Prozac Side Effects Increase Fall Risks, Fail To Usher In Improvements After A Stroke: Study

According to a recently published study, Prozac fails to help patients recover from a stroke, while side effects may increase the risk of falls, broken bones and seizures.

Researchers with the AFFINITY trial collaboration looked at stroke patients in Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam and tested whether they would benefit from taking Prozac during their recovery. Their findings were published in the August 2020 edition of The Lancet Neurology.

The randomized, double-blind clinical trial involved 43 hospital stroke units in the three countries, and included 1,280 patients who were randomly assigned either Prozac (fluoxetine) or a placebo for six months. Patients were 18 years old or older, and received a clinical diagnosis of acute stroke in the previous 2-15 days, confirmed with brain imaging, and diagnosed with a persisting neurological deficit on a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of one or more.

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The researchers noted that a number of studies throughout the previous years have resulted in conflicting data on whether Prozac could assist in recovery from stroke-related neurological impacts.

According to the findings, while there were no signs of increased recovery with those given Prozac, they had three times the number of falls, three times as many bone fractures and more epileptic seizures than those given a placebo.

“Oral fluoxetine 20 mg daily for 6 months after acute stroke did not improve functional outcome and increased the risk of falls, bone fractures, and epileptic seizures,” the researchers determined. “These results do not support the use of fluoxetine to improve functional outcome after stroke.”

The findings are similar to a study published in January 2019, by researchers from the University of Edinburgh. In that study, researchers also found no evidence Prozac assisted in the recovery of physical disabilities caused by a stroke, and also found that the Prozac group suffered more bone fractures than the placebo group.

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