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Side Effects of Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Rapiflux)


Description: Prozac (generic name: fluoxetine) is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI), meaning it increases the levels of the brain chemical serotonin, which is responsible for improving mood. It is one of the most frequently prescribed treatments for depression and related mood disorders. Fluoxetine is also marketed under the brand name Sarafem, which is prescribed primarily to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a specific and severe form of premenstrual syndrome. Fluoxetine may be prescribed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia nervosa, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder.

Serious Side Effects of Prozac

According to the Prozac Drug Safety Guidelines as reported by the FDA (June 2009), serious adverse reactions include:

  • Suicide ideation
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Visual problems
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Changes in electrical activity of the heart
  • Manic episodes

Common Side Effects of Prozac

According to the Prozac Drug Safety Guidelines as reported by the FDA (June 2009), common negative reactions include:

  • Unusual dreams
  • Sexual problems
  • Sweating
  • Hot flashes
  • Tremor or shaking
  • Yawning
  • Feeling tired or fatigued
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety

Less Common Prozac Side Effects

Rare reactions Prozac Drug Safety Guidelines as reported by the FDA (June 2009), include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Nose bleed
  • Increased urination

Understand Your Risks with the Rxight® Genetic Test

MD Labs’ Rxight® is a genetic testing services that is based on the analysis your unique genetically modulated metabolism of over 200 clinically medications (both over-the-counter and prescription drugs), including Prozac. Specifically, Rxight® analyzes your genetic variants that affect enzymes in the liver responsible for the metabolism of medications within a particular pharmacological class. A simple cheek swab of your DNA by a participating pharmacist will be sent to our labs for analysis, after which a detailed report will be provided to specifically help your clinician predict if you are more likely to experience medication adverse effects or inefficacy due to a naturally abnormal metabolism of the drug.

How Does Pharmacogenetic Testing Work?

Pharmacogenetic testing is the study of how medications are processed in the body according to one’s genetic encoding of specific enzymes or group of enzymes. For example, Prozac interacts with several liver enzymes that influence the metabolism of other medications as well. This situation can cause frequent and severe adverse events. Conversely, if you metabolize Prozac rapidly, you may be at risk for not deriving therapeutic benefits at a standard dose. Armed with the results of Rxight® PGx testing, your prescriber can adjust your dose precisely – without relying on trial and error – or find an based on your genetically modulated liver enzyme activity targeting a particular drug class, ideally before treatment begins.


Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry


Read more about Rxight® pharmacogenetics