Prozac: Harmful Or Helpful?

Many people suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Among women in western countries, major depression is by far the most common illness (Shorter 43). Treatment for depression varies among health care providers, but the prescription of antidepressants seems to be the most common remedy. Prozac and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are being used to treat depression, panic disorder, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and many other illnesses. Prozac has become the most common and best-selling antidepressant in the United States. It has been prescribed for over twenty-one million people (Packard 18). Nonetheless, many of these people are unnecessarily ...

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serious adverse reactions reported to the FDA than any other drug in America” (qtd. in Freundlich 2).
Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company created Prozac in 1974, but it wasn’t approved by the FDA until 1987. The first of the SSRIs, Prozac inhibits or blocks the recapture of the neurotransmitter serotonin by nerve cells (“Prozac” 2). This allows the serotonin to remain in the brain for a longer period of time creating a lasting euphoric state. Serotonin plays a complex part in the functioning of the body and brain. Researchers and doctors are just starting to understand its role. “So far, the tools used to manipulate serotonin in the human brain are more like pharmacological machetes than they are like scalpels--crudely effective but capable of doing plenty of collateral damage” (Lemonick 3).
Prozac is supposed to help improve a person’s mood by increasing the level of serotonin present in the brain. However, problems can occur if receptors in the brain stem and spinal cord are ...

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for serotonin syndrome is to cease taking the offending medication or medications and wait for the symptoms to resolve. If the offending medication is discontinued, the condition will frequently resolve on its own within twenty-four hours (“What is Serotonin Syndrome?” 1-2).
Many victims of the over-prescription of Prozac are children. In 1997, at least 580,000 children were being prescribed Prozac, even though safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients had not, and still has not, been established (Huffington, “U.S. Attention” 1). As with most antidepressant prescriptions, doctors are prescribing Prozac for children without any psychiatric evaluation. Yet, in a Prozac ad, ...

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Prozac: Harmful Or Helpful?. (2005, January 23). Retrieved December 1, 2020, from
"Prozac: Harmful Or Helpful?.", 23 Jan. 2005. Web. 1 Dec. 2020. <>
"Prozac: Harmful Or Helpful?." January 23, 2005. Accessed December 1, 2020.
"Prozac: Harmful Or Helpful?." January 23, 2005. Accessed December 1, 2020.
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Added: 1/23/2005 07:17:38 AM
Category: Health & Medicine
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1762
Pages: 7

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