Prozac, generic name fluoxetine, is an antidepressant that helps many people struggling with depression to feel better and to be able to live normal lives. However, if you need to take Prozac, you should know about the risks and how to take it safely. Prozac abuse, like flexeril abuse or lomotil abuse, is not always taken seriously. Drugs like these are not always considered to be habit forming, but they can be harmful and they can be addictive.
Is Fluoxetine Addictive?
Prozac/fluoxetine is not considered addictive or habit forming by most experts. It belongs to a class of antidepressant drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, and these medications are not classified or scheduled as addictive or having potential for abuse. They also have limited side effects. They are generally safe and the risks are usually considered to be worth the benefits.
On the other hand, there are many patients and their doctors who know that Prozac and other SSRIs can be and are abused. Any kind of substance that alters your mood has the potential to be abused. You take it and it makes you feel better, so you think that if you take more you might feel even better. Or, your doctor may feel that you can stop taking the drug, but you don’t want to stop. You’re worried you won’t be able to feel good anymore without it. Before you know it, you have developed a psychological dependence on your medication.
How to Take Your Prozac Safely
The most important thing you can do to ensure that you take your medication safely is to follow your doctor’s directions. Never take more than you are supposed to take. Never take it for longer than your doctor has directed. Also important is to keep your doctor up to date on how the medication makes you feel. If it’s not working or if it causes side effects, you need to tell your doctor so adjustments can be made. When you don’t follow these guidelines, you put yourself at risk of becoming addicted or of experiencing side effects that could be avoided with a different dosage or different drug.
If you do feel as if you’ve become addicted to your medication, tell someone right away and ask for help. Beating addiction alone is nearly impossible. You will need the help and guidance of professionals to overcome it. Prozac can actually cause withdrawal, a condition known as SSRI withdrawal syndrome. You may feel irritable, anxious or dizzy or have headaches and trouble sleeping if you are addicted and try to quit. These make it really challenging to stop using Prozac.
Taking any medication carries risks. While Prozac is generally considered to be safe and is useful for many people struggling with depression, you need to be aware of the possibility of addiction. Always take your medication as directed and communicate with your doctor about how it makes you feel, and you can avoid becoming dependent on the drug that is supposed to help you