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Does Prozac Cause Insomnia

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How Long Do Side Effects Last

Does anxiety cause insomnia?

Many common side effects will improve as the body gets used to the medicine. Fluoxetine has a half-life of two to four days, but it is converted by the body into another drug that works just like fluoxetine. That drug, norfluoxetine, has a half-life of four to 16 days. That means that the most common side effects can take anywhere from a week to a month to fade after the last dose has been taken.

Other side effects such as allergic reactions, angle-closure glaucoma, heart problems, severely low sodium, or serotonin syndrome will require medical attention to get better. Some of the most severe, such as heart problems or angle-closure glaucoma, may have life-long complications.

Will Fluoxetine Affect My Sleep

You can feel drowsy in the first few days of taking fluoxetine. However, it should get better after the first week or two. You may become more anxious, or it may make you irritable. This should settle after a couple of weeks.

If you feel very sleepy, and youve been taking it for more than a month, you should go back to the doctor and see what else you could do.

Prozac Side Effects And How To Avoid Them

Prozac side effects | Serious side effects | Insomnia | Diarrhea | Erectile dysfunction | Angle-closure glaucoma | Suicide | How long do side effects last? | Warnings | Interactions | How to avoid side effects

Prozac is a brand-name prescription drug used for the treatment of major depressive disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , panic disorder, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa. Prozac is also combined with the antipsychotic medication olanzapine for treatment-resistant depression or depressive episodes in people diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Prozac is also commonly used off-label to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, and other conditions.

The active ingredient in Prozac, fluoxetine hydrochloride, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor . SSRIs increase serotonin in the brain, allowing people to better manage mood and impulses due to more efficient nerve activity. As with all medicines that affect the brain, Prozac can cause problems due to side effects, pre-existing conditions, or drug interactions, but there are ways to avoid or minimize these problems.

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What Drugs Interact Prozac

As with all drugs, the potential for interaction by a variety of mechanisms is a possibility.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

CNS Acting Drugs

  • Caution is advised if the concomitant administration of Prozac and such drugs is required.
  • In evaluating individual cases, consideration should be given to using lower initial doses of the concomitantly administered drugs, using conservative titration schedules, and monitoring of clinical status.

Serotonergic Drugs

Drugs That Interfere With Hemostasis

  • Serotonin release by platelets plays an important role in hemostasis.
  • Epidemiological studies of the case-control and cohort design that have demonstrated an association between use of psychotropic drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of upper gastrointestinal bleeding have also shown that concurrent use of an NSAID or aspirin may potentiate this risk of bleeding.
  • Altered anticoagulant effects, including increased bleeding, have been reported when SNRIs or SSRIs are coadministered with warfarin.
  • Patients receiving warfarin therapy should be carefully monitored when fluoxetine is initiated or discontinued.

Electroconvulsive Therapy

  • There are no clinical studies establishing the benefit of the combined use of ECT and fluoxetine.
  • There have been rare reports of prolonged seizures in patients on fluoxetine receiving ECT treatment.

Potential For Other Drugs To Affect Prozac

Drugs Tightly Bound To Plasma Proteins

Potential For Prozac To Affect Other Drugs


Antidepressant Insomnia Is The Cure Worse Than The Cause

How Decrease Prozac (Fluoxetine) By 10 mg

Antidepressant insomnia is a common side effect of medication taken to help a non-sleep-related condition such as depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia or another of the many conditions for which antidepressants are sometimes prescribed.

Antidepressant medications are well-known for causing insomnia as a side effect. The SSRIs seem to be the main culprits in this particular side effect, but any antidepressant may cause insomnia in those who are already susceptible to it.

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Which Antidepressants Help You Sleep

The complex relationship between antidepressants and sleep means that it can often take some time before you find the right treatment. Doctors will sometimes start by giving you an SSRI medication and see how you respond.

If youre struggling with sleep anxiety, then some SSRIs may help you to feel calmer about going to bed, particularly when theyre combined with over-the-counter sleep aids and meditation.

SSRIs include citalopram, paroxetine, and fluoxetine and others.

SNRIs, or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, may be a better option when SSRIs are deemed unsuitable.

Drugs like Venlafaxine, Duloxetine, and Desvenlafaxine are commonly used when depression comes with other symptoms like anxiety or pain disorders.

SNRIs can sometimes be better antidepressants used for sleep anxiety and other sleep disorders.

The most common choices for treating both sleep deprivation and depressions are tricyclic antidepressants. This group includes Nortriptyline, Amitriptyline and Trimipramine and others.

Your doctor may also suggest sedating antidepressants like Silenor, Trazodone, and Mirtazapine.

However, its worth noting that antidepressants used for sleep can make you feel drowsy during the day.

If youre worried about having trouble concentrating, you can ask your doctor about combining daytime and nighttime medications.

Also try daily exercise and treatments like yoga to help you overcome side effects.

Suicidal Thoughts And Behaviors Risk

Some antidepressants, including SSRIs, may cause an increase in suicidal thoughts or actions. This risk is higher in children, teenagers, and young adults. Its also higher within the first few months of treatment or during dosage changes.

