Prozac | fluoxetine, introduced in 1986 by Ely Lilly and Company was the first in a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) and is similar in function to drugs like Luvox (fluvoxamine), Zoloft (sertraline), and Celexa (citalopram). Prozac is FDA approved for the treatment of:
To treat depression, Prozac is taken one a day at 20 mg and increased to a maximum of 80 mg once a day. If you feel drowsy when taking Prozac, its best that you take it before bedtime. If it keeps you awake, go ahead and take it in the morning.
For panic disorder, Prozac is initiated at 10 mg a day and increased to a usual dosage of 20 mg daily. If your symptoms persist, your healthcare provider may increase the daily dosage to a maximum of 60 mg.
Prozac Weekly is a long-lasting version of the drug that is taken once every seven days. It comes in a 90 mg tablet (the only dosage available) and should be taken on the same day each week to ensure that a steady level of the drug remains in your bloodstream.
How does Prozac work?
No one knows exactly how Prozac relieves the symptoms of depression and related disorders. It is believed that this medication works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or chemical that is used in the process of sending messages from one nerve cell to another.
When a message travels through a nerve, the nerve ending releases serotonin. When serotonin gets to the next nerve cell in the chain, receptors are activated and the message continues along the line. The cell that released the serotonin then reabsorbs any residual chemical that is in the gap. This is called “reuptake.” Under normal circumstances, this process occurs without any problems.
When there is not enough serotonin between nerve cells, disorders such as depression or anxiety may occur. Prozac blocks the reuptake of serotonin so that more of it remains in between the brain’s nerve cells. Serotonin then has a better chance of activating the chemical receptors on the next nerve cell. This is believed to enhance mood and alleviate some of your symptoms.