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One of the most common uses of Prozac (fluoxetine) is for the treatment of panic disorder. Somewhat ironically, however, one of the most common side effects of this medication is anxiety. The FDA reports that how patients use this drug may play a factor in new or worsening anxiety, such as if patients stop this medication suddenly. As such, it pays to know how to properly use Prozac for anxiety.


The FDA states that the adult dosage for treating panic disorder starts at 5 to 10 mg/day; this dosage is usually increased to 20 mg/day after one week, although patients may take up to 60 mg/day. At the time of writing, no extensive studies have examined the effects of a dose greater than 60 mg/day for the treatment of panic disorder.

The official FDA label for Prozac does not list a recommended dose for pediatric patients.

Side Effects

As is the case with any other medication, negative side effects can result from Prozac use. Data suggests that what condition a patient is treating—major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia nervosa (bulimia), and/or panic disorder—can influence what side effects will be most likely to emerge.

Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reactions

Across the board, the FDA reports that the two most-common treatment-emergent adverse reactions were nausea and insomnia. Patients suffering from bulimia were the group most likely to experience these side effects. Conversely, those treated for panic disorder were much less likely than the other groups to experience these side effects, although these symptoms were more likely to emerge than any other reported adverse reaction, such as decreased libido.

For more information, please visit our page on Prozac side effects.

Discontinuation Side Effects

When discontinuing Prozac, patients treated for MDD were most likely to experience nervousness, OCD patients commonly reported anxiety and rash, bulimia patients reported insomnia, and panic disorder patients reported anxiety and nervousness.

For more information, please visit our page on Prozac withdrawal.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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