The Role of Chemistry in History

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Entries Tagged as 'Prozac'


April 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off on Introduction

Introduction to Prozac | Discovery of Prozac | Structure of Prozac | How Prozac Affected History | How History Affected Prozac

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Categories: Prozac

How Prozac Affected History

April 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off on How Prozac Affected History

Introduction to Prozac | Discovery of Prozac | Structure and How it Works | How Prozac Affected History | How History Affected Prozac

It is hard to say whether the invention of anti-depressant drugs created a culture that is more accepting toward psychological issues or vice versa. Before the end of the 21st Century it was not acceptable to seek out psychological help; it was seen as a sign of weakness. I would like to think that the creation of Prozac, and other anti-depressant drugs, have caused people to think more about depression. Increased knowledge about depression has helped many people seek help for themselves and others and has increases the understanding of the disease.

The natural advancements in the worlds of biology, chemistry and technology have made created a world that was able to support the use of drugs like Prozac.  Our world that is dependent on media and advertising is perfect to support the quick spreading of information that is essential to Prozac’s success.  But, many people do not think Prozac is a good thing.  Many people believe that Prozac is being abused by people who don’t need it and that Prozac creates a complacent society.  The concept of the “Prozac Nation,” is a society that is always popping happy pills and doesn’t care about anything.  While this does not have much basis in fact it is true that Prozac does have an affect on the personalities of its users because it affects mental and emotional states.

 Another way that Prozac has affected history is that it has created a world that thinks it is normal to medicate children. In the past, children would never have been medicated for behavioral problems, but between the years of 1994 and 2002, the rate of children ages 5 to 12 that used anti-depressants jumped from 2 to 6 percent.  Many people believe that this contributes to the early maturation of our children and an increased loss of innocence due to factors such as drug use and negative familial influences.



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Categories: Prozac

How History Affected Prozac

April 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off on How History Affected Prozac


Introduction to Prozac | Discovery of Prozac | Structure and How it Works | How Prozac Affected History | How History Affected Prozac




There were over 23 million prescriptions of Prozac filled last year. The pharmaceutical companies control the research and results of the drugs tested, and are therefore in control of the information about the drug that is available to the public. Prozac is highly advertised because, according to many, there is a push to get people to use and buy it. This is the basis of the main debate surrounding Prozac: that the pharmaceutical companies are “selling diseases” in to create a market for their drugs. The people who earn money when Prozac is sold are the same people who publish information about Prozac and conduct and report the information from its trials. Many people believe that pharmaceutical companies are no longer concerned with helping people out, and just concerned with making money.

The social environment has switched from the Freudian world of talk therapy to our technologically advanced culture that looks to biology to solve its problems. In the past, psychodynamic and psychoanalytic therapy were the two main methods of treating patients. Both methods aimed to delve into the unconscious in oder to discover what was ailing a patient. The Thalidomide scare of the 1950s spurred a change in the way that drugs were created and prescribed. Drugs were now only to be used for people who has legitimate diseases, which inevitably led to an an extreme increase in the occurance of psychological diseases. In the 1950s, 50 out of every million people were diagnosed with depression; now that statistic has risen to 100,000 out of one million.

Essentially, the new way in which we have come to think about psychological diseases has led to the prolific use of Prozac.  Our society has bred the perfect atmosphere for the use of Prozac.  The common idea that popping pills can solve all of life’s problems and our society’s knack for easy solutions cannot be denied as a factor contributing to the prolific use of Prozac.


Also our society now has become one that requires Prozac.  In the past, people were more healthy and less stressed.  But now our culture is so face-paced that no one is satisfied with their lives and are always striving for more.  This has created a niche for the use of Prozac because it is now necessary.






