Prozac is a drug that is commonly used to treat depression. Find out what Prozac does to you and how it makes you feel...

Most people get side effects when they start using Prozac

What is it?

Prozac is the brand name for a drug called fluoxetine, which is used to treat depression and other mental health problems. It is one of a number of drugs called SSRIs. They are all generally referred to as Prozac, although they are different drugs strictly speaking.

Prozac usually comes in the form of small white pills that are prescribed by the doctor. They have been in use since the late 1980s.

How does it make you feel?

None of these drugs will give you a buzz - they do their job only when they are used regularly over time. It's thought that Prozac increases the activity and levels of certain chemicals in the brain.

Most people get side effects when they start using Prozac. It's common to feel a bit sick, dizzy, light-headed and headachey. But, if you are taking these drugs for depression or anxiety - keep going, even if at first you feel worse. The side effects will wear off in a couple of weeks and your mood will start to lift. If that doesn't happen go back to your doctor as soon as you can.

Depression and anxiety can screw up your life in many, many ways. If you're worried you might be depressed then seek advice as soon as you can - read more in our depression factfile.

What are the health effects?

Prozac has been successfully used to treat depression, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder and premenstrual tension. That said, Prozac is not the only option for effective treatment - it's also not suitable for everyone.

The law

Prozac is a prescription-only drug.

BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations.


Related Factfiles

Related Links

More on Drink & Drugs