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kwoahh's avatar

Did Prozac stop working for me or is this normal?

Asked by kwoahh (68 points ) February 19th, 2013

I am 17, and have struggled with anxiety and depression for the past couple of years. My doctor prescribed me prozac about 3 or 4 months ago. It’s been working really well, and I normally feel very much at ease and motivated, however the past couple of days have been hell. I am going to Africa in June and when I was at a meeting for it yesterday I had to excuse myself and I basically had a panic attack in the bathroom. It was horrible. That morning I woke up with anxiety as well, so this was all completely out of the blue. Today, I feel very anxious as well and I have no idea why.

Do some antidepressants stop working for people? Is this just a freak thing or do I need to talk to my doctor? Let me know your input.

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12 Answers

woodcutter's avatar

You should tell your doctor first.

gailcalled's avatar

Please don’t ask us, a random group of strangers This is a matter for your doctor.

Are you also getting talk therapy?

kwoahh's avatar

I’d just like to know if any of you can relate to my experience with prozac and if it’s normal for people who take it.

and yes i am.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I’ve heard about it too. It happened to someone I know, much older than you. Her doctor changed her medication. Tell your dr. asap, and especially before you go to africa. Good luck to you.—I’m going to africa too in about a week I’m kinda scared lol.

FutureMemory's avatar

It is not uncommon for the SSRI antidepressants (the class that prozac belongs to) to poop-out unexpectedly after a random period of time. For some people it can be after years of taking it successfully, for others only a few months.

Unfortunately many people have to try out multiple meds before they find one that works right for them, and even then, the poop-out can happen at any time.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

Yes I agree, tell your doctor. I was on prozac at that age. It was the first drug I was ever on. That was 19yrs ago. Sometimes it can be a reacttion or a symptom to a drug.

For me it took 19yrs to find the perfect drug. I know thats a long time. It’s not like for everyone. I certainly hope it’s not like that for you. But some advice, if your mood changes in any way, you need to see the doctor, because that means you are either having a reaction to the drug, it does not work or you need to be put on a higher dose and only your doctor knows that.

Good luck. And I hope you have fun and have a great experience on your trip.
Oh and welcome to Fluther :)

zensky's avatar

I agree, tell your doctor.

burntbonez's avatar

Telling your doctor is the best way to go.

wundayatta's avatar

Prozac can definitely stop working. It’s not something to panic over. Go to your doctor. They will probably wean you off Prozac (it could take two or three weeks) and then start you on something else. The something else may or may not work, so you may have to try several different meds before you find something that is good for you.

Meanwhile, use your coping techniques that you’ve been learning in therapy. Exercise extra hard. Make sure you get good sleep. Eat properly and regularly (not before you go to bed). Don’t watch TV the hour before you go to sleep. Get involved in a volunteer activity. Do yoga and meditation or dance or something that gets you out of your head and into your body.

Dealing with depression involves many possible tools. Some you have control over (like the ones I just mentioned). Others are chemical, and you just have to find the right medicine. This is a chronic issue, which means you have to learn to control it for the rest of your life. It is doable. Difficult, but doable. Also worth doing.

Also, I would suggest learning mindfulness. It trains your mind how to cope with your negative thoughts without fighting them. Some people prefer cognitive behavioral therapy, and that works for many, but not all. Mindfulness probably will work for more folks. You learn how to detach yourself from the thoughts that hurt you, and once detached, you can think those thoughts without them dragging you down.

It’s not easy to learn, and can be tricky to do, but worth the effort. Just don’t expect to learn it right away. That’s a sure guarantee you won’t learn it. It comes slowly. Very slowly. But it can really help.

Lot’s to do, I know. You can’t do it all at once. But it’s a list of things to add to your set of coping tools. One at a time. Do it over time. It took me several years to build my tool box, and I had a head start, since I was doing several of these things before I got sick.

augustlan's avatar

It’s not uncommon for SSRIs to stop working after a period of time, however, it’s also possible that it’s still working in general but you are experiencing an extra high level of anxiety due to the trip. I take daily medication for depression/anxiety and it works very well, but I still have times when it’s not quite enough. For those times, I have Xanax that I only take when I need to. Definitely talk to your doctor about the situation, and see what they think.

gailcalled's avatar

Every body has nuanced differences in its chemistry; hence no one size fits all.

I took a low dose of Prozac for 48 hours and stopped on a dime after two nights of 5/6 nightmares each.

SamandMax's avatar

Prozac has played a large part in my family, and nobody’s experience of taking it seemed to end too well. Prozac seemed to work but after a while, it tended to not work and the person taking it either felt no better than before they took Prozac, or eventually worse as a result of taking Prozac – which is what happened to my Grandfather.
It is absolutely important that you do not mess yourself about with this. Depression at your age can be dealt with given the right treatment, failure to do so could cause more significant issues later on in your life, so it is utterly vital that you mention this to your doctor and spit it out, right off the bat say it doesn’t work and you’d like to try something else. The sooner you can get this depression dealt with, the better.
I say this as someone who had depression – severe depression – at your age. I’m not in my mid 30s. Several doctors at the time of my depression being evident failed to assist me in the treatment of it, I have now got several stress related symptoms, have had difficulty sleeping in over 15 years, and my memory is significantly worse due to drug abuse (alcohol mostly, weed occasionally – but that stopped after I was 18). I’ve now taken several drugs of the prescribed kind to deal with suspected stroke, ongoing heartburn, chest pains, headaches, nausea, blah blah blah blah. Most of these things could have been avoided if the doctors I had seen actually did something useful about my depression.
Go forth, and raise a goddamn almighty stink if you have to to get it dealt with, but only if you aren’t getting results and you think your doctor might be giving you the run around.

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