Fluoxetine is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) used in the treatment of and etc.. It's marketed under the trade names Prozac, Sarafem, Fontex and many others.
SSRIs are believed to act by inhibiting the re-uptake of the hormone serotonin after being released in the brain synapses. The exact mechanism for their operation is unknown.
Quote from the prescribing information datasheet for Prozacâ„˘, from manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company.
â€śAlthough the exact mechanism of PROZAC is unknown, it is presumed to be linked to its inhibition of CNS neuronal uptake of serotoninâ€ť
In addition, the theory that manipulating serotonin levels may help in treatments is itself also unproven :
â€¦ there exists no rigorous corroboration of the serotonin theory, and a significant body of contradictory evidence.â€ś
Source : PloS Medicine 2005 Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the Scientific Literature
Although SSRIs definitely do increase serotonin levels, a comprehensive review study published in 2022 found no evidence that serotonin levels are in fact linked to depression.
The main areas of serotonin research provide no consistent evidence of there being an association between serotonin and depression, and no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations.
Source : Molecular Psychiatry, 2022
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