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Lexapro 101 articles

Large study establishes link between SSRI use during pregnancy and birth defects

In December 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that health care providers not alter their current practice for treating depression in pregnant patients. The recommendation was based on a review of data that up to that point had been inconsistent on whether using antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) could cause harm to developing fetuses if taken by the mother during pregnancy. However, a month after the FDA’s announcement that studies had not established a link between use during pregnancy and birth defects, a large retrospective cohort study was published that strongly suggests that SSRI exposure ... Read More

SSRI Lexapro may help reduce stress-related heart injury

Emotional stress can cause a heart syndrome known as mental stress-induced myocardial ischemia (MSIMI), and nearly 75 percent of people with coronary heart disease are susceptible to the condition. A new study suggests a type of antidepressant can reduce this risk. MSIMI can reduce the amount of blood and oxygen that flow through the heart, keeping it from working at top capacity, which can increase the risk for heart attacks and death. It is unknown how emotional pressure affects MSIMI, but considering this link, scientists set out to see if taking the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants, known as ... Read More

SSRIs, SNRIs could ease symptoms for fibromyalgia sufferers

Antidepressants may offer relief for people who suffer with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic central hypersensitivity syndrome, which occurs when the central nervous system becomes hypersensitive to different stimulus. This results in patients reporting a variety of symptoms including muscle pain, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue. Studies suggest that central hypersensitivity is mainly caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which work to keep pain sensation and mood in balance. When levels of serotonin or norepinephrine are out of balance, which occurs with fibromyalgia and depression, the brain cannot properly process pain signals, exaggerating one’s ... Read More

New study shows increased risk of autism in children exposed to SSRIs in utero

Children exposed to antidepressants in their mother’s womb are more likely to develop autism than children who were not exposed to the drugs, a new study suggests. The study identified the risk with both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and nonselective monoamine reuptake inhibitors, or tricyclic antidepressants. This is the second study in two years to associate antidepressant use during pregnancy with an increased risk of autism in offspring. SSRIs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, and include brand names such as Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro and Prozac. All SSRIs but Paxil are listed as ... Read More

SSRI use during fertility treatments shows little benefit to mother or fetus

Depressed women taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) who are also undergoing infertility treatment may be more likely not to conceive, to suffer complications with pregnancy, and to have a baby with birth defects, a new meta-analysis shows. Women undergoing infertility treatments often battle depression. A study published in Medical News Today investigated depressed women undergoing infertility treatment and the risks to their fetuses while taking SSRIs. The new meta-analysis took a different approach than past studies, investigating the safety and efficacy of infertile women being treated with SSRIs. Researchers culled through studies and found that SSRI is associated with lowered ... Read More

Newborn’s long list of birth defects blamed on antidepressant Zoloft

Use of the antidepressant Zoloft during pregnancy is considered the primary cause of a long list of serious birth defects in a newborn. The case was reported last year to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting Program, and gives a glimpse of the serious effects drugs like Zoloft can have on developing fetuses. The case involved a male baby born weighing about 4 pounds. The congenital defects listed include heart defects such as aortic valve incompetence, atrial septal defect (hole in the heart), cardiomegaly (enlargement of the heart), and mitral valve incompetence and prolapse. The newborn also ... Read More

Pregnant women should be especially careful with over-the-counter, prescription medications

Pregnant women should be extra careful when taking medicines because they may be unsafe for the mother or the child, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions. The agency issued a reminder to consumers that the risks and benefits of medicines should be carefully weighed in general, but especially in women who are expecting. Pregnancy causes changes in the body, including how medicines are processed. In some cases, dosage may need to be adjusted. Even everyday medicines, including over-the-counter pain relievers, can be unhealthy for both mother and baby. Some medications, including antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been linked ... Read More

Few resources give reliable information about safety of medication during pregnancy

Women have few reliable and easy-to-understand resources available to tell them what medications may be harmful to their unborn child if the drugs are used during pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found. Women usually search the internet for information about pregnancy in general. However, when CDC researchers examined 25 pregnancy-related websites they found contradictory information about which drugs pose risks to pregnant women or their fetuses. One site listed 22 products as safe that were considered risky on another site. Plus, there was no information to back up safety claims made for 40 percent of ... Read More

SSRIs may not increase stillbirth, infant death, but still carry birth defect risk

The most widely prescribed class of antidepressants, if taken during pregnancy, do not increase the risk of stillbirth or newborn death, a new study suggests. However, several studies have shown that the drugs can cause birth defects, premature birth, and other problems. The lastest study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and involved data from prescription registries, patient registries, and birth registries from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Data from more than 1.6 million women included about 30,000 pregnant women who had filled a prescription for antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or ... Read More

Woman files lawsuit alleging Zoloft is ineffective

A woman is suing Pfizer alleging the drug company withheld information that its antidepressant Zoloft was no more effective than placebo, and she wants Pfizer to reimburse her and other patients who were fooled into buying the drug over the course of years. Zoloft is in a class of antidepressants known as selective selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which also includes the brand names Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro and Prozac. The plaintiff says she took Zoloft from 2005 through 2008, during which her doctor kept increasing her dosage. She said the medication did not improve her symptoms of depression; however, her ... Read More