Those wishing to get a Prozac® prescription, or a prescription for the generic equivalent fluoxetine need to do what they’d do in most cases in order to gain access to prescribed medications. They need to see a person licensed to prescribe them, which usually means seeing a medical doctor or nurse practitioner. Prozac® is not available in most countries on an over the counter basis. Even though it is a useful drug, it can be a dangerous one. Furthermore, especially in the psychiatric and neurology community, there are strong reservations about the issue of general practitioners prescribing Prozac® to people for the first time, given some of its complications and the reasons for which it is generally prescribed.
Most people would get a Prozac® prescription to treat symptoms of depression, anxiety or sometimes social anxiety, though fluoxetine is not the best choice for social anxiety. In theory, the medication raises levels of serotonin in the body, which can help produce a more balanced mood. It is usually not recommended that people treat depression and/or anxiety simply through prescription meds. Though they can work, treatments for these conditions are usually much more successful when combined with therapy, which a general practitioner usually doesn’t have time to provide.
When someone first gets a Prozac® prescription he or she is at risk for several complications. Especially children, teens and young adults are now cautioned that the drug can make them extremely suicidal, which is highly dangerous. Also, if Prozac® is given to people who seem depressed or anxious and who actually have bipolar disorder, it may cause mania or hypomania, which could also facilitate suicidality.
If a person can convince a doctor to hand them a Prozac® prescription it could be to their detriment. Doctors in general practice tend to take very short periods of time with patients, whereas, specialists like psychiatrists might spend a half hour to hour on a single patient. They may also provide therapy, or work in concert with a therapist to determine best care. It may be easier to spot things going wrong with a patient on Prozac® and determine if another drug (and there are many of them) is more appropriate. Psychiatrists, especially with therapists, may also be better equipped to handle the emotional difficulties for the patient when Prozac® does not work, as is possible.
Once people have had access to the best prescribing advice they can get from a psychiatrist, and to therapy, the patient that is solely on Prozac® might be managed by a general practitioner. Of course some people experience a symptom called “Prozac® Poop-Out,” where after years of successful treatment on fluoxetine the medication stops working. Returning to a psychiatrist for advice and guidance might be advisable under these circumstances.
Those who need to take several medications to deal with mental illness are usually best served by continuing to receive care with a psychiatrist. Psychiatric medications are notoriously individualized, and patients might require fine-tuning or replacements of medications from time to time. Should people not be able to heed this advice, they should at least take advantage of the number of websites that list drug side effects, so they can mention any side effects to their general or nurse practitioner promptly.