Aim:  This medication is intended to correct the chemical changes in your body, which are associated with depressive illness.  This normally takes 3 to 4 weeks, but may take 6 weeks.  This medications is part of a new generation of antidepressants known as the group Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), of which Prozac was the first.  At present, it is not possible to predict which particular medication is best suited to any individual patient’s chemistry, so that the antidepressant first prescribed may need to be changed after some time if it is not effective.  Statistically, any antidepressant has a 70% chance of helping an individual patient.


Prozac / Lovan dosage:  Most people only need one tablet a day, usually taken in the morning.  The normal maximum dose is 4 tablets/day . Liquid and soluble tablet preparations of Prozac are avaialable


Length of treatment:  Once you recover, you will need to keep taking the tablets for some months afterwards, to prevent the chemical imbalance from returning.  These tablets are not at all addictive.


Prozac / Lovan side effects:  Side effects of this medication are usually much less than with older antidepressants.  You may experience some or none of the following:

  • Agitation, restlessness or anxiety:  this side effect usually subsides over a few weeks.  Temporarily reducing or splitting the dosage or taking half tablets should resolve this problem.  Starting with ½ doses for a few days lessens this problem.
  • Difficulty sleeping:  this symptom usually subsides when the depressive illness has been eradicated.  Take the medication in the morning, as the medication usually makes your mind more stimulated.
  • Sexual difficulties:  these are usually related to the dose of the medication you are taking, and occur in about 50% of people.
  • Headache, nausea:  usually mild.  Stop the medication if severe.
  • Less common:  increased or decreased appetite, dry mouth, blurring of vision, excessive sweating, shakiness, diarrhoea, vaginal bleeding.
  • Weight gain:  occurs in many people with long term use.


Need to vary dosage:  This medication will eventually overwhelm your symptoms, if it works for you.  With no symptoms left to absorb the powerful medication, you may experience yawning, drowsiness, difficulty finding the right word, or simple errors in spelling or calculation.  Reduce the medication for 2 or 3 days, until these problems resolve, and continue at a lower dose.  At times of extra stress, you may need to increase the dose (so that your concentration and memory are back to normal, being good indicators or good symptom control).


Precautions:  Do not take these tablets:

  • If you develop a rash or hives while taking this medication.
  • If you have taken Parnate or Nardil etc., within the previous 2 weeks.
  • If you intend becoming pregnant in the next 2 months.


Prozac / Lovan and alcohol:  You can have a small amount of alcohol quite safely with these tablets, but do remember that you will probably become drunk or sleepy much more easily.


Stopping the medication: Prozac is unique in having a very long duration in your bloodstream, so withdrawal reactions are very rare even if you suddenly stop the medication, or take it very irregularly.


This information is intended to improve your knowledge of the treatment you are receiving.  Any further points can be discussed at your next consultation with your doctor.


Important Disclaimer:  This site is medical information only, and is not to be taken as diagnosis, advice or treatment, which can only be decided by your own doctor.

8 thoughts on “Information About SSRIs – Prozac, Lovan (Fluoxetine)


    ive been on lovan for 5 years . the chemist is asking if i have plans on weaning off. i have tried to wean off but come into stress and its all on again
    II have been in a failed business that i ran with my hubby and went into voluntary insolvency with 100,000 debt im paying 3rd of my wage and have many other debt that im working through. My daugther has a back injury (20Years old) and requires emotional assistance , My hubby also is an ex injured police officer. My life is very demanding and i also work as a car detailer full time so im exhausted most days.
    just wondering why people keep asking me to wean off the LOVAN when it helps me cope.

  2. Kathryn Cameron says:

    my daughter was put on Lovan for anxiety with school exams after she took an overdose. now she seems to have these episodes where she is in a small trance. She no responsive and then doesn’t know what has happened. I have asked the doctor and he is not sure if it is the medication. Can this be a side affect of the medication?

  3. Ellie says:

    Kathryn if you might like dizzy blackouts yes I get them too. Also check your daughter’s iron level with a blood test though, cos I just found out I’m very low on iron. Once my iron levels are good I will be interested to see if I still get dizzy blackouts. I have been feeling a lot of unexplained anxiety and stress lately, so I am going to try doing half a pill for a little while and see if the anxiety goes.

  4. Christopher greenbury says:

    l have been on Lovan for at least 3 to 4 years now and on a daily bases my problem prier was anger short tempered not at everything but inconsiderate thoughtless ignorant arrogant nasty people l would just loose it,l lost a lot of really good job over my attitude so l staredt on the tablets consistently every day and in two week l felt sooo much calmer relaxed l didn’t and haven’t noticed any real bad side affects but now that l have read everything on this site it makes me wonder about my weight when l started taking these tablets l was a 90kg man now lm between 107 and 110kg and l just can’t shake it,so from this day 10/9/2017 l pledge to start taking 3 to 4 tabs a week until Christmas then l will drop down to one tab per week until Feb 2018 then l will stop the tabs and see how my mental health go’s,l will be back on here to tell you how l went…….but truly good luck to you all

  5. Rosemary Brooks says:

    My daughter has been on Lovan for approx 18 months as she was quite depressed and anxious and very often violent. The Lovan has helped enormously, however, lately the anxiety and associated anger/violence is returning. She is on 30mg/day. Is it possible that the efffects of the Lovan are wearing off and she needs to come off it. She was on another medication 3 years ago and it was only of benefit for 12 mths and then the psych took her off it.

  6. Jenny says:

    My new doctor suggested changing from Effexor after 8 years to Lovan. He doubled the dose and suggested I would have lots more energy and weight would begin to drop off. 3 months later I was being tested for many things trying to work out why I was so damn tired. Waking tired after 9 hours sleep, and having to sleep every afternoon just to cope. Well I took matters into my own hands and started weaning off Lovan a week ago. I can honestly say I am not anywhere near as tired and starting to feel normal again. I think we all know our own body better than anyone else!!

  7. Luke says:

    I have been on lovan 20 for 11 months – has not made me feel any better and I have gained 10 kgs.Im like Jenny above-worn out all the time and just want to sleep.Im gonna try to ween off lovan.

  8. Lindsay says:

    I have just started on Lovan and just a week in I have insomnia and lost sexual drive. I also have an upset stomach. I see on the net these are common issues with antidepressants. I love long distance running but since starting these tablets I don’t feel overly motivated. Maybe this is a factor in the issue of weight gain mentioned by others. Anyway I plan to stick with it for a month before I make any rash decisions to quit taking them. The biggest hurdle I have found is the personal feeling of failure I have with taking these drugs- brought up in an ‘old school’ environment where men were blue collar workers and never complained or showed weakness, to admit depression is difficult.

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