Prozac for Pets

The FDA has approved a reformulated version of the much-prescribed SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride), but this one is just for dogs. Reconcile was created to treat canine separation anxiety. It is a once-daily, chewable, dog-treat-flavored drug that is supposed to be used “in conjunction with a behavior modification plan.”

Reconcile is manufactured for Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company.

Of course Prozac, even for dogs, has some pretty hefty side effects: “The most common adverse events reported in decreasing order of reported frequency are: decreased appetite, depression / lethargy, shaking / shivering / tremor, vomiting, restlessness and anxiety, seizures, aggression, diarrhea, mydriasis, vocalization, weight loss, panting, confusion, incoordination, and hypersalivation.”

On October 15, 2004 the FDA ordered pharmaceutical companies to add a “black box” warning to all antidepressants because the drugs could cause suicidal thoughts and actions in children and teenagers. The agency also directed the manufacturers to print and distribute medication guides with every antidepressant prescription and to inform patients of the risks. Dogs were not mentioned.

Many other side effects of Prozac in people have been documented, such as hallucinations, hostility, mood swings, panic attacks, paranoia, psychotic episodes, seizures, violent behavior, and withdrawal symptoms.

Would you want your dog, or your neighbor’s dog, to be taking Prozac on top of existing behavior problems, given the known link between violence and Prozac in people? In fact, Reconcile is specifically not recommended for the treatment of aggression.

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The newer antidepressants, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) emerged in the late 1980s/1990s, marketed as being capable of selectively targeting a chemical—serotonin—in the brain that was theorized to influence depression. This has remained a theory only, and is no more than a theory when considered for dogs. Serotonin (of which about only 5% is found in the brain) is one of the chemicals by which brain cells signal each other. SSRIs prevent serotonin from being naturally reabsorbed and thus create continued stimulation of cells.

Psychiatry has been targetting you and your children, and now it is targetting your pets.

In 1998 Alan I. Leshner, psychiatrist and former head of the National Institute of Drug Abuse stated: “My belief is that today, you [the physician] should be put in jail if you refuse to prescribe SSRIs for depression.”

Today, a physician, and now a veterinarian, can be criticized, bullied and treated like a “fringe” dweller for practicing traditional, workable, diagnostic medicine. The coercive undercurrent characterizing psychiatry is manifest in many ways, and wherever it meddles, it is destructive of certainty, pride, honor, industry, integrity, peace of mind, well-being and sanity. These are qualities that we must fight to preserve not only for ourselves, but also for our animal dependents.

For more information, download and read the CCHR booklet, “Psychiatric Hoax — The Subversion of Medicine — Report and recommendations on psychiatry’s destructive impact on health care.”

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