Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

SSRI’s: Good News, Bad News, At Least For Mice and Rats

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on January 16, 2014


The good news: Rats given Prozac in adolescence responded to stress, later in life,  with less despair.

The bad news: Stressful life events in adulthood, among Prozac exposed Rats in adolescence, experienced a higher degree of anxiety than those rats not treated with Prozac in adolescence.

This is an animal study. Can we really extrapolate to humans? I am not so sure.

4 Responses to “SSRI’s: Good News, Bad News, At Least For Mice and Rats”

  1. Shelly said

    So the bottom line is that if you treat an adolescent with Prozac, he/she will respond to stress with less despair as an adult with with a greater degree of anxiety. My personal opinion is that anxiety is far more debilitating than despair. In my experience, the FDA generally uses mice models as the basic model closest to the human one. What are your thoughts about the treatability of anxiety versus despair?

  2. Frozen Hamster said

    i have several issues with this article (the same issues i have with majority of poorly written articles trying to make science accessible to non-scientists, and instead, completely misrepresenting research)

    the title is misleading… “Prozac during adolescence protects against despair in adulthood” …*IN MICE*.
    interpolating physical changes from animals to humans makes sense. but rodent psychology and behavior are very different than human. how is it decided whether a mouse is depressed? it seems to me that many aspects of depression in humans are not a very well understood. relating not well understood human behavior to a way simpler animal behavior and labeling it the same thing, to me, does not seem like a good premise for solid research. and i find it hard to believe that this is what the research is actually claiming. speaking of which, why did they not post a link to the actual study and the relevant statistical data >..<

    p.s. your posts inspire me to think and read about topics that would generally not arise in my daily life, and i enjoy them very much. thank you.

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