Prozac and Bipolar Disorder

I have a visceral dislike of Prozac when employed to treat bipolar disorder.

Not once can I recall a single time when I corresponded with someone who has said that it has worked for them. The only situations where it did not cause extraneous problems is when it was used as part of a massive drug cocktail in order to nullify or soften the side effects of another drug in that cocktail.

My (non-professional) medical advice: if you need to take drug B to counteract the effect of drug A, then drug A is not for you.

Before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was diagnosed as “clinically depressed” and prescribed prozac. In the one week I took it, I did not sleep a wink and was literally running into walls due to a huge manic episode it spun me into. My mother pulled me off the medication after trying to reach the doctor who prescribed it to me for 4 days without an answer. Bastard. Sometime later, I bought a pin with a smiley face on it and the words “I took my prozac today.”

But hey, I’m no Ph.D. Has anyone else ever had positive experiences with Prozac when used to treat bipolar disorder?

15 replies on “Prozac and Bipolar Disorder”

  1. About 6 months before my dx, I was given Paxil by a cardiologist, believe it or not (I was having dizzy spells so bad it stopped me from driving, and I have a very low resting heart rate so they wondered about a heart problem). After several tests, this arrogant doctor said I was suffering from anxiety attacks (SO not me) and gave me the paxil. Off I went into the wild blue yonder, until I didn’t want to take it anymore and then stopped cold turkey on my own. Then I was having paranoid delusions so bad that I would drive down the highway at 80 miles an hour, slamming my head back against the backrest of the car to try and bash the delusions out of my head. No, I’m not of fan of Prozac or it’s cousins.

  2. I was given Paxil, a cousin to Prozac, six months or so before my dx as BP. I was given it by a cardiologist, believe it or not. I had been having dizzy spells so bad that I was restricted from driving. They thought I may have had a heart condition causing it because I also have a very low standing heart rate (it was 54 bpm average, but with the 30 lbs weight gain my BP meds have given me, I’m now at about 66 bpm). The doctor thought that I was having anxiety attacks (which is SO not me). So I took it few months and of course it sent me of into the stratosphere. Then for some reason I don’t remember, I decided to stop taking it. At that point I was having paranoid delusions bad enough that I would drive down the highway at 80 mph, banging my head as hard as I could against the back rest of the seat, trying to smash the delusions out of my head. Nope, I’m not a fan of SSRIs at all.

  3. I had a doctor about 2 years ago that basically gave you whatever he thought might get you out of his office a little faster. My original visit was simply not being “normal” I guess just unhappy, sad alot, scared to talk to people, etc. I tried Celexa first, couldn’t sleep a wink, I go back to his office “Oh, heres some Xanax, this will help you sleep.” Went back another time, he switched me to Effexor? I was a zomby. Now Itake Prozac. I took it for about 5 or 6 months totally lost all emotions, which in my mind was what I needed, I didn’t want to care about the daily things I constantly worried about. Stopped taking it in place of drugs, street drugs, crack/cocaine, alcohol. This was short lived. After about 4 months of addiction, loosing everything including my jovb, my husband, my friends, everything I just recently decided to have my prozac prescription refilled. I’ve gone thru 2 jobs now, good jobs at that, I am now living at home with my mother again and the prozac has made me feel suicidal. My parents seem to think I’m bipolar, which runs straight down my family. My thoughts are..does anyone know if crack/cocaine may trigger bipolar? Prozac, again was wonderful the first time around, this time I’m miserable and need to find a new medication. Any suggestions?

  4. i was dx bipolar three years ago, then given paxil, wellbutrin and neurontin, then completely stopped all meds for two years i recently started taking wellbutrin again then was change for two week to wellbutrin xl, risperadal and lamictal, NOW after a huge depressive episode an ER psychiatrist changed me to 3x my dose of lamictal and prozac….any advice? i havent heard from my regular psychiatrist although my therapist from his office was the one to send me to the ER

  5. Bipolar disorder is cyclic illness where people periodically exhibit elevated and depressive. Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings from overly high and irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again. Severe changes in energy and behavior go along with these changes in mood.


    Dual Diagnosis

    Dual Diagnosis

  6. After being diagnosed bipolar at age 18 i spent uyears taking anti depressent cocktails that included welbutrin, lamictal, risperadal, and about 6 others i cannot even remember. I had several hospitalizations and each time they would just increase the dosage. I ended up “feeling better” without anything and then about 18 months ago I talked to my general practitioner about my mood swings, gave her a fill history and she reccomended prozac. They slowly increased my dosage and I have never been better. I know this may not work forever but if you haven’t tried everything, don’t stop until you do. and make sure you have someone close to you who will be an advocate. Psych doctors treat most of us like we have the flu, prescribing the same thing(s) over and over again. It’s no wonder so many people literally have to suffer for years before they find something while others never find a solution at all.

  7. I actually have been on prozac for a while and its helped me greatly. I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar and BPD, and it has made me happy for the first time in years. I’m not saying its a miracle pill by far, sometimes the manic episodes are really uncomfortable, but I usually deal with them by running or working. To be honest, its better than all the depressive episodes I got all the time. Although, I am on a handful of other medications like Lithium and Depakote. I’ve heard most people who are diagnosed with Bipolar and that are prescribed Prozac take it with a mood stabilizer/anti-psychotic. However, I’m not saying prozac is for you, I have a mild form of Bipolar which might have to do with it and the small manic episodes I have rather than really dangerous ones, so definitely do not do this on your own, ask your psychiatrist.

