Prozac® (fluoxetine hydrochloride) is a drug that is often prescribed to treat depression. It is also approved for the treatment of bulimia, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). When used in combination with Zyprexa® (olanzapine), it is also approved for treating bipolar depression and treatment-resistant depression.
Prozac belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It acts on a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. When the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions (including depression). Prozac helps block the reuptake of serotonin so more remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This helps to balance serotonin levels.
Before you begin using this medication, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or have liver disease, diabetes, epilepsy, or heart disease. In order to help minimize the risk of drug interactions, you should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking before using Prozac.
(Click Prozac for a more in-depth look at Prozac and its specific uses, effects, potential side effects, and dosing guidelines.)