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What Is Generic Prozac®?

Doctors can prescribe generic Prozac to treat depression.
There are opposing opinions on whether the generic medication is as effective as the brand product.
Generic Prozac has been used to treat people suffering with emotional distress.
Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Generic Prozac® is fluoxetine that is processed and distributed without the use of the brand name Prozac®. As with many types of generic medications, there is some difference of opinion on whether this form of antidepressant drug is as effective as the brand product. However, many people do find generic Prozac® to be helpful in dealing with emotional distress as well as being much more affordable.

Prozac® was first developed in 1970 by pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. As is true with many modern medications, the focus at the time was not on developing a product to aid in recovery from depression. However, tests involving the prototype indicated the efficacy of the product to help with the melancholy, apathy, and general feelings of worthlessness and fatigue that are so common with many forms of depression. To this day, Prozac® remains one of the most popular of all antidepressants.

After the expiration of the original patent on the drug, other pharmaceutical companies began to develop their own generic brands of Prozac®. The result has been several companies that supply generic Prozac® to many pharmacies around the world. In many countries, the generic version is considered a controlled substance and is only available with a prescription issued by a qualified physician.

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For the patient, one of the immediate benefits associated with generic Prozac® is the difference in cost. In general, the generic version is only a fraction of the cost associated with the name brand. As is true with many generic drugs, insurance providers tend to favor the use of the generic version over the name brand. There are a growing number of health insurance providers that will only cover the charges associated with the name brand if it is not possible to obtain generic Prozac® in the area where the patient resides.

As with the original product, there is the potential for side effects with the use of generic Prozac® medication. Especially during the first couple of months, the patient may experience some nausea as well as short periods of insomnia. Increased anxiety and general nervousness are reported by some users, as well as some trembling in the hands. As is true with many antidepressant medications, the patient may experience a loss of interested in sex or increased difficulty in reaching orgasm. For some patients, these side effects are short-lived and relatively mild. However, others do report severe side effects and may require an adjustment in the dosage or a switch to another medication altogether.

While insurance companies tend to support generic Prozac® as being just as effective as the brand name product, not everyone agrees. Some physicians believe that the generic version takes longer to begin providing relief to patients and may sometimes specify that the Prozac® prescription must be filled with the name brand and not with a generic drug. Anecdotal evidence from former patients also indicate the generic version does not work as well for some people. However, many patients report success using generic Prozac®, which appears to support the claims of the healthcare companies.

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