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Forest to pay millions to Missouri parents for misleading drug data on childhood depression meds

Forest Laboratories will pay between $7.7 million and $10.4 million to settle multidistrict litigation alleging the drug company misled Missouri parents into buying Celexa and Lexapro for their children even though the antidepressants were not approved for children. The class includes all parents and other third parties in Missouri who purchased Celexa for a minor patient between Jan. 1, 1998, and Dec. 31, 2013, or Lexapro for a child between Aug. 1, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2013. Forest is accused of covering up clinical trial data that showed Celexa was ineffective in treating pediatric depression based on studies from as ... Read More

Lawsuit alleges Forest mislead public about Celexa, Lexapro effectiveness in treating childhood depression

Forest Laboratories is facing a potential class action lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court by two funds that allege the company illegally marketed its antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro and paid kickbacks to others to endorse the drugs as a treatment for pediatric depression. The lawsuit, filed by Allied Services Division Welfare Fund and New Mexico UFCW Union’s and Employers’ Health and Welfare Trust Fund, allege they and others had to pay or provide reimbursement for Celexa and Lexapro. However, the lawsuit claims, the sales of those drugs were based on inadequate drug labels that were designed to mislead consumers and the ... Read More

5 health products that are dangerous to women

Medical devices, prescription drugs, and even consumer products offer unique benefits to women. But sometimes they can cause unexpected harm. Here are some products that women should use with caution: 1. Talcum powder – It might sound far-fetched, but women who apply baby powder or body powder regularly to their genitals are a third more likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who do not use the product. Talcum powder, derived from talc, contains various elements, including asbestos, which is a known carcinogen. Researchers say the powder when applied to the genitals can travel up the vagina through the uterus ... Read More

4 prescription drugs that can be dangerous to your health

Doctors prescribe medication to help relieve symptoms, clear up infections, or prevent or control serious health problems. However, even well-intending drugs can cause serious and even life threatening side effects that people should be aware of. Here’s a list of commonly prescribed medications and their potential adverse effects. 1. Type 2 diabetes drugs – Diabetics rely on these drugs to help keep their blood sugar levels in check. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious health consequences including heart disease, kidney disease, dementia and neuropathy, to name a few. But these drugs can carry cancer risks. Studies have linked the widely ... Read More

SSRI antidepressants taken before pregnancy could increase the risk of autism in babies

Many concerns have been raised about the serious effects some antidepressants can have on developing fetuses when taken by their mothers during pregnancy. A new study suggests that the drugs may cause problems for babies if taken by women before they became pregnant, even if they do not use the drugs once they conceive. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the country. These include brand names such as Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa and Prozac. Mounting studies show that babies born to women who take SSRIs while pregnant are at greater risk of serious ... Read More

Louisiana files class action lawsuit against Zoloft maker Pfizer alleging Medicaid Fraud

The state of Louisiana has filed a class action lawsuit against Pfizer alleging that the drug maker defrauded the state by falsely marketing the antidepressant Zoloft. The complaint claims that Pfizer knew from clinical trials on the medication that it was ineffective at treating depression, but pushed for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval anyway. As a result, Louisiana spent millions through its Medicaid program for a drug that the plaintiff alleges does not work. Zoloft, known generically as sertraline, is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Other medications in this class include ... 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

SSRI use during pregnancy increases risk of premature birth, birth defects

Commonly prescribed antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, can cause birth defects if taken by the mother during pregnancy, a report in the United Kingdom’s Guardian Express warns. “Most mothers want to take the best care of themselves while they are pregnant, understandably. However, the pharmaceutical industry has other intentions for mothers-to-be,” Lucille Femine writes. “The powerful and profit-driven motives of the giant industry has raked in billions of dollars pushing dangerous drugs on pregnant women, taking full advantage of the common occurrence of depression during pregnancy.” Several studies have confirmed that SSRIs, known by the brand ... Read More

Pregnant women using SSRIs have double the risk of having a baby with heart defect

Using a common class of antidepressant while pregnant can double the risk of a child being born with heart defects, suggests a new study conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom. The research lends more weight to safety concerns over the use of antidepressants in pregnant women. The study focused on the most prescribed class of antidepressants – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Brand name SSRIs include Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro. Researchers say about two out of every 100 babies are born with a heart defect. However, if the mother is using an SSRI, the risk increases to ... Read More

Warning labels on Paxil sold in UK to receive stronger warnings about birth defects

One in six women of childbearing age have taken a commonly used type of antidepressant, however the drug could have detrimental effects on their unborn babies if they become pregnant while using the drug, says Stephen Pilling, a researcher with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. The BBC reports that about two out of every 100 babies born are born with a heart defect. That risk jumps to four in 100 for women who take a type of antidepressant know as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in early pregnancy. SSRIs include the brand-name drugs Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro and ... Read More