You and your family members, caregivers, and healthcare provider should watch for any new or sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. Call your healthcare provider right away if you notice any changes.

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How Long Will I Need To Take Fluoxetine For

Most people take fluoxetine for at least six to 12 months after they start to feel better.

If you have suffered from depression in the past, you should keep taking this medication for at least two years after you start to feel better.

You and your doctor should talk about how long you need to take fluoxetine before you begin your treatment.

If you stop taking the fluoxetine too soon, the chance that your mental health symptoms will come back increases.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

Prozac and insomnia

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been used successfully to treat PE. Placebo-controlled trials have shown that daily continuous administration of SSRIs such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline and the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine are very effective for PE.81,82 Metaanalyses studies showed that SSRIs can increase intravaginal latency time from twofold to 13-fold.83 SSRIs are the first-line therapy for lifelong PE. The common side effects of SSRIs are fatigue, drowsiness, yawning, and dry mouth, which will improve within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. A potent SSRI, dapoxetine, has been developed as an on-demand treatment for PE. An improvement in intravaginal latency time as well as subjective control and satisfaction with sexual intercourse was shown in randomized, controlled clinical trials.84-86 Dapoxetine also reduced the personal distress and interpersonal difficulty that were associated with PE.87 The side effects of dapoxetine are similar to other SSRIs and include nausea, diarrhea, headache, and dizziness.

J.M. Holshoe, in, 2013

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Polysomnographic Sleep Studies In Depression

The most detailed information on sleep in depression was provided by studies using polysomnography , that is considered the gold standard for sleep assessment. Based on registration of the three physiological parameters such as the brain , muscle and eye movements bioelectric activity, PSG allows human sleep to be scored into sleep stages. Subsequently, it is possible to calculate several sleep parameters 1) that express sleep continuity, sleep depth, and distribution of sleep stages.

Antidepressants To Treat Insomnia

In some cases of severe insomnia or idiopathic insomnia, a sleep doctor may decide to prescribe an antidepressant as treatment.

While it seems counterintuitive to give someone with severe insomnia a medication that may cause insomnia in many people as a direct side effect it just might work in your individual case. As mentioned human diversity is a wondrous thing, and what causes one person untold misery may grant another person relief from their misery. You just never know.

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What To Do If You Have Antidepressant Insomnia

If you are experiencing insomnia while on antidepressants, the first thing you need to do is tell your prescribing doctor.

While some people get prescriptions from their primary physician, I personally would rather deal with an experienced psychiatrist, despite the added cost and inconvenience involved.

They are the best to deal with the side effects of antidepressant medication. They are also the most able to prescribe an alternate drug that retains the good effects but have less of the bad ones. General practitioners or internists simply dont have the time or training to understand these issues really well.

Sleep is so important for mental well-being as well as physical health, that I would not advise anyone to trade in a good nights rest for relief of other symptoms. It is worth the time and effort to find the best medication for your individual condition. Perhaps a combination of two different medications is a better fit for you, if an alternative cant be found.

Can I Take Fluoxetine With Other Medications

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Fluoxetine does not mix well with some other medicines and drugs.

Do not take fluoxetine if you take an antidepressant medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor , or if you have taken one in the last two weeks. MAOIs include moclobemide, isocarboxazid, phenelzine and tranylcypromine.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist before you take fluoxetine if you are prescribed any other medication, to check that the combination is safe.

Before you start taking fluoxetine, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications, including things you have bought over the counter for common illnesses like colds and flu or topical applications that you put on your skin.

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Antidepressants And Vivid Dreams

Another class of antidepressants, SNRIs , are known to cause sleep problems similar to those in SSRIs, as well as vivid dreams. Common SNRIs include Effexor , Pristiq and Cymbalta .

Antipsychotics are usually prescribed for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, though they are also prescribed for mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and to supplement antidepressants in the treatment of depression. One of the most popular antipsychotics, Seroquel , has been associated with faster sleep onset and longer overall sleep time. An atypical antipsychotic, Clozaril has also been associated with improving sleep onset and sleep time

RLS can ruin a good nights sleep and antipsychotics and some antidepressants have been shown to cause it. The strong urge that RLS causes to uncontrollably move ones legs can make it hard to sleep, lead to sleeplessness, irritability and depressed mood. Remeron , an older, atypical antidepressant, is most likely to cause RLS. A case study found that RLS appeared to be provoked in patients on a low-dose of Seroquel. Interestingly, some evidence has shown that Wellbutrin may actually help to alleviate RLS.

Can I Drive While Taking Fluoxetine

Do not drive or ride a bike just after you start taking fluoxetine.

Taking fluoxetine may affect your ability to do things like drive a car, ride a bike, use machines, or anything else that needs a lot of focus.

It might be best to stop doing these things for the first few days, until you know how it affects you, or until the effects pass.

Do not worry – most people drive as normal while taking fluoxetine.

