The great news for people who struggle with poor mental health is that a variety of types of prescription medications are available to help improve their symptoms and make them feel better. What can intimidate people is the idea of finding the right drug for them. Many people with anxiety and depression find that Prozac helps them a great deal, but they have questions about how this medication works, such as “How long does it take for Prozac to start working?” Arbor Wellness answers this and other questions to help people make an informed decision about how to approach treating their mental health disorders.

If you or a loved one are struggling with depression or anxiety, call us today at 629-217-2658 or verify your insurance now. Arbor Wellness can help you take your life back from depression today. 

You are not alone. You deserve to get help.

Arbor Wellness is an industry leader in mental health treatment. Our team of top medical experts specialize in dual diagnosis treatment and are committed to ensuring that each patient is treated as an individual. Call us today, we’re available 24/7.

What is Prozac?

Prozac is the brand name for a medication called Fluoxetine which is available by prescription only. It was introduced to the market in 1987. Prozac is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and comes in tablet, capsule, and liquid form. The drug is prescribed by physicians or mental health counselors who will monitor how it affects the person. Prozac is taken on a daily basis.

How Long Does It Take for Prozac to Start Working?

As with any drug, people want to know when a new one will take effect. The answer to, “How long does it take for Prozac to start working?” is four to six weeks. This is a common timeframe for antidepressants.

What Does Prozac Treat?

Prozac is prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and bulimia. It helps regulate a person’s moods, which improves their symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can also help a person regulate their sleep patterns, which also helps improve their moods.

What Does Prozac Do To The Brain?

A person’s brain contains serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that carries messages between brain nerve cells. People with conditions such as depression and anxiety often do not produce enough serotonin naturally. SSRI drugs help people by increasing the level of serotonin they produce. The drugs block the reabsorption of serotonin into the brain’s neurotransmitter receptors. As a result, the individual has more serotonin in production to help elevate their moods and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and related conditions.

Is Prozac Addictive?

Another common question besides, “How long does it take for Prozac to start working?” is “Can I become addicted to it?” Prozac is not considered to be an addictive drug in terms of someone developing a physical dependence on it. It is possible for someone to develop a physiological dependence on it. This means the brain comes to rely on the drug to perform its job of keeping the person’s serotonin levels increased. A person may also develop a psychological addiction in that they feel they cannot achieve and maintain positive emotions without using Prozac. In either case, the individual should discuss their concerns with their doctor or therapist. No one should stop taking Prozac too quickly or without supervision from the prescribing clinician because it can cause withdrawal symptoms if they do.

Does Prozac Cause Weight Gain?

Most antidepressants carry with them the risk of weight gain as a side effect. However, this does not mean it will happen to everyone who uses them. Each person responds to SSRIs, and Prozac in particular, differently. Some people gain weight, some maintain it, and some even lose weight. Someone who gains weight while taking Prozac may feel the drug is to blame, but other causes may be in play. For example, depression can cause a person to lose their appetite. When they begin to feel better, they often begin to eat more in response to a healthy increase in their appetite. This can lead to a minor weight gain. In general, Prozac is not considered one of the antidepressants likely to cause weight gain.

Prozac vs Lexapro

Because there are so many choices for prescription medications that treat depression and anxiety, people often wonder about the difference between one drug and another. Prozac and Lexapro are both SSRI drugs and work in similar ways. Perhaps the main difference involves which side effects are more common with each drug. For example, Prozac is more likely to cause headaches while Lexapro is more likely to cause ejaculation problems.

Prozac vs Zoloft

Like Prozac, Zoloft is an SSRI and both drugs share similar qualities. The main difference is that Prozac is considered more effective in treating general anxiety disorder, while Zoloft is more effective in the treatment of social anxiety disorder and PTSD.

Prozac vs Wellbutrin

Wellbutrin is a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI) rather than an SSRI. A person typically has to take more dosages of Wellbutrin per day than Prozac. As well, Wellbutrin is approved to treat seasonal affective disorder, while Prozac is not.

Begin Treatment for Mental Illness Today in Nashville, TN

Do you suffer from anxiety or depression and want to find a medication to help alleviate your symptoms? Many people find that Prozac works for them but want to be fully informed before beginning to take it. If you want to know how long it takes for Prozac to start working and get more information about this medication, we are happy to talk to you. Arbor Wellness provides a structured course of different types of therapy and access to the right prescription drugs to help you feel better.

Visit our admissions page for more information on how to start a conversation with us. We look forward to hearing from you.


Don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. In the case of a medical emergency please contact 911 or visit your local emergency department.

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