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.

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

  1. VERONICA JENKINS says:

    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.

    • Janet Jordan says:

      Don’t necessarily listen to your Pharmacist, your Dr or Specialist who put you on them in the first place is the person to speak to. I have been on these now for almost thirty years because I am bi-polar, they keep me stable

      • Kh says:

        If you don’t mind me asking. After 30 years do you find it to have stopped working or do you increase your dosage? I’ve been on it for maybe 18 years and am starting to feel my anxiety slowly getting worse

  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.

  9. Terri says:

    I’ve suffered from anxiety all of my life. I had two workplace situations of bullying, which lead to me having a complete emotional breakdown then experiencing severe anxiety and depression. I also have Fibromyalgia and widespread arthritis. I’ve tried Amitryptilene, Cymbalta and another antidepressant but all have failed to help in the long term. After not using any antidepressants for about a year, my dark moods have progressively worsened to the point where I’ve lost all motivation, not drawing any joy from anything. I believe that I need SSRI’s to cope with life in general.
    I’m about to see my GP and ask for Prozac/Lovan to help with my horrific moods. I’m also about to embark on a move overseas, selling all of our possessions and the associated chore of it all is causing a huge amount of anxiety. This should be a happy time but it’s overwhelming me. So, I’m giving a new drug a try just so that I can survive the journey ahead without any “meltdowns” or a breakdown. Wish me success

  10. Paul Jowsey says:

    My wife has suffered from menopause for a decade, real bad often. She has also been on Lovan all these ten years. When she gets acute mood swings and depression, as in too much wine everyday, she doubles the Lovan dosage. She has now left me, seriously overweight, alcohol dependent, numbed out and spinning on Lovan. Don’t trust it ever!

  11. chiktionary says:

    Michael Green – do not give any human anti-depressants to dogs. Ask your vet for help of you feel your dog is depressed. Paul Jowsey, your wife’s weight problem could be connected to high alcohol consumption, there’s a lot of sugar in alcoholic beverages, even wine. Sorry you’re going through a tough time right now.
    I’m just starting on Lovan due to dark moods, depression and anxiety. I looked up this website because I was seeking info on how to take the medication. My doctor advised to dissolve 10mg in water and drink that for the first four days and then take tablets thereafter. Does anyone know if I have to keep dissolving the tablets or do I switch from solution to swallowing tablets whole? Thanks in advance, and best of luck everyone in your recovery journeys. x

  12. MattKW says:

    Paul Jowsey, alcohol causes its own form of depression once the initial high wears off. So your wife was fighting a battle on two fronts, and the mood swings weren’t surprising. As for weight gain, antidepressants have this effect indirectly, because it makes us crave food as a form of satisfaction.
    Terri, ask GP about some Valium. I’ve been on it for 10 years at does of 5mg per day or less. Taken like that with some awareness of your issues should help you through it all. Some GPs are reluctant to give out Valium for fear of dependence. I initially got mine from my psychiatrist.
    Fighting depression and anxiety can be a long battle, but when I think of how I was in the past, I’m in a better state by far.
    I came here because I have been on Cymbalta for a year and it’s been slightly less helpful than Cipramil – I have a friend who has had good results with Lovan, so going to talk to GP today about swapping over. Been on antidepressants for 12 years, tried to come off a couple of times but terrible results, so I have to accept as lifetime medication. Tried CBT with a good psychologist, but wasn’t my kind of thing. Good luck to all!

  13. Debbie says:

    I have bn on these for 4 weeks now I’ve noticed over this time I have bn feeling really angry & it’s my body that feels depressed not my mind… I’m not to sure what is going on with me…

  14. Sandra says:

    I have been on antidepressants on and off for 20 years. Life hasnt been so kind always. Anyway, since starting Lovan I have gained 20kgs. For reaons I won’t go into I decided to wean off them. Gone is my voracious appetite. I have NO food cravings and have gone back to healthy eating even though I thiught there was nothing wrong with my diet. My appetite feels like it did when I was young. The hunger pangs have all gone. I am losing weight inadvertently. This was never my intention in stopping the AD’s. I had literally forgotten what a normal appetite felt like. I will never ever go on AD’s again. I always thought it was depression causing weight gain. Wrong. It was the AD’s. Thank God I found this out now so I can enjoy a normal life again.

