Does Prozac make your anxiety worse before making it better?
This blog post will answer the question, “Does Prozac make your anxiety worse before making it better?”. Prozac is an antidepressant which can be used in the treatment of generalised and social anxiety disorders. It can also be used to help reduce the frequency of your panic attacks.
However, prozac is associated with a number of side effects and it might make your journey a little bit difficult, especially during the first few weeks of your treatment.
This blog is all about that and we will also discuss some lifestyle changes that may help make your journey with prozac a little easier.
Does Prozac make your anxiety worse before making it better?
Yes, prozac does make your anxiety worse before making it better. It is a known fact that prozac, in fact every other antidepressant, takes at least 4 to 6 weeks to start producing noticeable therapeutic results. However, it starts producing side effects way earlier.
Your body takes time to adjust to antidepressants and once it completely adapts to the presence of the drug, that’s when these side effects begin to subside. Prozac belongs to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
When the serotonin is released in the synaptic cleft, it binds to its receptors and produces its respective effects. However, when all the receptors are taken, some of the serotonin is left in the synaptic cleft.
In usual practice, this serotonin is taken up from the synaptic cleft back into the presynaptic neuron (the neuron which released this excitatory neurotransmitter in the first place).
Prozac and its fellow antidepressants inhibit the reuptake of serotonin by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT) which are solely responsible for the reuptake of serotonin. This results in increased amounts of serotonin to counteract the effects of depression and anxiety.
Serotonin is an excitatory neurotransmitter which is responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes.
Once your antidepressant starts working, It improves sleep quality, increases appetite, boosts energy levels, reduces the frequency of panic attacks and much more. Anxiety and depression do not progress overnight.
These health conditions gradually start deteriorating your mental health and with time your symptoms become much worse and you start needing the actual antidepressant treatment. Similarly, the treatment also takes time to produce the beneficial effects.
What other conditions are treated with prozac?
Prozac (Fluoxetine) is used for the treatment of following health conditions other than anxiety:
Prozac is used in the treatment of mild to major depression disorder (MDD). It is a state of mind which is concerned with disturbing thoughts, especially about one’s self.
It is associated with symptoms like hopelessness, tearfulness and emptiness. Depression is caused by the deficiency of excitatory neurotransmitters.
Prozac increases the amount of active serotonin to help relieve the symptoms of depression. Serotonin is an excitatory neurotransmitter responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Prozac is used to treat symptoms of OCD. It is a condition characterised by troublesome thoughts that won’t go away, no matter what you do, and a weird urge to do things over and over again.
Over time, prozac has proven to be a suitable treatment option for treating panic attacks. They are sudden, uncontrollable attacks of fear and worry. A patient might unwillingly exaggerate a certain condition and gets frightened, often to the point where he gets attacked by seizures.
Prozac can also be used to help relieve the symptoms associated with eating disorders like bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders. The symptoms include increased intake of fatty and greasy foods, high sugar intake, eating in larger, more frequent portions, feelings of disgust etc.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Prozac is also used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including symptoms like mood swings, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness.
What are the most common side effects associated with the use of prozac?
Common side effects of prozac include:
- Skin rash
- Muscular pain
- Joint pain
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of sexual desire
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.
- 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
These side effects can vary from person to person. It is impossible to predict how your body will react when exposed to antidepressants.
This is exactly why the doctors usually start the treatment from the lowest effective dose in order to determine that you are not allergic to the active ingredient of prozac, that is fluoxetine, or any other excipient present in its formulation.
Once it is confirmed that you are tolerating prozac well and can gain benefits from it in the long run, only then your dose is increased.
What health conditions are sensitive to the use of prozac?
Prozac should not be used in people living with the following health conditions:
Taking prozac might trigger mania in people with bipolar disorder. If you have this condition, talk to your doctor before using this med.
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.
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.
Prozac may trigger a glaucoma attack. If you have glaucoma, consult your doctor before taking this medicine.
