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Talking Back to Prozac: What Doctors Won't Tell You About Today's Most Controversial Drug Hardcover – June 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 273 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st edition (June 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312114869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312114862
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,473,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Are you one of the thousands of Americans "listening to Prozac"? Chances are you at least know someone who is. It's time to take a closer look at this supposedly "safe" drug. Peter Breggin picks through the studies used to justify Prozac's safety, often uncovering flaws and shoddy science. He details the FDA approval process, including who on the panel was paid by whom. The key players and the details will surprise you. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"There is unquestionably a great deal of truth in what Breggin writes. Let the pill-swallower beware." --Los Angeles Times

"Peter Breggin is Prozac's worst enemy." --Time

"Dr. Breggin is the conscience of American psychiatry." --Bertram P. Karon, Ph.D., author of Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 55 people found the following review helpful By hhedieh on November 27, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Psychiatrist Peter Breggin is known for his outspoken stance against psychiatric medications. Talking Back to Prozac is in effect a response to Peter Kramer's Listening to Prozac, a book that argues Prozac is safe, relatively free of side effects, and effective in relieving mild, chronic depression as well as what may be called "personality flaws." Breggin contends that psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies are hiding the scary facts about Prozac. He makes the same point about newer psychiatric drugs in more recent works. Breggin's book offers a one-sided rather than a fair, balanced judgment of antidepressants like Prozac. About fourteen years have passed since Prozac became available in the U.S., and the drug has been taken by over 20 million people worldwide. It has proven safe for the overwhelming majority of these people, although it is no longer the "hot," popular drug that it was in the late 1980s and early 90s. Countless studies have shown Prozac to be safe and effective in a range of conditions such as depression, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In this light, Breggin's book seems alarmist. Most mental health professionals in the U.S. and Europe believe that medications, along with psychotherapy, are an important part of treating mental disorders. With his rigid stance, Breggin is denying patients an effective means of relieving their anxiety, depression, etc.
On the other hand, Breggin's arguments are not all completely false. Antidepressants like Prozac are not bogus pills, as he suggests, but their effectiveness has probably been exaggerated. New antidepressants constantly enter the market and are prescribed in the hope that they would be effective in patients that did not respond to Prozac or other older drugs.
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54 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found the author's argument unconvincing. I think Kramer's "Listening to Prozac" paints too rosy a picture, while "Talking Back To Prozac" is way too negative. I think the truth is somewhere in between. The comment the author makes repeatedly in the book about the "sick" people who seem to like Prozac is not open minded, and reveals the religious intensity of the author's opposition (I am not taking Prozac!). The close minded arguments of the author turned me off, and I could care less about the bureaucratic problems of the FDA. The truth about depression and the effectiveness of the SSRIs is independent of the FDA's Prozac drug trials, and dumping on a very large part of the medical community because of a strong feeling against SSRIs was not at all convincing to me, and made for an unsatisfying read. His linking of SSRIs to amphetamines seemed very unscientific to me, and he did not reveal how he came up with this conclusion to my satisfaction. I would appreciate a more clinical proof of SSRI ineffectiveness, and would not accept his word for it just because he believes strongly about his point of view. Two words to describe this book is: Too extreme. I disliked this book alot.
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While I agree there is much abuse of Prozac, I think he lacks understanding of those with much more serious cases of mental illness. What I found particulary offensive is the last part of the book when Breggin tells that he has very depressed clients come to him for help. Breggin instead shuns them away from drugs and insteads "tries" to comfort them with talk therapy alone. He tells he understands their situation, but from reading part of this book, it is obvious he doesn't. The book is extremely one-sided and never points out the positive aspects of these types of drugs. Although there are a few reported case of disabilities created by Prozac, the vast majority are helped by it. Let me tell you this, a seriously depressed person would rather take their chances with an antidepressant than not be helped at all. It is true that antidepressants are unnecessary by those with mild cases or no illness at all. Those that have rated this book 5 stars evidently have not read the other argument of this drug.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The author, a long-term expert in the field of psychotherapy, lays out a frightening picture of how the FDA serves not the people of the United States, but the drug companies. He shows how the pre-approval drug tests were doctored (no pun intended) to allow the FDA to approve a "mind-altering drug" whose effectiveness in battling clinical depression rivals that of placebos.

Before you take Prozac, or before anyone you know takes Prozac, get and read this book.
Believe me, you'll run, not walk, to some drug-free way of handling your depression
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was on every anti-depressant on the market. None seemed to work. When I was on Prozac and lithium I found that I grew more depressed. I couldn't eat, sleep, I withdrew from my friends and family. I haven't taken an antidepressant in two years and I feel great. I used to have suicidal thoughts every day but now that I am off Prozac I feel 100% better. Reading this book has helped me realize that the way to cure clinical depression is not to resort to antidepressants. They just aren't worth it!! Reading the other book reviews and this book made me aware that I was not the only one who was getting worse while on "anti-depressants". Thank you for the great info.!!
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