Fluoxetine was discovered by Eli Lilly and Company in 1972, and it entered medical use in 1986. In 2019, it was the 20th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States with more than 27 million prescriptions!
Indigestion, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, lack of appetite, dry mouth, and rashes are all common adverse effects. Serotonin syndrome, mania, seizures, an increased risk of suicidal conduct in those under 25 years old, and an increased risk of bleeding are all serious adverse effects. Although fluoxetine is less likely than other antidepressants to cause antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, it nonetheless occurs often. Fluoxetine use during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of congenital heart abnormalities in neonates. If fluoxetine was taken throughout pregnancy or if other antidepressants were unsuccessful, it has been recommended that it might be maintained while lactation.
What is it?
According to WebMD, “Fluoxetine is used to treat depression, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, a certain eating disorder (bulimia), and a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).This medication may improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy level and may help restore your interest in daily living. It may decrease fear, anxiety, unwanted thoughts, and the number of panic attacks. It may also reduce the urge to perform repeated tasks (compulsions such as hand-washing, counting, and checking) that interfere with daily living. Fluoxetine may lessen premenstrual symptoms such as irritability, increased appetite, and depression. It may decrease binging and purging behaviors in bulimia.”
How Does it Accomplish This?
The transporter that recycles serotonin is inhibited by SSRIs, which prevent serotonin from being transported back into the neurons from whence it was released. This allows for more serotonin to remain, meaning more serotonin for you. It takes approximately 4-6 weeks for Prozac to work. Antidepressants take so long to operate because they disable not just individual serotonin transporters, but also the genes that code for them in our DNA.
- Prozac was discovered thanks to the antihistamine diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Benadryl, because a scientist found that it showed anti-depressant properties and so used a compound that was structurally similar to it.
- It’s the third-most prescribed antidepressant after sertraline and citalopram.
- The names that Prozac are also sold under are: Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Sarafem, and Selfemra.
- It may be a common belief that SSRIs only allow for more serotonin in the brain and do nothing else. None of the following will likely make much sense to you, but I’m only quoting it to demonstrate just how much Prozac does:
- “Fluoxetine increases the concentration of circulating allopregnanolone, a potent GABAA receptor positive allosteric modulator, in the brain.
- Norfluoxetine, a primary active metabolite of fluoxetine, produces a similar effect on allopregnanolone levels in the brains of mice.
- Additionally, both fluoxetine and norfluoxetine are such modulators themselves, actions which may be clinically-relevant.
- Fluoxetine also functions as a channel blocker of anoctamin 1, a calcium-activated chloride channel.
- A number of other ion channels, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and 5-HT3 receptors, are also known to be inhibited at similar concentrations. Fluoxetine has been shown to inhibit acid sphingomyelinase, a key regulator of ceramide levels which derives ceramide from sphingomyelin.“
On Drugs.com, Prozac has a 7.2 out of 10 average rating based on 1,117 reviews. A favorable experience was recorded by 65 percent of reviewers, while a bad experience was reported by 20%. Broken down by disorder, it was rated:
|Depression||7.0||417 reviews||78 medications|
|Anxiety and Stress||7.3||372 reviews||9 medications|
|Obsessive Compulsive Disorder||7.9||105 reviews||9 medications|
|Major Depressive Disorder||6.4||88 reviews||47 medications|
|Panic Disorder||6.8||78 reviews||19 medications|
|Bulimia||8.1||30 reviews||7 medications|
|Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder||7.7||21 reviews||50 medications|
|Postpartum Depression||9.7||3 reviews||8 medications|
|Schizoaffective Disorder||10.0||3 reviews||27 medications|
Prozac is one of the most famous psychiatric medications. It’s the original “happy pill.” It got the country stirring with disapproval at its overuse, decrying the fact that it even began to be used on dogs (which is often an effective treatment). There’s even a book entitled, “Prozac Nation.” Is Prozac a good thing or are people running away from their feelings? Prozac was discovered exactly 50 years, as of now, 2022. It’s been in medical use for 36 years. In those thirty-six years, it’s proven to be an effective and often life-changing medicine for millions and millions of people. So, come on, let’s celebrate its 50th anniversary!