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Books, Journals, New Media
January 12, 2005


JAMA. 2005;293(2):237-238. doi:10.1001/jama.293.2.237

Prozac has brand recognition, having permeated our culture as few medications have before. We live in the Age of Prozac.

In the 1993 bestseller Listening to Prozac,1 Kramer meditated on “cosmetic psychopharmacology”: fluoxetine targeting not only depressive episodes but, seemingly, patients’ personalities. Responders often felt “better than well.” This book’s authors generally interpret this as personality change, but it usually indicates lifting of depression so chronic that patients themselves consider it their personality.2 The phenomenon largely reflects selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) effects on dysthymic patients without prior adequate treatment for chronic depression and anxiety. Treating superimposed major depression clears both acute depression and dysthymic disorder, granting newfound euthymia.