Prozac Use in Children: Studying Side Effects of Fluoxetine in a Monkey Model

Fluoxetine (Prozac) is widely prescribed for depression, anxiety and other behavioral and psychiatric disorders and is approved for use in children. But little is known about the side effects of fluoxetine, part of a class of drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) in pre-teen children.

Young monkeys

Rhesus macacque monkeys have a relatively long period of development before they reach sexual maturity. That makes them a useful model to study the possible side effects of Fluoxetine (Prozac) in children. (Photo by K. West, CNPRC)

Mari Golub, professor emerita in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at UC Davis and a researcher at the California National Primate Research Center, has completed a multi-year study of the effects of fluoxetine in young rhesus macaque monkeys. These animals are a good model for human children, she says, because like humans they have a relatively long period (about four years) from birth to “adulthood.”

Golub talks about her work in our podcast, Three Minute Egghead.

Read more about her study in this feature article (Research Features).


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