  8. When I was 14 my psychiatrist said I was clinically depressed and gave me fluxotine, the first night I took them I experienced what I now know was a manic episode (well more like a mixed episode) where I rapidly fluctuated between laughing and crying. One minute I was heartbroken and crying my eyes out, the next I was laughing manically until I couldn’t breathe. This went on for about an hour until it finally calmed down. It was quite scary and my mum was too scared to come near me, she thought I was nuts. Now I’m 17 and have researched I believe I am bipolar, yet my psychiatrist never acknowledged this and didn’t change my antidepressants. Since then I’ve had quite a few of these episodes but have stopped taking prozac.

  9. I took prozac for a few weeks after being depressed and suddenly after taking it for a few weeks I felt marvellous so I stopped taking it and then went manic. This was the first time I had had ever had a manic episode and I was 50 yrs old. I had small manic episodes during the next few years and when I was 65 I had another manic episode. I often wonder if Prozac started it all. I don’t have manic depression in my family. I am okay now but I often wonder if other people have had “late in life” episodes of manic depressions for the first time in their lives.

  10. i have recently come off fluoxetine (prozac) after 2 years. I came off them because I was feeling so anxious, depressed etc I couldnt even ring for my prescription.. and now I realise how wrong it was for me.. I suffer from BPD and yet to be diagnosed bipolar (which after doing extensive research i know i have)and after 6 weeks of being prozac free I am going out more, able to see friends and pick the phone. It makes a difference to a degree, but in alot of ways it made me worst. It masked my emotions and stopped me feeling human. I feel like im getting back to the real me i was all them years ago. Personally- avoid unless taken with mood stablisers

  11. I am 18, but since high school I have episodes that can best be described as manic – all of a sudden I will get super anxious and impulsive with this crazy nervous energy that I can’t control. For a week or so I won’t sleep, won’t eat, will run 10 miles or more every day and rush around everywhere with a delusional perception of life. Well, my family moved to England my junior year of high school which sent me into a state of shock and depression that lasted months. I lost 25 pounds and was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, and was prescribed Prozac. The medicine did help me gain the weight back so I could function physically again, but if anything it made the drastic mood swings even worse. I am in college now and having immense difficulties: my roommate and good friend moved out after one of my manic episodes, and hasn’t spoken to me since. Finally, just this past week I decided to stop taking the Prozac and it has not made any difference. I have talked to psychiatrists but they all say that I am just a young stressed drama queen. They think that I am exaggerating my descriptions of manic episodes, but in reality I am actually undermining how it really feels. I close up and pretend to be normal around people I don’t trust, which is making it difficult to get the help I need. Any suggestions?

  12. Liza, I think you should get the help that you need. Is it possible your episodes could be manic depressive? In that case, a drug like Prozac could very well aggravate them and make them worse. It doesn’t sound like you have had very good psychiatrists AT ALL if they are telling you that. keep looking and don’t give up on yourself until you get the help that you need. Please.

  13. My fiancee is 31 years old. He was diagnosed as Bipolar. He has never been told what kind it is 1 or 2. He has really bad mood swings and depression. His mood swings get so bad that he throws things, yells, curses and it gets so bad I don’t know how to handle him at times. He gets like this at least twice a week. He is on 40 mg of Prozac daily. The part I don’t understand is how when it is over he seems not to even remember what all he done while he was in a rage. He snaps out of it and to him everything should be normal. He does not have any clue how bad he gets. He can snap out of it and be like nothing ever happened. His doctors seem not to care. He never see the same doctor twice. He has taken 50 mg of Zoloft a day for it and he has been on 300 mg of Seroquel a day for it. None of this ever seems to work. All the Seroquel did was make him sleep all day. We are really wanting advice. He goes back to the doctor on Feb 26 and we need to know what to say to them about his bipolar.

  14. i was given fluoxitine for depression at 19 i felt weird dreamlike for about 2 weeks then i felt a bit better but i have now missed 3 week of uni and am falling behind i think i have been missed dx i think im bipolar ive always been known as the ‘crazy’ happy 1 in my group of mates ive also had recent suicidal thoughts which have scared me ive become extremely attached to my bf and i think im putting to much pressure on him, when i 1st went to the docs i never mentioned my happy moods as i thought it was just me being me but now after researching bipolar disorder i strongly believe i have it ive been on the fluoxitine for 3 months nw my anxiety is better but i sleep to much and cant get up have headaces muscle pains and sumtimes will stay up all nite and not feel tired im confused all the time and can never make my mind up i have also had times were i have become so angry that i have lashed out and hit my bf in the middle of the street i hate the person ive become on these and would rather be the manic person i was b4.

  15. Prozac, Zoloft and other antidepressants are usually NOT prescribed to anyone with bipolar disorder. SSRIs like these are ONLY good for depression and will completely aggravate the manic side of bipolar and make people flip out and possibly suicidal. Seroquel works for some, too sleepy for others. Generally the drugs prescribed for manic-depressives to treat both sides of their moods are antipsychotics like Seroquel (and Abilify also works well for depression), Lithium, Lamotrigine for mood swings, etc. You both deserve a much better doctor for your boyfriend than one whose first move is to prescribe an antidepressant!

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