Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on
March 9, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on:

Do you feel like your brain is in a fog when you take Prozac? You’re not alone—a significant number of people who take Prozac, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, report that they are experiencing brain fog.

In this blog post, we will explore the causes of Prozac brain fog, other Prozac side effects, and potential remedies.

We will also discuss the link between Prozac and brain fog and how the drug affects your brain.

So, let’s get started.

What exactly is brain fog?

Brain fog is a term used to describe the feeling of being mentally cloudy or hazy.

It can be caused by many things, including several mental disorders that affect cognitive functioning, such as generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

People feeling foggy on antidepressants say that they feel like they are having a cognitive impairment—their thoughts are muddled and they can’t think clearly. They may have trouble concentrating, focusing, or remembering things.

Brain fog can make it difficult to perform mental tasks, such as: 

  • Solving problems
  • Making decisions
  • Remembering names or faces
  • Learning new information

It’s also common to feel physically tired when you have brain fog.

What is Prozac?

Prozac is a commonly prescribed antidepressant—a prescribed fluoxetine that is used to treat a major depressive disorder, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

The FDA first approved Prozac in 1987 to treat depression, and it has been prescribed to millions of people worldwide.

Can Prozac cause brain fog?

Yes, Prozac can cause brain fog. In fact, many people who take Prozac report feeling like they are experiencing a cognitive impairment—they are mentally cloudy or hazy.

There are several possible reasons for this. Belonging to such drugs identified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, Prozac works by increasing the amount of serotonin in your brain.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and emotions.

When you increase the amount of serotonin in your brain, it can decrease the number of nerve cells that fire. This can make you feel less mentally alert or clear-headed.

Common Symptoms of Prozac Brain Fog

Symptoms of brain fog due to Prozac intake can vary from person to person, but here are the most common ones: 

  • Feeling mentally tired or exhausted
  • Difficulty concentrating, focusing or paying attention
  • Trouble remembering things or having a hard time learning new information
  • Feeling like your thoughts are muddled
  • Having difficulty making decisions
  • Feeling out of control or overwhelmed
  • Feeling physically tired  
  • Trouble sleeping

If you feel any of these symptoms, especially when it gets severe, we highly recommend that you consult your doctor and have them evaluate your Prozac dosage.

Remedies for Prozac-Induced Brain Fog

If you’re experiencing Prozac fog or any type of cognitive impairment that affect memory, there are a few things that you can do to help alleviate the symptoms, such as the following: 

Getting more quality sleep

Prozac can cause insomnia or sleep disturbance, so ensure that you’re getting enough rest during the night.

If you have trouble sleeping, try some relaxation techniques before bedtime, such as reading, taking a bath, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.

And keep your eyes off any screened devices at least 30 minutes before going to sleep.

Eating a healthy diet

A healthy diet can help improve your cognitive function, especially focus and concentration. Make sure that you’re eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

And limit your intake of sugary and processed foods.

Including more omega-rich foods in your diet

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve cognitive function. So, include more fatty fish in your diet, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. You can also take fish oil supplements if you don’t like eating fish.

Staying hydrated

Dehydration can make Prozac mental fog worse, so make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially water. 

Exercising regularly

Regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function and memory. It also releases endorphins, which can help boost your mood.

So, try to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

Practicing stress-relieving techniques

Stress can worsen brain fog symptoms, so it’s important to find ways to relax and de-stress.

There are many different stress-relieving techniques that you can try, such as yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or basically any of your hobbies that help you stay focused and entertained. 

Challenging yourself mentally

When you’re feeling mentally cloudy or hazy, try to do some activities that challenge your mind, such as puzzles, crosswords, Sudoku, etc.

This can help improve your cognitive function, especially your focus and concentration. 

Take breaks throughout the day

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unfocused, take a break to walk around, grab a cup of coffee, or simply step away from your workstation for a few minutes.

This can help refresh your mind and give you a new perspective on the task at hand. 

Get some green time 

Spending time in nature can help improve your focus, concentration, and memory.

So, try to get outside for a few minutes every day, even if it’s just to walk around the block or sit in the park. 

We hope that these tips will help you if you’re experiencing Prozac fog. Remember to consult with your doctor if the symptoms are severe or persist, as they may need to adjust your dosage or suggest an antidepressant alternative.

