Effects of Prozac

Serotonin Molecule

Prozac, or Fluoxetine as it is known chemically, is in a class of drugs/anti-depressants known as SSRI's or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. What is an SSRI? First you should know what Serotonin is. Serotonin is a naturally occurring brain chemical, or neurotransmitter, that, among other things, is responsible for our human emotion of happiness and well-being. There are other common neurotransmitters in our brains and bodies such as dopamine, acetylcholine, etc, but SSRIs do not actively act on these chemicals.

SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed class of anti-depressants due to its effectiveness to work on Serotonin and modulate and regulate our human happiness. SSRIs do not make or create Serotonin for the brain to use, but rather increase the amount of available Serotonin for use. SSRIs prevent Serotonin reuptake and so rather than the Serotonin being reabsorbed into the cycle, it remains at a very "responsive" area for longer than usual. This allows for Serotonin to stimulate the body's Serotonin receptors for a much larger duration than naturally possible. This increase in Serotonin reception aids to cause most SSRI users to feel an elevated mood and a sense of well-being.

With an increase in the 'pool' of available Serotonin, many medical conditions may see an improvement and this is exactly what Prozac was meant to do.

Depression - Prozac inhibits, or prevents, the reuptake of Serotonin, as mentioned previously. This allows for more Serotonin and an increased chance of invoking a response from Serotonin receptors, thus Serotonin will essentially mellow the user out and allow them to feel happy and content with life. This is accomplished with Prozac treatment.

Panic Attack - The levels of Serotonin available aid to help with Panic Attacks by instilling a feeling of well-being within the patient. Prozac aims to do just that. SSRIs are not generally prescribed for panic attacks however. Benzodiazepines are much more effect for anxiety and panic disorders.

Eating Disorders - Serotonin is known to control and suppress the appetites in humans. This explains the reasoning behind taking 5-HTP supplements to lose weight, because the 5-HTP will convert to serotonin and decrease or maintain a healthy appetite. Prozac can be used to treat bulimia effectively considering this. Prozac is not always effective in bulimics.

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