Why are Prozac and Other SSRIs Popular and why are people concerned about SSRIs
Prozac, the most famous of the Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) is a drug that works by assisting the brain to kip using more of the serotonin it produces that is necessary to control moods and limit symptoms of depression. SSRIs are currently so popular that individuals with depression and related disorders can characterize themselves by the tolerance of their effects, such as increased anxiety and sexual dysfunction. It is anticipated that these drugs are so efficacious and omnipresent that sooner or later, anybody who interacts with a physician will come across them.
The mindset of any individual who visits a psychiatrist for the sake of mental advice, checkup, or treatment is always desperately yearning for a positive change in his lifestyle or health. Such people forget that this move only can be a bigger step in improving their mood.
Despite that their attitude alone can become a powerful tool to deal with depression, it has continually proved that people ignore such little facts and opt for SSRI pills. More than sixty percent of the depressed population knows that their condition may improve upon taking a sugar bill or placebo intake, but still they are more satisfied and convinced that Prozac is a better prescription due to the mentality that it works faster and effectively (Das, 2011).
Another factor lies in the outlook that Prozac intake comes with the side effect of happiness. For instance, it is a stimulant that can boost an individual from fatigue that most depressed people experience. However, a larger population of the victims ignores the fact that the positive side effects alone are not convincing reasons to stay on the Prozac drugs.
There are other natural ways of changing a person’s mood, including getting enough sleep, taking vitamins, and exercising. The main reason here is the mentality of dependence on drugs for good health as opposed to taking care of their bodies in a natural way.
According to Metzl & Angel, 2004), the reason why SSRIs are still popular is based on the fact that despite what negative publicity is passed around, most depression patients have great clinical results, the experience that is objectively confirmed by professional, highly trained psychologists and psychiatrists. This can be combined with the fact that the drugs are easily prescribed, easily taken, and easy to monitor by physicians. This forms a better patient-compliance side-effect profile.
For instance, while a patient has to take Serotine and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) twice daily, an SSRI is taken only once per day. In addition, some Tricyclic and Tetracyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) necessitate two or three doses per week. In another instance, one can take SSRIs for a week, yet still, take some beer but it won’t be toxic, though he might feel like total crap. On the other hand, taking TCAs for two weeks with a little wine is toxic enough to kill.
SSRIs have been popular for their positive effects. The favorites of all the effects are weight and appetite loss. This has seemed like the biggest reason behind the fame associated with drugs. In one research, 65% of Prozac users were found to have lost a pound in the course of a seven-week testing period. Out of the participants, two tests involving overweight subjects who were not depressed made the subjects and the drugs look even better as the average loss was 10 pounds in nine weeks.
However, Prozac does not fight fat for every user. In fact, underweight people seem to gain weight while taking drugs. That is definitely an added advantage for skinny users to make the drug more popular. Research links these effects to Prozac’s impacts on serotonin and the role it plays in appetite control (Glenmullen, 2001).
SSRIs are known for solving or helping other health problems. For example, they have been tried with different levels of success against a number of other problems such as panic, Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder. Currently, research has shown that serotonin is the basic link to solving of mental health problems. However, more research has to be done to confirm this idea.
On the side of affordability, SSRIs are doing better than other antidepressants such as TCAs. Insurance firms may look at nothing less than money in the current world. Insurance firms argue that every individual that takes a drug that is a half-assed job is preferable to half of the population being compliant with medications that make them much better (Das, 2011).
Prozac and other SSRIs should be avoided, if not, their use should be limited at all costs. There is a concern that although the drugs have passed the Food and Drug Administration approval, they are a big threat due to the dangers they cause. The worst of this issue is the fact that its dangers and drawbacks have been extremely understated by physicians. Most people do not understand the extent of severe reactions that are caused by Prozac.
In a documented instance, by December 1995, 35,230 severe reactions to the drug had been already reported (Breggin & Breggin, 1995). This included manslaughter, hallucinations, hostility, suicide, assault, and aggression, resulting in close to 2, 394 deaths. Within seven years, there had been more than 2, 000 deaths caused by this drug, yet users are only aware of the minor side effects like nausea, loss of libido, and sleeplessness.
A further concern is that neither the link to fits of hostility or death is indicated as caution on prescription packs, nor is it likely told by the physician. This is regardless of the fact that Prozac can raise an individual’s mood to an extremely agitated state where he cannot logically evaluate the surrounding environment, causing him to behave violently or illogically.
The lack of caution is very critical when it comes to informing the patient that Prozac and related drugs can lead to permanent brain damage at the customarily given doses. These are factors that ought to be very controversial, yet they are rarely discussed when advising the patient to use them. The extremes named are a concern for the users and the public at large to avoid the use of Prozac.
On top of the potential risks associated with the intake of Prozac and other SSRIs, suicidal trends may occur as a result of improper monitoring or allocation of the drugs. Tentatively, Prozac is administered to people who are under therapy to assist them to deal with given disturbing issues (Das, A. (2011). Nevertheless, this is often not the case, given the reason that most individuals, especially students do take the drugs as an upper to a quick fix.
They use Prozac as a way to repeatedly avoid their problems or to stay away from depressing feelings. A detachment from emotions plus the alienation from the daily world are a wide experience, which could change the world drastically. For instance, Prozac encourages a dreamily contented separation from worldly problems, which makes an individual fail to get the taste of life. It also reduces any drive to constructive activity.
This can be harmful to both the individual users as well as to society at large. Such a patient, if detached from emotions may make him feel alone or sidelined by the community. It is based on this fact that greater risks of suicidal behaviors and ideas are implicated (Smardon, 2008).
Breggin & Breggin, 1995) further argue that often, a patient’s appointment with a doctor only lasts for 20 minutes or 30 if it is long enough. It is quite clear that this time is not adequate for patient assessment. Moreover, physicians who prescribe antidepressants are not tied down to psychiatrists.
Since Prozac can be prescribed by all qualified medical doctors, it is feared that overburdened and understaffed counselors might prescribe the drug to reduce their work load. The consequence is a nationwide habit of naïve individuals.
Based on literature reviews, the misuse of the drugs is a direct consequence of patients not being aware of the dangers associated with them. Fewer individuals with negligible depression can take Prozac and other SSRIs and get exposed to the threats associated with them if physicians advise them of severe reactions like aggression and ideation. In my opinion, the risks are adverse and thus give a reason for the limited use of the drugs.
Because depression is specifically linked to high suicidal ideation rates, SSRI medication should be closely monitored. However, if they have to be taken, then the users have to follow appropriate clinical assessment along with a comprehensive management plan so that they can work effectively and produce positive results. If the drugs cannot be avoided, the users should be informed of the likely side effects.
They should also notify their doctors of any problem immediately it arises, particularly if they feel that the depression condition has worsened or they begin to have suicidal feelings. This will help treat such individuals and at the same time help in the control of the side effects felt.
Breggin, P. R., & Breggin, G. R. (1995). Talking back to prozac: What doctors aren't telling you about today's most controversial drug. Macmillan.
Das, A. (2011). Pharmaceutical industry and the market: The case of Prozac and other Antidepressants. Asian journal of psychiatry, 4(1), 14-18.
Glenmullen, J. (2001). Prozac backlash: Overcoming the dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and other antidepressants with safe, effective alternatives. Simon and Schuster.
Metzl, J. M., & Angel, J. (2004). Assessing the impact of SSRI antidepressants on popular notions of women's depressive illness. Social Science & Medicine, 58(3), 577-584.
Smardon, R. (2008). I'd rather not take Prozac': stigma and commodification in antidepressant consumer narratives. Health:, 12(1), 67-86.