Prozac is an antidepressant medication that has been prescribed to millions of people around the world. It is part of a class of drugs that are used to regulate brain chemicals in individuals with depression and other conditions. Although this drug has been helpful to many people, others have experienced severe side effects that have had a significant impact on their lives. Some lawsuits have been filed against drug manufacturers for compensation for injuries related to the use of Prozac.
Prozac is used as an antidepressant medication to help individuals who experienced clinical depression and other types of disorders. The generic name of Prozac is fluoxetine hydrochloride. The drug was developed to be a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI. SSRI medications help to increase the neurotransmitter chemical called serotonin. This chemical plays an important role in regulating mood and emotional balance. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for use in 1987.
How Does Prozac Work?
The mechanism behind Prozac lies in brain chemistry. Messages are transmitted in the brain by the use of chemicals called neurotransmitters. These chemicals are released at the ends of nerves to bridge the gap between one nerve and another. When an insufficient amount of chemicals are available to do this work, mood problems may occur. Serotonin is one of the brain chemicals that are critical to healthy mood regulation. Prozac prevents the reuptake of serotonin so that more of the chemical is available in the space between the nerves and can be utilized more efficiently.
When Is Prozac Prescribed?
Prozac has been found to be helpful in treating some disorders, including:
· Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
· Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
· Panic disorder
· Severe Premenstrual Syndrome
Prozac Side Effects
Patients who have taken Prozac have reported some minor side effects, such as nausea, dizziness, lack of appetite, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, yawning or sweating. These symptoms often decrease over a period. Unfortunately, the use of Prozac may also entail certain side effects that can cause severe consequences to the patient’s life. These may include severe mood changes, suicidal thoughts, and heart or blood sugar problems. More recently, the link between the use of Prozac and an increased risk of a certain typed of birth defects have also been reported. These consequences have led to some lawsuits regarding the use of Prozac for common mood disorders.
Injuries From Prozac
Some questions have arisen about the use of Prozac and severe side effects. Cases of suicide related to stopping the use of Prozac have triggered some lawsuits that charge patients not being properly informed of the risk of this effect. Cases of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, or PPHN, occurring in infants born to mothers who were prescribed Prozac during pregnancy are also before the courts. Other cases involving heart problems, cleft palates, and cranial defects are also in litigation.
The continued medical expenses and loss of life have caused significant burdens on the patients who have taken Prozac and their families. Lawsuits have been filed for compensation for injuries related to taking the drug. Some of these lawsuits have gathered into a single class action litigation suits that are before the courts. Because product liability often has a time limit for filing a lawsuit, patients who believe they have been injured by Prozac should seek legal counsel as soon as possible.