Prozac

Updated on January 31, 2009
A.M. asks from Grand Rapids, MI
25 answers

Hi All - I just started seeing a therapist and she suggested I try an antidepressant. I'm all for taking something in order to help me feel better but am leary. My doctor prescribed prozac (mainly b/c we have horrible health insurance and it's inexpensive). Does anyone have any experience with it? I've heard horrible weight gain stories online? Is that true?! That's the last thing I need to help me through this! Tx for sharing...

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K.A.

answers from Saginaw on

After I had my son, 8 yrs. ago, I went through some tough times-I went to counseling and got put on Zoloft--TERRIBL! I felt cloudy-and my brain was still racing but my body couldn`t move! haha I then tried Cymbalta(spell?) and absolutely no side effects what so ever! I took it for about 2 months and went off of it-snapped me out of the "baby-blues". After my 5 yr. old-I look back and should have gone back on it but didn`t. That took me a year to snap out of it! But didn`t realize I was in a funk `til looking back now.

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L.O.

answers from Detroit on

ounseling will probably help you feel better eventually.. maybe in 6 months or a year.. but medicine will probably make you feel better in a week.

I have several friends and family members taht have taken zoloft, paxil and prozac.. they are similar drugs and most people have good results with it..

Just becuase you start taking it does not mean you will be on it forever. It may only take couple of months and then you can be gradually weaned off of it..

So the weight gain is probably not a big deal if you only take the drug for a short while.

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C.L.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A.,

Really quick comment- I am trained as a clinical therapist. Are you getting your script from your PCP? The reason that I ask,is that antidepressants (prozac, by the way is a great antidepressant, gives you great energy) and most mental health drugs are not an exact science- sometimes it takes time to find the right medication, dosage etc. I would STRONGLY suggest that you see a psychiatrist, who is properly trained to work with you and find a medication that will help alleviate your depressive symptoms. Good luck! Happy that you are taking steps to improve your well-being and quality of life. *C. (former therapist, current business owner, 2 small children 3yrs and 22months)

1 mom found this helpful
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R.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A.,
I see you have a lot of mixed reviews. Heres my take on this. I take Sarafem which is a form of prozac. I don't feel any different except that things don't bother like they used to. A little background on me. My then 14 year old step daughter moved in with us about 3 years ago and I was/ am still am having a hard time with it. My first thoughts were why do I have to take a drug to get thru my life because of this. I felt like I hated everybody all the time. The Sarafem takes that edge off. For a little time I did take Prozac but I found it gave me terrible heartburn so I requested the Sarafem (which is a little pricey). I don't think it makes you a bad person and you may only need it for a little while. By the way I had no weight gain and feel like I sleep better and feel better.

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D.D.

answers from Detroit on

A., I was depressed many years ago while going through a divorce and was put on Prozac as well. At first I felt better, I think psychologically, but then started to feel suicidal...I threw them all away and never looked back and never took any type of drug like this ever again. I did some reading with books that were all geared toward having a positive attitude toward life...Dr. Wayne Dyer is a great author. In terms of weight gain, that would be the least of your worries on a drug like this. It is more like Pacsyl (sp) that packs on the pounds.
Good luck!

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C.J.

answers from Detroit on

I'm sure everyone is different, but for some people it can make you mean and irritable, and take away your sex drive.

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J.H.

answers from Detroit on

A.,
I don't have a lot of great advice since I haven't taken any anti-depressents. I don't want to make any assumptions on your situation but I would support the recommendations in trying some more natural solutions first (as long as your situation isn't dire). Like another poster mentioned, pharmeceuticals only mask symptoms - they don't treat the root causes. My advice would be to try some of the more natural methods like healthier diet, exercise and supplements before trying Prozac. And this is coming from someone who was always so skeptical of "naturalists". My sister in law is very into all-natural foods and healty diet and I always thought she just went too far over the edge. Until I saw what a change in diet and supplements was able to do for her son. I wish you the best of luck!

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D.M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A.---From what I read and am learning from a naturopath in Columbus, OH, you really want to avoid anti-depressants at all cost. Most drugs simply address symptoms and don't do anything about the underlying issues that create the problem in the first place. Having said that, sometimes it is necessary to use some prescriptions, but I would exhaust all other options first. As I understand it, these drugs are very addicting and it can take a lot of time to determine which class works best for you.

