Prozac: Side Effects for Women

"My libido is down and I've recently started taking Prozac. Are the two related?"

Yes, decreased libido or sex drive is a very common side effect of this popular drug. In fact, 11% of patients, both male and female, reported this symptom. There are several other side effects in women as well.

You might consider switching to Zoloft. It has a lower side effect profile, overall. Although it does still have the problems with decreased libido, it is possible to get around this with Zoloft. Because it stays in the body a shorter amount of time it is possible to take a "drug holiday." If you discontinue the drug for a weekend (2-4 days), your normal sex drive and response will return, quickly. The drug can be resumed after short periods without a loss of clinical effectiveness.

Other Side Effects of Prozac Unique to Women
Prozac is used in depression and obsessive/compulsive disorders. Both of these are more common in women, so it is more likely women will be on the drug.

Infrequent is defined as 1 out of 100 (or 1%) to 1 out of 1000 (.1%):
Amenorrhea (lack of menstruation)
Breast Pain
Fibrocystic Breast
Leukorrhea (white or yellow discharge from the vagina)
Menorrhagia (Excessive menstrual bleeding)
Ovarian disorder

Rare was defined less than 1 out of 1000 (.1%):
Abortion (spontaneous loss of a pregnancy or conception)
Breast Enlargement
Dyspareunia (Pain during intercourse)
Lactation (Milk production from the breasts)
Hypomenorrhea (Decreased menstrual bleeding)
Metrorrhagia (bleeding between periods)
Salpingitis (Inflammation of the Fallopian tubes, which carry the egg from the ovary to the uterus)

Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Prozac
Prozac is a Class B drug for pregnancy. That means that the drug should be taken in pregnancy only if it is clearly needed. Inform your doctor is you are, plan to be, or do become pregnant on Prozac. The same applies to breastfeeding.

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