The Ineffectiveness of ProzacWe live in an age of growing research and technology, and new medicines are coming out for every sort of problem and symptom. Each day scientists discover more about the body and its functions and among these discoveries and understandings is the expertise of serotonin and its functions within the human brain. The grasp of serotonin has brought about the development of SSRIÃÂs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, and other antidepressants. There has been a sharp rise the prescription of these drugs for relief of depression and other mental health problems and concerns.
Although drugs such as Prozac have become increasingly popular, their effectiveness and safety is a controversial issue. The FDA only requires that six to eight months worth of tests be done before a drug can be put on the market (Glenmullen 2000). Because this testing time is so short respective to an entire life-span, people who are prescribed the drugs are essentially guinea pigs for any and all long term side effects.
Six to eight months of testing is not enough for scientists to realize that prolonged exposure to or use of Prozac or similar drugs can lead to severe side effects. The known side effects can include insomnia, anxiety, loss of appetite, and headaches (Appleton, 2000). More severe side effects include neurological disorders such as disfiguring facial and whole body tics, withdrawal syndromes, and even suicidality and violent behavior (Glenmullen 2000).
Personally, I think the short term relief of depression that antidepressants may provide is not worth the risk of the long-term side effects the drugs can produce. Similar to the issue of prescription privileges, anti-depressants are over-prescribed. These drugs are addictive and patients often take them longer than needed because doctors do not take...