My dc was prescribed prozac yesterday for anxiety.(16) Pharmacist asked if she had taken it before and said to make sure she read the leaflet before she did. Having done so she is completely put off and is going to try and tackle it without the drugs. I was quite shocked that it was given to her, but I'd be interested to hear if this is standard and if it helped your teen?
I wasn’t a teenager but was in my early twenties when I was put on it. I’d had crippling anxiety and mild depression for years. I had no side effects and it changed my life. I can’t remember how long I stayed on it. I’m mid thirties now - I look back on my teenage years and wish someone had done something back then.
I'm glad it worked for you, thanks for replying.She has no depression and her anxiety certainly isn't crippling, although she gets tired and nauseous when she's feeling bad. From what I have read it just doesn't seen to be the thing to prescribe to under 18s without psychological back up. He told her to get a copy of cbt for dummies. How was it coming off?
Everyone (well, you know what I mean) reacts differently to brain drugs. Teenagers are spectacularly variable, what with their own altered brain chemistry during the pubescent years. She may or may not have the ability to utilise CBT techniques, depending on how teenage she is at the moment. 16 is a funny age in many many ways, neural rewiring and social pressures and exams and sex and making education future decisions, all that.
Prozac and the other selective serotinin reuptake inhibitors are still amongst the best for just bumping your mood upwards a notch and eliminating the incapacitating dread that anxiety and depression cause/are without even slightly turning you into a zombie.
The intended effects take a couple of weeks to build up, be aware of that. Coming off is rarely a problem - there's no cold-turkey effect.
The side effects in the leaflet are a laundry list of everything that's ever affected anyone who takes them, and are usually organised by likelihood. You should both read them and watch for the fairly unlikely event of any of the more troublesome ones happening, but odds are good she won't be affected negatively.
TL;DR - broadly in favour, SSRIs have helped many friends/friend's kids over bad times without any interesting repercussions or dependencies.
Edit for clarity: "You should both read them and watch for" should be "Both of you should read them and watch for", and be sure to talk about anything either of you think you're seeing rather than going off unilaterally.
I took anti depressants briefly when I had pnd, so I know how useful they can be, but dc gets dizzy and nauseous anyway so when she read about those being possible side effects and then some of the more serious , albeit rarer side effects she was adamant she wasn't going to take them. I can see how she would be more anxious about the possibility of feeling worse. I think she presumed she'd be offered therapy.
You've said her anxiety isn't crippling? How bad is it? Is she managing it or is it getting worse? At her age, I'd want her to try talking therapy first unless her anxiety is very bad, in which case the meds are useful in taking the edge off the anxiety in order to help her be more receptive to the talking therapy.
I think everyone reads the side effects and panics about them but the vast majority of people have only very mild side effects for a short while.
I think you should go back to the gp with your daughter to ask about talking therapy and about the side effects. Hope she gets the help she needs soon, anxiety is the pits.
She can sometimes be anxious about going out. She had some health problems a while ago including anaemia, which led to her passing out in a coffee shop. She will now not go out for a coffee/meal. She was bullied at school so doesn't join clubs and stuff in case anyone is mean to her. She does however have a regular babysitting job where sometimes she picks them up from school and she waitresses one night a week at our local pub. One day she can be 'normal' and the next day she feels overwhelmed.
Two of my DC have been prescribed Fluoxetine (Prozac): one at age 10 (has ASD ,OCD and high anxiety) and the other at 15 for depression and eating disorders.
The younger DC (now 12 and still on) has benefited enormously and has no side effects; the older was helped a bit, but had a few mild digestive side effects. This medicine is pretty safe.
Those warning leaflets over-egg the possible side effects and contraindications. Even generally very safe medicines have all sorts possible side effects listed, usually including death, just so they cover everything and the manufacturers can't be sued for not warning you!
It was my first antidepressant during my first psych admission, it did help me for a while
But I have to add here, due to an enzyme deficiency I went thru a long list of meds as I tolerated them too fast and they couldn't keep up the way my body and brain was reacting. Its a quirk of mine the deficiency and wasn't found for several years but Prozac was helpful for me but only for a short time but that was cos of my quirk.
I have whole families of medications that react / don't react with me as they are supposed to or that I can become completely tolerant to the point they don't work for me anymore in a matter of weeks as while brain is processing it well, rest of body is then killing the processed medication so I'm getting some of the good after the dose but it is killed off later in the day.
My 16yr old is on 20mg prozac. He's been on it for about a year. He was very depressed and anxious. It's made a huge difference. He is so much better. He hasn't experienced any side effects. She should give it a go for a couple of months.