With the “epidemic” of depression, drugs like Zoloft and Prozac have become bestsellers at the pharmacies. The number of people taking antidepressants has risen by 400% since the 90s. Since their introduction in the 1970s, Prozac and Zoloft became a goldmine for pharmaceutical chemists. These antidepressants belong to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which means they prevent reabsorption of serotonin and increase its concentration in the brain. The drugs were called a relatively safe and quick remedy for depression. Nevertheless, like any drug, SSRIs have their counter-indications and side effects.
Prozac contains fluoxetine, and side effects of the drug are caused by this chemical compound. Among the most common side effects, we find restlessness and inability to sit still. Patients seem hyperactive and many of them consider it better than being suppressed with depression. Skin problems like hives, itching, or rash are also common consequences of fluoxetine intake. A headache is another very common response the nervous system gives to the drug. Chills, fever, joint and muscle pain happens less frequent, though some patients complain of feeling uncomfortable during the therapy.
Among the very rare side effects of Prozac, pharmacists put anxiety, drowsiness, irregular heartbeat, trouble breathing, and lack of energy. In some cases, antidepressants cause worsening of depression and suicidal attempts. Irritability, hostility, and panic attacks are sometimes reported and related to the antidepressants. Pharmacists cannot tell causality of these effects. After all, existing depression treatment drugs are not perfect. Their efficacy is also questioned by some physicians.