10 Drug Approvals That Changed the Future of Medicine

Prozac (Fluoxetine)
Used for treating depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, panic attacks and bulimia, Prozac is the world’s most widely prescribed antidepressant. Approved by the FDA in December 1987, Prozac works by controlling the serotonin levels in the brain. Source: World History Project

MORE: New knowledge about Ofev and Esbriet may lead to better lung fibrosis therapies.

Zidovudine (AZT)
Zidovudine (also known as AZT) is a drug used for HIV and AIDS patients and was approved by the FDA in 1987. It reduces the amount of HIV in a patient’s body. It is often used in conjunction with lamivudine and abacavir to help stop or slow the production of HIV, allowing the patient’s immune system to build and making them less susceptible to potentially deadly infections. (Source: Aidsmap.com)

MORE: IPF patients treated with Esbriet live 2.5 times longer than those not treated.

Insulin
In 1922, Canadian doctor Frederick Banting discovered that extracting insulin from the pancreas of a dog could help diabetic patients. The insulin was later taken from pigs and cows rather than dogs but some patients had an allergic reaction to it. Genentech created the first synthetic insulin in 1978—recombinant DNA insulin—which didn’t cause any allergic reactions and could be mass produced, changing the lives of diabetes patients all over the world. (Source: howstuffworks.com)

MORE: Esbriet can treat IPF long-term regardless of the initial severity of the disease.

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