If you deal with a mental health disorder like anxiety or depression, you may want to know your options for effective prescription medications. While several types of these drugs are well-known, people still commonly have questions. A common one is “How long does it take for Prozac to work?” Atlanta Integrative Psychiatry offers access to this and other FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of poor mental health. Prozac can provide tremendous relief, but it’s important to have answers to common questions about this medication.

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What is Prozac?

Before we answer the question, “How long does it take for Prozac to work?”, let’s first get a full picture of this drug. Prozac is the brand name of a medication called Fluoxetine and is available in tablet, capsule, and liquid form. A prescription is needed for this drug, which can be obtained after discussing your needs with a primary care or other physician or psychiatrist. Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that was first put on the market in 1987.

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    What is Prozac Used For?

    Prozac proves effective for many people when used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It can also help people who have the eating disorder bulimia. When taken as directed, Prozac helps reduce or eliminate symptoms such as depression and anxiety. It has also been shown to help people develop healthier sleep patterns. When a person with anxiety or depression rests well, this also helps decrease their symptoms.

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    Prozac for Anxiety

    Prozac often proves helpful for anxiety but not every type of anxiety disorder. For example, it is officially approved to treat panic disorder. While not approved formally to treat generalized anxiety disorder, many people still find positive results when using it for that. Many doctors prefer to prescribe Prozac as opposed to other drugs that are more likely to become addictive for some people.

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    Prozac for Depression

    Prozac increases the levels of serotonin in a person’s brain, which helps improve their moods and ease symptoms of depression. It is FDA-approved to treat major depressive disorder and bipolar depression.

    How Long Does It Take for Prozac to Work?

    There isn’t one exact answer to the question of how long it takes for Prozac to work. For most people, it takes four to six weeks to feel the full effects of the drug. They may feel some initial positive results within the first couple of weeks.

    Lexapro vs Prozac

    The names of prescription medications used for depression and anxiety are often commonly known, but the details of one versus the other can be difficult to understand. Prozac and Lexapro are both SSRIs commonly used to treat depression and anxiety. They provide similar results with one difference reported by many who use one or the other. When it comes to side effects, Prozac can cause headaches more often than Lexapro. Conversely, Lexapro is more likely to cause difficulty with ejaculation.

    Zoloft vs Prozac

    Like Prozac, Zoloft is also an SSRI drug. Prozac is more commonly prescribed for and effective at treating general anxiety disorder. Zoloft can be better at targeting the symptoms of social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    Prozac Side Effects

    SSRI drugs can cause side effects, although not everyone reports having them. Many of the side effects are temporary and end after two or three weeks. Any side effects should be reported to the prescribing physician. Possible side effects of Prozac include:


    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Dry mouth
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Feeling sleepy
    • Dizziness
    • Agitation
    • Change in appetite 
    • Change in weight
    • Sexual dysfunction, including lack of desire, erectile dysfunction, and difficulty reaching orgasm

    Is Prozac Addictive?

    Besides wondering, “How long does it take for Prozac to work?”, people often have a concern about whether or not Prozac can be addictive. There isn’t a real risk of a person developing a physical addiction to Prozac, but there is a small risk of becoming psychologically reliant on it. Because Prozac can have such positive effects on a person, they may feel unable to get by without using it. This can be problematic if they are ready to go off the drug or switch to another one. In this case, the prescriber will discuss a plan that may include tapering off Prozac slowly. No one using this drug should change their dosage or stop taking it without consulting with their doctor or mental health counselor first.

    Begin Treatment for Mental Illness in Atlanta Today

    Atlanta Integrative Psychiatry opened our doors to help people who struggle with mental health disorders find a path to recovery and relief. Our therapists know how to make meaningful connections with a diverse population of people who reach out for help. Part of our approach to healing involves exploring options for prescription medications. If you find yourself wondering, “How long does it take for Prozac to work?”, we are happy to help you decide if this medication may be the right fit for you. 


    Are you ready to regain control of your life with the guidance of skilled and compassionate therapists? Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can help you.

    You are not alone. You deserve to get help.

    Atlanta Integrative Psychiatry is an Industry leader in mental health treatment . Our team of top medical experts specialize in dual diagnosis treat and are committed to ensuring that each patient is treated as an individual.
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