One of the most common mental disorders in the United States is depression, to which pharmaceutical companies responded with an ever-growing number of antidepressant medications. However, along with the effectiveness and use of the antidepressant drugs, health care professionals have raised concerns over the complications and adverse side effects that have been associated with their use.
Prozac Side Effects
Some of the side effects associated with the use of Prozac are:
Delayed or impaired ejaculation or orgasm
Decrease in sexual drive
Irritability and/or agitation
These side effects may reduce after being on Prozac for a while.
Prozac does, however, have more serious side effects that should you experience, should seek medical attention right away. They are:
Technically, antidepressants such as Prozac are not considered addictive in the sense that they do not induce cravings in users. However, doctors say that they do make the users dependant. Those dependent on the drug require a steady dose in order to function normally, and stopping the drug abruptly will likely lead to withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and lethargy. Taking high doses of an SSRI can increase the severity of side effects, and one in particular can be fatal; Serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome is a condition where too much of the mood elevator is present in the brain causing high blood pressure, high body temperature, hyperthermia, and an increased heart rate that can lead to shock. Serotonin syndrome can occur within minutes and can happen when the SSRI is used alone or taken with other medications.
Prozac and Pregnancy
Women who are taking Prozac to manage their depression face a difficult decision if they become pregnant. They can continue taking the drug, risking potential harm to their unborn child, or stop taking the drug and try and cope without it during the pregnancy.
Researchers have linked Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN), a rare and serious lung problem, to newborns whose mother took Prozac during the last half of the pregnancy. A study done in 2009 found that the use of Prozac in pregnancy also increases the risk of premature births, and heart defects and a case study from the Archives or General Psychiatry, released in July 2011, linked the use of SSRIs during the first trimester to an increased risk of the baby developing ASD, an autism spectrum disorder.
If you are taking Prozac and are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk to your family doctor about options to keep both you and your baby healthy.