Prozac belongs to a group of medications classed by chemists as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Ogbru, n.d.) and is a trade name for fluoxetine, a commonly prescribed anti-depressant drug. It is available in several forms, as capsules, both short and in long acting delayed release from a tablet, and as a solution to be taken orally. Other trade names for fluoxetine include Rapiflux, Sarafem and Selfemra.
Previous tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) worked on three different neurotransmitters, which are associated with human moods, these being dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline. Prozac works on only one of these and that is serotonin. The recommended dosage daily is 10-80 mg in tablet form. Because its action is cumulative, it can take a number of weeks before positive effects are perceived.
Prozac is used to treat a large number of mental health disorders such as serious depressive disorders, the eating disorder bulimia nervosa, anxiety conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorders and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (“Prozac information from Drugs.com”, n.d.). The same web sites states that there may be instances when Prozac is used to treat some other conditions. Prozac is also sometimes used together with olanzapine (Zyprexa) in order to treat the depression, which occurs as part of bipolar disorder (manic depression). This combination can also be used to treat the symptoms of depression, which has proved intractable to other medical interventions using at least two other medications, which have not relieved the symptoms successfully.
Prozac first became publically available in the United States of America in 1988, and quickly became a widely prescribed drug. It is the registered name of fluoxetine hydrochloride. It was thought to be a step forward in treatment; the first of a line of products in what became a major new class of ant-depressive drugs, the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors.
The drug had first emerged in 1971 as LY110141 (Moore, 2007) in the laboratories of El Lilley. Up until the time of its release on the market those who went to their doctors with symptoms of anxiety would be given tranquilizers.
At first it was being developed to lower blood pressure in cases of hypertension. This was a failure however, as it was found to only work in some animals and failed to make a difference in human beings. The next attempt was to help with obesity, but that was soon found to be a failure. This can sound almost like someone with a jigsaw puzzle piece trying to fit it into any available space. There was a trial of the drug on hospital patients with psychosis and the most severe depression, but again this resulted in failure, and in some cases symptoms actually worsened. Despite these failures the company persisted, and this time the drug was tried on a small group of people with milder depression. In every case there was improvement. It should be pointed out that any clinical trial for...