Prescription drugs always come with a long, concerning list of side effects, and Prozac is no exception. That doesn't change the fact that Prozac, aka Fluoxetine, has helped millions of people deal with clinical depression since it first became available as a prescription medication in 1987. Fluoxetine's potential as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor was actually discovered in the 1970s, but the FDA didn't give the drug the go-ahead for an entire decade.
Fluoxetine was discovered and patented by Eli Lilly and Company in the 1970s; after the FDA approved the drug in 1987, they began marketing it under the name Prozac. The drug became a successful and popular treatment for depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, allowing the brand name "Prozac" to become synonymous with antidepressants in the 1990s.
Despite being so well-known, Prozac isn't the most-prescribed antidepressant in medicine: In the U.S., Sertraline and Citalopram are in higher demand than Fluoxetine. Even those suffering from depression who aren't prescribed Prozac may have benefited from the drug: The patent wore off in 2001, allowing generic Prozac alternatives to hit the market.