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Johns Hopkins Health Alert

Why You Should Consider Prozac After a Stroke

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Engaging in physical and mental activity after acute ischemic stroke has been shown to improve recovery and function. In addition, a recent study reported in ?Lancet Neurology (Volume 10, page 123) found that the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) improved motor function when started soon after ischemic stroke occurrence in people with moderate to severe motor deficits. 

Researchers randomly assigned patients who had an ischemic stroke and resulting paralysis or weakness on one side of the body to take 20 mg of Prozac or placebo for three months starting five to 10 days after the stroke.

Of 113 patients included in the analysis (57 in the Prozac group and 56 in the placebo group), the researchers found that motor function improvement after three months was significantly greater in the Prozac group than in the placebo group. Also, fewer participants taking Prozac developed depression, a common consequence after a stroke.

The practice of prescribing antidepressants following a stroke is one that is gaining ground, and this study supports its benefit. 

Posted in Hypertension and Stroke on September 18, 2012


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Health Alerts registered users may post comments and share experiences here at their own discretion. We regret that questions on individual health concerns to the Johns Hopkins editors cannot be answered in this space.

The views expressed here do not constitute medical advice, and do not represent the position of Johns Hopkins Medicine or Remedy Health Media, LLC, which has no responsibility for any comments posted on this site.


Is prozac effective for someone who had a stroke 13 months ago?

Posted by: otis | September 19, 2012 8:17 PM

I also am wondering about whether it is effective if started a year after a stroke.

Posted by: dasherg@bellsouth.net | May 19, 2013 12:05 PM

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