Prozac is an anti-depressant manufactured by Eli Lilly & Co. In 1987, Prozac was the first anti-depressant drug to receive FDA approval. Prozac is the only anti-depressant approved for children. Prozac is the most popular anti-depressant drug with 54 million users in 90 different countries. Unfortunately, Prozac use has been linked to severe side effects.

Prozac Uses

The FDA approved Prozac to treat depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, and some eating disorders.

Prozac is also prescribed (although not FDA approved) to treat various conditions including:

  • Alcoholism
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sleep problems
  • Phobias

How does Prozac Work?

Prozac is classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs increase the level of serotonin (a brain neurotransmitter) in the brain. Scientists believe that as serotonin levels change, they alter a person’s mood. A clinically depressed person possesses a low serotonin level. Prozac increases serotonin levels and helps control the symptoms of depression.

Who should not use Prozac?

Due to severe side effects, Prozac should not be used by patients:

  • With a history of heart disease
  • Allergic to any component of Prozac
  • Who are taking antidepressants known as Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI)

Prozac Side Effects

Prozac has been linked to several severe and fatal side effects, including:

  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN): A February 2006 study found that a woman’s Prozac use in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy doubles the risk that her child will develop PPHN. PPHN can lead to heart failure and death.  This dangerous Prozac side effect does not appear in women that use Prozac in the 1st or 2nd trimester.
  • Suicide: Children have shown signs of suicidal behavior after starting Prozac or after a dosage increase. Reports show that about 2-3% of children taking antidepressants have increased suicidal thoughts. The FDA ordered Eli Lilly & Co. to add a black box warning listing this possible side effect.
  • Premature Births: Premature births are serious side effects of Prozac use by pregnant women.
  • Birth Defects: Prozac use by pregnant women during the 1st trimester increases the risk of serious side effects in their babies. The side effects include skin lesions, facial droop, low muscle tone, and respiratory problems.
  • Gastrointestinal Bleeding: A study found a 2.6 fold increase of the dangerous side effect of internal bleeding in Prozac users.
  • Withdrawal: There is a withdrawal side effect risk when Prozac use is stopped. This side effect is generally not serious and usually only last a few days.

Injured by Prozac Side Effects

Have you or a loved one been injured by a Prozac side effect?  To access your legal rights contact our experienced Prozac attorneys today.

Published November 17, 2011 by