Can Prozac build muscle? (+8 factors)

In this article, we will discuss the effects of Prozac on muscle build-up and general physical performance. This article will explore the factors that can affect Prozac’s role in muscle development. Moreover, we will mention the potential side effects of Prozac that can impact muscle health.

Can Prozac build muscle?

Yes, Prozac can build muscle. Prozac is an antidepressant that has shown potential beneficial side effects on the muscle tissues. Prozac can have direct and indirect effects on muscle growth. Research on the direct effects of Prozac on muscle building is still ongoing.

It’s important to note that Prozac is not a magic bullet for building up muscle. It’s crucial to combine it with a proper diet and consistent exercise for significant muscle gain. 

Building muscle requires a combination of factors including regular training, adequate sleep and rest and a healthy diet rich in protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.

Healthcare providers commonly prescribe Prozac as the first-line agent for depressed athletes. However, Prozac should not be given for the specific goal of muscle building. (1)

Additionally, individual responses to Prozac can vary widely. While some individuals may experience weight gain and muscle build-up, others may experience weight loss and muscle-related issues associated with Prozac. 


What does the research suggest?

Research studies have shown that Prozac can increase the strength of muscles. Prozac has been proven to enhance muscle function and motor activity. In addition, studies show that Prozac plays a role in preventing the deterioration of muscular tissues. 

In animal models, Prozac led to a 36% increase in maximal forelimb resistance and grip strength without exercise. This effect increased to 57% in animal models undergoing simultaneous physical exercise. (2)

Some studies have reported an increase in appetite as a side effect of Prozac use. While not ideal for everyone, this could indirectly contribute to muscle growth by providing the body with additional calories and nutrients needed for building muscular tissue.

The combination of Prozac and exercise can not only alleviate depression but also promote muscle growth and overall physical well-being. 


How does Prozac influence physical performance?

Some potential ways in which Prozac might influence physical performance include (2,3):

Enhancing motivation and reducing fatigue

Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant. It works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin can enhance mood, motivation and energy levels. Increased serotonin levels can reduce fatigue and increase physical activity.

Improving neuromuscular function

Studies suggest that Prozac can enhance muscular function, leading to increased muscle strength and control. 

Altering pain perception

Serotonin can reduce pain perception. This could allow individuals to exercise harder without feeling as much pain, potentially leading to improved performance. Additionally, Prozac’s analgesic-like properties can help manage chronic pain, allowing individuals to participate in physical activity more comfortably, potentially leading to muscle growth.

Indirectly improving physical performance by improving mental health

As Prozac treats depression and anxiety, it can improve overall mental health. Prozac could indirectly improve physical performance by reducing stress, enhancing sleep quality and promoting a more positive mindset.

Improved sleep quality

Prozac can promote better sleep, which is crucial for muscle recovery and growth. When you sleep well, your body releases growth hormone which is a key factor in muscle development.

Increased appetite

some individuals might experience an increased appetite while taking Prozac. This can contribute to muscle growth by providing the body with more calories and nutrients needed for building tissue.


What factors can influence Prozac’s impact on muscle development?

The effects of Prozac on muscle development are complex and depend on various factors. Some factors that can influence Prozac’s role in muscle development include:

  • Individual’s physiology: Individual responses to Prozac can vary depending on variations in individual physiology and genetic factors.


  • Exercise and physical activity: The level and type of exercise can significantly affect Prozac’s impact on muscle health.


  • Dosage: The prescribed dosage of Prozac affects its role in muscle development. Adequate dosages are essential to achieve the desired effect. 


  • Diet and nutritional status: Diet and nutritional factors play an important role in supporting or hindering muscle development along with the use of Prozac.


  • Underlying health conditions: Pre-existing health conditions may influence the interplay between Prozac and muscle development.


  • Metabolic factors: Individual metabolic rates and processes can impact how Prozac interacts with muscle physiology.


  • Age and gender: Age and gender can contribute to differences in muscle response to Prozac.


  • General lifestyle: General lifestyle factors, such as sleep, stress levels and overall well-being may influence Prozac’s impact on muscle health.


What are the potential side effects of Prozac on muscle health? 

Although Prozac has beneficial effects on muscle development, there are some muscle-related issues associated with Prozac. However, these side effects are generally mild and temporary. Most people tolerate Prozac well and do not experience any significant muscle-related issues. Side effects of Prozac on muscle health include (5,6):

  • Muscle rigidity
  • Muscle damage/muscle degeneration
  • Shakiness or tremor
  • Muscle twitches
  • Muscle weakness or spasm
  • joint pain
  • Akathisia
  • Hypnic jerks
  • Restless leg syndrome

It’s important to communicate any significant changes or concerns related to muscle health with a healthcare provider for personalized guidance.


What are other medications used to help build muscle?

While building muscle primarily relies on regular exercise and proper nutrition, certain medications can support muscle growth in specific situations. Here are some options (7):

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT): In cases of low testosterone levels, TRT can balance testosterone levels and improve muscle mass, strength and performance.

Creatine: Creatine is recommended for athletes and individuals looking to improve muscle mass and strength. It can increase muscle mass, especially when combined with resistance training.

Growth hormone therapy: It can be used in medical conditions where growth hormone deficiencies are identified. Growth hormone therapy can promote muscle growth and strength.

Anabolic steroids: Anabolic steroids are sometimes used medically to treat certain conditions involving muscle loss, their use for muscle-building purposes without a legitmate medical need can lead to serious side effects and health risks.

Protein supplements: These supplements can provide readily available protein to the body, which is the building block for muscle tissue.

Beta-Alanine: It can improve exercise performance and endurance, leading to increased muscle growth over time.




To sum up, Prozac can help build muscle. It can enhance muscle strength and motor activity. Prozac also has a synergistic effect when combined with exercise, boosting muscle growth more effectively.

If you’re considering taking Prozac to improve your physical performance and to help you build muscle, I strongly suggest you consult with your doctor first. Your healthcare provider can assess your individual needs and determine if Prozac is the right approach for you.


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Tso JV, Pelliccia A. Psychiatric Medications and Cardiovascular Performance: Uncommon Depressing Side Effects. JACC Case Rep. 2022 Oct 19;4(20):1341-1343.,without%20negative%20impacts%20on%20performance.


da Silva AI, Braz GRF, Silva-Filho R, Pedroza AA, Ferreira DS, Manhães de Castro R, et al. Effect of fluoxetine treatment on mitochondrial bioenergetics in central and peripheral rat tissues. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab Physiol Appl Nutr Metab. 2015;40:565–74.


Chandran S, Guo T, Tolliver T, Chen W, Murphy DL, McPherron AC. Effects of serotonin on skeletal muscle growth. BMC Proc. 2012 Jun 1;6(Suppl 3):O3.


Visco DB, Manhães-de-Castro R, Chaves WF, Lacerda DC, Pereira S da C, Ferraz-Pereira KN, et al. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors affect structure, function and metabolism of skeletal muscle: A systematic review. Pharmacol Res. 2018;136:194–204.


Alıcı YH, Kumcu MK. Potential Effect of Vortioxetine on Restless Leg Syndrome. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2023 Aug 31;21(3):599-603. doi: 10.9758/cpn.22.1021. PMID: 37424427; PMCID: PMC10335914.


Wu SH, Chen KL, Hsu C, Chen HC, Chen JY, Yu SY, Shiu YJ. Creatine Supplementation for Muscle Growth: A Scoping Review of Randomized Clinical Trials from 2012 to 2021. Nutrients. 2022 Mar 16;14(6):1255.

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