Does Prozac stunt growth? (+3 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Prozac can stunt growth. We will also discuss the mechanism by which it affects the growth of children and some factors affecting growth during Prozac treatment.

Does Prozac stunt growth?

Prozac does not necessarily cause stunted growth. It is recommended that a child’s weight and height be checked often if they are taking this medication.

Prozac (Fluoxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant used in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorder and other related mental health disorders (1).

Stunted growth typically refers to a significant and permanent impairment in a person’s physical growth, particularly in height.

Prozac may not directly affect growth but may cause a decrease in appetite. This side effect may lead to inadequate food intake and weight loss, potentially resulting in malnutrition. If Prozac-induced decreased appetite persists for a long time, growth may be affected.

Do not take any antidepressants on your own; always consult your healthcare provider. They may evaluate your current symptoms, underlying medical condition, and family history before prescribing Prozac.

What does research suggest?

Limited research data exist regarding the effects of Poac on growth. However, some research studies have shown that SSRIs may affect the growth of individuals, especially during puberty. When SSRIs are used in adolescence, they can impact the height of individuals.

SSRIs may affect the release of growth hormones and mainly affect boys during puberty. The study suggested that the effect on growth hormones may also lead to other problems such as increased fat levels, psychological issues, and an increased risk of depression (2).

The effects of SSRIs on newborn growth were also studied during a clinical trial, suggesting that SSRIs do not cause growth effects when used during pregnancy and in the first year after birth. However, this study has its limitations (3).

Is there any correlation between Prozac use and stunted growth?

A research study found a relationship between Prozac use and growth issues. SSRIs can affect the growth and puberty of children. Those administered SSRIs for up to 5 years did not grow as expected during a stage where growth was expected.

This stunted growth was due to the effect of SSRIs on the release of growth hormones, and it turned normal when the therapy was discontinued. Therefore, close monitoring is advisable when prescribing Prozac to children and teenagers (4).

Furthermore, changes in serotonin signalling that normally regulates skeletal health may occur when SSRIs are used. With chronic use, SSRIs may decrease bone formation, resulting in an imbalance between bone breakdown and bone build-up.

If your child is on Prozac or any other SSRI such as Sertraline, Citalopram etc and you are concerned about the growth of your child, it is advised to contact your healthcare provider for a thorough assessment of the risks and benefits related to Prozac use.

What affects Prozac-induced growth impairment?

Several factors could potentially influence the risk of growth problems while using Prozac. These include:

  • Variations in genes related to drug metabolism or the serotonin system could potentially influence the risk of growth problems.
  • A diet lacking essential nutrients can impair growth, and this could be increased by Prozac’s side effects.
  • Physical activity levels, sleep patterns and stress levels can all influence growth and development. These could potentially interact with medication effects to affect growth.
  • Certain health conditions, hormonal imbalances or chronic illnesses can impair growth alongside Prozac.
  • If an individual is taking other medications in addition to Prozac, these could potentially interact to affect growth.

It is important to note that these are the potential factors and the relationship between these factors and Prozac-induced growth impairment is not fully understood. More research is needed to fully understand these relationships.

What to do if stunted growth occurs while taking Prozac?

If you suspect that stunted growth is occurring while taking Prozac, reach out to your healthcare provider. They will assess your overall health and medical history to determine if Prozac is the main culprit or not.

If stunted growth is related to Prozac, your healthcare provider may consider adjusting the dosage, switching to an alternative medication or addressing any potential underlying causes.

Always remember not to discontinue your medication on your own as it can cause horrible withdrawal symptoms (5).

Ensure that you are maintaining a balanced diet with proper nutrition to support healthy growth. Make lifestyle changes, like regular physical activity to promote overall well-being.

According to my research analysis, Prozac has a potential link to growth issues when used for anxiety and depression. Children and teenagers are more susceptible to experiencing growth effects while taking Prozac. Regular monitoring is advisable when Prozac is recommended to young patients.


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