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Re: Prozac Weekly?? Lynne

Posted by Sunnely on May 12, 2001, at 16:07:32

In reply to Prozac Weekly??, posted by Lynne on May 11, 2001, at 19:47:44

Hi Lynne,

With Lilly's patent on Prozac set to expire, "Prozac Weekly" and "Sarafem" are 2 products that signify Lilly's last valiant effort to squeeze the last penny out of Prozac.

"Prozac Weekly," at 90 mg given weekly, was found to be pharmacokinetically similar to 20 mg/day of standard Prozac. Lilly then formulated an enteric-coated preparation that delays release of Prozac to minimize stomach distress, hence "Prozac Weekly" was born.

For some patients, standard Prozac preparations may be well tolerated and effective in a once-weekly regimen (at 90 mg/week or 4 20-mg capsule plus 1 10-mg capsule). For others, the enteric-coated form (Prozac Weekly) might be preferable.

Of course, the new formulation (Prozac Weekly), which will be patent protected, is likely to be more costly than generic forms of the standard Prozac preparation. So, if you can tolerate 90 mg/week of the standard Prozac (or the equivalent dose of the soon-to-be-available generic fluoxetine), you will definitely save a bundle.

BTW, "Prozac Weekly" is only indicated for those who are in remission of their depression and taking 20 mg/day of the standard Prozac. It is not a treatment for acute depression or in relapse of depression. It should not be substituted for patients who are taking more than 20 mg/day of the standard Prozac.

"Sarafem" is Prozac and Prozac is "Sarafem." Once the generic fluoxetine becomes available, theoretically, it can be substituted to Sarafem. However, if the script is written for "Sarafem," substitution is not possible. I highly doubt that it would create significant bioequivalent differences since fluoxetine has a very long half-life and has a nonlinear pharmacokinetics. On the other hand, once the generic fluoxetine becomes available, your pharmacist is free to dispense generic fluoxetine in lieu of the brand name Prozac, even if your prescriber writes Prozac in the script.

Lilly at the present time is already heavily investing their big bucks in what they hope is the next blockbuster antidepressant, duloxetine.


> Has anyone tried the weekly version? If so, what do you think of it? Thanks in Advance,
> Lynne




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