What to expect when going from 20mg to 10mg Prozac?

In this blog post, we are going to talk about the effects of lowering the dose of prozac from 20 mg to 10 mg. Prozac is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health related problems. The article will cover the reasons which lead to the reduction of dose and one should expect from it.

What to expect when going from 20mg to 10mg prozac?

You can expect three things when you go from 20 mg to 10 mg prozac:

  • Better prozac tolerability
  • Lesser side effects
  • Safe prozac withdrawal
  • Safe switching to another antidepressant

Better prozac tolerability

One of the most common reasons for dose reduction is prozac intolerance. It is impossible to predict how a person will react once his or her body is exposed to prozac. 

This is exactly why it is recommended to start from the lowest effective dose and go higher once you are certain that you can tolerate prozac well and it’s the right choice of antidepressant for you. 

Studies have indicated that some people begin to exhibit signs of an allergic reaction right away, which is commonly associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 

This indicates that some people can not even tolerate the presence of prozac in their body and such treatment can not be continued in them. The problem with tolerance is also seen when the dose is increased for the first time. 

After showing a good response on 10 mg, some people escalated to 20 mg, but they immediately started to show intolerable side effects, which resulted in lowering the dose back from 20 mg to 10 mg. 

For such people, more time is given for their body to adjust to the med and the dose is then increased gradually, over a period of few3 weeks. This practice can prevent side effects that come along with rapid increase of the dose. Serious side effects of prozac 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 

Lesser side effects

Another common reason for reducing the prozac dose from 20 mg to 10 mg is to achieve a lesser side effect of the profile. 

Some people respond relatively well to the treatment with prozac but are irritated because of common side effects like insomnia or loss of libido which really disturbs and annoys them to the point where the doctor reduces the dose for a while in order to provide relief from such side effects. 

The most common side effects of prozac include:

  • Restlessness 
  • Anxiety 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Skin rash
  • Muscular pain
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Tiredness 
  • Sweating 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Loss of sexual desire 

These side effects can vary from person to person. Some people have reported increased drowsiness on 20 mg prozac which even started affecting their daytime activities like work, driving or anything that required that full mental alertness.

This resulted in dose reduction from 20 mg to 10 mg prozac. Similarly, some people have reported insomnia and disturbed sleep patterns which again required their doctors to reduce the dose. 

Antidepressants increase the amount of excitatory neurotransmitters to counteract the symptoms of depression. Now this excessive neuronal activity makes people respond in different ways. 

If your doctor notices that you’re presented with more side effects at a higher dose, he or she tones it down to give your body more time to adjust to this med at a lower dose. 

An increase in side effects is seen most commonly when the dose is escalated from initial dose to a bit higher. 

Safe Prozac withdrawal

When it comes to the discontinuation of prozac, dose reduction is crucial. If the prozac is stopped abruptly, without first decreasing the dose gradually, it results in discontinuation or withdrawal symptoms. 

Discontinuation syndrome usually happens when you stop taking prozac cold turkey. If you want to stop taking an antidepressant, the advice is to speak to your doctor, in order to taper the medication slowly. 

Symptoms associated with discontinuation syndrome really mess up your brain. They sometimes irritate you, even more than the side effects your medicine was giving you. Prozac withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Emotional stress 
  • Nightmares 
  • Irritability 
  • Agitation 
  • Confusion 
  • Delirium 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Headaches
  • Constant crying
  • Inability to concentrate or think clearly 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Awkward behaviour 
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Chills
  • Feeling suffocated with excessive sweating 
  • Insomnia or somnolence 
  • Relapse of symptoms associated with mental health conditions. 

In order to protect you from above mentioned symptoms, your dose is first lowered down. Prozac and other antidepressants increase the amounts of excitatory neurotransmitter serotonin in your body. 

Sudden withdrawal causes deficiency and your receptors end up craving the excess amount of serotonin. So, if you abruptly stop taking it, your receptors which are dependent on it will start to have a major impact of serotonin deficiency.

This is exactly why dose tapering is considered extremely important with antidepressants. It is a safe and effective method to withdraw SSRIs. Your healthcare provider simply just reduces the dose of your antidepressant. 

