OCD · Personal

Talk About Your Medicines Month – Fluoxetine (Prozac)

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So I few weeks ago, I was contacted by the lovely Judy to participate in the ‘Talk About Your Medicines Month’. So I thought I’d talk about my experience with fluoxetine (prozac) for my post. Fluoxetine is an anti-depressant that I was put on at the end of April this year because of my depression and OCD.
In the beginning I was extremely nervous about going on medication. What about the side effects? Will they work? Are they the right ones? All of this along with googling the side effects didn’t really mix well. I highly recommend not searching for side effects for any mediation because you will most probably freak yourself out. They have to list every single possible side effect that could occur due to the specific mediation you’re taking. Most will never happen! Trust yourself. Medication can take up to 6 weeks to work, so don’t expect to take it once and then suddenly wake up feeling like you could conquer the world and that the symptoms have disappeared (although I’m not ruling out that possibility!)
Medication and therapy are the best combination, but they work equally as well by them self. For me I found medication quite helpful. It helped stabilise my mood and got me back on track as to what I was aiming for in therapy. Although, I do feel like the weekly therapy had more to do with this than the medication, but it definitely helped.
One thing that I think you need to be careful with when on medication is to not pin your accomplishments entirely on the medication. For example if you complete a huge exposure whilst on medication, try not to take away that huge success by saying it was down to the fact that you were on medication. The tablets didn’t do that exposure, you did that exposure and you should be proud!!
I was gradually taken off fluoxetine in September this year. I’m going to be completely honest and say that I was very nervous about this. I had become dependant on them and even though I promised myself that I wasn’t going to let that happen, it did. I started from taking a 20mg tablet a day, to one every other day for a week, then one every three days for a week, until I stopped taking them all together. I did come off them slightly earlier because my hair was becoming thinner. I don’t know if it was because of the medication or different factors in my life, but I was taken off them a little earlier just in case.
To summarise, medication is nothing to be worried about, it’s most probably been prescribed to you to help! However always followed the rules set by your psychiatrist or doctor as to how and when you should take them because messed up medication schedules will not get the most benefit out of what you have been prescribed. 🙂
For ‘Talk About Your Medicines Month’ Judy’s team are talking about Xarelto (find out more here) which I think is a great topic to pick up on because it’s often not discussed and people may not be aware of it fully. Please take the time to read their website and find out more information about that subject.

Thanks once again to Judy for contacting me and I hope this helped some of you who are on, or waiting to be prescribed medication.

-Ellen

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One thought on “Talk About Your Medicines Month – Fluoxetine (Prozac)

  1. You are so right about not searching for side effects. I took prozac four years ago and did not look up the side effects, and I was perfectly fine. This time around (because I’m trying it again), I looked up the side effects and all of a sudden I was freaking myself out! Also, great advice about not attributing one’s accomplishment to medication. As someone who has been on meds for a long time now, I hate not knowing how much of my behavior is actually me, how much is my chemical imbalance, and how much is my medication. :/

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