Fluoxetine (also known by the tradenames Prozac, Sarafem, Ladose and Fontex, among others) is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. Fluoxetine was first documented in 1974 by scientists from Eli Lilly and Company. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of major depressive disorder in December 1987. The fluoxetine patent expired in August 2001.
Fluoxetine is used for the treatment of major depressive disorder (including pediatric depression), obsessive-compulsive disorder (in both adults and children), bulimia nervosa, panic disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. In addition, fluoxetine is used to treat trichotillomania if cognitive behaviour therapy has been unsuccessful.
In 2010, over 24.4 million prescriptions for generic formulations of fluoxetine were filled in the United States, making it the third most prescribed antidepressant after sertraline and citalopram. In 2011, 6 million prescriptions for fluoxetine were filled in the United Kingdom. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system.
Fluoxetine is frequently used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bulimia nervosa, panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and trichotillomania. It has also been used for cataplexy, obesity, and alcohol dependence, as well as binge eating disorder. Fluoxetine has also been tried as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders with moderate success in adults.