bone health. If you don’t have enough vitamin D in your system, you will not be able to absorb the calcium in your bones. These two minerals go hand in hand and work together to strengthen your bones.

Phosphorus is also an important mineral for bone health. It helps in bone repair and formation of new bone cells. 

Again, sedentarism can really damage your bone health. Skeletal system is designed to be moved. Your bones stay healthy when you keep using them. Staying inactive will cause them to waste away. 

Massage

You can try massaging the affected part of your legs  with warm oil. It really helps reduce the swelling by increasing the blood flow, which also helps in healing broken tissues. You can try peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil to massage your sore joints. 

Wear a tight elastic wrap

Tight elastic wraps are widely used to support swollen and painful knee joints. You can wear one if your leg pain is associated with your painful knee joint. Tight elastic wrap restricts excessive movement and the applied pressure really helps in providing constant support to the joint. 

Do not strain your legs 

Make sure you don’t strain your legs. Avoid doing high intensity exercises like running or jogging. Don’t stand for too long if you suffer from prozac induced knee joint pain. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we discussed prozac induced leg pain. The possible cause of prozac causing this pain is its ability to induce muscle tension, stiffness and bone damage. It is advised to always consult your doctor when you suffer from prozac induced side effects. 

It is not recommended to start managing your side effects on your own. Even over-the-counter agents should be approved by your doctor first as some of them have the potential to react with prozac. 

In case of leg pain and stiffness, you can try a few methods we have discussed to help relieve the pain. You can stretch, use natural muscle relaxants, try to avoid sedentarism and can add wholesome foods to your diet to enhance your muscle and bone health. 

FAQs: Prozac leg pain

Does prozac cause leg pain? 

Yes, prozac is associated with leg pain because of its ability to affect your bones and muscles. This side effect is reported by multiple individuals and it usually starts within a few days of your treatment. 

However, studies suggest that leg pain related to bone condition is more commonly reported after a prolonged use of this antidepressant, but leg pain related to muscle tension can be experienced quite early. 

Can fluoxetine cause permanent damage?

It depends on the duration of your treatment. People with mild depression start getting better within a few months and usually start tapering off fluoxetine. People with long term treatment are at risk of fluoxetine causing permanent changes in their system. 

An example of this damage is bone health. Studies revealed that long term use of fluoxetine can cause irreversible bone damage by decreasing bone mass. It could result in lifelong conditions like osteoporosis or osteoarthritis in women.

What are the negative side effects of prozac? 

Prozac is also associated with some serious side effects, which often require immediate medical attention. These include:

  • 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 

Can fluoxetine affect joints?

Yes, fluoxetine can affect joints and cause joint and bone pain, ranging from mild to severe. It can also cause stiffness and inflammation in various joints of the body, including shoulder joints, hip joints, knee joints and finger joints. Make sure you report this side effect to your healthcare provider to ensure the safety of fluoxetine in long-term use. 

Can fluoxetine cause body aches?

Fluoxetine is associated with body ache by causing pressure in your muscles and bones. Many people have reported pain just after a few hours of starting this antidepressant. Fluoxetine induced body aches should go away on their own within 3 to 4 weeks of treatment. 

This time duration varies from person to person. Some people stop experiencing body aches after a few weeks, while others take much longer to recover. Make sure you discuss your side effects with your doctor. 

What antiinflammatory can I take with prozac?

Some experts suggest that it is okay to take Advil but only if absolutely necessary. These two drugs should be used cautiously and only when there is no other way around. The use of sertraline with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can increase the risk of bleeding. 

References 

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