You don't mention why you feel you need anti-depressants. Some things that you could look at for helping without drugs include your diet, be sure that it consists primarily of fresh fruits and veggies, at least 7 to 13 servings daily, whole grains and legumes (beans). Minimize the consumption of animal products, and that includes milk (www.strongbones.org). Be sure you are drinking plenty of water (to carry nutrients to the cells and remove toxins from them), getting adequate rest, and you might want to have hormone levels tested. I know that age 40, I was beginning to experience the effects of menopause, and let me tell you, I was really wierd for awhile until that was diagnosed. Studies show that exercise is BETTER than drugs at relieving symptoms of depression. It works for me. You get several health benefits from exercise. And lastly, make sure that you are doing something for you once in awhile. Volunteer, get a part-time job, whatever it is that will get you thinking 'glass half-full instead of half-empty'.

I am taking a wellness class from the Naturopath and I have a number of resources that I can share with you, if you would like. Feel free to call me if you have any questions, or if you'd just like to talk. I also work with a group that promotes health education. I see that you live in the Grand Rapids area. We have scheduled two events, Feb 5 and March 12 at Holistic Care Approach, on Beltline Ct in GR. In Feb, the speaker will be talking about stress reduction (stress is more harmful than smoking to your health) and in March the topic is brain health and anti-aging. Both speakers will be talking about mental health as part of their subject matter. Email me directly if you would like to receive a copy of the flyer. These talks are free of charge. It is my passion and mission to help people become healthier through education and whole food nutrition. I would be honored to help in any way that I can. Take care,
D. ###-###-#### [email protected]____.com

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J.T.

answers from Grand Rapids on

It worked for me, but I had a very rare side affect - bruising. Very odd.... I had bruises all over me that I had no idea how I got them - and in odd spots. I went back and they did some checking and it was a very rare side affect. I was switched to Welbutrin and have had no problems with it. It comes as a generic now so I was able to get a 90 day supply for about $10.

Good luck -
J.

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V.G.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I haven't been on prozac before. However, some of my relatives have been. It's been a mixed bag of results. My mom, whose job is very active, has managed to keep the weight gain down. One of my aunts is also on it, and has a very inactive job and she experienced a lot of weight gain. When my doctor started talking antidepressents, I asked for something different. I've been on Celexa now for 7 months, have had no weight gain that I can attribute to the medication (I actually was loosing in the beginning). It's a medication that you can get a 90 day supply at Target for $10 without dealing with the insurance company (with my insurance would have been $15 for 90 days). I know that not every drug is for every person, so I would talk to your therapist about your concerns regarding the side effects and see what he says.

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L.N.

answers from Benton Harbor on

There have been major advancements in medicine since Prozac was introduced. Lots of antidepressants have a generic alternative and are tolerated well. Prozac is just one of many. You could ask 1000 people how they reacted to it and it will still be different than the next 1000. Sometimes it is trial and error.

Regarding weight gain, Prozac was actually used in weight LOSS therapy in conjunction with Phentermine in place of the old drug combo Phen-Phen. (Remember the Phenflouramine that caused so many troubles, Prozac replaced it).

I have to add that you are not 'masking symtoms' with drugs. If you are sure that you need medical intervention, don't let anybody shame you out of it. It's sometimes urgent to get on meds for symptom control WHILE you get to the root of the problem. However, sometimes there is no root, the problem is chemical and REAL! Therapy needs to be in your treatment plan, along with excercise and breathing therapy. If you need meds, find the one that is right for you and be proud of yourself.

Good luck~
~L.

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L.H.

answers from Detroit on

Prozac is a bit heavy if you ask me....
Ask your doc if Lexipro would be better, the generic version of it is called Citalopram. You can get IT for $4 at the WalMart pharmacy for a 30 day supply! As I have NO health insurance , this is key.
Now let me tell you that I am so very happy with my results with this med. I don't take any others and never thought I would need to. But I am so much happier and healthy without feeling 'drugged' that I would reccommend this type of med to anyone who needs an antidepressant.
As for the wieght gain and loss of libido you hear about for side effects with any of these type of meds... I have seen nothing.
Perhaps my memory is not as good as it used to be, but I chalk that up to children! And I keep a small notebook for reminding me things.
Good luck A..
You will be fine!

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S.S.

answers from Detroit on

Wow, I was just watching Oprah yesterday and they were talking about how so many women are on anti-depressants that may not need to be. At least that is the part of the story that stuck in my mind.

Is there clinical depression in your family? Are you confident in the diagnosis? Are you getting all of the nutrients that your body needs? Maybe that could help.

There is a free nutra-physical on my web site that can help you to know for sure. www.marketamerica.com/thevoiceoftruth

It's mid-way down the page on the left hand side. No charge or obligations. Just useful information.

I take a dietary supplement that helps me when I feel strung out!

Good luck.

S.

