Skip to content

What is Prozac?

Prozac (Fluoxetine) is used for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (bothersome thoughts that won’t go away and the need to perform certain actions over and over), some eating disorders, and panic attacks (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks) [1]. Prozac is also used to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including irritability, mood swings, bloating, and breast tenderness.

Prozac is also used along with olanzapine (Zyprexa) to treat depression that did not respond to other medications and episodes of depression in people with bipolar I disorder (manic-depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods). Prozac is in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Prozac works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.

Fluoxetine (Prozac) comes as a capsule, a tablet, a delayed-release (releases the medication in the intestine) capsule, and a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. Fluoxetine may be taken with or without food. Fluoxetine capsules, tablets, and liquid are usually taken once a day in the morning or twice a day in the morning and at noon. Fluoxetine delayed-release capsules are usually taken once a week.

Prozac and Alcohol
Mixing Prozac with brain-altering substances like alcohol can be harmful.

It may take four to five weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of Prozac. Continue to take Prozac even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Prozac without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking Prozac, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, dizziness, mood changes, agitation, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, anxiety, sweating, headache, confusion, tiredness, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.

Get Your Life Back

Find Hope & Recovery. Get Safe Comfortable Detox, Addiction Rehab & Dual Diagnosis High-Quality Care.

Hotline (877) 378-4154

Side Effects of Prozac

Side effects from Prozac (fluoxetine) are relatively common, especially when first starting to take the medication or when increasing your dose. The possibility of side effects occurring varies by individual and by the dose you are taking. The side effects are generally mild and self-limiting however. In most cases, side effects tend to subside in a few weeks.

Common Prozac side effects may include:

  • Sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams
  • Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, vision changes
  • Tremors or shaking, feeling anxious or nervous
  • Pain, weakness, yawning, tired feeling
  • Upset stomach, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Dry mouth, sweating, hot flashes
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat, flu symptoms
  • Decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm

One unfortunate side effect of Prozac is it alters the normal sleep cycle, consisting of several stages. Normal sleep includes a necessary stage called REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. During this phase, eye muscles move while other muscles do not; because neurons turn on in the brain to prevent sleepwalking and the acting out of dreams. Prozac and other antidepressants are known to suppress the REM sleep, which has serious consequences.

The longer an individual uses an antidepressant, the greater the likelihood that a dependency on the drug will develop, both physically and psychologically. Dependency on a medication to treat depression may decrease motivation efforts to make positive life changes. Research has shown that Americans treated with antidepressants have remained on the medication for more than a year, perhaps demonstrating poor outcomes for treatment with medication alone.

The long-term use of Prozac has been associated with damaging changes to the brain and/or improper brain development. Some research has shown that the use of SSRIs, such as Prozac, has been associated with movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease. The chronic use of antidepressants like Prozac could lead to a blunted emotional response, changes in mood, and increased experience of agitation, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, and nervousness, with the highest rates among people taking the highest doses.

Get Help. Get Better. Get Your Life Back.

Searching for an Accredited Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers in Near You?

Even if you have failed previously and relapsed, or are in the middle of a difficult crisis, we stand ready to support you. Our trusted behavioral health specialists will not give up on you. When you feel ready or just want someone to speak to about therapy alternatives to change your life call us. Even if we cannot assist you, we will lead you to wherever you can get support. There is no obligation. Call our hotline today.

FREE Addiction Hotline – Call 24/7
Prozac and Alcohol
Both Prozac and alcohol can cause tiredness and interfere with alertness as well as coordinated motion. 

Interactions Between Prozac and Alcohol

Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that disturbs the brain’s chemistry and slows down bodily functions. Separately, Prozac also changes brain chemistry and body functions. Alcohol use, while also taking Prozac, can lead to the amplification of both drugs’ side effects. Mixing Prozac and alcohol can result in heightened feelings of depression and anxiety. These are the same symptoms that Prozac treats. In some cases, combining Prozac and alcohol can lead to suicidal feelings and tendencies.

The ingredients in Prozac are designed to help calm your mood. One of the side effects of the drug is tiredness. Prozac can interfere with coordinated movement and alertness like alcohol does. Combining Prozac and alcohol can quickly lead to increased sedation. Having even one drink while you take Prozac can cause extreme drowsiness. This effect can lead to potentially dangerous situations. These include poor decision-making, impaired driving, and an increased risk of injuries.

Dangers of Mixing Prozac and Alcohol

Mixing Prozac and alcohol can have some serious repercussions. While drinking alcohol during pregnancy is always risky, using the antidepressant Prozac to relieve symptoms of depression does not have any known risk towards the unborn child. It gets transferred through breast milk in most cases. The situation is reversed when alcohol is added to the equation. This ultimately results in several conditions from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, poor brain function, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to abnormalities. Mothers who develop tolerance to alcohol can accidentally combine Prozac with alcohol which can harm the unborn child.

Some Prozac and alcohol dangers are listed below to help you better understand the gravity of this deadly combination:


  • Persistent lack of sleep negatively affects your body in a way that you are unable to think or function. Although taking Prozac for depression with alcohol can help you fall asleep quickly, you tend to wake up more in the middle of the night, which ultimately results in insomnia. 

Suicidal Thoughts

  • The extent of mixing Prozac and alcohol reaches the point of suicide when people feel there is no solution to their problem. As mentioned earlier, alcohol does provide some short-term relief. However, in the long run, these feelings gradually shift back to loneliness and, in severe cases, suicide.

