Anxiety disorders may affect you physically, cognitively, and emotionally. If severe enough, it may also lead to panic attacks, which are very alarming experiences. There are a wide variety of drugs used as treatments for anxiety. The more common and frequently prescribed drug is the fluoxetine hydrochloride, known commonly as Prozac.
Prozac, an oral medicine, is classified under serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), used as antidepressant medications. SSRIs have been proven to be extremely effective in treating anxiety disorders. Prozac has a stronger effect on energy levels compared to other SSRIs, making it greatly effective in treating cases where symptoms of depression and lack of energy are dominant. Despite its stimulating properties, it also works well on panic disorders.
Prozac works by halting the destruction of neurochemical serotonin, which controls moods, appetite, arousal, sleeping patterns and pain level of the patient and thus, causing an increase in serotonin levels, and relieves any anxiety symptoms that the patient experiences. An initial dosage of 10-60 milligrams of Prozac is usually prescribed, once a day over a period of 12 weeks. At the end of the prescription period, the dosage will then be reduced so that the levels of serotonin in the brain can be evened out.
There are many rumours about the risks of Prozac as a dangerous drug, but rest assured, if you have been prescribed Prozac by your doctor or psychiatrist, it should be extremely safe and effective for you. Though it may cause certain side effects or complications, these only apply to patients with other health complications, and your doctor or psychiatrist will make sure that it is safe for you before prescribing it. However, it is vital that you understand that you should never self-medicate with Prozac. Not all medications are the same for all patients. Remember to consult your doctor if you’re unsure about your medication regime.
Safe as it is, everyone reacts differently to different drugs. First, the effects of Prozac on foetal development are not yet to be known. Thus, psychiatrists and doctors will not attempt to prescribe Prozac to pregnant mothers. The Prozac treatment is also risky for patients with multiple health complications such as heart attacks, diabetic, seizures, liver disease, low blood sodium, bipolar disorder and bleeding disorders such as prolonged bleeding. Be sure to tell your doctor about your medical history as accurate as you can as to ensure that the right regime is prescribed to you.
You should also understand about the side effects that are associated with Prozac. Some common side effects include nausea, strange dreams, fever, skin rashes, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhoea and sexual dysfunction such as decrease in sex drive and delayed male ejaculation. However, these symptoms are not much to worry about as these are probably transient side effects, meaning that they are only temporary and will go away as soon as your body accustoms to the serotonin changes. The rest are the reaction to your anxiety levels due to Prozac, and are not as harmful as they seem. If high doses are taken, Prozac may cause an opposite effect, causing restlessness, nervousness or anxiety. Be sure to let your doctor know about these side effects so that he or she can advise you better on this.
Another boon concerning Prozac is that is does not have many withdrawal symptoms, as it has a longer half-life. Hence, the good news is that it will be easier for you to discontinue with the dosage or usage of Prozac the moment your anxiety disorder is cured.
Again, do remember that everybody responds differently to different kinds of drug so it is important to heed your doctor’s advice and never attempt to self-prescribe Prozac. If you take this treatment accordingly, be well assured that Prozac is safe and may be an effective treatment for you.
The fear of an anxiety attack by itself can trigger an attack. This is true as reported by many anxiety disorder patients and after resolving the “meta” fear, most reported an immediate cessation of anxiety attacks.