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brain defect 6 articles

Senator wants stronger warnings on drugs that can harm unborn babies

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change the safety labels on prescription medication to clearly warn women of the dangers the drugs can cause to their unborn babies. Sen. Schumer’s driving motivation was to reduce the number of babies born addicted to painkillers and other opiates, which has nearly tripled in the past 10 years. A study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that approximately 3.4 of every 1,000 babies born in 2009 was addicted to a painkiller. If the senator had his way, not ... Read More

Study links SSRI use to dangerous pregnancy complication

Recent studies have shown that some types of antidepressants increase the risk for birth defects when mothers take them while pregnant. But new studies suggest that the medication may also cause problems with the pregnancy itself. The new study, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that pregnant women who use antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have a slightly higher risk of developing dangerously high blood pressure, a condition known as preeclampsia that can be harmful for both mother and the unborn child. SSRIs are among the most prescribed medications in the United States, and ... Read More

New iPad app helps identify best antidepressant for patients

A new iPad app can help doctors determine the best antidepressant to treat patients. The new Clinaptica Depression Consultant app was developed by Scaled Psychiatric Systems, Inc. It costs $4.95 at the App Store, and is designed to go beyond any previous system for people with depressive disorders to recommend antidepressant therapies specific to different patient characteristics. Arizona Physician Dr. Rakesh Patel has used an online version of the program since 2006 and says the treatment recommendations have been “spot on almost every time.” A multi-study presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in 2009 showed that a sample ... Read More

Legitimacy of PMDD considered in newest edition of DSM

Currently, doctors and psychiatrists are weighing the legitimacy of a condition known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) to determine if it deserves a listing in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the American Psychiatric Association’s bible for mental health professionals. A new edition of the DSM has not been issued since 1987, and in it PMDD is not considered an actual disorder but rather a condition in need of “further study.” Granting PMDD its own diagnosis in the DSM will almost certainly guarantee one thing – that drug companies will be clamoring to create a drug to ... Read More

BMJ confirms FDA’s warning that SSRIs can cause birth defects

In January, the British Medical Journal reaffirmed a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning when it published a study that showed a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), were linked to serious birth defects in newborns when taken by the mothers while they were pregnant. SSRIs include the brand names Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro and Prozac, and the birth defects associated with these pills include heart defects, lung conditions, brain and spine defects, skull deformities, club foot, and abdominal defects. That study followed warnings from several institutions and medical publications such as the New England ... Read More

New study links SSRIs to developmental disorders, autism

Studies helped persuade doctors that treating depression in pregnant women was important to the well-being of both the mother and the fetus. As a result, antidepressant use during pregnancy increased. But new research shows that treatment with certain antidepressants just before and just after delivery may actually negatively impact the baby’s brain circuitry. The new study, conducted by researchers with the University of Mississippi Medical Center, focused on the pre- and postnatal effects of laboratory rats after exposure to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) citalopram, known by the brand name Celexa. The study results backed up findings of recent ... Read More