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K.M.

answers from Detroit on

Hello A.,

I see a therapist and I feel if you go to see this therapist and you leave ther and the next day you feel better about your self and what ever problem you go to talk to them about there is no reason for you to be on drugs. But if you rather get a quick fix and not want to do it anti drug than if you take it how its recomended. You shouldn't have a problem. Use your gut to tell you what you need to do it usually is right.

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M.K.

answers from Lansing on

I was on Prozac for about 8 years and actually lost a lot of weight. It helped a lot, some of the newer anti-depressants didn't help me as well as Prozac did. I was leary as well, but felt so much better on it I would recommend it to those who need it. Hope that helps...

OK, just read the rest of the responses. Let me tell you my experience:

I had severe clinical depression for a long time. I saw a therapist for almost 2 years, it was very helpful. But my therapist strongly recommended medicine, she felt that I had a chemical imbalance. I was determined to "beat this on my own", you know, mind over matter. Tried natural things, diet, exercise, herbs, therapy, etc.... Finally, when I was barely functioning, I saw a psychiatrist. He listened to my fears about the meds, talked to me about them, and put me on Prozac. It was so helpful, I could function finally. After a few years they stopped working, and I tried others. Some had horrible side effects, some just didn't work. By the responses, you can see that we are all wired differently, what works for some may not work for others. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right. Some people can do do it naturally, some people need only therapy, some people need medication. If someone needed insulin, people wouldn't think twice about telling them to take it. If you need meds, listen to your body. With the help of a qualified professional, you can get it right. Just be sure to pay careful attention to any side effects and report them to your doc. I wish you the best!

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C.N.

answers from Detroit on

A.,
My advice....DON"T DO IT! So many women are on drugs these days and it's a sad and frightening situation. They have become dependant on them and haven't learned to live a life without them. There is a way. I was dignosed with depression after my second child was born and I refuse to take the medicine because I was breastfeeding. I also seem to get depressed every year since then (9yrs ago)but have come to recognize the signs and I take action. I realized that I have a choice to live depressed or not. I chose to not live like I'm depressed. I survived without the medicine. Be grateful for your life and enjoy it! Take a good look at what you have and not what you don't have! Get outside more often and your kids, it will do you a world of good. Take deep breathes, play, go for walks where there is alot of nature around. But stop to look at all the natural things...trees, sky, snow, etc, Another thing to do is stop trying to live like society thinks you should or shouldn't live. Let go of things, declutter your house get rid of things, say no to people when asked to do things, go back to living a simpler life, use the computer less, watch less tv, use your cell phone less. Eat healthier, exercise. If you do these things you'll find that you have more time to just "Be". And there's nothing wrong with that! You'll be a happier person. Another thing that has helped me over the years is reading self help books. I found that my unhappiness stemmed from my past, but realized that my past is the past and I needed to live my life for me and my family today. My thoughts about my past were consuming my thoughts everyday and once I learned I could control my thinking and what I was thinking about, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders! You are in control of your life and you need to take that control back! You can't do that if your drugged all the time!! Here are some books that have helped me. A New Earth:Eckhart Tolle, The Power of a Praying Wife:Stormie Omartian, Parenting with Fire:Shmuley Boteach, Lies at the Alter:Dr.Robin L. Smith, I see someone else recommended Dr. Wayne Dyer also(he's has many books). I have read other books from these same authors. There are also numerous other books I've read on parenting and self-help, I just can't recall them all right now but feel free to email me again and I can find more titles that may help. Oprah.com is another source for that I use for help, try looking under the spritual section of self awareness( not sure exactly what title, it's been awhile since I've been on there.) I'm reading a book right now called Last Child in the Woods: Richard Louv. In it he talks of how we have gotten away from nature and they have been doing studies at how our "disconnect" from nature may have alot to do with mental illnesses our society seems to be having more of. It all makes sense to me,(in my case anyways) that it is true and it does really truly work. Get outside! Simplify! I feel great when I do!
C.

A little about me: 41 yr old SAHM of 4 homeschooled kids(11-B,9-B,7-B,5-G). Married to wonderful hardworking hubby for 14 yrs.

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D.K.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Hi, A.. I am bipolar so I have been on about every antidepressant out there and from my experience most cause weight gain. I am now on Prozac and Wellbutrin and the combination is working well for my depression. I have gained some weight but what you need to do is not over eat and over snack. As the drug helps with seritonin reuptake (SSRI) it improves mood AND appetite. If you have a normal dinner and two hours later you are starved you know that you can't possibly be in need of food. It is like a false alarm! If you give in every time you feel hunger, other than obviously times for meals, you'll gain weight. Some eveings I am ravenous when I know I ate enough at dinner. So, sometimes I make home made NO BUTTER popcorn. It is an inexpensive treat as well as low in calories. Don't use the microve stuff--it's loaded with fats and chemicals. I hope you will start feeling less down and back to your normal self soon. The full effect will take six weeks. Denise K