Risk of Overdose  

  • Overdose is always a possibility when someone is abusing the drug independently or mixing it with other substances. Similarly, individuals who fail to understand the gravity of mixing Prozac and alcohol eventually end up overdosing, leading to a life-threatening situation. Contrary to popular belief, the risk of overdose is still at large even if you combine Fluoxetine with even a small amount of alcohol.

Impaired Alertness

  • One of the biggest misconceptions a drug abuser has is that mixing Alcohol and Prozac will make them capable of performing any task. They don’t understand that although this combination does elevate your energy, it impairs the alertness that renders you incapable of performing even simple tasks.


First-class Facilities & Amenities

World-class High-Quality Addiction & Mental Health Rehabilitation Treatment

Rehab Centers Tour

Renowned Addiction Centers. Serene Private Facilities. Inpatient rehab programs vary.

Addiction Helpline (877) 378-4154

Proven recovery success experience, backed by a Team w/ History of:

  • 15+ Years Experience
  • 100s of 5-Star Reviews
  • 10K+ Recovery Successes
  • Low Patient to Therapist Ratio
  • Onsite Medical Detox Center
  • Comprehensive Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
  • Complimentary Family & Alumni Programs
  • Coaching, Recovery & Personal Development Events
  • While the exact mechanism between Prozac and alcohol is yet to be discovered, doctors often warn people taking Prozac against consuming this medication with alcohol. Unfortunately, it is easy for people to ignore the warning signs due to the immediate relief they get. Unconsciousness is one of the alarming signs in the list of Prozac and alcohol dangers. Since the function of both is to change the chemical activity in the brain that results in improved mood. Unconsciousness is the result of excessive intake of Prozac and alcohol.

Prozac and Alcohol Side Effects

Mixing Prozac and alcohol may cause fatigue and weakness, which may interfere with your ability to finish simple tasks. You may find yourself needing to take a break to rest. Alcohol can also keep Prozac from working as well as it should. Taking antidepressants like Prozac doesn’t mean you’re immune to the depressive effects of alcohol. Instead, alcohol may actually keep your medication from working to its full effect. This means you won’t get the full benefits of Prozac. This can make the symptoms of your condition even worse.

Mixing Prozac and alcohol can also lead to other side effects. These can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sudden fatigue and weakness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts

Prozac and Alcohol Liver Damage

Another major organ that is impacted by alcohol consumption is the liver, which is an organ that cleanses toxins from the blood. Extreme alcohol abuse over long periods of time can damage the liver, and even cause fibrosis or alcoholic cirrhosis. A healthy liver is required for anyone taking Prozac since it is metabolized in the liver. If the liver cannot efficiently metabolize Prozac, the benefits will be lost. Even if the liver is not damaged or diseased, introducing alcohol will in effect reduce the dose of Prozac and thereby reduce its effectiveness and benefits.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) [2], liver test abnormalities have been reported to occur rarely in patients on fluoxetine. Rare instances of acute, clinically apparent episodes of liver injury with marked liver enzyme elevations with or without jaundice have been reported in patients on fluoxetine.

Alcohol and Depression

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) [3], given that symptoms of depression co-occur with alcohol dependence in about 80 percent of patients and 30 to 40 percent of alcohol-dependent men and women struggle from an independent major depressive episode during their lifetime. Many individuals who struggle with depression, especially people who have not been properly diagnosed, usually turn to alcohol to escape.

Hopeless and desperate to feel better or anesthetize the pain, even for a small amount of time. Individuals who suffer from depression often use the numbing and pleasurable effects of alcohol for that purpose. Alcohol abuse is prevalent among people who suffer from depression. Drinking alcohol may increase depressionanxiety, and other mental health condition. This is according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [4].

World-class, Accredited, 5-Star Reviewed, Effective Addiction & Mental Health Programs. Complete Behavioral Health Inpatient Rehab, Detox plus Co-occuring Disorders Therapy.

CALL (877) 378-4154

End the Addiction Pain. End the Emotional Rollercoaster. Get Your Life Back. Start Drug, Alcohol & Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Treatment Now. Get Free No-obligation Guidance by Substance Abuse Specialists Who Understand Addiction & Mental Health Recovery & Know How to Help.

Treatment for Alcohol Misuse & Addiction 

To determine the most effective ways to treat Prozac and alcohol addiction, it’s crucial to first get an accurate assessment of all the symptoms. When the symptoms have been evaluated by a mental health professional, it may be determined that another form of depression is present and needs a particular type of treatment. Very often, some combination of psychotherapy, medication, and/or lifestyle changes are effective for coping with functional.

Medically-Assisted Detox

Detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of alcohol withdrawal, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to alcohol use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of alcohol withdrawals.

Psychotherapy for Depression

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of depression including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Person Centered Therapy – a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, support environment.
  • Solution Focused Therapy – an approach interested in solutions which can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Alcoholism and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. In this strategy, both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder are treated simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.

Medication-Assisted Treatments

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for alcohol use disorder and mental health disorder are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

If you or a loved one are struggling with long-term substance abuse and a co-occurring mental health condition such as depression, contact one of our helpful treatment specialists today. We Level Up NJ can provide information on dual diagnosis and detox programs that may fit your specific needs.

Prozac and Alcohol
It’s important to note that the effects of combining Prozac and alcohol can happen even if you don’t drink at the same exact time you take the drug. 

Start a New Life

Begin with a free call to an addiction & behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.

>> Personalized Care

>> Caring Accountable Staff

>> World-class Amenities

>> Licensed & Accredited

>> Renowned w/ 100s 5-Star Reviews

Rehab centers for alcohol & drug addiction

We’ll Call You


[1] NIH –

[2] NCBI –

[3] NIAAA –

[4] CDC –