  15. Annika says:

    are you able to take lovan while trying for a baby? if so does anyone know of the side effects of it?
    I have just been put on lovan but my doctor is saying that it takes about 6 months before i can come off.

  16. Mandy Tomlin says:

    My daughter has been on lovan for a few years now and she has trouble sleeping, has a huge appetite. She is always tired and still can be quite moody. It’s not often we see her smiling and happy which is pretty sad for a 22 year old. Maybe she needs to get off them and see if her weight changes and her moods and sleep patterns are affected by the lovan

  17. Jarrad says:

    I was recently diagnosed with anxiety disorder and my psychiatrist has put me on lovan. I’ve also suffered mild bouts of depression on and off for the last 4-5 years now and previously I was put on Serequol which made me erratic and didn’t seem to be the right med for me. I swore I’d never take ADP’s, but honestly, I’ve come to the realization now that I definitely need them. Hopefully not for the long term, but I’m 5 days in so far and to Sarah Smith, I had this exact same reaction initially as what I understand can be an initial side effect. Talk to your sons doctor/psych, but with all due respect, you shouldn’t be telling people not to touch them because you yourself may find that once he’s adjusted, they may in fact have a positive impact. For your young man and everyone else here, hang in there. Each individual is different, and there’s a solution/answer out there for all of us. Stay strong people. Good luck to you all. Cheers, Jarrad

  18. Angela bornino says:

    I’ve been taking Prozac 20mg for over 25 yrs and was fine with it. But for the past 2 years i’ve Been crabby, inpatient,moody and very sensitive. My doc told me to taketwo instead of-one capsule i’ve Been feeling like a new person and I like myself now. But I notice I don’t sleep good at night I’m awake and have a hard time falling back to sleep. And also i’m Forgetting simple words when I talk I just can’t think of them when I talk. Could this be a side effect or is the dosage to strong . I’m taking 40 mg instead of 20mg

  19. christine says:

    My 29 year old son was put on lovan about 6 weeks ago for depression he seems so tired and sleeps all the time except at work he also sleeps through meal time is this a side affect

  20. Kath says:

    My daughter has been on Lovan for 6 years. Dose was reduced to 10 mg for about 3 years but due to MH issues becoming stronger dose has been increased to 20 mg for the past 3 weeks. One of the problems she is having is a painful burning feeling when urinating from bladder out. She also complains of bad lower back pain. When doctor tests urine sample blood is indicated but doesn’t culture bugs. My daughter has also been taking 40 mg of Zeldox twice daily.
    Does anyone else have the above symptoms?

  21. Mandapanda says:

    I’ve had a look at the comments here, and my GP has put me on Lovan, with similar side effects to everyone re being tired/sleepy all the time – so she suggested I have it at night time, and I’m sleeping like a log and actually feeling good during the day – it has helped with my mood swings and my depression and my anxiety – maybe some of you need to discuss switching when you take your dose with your doctors? (I was on it for 18 months last time with the same side effects – taking it at night just seems to work for me)

  22. Elise Browne says:

    I was on efexor for menopause night sweats (very grateful not to suffer depression) doc suggested switching to Lovan last week. I have never felt worse! I can’t concentrate, I’m teary, tired and emotional, everyday is a fog (similar to sleep deprivation post having a baby, or being permanently drunk!). This is terrible as my job requires mental alertness. I can’t stand how going from one to another has messed with my brain chemistry, but I’m too afraid to stop/switch back in case it messes me up more. There are so many different accounts of this drug as everyone’s brain chemistry is genetically different, so off to the doc for me. Wish I’d left well enough alone.

  23. Jamie King says:

    I have been on lovan for then last 8 years taking 60mg per day.I can only say that I have not been harming myself nor attempted to kill myself over this period. This medication has changed my life. I did not laugh for 20 years now I have a sense of humour and enjoy life. Nothing appears to phase me anymore. It is great stuff.

  24. Michele says:

    I have been on Lovan 20 mg for the last 10 years,I have mantained my weight and could not function without them.i have suffered from depression since I was a little girl.Sometimes
    you need some help and if it is Lovan you need to take them.

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