Should I take Prozac for PMS, Peri-menopause, Menopause or Post Menopause?
Prozac is supposed to be prescribed to treat endogenous (within an organism, tissue or cell) depression, which is a contradiction to the truth. I say this because no test exist to determine a chemical imbalance in the brain while they are alive. Though Prozac is made to treat depression you will find just by doing a search on the internet that it is prescribed for just about every ailment under the sun, including female hormonal problems.
Does Prozac relieve depression and negative feelings?
Prozac does not work as well as it is marketed. A study in the March 30th, 1996 issue of Lancet found that Prozac did not improve fatigue, problems with thinking or reasoning, sleep disturbances or depression. Dr. Peter Breggin, MD, points out that 75% of the Prozac patients did not finish the drug studies due to adverse reactions to the Prozac. Dr. Breggin also says that the drug company studies found no difference between Prozac and a sugar pill.
With the above study in mind it is hard to believe that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this drug, but like other psychiatric medications the side effects and dangers do exist.
How does Prozac work?
Like all antidepressants, Prozac is supposed to affect the balance of neurotransmitters (chemical signals) in the brain that control mood. Prozac was the first of a new class of drugs that zeroes in on serotonin and blocks its removal from its site of action on neurons. The serotonin is believed to improve the mood. The resulting increase in brain serotonin is also thought to be responsible for Prozac’s adverse effects.
It is not known how long Prozac relieves depression past 6 weeks, since that’s as long as it’s been studied. This is a problem for researchers since it is generally agreed upon that it takes several months or longer of drug therapy to produce the desire results. For this reason, anyone on Prozac should be carefully re-evaluated periodically after 6 weeks, or better yet, get off completely.
What are Prozac’s adverse effects?
* One in 7 people had to quit taking the drug during pre-marketing trials because of adverse effects, mostly psychiatric effects, such as agitation and depression. (It is not unusual for antidepressants to cause depression.)
* The most frequently reported adverse effects of Prozac (found in 15-25% of those who take it) include nausea, nervousness, anxiety, headache, and insomnia. Nausea is usually worse at first and may diminish after a few weeks of treatment.
* Dry mouth, sweating, diarrhea, tremor, loss of appetite, and dizziness are reported by 7-15% of Prozac users.
* Impotence and inability to achieve orgasm are infrequent side effects, as are seizures.
* Four percent of Prozac users report a rash. Stop taking Prozac if this occurs. In rare cases the rash may be severe and is accompanied by fever, swollen lymph nodes, and aching joints. Rare severe cases may require hospitalization and steroid treatment.
* Restlessness, constant pacing and purposeless movements of the feet and legs, occur in 10-25% of Prozac users. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may be exaggerated.
* A rare side effect is a flip from depression into mania or extreme agitation. If this occurs the usual treatment is hospitalization and treatment with lithium, as if you are not drugged enough.
* One of the most frightening side effects, reported in about 3.5% of people taking Prozac, is an intense preoccupation with suicide. Some attempted and were successful suicides. This effect is thought to result from the drug’s profound effect on the neurotransmitter whose role in violence, agitation and suicide is not well understood. Even after Prozac was discontinued, unrelenting violent suicidal thoughts persisted from 3 days to 3 months. Hospitalization with close supervision may be required until suicidal thoughts subside.
*The most frightening side effect is that Prozac can worsen the mental condition of many adults and children and even contribute to psychosis and violence. Dr. Peter Breggin investigated these dangers in several books and scientific reports (including Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Drugs) and the dangers of drug-induced psychosis and violence have been underscored in several shootings:
– Littleton’s Eric Harris was taking the Prozac-like drug, Luvox, which has at least a 4% rate of producing mania in short-term studies of children. Mania includes the feelings of God-like grandiosity and omnipotence, elaborate planning, paranoia, and violence.
– Kip Kinkle, a boy who killed his parents and opened fire at his Oregon school in 1998, had been receiving psychiatric treatment and was thought to be taking Prozac sometime in the past and Ritalin at the time of the shooting.
– Reuters reported on Sptember 1, 1999 that Prozac had been found in the van of Mark Barton, the man who killed his wife, his two children, and rampaged at two stock brokerage firms in Atlanata in late July.
For a full list of side effects and withdrawal symptoms see the article: https://psychdrugs.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/prozac-fluoxetine-and-its-side-effects/.
With all those horrific massacres at Columbine, Jonesboro, Virginia Tech and other places, it is now more urgent than ever to get the terrible truth about these drugs out to the public. Everyone needs to know what SSRIs do to normal minds, children and adults, and how these drugs destroy ethical beliefs and twist moral values, to where many SSRI users convince themselves it is “fun” or “justice” to go out and slaughter people.
What works for hormonal symptoms, but has no side effects?
Supplements such as soy isoflavens, gamma-oryzanol, (these three are known to decrease or handle hot flases); Black Cohash has also been known to help hot flashes, if your body can handle it. Vitamin B Complex enhances mood and gives energy. Calcium with Magnesium drink or Tart Cherries or juice is good for sleeping – tart cherries contain melatonin. Vitamin A (for energy) D, E and C. Reading self-help books such as Dianetics or Self Analysis can help you better understand yourself and others which can help relieve stress. Support from family and friends have also been successful, or even a change in environment.
Since HRT has been linked to cancer and the chance of developing cancer increases the longer you take it, I suggest seeing a doctor who prescribes natural hormonal replacement therapy, only after testing your levels of Progesterone, Estrogen and Testosterone.
Some depression is medication-induced (barbiturates such as phenobarbital; tranquilizers such as Valium and Halcion; some heart drugs and beta-lockers, high blood pressure and drugs for abnormal heart rhythms; ulcer drugs, antiparkinson drugs, steroids, anticonvulsants, antibiotics, diet drugs, painkillers, street drugs and some other drugs, and can be relieved by reducing the dose of the culprit drug, or tapering off completely. If you wish to stop taking Prozac or any other drug safely see our right-hand navigation panel for the free online book on how to taper off safely.
Menopause Update: I stopped drinking soy milk because of all the bad things that I read about it. I heard that soy milk creates the bad kind of estrogen that causes cancer and that the good kind of soy are soy isoflavons. I also heard that 90 – 95% of soy products are GMO (genetically engineered). I stopped the soy milk consumption which was around 12 oz. a day which contains about 60 mg. of soy isoflavons. Then my hot flashes came on severely. Then I purchased some soy isoflavans online and it is really helping. I purchased a brand that has 70 mg of soy isoflavons if you take 4 capsules daily. I usually only remember to take 2 a day, but I know the hot flashes would probably go away if I took all 4. I never forget to take that bedtime one, though. I ensure a restful night’s sleep. Good luck!
Bellaonline: Carolyn Chambers Clark, ARNP, EdD
Breggin, Dr. Peter R. Prozac story misleading. American Psychological Association Monitor.
Wolfe, Dr. Sidney M. Prozac. Public Citizen Health Research Group Health Letter, June, 1990.
Wolfe, Dr. Sidney M. The doors of deception? Public Citizen Health Research Group Health Letter, May, 1994.
This article is for information purposes. For treatment, consult your health care practitioner.
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