How long will it take before Prozac takes effect if taking 20 mg daily?

 How long will it take before Prozac takes effect if taking 20 mg daily?

Prozac features a long half-life (defined as time to clear half drug) about 3 days and also has a lively metabolite with a half-life of five days. Thus as you're taking the drug daily it's accumulating. Steady-state is typically 4 x half-life. Thus parent compound reaches a steady-state in 12 days. The metabolite reaches a steady-state in 20 days. In other words, it takes almost three weeks to succeed at steady levels.

The actual blocking of serotonin reuptake begins immediately but the clinical full effect can take a while. This varies with individuals but generally starts in about a fortnight with full effect occurring within the second month of treatment. the rationale is that the rise in serotonin causes changes in serotonin receptors which require turnover and synthesis of the latest receptors. This takes time as it’s metabolism.

In short, it takes weeks for full results. I tell my patients to twiddle my thumbs and typically don’t increase Prozac dose till after a month of treatment. That said if there's NO improvement whatsoever by week three I usually begin to consider adding an adjunctive agent or changing drug.

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