Depression is decrease in functional activity, reduction in power, activity, or a deep dejection of spirit characterized by withdrawal (Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary, 359). It breaks lives apart. Depression hurts the person who is depressed and also the people who love them. When a person is clinically depressed, one thing that can happen is the level of serotonin, a brain chemical, may drop. People may have trouble sleeping, feel unusually sad or irritable, find it hard to concentrate, lose their appetite, lack energy or have trouble feeling pleasure (Eli Lilly and Company, 190). These symptoms are just some of many that can point to depression. To help bring serotonin levels closer to normal, the medicine doctors now prescribe most often is Prozac (Eli Lilly and Company, 191). Prozac is not for everyone. It is only for those who have problems coping with depression. It has many side effects, which have risen concern about whether pregnant women should use Prozac.
Prozac is the most widely prescribed medicine for depression (Anonymous, sec. 1, 30). It is the world's leading antidepressant and is one of the newest drugs on the market today (Burton, sec. B, 6). It has been praised for its efficacy and low incidence of adverse effects (Balon, 206). This antidepressant drug was introduced in December of 1987. It has fewer side effects than other antidepressants and has been prescribed to over two million patients (Ragan, 12). It is effective and has safe long term use on depressed
patients (Balon, 206). Prozac, or fluoxetine, its generic name, is a new class of antidepressant medications that effects chemical messengers within the brain. These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters. Many experts believe that an imbalance in these neurotransmitters is the cause of depression. Prozac is believed to work by inhabiting the release or affects the action of serotonin (Medicine Net Pharmacy, 1). It has become into widespread use from being the first of a new generation of antidepressants. Psychiatrists believe Prozac to be safe and effective when given under close supervision (Ragan, 12).
Prozac belongs to a class of drug called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They work by boosting levels of serotonin, the brain chemical, that serves as a messenger between brain cells, believed to be in short supply in many depressed people (Langreth, sec. B, 1). Prozac is easy to use and tolerate. It effects the balance of brain neurotransmitters which control mood and blocks the removal of serotonin from its action site in neurons, improving mood in depressed people (Anonymous, 1). Not only is Prozac safer, it has achieved a certain status, factors that doctors say have made them more acceptable to patients and doctors. One of the biggest obstacles to diagnosis and treatment is people's attitudes toward their symptoms. Some people mistakenly assume that being sad most of the time is an aspect of their personality or normal response to a troubling situation (Gilbert, sec. C, 9).Questions have risen about the concern on pregnancy and Prozac. Pregnant women who suffer from depression are often told to stop taking Prozac because of the possibility of harm to the unborn child. A new study found no sign that taking Prozac during pregnancy can harm a woman's unborn child (Anonymous, sec. A, 19). Research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, focused on children of eighty mothers who had received an antidepressant. No evidence was found that Prozac or a variety of medicines taken by women during pregnancy affected their children's IQ, language development or behavior (Ragan, 13). In the study , one third of the women taking Prozac continued the drug throughout pregnancy (Staff Reporter, sec. B, 6). Preliminary research also shows benefit in premenstrual syndrome. Doctors increasingly are prescribing the medication of other uses, including the treatment of obsessive - compulsive disorder, panic attacks and premenstrual, syndrome (Burton, sec. B, 1).
The drug Prozac has nearly attained the status of a household, brandname product. Nevertheless, its long term effects are unknown (Cowley, 41). Some experts worry that the true hazards of Prozac will not become apparent for many years, meaning that the millions of people using it are basically serving as test subjects. They also worry that these drugs become a substitute for attacking one's problems in one's life (Cowley, 42). Side effects seemed