Prozac, like other antidepressants and most medications in general, has its share of side effects, including insomnia, headache, appetite loss, and nausea. Antidepressants like Prozac have the potential for a range of side effects. The presence or degree of side effects differs for each Prozac patient.
Common Side Effects
In order to gain approval of the Food and Drug Administration, Prozac has undergone a number of large clinical trials to test its effectiveness and record side effects. During the drug trials, any side effects that participants experienced were recorded, and clinicians have identified the most common Prozac side effects. This list includes the side effects reported most frequently by Prozac users with an indication of the percentage of people indicating these side effects. Note that the percentages are the very highest percent; in some clinical trials, a smaller percentage of patients may have reported these side effects.
- Sleep-related side effects: insomnia (33%)
- Sexual side effects: low libido (11%), impotence (7%), difficulty ejaculating (7%)
- Digestive system side effects: nausea (29%), diarrhea (18%), indigestion (10%)
- Other physical side effects: weakness (21%), dizziness (17%), loss of appetite (17%), excessive sweating (8%), headache (21%), tremor (13%), dry mouth (12%), anxiety (15%) excessive yawning (11%)
Some additional side effects were experienced less frequently by Prozac patients. The following were reported by at least 1 percent of Prozac users:
- Changes in vision
- Fever or chills
- Changes in weight – either weight loss or an increased appetite and weight gain
- Changes in dreams
- Changes in vision or sense of taste
- Flushed skin
Additional Side Effects
Some of Prozac’s less common side effects are more serious in nature and may possibly require medical treatment. One category of these rare side effects involves changes in behavior, which may include aggressiveness, risky or dangerous behavior, anxiety, restlessness, or extreme happiness. Because Prozac works on serotonin, Prozac users have the potential to develop serotonin syndrome, which involves confusion, hallucinations, agitation, seizures, or coma.
Rare Side Effects
Prozac has been linked to some additional side effects: thyroid problems, arthritis, diabetes, stroke, congestive heart failure, asthma, and high blood pressure or cholesterol. While each of these side effects is very rare, Prozac patients should be alert for any of these symptoms.
An FDA warning alerts patients to the potential for increased suicidal tendencies in a very small portion of children and teens who take Prozac.