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Prozac: Important Facts of Interest 

Prozac: Why is it prescribed? 

prozacProzac is most frequently prescribed for the treatment of depression.  The types of depression for which Prozac is usually recommended are usually of the moderate to severe variety which interfere with daily functioning and is frequently referred to as major depression.  The symptoms of major depression often include changes in appetite, sleep habits, decreased sex drive, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness; difficulty concentrating; slow thinking; and suicidal thoughts. 

Prozac for obsessive-compulsive disorders: 

Prozac is also prescribed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Obsessions are thoughts which won't go away and compulsions are actions done over and over to relieve the anxiety usually associated with the obsession.  Prozac is also used in the treatment of bulimia (a binge eating disorder involving deliberate vomiting) and also has been used to treat other eating disorders as well as obesity. 


Prozac for premenstrual dysphoric disorder: 

Under the brand name Serafem which is the active ingredient in Prozac, it is also sometimes prescribed for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD.), which is more commonly referred to as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder include mood changes such as anxiety, depression, irritability, persistent anger, mood swings and frequently some level excessive tension.  Physical problems are also associated with the PMDD which include bloating, breast tenderness, headache, and joint and muscle pain.  Symptoms have a tendency to begin 1 to 2 weeks before a women’s premenstrual period and frequently are severe enough to interfere with daily activities and relationships. 

Prozac: What kind of medication is it? 

Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), activating an increase in the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or a chemical messenger in the brain believed to govern moods.  Usually, it is quickly reabsorbed after its release from a neuron in the brain.  However, reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac, delay the process thereby boosting levels of serotonin available in the brain to more appropriately regulate moods.

By Paul Susic Ph.D.  Licensed Psychologist  

prozacInformation provided by The PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs - Sixth Edition

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