Other Prozac Side Effects

Prozac can cause a number of other side effects, in addition to brain fog. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia  
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness   
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Headache
  • Sexual side effects, such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and delayed ejaculation

If you experience any of these side effects, talk to your doctor. Some of them may go away on their own as your body adjusts to Prozac, but others may require treatment.

And always let your doctor know if the side effects are severe or persistent.

What are the risks and warnings for Prozac (prescribed fluoxetine)?

Prozac is a psychotropic drug that’s used to treat depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It’s part of the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

While it has proven to help alleviate the debilitating symptoms of certain mental disorders that affect cognitive functioning, Prozac comes with a number of risks and warnings that you should be aware of before taking it.

These include: 

Suicidal thoughts and behavior 

Prozac may cause suicidal thoughts or behaviors in children, adolescents, and young adults. This is more likely to occur when Prozac is first started, or the dose is increased.

Consult your doctor immediately if you notice any stark changes in mood or behavior and signs of persisting mental illness.

Serotonin syndrome

Prozac, as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, can cause a rare but potentially harmful condition called serotonin syndrome, which is caused by too much serotonin in the brain. 

Serotonin syndrome is characterized by symptoms of mental illness, such as agitation, substance abuse, confusion, hallucinations, increased heart rate and blood pressure, excessive sweating, and fever.

Bleeding problems

Prozac may increase your risk of bleeding, especially if you’re taking other medications that also increase the risk of bleeding, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or warfarin (Coumadin).

Do not take Prozac if you’re taking any of these medications without first talking to your doctor.

Heart problems

Prozac has been linked to an increased risk of heart problems, such as abnormal heart rhythms, congestive heart failure, and sudden death.

If you experience any unusual chest pain, shortness of breath, or swelling in your legs or ankles while taking Prozac, consult your doctor immediately. 

Low sodium levels in the blood

Prozac can cause low levels of sodium in the blood due to its diuretic effect, which means it causes your kidneys to make more urine. This can lead to symptoms such as headache, confusion, and muscle rigidity.

Manic episodes

Prozac can cause mania, which is characterized by symptoms such as abnormal elation, decreased need for sleep, grandiose thoughts, racing thoughts, impulsive behavior, and reckless decision-making.

This is because Prozac increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Seizures

Prozac may increase the risk of seizures, especially if you have a history of seizures or take other medications that can also increase your risk of seizures.

Visual problems

Prozac has been linked to reports of visual problems, such as blurred vision and tunnel vision.

If you experience any changes in your vision while taking Prozac, consult your doctor immediately.

Interactions with other drugs

Prozac can interact with a number of other medications, including other antidepressants, MAO inhibitors, lithium, tramadol, St. John’s wort, and all the drugs that affect cognitive health.

Make sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you’re taking before starting Prozac.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Prozac is not recommended for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding due to the potential risks to the fetus or baby. 

Allergic reactions

In rare cases, Prozac can cause an allergic reaction, which may include symptoms such as rash, hives, swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, and chest pain.

If you experience any of the side effects mentioned above, especially the severe ones, stop taking Prozac and call your doctor immediately.

Also, before taking Prozac, make sure to tell your doctor about all other medications you’re taking, as well as any other medical conditions you have.

Prozac may not be suitable for you if you have certain medical conditions or take other medications.

Prozac is a prescribed fluoxetine and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about all the risks and warnings before starting it.

Concluding Thoughts

Prozac is a commonly prescribed antidepressant that has been prescribed to many people for the treatment of a major depressive disorder, and while it can treat depression effectively, it can also cause a number of side effects.

Some of these Prozac side effects include brain fog, serotonin syndrome, bleeding problems, heart problems, low sodium levels in the blood, mania, seizures, and visual problems.

It’s essential to be aware of these Prozac side effects before starting the medication. If you experience severe or bothersome symptoms, stop taking Prozac and speak to your doctor.

There are a number of other medications that can also be prescribed for the treatment of a major depressive disorder, so if Prozac isn’t the right medication for you, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about other options.

And if you want to learn more about brain fog and how to clear it effectively, here are some educational blog posts to read, and feel free to join this online community of brain health enthusiasts

Join The Mental Health Community You've Been Dreaming Of


This discord family is a safe place where we can all (anonymously if we choose) talk about and seek help for what is going on in our heads.

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