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K.K.

answers from Detroit on

I am not sure, but I do know that meds without therapy is not very helpful. I have heard good things about Prozac. I think you can take it while nursing. I have a really good friend with severe post-partum depression and I believe that is what she took. It helped, but again, therapy is really the best way to handle it. I also think exercise and the sun plus B vitamins. Last year I moved here from CA (very sunny) and found myself pretty depressed by end of February. Turns out I was taking Prilosec for some stomach problems, which inhibits the absorption of B vitamins which are crucial for mood. Vitamin D from the sun will also help a lot. It also helps to have some things to do outside of the home. The library book club is always nice and a way to get a nice break from the mundane things at home. Good luck!

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J.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A., I too am 40 and been on for about 10 years. I went on it more to relax me when I am stressed out. I am a yeller by nature and although you don't feel different or feel like you're on something, it chills me out and makes me less of a yeller. I have not noticed weight gain and one of the reasons my doc chose Prozac over the others is because the others all caused weight gain and Prozac did not.

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A.S.

answers from Lansing on

I did not experience weight gain or loss with it, but I these awful feelings like my heart was racing. Almost like I was startled by anything. Zoloft is a much better option if your insurance covers it. That, or Effexor.

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D.L.

answers from Saginaw on

Hi A.,

I am a 49 year old mom, I have a set of twins that my husband and I adopted. Our second family. The twins have many different medical condition and all are treated with a different medication. Their night time medication is Prozac, If anything the prozac has caused them to have a loss of appetite. Hopefully your doctor has started you out with a minimum amount first to see how it works for you. Again it has helped greatly for my girls, in fact one was chunkier then the other and she has lost weight and is now the same size as her sister. Hope this helps.

God Bless and Good Luck

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D.D.

answers from Detroit on

I was on Prozac nearly 14 years ago - I reacted with anxiety attacks which resulted in me falling off my chair at work, I (and my colleagues) had a good laugh and I threw the prescription away. I also changed jobs as my director was the cause of my stress/depression.

I find that KaliPhos (potassium phosphate) is good for balancing me out, it's all natural and you can get it from health stores or online.

I hope you start feeling yourself again soon.

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L.C.

answers from Lansing on

Prozac gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me! Lexapro is also awesome, I was involved in the clinical trials for it.
I currently take cymbalta and it also is doing great for me. Consistancy is key, make sure you are taking them every day, and don't suddenly stop taking them :)

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S.R.

answers from Detroit on

I tried Prozac the 1st time I asked my doctor for something and I did not like it at all. I felt cloudy headed and like I was feeling nothing, which wasn't actually better than feeling bad. I was very ambivalent about it, so my attitude probably made a difference. I felt like I'd "given in" to my emotions, blah, blah. So I stopped. 2 years later, and a new Doc, I tried Welbutrin. Much better results. Actually lost weight. I think a lot depends on the individual and their personal chemistry. Lots of people get relief from Prozac. I think the Welbutrin is prescribed for compulsive type behavior also, and that fits me and curbed my tendency to eat for comfort. It may take trial and error. Prozac is the 1st choice of docs. I asked about the Welbutrin because my sister had gotten good results and I figured we were probably somewhat chemically similar. She was a great doctor and actually listened to me. I did start with name brand but even w/ insurance it was expensive. Good luck and I hope you get some relief.

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S.C.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A. -

I see someone down the list mentioned going to see a psychiatrist. I totally agree with her. A psychiatrist can help you navigate the medication scene a little more effectively than a PCP. Once you've found what works best for you then by all means you can go to your PCP and have him/her perscribe it for you. There are many good meds out there that all vary on price. Many have generics that are cheaper and work just as well, too. Don't be ashamed or feel bad about taking meds. As some have said, you may only need meds for a short time to get you over whatever it is that is getting you so down. They definitely do help. On the other hand you could be like me. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain and will most likely be on my assortment of meds for the rest of my life. Depression, anxiety and bi-polar run in my family. We all take something for it. I am not ashamed, that's just how I am wired. My son takes Prozac and has had no side effects from it at all. His OCD is fianlly under control, he is happier and he is doing great. (Some meds treat more than one kind of disorder/situation.) Follow your gut instinct and realize that you are a good person no matter what anyone else says and you will do fine. Keep up with therapy as well until you are able to determine if there is something deeper you can resolve then get off the meds or if you are in a situation like I am where meds are medically necessary. I feel sorry for all the people out there that think psych meds are a "way out" when for so many of us it is medically necessary. Diet, exercise and supplements don't necessarily work for everyone.

Good luck - S.

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