Does Prozac Help With Generalized Anxiety?


Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear which naturally occurs when you are faced with a stressful situation such as leading a big presentation or speaking in front of a large number of people. Anxiety can become a bigger problem if it causes secondary symptoms or lingers long after the stressful event has passed. While there are many natural ways to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, Prozac—a drug first used in the U.S. in 1987—is often prescribed as a cure-all for anxiety disorder.

Secondary Anxiety Symptoms

Aside from the fear or worry you experience with general anxiety, there can be secondary anxiety symptoms. Tense muscles, diarrhea, headaches, heart palpitations and excessive sweating are all secondary anxiety symptoms and may indicate an anxiety disorder.

If you experience chronic cases of any of these symptoms, and you know you have been under a lot of stress for an extended period of time, see your doctor to determine if you have an anxiety disorder.

While most anxiety symptoms may be treated naturally by regulating diet and exercise, incorporating behavioral therapy, and regulating the amount of stress you are exposed to each day, a disorder may linger for months or years after the initial symptoms are treated and may affect your life in very negative ways. Your doctor may suggest Prozac as a way to substantially lessen your anxiety and the secondary symptoms of anxiety, allowing you to fall back into a normal routine.

Prozac For Anxiety

Prozac is prescribed for a variety of anxiety disorders such as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), manic depression, bulimia, bipolar disorder and panic attacks. These types of anxiety disorders are caused by imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain. Serotonin is one such brain neurotransmitter targeted by doctors when anxiety disorders persist.

Prozac works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain by blocking its re-absorption into the brain synapse. Prozac is slow to act and so is easily tolerated by most people. Work with your doctor to find the right dosage for you. Generally, your doctor will start you out on 20 mg of Prozac per day and raise or lower your dosage to achieve the desired results.

Side effects of Prozac include nausea, drowsiness, strange dreams, and sexual dysfunction. If taken in very high doses, Prozac for anxiety may have an opposite effect and cause you to feel more restless, nervous or anxious. Let your doctor know as soon as you feel any of these side effects, especially if your doctor is gradually raising your daily dose. The good news is that Prozac has fewer withdrawal symptoms so it will be much easier for you to discontinue Prozac once your anxiety is regulated.

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