Talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug if you have:
- Bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression)
- A history of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts
- A recent history of heart attack or if you have heart disease
- An irregular heart rhythm
- An electrolyte imbalance
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Suicidal thoughts
- Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Prozac and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Fluoxetine and Breastfeeding).
Tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Prozac Warnings and Precautions to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Depression, even in its most severe form, is highly treatable. As with many illnesses, getting depression treatment early is more effective and reduces the chance of recurrence.
The most common forms of treatment for depression are medication (antidepressants) and psychotherapy ("talk therapy"). In cases of severe depression, some healthcare providers may recommend electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Some people may also try complementary or alternative treatments for depression (see Natural Remedies for Depression).
For most people, Prozac is quite effective in treating depression. It is also generally well tolerated. However, side effects can occur or the medicine may not work as well as needed. In these cases, your healthcare provider may recommend an alternative. Some examples of substitute depression medications include:
- Other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
(Click Prozac Alternatives to learn more and click Dealing With Depression to learn about other ways of managing depression.)