Prozac, the brand name for the antidepressant fluoxetine, is a drug in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, class. It helps increase the amount of serotonin available in the brain and aids in boosting mood and relieving anxiety or obsessive-compulsive symptoms, says Drugs.com. Like any drug, it may cause side effects that tend to go away once your body gets used to the medication. Many of these side effects are mild, but some can be irritating or persistent, although there are things you can do to help deal with them. Talk with your doctor about any side effects that are especially bothersome or that do not go away.
Sip water throughout the day or chew sugarless gum to help alleviate dry mouth, suggests MayoClinic.com. Dry mouth is a common side effect of Prozac that increases your risk of developing cavities. Suck on ice chips or sugarless candies, and see your dentist twice a year to maintain good oral health.
Nap briefly, take a short walk outside or take your Prozac one to two hours before bedtime if it makes you drowsy, notes MayoClinic.com. Fatigue is more likely to occur when you first start taking an antidepressant, but it tends to resolve as time goes on.
Take Prozac with a meal or snack if it causes an upset stomach. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that it can be taken with or without food. Find out what works for you and causes the least amount of gastrointestinal upset.
Talk with your doctor if you find Prozac is causing any sexual side effects. This medication may cause you to lose interest in sex. Adding medications or hormone creams may ease sexual problems and help restore libido. A "drug holiday" may also be an option, but talk with your doctor before going off your medication at all.
Your doctor will typically ease you into taking the medication by starting off with a smaller dose and gradually increasing it until you have reached the therapeutic dose for you. Follow your doctor's instructions to help minimize side effects.
Do not change your dosage or stop taking your medication due to side effects. Call your health care provider if you are bothered by any side effects or symptoms; she may be able to suggest coping strategies or remedies for your problems. Sometimes antidepressants can increase thoughts of suicide; call your doctor immediately if you are thinking about hurting yourself.