Tagged Articles

heart defect 23 articles

Woman blames daughter’s birth defects on morning sickness drug Zofran

Beth Botelho was devastated when she learned her newborn daughter Marissa had a congenital heart defect. “It was apparent something was really wrong,” she told Fox25 in Boston. “She needed open heart surgery. She was on life support. She was on a feeding tube. Initially, it was very overwhelming.” Botelho believes the anti-nausea drug Zofran, which she took to treat morning sickness, caused her daughter’s birth defect. Zofran, made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is FDA-approved to treat nausea and vomiting in patients with cancer and following surgery. It has also been prescribed, off label, to treat morning sickness in pregnant women. ... Read More

European drug regulators place stronger birth defects warnings on SSRI antidepressants

Four years before she became pregnant, Anna Wilson was prescribed the antidepressant Celexa (citalopram) to treat symptoms of anxiety. Her doctor told her that it would be OK to continue to take the medication even when she starting trying to get pregnant. The safety label for Celexa did not indicate the drug would be dangerous for unborn babies. Unfortunately, Anna would learn the hard way that developing fetuses are particularly vulnerable to ill effects from the drug. Celexa is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other drugs in this class include the brand names Paxil, ... Read More

First SSRI Prozac celebrates 25th birthday this month

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine). The drug, the first in a class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) was launched in January 1988. Since then the drug has enjoyed increasing sales. Prozac was prescribed 3.9 million times in 2011 – a 9.2 percent increase from 2010 sales. Prozac, which is now also available in generic versions, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult and pediatric major depression, adult and pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It is also used to ... Read More

High blood pressure linked to SSRI use during pregnancy

Studies have revealed how dangerous antidepressants can be to fetuses exposed to the medication in utero, but there has been little research into how the drugs affect the mother’s health. A new study, published in The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, shows that antidepressant use during pregnancy may also put the mother’s health at risk. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are the most prescribed class of antidepressants in the country and include the brand names Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexparo and Prozac. Recent studies have shown using the drugs while pregnant increases a woman’s chance of delivering a baby with ... Read More

Women file birth defect lawsuits against SSRI makers

Attorneys are taking up the fight against pharmaceutical companies for women who say the antidepressants they were taking while pregnant caused their babies to be born with serious birth defects. The women claim that the drug companies knew the medications could cause problems with developing fetuses but failed to disclose the information. The medications the women took were in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. They are among the most prescribed drugs in the United States, and include brand names such as Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, and Prozac. The drugs are used to treat ... Read More

Serious birth defects linked to anti-seizure drug Depakote

Women who took the anti-epileptic drug Depakote during the first trimester of pregnancy are much more likely to deliver babies with serious birth defects affecting the brain, heart and limbs, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Depakote was first approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1983 as a treatment for epilepsy. In 1995, the FDA approved the use of Depakote to treat mania in bipolar patients. A year later, the drug’s indication was expanded to include the reduction of migraine headaches. In 2002, the FDA approved Depakote ER ... 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

More birth defects lawsuits filed against Zoloft makers

More lawsuits have been filed against drug maker Pfizer by women who claim that the company hid information that showed using the antidepressant Zoloft during pregnancy could cause birth defects. The class action lawsuit was filed in St. Louis Circuit Court against Pfizer. The women claim they were prescribed Zoloft during their pregnancies despite the alleged risks to their unborn children. The woman say their children were later born with several birth defects, including damage to their hearts. Zoloft is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Other brand name medications in this class ... 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