Prozac is the drug we like to give to our problem children, even if it does make them suicidal. Not that the drug authorities are taking the dangers lightly – the American drugs regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has sprung into action and issued a ‘black-box’ warning for the drug. This is a typographical device that uses emboldened printed text within a box to show the pharmaceutical companies that they mess with these guys at their peril.
But another black box may need to be created, judging by the results of a new study – albeit in animals, so they may not necessarily be applicable to humans. It’s been found that the antidepressant may interfere with the cellular mechanisms that are important for bone growth, so hindering healthy skeletal development. Growing mice that were genetically engineered and exposed to Prozac for a few weeks averaged 9.4 per cent less bone formation in their thighbones compared with unexposed mice.