It enables you to start taking medicine in lesser quantities without completely depriving your receptors of serotonin. Half of the dose keeps

decreasing gradually over the period of 7 to 8 days. 

After spending a week or two, the med is on its lowest possible dose and now it is considered safe for you to stop using it.

Safe switching to another antidepressant

Reducing the prozac dose from 20 mg to 10 mg is also important if your doctor is switching your prozac to another antidepressant. It normally happens when prozac is not tolerated well and the person is switched to a safer antidepressant. 

Make sure you properly follow the instructions of your healthcare professional. In some practices, the dose of the first drug is lowered down while the new drug is started, also from the lowest effective dose. 

At this time period, you’re supposed to take two antidepressants, as you’re tapering one down and starting another. 

Experts believe that this time period could be a bit confusing for some people and they sometimes take more than they should. Make sure to stay on the lowest doses while you’re taking two antidepressants, because high doses can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. 

It is a condition associated with too much serotonin in your system, which binds excessively to all of its receptors present throughout the body. The increased serotonergic activity causes a number of symptoms which include:

  • Excessive sweating 
  • Restlessness and fatigue
  • Headache, which often feels like your head is pounding
  • Changes in blood pressure and/or temperature
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bradycardia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle twitching and muscle pain
  • Shivering and goosebumps

Make sure you carefully take the prescribed dose and protect yourself from getting unwanted side effects. 

How to ensure the proper use of prozac?

First of all, make sure you are not taking some other medication or any other substance that has an ability to interact with your antidepressant. It is not recommended to use prozac with the following drugs:

  • Monoaminoxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). The combination use can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. 
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). The combination use can increase the risk of bleeding. 
  • Pimozide. The concomitant use can increase the plasma concentration(availability of a drug in the blood) of pimozide to much higher levels. It can result in life-threatening arrhythmia.
  • Controlled substances, including all narcotic analgesics. The concomitant use can cause severe psychological side effects. 
  • Mood stabilisers 
  • Alcohol 

Drug interaction is a serious problem and it is often neglected. Make sure you properly inform your doctor about your prescription medications to rule out any possible interaction between your prescription medications. 

sure you take your med as directed by your doctor. Prozac can be taken with or without food. However, it is recommended to take prozac with food in order to prevent prozac induced acid reflux. A few more points include:

  • Do not suggest medications, unless you are a healthcare professional yourself. Do not share medications. You might think your conditions match but oftentimes they don’t. It’s actually pretty dangerous.
  • 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.
  • In case you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember your med. In case a lot of time has passed, skip the dose and take the next one. This will prevent the overdose of your med.


In this blog post, we have talked about going from 20 mgprozac to 10 g prozac. Prozac is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health related problems. One of the most common reasons for dose reduction is prozac intolerance. 

As it is possible to predict how people will react to prozac, most healthcare providers start from the lowest effective dose. 

Another common reason for reducing the prozac dose from 20 mg to 10 mg is to achieve a lesser side effect of the profile. Make sure you use it exactly as directed by your doctor. 

FAQs: going from 20 mg to 10 mg prozac

Is 10 mg of Prozac low?

10 mg prozac is an initial dose. It is best to start from the lowest effective dose as you can not predict how your body will react to the med. The dose is increased later according to your prozac tolerability and the severity of your condition. 

Will 10 mg of Prozac do anything?

Prozac is an antidepressant which belongs to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Prozac actively inhibits the reuptake of serotonin from the synaptic cleft back to the presynaptic neuron by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT). 

This results in an increased amount of serotonin in the body, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

How long does it take for 10mg Prozac to work?

Prozac usually takes about 4 weeks to start producing noticeable results. However, this time period can vary from person to person. 

How do I wean off Prozac 10 mg?

10 mg prozac is relatively a low dose, but it is still recommended to taper it down as much as possible before stopping it altogether.

Is it better to take Prozac in the morning or at night?

It depends on your side effects. If prozac causes loss of appetite, drowsiness and nausea, it’s best to take it at night. If it causes loss of libido, insomnia and urinary problems, take it in the morning.


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