Fluoxetine, the generic name of Prozac, was developed by scientists from Eli Lilly and Company in 1974 and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in December of 1987. The drug is meant to treat various cases of depression, including pediatric depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia nervosa, panic disorder, trichotillomania (if cognitive behavior therapy does not work) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Fluoxetine is available in tablet, capsule and liquid form. It is usually prescribed by itself, though it may be combined with olanzapine to treat Treatment-resistant depression and Bipolar I disorder (Fluoxetine and olanzapine combination produces Symbyax).
This drug is included in the list of the highly-recognized SSRIs, a class of anti-depressant oral drugs that has earned the highest number of prescriptions for the past 20 years. SSRIs or Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are proven effective, safe and with less side-effects, improve the mood of patients who take them. These drugs work by preventing the brain from absorbing the serotonins or neurotransmitters (the chemical produced and released by the brain and which serves as the means of brain nerves to communicate with each other). Blocking serotonins from being absorbed and then boosting their performance, these are able to stimulate the brain nerves better, resulting to the patient’s improved condition.
Among the SSRI drugs, Fluoxetine, particularly, has been prescribed at least 24.4 million times in the US (up to the year 2010 only); in the UK, Fluoxetine prescriptions reached six million in 2011. In 2012, a research conducted at UCLA found out about the potential capability of fluoxetine, as well as other SSRI drugs, to function as an anti-viral when treating polio and other enteroviruses (there is currently no drug that can be used to treat enteroviruses).
Fluoxetine has known side-effects which are common with other SSRI and anti-depressant medications. These include sexual dysfunction (like lack of interest in sex, erectile dysfunction, anorgasmia (incapability to reach orgasm), difficulty becoming aroused, somnolence, tremor, asthenia, nervousness, anxiety, anorexia, insomnia and nausea.
This medicine may be used by pregnant women (but only until the third trimester of pregnancy); however, it should never be used by those who may be in a manic episode, those with uncontrolled epilepsy, those who have consumed MAOI or monoamine-oxidase inhibitor antidepressant in the last 14 days and those with uncontrolled seizure disorder.Read More