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Categories: Prozac

Structure and How it Works

April 22nd, 2008 · 2 Comments

Introduction to Prozac | Discovery of Prozac | Structure and How it Works | How Prozac Affected History | How History Affected Prozac



It is believed that depressed is caused by a deficiency of the brain chemical serotonin. Prozac works by binding to the reuptake site in the neurotransmitter. This results in an increased duration of action time of the released serotonin. Due to the increased time of action, the serotonin is forced to continually bounce against the serotonin receptors, increasing the feeling of happiness.





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Categories: Prozac

Introduction to Prozac

April 22nd, 2008 · 34 Comments


ntroduction to Prozac | Discovery of Prozac | Structure and How it Works | How Prozac Affected History | How History Affected Prozac

Prozac is an anti-depressant that is classified as an SSRI. An SSRI is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. Prozac’s chemical name is Fluoxetine Hydrochloride and is usually used to treat depression. The symptom of depression that Prozac aides in curing is the “blue mood” feeling that is universally felt in depressed patients. While it is most frequently used as an anti-depressant, Prozac is also used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, panic disorder and most eating disorders.

It is important to understand a bit about depression itself in order to understand why Prozac is such an important drug that has had such a great influence on our society. Depression affects its victims physically, psychologically and emotionally. The physical effects of depression include changes in sleep patterns, psychomotor retardation, weight loss, a decreased interest in sex and a general deceleration of normal processes. The main psychological effect of depression is a general loss of interest and concentration, which makes the daily life of a depressed person much more difficult. It becomes much more difficult to complete daily tasks because of this loss of interest and because of the emotional effect, which is sadness. When all the symptoms of depression are combined, it is easy to see why it is such a debilitating disease. Depression not only affects mood, but also almost every facet of life.





Barondes, S. H., (1994). Thinking About Prozac. Science, New Series, 263, 1102-1103.

Bellis, M., (2004). Prozac. Retrieved April 20, 2008. from


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Bower, B., (2006). Prescription for Controversy. Science News, 169, 168-169+172.

Blum, L. M., Stracuzzi, N. F., (2004). Gender in the Prozac Nation: Popular Discourse and

      Productive Feminity. Gender and Society. 18, 269-286.

Cheever, A., (2000). Prozac Americans: Depression, Identity, and Selfhood. Twentieth Century

       Literature, 46, 346-368.

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Degrazia, D., (2000). Prozac, Enhancement, and Self-Creation. The Hastings Center Report, 30,


Elliott, C., (2000). Pursued by Happiness and Beaten Senseless Prozac and the American Dream.

        The Hastings Center Report, 30, 7-12.

Healy, D., (2000). Good Science or Good Business?  The Hastings Center Report, 30, 19-22.

Lemmens, T., (2004). Piercing the Veil of Corporate Secrecy about Clinical Trials. The Hastings

        Center Report, 34, 14-18.

McLeod, J.D., Pescosolido, B. A., Takeuchi, D. T., & White, T. F., (2004), Public Attitudes toward

        the Use of Psychiatric Medications for Children. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 45,


Ni, Y. G., & Miledi, R., (1997) Blockage of 5HT2C Serotonin Receptors by Fluoxetine (Prozac)

       Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 94, 2036



Travis, J., (1999). By a Nose, Worms Reveal New Prozac Targets. Science News, 156, 196


Vogel, G., (2000). New Brain Cells Prompt New Theory of Depression. Science, New Series, 290,



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Categories: Prozac · Uncategorized

Discovery of Prozac

April 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off on Discovery of Prozac

Introduction to Prozac | Discovery of Prozac | Structure and How it Works | How Prozac Affected History | How History Affected Prozac


The accidental discovery of the anti-depressant effect of impramine led to the research done at the Eli Lilly Company in 1970 that eventually resulted in the birth of Prozac. The molecule that later turned into Prozac was originally a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. In the attempt to create a drug that would only affect the serotonin reuptake, fluoxetine was discovered. It was important to create a drug that only blocked the reuptake of serotonin because there are negative side effect associated with the inhibition of the reuptake of norepinephrine.  Prozac is the most potent known form of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Prozac was first introduced for clinical use in 1986 and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1987.




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Categories: Prozac