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
How to ensure the proper use of prozac?
In order to achieve the maximum therapeutic response from a drug, it is extremely important to use it right. Make sure prozac is the right choice of antidepressant for you. Stick to your doctor’s recommended dose. Do not take more or less than that.
Ask your doctor before taking prozac if you’re pregnant, trying to conceive or if you’re a breastfeeding mother. This drug can pass into the breastmilk, which is why it is important to ensure its safety in a breastfed baby.
If you fail to understand how to use the drug properly or have any other question, ask your doctor or pharmacist. In case of overdose, immediately reach out to the hospital. Make sure you properly guide them about how much drug you have taken and when.
If you have missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but if a lot of time has passed and your next dose is near, do not take it. It’s better to skip the missed dose and take the next one.
Report any problems with bleeding or bruising to your doctor. If you see any unexplained blisters or rashes on your body, or experience any problems with urination, or if you feel changes in your vision, immediately report to your healthcare provider.
Keep the bottle away from children and pets. In case of overdose, immediately take them to the hospital.
In this blog post, we discussed how prozac makes your anxiety worse before making it better. It is a known fact that prozac, in fact every other antidepressant, takes at least 4 to 6 weeks to start producing noticeable therapeutic results.
However, it starts producing side effects way earlier. Your body takes time to adjust to antidepressants and once it completely adapts to the presence of the drug, that’s when these side effects begin to subside.
Prozac is used to treat mild to severe episodes of depression, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It can also be used to treat erectile dysfunction, migraines and pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.
Once your prozac starts working, It improves sleep quality, increases appetite, boosts energy levels, reduces the frequency of panic attacks and much more.
FAQs: prozac anxiety worse before better
Can fluoxetine make you feel worse before better?
Yes, fluoxetine can make you feel worse before making it better. It is a known fact that prozac, in fact every other antidepressant, takes at least 4 to 6 weeks to start producing noticeable therapeutic results. However, it starts producing side effects way earlier.
Your body takes time to adjust to antidepressants and once it completely adapts to the presence of the drug, that’s when these side effects begin to subside.
How long does increased anxiety last with Prozac?
Prozac induced increased anxiety lasts about 2 to 3 weeks of your treatment with this antidepressant. The side effects usually begin to subside when your body is adjusted to the medication.
Does Prozac work immediately for anxiety?
No, prozac does not work immediately for your anxiety. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and can inhibit the reuptake of serotonin by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT).
This increases the amount of active serotonin in your body which counteracts the effects of anxiety. However, this can not be done immediately and your body takes at least 4 to 6 weeks to start producing noticeable therapeutic results.
Prozac may start to make your physical symptoms associated with depression a little better. However, it can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to start making your psychological symptoms better.
You may also experience a few side effects, which may start right after you take your first ever dose, but these side effects begin to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment.
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.
Can prozac change your personality?
Prozac can fix your personality if your depression has ruined it in one way or another. Some people become agitated when they suffer from depression. They isolate themselves and stop hanging out with their friends and family.
They stop engaging in their favourite activities and don’t even feel like leaving their house. This long-term isolation, anxiety and overthinking can mess up a person’s brain. Prozac fixes these depression symptoms.
Over time, people start feeling better and start engaging in normal activities which seemed nerve-racking during the episodes of depression. This is how prozac affects your personality.
- Shamsah B Sonawalla et al. J Psychopharmacol. (2002) – Fluoxetine treatment of depressed patients with comorbid anxiety disorders https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12236627/
- Małgorzata Zienowicz (2006) – Fluoxetine-induced anxiety and nervousness https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16531638/
- James M. Ferguson, M.D. – SSRI Antidepressant Medications: Adverse Effects and Tolerability https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181155/
- Prozac oral https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6997/prozac-oral/details
- P Brambilla (2005) – Side-effect profile of fluoxetine in comparison with other SSRIs, tricyclic and newer antidepressants: a meta-analysis of clinical trial data https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15744630/