I almost remember the day when Prozac was just put on the market like some people remember the day they heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assination, Pricess Di's death and 911. Prior medications were aweful. They all had nasty side effects that made them intolerable, they had to be slowly titrated to therapeutic levels so patients could tolerate them and they were all poisonous. A few days dosage of pills were lethal in overdose. I would prescribe the pills with trepidation because of my fear that in a suicidal state the cure could be used as the instrument of death.
As opposed to the above, however, Prozac was a safe, one size-fits-all option. A patient could start the medication at the right dose from the first day. People had overdosed on 2-3 months supply of the medication and no one died. It helped depression, anxiety, OCD, migraines, chronic pain, bulemia, etc. It was a wonder drug. I would have to say it was truly a major break through in alleviating pain and suffering of depressed patients and the families who were also affected. Amongst my collegues we affectionately called it "Vitamin P".
"New and improved" SSRI's came along, first Paxil, then Zoloft, then Luvox, then Celexa, the Lexapro, all following the same path that Prozac forged.
In my mind, though some of the newer medications are also good and helpful, my first love shall always be Prozac.