Prozac Replacement Just Approved

Despite the death of a 19-year-old participant in a clinical trial, yesterday the FDA approved the sale of a new antidepressant for adults and it should be on pharmacy shelves by late month. The new drug is called Cymbalta. It is made by the maker of Prozac (Lilly) and viewed as a successor to its once-blockbuster Prozac. Industry analysts expect Cymbalta to generate peak annual sales of about $2 billion, after sales of Lilly's former top-selling antidepressant, Prozac, plummeted in the face of generic competition.

Cymbalta works by maximizing the presence in the brain of two chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine. That makes it similar to Effexor. Drugs like Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil only maximize the presence of serotonin. Generic forms of Paxil were recently launched in the U.S. and generic forms of Zoloft and Celexa are expected to be launched by 2006.

This new drug comes to market at a time of growing concern that new classes of antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in some people, especially the young. The college student involved in one of the Cymbalta trials committed suicide, though she was not depressed at the beginning of testing.

The wholesale price of the drug is about $3 a pill which means a month's supply will cost you more than $100. Depression is a serious health problem and clearly needs effective strategies but do we really want to use a pill as the primary solution? Pills in no way shape or form ever treat the cause of the problem. Energy psychology tools like prayer, EFT and brain wave synchronization are far more appropriate and logical choices.

These tools are especially effective if one is giving their body the right tools to heal. Exercise has consistently been shown to be one of the best ways to treat depression. Additionally omega-3 fats are another powerful tool. A high quality cod liver oil is one of the foundational healing tools one's brain can use to repair the damage that depression causes.

USA Today August 5, 2004

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