I have just passed my 3rd week on Prozac 20mg for anxiety, panic & depression, and so far I have not felt any real benefits, unfortunately I am experiencing some trouble sleeping and increased anxiety & nervousness to the point of inducing some panic attacks. Is this normal, is it true you may feel a lot worse before it gets better. How much time do I give it before deciding that it is not a proper fit for my body chemistry. I certainly do not want to wait 12 weeks to find out it is not going to help me. Is it true that Prozac takes a long time to work compared to other ssris. This is not my first time in taking an antidepressant but the trial and error method is just so frustrating for me. We take something to make us feel better, they actually make us sometimes feel worse and we have to push thru it just to see whether or not we have given it enough time then possibly switch and start the whole thing over again. It is such a vicous cycle and I know that I am not alone in feeling the frustration. I am not really interested in taking any quick acting anti anxiety meds to help me thru, I would rather lean on therapy that I am doing and some of the skills I have learned. I guess my real question is what is the general rule with Prozac in terms of if you haven't noticed real improvement by this amount of time then good chance it is not right for you. I know that everybody is different in how they react, but any personal insight and experiences and not what the books say would be greatly appreciated.
Hello! First I'll repeat what the books say... that is factual:
"Sleep, energy, or appetite may show some improvement within the first 1-3 weeks. Improvement in these physical symptoms can be an important early signal that the medication is working. Depressed mood, anxiety, and lack of interest in activities may need up to 6-8 weeks to fully improve.
Fluoxetine (Prozac) | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness"
"Side effects have been reported to be generally mild and transient. They are most common during the first 2 weeks of treatment and decrease in intensity and frequency with continued treatment. They generally do not lead to treatment cessation."
I can tell you're frustrated and, yes, it can be frustrating. These types of medications take time to become fully effective, some people experience side effects, dosages may need to be adjusted, not every medication works for everyone, some people do have to try several before they find the right drug (or combination of drugs).
But I always thought in terms of what my life was like for years as compared to the six weeks it took my medication to work for me. I made the decision to get help and I was determined to see it through with a positive attitude. And it paid off in the end run... I now live a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life.
I'm glad you're in therapy and learning coping skills! It's a very useful adjunctive treatment especially for anxiety disorders and it has and is helping me enormously.
Okay that's my personal experience. All I can add is try to get positive and embrace the small good things and don't dwell on things that are relatively insignificant.
Best regards and best of luck to you. Wild Cat
- Prozac Information for Consumers
- Prozac Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Prozac (detailed)
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