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Lifestyle Changes May Help Curb Sleep

However, you might find relief from RLS through lifestyle changes and/or taking certain vitamins if they are lacking in your diet. For example, going to the bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time each morning may help. Also, there are some indications that a lack of some vitamins and minerals, such as iron, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin B12, can contribute to RLS.

Not surprisingly, insomnia and delayed sleep onset are associated with stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin , that are used in the treatment of ADHD. However, the effect of Ritalin on sleep may depend on the amount of time a child has been on the drug and when the medication is given. There have also been reports of children having difficulty falling asleep as the medication wears off near bedtime.

Sleep is an important part of staying healthy and feeling good. Again, if you feel you are experiencing sleep issues as a result of medication, speak to your doctor without delay. Sleep-related side effects due to drugs impact relatively few patients. And if it ends up your sleep problems are not drug-related, the good news is there are steps you can take to rectify the situation. Changes in sleep hygiene, including your bedroom environment can provide some of the most effective improvements. Visit the National Sleep Foundations website for more helpful tips.

Do Your Psychiatric Drugs Keep You Up At Night

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If you take a medication for a psychiatric condition, you may have experienced troubled sleep insomnia, daytime sleepiness, or any number of sleep-related disorders. I have treated patients with myriad sleep difficulties who take antidepressants, antipsychotics as well as medications to treat ADHD.

While no one wants to experience a poor night of sleep, its important to recognize whether the sleep problem you are having is a result of a side effect of a drug you are taking, or something completely independent of medication. That is why if you are on psychiatric medication or any drug for that matter and you find yourself having difficulty catching some Zs, its important to talk to your healthcare provider, who may change your medication or refer you to a sleep specialist for further evaluation. In many cases, the benefits of a drug may outweigh the sleep-deficit side effects. Your healthcare provider can work with you to minimize the impact of them.

However, its a good idea to know some of the sleep-related side effects that have been reported with different types of drugs that act upon the brain. Lets start with antidepressants. The most commonly prescribed ones are known as SSRIs and include Prozac , Zoloft , and Paxil . Complaints of both insomnia and daytime sleepiness have been reported in patients with depression on SSRIs.

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Stopping The Use Of Fluoxetine

Stopping fluoxetine suddenly can sometimes cause side effects, which are usually mild, but for a few people can be severe. Also, if you stop taking fluoxetine too soon, the chance that your mental health symptoms will come back increases.

Once you start taking an SSRI, the brain adjusts to having a new level of serotonin around. If you stop taking the SSRI suddenly, the balance starts to change again. You could get some symptoms from the change.

Fluoxetine is less likely to cause withdrawal effects upon stopping than other antidepressant medicines. This is because your body takes longer to get rid of it.

You can stop taking fluoxetine safely with your doctors help. Many people who take 20mg or less of fluoxetine can stop taking it without problems. For people on higher doses of fluoxetine, the dose may be stepped down over a few weeks to reduce the chance of withdrawal effects.

Fluoxetine and other antidepressants are not addictive. Although there can be withdrawal effects when they are stopped, you will not have cravings for or get hooked on an antidepressant.

Some of the withdrawal effects you might get when fluoxetine is stopped include:

These symptoms should stop after two weeks for most people, but some people can get them for a few months.

You Should Only Take Fluoxetine As Agreed With Your Doctor

You will get the best effect from fluoxetine if you take it every day at the dose prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor might start you on a low dose and then increase it to your full dose slowly over two to four weeks.

Make sure that you know your dose. If it’s not written on the label, check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Young people aged eight to 18 may start taking fluoxetine at a lower dose using the liquid, and then move on to the capsules if the dose increases.

It is usually best to take fluoxetine in the morning. This is to reduce the chance of it causing insomnia . However, it is important to choose a time each day that you can always remember. This could be when you wake up, a mealtime, or when you brush your teeth.

Fluoxetine is best taken after food.

Swallow the capsule with a drink of water – if you chew it, it tastes bitter.

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Can I Drink Alcohol And Take Street Drugs While Taking Fluoxetine


You can continue to drink some alcohol while taking fluoxetine, but it is best to do so in moderation. Fluoxetine can sometimes cause drowsiness as a side effect, so it is possible that alcohol might make you feel more drowsy than usual.

Drinking alcohol every day, however, can make the symptoms of depression worse and you will not feel the benefit of your medicine.

Side effects might make you sleepy or you might lose your focus when you first start taking fluoxetine.

This could be dangerous if you drive or use machines or do anything that needs a lot of focus.

During the first few days, it might be best to stop drinking alcohol until you see how the medicine affects you, or until the effects pass.

Street drugs

Be careful if you are also using street drugs.

Cannabis can have unpredictable effects when taken with fluoxetine, so great care is needed.

Cannabis and other drugs may have their own side effects on your mental health, like anxiety or psychosis. For more information, have a look at our drugs and alcohol page.

Methadone and fluoxetine together can seriously affect your heart so these should only be combined under doctor supervision.

Fluoxetine has been shown to dampen down the ‘high’ of cocaine.

Fluoxetine can produce a false positive test for amfetamines and LSD on a urine drug screen. Talk to your doctor about this if it is a problem for you.

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