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The making of a miracle cure? - The history of prozac.
 Drug Features
 Related Resources
Medical Innovations 
Prozac on the Web
Prozac Land - Eli Lilly and Company
Homepage of the manufacturers of Prozac.
Internet Mental Health: Prozac

The complete prozac monograph from Internet Mental Health, including: pharmacology, indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, adverse effects, overdose and dosage.
Suicidal And Violent Behavior Associated With The Use Of Fluoxetine

By James D. Hegarty - a report on prozac distributed through the Drugs and Devices Information Line.
Usenet - alt.support.survivors.prozac
Newsgroup for former Prozac patients.
Klaus K. Schmiegel

Klaus Schmiegel and Bryan Molloy co-invented a class of aryloxyphenylpropylamines which includes the compound fluoxetine hydrochloride.
Bryan B. Molloy

The search by Molloy and the chemistry team at Eli Lilly for an effective antidepressant led them to synthesize many new compounds."

By Mary Bellis

In researching the history behind Prozac I ran across something not found with any other invention: a sentiment expressed by several independent sources that went something like this, "I want to kiss the person who invented Prozac!" We might all depend on the light bulb more, but we never hear anyone talk about kissing Edison. Maybe the reason for the fondness for Prozac lies behind the nature of this invention.

Prozac is the registered trademarked name for fluoxetine hydrochloride and the world's most widely prescribed antidepressant to-date, the first product in a major new class of drugs for depression called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. Prozac was first introduced to the US market in January 1988. It took two years for Prozac to gain its 'most prescribed' status.

Prozac works by increasing brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is thought to influence sleep, appetite, aggression and mood. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry messages between nerve cells. They are secreted by one cell and picked up by receptor proteins on the surface of another. Once the message has been delivered, a neurotransmitter is either destroyed or retrieved into the cell that made it. This process is known as re-uptake. When re-uptake is inhibited, the effect of the serotonin is amplified. It is not entirely known why increasing neurotransmitter levels will reduce the severity of a depression. It may be that increased levels of serotonin cause changes in the brain's concentration of neurotransmitter-binding receptors. This might make the brain physically more capable of feeling good.

The team of inventors behind Prozac was lead by Ray Fuller. Fuller was posthumously awarded the Pharmaceutical Discoverer's Award from Narsad for discovering fluoxetine or Prozac. Also awarded were Bryan Molloy and David Wong, both members of the Eli Lilly Company research team.

While many patients and medical personnel feel positively about Prozac, there are lawsuits and studies that make a case for caution. A list of pro and con opinions can be found among the list of resources provided at the end of this article, including information on alternative treatments for depression.

[Prozac's known side effects include nausea, diarrhea, insomnia and a lowered sex drive]

Other Eli Lilly Company Innovations

Eli Lilly's founder, Colonel Eli Lilly was the inventor of the gelatin capsule.

Introduced Iletin®, the first insulin product. Developed with the research team of Frederick Banting and Charles Best of the University of Toronto, the new therapy revolutionized the treatment of diabetes.

Developed long-acting, orally administered penicillin products; discovered erythromycin (Ilosone®), the first of the macrolides, a major class of antibiotics; developed and mass-produced the Salk polio vaccine for its first widespread clinical trials.

Developed the first agents of the cephalosporins, a major class of antibiotics. The company later introduced Ceclor®, a member of the cephalosporin family that became the world’s top-selling antibiotic.

Introduced Humulin®, human insulin, the world’s first human-health-care product created using recombinant DNA technology. Launched Prozac®, the first product in a major new class of drugs for depression. Prozac® has become the world’s most widely prescribed antidepressant.

Introduced ReoPro®, a cardiovascular, antiplatelet agent; Gemzar®, an oncology product; Humalog®, an insulin analog for diabetes; and ZyprexaTM®, a new antipsychotic agent for the treatment of schizophrenia.

The product names appearing on this table are U.S. trademarks. Names may be different in other countries.

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